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The Cape Town d-school team is composed of a team of research-orientated design thinking educators and practitioners.

In addition to their expertise as educators in design thinking practice, the team represents experience in education, research and practice in design-led innovation, in a wide range of disciplines and settings. These range from business, IT, entrepreneurship and public sector change management for innovation, to social justice development, sustainability, and democratic participatory models.

The d-school team is in the process of designing and planning research projects based on the development of the d-school programmes, and in response to the needs for users in local contexts. The team will play a central role in articulating and developing research themes.

The process of developing case studies and contributing articles to the HPI’s, is underway. This blog is the result of a Hasso Plattner Design Thinking Research Program project.


Research Methodology

The Cape Town d-school’s research methodology is a blended one that incorporates evidence-based and action research. More on this will be shared as we finalise our early-stage research methodology.

The d-school’s academic partners are:

Hasso Plattner Institute - The Hasso Plattner Institute is a key partner in the design and development of the Cape Town d-school’s research in design thinking process. They have established research processes that are specific to the HPI design thinking research at the d-schools at Potsdam University and Stanford University.

UCT- The University of Cape Town is the key academic partner for the d-school’s presence in Cape Town. The UCT d-school curriculum committee are constituted of important stakeholders for the academic validation of the d-school programme at UCT and its contribution to a growing body of design thinking research.

In addition UCT faculties – which include Commerce, Education, Engineering and Built Environment, Humanities, Social Sciences, Health Sciences, Law and Science – represent the range of disciplines that is key for the transdisciplinary work that underpins design thinking practice; and therefore the d-school’s research component.

The d-school is also discussing and planning research collaborations with institutions and foundations working on South African and regional programmes.


The d-school also works collaboratively and in strategic partnerships with a range of organisations and institutions in the innovation eco-system in Africa to develop and strengthen capacity in human-centred problem solving in complex contexts.