The Spark for Human-Centered Innovation Through Co-Creation and Creativity


Scarlett Spiegeler Castañeda

ARENA2036 e.V.

Scarlett Spiegeler Castañeda is an engineer and passionate design thinking expert. She leads the Design Factory and ensures that the mindset is also established at ARENA2036.

Design Factory

The Learning by Doing Platform

The Design Factory offers unique learning formats that enable students and industry partners to go through the human-centred method of Design Thinking on the basis of a real problem. The aim is to jointly develop innovative solutions to concrete problems. The collaborations enable a change of perspective and thus help to take a new look at supposedly familiar or completely new issues. The participants are supported by coaches & mentors from ARENA2036 and the University of Stuttgart. In this way, we promote practical experience in a safe environment where trial and error and unusual ideas are more than welcome.

Design Thinking – the key element

The holistic Design Thinking approach with its mindset, process and tools is the basis of this format. Here, the human being as an innovator and team member is the most valuable resource, as well as the user and his or her needs, which must be understood in depth.

Mindset – the spirit for innovation

The Design Factory actively promotes a hands-on mentality as well as a culture of mistakes. A healthy dose of optimism, trust and the exploration of unknown issues is essential. Participants must communicate clearly, must not shy away from gaps in knowledge and should courageously test and iterate solutions. For the team dynamic, it is crucial to want to put yourself in the other person's perspective as well as to build empathy with the stakeholders and their needs.

Iterative process - the coordinate system

The iterative process begins with building empathy for the "pain points" and problems of the stakeholders concerned. The second part consists of generating solutions through various creative techniques and testing them, visualised as a prototype, with the stakeholders.

The space - the heart

"Space" at the Design Factory stands for more than just an inspiring environment at ARENA2036. It stands for an atmosphere where questioning, thinking differently, fun and crazy ideas are allowed. In this space, the required mindset is to be trained and lived, and theory and practice are to be combined.


Thematically, the Design Factory is currently oriented towards the topic of sustainability, whereby this includes ecological, economic as well as social content.

What do industry partners say?


"Design Thinking brings the opportunity for companies to see new, creative and different approaches to certain challenges."
"The solution was definitely out of my box".
"A new way of looking at old problems solves quite a lot."


What do students say?


"A factory that produces the future. Understanding people's perspectives"
"Design Factory gives you the right tools to start the ideation process on a rustic idea and turn it into a pitch-ready prototype."

How can I join?


Industry partners can purchase a ticket for the next semester at any time. This includes the provision of a challenge as well as active participation throughout the semester.

Students at the University of Stuttgart can register for the key qualification during the registration phases.

Interested parties who would like to accompany the process as mentors for a semester can get in touch at any time.

More information


Institut for Entrepreneurship and Innovation Science
Contact: Ferran Giones

The Design Factory is in close exchange with the global network of Design Factories
Link to Globalen Netzwerk