Welcome to our Community page!

This is the place where we communicate, announce events and workshops or
just show off our achievements and past projects.

We are building a local design thinking community at Sandbox. We focus on the local community of students, alumni and partners as well as international cooperation, which provides students with the opportunity to participate in global design and product development projects. We strive to create a shared understanding of how to spark and support innovation.

DPMIP vs. GDIP: what are the differences?

Students who want to put theoretical knowledge of Digital Product Management to practice often ask us which practical course they should choose: Digital Product Management Industry Project (DPMIP) or Global Digital Innovation Project (GDIP)?

Indeed, there are a lot of similarities between these two courses. Both DPMIP and GDIP aim to familiarize students with Design Thinking Framework and allow students to practice Digital Product Management tools. And in both, students work in teams on real-life challenges provided by our industry partners.

But there are some differences as well! We put together this comparison table to make it easier for you

Maria speaks - Coaches Training in Barcelona

To tell the whole story I have to start from October’22. Every year all the Design Factory Global Network representatives from almost 30 countries around the world meet up in one of the factories. Last year, after 2 years of postponing the meeting due to Coronavirus, we finally gathered in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. One of the main goals of this week-long event is to initiate collaboration projects between factories. A handful of people pitch their ideas in front of the audience and teams are formed to deep dive into the development.

In Leeuwarden, Laura from Fusion Point (Barcelona) told us

Looking back at Refresh Conference

In the last week of January, Sandbox took part in the design-oriented Refresh Conference. Here's Yana sharing her thoughts on what transpired in the Sandbox booth.

For our booth at Refresh, we designed a unique 10 minutes workshop. With this workshop, we aimed to familiarise participants of the conference with the Design Thinking framework, which we practice at Sandbox. We asked them to go through the empathy-building exercise, presented them with facts about the problem, and asked them to build a rapid prototype. Since we were free to choose the topic for our workshop, we decided to focus on something

Fixing the world via GDIP

Global Digital Innovation Project (GDIP) is a course offered by Sandbox both during autumn and spring. This year, as part of the GDIP project, UT and Sandbox student Volodymyr is in a team with students from inno.space Design Factory. We asked them a few questions about their experience so far.

Volodymyr (on the right) and the heart that unites him and his inno.space teammates.

What is the challenge you are working on?

Our goal is to support companies in exchanging secondary raw materials and waste materials with a platform for resource trading moderated by the city of Mannheim.

History of Sandbox

The Sandbox considers itself to be a “Digital Product Management & Design Thinking education hotspot in Tartu”. As of 2022, Sandbox has worked with 13 partner companies, trained several students, conducted numerous hands-on toolbox sessions, is part of the Design Factory Global Network (DFGN) and provides a massive 300m2 creative space for students and partner companies to work in the Delta. The Sandbox space also houses the only fully functional kitchen, complete with an oven, in the building. This is an important detail as you will see later. Given the work that has already been done there is no

The Essential Design Thinking Reading List

At the Sandbox we’re all about Design Thinking, and when it comes to it a lot of literature has been written and published in the field already. Starting with timeless classics such as The Design of Everyday Things to more recent books such as Sprint, there is plenty of ground to cover. This can be quite intimidating to beginners. In order to clear the clutter and help you to get started here is an essential reading list which the Sandbox team recommends.

The Design of Everyday Things

By Don Norman

What do doors, microwaves, washing machines, websites and apps

International Collaborations at Sandbox

At the University of Tartu there are multiple ways in which students can get international exposure. One of the most well-known ways is to study abroad for a semester with the Erasmus+ program. However this isn’t the only way to gain some international perspective at the university. One of the lesser known paths is to take up courses which are taught in collaboration with different universities abroad, like the Global Digital Innovation Project (GDIP) offered at the Sandbox.

The Sandbox offers this course in collaboration with inno.space, Germany. Both Sandbox and inno.space are part of the Design

What is DFGN anyway?
Design Factory Global Network (DFGN) is a network of innovation hubs in universities and research organisations in five continents of the world. DFGN is on a mission to create change in the world of learning and research through passion-based culture and effective problem solving. Shared understanding and common ways of working enable Design Factories in the network to collaborate efficiently across cultures, time zones and organisational boundaries fostering radical innovations.
- DFGN website

DFGN currently has 35 member organizations as of December 2021. Sandbox is a proud member of the network since 2018. We actively participate in the community-building efforts

Design Thinking: Tools of the Titans

What do Pipedrive, Velvet and Sandbox have in common?

Pipedrive, a Unicorn company, has a very successful sales platform for businesses to use. Velvet is Estonia’s best design company. Whereas the Sandbox is part of the University of Tartu, Institute of Computer Science. So, on the surface not much!

But as they say, the devil is in the details. In our case it’s also quite easy to guess, since Sandbox is all about Design Thinking. So if you guessed that Design Thinking is used in all these places you’d be right. But read on to find out

Sandbox Toolbox Primer

The Sandbox Toolbox is a series of events that we host once a month at our Sandbox space to provide hands-on experience about different topics related to digital product management.

The story of how this series began is quite interesting, and it starts with an awesome guest lecturer, Elmo Soomets from Mobi Lab. The Delta building was newly unveiled and we had our awesome new space. This was when the pandemic and the lockdowns hit us and no one was able to access the space. In came Elmo with a suggestion that he would like to teach the students more