Some of our favorite books & articles on design thinking.

We update this list, so check back often.  

Top picks with a *.



Popular-Science Articles

Krakovsky, M. (2016). "Lean Startup and Design Thinking: Getting the Best Out of Both." Stanford Graduate School of Business, September 20.

Miller, M. (2016). "Frog's Ex-President Brings Design Thinking To Academia," Fast Company, March 24.

Turnali, K. (2016). "The Art And Science Of Customer Empathy In Design Thinking," Forbes, March 20.

Turnali, K. (2016). "Empathy, Design Thinking, And An Obsession With Customer-Centric Innovation," Forbes, January 17. 

Turnali, K. (2015). "Competing on Design Thinking," Forbes, December 13.

*Stinson, L. (2015). "Move Over Jony IveBiologists are the Next Rock Star Designers." Wired, November 18.

Lohr, S. (2015). "IBM’s Design-Centered Strategy to Set Free the Squares." The New York Times, November 14.

Kilian, J., Sarrazin, H., & Yeon, H. (2015). "Building a Design-Driven Culture." McKinsey & Company, September.

Lozano, F. (2015). "Don't Forget the Human Experience." NTNU TechZone, June 7.

Walker, R. (2014). "A Golden Age of Design." The New York Times Style Magazine, September 22.

Blank, S. (2014). "Driving Corporate Innovation: Design Thinking vs. Customer Development." Forbes, July 29.

*Cohen, R. (2014). "Design Thinking: A Unified Framework for Innovation." Forbes, March 31.

Hardy, Q. (2014). "The Monuments of Tech." The New York Times, March 1.

Flaherty, J. (2014).  "A Drug-Dealing Robot That Upends the Pharmacy Model." Wired, February 14.

Perlroth, N. (2013). "Solving Problems for Real World, Using Design." The New York Times, December 29.

Armstrong, B. T. (2013). "It's Time to Bring Design Thinking Down from On High." Forbes, August 15.

The Economist (2013). "Back to the Drawing-Board." July 6.

Seelig, T. (2013). "How Reframing a Problem Unlocks Innovation." Fast Company, April 19.

*Wood, G. (2013). "Anthropology, Inc.The Atlantic, February 20.

Korn, M. & Silverman, R. E. (2012). "Forget B-School, D-School is Hot." The Wall Street Journal, June 7.

Popelka, L. (2012). "For Successful Innovation, Sell Imperfect Products." Bloomberg Businessweek, January 25.

The Economist (2011). "Fail Often, Fail Well." April 14.

Brown, T. & Wyatt, J. (2010). "Design Thinking for Social Innovation." Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter.

Tischler, L. (2009). "IDEO's David Kelley on 'Design Thinking.'" Fast Company, February 1.

Rae-Dupree, J. (2008). "Design is More Than Packaging." The New York Times, October 4.

Brown, T. (2008). "Design Thinking." Harvard Business Review, June.

*Battarbee, K., Fulton Suri, J., Gibbs Howard, S., "Empathy on the Edge." IDEO.




*Roth, B. (2015). The Achievement Habit: Stop Wishing, Start Doing, and Take Command of Your Life.

*Kelley, D. & Kelley, T. (2014). Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All.

Brown, T. (2009). Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation.

Kelley, T. (2005). The Ten Face of Innovation: IDEO's Strategies for Defeating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization.



*Martin, R. (2009). The Design of Business: Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage.

Giudice, M. & Ireland, C. (2013). Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design. San Francisco: New Riders.

*Martin, R. (2013). Rotman on Design: The Best on Design Thinking from Rotman Magazine.

Liedtka, J. (2013). Solving Problems with Design Thinking: Ten Stories of What Works.



Fredrickson, B. L. (2013).  Love 2.0: Finding Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection.

Grant, A. (2013).  Give & Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success.

Patnaik, D. (2009). Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy.

Goleman, D. (2011). Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships.



Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2013). Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention.

De Bono, E. (2010). Lateral Thinking: Creativity Step by Step.

Seelig, T. (2012). inGenius: A Crash Course on Creativity.



*Catmull, E. (2014). Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration.



Robinson, K. (2001). Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative.



