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Larry Leifer

Professor Larry Leifer PhD

Leifer Bio

Professor Leifer’s formal academic training was obtained at Stanford University. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering (BS’62), a Master of Science degree in Product Design (MS’63) and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering (PhD’69). From 1969-1973 his research included electrophysiological measures of human information processing during flight simulation at the NASA Ames Research Center and the MIT Man-Vehicle Laboratory. He was an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Systems Analysis at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland, prior to joining the faculty at Stanford University in 1976.

Professor Leifer is founding director of the Stanford Center for Design Research (1984) where he works with colleagues in AA, ME, CEE, CS, MSE, Medicine and the Humanities to understand and facilitate creative technical design-team activity. He is developing objective measures of design team performance (learning) under various structured methodology conditions and using a variety of computational tools. These studies are focused on globally distributed product design-development on campus, across campuses, and with industry.

In an effort to develop and disseminate assistive device technology, he was founding director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Stanford Rehabilitation Engineering R&D Center (1978-1989). He also co-founded the Tolfa Corporation (1989- now Lingraphicare America) and Independence Works, Inc. (1992-2002).

He presently coordinates and co-teaches ME310; a high-tech, globally distributed graduate course in “Project-Based Engineering Design, Innovation, and Development.” This Stanford ME Design Group course is for the duration of the academic year, incorporates student teams at other international universities, and is both pedagogically and economically supported by international companies including Audi, IKEA, Microsoft, SAP, Siemens, Panasonic and Volvo CE, among others.

Professor Leifer’s academic credits include: 5 patents; 20 book chapters; 30 journal papers; 250 refereed proceedings papers; and 40 successful PhD advisees. profile profile

ResearchGate profile

Leifer Media

"Understanding Teams to Get A `Wow' instead of `Thank You'" LeadershipGarage, Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, 2016

“Hu-Mimesis: Design Requirements for Personal Relevance” Media-X, Stanford University, 2015

“Stanford's Start.Home Project is a Solar-Powered 'Eden'” Media-X, Stanford University, 2014

“Larry Leifer: Engineering Design Thinking | KSRI Speaker Series” Karlsruhe Service Research Institute, Karlsruhe Germany, 2013

“Prof. Dr. Larry Leifer (Stanford) presents at KSRI and SiNLAB” Karlsruhe Service Research Institute, Karlsruhe Germany, 2013

“Larry Leifer on Design Thinking & the "Hunter" metaphor” University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2012

“Dancing with Ambiguity - Design Thinking in action, theory from practice”Trinity College, Dublin Ireland, 2012

“Design Thinking in Action”& Strelka Institute, Moscow Russia, 2011

“Larry Leifer of Innovation Management”, 2010

“Prototyping” Lulea Institute of Technology, 2010

“Interview with Larry Leifer, Director of the Center for Design Research at Stanford University” Experience Design Organisation, University of St. Gallen, 2009

“`Smart Product’ serves meal in style” The Stanford Daily, 1979


designx and CDR team and staff

While the research projects and findings at designX / Center for Design Research are important outputs for our research community, the most crucial “products” of our design research are the students and researchers who comprise our community and culture. These people then work to spread the design research paradigm to other institutions, companies and communities.

Administrative Staff

Crystal Pennywell, CDR Manager, CDR Operations

Gosia Wojciechowska, CDR Assistant, CDR Operations

Management Team

Jan Auernhammer PhD, Research Engineer and Lecturer

Becky Currano PhD, Research Engineer and Adjunct Lecturer

Pat Langley PhD, Social Science Research Scholar

Ade Mabogunje PhD, Senior Research Engineer and Lecturer

David Sirkin PhD, Research Engineer and Adjunct Lecturer

George Toye PhD, Adjunct Professor in Mechanical Engineering

Research & Teaching Team

William Cockayne PhD, Adjunct Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

Chris Ford AIA, PhD Candidate

Lauren Aquino Shluzas PhD, Adjunct Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

Summer Jung, PhD Candidate

Barbara Karanian PhD, Lecturer (formerly Visiting Professor) in Mechanical Engineering

Burton Lee PhD, Adjunct Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

Chandrayee Basu PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar

Didem Gürdür Broo PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar

Neeraj Sonalkar PhD, Adjunct Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

Veronika Domova PhD, Postdoctoral Scholar

Joseph Makokha, PhD Candidate

So Yeon Park, PhD Candidate

Lawrence Domingo, PhD Candidate

Okkeun Lee, PhD Candidate

Rachel Olney, PhD Candidate

Visiting Faculty, Scholars & Students


Jonas Soluk PhD, WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Felix Eckert, TU Munich

Anas El Boukhrissi, RWTH Aachen

Adrian Ziegler, TU Munich

Max-Julian Fischer, WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Felicitas Binz, TU Munich

Luis Onuma, TU Munich


Alex Jones, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Lorenz Rossmann,  EBS Business School

