1) Overview of the Course
Nowadays, design and design management nurture the organization strategic capabilities to create innovation and the differentiation assets to create value. In the last 20 years, as matter of fact, design has been considered a strategic weapon able to create innovation leaderships, unique positioning, competitive advantages of worldwide leading global companies.
In this course, design is indeed approached: i) with a strategic worth (not just technical), where it informs the organization strategic path and the value creation dynamics; ii) related to a product-service system (and not only tangible offering), where the integration between tangible and intangible offering contribute to create value and differentiation; iii) as a set of cognitive and visualization tools useful to conceive and visualize business model innovations.
The course is a project-based journey, aimed at developing capabilities and skills to be handle design-driven innovation, to manage design-related tradeoffs, to mould scenarios of innovation and configure new product-service systems and business models.
The goal is obtained by a set of ex-cathedra lectures, a project-based learning path, info-graphics and knowledge visualization techniques ad-hoc seminars.
More specifically, the course aims at enabling student to:
- Understand the "soft side"¿ of competition and organizations competitive advantages;
- Understand the semiotic soul of products and brands
- Open the perspective and apply criticism to increase the range of innovation opportunities through design;
- Employ creativity to shape innovation trajectories and identify innovative scenarios;
- Understand how to (when and why) apply user analysis qualitative tools
- Use storytelling and visualization techniques to champion the innovation within and without (with stakeholders) the organization boundaries
The course has been designed around three main blocks:
- Design-driven competition: in this module you will learn how to interpret and steer competitive dynamics through product and service meaning lens. The module focuses especially on the following topics:
o The framework of design-driven innovation
o Competing and leading innovation through design
o The innovation of product-service meaning
o The role of designer in innovation process
o Managing design and designers in different competitive environment
- User analysis: in this module you will learn how to use qualitative tools to investigate user. The topics characterising the module are the following ones:
o The user observation: the context of observation; the tools of observation; rapid ethnography and shadowing.
o The interview; the in-situ interview; photographic and recording shooting
o The generative techniques of user activation: participatory design and co-design.
o The representation and visualization of user derived knowledge.
- Creativity and criticism based tools: in this module you will learn how to frame (and re-frame) a design problem and generate findings and learning to proceed along the innovation process. The module will both go through the different phases, activities and methodologies needed to transform an idea into a product-service solution to be launched in the market, and describe the organizational settings and challenges a leader has to face in managing it. The specific topics covered by the modules are the following ones:
o Problem setting, Problem finding, Problem Framing, Problem Re-Framing
o Divergent and convergent thinking
o The product as a â€œnarrativeâ€¿
o The approach of Product-Service System (PSS) to innovation
o The concept of design research, the abduction and the serendipity
o The design research outside the project field: the blue-sky research
o Opportunity and Orienteering Map
2) Educational Process
The underlying assumption of the course is that design capabilities are transferred through project-based activities.
A project “in design culture“ represents the dynamic learning environment where students: i) try to apply tools and methodologies; ii) develop criticism; iii) test the effectiveness of concepts, constructs and methodologies; iii) interact among them and with teachers/assistants to check the applications and to configure next steps; iv) see errors and â€œfailuresâ€¿ as a way to fine-tune the project and iterate learning.
Project related learning is indeed based on an inductive learning path. Complementary to this inductive approach, some ex-cathedra lectures will be employed to transfer: i) basic concepts about the three main conceptual blocks (design-driven competition; user analysis; creativity and design related tools) ii) basic concepts and application exercises (mainly provided from assistants) centred on infographics and visualization.
Because much of the learning and work towards the achievement of course objectives will occur in the class, students must:
- Attend class regularly and contributing to class discussions;
- Be fully prepared for class (by accomplishing the pre-assigned tasks);
- Actively participate in team projects and activities outside of class, and contribute to team learning;
- Prepare the moments of planned reviews/critics (fundamental) with Professors/Assistants.
Each member of the class will be assigned by the faculty to a self-managed learning team. During the first three classes the professors will bring the list of students that are already registered to the course; students willing to actually take the course and participate to class will be asked to sign the document. On the basis of the final list, the professors will form the teams and publish the teams. Once teams have been composed:
â€¢ A team leader (and her email), that will be responsible for all communications with professors and assistants;
â€¢ A name and symbol/icon/image representing the team have to be chosen.
