T13: IBM Design Thinking Workshop

Monday, 16 July 2018, 13:30 – 17:30


Camillo Sassano (short bio)

IBM Industrial Design Program Lead
Ph.D. – IDSA – IBM Master Inventor, USA

Paula Besterman (short bio)

User Experience Designer,



The goal of the workshop is to introduce IBM's version of design thinking to the participants, through a number of activities that demonstrate the framework and methods of design with intent. This is an interactive session that is more standing and doing than sitting and listening.


Content and benefits:

The workshop will begin with a quick, high-level overview of the history of design in IBM, starting with Thomas Watson Jr.'s quote of, "Good design is good business." This will include the introduction of IBM Design through the leadership of Eliot Noyes and pulling in the talents of Paul Rand, Charles and Ray Eames as well as numerous architects of the time. We conclude this section with how IBM's CEO Ginni Rometty has brought user centered design back to the forefront for IBM, through the hiring of over a thousand new designers and the creation of the IBM Design group.

Next, we reference the ideas of design thinking, as made mainstream by the likes of IDEO and the d.school at Stanford - then review IBM Design Thinking: the principles, the loop, the keys and the nine universal experiences.

This is followed by team activities that allow the participants to explore a challenge, using methods IBM uses to develop great customer experiences - from empathy maps to as-is scenarios and big ideas, to storyboards.

The participants will come away with an appreciation of user focused, iterative design, throughout the development process.


Target Audience:

Students, professionals and faculty who are new to the ideas of design thinking, but particularly those who want to learn more about the specifics that IBM has added to the already beneficial ideas and practice in order to be beneficial and transferable, at an enterprise level.






Bio Sketches of Presenters:

Camillo Sassano received a Masters' in Architecture and a PhD in Industrial Design from the Politecnico University in Milan, Italy. He joined IBM in 1996 as a mentee of Richard Sapper and now leads the Industrial Design Program, with cross-brand ownership of IBM's hardware look and feel. Camillo is an IBM Master Inventor, owns several patents and international design awards, and doesn't mind busting his knuckles working on old motorcycles.

Paula Besterman holds an undergraduate degree in Industrial Design (NCSU) and a master’s in Design for Interaction (TU Delft). Since joining IBM in 2009, she has leveraged user centered design to develop award winning products including server hardware, software solutions, and future focused product concepts. She is currently developing new solutions with IBM Watson AI technology, and exploring her new hometown of Austin, TX.