Beth Altringer, Ph.D. 

Professor, Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design


Deliberate or not, we’re influenced by desires. It’s human nature to want things. But why is it that we desire some objects or products more than others? Beth Altringer has dedicated her life’s work to that question – examining what consumers like and why, so designers and companies can create better products, services and experiences that will improve lives and business.

Professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, lecturer on innovation and design, and faculty associate for the school’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Altringer is also founder of its Desirability Lab – a think tank that combines psychological research and hands-on design. One stream of their research focuses on what makes some designs more desirable than others; another stream examines the management and decision-making factors that can reduce the risk of avoidable failure on design and innovation projects. Highly regarded for her cutting-edge teaching, research, consulting and speaking, Altringer’s expert insights and practice-based approach – which combines human-centered design, emotional design and motivation – are coveted by prestigious academic programs, powerhouse design firms and global brands.

An architect by background with a master’s degree from University of Capetown, she also holds a doctorate from Cambridge University in organizational behavior, a visiting scholarship at Stanford, degrees in psychology and economics, and has performed postdoctoral work at MIT.