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5.b 1/2: Strengthening the design capabilities of professional organisations in a complex world
To be able to address the complex nature of today’s societal and economic problems, professional organisations recognise that traditional tools and approaches may not provide the required solutions. To innovate on complex challenges, many have turned to design approaches over the past decade, including both public (Bason, 2010) and private sector organisations. To increase design capabilities, these organisations have established innovation labs with designers, have recruited designers in strategic positions, and/or have started building the design capabilities of existing staff through educational programs, often provided by design consultancies.
11:10am - 11:35am
Understanding the current practice of embedding design in government: limitations and opportunities
Delft University of Technology, Netherlands, The
Design is today suggested as an alternative way of working in government contexts. Many developed nations are trying to embed design in their public organizations. Yet recent studies have shown that design is not easily permeating into everyday practice of public organizations. This research therefore aims to understand what the current practice of design-embedding in government is like and its limitations by interviewing six experts in the design for government field. The research findings reveal that the changes created by the current design-embedding practice in government are not being actively sustained or amplified. Based on an understanding of organisations as complex systems, we suggest a further practice of design-embedding in which designers steward and stimulate design-led change energy within public organizations. This study shows that embedding design capability in professional organizations is more about design-led organizational change than passing on a design skillset to the organizational members.
11:35am - 12:00pm
Design Capability for Science-based Innovation
1Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany; 2German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) Berlin, Germany; 3Charité Medical University Berlin, Germany; 4Professor emeritus of Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany
In light of a growing research interest in the innovation potential that lies at the intersection of design, technology, and science, this paper offers a literature review of design initiatives centered on scientific discovery and invention. The focus of this paper is on evidence of design capabilities in the academic research environment. The results are structured along the Four Orders of Design, with examples of design-in-science initiatives ranging from (1) the design of scientific figures and (2) laboratory devices using new technology to (3) interactions in design workshops for scientists and (4) interdisciplinary design labs. While design capabilities have appeared in all four orders of design, there are barriers and cultural constraints that have to be taken into account for working at or researching these creative intersections. Modes of design integration and potentially necessary adaptations of design practice are therefore also highlighted.
12:00pm - 12:25pm
The adaptation of design thinking in auditing
The Netherlands Court of Audit
How can a supreme audit institution (SAI) use design thinking in auditing? SAIs audit the way taxpayers’ money is collected and spent. Adding design thinking to their activities is not to be taken lightly. SAIs independently check whether public organizations have done the right things in the right way, but the organizations might not be willing to act upon a SAI’s recommendations. Can you imagine the role of design in audits? In this paper we share our experiences of some design approaches in the work of one SAI: the Netherlands Court of Audit (NCA). Design thinking needs to be adapted (Dorst, 2015a) before it can be used by SAIs such as the NCA in order to reflect their independent, autonomous status. To dive deeper into design thinking, Buchanan’s design framework (2015) and different ways of reasoning (Dorst, 2015b) are used to explore how design thinking can be adapted for audits.
12:25pm - 12:50pm
Building Design Capabilities in Academic Libraries
University of Oslo, Norway
While design-led innovation may have huge potential to change both tangible outcomes of design, such as products and services, and the intangible ones such as values, mindsets and organizational cultures, the approach has not been broadly investigated in the organizational settings, especially when it comes to building in-house design capabilities. The paper reflects on both practical and theoretical concerns around building of design capabilities in academic libraries. The making and sustaining design capabilities was supported by design interventions in the form of design workshops and other design activities, and repeated re-enforcements of constructivist and experiential organizational learning leading to integration of design proto practices with daily routines and established work practices. The findings are articulated as a set of guidelines toward building design capabilities in academic libraries through design thinking. At the conceptual level, the work highlights the importance of openness, dialogical spaces and temporal aspects of such processes.
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