We find some interface with design in every aspect of our life and hence forming a close connection with our living culture linked to the society, environment, technology, economics, and politics. Today, creative industry (creative economy) including the areas of industrial design, arts and crafts, architecture, fashion, advertising, music, etc can be identified as one of the fastest-growing sectors in the world and one of the best ways to increase competitive advantage between companies or even countries. Companies that invest in design tend to be more innovative and profitable, and grow faster than companies that do not .
For example, a well-designed product not only caters to the user’s real needs but is also vital to a company’s survival as superior-designs contribute to enhancement of brand image, corporate vitality and profits. The European Commission considers design management to be a competence that comes under the umbrella of innovation management, in recognition of the fact that companies need innovation capability to be able to respond to new market opportunities and threats. However, there is also a growing demand for taking a more holistic approach to the cultural, environmental, political and societal impact of how commercial businesses and other organisations operate. Design if aimed at people-centric approach to just problem-solving, can play a key role in solving contemporary global challenges.
However, design does not operate in isolation from other disciplines and professions, but in relation to a wide range of external contexts (like business, politics, society, environment and technology) as well as internal contexts (like branding, innovation, user-market research, clients briefs, design audits, budgets etc) that can adversely affect the power of design activity if not managed appropriately. The success or failure of any product, service or experience to the market requires effective management of and collaboration between people, processes and projects. How design can operate holistically in relation to all these internal and external contexts, disciplines, relationships and roles is one of the main challenges faced by anyone in the creative design industry . Though design management has become influential and has been viewed as a key element for business success in recent years, it still is considered as an under-researched and underdeveloped discipline with a lack of body of knowledge [3,4]. In this module we try to clear some of the fundamentals of design management and design practice.
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Chiva, R. & J. Alegre (2009) Investment in Design and Firm Peformance: The Mediating Role of Design Management. Journal of Product Innovation
Murphy, D. (2007) in The incorporation of design management in today’s business practices: An analysis of design management practices in Europe (2009) DME Survey, CBRD, The Netherlands.