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by GI Lee

Sustainable Design

December 7, 2016 in uncategorised

Sustainable Design

“Virtually every ecological system on the planet is now in decline. Acid rain, climate change, Co2 build-up, declining biodiversity, extinctions of species, declining fish stocks, deforestation, desertification, global warming, invasive species, toxic waste, over-fertilization of land, ozone layer depletion ,pollution of air, water, and land, resource overuse and scarcity and water degradation and scarcity…” (Waddock, 2006)

We are living in a carbon economy. Everything from living organisms to machines involved carbon energy consumption and we have no choice but to continuously consume more resources to maintain our status quo.

I do not need to address the significance of serious environmental concerns around us since the whole world knows and talks about it. As a global citizen and a future design manager, being aware of environmental concerns and understanding the importance of sustainable design for the future is unquestionably imperative. So what is sustainability and why sustainable design matters?

According to the World Commission on Environment and Development Report, sustainability is the ability of future generations to achieve the same level of natural resources enjoyed by the current generation while sustainable development is meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Sustainable design is important because we have scarce resources. ‘Unless we learn to preserve and conserve the Earth’s resources and change our most basic patterns of consumption, manufacture and recycling, we have no future.’ (Papanek, 1995) Unfortunately, our generations have chosen to irresponsibly consumed excessive amount natural resources in exchange for greater financial, technological, and economical benefits.

It is now our duty to be more responsible and balance the long-term wellbeing of the natural environment. Sustainable design should become a core values of organisations and be considered as source of innovation and competitive advantages. Also, green marketing (the development, pricing, promotion, and distribution of products that do not harm the environment) should be implied as obligatory policies not just ethical practices.

As a future design manager, we all should care more about design with low energy-material intensity and high regenerative potential. (Manzini, 2006) It is the future design manager’s job to design products for longevity rather than planned obsolesce. It is our duty to create more innovative and sustainable design strategy. Following Lifecycle Design Strategy Wheel (LiDS Wheel) introduced in this week’s lecture summarised valuable process all responsible future design managers must understand:

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by GI Lee

Intellectual Property Rights

November 29, 2016 in uncategorised

Guest Lecture: Debra Goldwyn, Briffa

In short, I need a good IP lawyer to deal with the design laws and rights. Due to extremely complicated nature regrading issues and laws of intellectual property in creative industry, understanding every details seemed extremely difficult for myself. However, there are some key elements from this week’s lecture that all design managers should be aware of:

  • Copyright: protects to 2D items such as books, films, and pictures
  • Unregistered & Registered Design Rights: 3D mass produced items such as furniture or iPad
  • Trade Marks: brand or logo
  • Confidential Information: secret recipe or source code for a trading platform
  • Patents: functionality such as a new way to assemble a scaffolding tower

I have learned that copyright protects the expression of ideas but not an idea as well as both original and non-original works. Logos, shape and color, slogans, words, stylised words, and music can be registered. In case when our rights are infringed, we should first get evidence of infringement & rights, find out who is infringing, keep contemporaneous note, and instruct solicitors (Briffa). If a chance is given, I would have to learn more about the design related laws and policies to protect my works in the future.

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by GI Lee

Service Design

November 23, 2016 in uncategorised

Service Design 

Students from MA Service Experience Design & Innovation gave us invaluable experiences and insights on service design. I believe that service design is the field of design where require quality design management and design thinking approach the most. Clearly, not only tangible products could be well designed. Service, therefore the entire experience of users, also can be designed. By my own definition, service design is the optimisation of ultimate users experiences through every touchpoints and interaction with products/services. According to MA Service Experience Design & Innovation students’ course projects, the field of service design could be widely applied to various disciplines such as engineering, IT, architecture, psychology, sociology, and even our everyday life.

Students in Service Experience Design & Innovation used following method (Double Diamond Diagram) for their projects:

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At the end of today’s lecture, the book ‘This is Service Design Thinking’ by Stockdorn and Schneider has been recommended for further studies. From this book I have discovered essential components of service design thinking. According to the book, the principles of design thinking that need to be understood is that it is user-centric, co-cretaive, sequencing, evidencing, and holistic. Also, the fields of service design can be wide as product design, graphic design, interaction design, social design, strategic & operation management, and ethnography design. Moreover, the tools of service design thinking process should begin with exploration, creation, reflection, and implementation (Stockdorn & Schneider).

Since my major project for my course is closely related to the design of collaboration and production in creative industry, thorough understanding of the service design thinking appeared to be imperative.

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by GI Lee

Participatory Design

November 23, 2016 in uncategorised

Participatory Design 

More familiar term would be co-operative design, collaborative design, or simply co-design. It seems like almost every companies in the market consistently emphasise the importance of collaborative design as the key driving force for the innovation since customers no longer just buy the brands but rather be part of the brand. Customers now wants to actively communicate and be culturally engaged with brands while seeking for unique brand experiences through products or services. For this reason, it is important for companies to pay more attention to customer insights through various open innovation activities.

