B Altringer

B Altringer

  • Senior Preceptor in Innovation and Design
  • Director, Desirability Lab


Dr. Altringer is Founder-Director of the Desirability Lab, on the core faculty of the new joint engineering MS/MBA degree program with Harvard Business School, and has taught at SEAS and the Graduate School of Design for several years. In 2016, she was recognized by The Harvard Crimson as one of the university’s top 15 professors.

The Desirability Lab works across industry and academia. They run a longitudinal research program to improve design and engineering education, and use design and behavioral science research to help innovators improve product designs. During her PhD work at Cambridge University (studying success and failure on IDEO and Fortune 100 innovation projects) and postdoctoral fellowship at MIT, she developed an integrated approach to teaching creative, technical, interpersonal, and project management decision-making skills that can reduce the risk of avoidable project failure. Altringer has since created three ongoing SEAS courses: Integrated Design (launching Fall 2019), Design Survivor: Experiential Lessons in Design for Desirability, and the Innovators' Practice: Finding, Leading and Building Good Ideas With Others. She also designs immersive courses in Human Centered Algorithm Design (inspired by the earlier ai-kitchen initiative), wearable tech, sustainable design, cultural entrepreneurship, sensory design, and digital nomadism.

Dr. Altringer maintains an active design practice as founder and game designer of Chef League (2019), Chief Design Research Officer on the founding team of Piaggio Fast Forward (2015-2017 to launch their Gita and Kilo robots), and founder of the Flavor Genome Project (2015-present, working with blind tasting experts, sommeliers, and chefs to create a large database of food and beverage flavors and software that maps flavor in new ways (like Spotify does for music)). Altringer completed her postdoctoral fellowship at MIT, PhD in behavioral science and design at University of Cambridge, visiting scholarship in Human-Computer Interaction at Stanford, masters in architecture at University of Cape Town, Fulbright Fellowship at the Escola Tècnica Superior d'Arquitectura de Barcelona, and graduate degree in Arts Management at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile. She has collaborated with a variety of organizations, including Kering, Gucci Group, Puma, Swarovski, SABMiller, Uber, Diageo, IDEO, FIFA, Drone Racing League, OneLeap, Stanford, MIT, and the Berkman Klein Center.

Contact Information

Office:Pierce 204C
Office Phone:(617) 858-1006