Dipl. -Des. Thoring, K.C.

PhD candidate (external)
Product Innovation Management

Academic Background

Katja Thoring was born in 1971 in Berlin. She studied Industrial Design at Berlin University of the Arts and graduated with a diploma in 2002. After spending a year studying Industrial Design at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, she worked for the German design agency frogdesign and then founded her own design consultancy 'Thoring Design'. Katja has been teaching Design Thinking as a Visiting Professor at the HPI School of Design Thinking in Potsdam for more than 5 years. Since 2009 she is Professor at Anhalt University of Applied Sciences in Dessau, where she teaches the Product Design Foundation class and Research Methods courses on Bachelor and Master level.

Her research topic 'Creative Space' is focusing on the intersection of Design and Architecture, analysing the influence of the physical environment on the creative work process of design students. Furthermore, she published her research about Design Knowledge, Design Thinking, and Design Education on several international conferences (e.g. DRS, IASDR, CHI, E&PDE, AMCIS, ICDC, DMI, etc.). Katja is an external PhD candidate at the TU Delft since 2014. 


  • 2014 – present
    PhD Candidate
    Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Department of Product Innovation Management, Section Design Methodology
    Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands
  • 1996 – 2002
    Diploma in Industrial Design
    University of the Arts Berlin, Germany
  • 1999 – 2000
    Industrial Design Studies
    California College of the Arts, San Francisco, USA  


  • 2009 – present
    Professor for Product Design Foundations
    Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Dessau/Germany
  • 2007 – 2013
    Visiting Professor and Design Thinking Coach
    HPI School of Design Thinking, Potsdam/Germany
  • 2004 – 2009
    Research Associate
    University of the Arts Berlin/Germany
  • 2002 – ongoing
    Industrial Designer and Creativity Coach
    Thoring Design, Berlin/Germany
  • 1993 – 1995
    Packaging Designer
    Schoepe Display, Berlin/Germany

Specialisation / field of research

  • Creative Space in Design Education
  • Technology-supported Design Ethnography
  • Design and Research Methods (e.g. Cultural Probes)
  • Management of Design Knowledge
  • Design Thinking

PhD project 'Creative Space in Design Education'
The goal of the PhD study is to investigate the influence of spatial characteristics (architecture, interior design, classroom layout, and furniture) on the creative work process of design students. The term 'creative work' in this context summarizes several creative activities, such as idea generation, teamwork involving idea exchange, but also designing in terms of building things, prototyping, or sketching. A developed typology of creative spaces suggests different environments for these creative activities. Also, tangible guidelines for designing a creative space will be developed. Supervisors: Petra Badke-Schaub, Pieter Desmet.

Secondary employment

  • Professor for Product Design Foundations
    Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, Dessau/Germany

Katja Thoring

"Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer." - Ferengi Rule No. 208