The two upcoming Impulses are dedicated to

  • Personality development / Personal growth (October 10 to 12, 2023)

  • Sustainability / Public value (February/March 2024).

If you are interested in participating in these workshops, please join our mailing list here (sign up for the newsletter, see at the bottom). We will then invite you in due time (participation is free of charge, the number of places is limited, acceptances will be made in the order of registrations).


MARCH 21–23, 2023

Learning and Teaching Sciences: research-based findings and methods proven in practice for experiences conducive to learning

The approximately 30 participants who attended the Learning and Teaching Sciences focus event represent the broad spectrum of activities associated with design: teaching and research (predominantly), but also design practice (independent and employed), consulting, management, exhibitions, and journalism.

Colin Beard Input at Learning and Teaching sciences Event

The first impulse on the subject of "Learning Experience Design" was provided by Dr. Colin Beard, professor of Experiential Learning at Sheffield Hallam University. He is an internationally recognized consultant, author and experienced practitioner in the field of learning supported by personal experience. Colin has worked with many organizations, including the Foreign Service Department of the US Government, which works on the training of diplomats and ambassadors. In his impulse talk, he presented a broad, holistic approach to human learning that encompasses multiple human faculties that should be utilized in the structuring of learning experiences. In his presentation of the theoretical fundamentals, he explained some principles for structuring situations that are conducive to learning. The subsequent workshop provided an opportunity to apply these theories in the context of design education: for example, a group was asked to develop a visualization of the concept of a circular economy using an assortment of industrial products that were placed on the table. The cognitive processes within the groups were assisted by the use of aids and cues, which were based on spatial metaphors. 

Blanka Tacer Input at Learning and Teaching sciences Event

The second impulse talk on "Materiality of Learning" was given by Dr. Anna Keune, professor of Learning Sciences and Educational Design Technologies at the Technical University of Munich. In her research at the interface of learning and design science, she studies design technologies and materials for in-school and out-of-school learning. She aims to further the understanding of the gendered materiality of STEM learning and to improve the design of educational technologies that support all learners. In her talk, she outlined the state of research on the non-neutral role of tools and materials in learning. This was followed by a workshop on experimenting with methods to integrate general values such as empathy and diversity into design education.

Anna Keune Input at Learning and Teaching sciences Event

The third impulse talk brought up another facet of the Learning and Teaching Sciences thematic spectrum. A psychologist with a PhD in business administration, Dr. Blanka Tacer, founding member of the STEP Institute in Ljubljana, Slovenia, focused attention on the "Growth Mindset". As an expert in the ongoing professional development of educators, she assumes that this mindset is crucial for active learning: when teachers are convinced that students can actually meet the high expectations placed on them, it strengthens not only their learning ability, but also their critical thinking and creativity. In her workshop, practical concepts were developed with which the "growth mindset" theme can itself become the subject of courses.

Larry Corio Input at Learning and Teaching sciences Event

The fourth impulse on "Impact Measurement" came directly from the interface of business and science: Larry Corrio heads Impact Measurement at IDEO in San Francisco. Previously, he was Senior Program Manager at the University of California, a policy consultant at the New Schools Venture Fund, and a research consultant at the Institute of International Education; he was also a graduate lecturer at California State University, Northridge and a teacher and administrator at Bishop Mora Salesian High School in Los Angeles. In his talk, he first presented approaches to measuring contributions in learning situations. In his workshop, new assessment tools were developed for a variety of parameters, which are relevant to design practice (e.g., passion, collaborative experimentation, abstraction skills) but which cannot be adequately assessed through exams or papers: for example, a cube of diversity, a finger point of curiosity, or a shell of openness and self-reflection. 

Public symposium at Learning and Teaching sciences Event

A symposium open to the public summarizes the results of a learning-intensive day of workshops and invites the audience to participate in the discussion.

