Design Entrepreneurship in Innovation

Mersha Aftab, Stuart English, Matthew Lievesley, Marcos Antonio De Filho, Helen Agustine Rusli, Penelope Smith, Pete Hunt

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The paper demonstrates the need for an entrepreneurial attitude and competence in designers of today in order to ensure innovation. The paper considers evidence from four design innovation case studies to explore the relationship between design capabilities and the wider conditions necessary for innovation. All four case studies have been conducted in collaboration with commercial organisations seeking innovation, and designers and academics based in a university in the United Kingdom. First, a review of design’s capabilities is presented from the literature. Second, evidence from each case study is mapped to the UK Design Council’s popular model of design process: the double diamond. This allows findings across the four cases to be compared and discussed, considering how design’s capabilities contribute to the conditions necessary to transform design effort into innovation. Third, the role of design within the ‘define’ stage of the double diamond is articulated. The initial findings state that the lack of connector-­ integrator capability in designers during the ‘define’ phase lead to weak interpretation of the problem space, and consequently contributed to design’s inability to convert ideas into real products in the ‘delivery’ phase. The paper concludes that for design to effectively drive innovation it needs to secure entrepreneurial support i.e. with an appetite for risk/reward; in the early part of the design process.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2016
Event20th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference Inflection Point: Design Research Meets Design Practice Boston - Boston, MA
Duration: 29 Jul 2016 → …


Conference20th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference Inflection Point: Design Research Meets Design Practice Boston
Period29/07/16 → …
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