Annette Diefenthaler is a Senior Design Researcher and Project Lead for award-winning global innovation consultancy IDEO. Her insatiable curiosity about people, their beliefs and behaviors leads her to identify human needs and desires that can inspire design strategies. She enjoys complex challenges that require deep thought. Yet in her mind, strategies are only as good as their applicability, and with a background as a carpenter and product designer, Annette is passionate about translating her findings into actionable opportunities and tangible design solutions.
Since joining IDEO in January 2008, Annette has guided teams in designing bank branches, toys, hospital experiences, multiple services for chronic disease patients, and organizational change programs. She has extensive experience in designing solutions in the area of healthcare.
Annette has shared her deep process understanding in countless workshops as well as in creating IDEO’s publicly available Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators. She enjoys writing and is a contributor to the Design Dictionary (2008, Board of International Research in Design, Editors: M. Erlhoff, T. Marshall).
Annette is passionate about bringing human-centered design to systemic challenges in education. She has recently focused on collaboratively working on new solutions will enable learners to thrive in the changing environments of the future. Annette is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Policy at NYU Wagner’a Graduate School of Public Service. She is currently developing a Fellowship Program at The New School of Public Engagement.
Now based in New York, Annette grew up in Germany and has lived and worked in many cultural contexts, including Russia, the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
Prior to IDEO, Annette worked with the Industrial Design Management Department of Vodafone Global in Germany and brand development company »The One Centre« in Sydney, Australia. She was engaged by the advisory board of the International Design Forum Ulm to develop the Promotion Program »Designing Politics - The Politics of Design« in 2006 and managed Stefan Ytterborn’s installation »unidentified« by rendel&spitz for the Cologne International Furniture Fair. She holds a masters degree from Köln International School of Design.