Deliberate or not, we’re influenced by different desires. It’s in our nature to want things. But why is it that we desire some objects or products more than others? Beth Altringer has dedicated her life’s work to that question – examining what consumers like and why, so designers and companies can create better products, services and experiences that will improve lives and business. This is design thinking at its core, and Beth Altringer is its unrivaled authority.
Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, lecturer on innovation and design, and faculty associate for the school’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Beth is also founder of its Desirability Lab – a think tank that combines psychological research and hands-on design. One stream of their research focuses on what makes some designs more desirable than others and another stream examines the management and decision-making factors that can reduce the risk of avoidable failure on different design and innovation projects. Her background is in both behavioral science and product design.
Professor Altringer was named to the 2018 Thinkers50 Radar list of management thinkers most likely to shape the future of how organizations are managed and led. Specializing in using psychology to design products that fulfill different human desires, she integrates these psychological principles with the latest technology, including robotics and AI, to create products that tap into the consumer need to engage with brands, as well as learn through interactive challenges.
She runs a full service design studio in Boston and is especially interested in design and technology that can augment human learning and our capacity to experience creativity, meaning, connection, and joy. For nearly a decade, Beth has been developing design, innovation, and entrepreneurship courses, curriculum, programs, and initiatives at Harvard University.