Thinking like a Designer

How can light management and glass surfaces be combined? Which role could films play? And how could such a concept be realized? The questions which an international group of students examined were highly visionary. That also applied to the process: “Design Thinking” is the name of the method of finding new ideas which has been offered as a course at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland for a number of years now. Under the direction of Professor Falk Übernickel, a group of seven students from the University of St. Gallen and the Technical University of Munich worked on this creative process for the past nine months together with RENOLIT.

“Apart from a market-oriented solution in the area of films, we wanted to get to know, understand and examine possible applications of such an innovative approach in our company” reports Mailin Bode, Head of Corporate Innovation at RENOLIT. Together with Board Member Dr. Axel Bruder, she looked after the project from the beginning and has already been able to integrate some individual elements of the whole concept in day-to-day operations.

User-Oriented Approach

The Design Thinking method is based on a procedure used in the design area where the user-oriented approach is predominant. Design Thinking solutions always put the user and his requirements in the forefront. This involves repeatedly scrutinizing the task in hand and its environment, and the various potential solutions being discussed, developed and improved. Ideally, the team members should have many different fields of expertise to enable them to analyze the task from as many different angles as possible.

The students who worked with RENOLIT were selected from global network of partner universities and are completing Master degree courses in various specialties. The approaches which the team demonstrated at the final mid-June presentation in St. Gallen were correspondingly multifaceted and well thought-out. “We are impressed by the students’ professional work and are very satisfied with the results”. Dr. Axel Bruder and his team will now analyze and develop the proposals and examine the implementation opportunities.

The Company

The RENOLIT Group is one of the leading international manufacturers of high-quality plastic films and associated products for technical applications. The independent, family-owned company has been setting standards for quality and innovation for 70 years and presently employs around 4,500 people in more than 30 production plants and sales offices. In fiscal 2016, the Group generated sales of EUR 965.6 million.


Image1: RENOLIT Innovation Lab

Team Photo: (left to right)
Dr. Axel Bruder
Olga Kibke
Phil Arkell
Robert Urban
Jana Giacometto
Anna-Thea Jaeger
Philip Matsch (front)
Julian Rossy (behind)
Lukas Brandenburg (front)
Felix Lachmaier (behind)
Mailin Bode

For editorial questions, please contact:

Mailin Bode
Corporate Innovation
Tel: + 49 6241.303.0
Fax: + 49 6241.380.58