Benedikt Nolte, TU Munich

Ferdinand Schockenhoff, TU Munich

Martin Maritsch, ETH Zurich

Jinglu Li, Tongji University

Youngwoo Kim, LG Electronics

Assistant Professor Takumi Ohashi PhD, Tokyo Institute of Technology

Franz Zünkler, TU Munich

Marius Gutzeit, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Associate Professor Wei Liu PhD, Beijing Normal University

Christopher Laß, TU Munich

Thomas Puschmann PhD, University of Zurich

Alexander Schlüter, EBS University

Alexandre Nascimento, FECAP

Xin Zhao, Beijing Normal University

Sandra Weirauch, Hasso Plattner Institute

Steven Mc Auley, FOM University

Clemens Repp, TU Munich

Patrick Danner, TU Munich

Giajenthiran Velmurugan, Aalborg University

Benedikt Ewald, Hasso Plattner Institute

Felix Kuhn,RWTH Aachen University

Wenjie Pan, Beijing Normal University

Tim Kröber, University of Zurich

Julius Bock, Tu Munich

Professor Michael Shamiyeh PhD, University of Arts & Design

Fabian Pelzl, TU Munich

Max Lenzen, RWTH Aachen University

Jannis Jehmlich, RWTH Aachen University

Professor Christoph H. Wecht PhD, New Design University

Professor Linlin Shui PhD, Communication University of China

Amin Azad, University of Toronto

Professor Frank Koppenhagen PhD, Haw Hamburg

Wenjia Hu, Lawrence University of Wisconsin

Yani Guo, Communication University of China

Akseli Virtanen PhD, Aalto University

Patrick Barin, TU Munich

Gian Mario Deluigi, Polytechnic University of Milan

Marcel Engelmann, Ostfalia University

Shin Hae Lee, LG Electronics

Professor Judith Molka-Danielsen PhD, Molde University College

Emanuel Stoeckli, University of St. Gallen

Philip Meier, Universität der Künste Berlin

Matteo Zallio PhD, Technological University Dublin

Falk Uebernickel PhD, University of St. Gallen

Leonard Tusch, RWTH Aachen University

Sabine Kaupp, Ludwig-Maximilians Universität München

Philip Lill, EBS Business School

Rose Meacham, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Rui Yang PhD, Immersion Corporation

Michael Sackmann, TU Braunschweig

Sunmin Lee, Samsung Electronics

Hoyoung Seo, Samsung Electronics

Theresa Hoffmann, RWTH Aachen University

Bastian Pieper, Technical University of Munich

Thomas Möllers, University of St. Gallen

Florian Huber PhD, IXDS GmBH

Nanami Furue, Hitotsubashi University

Christian Angerer, Technical University of Munich

Professor Min-Yuan Ma PhD, National Cheng Kung University

Jessica Schmeiss, University of Potsdam

Jørgen Veisdal, Norweign University of Science and Technology

Xiaosong Qian, Beijing Institute of Technology

Ismo Aläkärppa D.A., University of Lapland

Verena Kontschieder, Technical University of Munich

Yumiko Shinohara, Kyoto Institute of Technology

Rui Lin, Tsinghua University 

Wilson Claure, Georgetown University

Joyce Ha, Samsung Design

Matthias Herterich, University of St. Gallen

Hyojin Yoon, Samsung Design

Beñat Puga, Mondragon University

Tua Bjorklund PhD, Aalto University

Jonas Kahlert, University of St. Gallen

Daniel Stenholm, Chalmers University of Technology

David Goedicke, University of Twente

Daniel Kappler, TU Munich

Constantin Grauvogl, TU Munich

Corinne Scherrer, Zurich University of Applied Sciences

Toshiya Arai, Panasonic R&D

Kyeong Seo Kim PhD, Daumsoft, Inc.

Rieko Yajima PhD, AAS

Thomas Abrell, University of St. Gallen

Jan Auernhammer PhD, National University of Singapore

Giada Baldessarelli, EPFL Lausanne

Professor Michael Bell, Columbia University

Robin Betz, TU Munich

Professor Kees Dorst, University of Technology Sydney

James Ehrlich, Stanford University

Professor Akimitsu Hirota, Kinki University

Anssi Laurila, Aalto University

Tea Lempiala PhD, Aalto University

Sophie Lienart, UNamur

Professor Satu Miettinen, University of Lapland

Professor Daigo Misaki, Kogakuin University

Krestine Mougaard, Technical University of Denmark

Professor Yasuto Nakanishi, Keio University

Professor Jason Yu PhD, National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology

Magnus Nørbo, Aalborg Universitet

Professor Victor Taratukhin PhD, University of Münster

Sebastian Quijano, UNAM

David Ranftler, RWTH Aachen University

Dirk Rothenbuecher, Karlsruhe Institute for Technologie

Professor Yang-Yang Zhao, HBV Norway