Workshop: Introduction to Design Thinking

Date Wednesday 11 July 2018
Time 2pm - 3:30pm
Where MSB.0.29, Level Zero, Waikato Management School, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton
Presenter Dr Ralf Schlothauer
Contact Lyn Cameron
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

All staff and students of the University of Waikato are invited to come along to a free 90-minute workshop on Wednesday, 11 July that will provide an introduction to design thinking. No previous design experience is required!

The workshop will be led by Dr Ralf Schlothauer, former Chief Technology Officer for Comvita, a global natural health products company in the Bay of Plenty, where he had overall responsibility for innovation, research and development.

Having trained as a bio-process engineer in Germany, Dr Schlothauer now runs his own consultancy business, Whio Innovations, and is an adjunct associate professor at the University of Waikato.

Design thinking is a framework focused on user-centric design, developed at Stanford University. It refers to the creative strategies used during the process of designing innovative new products and services.

"Standard innovation and design processes are usually burdened with a heavy upfront load of isolated planning, with teams working on separate features of a new product or service," says Dr Schlothauer, "only to discover at the end of a costly innovation cycle that the product missed out essential features and does not appeal to the end user."

By contrast, design thinking relies on early, low-cost prototyping to get user feedback immediately for fast iteration cycles. It brings together what is desirable from a human point of view with what is technologically feasible and economically viable.

"Design thinking could be compared to natural evolution, creating faster and lower cost generational cycles for new products and services. Design thinking in some form was the driving force of many  digital disruptions we are seeing in the market place today."

If you wish to attend the workshop, please RSVP to Lyn Cameron by 5pm on Monday 9 July, email

Spaces are limited to the first 30 people who register.