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Foresight Design Research at Stanford

Welcome. Our vision is to be the world’s premier program committed to researching, understanding, and supporting organizations pursuing long-range innovation [two+ cycles into the future] through design and engineering.
— Professor Larry Leifer (SoE) & Professor Michael Shanks (H&S)


To bring the most advanced understanding to how organizations design at the cutting edge of long-range research and technology.

Research Goals

  • Develop a deep understanding of how organizations invent the future
  • Openly disseminate our team's learning

The Roots of Our Research

Our research builds on work started at Stanford's Center for Design Research (CDR) in 1984. Upon its founding, Prof. Larry Leifer set out to understand how individuals, teams and organizations practice design. CDR has delivered one breakthrough after another in understanding the practice of design engineering and design thinking. The foresight focus emerged from conversations beginning in the early 2000s wherein CDR's research partners asked us to expand our focus; "How do people design for a future that doesn't exist today?"