The Extent of Transformation: Measuring the Impact of Design in Voluntary Community Sector Organisations

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper




Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 Oct 2017
EventInternational Association of Societies of Design Research 5th World Conference on Design Research - University of Cincinatti, Cincinatti, United States
Duration: 31 Oct 20173 Nov 2017


ConferenceInternational Association of Societies of Design Research 5th World Conference on Design Research
Abbreviated titleIASDR 2017
CountryUnited States
Internet address
Publication type

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


A Design for Service (DfS) approach has been linked with impacts that significantly alter touchpoints, services and organisational culture. However, there is no model with which to assess the extent to which these impacts can be considered transformational. In the absence of such a model, the authors have reviewed literature on subjects including the transformational potential of design; characteristics of transformational design; transformational change; and organisational change. From this review, six indicators of transformational change in design projects have been identified: evidence of non-traditional transformative design objects; evidence of a new perspective; evidence of a community of advocates; evidence of design capability; evidence of new power dynamics; and evidence of new organisational standards. These indicators, along with an assessment scale, have been used to succesfully review the findings from a doctoral study exploring the impact of the DfS approach in Voluntary Community Sector (VCS) organisations. This paper presents this model as a first-step to establishing a method to helpfully gauge the extent of transformational impact in design projects.

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