Each campus event ends with a symposium, which is open to the public and takes place at the X-D-E-P-O-T of the Pinakothek der Moderne, the findings of the workshops are considered and discussed together with the audience. Blanka Tacer reiterated that ‘talent’ was the biggest and most damaging myth in education. She highlighted the importance of the growth mindset for learning and outlined the current level of scientific knowledge in that field. "What do we need to do to bring a growth mindset into our classrooms?" This was the question of the hosts, Prof. Annette Diefenthaler and Prof. Dr. René Spitz, members of the board of the iF Design Foundation. They asked Colin Beard: "Yesterday you divided us into four groups, gave us a selection of objects and the task of developing a visualization of the circular economy. How did experiential learning manifest itself in this activity?“ Contributions from the audience on aspects of teaching and learning rounded off the specialist discussion.

Impressions of the Learning and Teaching sciences Event
Impressions of the Learning and Teaching sciences Event

— All photos by Aaron Bircher. Copyright iF Design Foundation

Speaker "Learning & teaching sciences"

Prof. Colin Beard, PhD

Professor of Experiential Learning at Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom

Colin is recognised as a leading global thinker, writer and skilled practitioner in Experiential Learning. He has worked with many organisations advising on learning and development, including the Foreign Service Department of the US Government working on the development of diplomats and ambassadors. He has also advised the Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Youth and Culture in Singapore on educational issues. He has worked with many corporate clients, public bodies, universities and charities. Colin was invited as a member of the European Innovation Team of Interface. Flor, the world's largest floor textile manufacturer.

His work includes over 60 global keynotes, 19 book chapters, 44 refereed articles, and several books, including an audio book on sensory intelligence, and a 4th edition book on experiential learning. He has held three visiting professorships, including two in leading Chinese universities. He is on the editorial board and reviewing panels of many leading journals. He is a National Teaching Fellow, Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Recent publication
Experiential Learning Design. Theoretical Foundations and Effective Principles. London: Routledge 2022.

Larry Corio

Head of Impact Measurement at IDEO

Previously: Senior Program Manager at University of California, Office of the President; Project Consultant at New Schools Venture Fund; Research Consultant at Institute for International Education; Adjunct Professor at California State University, Northridge; Instructor and Administrator at Bishop Mora Salesian High School in Los Angeles. Facilitated and delivered 10+ conference workshops and talks across the United States and Europe.

M.A. in Leadership and Policy from Columbia University; M.A. in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount University; B.A. in Journalism from Boston College

Recent Publication

It has been approximately two years since I last published, but two notable pieces include a design toolkit that I helped co-produce with colleagues and community members -- the Co-Designing Schools Toolkit and an accompanying article on IDEO's website.

Prof. Dr. Anna Keune

Professor of Learning Sciences and Educational Design Technologies at Technical University of Munich, Germany

Anna’s research stands at the intersection of learning sciences and design scholarship. She investigates design technologies and materials used for school and out-of-school learning with the aim to advance the understanding of gendered materiality of STEM learning and the design of educational technologies that support all learners. Guided by constructionist and posthumanist theoretical commitments as well as participatory approaches to design, Anna’s research focuses on the empirical study of how materials can foster STEM learning, transform what counts as STEM participation, and widen who participates.

Anna received postdoctoral training at the University of California, Irvine, and the Ruhr-University Bochum with a focus on STEM equity and adaptive educational technologies. Prior to this, Anna graduated with a PhD in Learning Sciences from Indiana University in 2020. Her dissertation on fiber crafts as a context for computer science education won the prestigious Indiana University Distinguished PhD Dissertation Award. Anna also studied New Media Art and Design at Aalto University and was a visiting researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology.

Recent publication
Fabric-based computing: (Re)examining the materiality of computer science learning through fiber crafts. In: Künstliche Intelligenz (2021). DOI: 10.1007/s13218-021-00747-1

Blanka Tacer, PhD

International teacher trainer, Founding member of STEP Institute, Ljubljana, Slowenia

Blanka Tacer, PhD of business administration and B.Sc. of psychology, has had an extensive career path spanning over 20 years. Her journey began in human resources management in the retail industry, where she was responsible for the selection and internal training system as a psychologist. However, after several years of working in the field of psychological assessment, she decided to pursue a doctoral degree in innovation management in start-ups. Upon completion, she dedicated her time and energy to the continuous professional development of educators, promoting positive education and growth mindset in teaching, which has become her passion. Since then she encourages teachers to implement innovative teaching practices. She works on international projects and courses to promote positive education and growth mindset in teaching. Blanka believes in promoting active learning by encouraging teachers to use evidence-based approaches that help students develop their skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity. Through her work, she aims to inspire educators to be lifelong learners themselves and to help their students become the same.


