Prof. Daniela Peukert

Dr. Daniela Peukert is the Academic Program Director and Professor of Design & Sustainability Transformation at Tomorrow University of Applied Sciences. As a product designer with a PhD in Sustainability Sciences, she develops sustainable products that have a positive impact. She is an expert in design(erly) thinking, user experience research, and the role of design for sustainability transformations. In her research, she explores design prototyping and material metaphors to foster integration and knowledge co-production within transdisciplinary processes and works towards a more-than-human-centered design approach.

Personal mission
Aims to establish design, its theories, research approaches, and methods as a planet-centric, sustainable, and transformative practice that addresses complex real-world problems and aims to shape society - and to educate students for this future role.
Courses Taught
Customer Development
Design theory
Design methods - insights into design practice
Design-oriented transdisciplinary methodologies as transformative research and learning
Generative Design Research Methods
Introduction to Product Design
Measuring, Learning, Iterating
Product Development & Prototyping
Transforming the SDGs
Transdisciplinarity - Digital and Designtheoretical Perspectives
Orientation Group Challenge
Visual techniques
Visualize your visions - narrative science communication

Daniela is fascinated by the possibility of addressing our pressing societal and environmental challenges through design research, participatory processes, and well-designed products. One issue she sees as particularly important is the transformation toward sustainability. Often this means addressing very complex problems, which can only be countered by trans-disciplinary work of all stakeholder groups (science, politics, civil society, etc.). Here, she sees great potential for design and design research. With her research and teaching, she wants to address these problems and create positive change. Embedded in real-world problems, her work contributes to theory-building in the specific fields of her expertise and highlights practical examples and political recommendations for action through cooperation with practice partners. This motivation is reflected in her fields of research:

  • Sustainable & Planet-centric Design
  • Transdisciplinary Design & Knowledge Co-production
  • Design Methods & Prototyping
  • Tangible and visual forms of cognition & material metaphors
List of Papers

2023 Taimur, S., Peukert, D., Pearce, B., „Design Thinking“. In: Philipp, T., Schmohl, T. (eds) „Handbook Transdisciplinary Learning“, transcript, Bielefeld (in print).

2023 Caniglia, G., Freeth, R., Luederitz, C. ..., Peukert, D., ... et al. „Practical wisdom and virtue ethics for knowledge co-production in sustainability science“, Nature Sustainability,

2022 Peukert, D., „Material metaphors – an approach to collaborative knowledge production in transdisciplinary sustainability research “, In Lockton, D., Lenzi, S., Hekkert, P., Oak, A., Sádaba, J., Lloyd, P. (eds.), DRS2022: Bilbao, 25 June - 3 July, Bilbao/Spain.

2021 Peukert, D., Lam, D.P.M., Horcea-Milcu, A.I., Lang, D.J., „Facilitating collaborative processes in transdisciplinary research using design prototyping“, Journal of Design Research.

2021 Peukert, D., Vilsmaier, U., „Collaborative design prototyping in transdisciplinary research: An approach to heterogeneity and unknowns“, Futures.

2020 Fazey, I., Schäpke, N., Caniglia, G., ..., Peukert, D., ... et al. *„Transforming knowledge systems for life on Earth: Visions of future systems and how to get there.“*Energy Research & Social Science.

2020 Meyer, E., Peukert, D., „Designing a transformative epistemology of the problematic. A perspective for transdisciplinary sustainability research.“ Social Epistemology.

2019 Peukert, D., Vilsmaier, U., „Entwurfsbasierte Interventionen in der transdisziplinären Forschung“. In: Ukowitz M., Hübner R. (eds) „Interventionsforschung“, p. 227 – 250. Springer, Wiesbaden (ISBN 978-3-658-22047-1).

2019 Lam, D.P.M., Horcea-Milcu, A.I., ..., Peukert, D., ... et al., „Three principles for co- designing sustainability intervention strategies: Experiences from Southern Transylvania.“ Ambio.

2019 Fam, D., Clarke, E., Freeth, R., ..., Peukert, D., ... et al., „Interdisciplinary and trans- disciplinary research and practice: balancing expectations of the ‘old’ academy with the future model of universities as ‘problem solvers’.“ Higher Education Quarterly.

2019 Fischer, J., Horcea-Milcu, A.I., Lang, D.J, et al. „Sustainability Initiatives in Transylvania“. In: „Balance Brings Beauty – Strategies for a Sustainable Southern Transylvania“. Pensoft, Sofia (ISBN 978-954-642-946-9).