Past experience has shown that teams are effective if they:
â€¢ Schedule times and places for group meetings early in the course, and observe those meeting times: in order to underline the importance of team-works,
â€¢ Provide time for socializing with team members: teams exclusively focusing on tasks without building interpersonal relationships tend to experience problems later on;
â€¢ Meet in a place that is appropriate to the purpose of the meeting: a cafeteria may be a good place to build social relationships, yet many groups will find that it is not the best place for working sessions requiring reflections and/or discussions;
â€¢ Ask for tutorâ€™s consultation: especially to solve a group issue that seems insuperable through mutual adaptation/coordination;
Be aware that each team member will have to evaluate the contribution provided by the rest of the team to its final outputs. During the evaluation of the projects, the faculty will take into account if a team has had to accomplish its projects without the participation of someone of its assigned members. Thus, if a team experiences lack of contribution by any of the team members, the issue must be discussed with the main Professor of the section to which the team belongs.
3) Product-Service System Project
Requirement and Outputs
Design discipline is full of tools to analyse actual situation and to propose new course of action and solutions.
Nevertheless, the application of design and â€œdesign thinkingâ€¿ tools does not guarantee the effective accomplishment of a project and the quality of the final proposed solution.
The course will provide an inductive method in the use and application of design tools trying:
- to make emerge the â€œbestâ€¿ tools from the design problem/brief;
- to adapt the shape and logic of the tool to the real case;
- to generate better questions (and not to provide definitive answers!)
- to explore the design problem broadening the opportunities to generate lateral and radical scenarios.
During the course design tools will be organized according to three main phases:
- analysis and comprehension of weak and strong signals: where the use of the tools is oriented to increase the understanding of the actual competitive context, the design and innovation strategies of the main players, the competitive assets and â€œmeaningsâ€¿ spread on the marketplace, the user behavioural and socio-cultural trends;
- visioning and proposition of new scenarios/solutions: where the use of the tools is directed to generate new scenarios and concepts based on the opportunities/signals captured in the analytical phase;
- storytelling and communication: where the use of the tools is addressed to create a whole narrative of the new scenarios/solutions directed to champion the idea to the bank management.
Professor: Cabirio Cautela: email@example.com
Professor: Roberto Verganti: firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor: Francesco Zurlo: email@example.com
5) Course Scheduling
The course will be run Friday: 9:15 â€“ 18:15 Room (TBD)
Slides / Business Cases / Videos
Slides, tools, business cases and videos will be made available through Course website on BeeP.
Most of the classes have been developed considering the following books:
- Verganti, R. (2017). Overcrowded: Designing Meaningful Products in a World Awash With Ideas. MIT Press
- Verganti, R. (2009). Design Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean. Harvard Business Press.
- Best, K. (2015). Design Management. Managing design strategy, process and implementation. Fairchild Books.
- Larry Keeley, Helen Walters, Ryan Pikkel, Brian Quinn, (2013), Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs. Wiley
- Kees, D. The core of â€˜design thinkingâ€™ and its application. Design studies 32.6 (2011): 521-532.
- Harvey Molotch, Where Stuff Comes From. How Toasters, Toilets, Cars, Computers and Many Other Things Come to Be as They Are
New York and London: Routledge, 2003.
- F.Zurlo, C.Cautela, Design strategies in different narrative frames, in â€œDesign Issuesâ€¿, MIT press, Mass., USA, Vol. 30, NÂ°1, Winter 2014, pp.19-35
- T. Brown, Design thinking, Â«Harvard business reviewÂ», 2008, 6, pp. 84-92.
- D.A. Norman, Emotional design. Why we love (or hate) everyday things, New York 2004 (trad. it. Milano 2004).
- R. Buchanan. Management and Design: Interaction Pathways in Organizational Life. In â€œManaging as Designingâ€¿, edited by Richard Boland and Fred Collope. Stanford University Press, Palo Alto. 2004.
- John Heskett, Industrial Design, Oxford University Press, New York, 1980
- David Hands., Vision and Values in Design Management, AVA Publishing, Lausanne, 2009
- Kelly T., Littman J., The Ten Faces of Innovation: IDEO's Strategies for Defeating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout
- Your Organization, Doubleday, New York, 2005
- Martin R., The Design of Business. Why Design Thinking is the Next Competitive Advantage, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA, 2009.