October 27, 2022:


The iF Design Foundation and Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum are launching a joint campus in anticipation of the 100th anniversary of Die Neue Sammlung. The project started with a symposium on aspects of a future design curriculum. Featuring distinguished speakers, the event took place at the X-D-E-P-O-T of Pinakothek der Moderne.

(All pictures: Steven Stannard)

iF Design Foundation, Die Neue Sammlung, The Design Museum. Symposium on the Future of Design Education

The iF Design Foundation and Die Neue Sammlung have agreed on a joint program named “Designing Design Education – Impulse for a New Curriculum” that will run for three years from 2023. Together with international partner institutions, they will work on the further development of building blocks that can be used to update design studies. In the process, Die Neue Sammlung will become a public campus. The starting point is the universally expressed observation that design education needs to be updated in various respects. The project aims to provide design schools with a tested range of usable tools and references that they can draw upon to transform their programs. The project’s kick-off event took place on 27 October 2022 in the form of a symposium at the Pinakothek der Moderne. Michele De Lucchi, Annette Diefenthaler and Gareth Loudon discussed individual aspects of future design education.

Three stages to realize the model of a new design curriculum: a joint project by the IF Design Foundation and Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum

Currently the study of design seems to be largely committed to the past, while the non-academic reality is increasingly moving away in a different direction: practice is preceding education. The iF Design Foundation has been addressing the future of design education since 2015. It sees as the next logical step in its research the conception of models for a design curriculum that keeps pace with new developments. In 2021 the Foundation published its “Whitebook on the Future of Design Education,” based on the outcome of a six-year international research project. It is currently engaged in a comprehensive study on the public value of all German design degree courses.

Prof. Dr. Angelika Nollert, Director of Die Neue Sammlung - Symposium on the Future of Design Education in cooperation with the iF Design Foundation

“We are delighted to have the iF Design Foundation at our side, a partner that addresses how education for young designers can make them fit for the future.”

Prof. Angelika Nollert, director of Die Neue Sammlung

Die Neue Sammlung is proving to be the perfect partner for the three-year campus project that has now been launched. Whereas one institution conducts intensive research on the topic, the other offers a platform for current design discourse. “We are delighted to have the iF Design Foundation at our side, a partner that addresses how education for young designers can make them fit for the future,” says Prof. Angelika Nollert, director of Die Neue Sammlung. “This complex and comprehensive process is also of great importance to us because it will influence the understanding and nature of design. In view of the 100th anniversary of Die Neue Sammlung in 2025, it is important for us to also present the museum as an institution that accepts its responsibility for education. I am proud that an institution like Die Neue Sammlung is a lively place of exchange which explores not only past and present phenomena in design, but above all future positions.” Christoph Böninger, chairman of the iF Design Foundation, adds: “We could not have imagined a better partner than Die Neue Sammlung for the development and discussion of our education ‘prototype,’ it being a public place where design aficionados can gain insights into the topics that the design of the future and consequently design education must address.”

“The Future of Design and Design Education” symposium as kick-off event: food for thought on essential issues

Kicking off the campus project, Die Neue Sammlung and the iF Design Foundation hosted a public symposium on 27 October 2022 at the X-D-E-P-O-T of the Pinakothek der Moderne. First off, Michele De Lucchi (AMDL Circle, Milan) discussed "Design and Inspiration." Born in 1951, the Italian is one of the most significant designers and architects of our time. He has made history as co-founder of two important 20th century design movements: Alchimia and Memphis. He has designed furniture for the most renowned Italian and European companies and he has realized numerous architectural projects in Italy and abroad. From 2001 Michele De Lucchi taught at the IUAV in Venice; in 2008 he was appointed professor at the School of Design at the Politecnico of Milan and a member of the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca in Rome.

