Hello, I’m Annette Diefenthaler

Senior Portfolio Director

I lead a group of designers passionate about bringing human-centered design to education. I enjoy taking on the complex, systemic challenge of designing schools and school models to create educational experiences that kids love.

What you won’t learn from my bio:
I trained to be a carpenter and worked on construction sites in my early twenties. I still love working with power tools whenever I can.

Joined IDEO:

My Work

Full Bio

Annette Diefenthaler is a Senior Portfolio Director whose passion is bringing human-centered design to systemic challenges in learning and education. Annette’s work focuses on the design of schools and educational experiences and she is invested in evolving research methodologies that inspire design and explore how students and teachers can be involved in catalyzing solutions. She has partnered with clients to design innovative school models, empower entrepreneurs to launch teaching apps, rethink teacher development programs, and envision a new educational system for an entire state. Annette is co-author of IDEO’s "Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators." Prior to IDEO, Annette worked with the Industrial Design Management Department of Vodafone Global in Germany, and The One Centre, a brand development company, in Australia. She holds a master's degree from Köln International School of Design. Her work has received multiple design awards. She taught at New York University and co-designed a fellowship program for New Majority students at The New School of Public Engagement with Dean David Scobey.

Now based in San Francisco, Annette grew up in Germany and has lived and worked in many cultural contexts, including Russia, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and most recently New York City. In her free time, she is usually training for her next marathon.

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