Cocreation course

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Design Thinking overview

Design thinking and cocreation

Cocreation is a design method that involves all the stakeholders in the process to find a solution for a problem. The knowledge from their different backgrounds is combined and the results are integrated to one solution.

Design thinking is a method for practical and creative resolution of problems. It is a form of solution-based thinking with the intent of producing a constructive future result, often to a societal problem. It uses an 'agile' approach, with many smaller iterations and tests to evaluate whether the product meets the end users' or customers' needs. Each iteration consists of 5 phases: empathize, define, ideate, prototype and test. 

Cocreation and design thinking often goes hand in hand since design thinking needs stakeholders to test the prototypes and cocreation involves them in the earlier steps of the process as well.

Course structure

Design Thinking 3 elements

The course Cocreation is a 6 ECTS credits year course. During the course, students work in group on a project and apply the cocreation and design thinking methodologies. It is a hands-on course where you will make stuff and have lots of fun doing so. The course is listed as one of the Ghent University elective courses that can be followed by students from all degrees.


The project groups are formed with students from different backgrounds. Since this course is mandatory for Industrial Design engineers, every group will have at least one industrial designer. 

Each group will choose one of the proposed cases that where gathered from external organisations and industry. These organisations will act as external stakeholders and you will sit together several times to discuss the challenges, progress and your prototypes and findings. There are many cases available and all of them require input from different perspective. There sure will be a case that relates to your interests and / or field of study.

Some example cases and challenges: 

  • Do you want to rethink the indoor cycling experience at the Wielercentrum Eddy Merckx?
  • Can you find new ways to recycle or upcycle different products or to make processes and actions more sustainable?
  • Will you help companies to think about future products, experiences and services, such as new solutions for the payment industry?


Every two weeks there will be lectures, guest speakers or debates about topics related to cocreation, design thinking or prototyping. We guarantee interactive sessions with interesting knowledge that you can apply directly to your project. On the other weeks you can work on your project and you can receive feedback and coaching related to your project. 

At the end of the first and second semester their will be an event that is open for externals where you can showcase your results to friends, family and of course the stakeholders. 

The classes will take place at the IDC in Kortrijk and in The Foundry, a university location that facilitates creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. You can use that location on other moments as well to work on your projects and/or use their 'Make space' to create prototypes.

Pictures from last year (click to enlarge)

Paper prototyping Students work on project Theory lecture Final event Final event

More information

Take a look at the course specifications or contact prof. Jan Detand.

Come to the first lecture on 28 September at 8:30 in The Foundry. 

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

The course will be taught in English since one of the professors speaks English. However, the assistants and other professor speak Dutch so if you have questions you can ask them in Dutch as well.

You can subscribe for the course via OASIS. The course code is E630095 and the course is listed under the section 'Ghent University elective courses' (or 'Universiteitsbrede keuzevakken' in Dutch).

The course is one of the Ghent University elective courses that all students can follow, even if your degree is not listed in the course specifications. The course welcomes students from all types of degrees since a good mix is needed in order to have a good cocreation process.

Of course you can follow the course! Cocreation and design thinking is about the process and not about design skills. A prototype can be as simple as a quick napkin drawing or even a play.

You are evaluated on your active participation in the classes and your attitude and skills during the project work. At the end of the year the teams create a report of their project and give a presentation. Each individual student writes an essay on the topics discussed in the theory lectures. More information can be found in the course specifications.

Each week there is a class session of 3 hours in which you receive lectures or work on your project. You are expected to continue the work on your project outside these hours as well. On the other hand you don't have an exam for this course so you don't need to study during the exam period.