© 2020

Design Thinking and the New Spirit of Capitalism

Sociological Reflections on Innovation Culture


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Tim Seitz
    Pages 1-15
  3. Tim Seitz
    Pages 17-44
  4. Tim Seitz
    Pages 45-81
  5. Tim Seitz
    Pages 99-103
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 105-107

About this book


An ethnographic study on Design Thinking, this book offers profound insights into the popular innovation method, centrally exploring how design thinking’s practice relates to the vast promises surrounding it. Through a close study of a Berlin-based innovation agency, Tim Seitz finds both mundane knowledge practices and promises of transformation. He unpacks the relationships between these discourses and practices and undertakes an exploratory movement that leads him from practice theory to pragmatism. In the course of this movement, Seitz makes design thinking understandable as a phenomenon of what Boltanski and Chiapello described as the “new spirit of capitalism”—that is, an ideological structure that incorporates criticism and therefore strengthens capitalism.


neoliberalism creativity design thinking innovation laboratory practice authenticity work methodology

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Technical University of BerlinBerlinGermany

About the authors

Tim Seitz is a doctoral researcher in the  DFG research training group “Innovation Society Today” at the Technical University of Berlin, Germany. His research interests include sociological theory, science and technology studies and ethnographic methods.

Bibliographic information