"My conclusion from decades of teaching is that the most important source of inspiration is dialogue," says Michele De Lucchi. "And not only the dialogue between teachers and students, but also that between the knowledge and responsibility of each individual, in reflection of individual action." Another important source of inspiration cited by Mr. De Lucchi (who recently turned 70 and ended his professorship on that date in accordance with Italian statutes), was the willingness to deviate: "If you want to innovate, sometimes you have to go where no one else is going," he said. "Making mistakes in the process is not a problem, as long as you know when you have made a mistake." Finally, he described life itself as an important source of inspiration, because, "we don't just design objects or products, but the everyday interaction with them and thus the behavior of the users."

"If you want to innovate, sometimes you have to go where no one else is going."

Michele De Lucchi, AMDL Circle, Milan

How do you teach creativity? How do you teach emotional intelligence or trust?

Together with Annette Diefenthaler (IDEO, San Francisco) and Gareth Loudon (Royal College of Arts, London), Michele De Lucchi formed the panel that exchanged views on the future of design and design education. "Innovation has to be one of the main topics of design education, according to the results of our research," said host René Spitz, board member of the iF Design Foundation.

Starting the discussion, he turned to London design professor Gareth Loudon as an expert on teaching innovation. The key aspects, René Spitz said, are soft skills and emotional intelligence – from trust to respect to creativity and empathy. "But how do you teach trust? How do you teach emotional intelligence?" he asked Gareth Loudon. And to the panel in general: "How do we learn in the first place? When are we ready for it? What circumstances are required? What prerequisites must students bring with them? How must the concrete learning situation be designed? How do we teach and learn creativity? How important is creativity? Why is it necessary for the future of design education? What do we, as designers, need to know about anthropology, psychology, technology? And what do we learn from this knowledge with regard to improving design and the future of design education?"

Like Michele De Lucchi, Gareth Loudon is convinced that dialogue is an important tool in learning: "Listening to others, but also listening to yourself is essential in my opinion. Dialogue is not just about action, it should always be balanced with reflection." Teaching emotional intelligence was not easy, he said: "In our programs, we don't teach it directly, but we practice it intensively. And we emphasize the importance of empathy. We also try to develop trust. By working in diverse teams, our students learn to listen with empathy to people who have backgrounds that are very different from theirs. Trust develops from this understanding."

Annette Diefenthaler's (IDEO, San Francisco) design practice is interdisciplinary. She specializes in "Design and Transdiscliplinarity," among other subjects. From January 2023, she will bring her expertise to the Technical University of Munich (TUM) as head of a new design institute. "Design is a discipline that must constantly evolve; transdisciplinarity therefore means an evolution of design practice," René Spitz said. He asked Annette Diefenthaler as to how we learn this in or through our studies. “How does design education have to change with regard to that? Designers have to apply their creativity to increasingly complex challenges that involve a high degree of responsibility. Do they acquire the right tools and the necessary wisdom for this in their education? How do design studies need to change with regard to these issues?"

Turning to Michele De Lucchi, who describes himself as a designer who thinks with a pencil in his hand ("Thinking with Hands"), René Spitz asked: "This interplay of hand and head, the interdependence of imagination and expression – to what extent do students have to master this before they enroll on a course? What do they need to learn in terms of craftsmanship during their studies? And how will artificial intelligence affect that?"

"Design is a discipline that must constantly evolve."

Annette Diefenthaler (IDEO, San Francisco)

Outlook on the iFDF x DIE NEUE SAMMLUNG Campus project 2023-2025: upcoming dates and events

Christoph Böninger, chairman of the iF Design Foundation, concluded the discussion by thanking the panel for their input and ideas. "The discussion has outlined important questions. Providing answers to these issues is what we see as our homework for the next few years," said Mr. Böninger. "Even though we can't provide answers at this point, we've made you all aware tonight of the issues we need to discuss as part of the Campus Project." He gave a preview of the next steps in the project, which will run until 2025 – the 100th anniversary of Die Neue Sammlung. Three events (parts of which by invitation only; other parts open to the public) are planned for 2023: on the agenda for March 2023 is the topic "Learning and Teaching Sciences". This will be followed by "Upskilling" in June and "Public Value" in October. For each event, the last day will be open to the public, said Christoph Böninger and invited the audience to come again to the X-D-E-P-O-T of the Pinakothek der Moderne.

Left to right:
Christoph Böninger, Gareth Loudon, Annette Diefenthaler, Angelika Nollert, Michele De Lucchi, René Spitz.

Download Press Release