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4.c 3/3: Transformation IN and BY Design Thinking
Scholars and practitioners are acknowledging the central role that design can play in innovation (Brown, 2009; Martin, 2009; Verganti, 2009 and 2017; Verganti and Dell’Era, 2014; Liedtka, 2013; Kolko, 2015; Kleinsmann, Valkenburg and Sluijs, 2017). Design is increasingly becoming a strategic source of competitive advantage, to the point that scholars investigate its managerial side and its impact in the creation of value (Capaldo, 2007; Dell’Era and Verganti, 2007 and 2010). Design Thinking, in particular, is making the headlines, with an extremely rapid diffusion in the practice and interest of organizations. Far from being connected with the “form” of products, Design Thinking is accepted as a formal method for creative problem solving, with the intent to foster innovation (Brown, 2009; Martin, 2009; Liedtka, 2015).
2:00pm - 2:25pm
Using Corpus Linguistics to Analyse How Design Research Frames Design Thinking
Coventry University, United Kingdom
Academic research communities create knowledge which helps them to claim authority over their investigative domain. The knowledge is not necessary objectively true—often it is skewed to help communities to claim legitimacy. This paper investigates how the design research community frames ‘Design Thinking’, a key concept in design research. Existing literature identifies skewed methods which the community uses when framing Design Thinking. The literature suggests that creating an artificial separation between the ways that designers and scientists think helps the community to claim knowledge on Design Thinking. To further investigate how the community creates knowledge, this paper subjects abstracts from peer-reviewed journal papers which focus on Design Thinking to empirical analysis using Corpus Linguistics methods. The study suggests that use of ‘nominals’ and the creation of ‘meta-knowledge’ helps researchers to claim authority on Design Thinking. These practices appear however to perpetuate an artificial separation between Design Thinking and other design domains.
2:25pm - 2:50pm
Digital Design – Secret Histories and Hidden Practices
1Aalto University of Arts, Design and Architecture, United Kingdom; 2Independent Consultant; 3Computational Foundry, Swansea University
Digital design practice is distinctive in its relationship to material and focus on fabricating that into interactive products and services. It’s a discipline that has evolved from significantly different disciplines: Product Design and Human-computer Interaction (HCI). The foundational role that HCI played in the growth of digital design is largely hidden, as is the secret world of design practice. These two shrouded phenomena have evolved within from early user interface research, through user experience, to today’s post-agile world and tomorrow’s open design. We report ten years of first-hand accounts to create a grounded, contextualised and evidence-based account of design in the real-world. There are many discrepancies between this ‘account of practice’ and the orthodox model of design, and computer science for that matter. In reality, digital design has evolved into a unique hybrid activity that has continually accrued traces of its evolving academic heritage and commercial application.
2:50pm - 3:15pm
Exploring the Fourth Order: Designing Organizational Infrastructure
1Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, The; 2The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands, The
Companies are organised to fulfil two distinctive functions: efficient and resilient exploitation of current business and parallel exploration of new possibilities. For the latter, companies require strong organisational infrastructure such as team compositions and functional structures to ensure exploration remains effective. This paper explores the potential for designing organisational infrastructure to be part of fourth order subject matter. In particular, it explores how organisational infrastructure could be designed in the context of an exploratory unit, operating in a large heritage airline. This paper leverages insights from a long-term action research project and finds that building trust and shared frames are crucial to designing infrastructure that affords the greater explorative agenda of an organisation.
3:15pm - 3:40pm
The practice of ‘managing as designing’
1School of the Built Environment and Architecture, London South Bank University; 2Bartlett School of Construction and Project Management, University College London; 3Faithful + Gould
Recent studies of ‘design thinking’ for management have criticized the current focus on principles and tools of design thinking, for creating an over-simplified view of a complex process. As a response, this paper sets out to study the empirical details of ‘doing designing’ in order to explore what ‘managing as designing’ involves in practice. Adopting a practice-based theoretical orientation, the paper presents findings from the design meetings of three residential refurbishment projects in the UK. The findings suggest that the management of design practices was accomplished through everyday interactions during which the nature and level of uncertainty of various issues were established, and the corresponding adaptive and innovative courses of actions were developed. Based on these insights, it is concluded that ‘managing as designing’ is primarily about facilitation of everyday organizational interactions, and leadership for the reconciliation of various concerns of multiple stakeholders.
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