Design Factory


...its first anniversary.


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 anchored in the ARENA2036.

July 2021

Design Factory celebrates its first anniversary

The Design Factory at the research campus ARENA2036 celebrates its first anniversary after two successful semesters, with over 50 students, ten challenges and twelve resulting prototypes. The next semester is already waiting in the wings: last applications from industry partners for a challenge in the winter semester are still being accepted.

The Design Thinking approach is about questioning given problems and finding solutions without compromise. To do this, one strives for radical and experimental changes that result from out-of-the-box thinking. With the help of this method, ten challenges on sustainability topics were created in the last two semesters of the Design Factory in cooperation with industry partners, for example in the area of smart cities of the future or vehicle innovations. Over 50 students were involved in solving these challenges last year. The result is twelve prototypes in the form of initial visualisations, which are now being further developed; even invention applications are planned.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the lectures had to be held digitally until now. Even though the multidisciplinarity of the teams as well as the mentors as multipliers were conducive to success in the digital space, the Design Thinking method thrives on on-site exchange. Therefore, ARENA2036 has created a space for the students on the shop floor, where a container serves as an anchor and source of inspiration. Scarlett Spiegeler Castañeda, Community Coach of the Design Factory, sums up the last two semesters: "With the expansion of the thinking space, we create a safe framework for open communication and for the craziest ideas. In this way, we at the Design Factory perceive each and every one of the students as a resource for innovation."

After a successful first year, those involved in the Design Factory are looking forward to the future with joyful anticipation and are already planning its further development. For example, the networking of the Design Factory on a local and global level is to be further expanded in order to achieve an even greater multidisciplinarity of the teams as well as a higher innovative strength. To ensure this, the methodological offers for industry partners and students are to be further expanded. So, we can look forward to more challenges, inspirations, prototypes, exchange formats and passionate collaboration in the future! A big thank you goes to the interdisciplinary Design Factory team around Scarlett and the mentors Ferran, Laura, Biggi, Samuel and Clemens.

The Design Factory of ARENA2036 offers students of the University of Stuttgart (and from now on also students of the Hochschule der Medien Stuttgart) lectures in workshop format on the human-centred method Design Thinking. The students follow the Design Thinking process iteratively in six steps. The challenges come from industry partners who are included in four of these touchpoints. The added value for the industry partners: Through the exchange and networking with the students, they can put themselves in a different mindset and come up with inspiring solutions. You can register for an industry ticket in the winter semester at until 15 August 2021.

More information: (German only)