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Session Overview
Track 5 Session 4
Thursday, 06/Aug/2020:
2:20pm - 3:20pm

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Analysis of Variables to Measure the Value of Design in Colombia

Susana Cañas-Eastman, Santiago Ruiz-Arenas, María Cristina Hernández-Monsalve

Universidad EAFIT, Colombia

The value of design has been quantified by agencies such as the Design Management Institute in North America and the British Design Council in Europe. However, there is no evidence of this type of study in Latin American countries, where the design has been slowly incorporated into business. To the best knowledge of the authors, no literature quantifies the design value in Latin American countries like Colombia. In this article, the variables traditionally used to measure the design value around the world are analyzed and contrasted with the main characteristics and needs of the Colombian design context. This study aims to identify which variables are the most suitable for quantifying the benefits provided by design in Colombian SMEs and discusses the potential implications of their implementation.

For this purpose, we analyzed the literature published in the past fifteen years and validated the findings with experts and design managers of Colombian companies. Our study hypothesizes that the characteristics in the context of the Colombian design, such as the lack of public policies, the ambiguity of the role of design and the few agencies focused on the growth of the design industry, hinder the application of the methods used in other regions of the world. Therefore, we suggest that through the design investment and the financial variable EBITDA - Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation, and Amortization, the value of design could be evaluated in the SMEs companies in Colombia. This research is part of an ongoing project that aims to provide means to support the decision making of design managers in Colombia, considering the characteristics of the local industry.

HOMEGROWN STUDIO: Pushing Collaborative Pedagogy from Studio to Pop-UP

Steven John Doehler, Brooke Camille Brandewie

University of Cincinnati, USA

During the fall semester at the University, 4th year fashion, industrial and communication design students participate in a design/build/sell collaborative design studio course called Homegrown. This studio utilizes a 5-phase process centered upon Design and Trend/Business/Strategy. It promotes rapid ideation through a design, build, test, understand process. At the center of this approach is prototyping and validation. The iterative process concludes with a small batch production of 15 identical products sold at an end-of-semester pop-up shop. This studio has run for five years, with each year seeing progress in innovation, quality, and revenue. Homegrown reinforces the viability of small-batch design and entrepreneurship. This paper describes the pedagogical process and outcomes, with the intent of fostering broader conversations on collaborative pedagogical approaches for teaching design entrepreneurship by integrating design, trends, and business strategy.

Adaptable, Flexible Approaches to Integrating Vertically with SME’s in New Product Development

David Terris1, Peter Ford1, James Meadwell1, Mario Minichiello2

1Nottingham Trent University, UK; 2Newcastle University, New South Wales, Australia

This paper describes the work of a University based Design Research group that has specialized over a number of years in developing methods and approaches to support and assist Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SME’s) in making effective use of design in their business strategies. As part of this work the group has also focused on the role of Higher Education Institutions (HEI’s) in providing this support.

Over the last 15 years, the group has perfected a unique approach to developing relationships with SME’s engaged in New Product Development (NPD) which has resulted in a high success rate of products being developed through to manufacture. It is generally acknowledged that Small and Medium Sized enterprises (SME’s) contribute significantly to a country’s economic performance. However, providing effective, public sector research, development and innovation support for SME’s can be problematic due to their size and diversity. Therefore, the success of this approach, an HEI providing effective NPD support for SME’s, is significant.

The work of this group was described in a paper published by the DMI in 2017 which centered on the Management and Integration of Design Knowledge for Small Firms. That paper considered the support methods developed by the group using examples from specific projects and from several design support schemes for SME’s who were involved in NPD. The need for management and integration of design knowledge with small firms was stressed as was the need for HEI’s to actively participate in the NPD process in addition to acting as an intermediary with players and actors in the process.

This paper goes beyond the issues of management and integration of design knowledge and considers how HEI’s can effectively integrate vertically with SME’s in the NPD process, forming partnerships that are adaptable and flexible to individual SME characteristics and the associated players in the NPD process. Relationships between private sector organisations and HEI’s are often considered to be horizontal; it is also generally accepted that vertical cooperation with customers and suppliers is more effective in new product development (NPD) for SME’s than horizontal relationships with research institutions and government agencies. This paper builds on the earlier work by presenting evidence from recent case study examples, a large UK funded design support initiative, and international collaborations, and considers in greater depth the processes by which this design research group fosters relationships which create vertical integration with the SME’s.

The role of design-intensive innovation: An exploration on digital innovation of SMEs within a Chinese industry context

Zitong Gao, David Hands

Lancaster University, UK

Digitalisation is re-shaping the world economy. Digital technologies offer new opportunities for start-ups and established of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to participate in the global economy. However, the uptake of digital innovation is uneven, and many SMEs are lagging. The emergent theme of design led innovation is well recognized in contemporary academic research. Yet, the association between design and digital innovation remains largely under-explored. Due to the dynamic characteristics of digital innovation, the role of design is becoming increasingly important and complex. Therefore, there exists a need to further understand how design can influence SMEs’ digital innovation.

China provides an invaluable setting for this study. China’s booming Internet environment provide SMEs with more opportunities and possibilities for digital innovation. However, the most of Chinese SMEs face a certain resource constraint and a backward understanding of design; they need guidance for the practice of digital innovation. This paper serves as a theoretical underpinning for further field research activities and provides an understanding of the concepts, characteristics and requirements of digital innovation. Finally, it critically analyses the intensive role of design in digital innovation.

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