What is: Design Management? no.1

Interested in developing creative business ideas to solve modern day issues and dilemmas?

Then design management might just be the subject for you. Robert gives us an introduction.

Design management focuses on the processes and strategies behind the worlds of business, innovation and design and the cultures that surround them. Learning about design management and cultures is especially important right now, as we increasingly look towards technological innovation, and design that is socially engaged, in order to make the world a better place for everyone.

Creativity isn’t just about making art and designing products, it’s an approach that can be tuned into business. Strategy (e.g. the planning and execution of a business idea) is the scaffolding that supports an outcome. Students that apply to join a design management course learn a lot about the cultures that surround a wide number of businesses, from fashion to architecture, graphic design to sustainability, banking and finance.

Students undertake creative practice, learning the craft of design principles and how to apply them while they make use of the amazing print and digital facilities at universities to assist them in communicating the strategy and research that surround their ideas. Their communication of final ideas will often introduce you to the ‘artefacts’ (the design you can see) ‘behaviours’ (the way we communicate and understand the world around us) and ‘concepts’ (the reason why we’re creating something and the mission we’re on).

“Graduates from a design management course might want to set up their own business or work with well-known brands or design firms with job titles like: strategist, production manager, trend analyst and of course, design manager.”

Take a look at some of our recent graduates to see the range of issues our students have focused on in order to create culturally aware proposals fit for today’s world.

Marta De Prisco: The regeneration of listed buildings

Credit: Introductory video for ‘Urban Rewilding’, Marta De Prisco in partnership with Zachary MacPherson. ‘Urban Rewilding’ explores the role of listed buildings in the urban regeneration of south-east London. Marta collaborated with Southwark Council Planning Policy Team, architecture practice Harper Downie Ltd and a landscaper to look at the possibilities of converting a former gas holder structure into something that would benefit the local community. Because the gas holder was a listed building there were few opportunities for the site, however, Marta found the ideal solution in an urban garden, introduced in the video above.

Explore more of Marta’s work online

Daisy Preston: Looking at the wellbeing needs of fashion models

Credit: Photograph documenting the process of creating the ‘Embodied Futures, Models Matter’ project, Daisy Preston.
Daisy’s experience as a model provided the background for her to explore setting up an investigation into current cultural, political and ethical considerations for models within the fashion industry. Daisy says, “As I became increasingly more in tune with the importance of wellbeing and mindfulness, I realised my line of work contradicts all that I stand for. I have been able to reflect from an outside perspective, on the issues faced in the industry today.” Daisy ran prototyping sessions to brainstorm ideas for what services or products the project would provide. The final proposal was to develop website/podcast series to promote wellbeing within the industry.

Aseel Bokai: Helping a new generation of art collectors

Credit: Excerpt from the process book for ‘Visionary Collecting’, Aseel Bokai.
Looking at three key elements; education, collaboration and conservation, Aseel created a guide for future art collectors to influence behaviour towards art buying, collecting and sharing at an early stage. Aseel’s research revealed that guiding and influencing collectors at an early stage about the different responsibilities and duties of owning a collection (especially an inherited one), could instigate positive rewards for collectors themselves, stakeholders and the wider community. Aseel’s process book introduces the research, inspiration, observations, idea development (ideation) and prototyping of her idea as well as plans for budget and project management.

Browse Aseel’s website to view more pages from her process book, degree show presentation and the final ‘Guide for the Future Generation of Collector’

Isabel Lim: Helping the families, friends and carers of medical patients to communicate more effectively

Credit: Extracts from process book for ‘Communicaid’, Isabel Lim.
Can technology improve communication amongst the medical staff, friends and family of patients with chronic conditions? Isabel says, “Families of patients with chronic conditions often feel lonely and unsupported in their journey due to a difficulty for others to empathise and stay updated. What do you say, what can you do? It seems as though there is nothing we could offer to carry their burden and lighten the load. How can we genuinely provide the support that they evidently need?” Isabel’s primary influence for this project was her own father, who is a chronic patient recovering from a stroke. She worked with a team to investigate the possibility of using technology to help in difficult times. Her final outcome included a business proposal and initial design ideas for an app that would ease communication between patient and caregivers.

Beatrice Bekar: Sustainable Fashion

Credit: Excerpts from the project management and process books for ‘Long Story Short: The Future of Sustainable Fashion Consumption’, Beatrice Bekar.
Beatrice says, “The digital world makes us more demanding — we tend to want everything instantly and effortlessly. Sustainability, on the other hand, requires more time, investments and research. This creates a ‘value-action gap’ in those that are consciously aware but practically stuck in traditional consumption patterns. Following the trends of the sharing economy and embracing the principles of the digital culture, ‘Long Story Short’ aims to design a new culture of responsibility by fostering innovative patterns of sustainable fashion consumption. Beatrice’s final outcome proposed a digital platform and associated campaigns to encourage people to value clothes in their wardrobe and increase waste reduction.

Follow ‘Long Story Short’ on Instagram

Sonja Doupnik: Helping online users to take ownership of social media

Credit: Excerpts from the publication introducing ‘Clear’, Sonja Doupnik.
Sonja is interested in how we could better design data transparency for online communities in an era of ‘fake news’ and general distrust of Facebook and many other social media platforms when it comes to influencing users. In order to do this Sonya did some in-depth research to understand how online communities form, transform and function on social media platforms. Sonja then looked at user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design to see what could be altered to create a social media platform that works with more transparency and gives ownership back to users. Her final outcome included a business proposal and visualisations for a social media app.

Explore more of Sonja’s projects on Myportfolio

Interested in design management, business and cultures?
BA (Hons) Design Management

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