“Open innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology”. (Henry William Chesbrough)

From this week’s lecture I have learned that open innovation can be collaboratively designed in many ways:

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I believe that we all have great ideas to make positive changes and impacts to our world. In order to have great ideas, I think we first need to have many good ideas to build upon. Many good ideas will be generated when people have more freedom and supports to actively challenge, collaborate, and communicate with each other. I hope the future of our generation will be lead by creative individuals who are determined to continuously collaborate and learn from each other. Therefore, there is no doubt that the end users of products and service will play more significant roles in the future design.

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by GI Lee

Insights to Innovation

November 22, 2016 in uncategorised

Guest Lecture: Samantha Barber

This week’s guest lecture mainly explained about some of the challenges facing brands, the importances of innovation for growth and the key pillars in developing a strong innovation strategy. Unlike comparably simpler marketing touchpoints in the past, our modern day’s consumer path to purchase have become more complicated and challenging:

screen-shot-2017-01-07-at-15-28-49The numbers of brands and choices in our market places have become uncontrollably overwhelming. It is very difficult to be able to stand out from the intense competition and cut through the noise. Brands must engage and satisfy customers in more creative ways. This week’s lecture insisted that ‘innovation should be at the heart of successful brands and is key for the growth’. Understanding key elements and pillars for developing innovative strategy seemed essential.

Three components of innovation:

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Four pillars of innovation process:

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Innovation should be relevant to all business sectors and promote business models, product ideas, and services. Although innovation failure rates are inevitably very high and costly, many big companies could reduce failure rates and lead to more successful innovation by applying certain strategic guidelines. Innovative brands do the followings:

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According to Samantha, lack of data or information is rarely the issue. The most important aspects of research is interpreting and making the research meaningful by combining both hard data (age & demographics) and soft data (culture, beliefs, needs, fears, and etc.) to derive insights. Undoubtedly, a fact and an insight must be differentiated. Unlike a fact, an insight should be able to inspire innovation and ideas for strategy, helping brands to build loyalty and connect with the consumer at a deeper emotional level. For instances, strong insights on product concepts, creative development, service, and consumer journey could be really useful for the success of brands strategies.

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by GI Lee

Branding & Advertising

November 15, 2016 in uncategorised

Branding & Advertising

“Overall, because branding is about creating and sustaining trust, it means delivering on promises. The best and most successful brands are completely coherent. Every aspect of what they do and what they are reinforces everything else” (Wally Olins, 2003)

First of all, what is a brand? A term brand can mean or signify many things. For me, a brand means distinction, promise, status, and story. In our competitive business world with countless numbers of brands, being able to stay relevant, to stand out, to communicate their core values, and to cultivate customer relationships have become extremely challenging.

According to this week’s lecture, a brand should includes name & logo (identity) and vision which provides clarity, facilitate decision making, fosters cultures, and aids communication. Design Council suggests that the brand personality could be managed through graphic design, tone of voice, dialogue, and customer service. Nevertheless, I personally believe that a single diagram by Design Council below describes the best of what a brand really means in the business context:

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Design Council

At the core of the brand, there should be a big idea. A big idea in simple explanation is what it wants to and actually does to make itself different from others. By clearly defining a big idea of a brand, it will lead to realise why a brand exist in the first place, core benefit & values, target customers, and attributes of a brand to be identified with and stand out from the competition.

Countless numbers of new brands are emerging and vanishing every seconds. With free access of information and knowledge along with wide spread use of advanced technology lead to plethora of brands in our modern market place. Customers are becoming more knowledgable and educated, requiring better quality products and services. Communication and interaction between brands and customers have changed with the emergence of smart phones and social media. Conventional push marketing strategies through massive advertisements from the past no longer help brands to flourish. Our generation entered the ‘age of experience’.

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In order for brands to stay relevant and successful, now the brands must be experienced, not purchased because brand experience become essence and translated into brand promises while fulfilling these promises generate branded customer experience. At the same time, experiences also must be branded because branded customer experiences translated into brand values which in turn create overall brand image which is the essential factor for success.

As brands’ communication generally delivered through advertisement, it is also important to explore the landscape of advertising & media channels in our market place. The following diagram have been provided from this week’s lecture:

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In addition, following diagram illustrates the essential components of brand design from the marketing and advertising aspects:

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In our competitive business world, selling good quality products and services are given. In order to stay competent, I learned that brands need to communicate the right messages through appropriate advertising and media channels while carefully designing every touch-points of customer interaction to create optimal brand experience. Only the brands that could provide valuable and memorable experiences will survive. Brands need to be experienced and experiences need to be branded.

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by GI Lee

Foster + Partners

November 8, 2016 in uncategorised

Company Visit: Foster + Partners

Visiting Foster + Partner studio in London was honorable and insightful experience. It was unquestionably fascinating to explore countless collections of materials they used for the actual projects and to observe the design and prototyping process where the state-of-art technology are applied in practice. Also, the fact that Foster + Partners employees are allowed to dress up casually and come in and out of the amazing offices without time constraints was simply aspiring.