Doorley, S. & Witthoft, S. (2012). Make Space: How to Set the Stage for Creative Collaboration.



Madsbjerg, C. & Mikkel, R. B. (2014). The Moment of Clarity: Using the Human Sciences to Solve Your Toughest Business Problems.

Ladner, S. (2014). Practical Ethnography: A Guide to Doing Ethnography in the Private Sector.

Constable, G. (2014). Talking to Humans: Success Starts with Understanding Your Customers.



*McKim, R. (1980). Experiences in Visual Thinking.

Norman, D. (2007). Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things.

Pink, D. (2006). A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.

*Nussbaum. B. (2013). Creative Intelligence: Harnessing the Power to Create, Connect, and Inspire.

Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.



*Sims, P. (2013). Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries.



*Adams, J. L. (1975). Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas.

Gray, D., Brown, S., & Macanufo, J. (2010). Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers.



Edwards, B. (2012). Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain.

Hanks, K. & Belliston, L. (1998). Rapid Viz: A New Method for the Rapid Visualization of Ideas.

Roam, D. (2013). The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures.



*Kolko, J. (2011). Exposing the Magic of Design: A Practitioner's Guide to the Methods and Theory of Synthesis.



Stickdorn, M. & Schneider, J. (2102). This is Service Design Thinking: Basics, Tools, Cases.


More Nerdy Stuff


Simon, H. (1996). The Sciences of the Artificial.

Buchanan, R. (1992). “Wicked Problems in Design Thinking.” Design Issues, 8(2), pp. 5-21. Boston: MIT Press.

Cross, N. (2001). “Designerly Ways of Knowing: Design Discipline Versus Design Science.”Design Issues, 17(3), pp. 49–55.  Boston:  MIT Press.

*Faste, R. (1994). “Ambidextrous Thinking.” Innovations in Mechanical Engineering Curricula for the 1990s. Stanford: American Society of Mechanical Engineers.



Plattner, H., Meinel, C., & Leifer, L. (eds.) (2011). Design Thinking: Understand–Improve–Apply. New York: Springer.

Plattner, H., Meinel, C., & Leifer, L. (eds.) (2012). Design Thinking: Measuring Performance in Context. New York: Springer.

Plattner, H., Meinel, C., & Leifer, L. (eds.) (2014). Design Thinking: Building Innovation Eco-Systems. New York: Springer.



Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "Abduction." Mar. 9, 2011.

Pierce, C. S. (1955).  Philosophical Writings of Peirce.



Ritchey, T. (1991). “Analysis and Synthesis: On Scientific Method - Based on a Study by Bernhard Riemann.” Systems Research.



Steinert, M. & Leifer, L. J. (2011). “Dancing with ambiguity: Causality behavior, design thinking, and triple-loop-learning.” Information, Knowledge, Systems Management. Vol. 10, pp. 151-173. Amsterdam: IOS Press.



Amabile, T. M. (1983). The Social Psychology of Creativity.



Malinowski, B. (1922). Argonauts of the Western Pacific: An account of native enterprise and adventure in the Archipelagos of Melanesian New Guinea.

Burawoy, M., et al. (1991). Ethnography Unbound: Power and Resistance in the Modern Metropolis.


Business Cases


Soule, S. & Drabkin, D. (2015). "Huntington Hospital (A): Empowering Staff." Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Soule, S. & Drabkin, D. (2014). “Silicon Valley Bank: The On-Call Associates Program.” Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Thomke, S. & Feinberg, B. (2012). “Design Thinking and Innovation at Apple.” Harvard Business School.



Beyersdorfer, D. & Austin, R. D. (2007). “Bang & Olufsen: Design-Driven Innovation.” Harvard Business School. 

March, A. (2005).  “Apple Powerbook (A): Design Quality and Time to Market.” Harvard Business School.

Freeze, K. J.  & Chung, K.W. (2005). “Design Strategy at Samsung Electronics: Becoming a Top-Tier Company.” Design Management Institute.



Hattendorf, L. & Yin, L. (2014).  “Proximity Designs.” Stanford Graduate School of Business.



Han, A. & Mendelson, H. (2012). "Prototyping: A Quick Introduction." Stanford Graduate School of Business.