Thing-Centered Design

IDE Design Master Class for Professionals

A New Approach to Designing with the Internet of Things

As objects around us begin to collect and exchange data, it is possible they may begin to suggest ecosystems and enable designs we could never think of. Thing-Centered Design (TCD) is a new way of researching and designing in partnership with objects, data and algorithms that looks into the creative possibilities of post-industrial design. TCD offers a toolbox of concepts and unconventional design methods that complement human-centered design skills and expand designers’ ability to frame and solve problems.


Contemporary things (from connected products to intelligent personal assistants to smart contracts) can “sense” and “think” in ways that previous industrially produced objects could not. A fresh perspective is needed to fully understand how things will take part in design and use next to us. This fresh perspective is Thing-Centered Design.

Learning Objectives

During this master class you will:

  • understand what is a thing in the post-industrial era;
  • apply thing-centered design in ways that complement human-centered design;
  • select and devise thing-centered tools and techniques for expanding your imagination and capabilities by enlisting things as co-ethnographers and co-designers;
  • select and devise thing-centered tools and techniques in design practice.


  • Thing-centered design theory and methodology;
  • Methods and tools of thing-centered design;
  • Cases and examples of thing-centered design



Practical Information

How to prepare?
No preparation required.

Hand-outs of all lectures will be provided with space for personal notes. All materials provided are included in the course fee.

After the course
After the course, a pre-set consultation timeslot will be offered to all participants to share experiences and ask questions to the IDE Master Class. The format and the timing will be discussed with the participants during the IDE Master Class.