Design Management


This diagram comes from the Centre for Design Innovation which they attribute it to the Institute of Design at Stanford. I modified it somewhat to put people on the left of the venn diagram. It is part of the “design thinking” model made popular by IDEO and the d.School. During my design management graduate work I spent time thinking about the intersection of these elements.  My definition has a focus on health care because I explored that sector during my graduate research work, i.e. a “better quality of life” direction.

“Design management is the effective use of design strategy, operational constraints, and business objectives to generate innovations that enable a better quality of life. Design managers lead teams to consider viability, feasibility, and desirability of products, services, processes, and systems in order to implement business and organizational strategy.”

I took inspiration from a few others. They are:

“Design management is the cultural, strategic and operational use of the design resources (internal and external) available to an organisation, directed towards the creation and attainment of business and organisational objectives.” – Professor Peter McGrory, University of Art & Design Helsinki TaiK

“Simply put, design management is the business side of design. Design management encompasses the ongoing processes, business decisions, and strategies that enable innovation and create effectively-designed products, services, communications, environments, and brands that enhance our quality of life and provide organizational success.” – Design Management Institute

“Design management is the effective deployment by line managers of the design resources available to an organization in the pursuance of its corporate objectives. It is therefore directly concerned with the organizational place of design, with the identification with specific design disciplines which are relevant to the resolution of key management issues, and with the training of managers to use design effectively.” – Peter Gorb, Designthinkers 2001

“In the SCAD DMGT program we prepare students to lead any organization in creating the conditions for generating innovative solutions. When these solutions begin to emerge DMGers [co-­]develop the internal structures and systems for successful implementation. DMGers are experts in not only empowering teams to think creatively and differently, but also in leading the organization toward saying ‘yes’ to innovation and toward taking risks in order to be successful at it.” – Victor Ermoli, Dean Savannah College of Art and Design