The goal of HEED, the Institute for Human Engineering & Empathic Design, is to strengthen the start-up culture in Germany and to enable students to develop into innovative and entrepreneurial personalities. The aim is to promote social change that no longer stigmatises the willingness to take risks but regards it as a positive value. In this means HEED encourages entrepreneurial activities in the field of design, technology and engineering.
In order to achieve this, HEED exchanges lecture rooms for workshops and operates as an pioneering lab, as an innovation laboratory that unfolds its effect through the empathic interaction of creative people in an inspiring setting. The innovation process developed by HEED is more holistic than traditional approaches. It is centred on the human being and covers the entire product life cycle, from invention to production and distribution. This is made possible by the synergy of competences resulting from the cooperation of all three faculties of the Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences (Engineering, Business & Law and Design). This cooperation is unique in terms of the number of lecturers in the three faculties and the courses they offer.
In concrete terms, multidisciplinary teams of students from all three faculties of the Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences work together in HEED to learn from each other. They are accompanied and advised not only by multidisciplinary teams of lecturers at Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences, but also by external experts, such as successful start-up founders, for example in the starTUB format.
The practical work in project seminars is accompanied by a research activity that investigates the conditions for creativity, innovation and responsible entrepreneurship. The results are published and transferred back to teaching.