Building:Mackenzie, Room 2498
Department:School of Industrial Design


Tim Haats is an experienced product designer, entrepreneur, researcher, and educator with expertise in product development and small business management.  As an Assistant Professor in the School of Industrial Design at Carleton University, Tim utilizes his practical skills, knowledge, and passion for design and business to explore the relationship between design and entrepreneurship, and how emerging design practices support innovation.

Tim defines himself as a pracademic with active roles in both academia and professional practice.  He is a small corporate business owner in the service industry managing many organizational aspects from daily operations to strategic planning.  He is also a mentor and consultant for product design and entrepreneurship, working with students, inventors, and start-ups on different projects in various capacities.  With this, Tim approaches his research initiatives from a practitioner’s perspective with a focus on bridging practical and theoretical knowledge.  A large part of his work is dedicated towards fostering industry partnerships, building professional relationships, and continuing to strengthen the links between research, academics, and professional practice.


Tim’s research interests revolve around design, entrepreneurship, and business, and the emerging design practices that support innovation.  This includes topics such as design entrepreneurship, design thinking, business design, emerging technologies, design tools and methods, and intellectual property.  Currently, Tim’s focus is mainly on design entrepreneurship and emerging technologies.

Within the topic of design entrepreneurship, Tim is working towards understanding the dynamics of venture start-ups and how design can play a critical role in the development of successful small businesses.  He is also trying to understand what makes designers entrepreneurial and how to foster more designer-founders in support of innovation and economic development.

Within the topic of emerging technologies, Tim is exploring the use of Extended Reality (XR) – including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Realty (MR) – within industrial design practice, and how these technologies can support product development through forms of collaboration, communication, prototyping, and testing.  This includes understanding how professional designers are currently using these technologies, but also investigating new opportunities that will enhance the design process.  Furthermore, Tim is exploring the development of new technology applications.  This work is being done in collaboration with businesses and organizations who are innovating within their respective industries.

Research Projects

Designing for HyFlex Teaching & Learning


The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed Universities and Colleges to explore new ways of delivering education.  One such strategy has been to implement the hybrid-flexible (HyFlex) teaching model which allows for simultaneous face-to-face and online instruction and learning.  With the rapid rollout of HyFlex learning spaces, it quickly became evident that there is much room for improvement.  This research project explores the pain points of HyFlex to identify opportunities for new design solutions.  It investigates new technological interventions that will enhance the effectiveness of the HyFlex model, ultimately improving stakeholder experiences within the teaching and learning environment.
XR Technologies for Industrial Design Practice


Advancements in technology and digital tools are providing industrial designers with new opportunities to enhance their design capabilities.  This research project explores these opportunities to understand how emerging Extended Reality (XR) technologies are shaping the modern industrial design practice, and how they can be integrated into the product development process most effectively.
Designers’ Entrepreneurial Intentions


What makes a designer entrepreneurial?  To answer this question, we need to understand the designer’s aspirations, motivations, and intentions; we need to understand the designer’s state of mind towards entrepreneurship.  This research project explores these factors from various perspectives to identify key considerations for fostering entrepreneurial activity amongst industrial designers.