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Foster + Partners London project manager’s presentation (special thanks to John) was even more inspiring and informative. Foster + Partners was established in 1967 and there are 6 regional studios with their own studio heads collaborating together globally employing 1500 people in 13 cities. Even though they are aiming to provide very open-ended and interactive working environment for the employees to cultivate collaborative organisational culture, there is still a clear hierarchy in the management (The Design Board) where groups of senior studio heads makes the important final decisions for the company. As Foster + Partners deal with projects that are safety cautious, time constrained, and involving enormous numbers of people from multiple disciplines, operating in the authoritative organizational system within collaborative boundary seems inevitable to consistently maintain their world-class reputation and the quality.

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by GI Lee

Organisational Culture

November 8, 2016 in uncategorised

Organisational Culture

It’s true that by investing in the newest equipment, the company will stay competent in the market for longer. By investing in the employees on the other hand, the company will innovate and dominant the market for longer.

From the moment we are born into this world, we rely on each other to survive. Various social structures and how we interact with each others shaped our communities and cultures throughout the history. In the ancient time, we formed the herds to survive and protect ourselves from the danger in the nature. Then we evolved to form the governments and nations, fighting and cooperating with each others for the own beliefs, values and benefits. Today, we are living in a highly profit-oriented capitalistic corporate world where borderless and limitless self-driven organizations competitively striving for what they believe to be important. It seems evident from the cases of many organizations that specific visions and cultures of some organizations lead to a great success or failure as well as impose positive or negative impact on our societies.

What is organisational culture and what makes good organisational cultures?

Business Dictionary defines organizational culture as ‘the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization’. In my own definition, organizational culture is the specific perspectives and methodologies of communicating and delivering what the organizations believe to be most important. Due to the fact that we are all unique and different in many ways, strictly categorizing what makes good or bad organizational cultures seems irrational and prejudiced. However, as we are living in societies where our individualistic ideas and identities are embraced, creatively open-minded and collaborative organizational structure would promote healthy organizational cultures. This does not mean all of us do whatever we want to do in however ways we want. Undoubtedly, there should be clear mutual goals and certain system of framework to productively collaborate in harmony to generate values. Due to this reason, many organizations today are emphasizing the importance of implementing design thinking approach and fostering healthy organizational cultures of balancing the unity in diversity.

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by GI Lee

Design Thinking

November 1, 2016 in uncategorised

Design Thinking

“Design Thinking is a system that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business can convert into consumer value and market opportunity.” (Tim Brown, IDEO)

Kathryn’s lecture this week thoroughly explained about design thinking which I believe to be the fundamental concept for design management. At first, design management at different stages and levels are illustrated in a simple table below:

screen-shot-2017-01-07-at-19-03-22Design leadership could be achieved through successful design management at different levels of organisation while consistently communicating with designers’ ideas and concepts. Good design management should apply design thinking concept to different stages of design strategy, process, and implementation. Understanding the professional role of design in industry also helped me to better understand what I would have to be aware of as a future design manager.

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Kathryn Best

In Kathryn’s lecture, she implies that a design has form and function; it is the outcome of the process of designing. To design is to plan, to create or to device. It is a process, a practice, and a way of thinking. Importantly, desirability, feasibility, and viability must be considered at every stages of the design thinking process.

As Tim Brown from IDEO describes, design thinking is a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designers toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success. For me, design thinking is the ways to approach and solve problems through repetitive ideation, prototype, and evaluation process. A framework from D School Standford below illustrated the process and components of design thinking method:

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Through this week’s lecture I have learned that there is a valid reason why many of the biggest companies in our business world rely on design thinking as a tool for innovation and change. Whether we want it or not, our world is changing at uncontrollably fast speed. What considered to be contemporary and trendy today may not be suitable tomorrow as something new appear. The proven-to-be-working frameworks and paradigms in the past may not solve various emerging issues of our generation today. Due to this reason, the optimal way of finding solutions for problems and dealing with changes is to be more openly innovative and flexible. Future design managers should be brave enough to fail and learn from the mistakes while taking creative and iterative approaches rather than depending on analysis of theories and equations. Welcome to the new generation.

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by GI Lee

The Art of Placemaking

October 26, 2016 in uncategorised

The Art of Placemaking 

Theoretically, anything can be branded whether it is a product, service, person, event, organization, or a place. Due to the emergence of mobile devices and social media, our societies have become unprecedentedly hyper-connected. As the exchange of diversity and individualities are becoming more acceptable and proven to promote creativity in our societies, the needs for branding(designing) places where people live and interact holistically with each other plays a vital role in our generation.

What is placemaking? I believe that placemaking is the process of improving and promoting better urban service design for the people living in the specific community. Based on the community-centric approach, placemaking process focus on capitalizing assets, inspiration, and potential of the community in order to create the quality public spaces that cultivate people’s health, happiness, and well-being. Project for Public Spaces (www.pps.org) refers placemaking to ‘a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value’. In my own definition, placemaking is an interdisciplinary and integrative practice of optimizing borderless new ideas and essential theories to satisfy constantly changing needs of different individuals within our community.

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