Abstract

This paper investigates how design process models are implemented and used in design-driven organisations. The archetypical theoretical framing of process models, describe their primary role as guiding the design process, and assign roles and deliverables throughout the process. We hypothesise that the process models also take more communicative roles in practice, both in terms of creating an internal design rationale, as well as demystifying the black box of design thinking to external stakeholders. We investigate this hypothesis through an interview study of four major danish design-driven organisations, and analyse the different roles their archetypical process models take in their organisations. The main contribution is the identification of three, often overlapping roles, which design process models showed to assume in design-driven organisations: process guidance, adding transparency in external communication, and internally as a formal description of an organization's design rationale. We discuss how the mix of these three roles added together can support and catalyse how design-driven organisations define themselves, and position them in practice, as well as how the theoretical discourse of process literature might be re- catalysed by these very different roles observed in practice.

Keywords:

design process, process models, design thinking, design management

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Jun 25th, 12:00 AM

The Role(s) of Process Models in Design Practice

This paper investigates how design process models are implemented and used in design-driven organisations. The archetypical theoretical framing of process models, describe their primary role as guiding the design process, and assign roles and deliverables throughout the process. We hypothesise that the process models also take more communicative roles in practice, both in terms of creating an internal design rationale, as well as demystifying the black box of design thinking to external stakeholders. We investigate this hypothesis through an interview study of four major danish design-driven organisations, and analyse the different roles their archetypical process models take in their organisations. The main contribution is the identification of three, often overlapping roles, which design process models showed to assume in design-driven organisations: process guidance, adding transparency in external communication, and internally as a formal description of an organization's design rationale. We discuss how the mix of these three roles added together can support and catalyse how design-driven organisations define themselves, and position them in practice, as well as how the theoretical discourse of process literature might be re- catalysed by these very different roles observed in practice.

 

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