ExtenD.T.2: Extending design thinking with emerging digital technologies

Research and development project funded by Horizon Europe and Innovate UK

Extending Design Thinking with Emerging Digital Technologies (ExtenDT²) has been funded by Horizon Europe and Innovate UK with €3M+ to use Emerging Technologies (ET) to enhance the pedagogical value, sustainable digitization and potential for wide deployment of Design Thinking (DT). 

Design Thinking (DT) is a promising transformative pedagogical innovation based on engaged interdisciplinary learning and the growth of 21st-century (21C) skills for everyone, through entrepreneurial co-creation. Like other such innovations however, it has yet to pull its potential weight in terms of impact in educational transformation. 

ExtenDT² will use design-based research to support/provide evidence for pedagogical transformation via DT enhanced by ET. It will employ already institutionalized, home-grown and open-access digital expressive media of advanced technical readiness for students to engage in DT projects. It will also uniquely integrate with these expressive media ET i.e. ΑΙ-enhanced Authorable Learning Analytics, Augmented Reality, 3D printing/scanning and virtual robotics, to leverage digital implementation, monitoring and assessment of DT projects by teachers in schools. 

Implemented/developed in different social contexts across 6 European countries, ExtenDT² will explore the risks and potential of the pedagogical use of ET and how they support 21C skills, in turn increasing the scope, transformative potential and applicability of DT with ET in mainstream schooling. ExtenDT² will invite and inspire teachers and other stakeholders to design and implement such projects, by running original strategic teacher professional development, providing courses and guidelines for them to design, implement and evaluate DT projects in their classrooms. 

ExtenD.T.2 graph

The figure above showcases the approach behind the project, with design thinking stages in the middle of the approach and a range of emerging technologies supporting its implementation in education.

Six countries and eight institutions are the team behind the ExtenDT² project:

  • Linnaeus University (LNU) – Sweden, led by Marcelo Milrad (PI)
  • National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA)– Greece, led by Chronis Kynigos
  • The Open University UK (OU)– UK, led by Christothea Herodotou
  • Ghent University– Belgium, led by Lieva Van Langenhove
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)– Norway, led by Sofia Papavlasopoulou
  • Trinity College Dublin (TCD)– Ireland, led by Carina Girvan
  • SIMPLE– Greece, led by Filothei Chalvatza
  • University College London (UCL)– UK, led by Manolis Mavrikis

ExtenD.T.2 team

Further information

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Extending Design Thinking with Emerging Digital Technologies (ExtenDT²) has been funded by Horizon Europe and Innovate UK.

Innovate UK logoCo-funded by the European Union

This research has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Framework Programme for Research and Innovation under the Grant Agreement No. 101060231 (Exten.D.T.2  - Extending Design Thinking with Emerging Digital Technologies).

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.


Prof. dr. ir Lieva Van Langenhove (Lieva.VanLangenhove@ugent.be)