Carlye Lauff


Assistant Professor, Product Design

McKnight Land-Grant Professor

Graduate Program Director, Product Design

Dr. Carlye Lauff is an Assistant Professor of Product Design at the University of Minnesota. She earned her PhD from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow studying the role of prototypes in companies. Carlye’s research is in the field of Design Theory and Methodology, and she studies how designers engage in the product development process and then improves tools and methods to support them. Carlye works at the intersection of multiple disciplines including engineering, product design, education, management science, and the social sciences. She often draws on qualitative and mixed methods research in her work and collaborates across diverse disciplines. Dr. Lauff has worked with more than 25 global companies, ranging in industries from medical devices to consumer electronics to transportation systems to educational toys to footwear/apparel.



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Selected Scholarship

Books and Journal Publications

  • Kuys, B., Hirata, T., Lauff, C.A., “Aligning new product development with underutilised manufacturing capabilities as a strategy for design-driven entrepreneurship,” The Design Journal, in review.
  • Lauff, C.A., Wee, Y.H., Swee, A., Png, S., Wood, K.L., 2021, Design Innovation (DI) Methodology Handbook. SUTD International Design Centre. ISBN: 978-981-18-0022-1.
  • Lauff, C.A., Knight, D., Kotys-Schwartz, D., Rentschler, M.E., 2020, “The role of prototypes in communication between stakeholders,” Design Studies, 66(1), p1-32.
  • Hwang, D., Lauff, C.A., Perez, K.B., Camburn, B.A., Wood, K.L., 2020 “Comparing the Impacts of Design Principles for Additive Manufacturing on Student and Experienced Designers”, International Journal of Engineering Education, 36(6), p. 1862-1876.
  • Lauff, C.A., Weidler-Lewis, J., Kotys-Schwartz, D., and Rentschler, M.E., 2018, “Prototypes as Intermediary Objects for Design Coordination in First-Year Design Courses,” International Journal of Engineering Education, 34(3), p. 1085-1103.
  • Lauff, C.A., Kotys-Schwartz, D., Rentschler, M.E., 2018, “What is a prototype? What are the roles of prototypes in companies?” Journal of Mechanical Design, 140(6), p.061102.

Conference Proceedings

  • Krishnakumar, S., Lauff, C., McComb, C., Berdanier, C., Menold, J., 2021 (in review), “Novice Designers' Use of Prototypes as Communication Tools,” International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED). August 16-20. Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • Lauff, C.A., Collopy, A., Swee, A., Wee, Y.H., Teo, K., Camburn, B., Teo, L., Jensen, D.D., Wood, K. L., 2020, “Design Innovation in Complex Systems Design: Integrating Design Thinking and Systems Thinking,” Proceedings of the ASME 2020 IDETC/CIE – Design Theory and Methodology Conference, St. Louis, MO (Online/Virtual). August 17-19. DETC-2020-52938
  • Ranscombe, C., Bissett-Johnson, K., Zhang, W., Eisenbart, B., Lauff, C.A., 2020, “Which Visualization Tools and Why? Comparing Perceptions of Student and Practicing Designers Towards Digital Sketching,” Proceedings in 22nd International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE), Herning, Denmark (Online/Virtual). September 10-11. Paper #1173.
  • Lauff, C.A., Menold, J., Wood, K.L., 2019, “Prototyping Canvas: Design Tool for Planning for Purposeful Prototypes,” International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED). August 4-8. Delft, Netherlands.
  • Lauff, C.A., Perez, K.B., Camburn, B., Wood, K.L., 2019, “Design Principle Cards: Toolset to Support Innovations with Additive Manufacturing,” Proceedings of the ASME 2019 IDETC/CIE – Design Theory and Methodology Conference, Anaheim, CA. August 18-21. DETC-2019-97231.
  • Perez, K.B., Lauff, C.A., Camburn, B., Wood, K.L., 2019, “Design Innovation with Additive Manufacturing (DIwAM): A Methodology,” Proceedings of the ASME 2019 IDETC/CIE – Design Theory and Methodology Conference, Anaheim, CA. August 18-21. DETC-2019-97400.
  • Lauff, C.A., Kotys-Schwartz, D., Rentschler, M.E., 2018, “Company Case Study: Design Methods used during Early Stages of Evolutionary Product Development,” Proceedings of the ASME 2018 IDETC/CIE – Design Theory and Methodology Conference, Quebec City, Quebec, CA, August 26-29. DETC-2018-85406.
  • Lauff, C.A., Kotys-Schwartz, D., Rentschler, M.E., 2017, “Perceptions of Prototypes: Pilot Study Comparing Students and Professionals,” Proceedings of the ASME 2017 IDETC/CIE – Design Education Conference, Cleveland, OH, August 6-9, DETC2017-68117.
  • Stangl, A., Weidler-Lewis, J., Lauff, C.A., Price, E., and Fauble, E., 2017, “The SEL Transition Wheel: Designing for Early Childhood Social Emotional Learning,” Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Interaction Design and Children, Stanford, CA, June 27-30, pp. 334-339, ACM.
  • Lauff, C.A., Menold, J., Small, M., 2016, “Two Design Cases Exploring Development of Social Emotional Learning Solutions,” Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Design and Emotion, Amsterdam, Netherlands, September 27-30.

Related Media

Professional, Institutional, and Community Leadership and Service

  • At-Large Board of Directors, Penn State Mechanical Engineering Alumni Society, 2020-present
  • Mentor and advisor, Design for America, 2018-present
  • Reviewer for journal articles and conference proceedings, including Design Studies, Design Science, Journal of Mechanical Design, International Conference on Engineering Design, Conferences on Design Theory & Methodology and Design Education within the ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conference, 2015-present


University of Minnesota

  • PDes 2771: Product Design Studio 1
  • PDes 2772: Product Design Studio 2
  • PDes 3771: Product Design Studio 3
  • PDes 4701W: Capstone Research Studio
  • PDes 4702W: Capstone Design Studio

Selected Honors and Awards

  • 2019, Singapore Good Design Mark Award – Additive Manufacturing Design Principle Cards
  • 2017, National Science Foundation Global Research Opportunities Worldwide Fellowship
  • 2015, National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

Carlye Lauff

Carlye Lauff

Specialties & Expertise:

Design Methods and Tools, Design Education, Design Communication, Design Representation, Prototyping, Front-end Design Activities, Entrepreneurship, Design Anthropology, Social Dynamics of Design


13 Rapson Hall
89 Church Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
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