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STRIDE Lab | Design Beyond Thinking

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Impact Hub Zürich - Garage

33 Geroldstrasse

8005 Zürich


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A STRIDE Learning Lab on the hidden forces in collaborative innovation

“Deafen yourself to the noise of the expressible!
Listen instead for the whisper of the taken-for-granted!”

— Gunnar Olsson

From product, service and experience design to business and city development, design methods like Design Thinking have been (re)shaping innovation strategies. This STRIDE Lab challenges your basic assumptions and your previous innovation experience: What does a wider idea of design offer? What are the limits of Design Thinking? What does it mean to bring something into the world? And who and what is part of this process but often overlooked?

Collectively, we will experiment in this STRIDE Lab, finding out what co-creates your innovation: You explore and harness the “hidden forces” in design and innovation processes by trying out practices of sensing, making, thinking and discourse. In a concrete and practical way, what you learn in this STRIDE Lab will help you to connect ideas and prototypes to a broad range of stakeholders. As a result, you will gain a broader and more detailed understanding of collaborative innovation - a pre-requisite for making ideas work and generating impact.

Informed by design & innovation research and years of practical experience, this STRIDE Lab invites you to rethink designing innovation as (potential) activities of “world-making:” devising products, services, businesses or other experiences that intervene into our everyday ways of living in order to bring new worlds into being. The idea of world-making emphasises the potential that our innovations can fundamentally change the ways in which we understand and deal with ourselves and with other beings, things and the matter that surround us. For this, we yet have to approach our ideas and projects differently as well. How this will be done in the Lab can be read below.


  1. Innovation Professionals: Whether working as innovation or project manager in a R&D context, you will develop new perspectives, sensitivities and concrete methods on your way of mastering the art of collaborative innovation;

  2. Designers / Design Thinkers: You are a design (thinking) expert curious about further professional development? This Lab will move you out of your comfort zone, challenge your principles and practices and eventually allows you to refine your own design or consulting practice;

  3. Changemakers: Are you working on a specific concern and want to generate impact? In this LAB, you will learn the requirements of “world-making” by (re)assessing your motivation and developing an action plan that mobilizes the forces and actors in-line with your purpose;

  4. Makers: This LAB is for all the curious makers interested in developing their own adaptable working tools/methods/structures.


  • Widen your horizon

    • You have (first) experiences with design processes or design thinking within product and service development and you are curious about what lies “beyond”

  • Create your own design toolbox

    • You want to start developing your own adaptable design methods and structures

  • (Re)Connect to your own project

    • You are at the start of a new (innovation) project and want to find out where it could go or you are somewhat stuck with your idea and need a new perspective on its potentials and possible developments

  • Develop new sensitivities and perspectives

    • Derive new capacities for understanding and working with the hidden forces and silent but important actors that can decide on success / failure


After the course, participants are expected to...

  • Understand the complexities of innovation processes and the need to move beyond the confines of common Design Thinking approaches;

  • Use a broader set of possible design methods, developed from working on one’s own project;

  • Engage important but often neglected actors involved in “world-making” that exceed institutional, hierarchical, legal or structural relationships inherent to a project’s “given” frame;

  • Derive new capacities of sensing, listening and seeing as part of collaborative innovation processes;

  • Trust and self-confidently apply own sensitivities / capacities / potentials in collaborative innovation processes;

  • Demonstrate a form of thinking and acting for “a world to come” instead of for the world as it exists;

  • Recognize and appraise the values of radical experiments, chance, serendipity and hope within collaborative innovation processes;

  • Render, (re-)present and formulate new insights and clearer concerns for oneself and potential collaborators;

  • Apply new design skills and understandings in their own projects.


Upon successful completion of a pre-assignment (1-3h), the workshop (12h) and a post-assignment (8-14h) demonstrating expected learning outcomes, you will obtain an unCertificate of Completion (equivalent of 1 ECTS).


Rebekka Kiesewetter studied art history, economics and modern history at the University of Zurich. She works as an editor and writer in the fields of experimental publishing, architecture and design theory; as a visiting lecturer at HGK FHNW, Basel, and SPEAP|Sciences Po, Paris; and she is a member of Depot Basel. Rebekka Kiesewetter is interested in developing and applying experimental, transdisciplinary and collaborative learning and research approaches, methods and formats.

Björn Müller co-founded STRIDE as well as the dream tank BEAM. His academic research on collaborative innovation and design practices translates into a creative approach to doing and teaching "the art of making." Björn is convinced that nothing is more practical than a good theory - if it is growing from own experience, observation and experimentation. He is deeply committed to reconfigure the relation of practice and theory in practice. As we all know: In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.

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Impact Hub Zürich - Garage

33 Geroldstrasse

8005 Zürich


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