The philosophy behind CocreatorLab is cocreate

Unique to Philips Design, cocreate is our well-known version of design thinking. It takes key principles and applies them in a clear four stage approach, supported by an extended range of tools and techniques.


An iterative, multi-disciplinary way of stimulating innovation and problem solving, cocreate supports and progresses the Philips agenda by enabling learning by trial, encouraging empathy and understanding and creating speed to market and differentiation.  

The four stages of cocreate

We start by inspiring and triggering. This first stage brings together data and information from a variety of sources to develop understanding and insight about the customer which will allow the issue or opportunity to be better understood.


  • Gather all existing data.
  • Meet and observe stakeholders.
  • Cluster themes and start building the ‘As Is’ experience flow.
  • Identify key insights.



This stage brings together the understanding and insight developed in the Discover stage to define the challenge or opportunity that can be solved. This stage also ensures that the challenge or opportunity is framed so that all key considerations are taken into account.


  • Revisit the themes, matching insights to themes discovered. 
  • Look backwards - start making sense of the ‘As Is’ experience flow. Identify where the gaps are and where the challenge or opportunity lies. 
  • Look forwards - create further insights or draw conclusions from the experience flow; what do we want customers to experience in the future?
  • Define the challenge or opportunity statement (which is sometimes called a ‘goal’ or ‘vision’).

Ideation approaches use linear and lateral thinking to generate potential solutions around the challenge or opportunity area. Ideation is always better when a range of people with different backgrounds and experience come together to share their thinking. A key concept is to diverge before converging.


  • As a team, ask “How can we achieve what was set out  in the Frame stage?”.
  • Purge! Look at the challenge and do top of mind ideation to get ideas ‘out of your head’.
  • Ideation! Use ideation cards or techniques to build a long list of ideas. This is sometimes called the brainstorming or 'diverge' stage.
  • As a team choose a small number of the most  promising ideas or directions (say 3-6 depending on  the size of your team). This is sometimes called the  ‘converge’ stage.
  • Plot how these directions could become solutions. Cost them; decide which to progress. You may need to use other tools to help (e.g. behaviour change tools.)
  • Define solutions further (possibly in pairs) and decide what capabilities you need to make the ideas happen.
  • As a team prioritize which ideas to develop further, based on their feasibility, desirability and even profitability.



Ideas are made tangible by constructing a prototype. A vital part in the learning process, making a prototype helps generate further insight and innovation through user testing. Prototypes can be physical, visual or experiential and can be constructed with the help of the experts housed within the Maker’s Space.


  • Agree a clear view on what the team wants to understand by building a prototype (e.g. detail, functionality, context). 
  • Consider what form would be best in the Build stage (e.g. a physical model or concept). 
  • Build it! There are a number of iterations necessary to get the prototype right. You must be prepared to start over again a few times.
  • Get ready to test the prototype in the ‘Rediscover’ stage.



How cocreate works


A unique creative and collaborative multidisciplinary exercise, cocreate is not a rigid process. The four stages are not always applied sequentially and can be repeated as many times as is needed to get to the best solution. Sometimes cycles are rapid, taking a day or two, but they can also be extended e.g. if more research is needed at the Discover or Rediscover phase.


Although intellectualized, cocreate is also intensely practical and tangible as it is about learning, innovating and succeeding through doing. Tools and approaches alone cannot produce great results; they need to be practiced with positivity and commitment.


Cocreate works best where people-centered innovation is needed. It uses design thinking principles to engage the creative power of all participants and recognizes that people understand and adopt these principles if they experience it first-hand in a transformational event. It makes sure Philips lives up to its brand promise of ‘innovation and you’ and applies innovation to every aspect of the business – not just product and service development.


"With cocreate design thinking we can unleash the full power of creativity that exists within every corner of our organization."


Sean Carney

Chief Design Officer, Philips Design

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