2019 Peukert, D., „ReThink – ReStructure – ReConnect“. In: „(Bio) Diversitätskorridore“. Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Lüneburg (ISBN 978-3-935786-73-7).

2018 Peukert, D., Augsten, A., „Reflecting on the Roles and Skill Set of Designers and Design Researchers“, In: Swiss Design Network (2018) „Unfrozen – a design research reader by the Swiss Design Network“, p. 143 - 150, Triest Verlag, Zurich, CH, (ISBN 978-3-03863-032-6).

2017 Peukert, D., „Co-creating transformative processes – a designerly approach“, In: „Proceedings of Transformations Conference 2017“, p. 22-23, Dundee/UK.

2016 Augsten, A., Peukert, D.,, „Today’s and tomorrow’s design researcher: reinventing the intersection“, In: B. Elzenbaumer et al., eds. „PhD by Design – Instant Journal #3 – Exploring what the future holds practice-based PhDs“, p. 50-51.

2015 Peukert, D., „Design methods as integrators in transdisciplinary research processes“, in: B. Elzenbaumer et al., eds. „PhD by Design – Instant Journal #2 – Researching across difference“ (2015), p. 28 – 29.

Book Chapters
Books (Monographs)
Professional Community Services


  • Humanities and Social Sciences Communications
  • Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
  • Systemic Practice and Action Research
  • SDN - Swiss Design Network
  • DGTF - Dt. Gesellschaft für Designtheorie und -forschung

Organizational & Editorship Activities

Program Committee Memberships and Chairing:

  • 2019 - Organisation Committee Member Leverage Points Conference 2019, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany
  • 2017 - Organisation Committee Member International Transdisciplinarity Conference 2017, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany
  • 2019 - Scholarship of „ProScience Program for Female Researchers“, Leuphana University of Lueneburg, Germany
  • 2022 „Decentralised design interventions as approaches to complex sustainability problems“, Swiss Design Network Research Summit 2022, Zurich/Switzerland
  • 2022 „Sustainability Education“, European Economic and Social Commitee „EU hearing: Empowering young people to achieve sustainable development through education“, Brussels/Belgium
  • 2022 „Educating future change agents“, TechQuartier „A glimpse into the future: tech foundations and use cases in the Metaverse“, Frankfurt/Germany
  • 2022 „Material metaphors – an approach to collaborative knowledge production in transdisciplinary sustainability research“, Design Research Society Conference 2022, Bilbao/Spain
  • 2021 „Design-based approaches to integration and knowledge co-production in transdisciplinary research“, International Transdisciplinarity Conference 2021, online
  • 2021 „Kollaboratives Design Prototyping in der transdisziplinären Forschung: Eine Annäherung an Heterogenität und das Unbekannte“, Frühjahrstagung Deutsche Gesellschaft für Soziologie 2021, Sektionen ‘Methoden der empirischen Sozialforschung‘ und ‘Umweltsoziologie‘, Jülich, Germany
  • 2021 „Facing challenges of collaboration with design prototyping“, Transformations Conference 2020, online
  • 2020 „Facilitating Collaborative Processes in Transformative Transdisciplinary Research – Design Prototyping as a Creative Intervention“, EASST4S Conference 2020, Prague, CZ
  • 2019 „Re-thinking Design as a transformative research practice“, Workshop „The Emerging Interface: Design and Sustainability Transitions“, Melbourne, AUS
  • 2019 „Design methods for integration in inter- and transdisciplinary research“, Symposium „Interdisciplinarity Revisited“, Berlin, Germany
  • 2019 „Designing a transformative epistemology of the problematic. A perspective for transdisciplinary sustainability research.“, International Transdisciplinarity Conference 2019, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 2019 „Co-creation with prototyping in transdisciplinary processes“, Susplace Conference 2019, Tampere, Finland
  • 2019 „Designing a transformative epistemology of the problematic. A perspective for transdisciplinary sustainability research“, „International conference on sustainability research and transformation. Leverage Points 2019“, Lüneburg, Germany (with E. Meyer)
  • 2019 „Re-thinking Design as a transformative research practice in Sustainability Science“, „International conference on sustainability research and transformation. Leverage Points 2019“, Lüneburg, Germany

  • DGTF - Dt. Gesellschaft für Designtheorie und -forschung
  • DRS - Design Research Society
  • RRC - Responsive Research Collective
  • GTPF - Gesellschaft für transdisziplinäre und partizipative Forschung
Consulting / Entrepreneurship Projects

2014 - 2016: Co-Founder of the Design Research Group design:transfer, Hamburg/Berlin

Founder projects