Annual Report 2012 / 2013

Dirk.Hoppe

“ape” – Design Thinking

For 2012 the SCE‘s Academic Programme for Entrepreneurship

(ape) called for: Design Thinking about

clothes hangers. The ape certificate programme is a

one-year supplemental course devoted to “innovation

& entrepreneurship”. Over the course of a year attendees

of this in-study/executive ed programme learn

about the process of idea generation, which is the core

of innovation management. The first ‘ape‘ semester

thus involves exploring this process in detail in small,

independent teams. In the second and last semester

of the certificate programme the teams each work on

their own individual projects.

‘ape‘ certificate programme participants presented

highly creative and versatile solutions upon completion

of the group projects in the first programme semester in

2012. The 27 participants impressively demonstrated to

the numerous guests and project sponsor MAWA how

the Design Thinking method is employed at ‘ape‘, using

the example of the clothes hanger, an everyday item.

MAWA, based in Pfaffenhofen, is the world‘s leading

manufacturer of clothes hangers.

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An impressive set of ideas was presented involving

various innovative approaches to high-use everyday

objects. Each group exhibited its own uniquely creative

ideas and productions to the audience. Self-created

prototypes served to concretely demonstrate the array

of innovations. These included hangars with magnets,

‘winged‘ hangars, ‘beaked‘ hangars and objects

that merely function as hangars.

The project sponsor thus got to review a host of creative

hanger concepts and discuss these with ‘ape‘ participants.

The Design Thinking method was very broadly

applicable in these projects. As was seen, the method

can be employed in any industry for both products and

services; the varied results obtained open up new perspectives

for businesses that work with this method.

Having acquired the tools, the ‘ape‘ students then had

to make use of them in their individual projects in the

second semester.

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