Boost Business by Design

DS 69: Proceedings of E&PDE 2011, the 13th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education, London, UK, 08.-09.09.2011

Year: 2011
Editor: Kovacevic, Ahmed, Ion, William, McMahon, Chris, Buck, Lyndon and Hogarth, Peter
Author: Lockwood, Joseph Benjamin; McAra-McWilliam, Irene; Reid, Iain
Series: E&PDE
Section: Design Education and Business 1
Page(s): 29-34


‘Creating Cultures of Innovation’ is a unique project that works with Scottish Industry to embed creativity as a collective skill within organisations. Supported by the Scottish Funding Council and in partnership with the Institute of Directors, The Glasgow School of Art has been working collaboratively with organisations across key sectors in Scotland to establish how creative thinking and design process can be integrated into business in order to grow and secure future success. The project aims to do this by self-consciously creating a national innovation ecosystem to drive new growth sectors and companies. Successful companies will be those who innovate products and processes, so creating new markets and reputations for themselves. This paper will discuss the results of four projects conducted with Scott & Fyfe, Schuh, Harris Tweed and Cairngorm Mountain and explore and explain the methodology and approach and how this was tailored to each individual case study. It will also explore the initial findings of the research and how this learning creates content and embeds itself in teaching at The Glasgow School of Art in the postgraduate MDes in Design Innovation. The process of working with the organisations aforementioned begins with an informal meeting. The purpose of this discussion is simply to establish whether both parties feel there is the possibility of collaboration and working together. Further to this, assuming the discussion is positive, the ‘Creating Cultures of Innovation’ team will then visit the organisation to meet with staff and senior management and find out more about the business from a strategic and personal perspective. There then follows an initial workshop session, ‘Opening Innovation’, where the idea of opportunity spotting and design process methodology is introduced. At this stage the organisation will decide whether they feel the methods are appropriate and useful. If the response is positive the GSA team will then conduct a planning meeting where strategic objectives are set for the proposed workshop series. An in-house ‘Innovation Team’ is established and the workshop series can begin. The design and co-design of workshop content, materials and outputs drive the sessions and they are tailored to suit the needs, aims and strategic objectives of the organisation. Each of the organisations discussed in this paper have differing objectives to which the ‘Creating Cultures of Innovation’ programme reacts in order to deliver the most effective workshop series. Through these action research case studies the paper will give a general insight into the project and the ways in which it relates to organisational culture by embedding innovation as well as how it moulds and shapes design teaching in the postgraduate Design Innovation programme. The paper will also discuss the plans for the sustainability of the project by exploring the future progression to service and the proposed business model.

Keywords: organisational learning, organisational culture, co-design, innovation.


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