Creating Knowledge through Design & Conceptual Innovation is a multilateral project, co-funded by the European Union. Building on the notion of design as a particular form of inquiry, the project aims to foster design ability and creative thinking among students and professionals of various disciplines, enabling them to generate innovation and knowledge. Design thereby is understood as an epistemic process that does not only result in new products or services but also provides insights into the situation to be changed.

The main objective of the project is to develop, test and disseminate pedagogical models that empower students to contribute to the development of innovative technologies, products and services and to trigger change in society and organizations. The project draws on recent approaches of design-based inquiry, design thinking as well as knowledge creation to build a comprehensive model of Design as Inquiry.

The project welcomes teachers, researchers, students as well as creative knowledge workers from all disciplines to take part in an ongoing exchange of ideas, methods, challenges and best practices.

Background & Rationale

Creativity and innovation are playing a crucial role for the development of a sustainable economy and socially responsive society but also challenge the traditional understanding of science and education. In particular, the distinction between scientific inquiry into “what is” and designerly exploration of “what might be” is getting blurred.

Rather than taking a purely analytic stance, many scientists and knowledge workers across disciplines are becoming actively engaged in the creation of the realities they aim to understand. Be it the learning scientist who develops new educational technologies, the sociologist asked to propose new means to prevent social segregation or the information scientist enrolled to ease access to the health system. Conversely, designers and engineers not just apply knowledge developed previously, but also add to the body of knowledge by exploring and making use of new possibilities, pushing the limits of what is known.

One way to promote innovation therefore lies in educating and developing competencies among students, teachers, and knowledge workers that enable them to bridge between creative serendipity and scientific rigor.

Activities & Outcomes

The project pursues several lines of action providing opportunities for participation to all stakeholders:

  • Building an online community
  • Organization of summer schools and other off- and online events
  • Developing a coherent pedagogical model and respective learning materials
  • Fostering discourse on the epistemological and methodological foundations of Design as Inquiry
  • Organization and analysis of educational field trials in various contexts
  • Collection of design challenges, case studies, as well as design and research methods

Project Flyer
Project Flyer(download)

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