DESMA Chats: Episode 5

Episode 5
Measurement Matters in Design Management with Fabiane Wolff


For Episode 5, Fabiane Wolff joined us from Centro Universitário Ritter dos Reis (Uniritter) in Brazil to discuss research, measurement, and models for investigating design management. To kickoff the discussion Fabiane presented the theoretical model that her research group uses to frame their research based on Process, Competencies, and Strategy that companies have for design management. Using the model, Fabiane and her group can compare how different organizations around the world approach design management. Additionally, she invited other members of the DESMA Network around the world to contact her regarding potential collaborations and contributions. Moving on, we delved into some unique cases of design management that Fabiane has found from Brazilian companies. In one instance, a very successful company places little focus on winning awards for their designs, which appears to buck the trend within existing design management research. Many of the metrics for assessing design management based on awards may not match what matters to the company. Following on this point we explored how designers themselves often determine success through the peer recognition, while companies typically evaluate success from sales figures. Thus we found ourselves discussing a classic tension in design management: innovative products may not perform well in terms of sales, even if the design community deems them excellent. We wrapped up the conversation talking about training design management researchers, and students who have professional experience have an easier time grasping design management because they have most likely encountered or worked with design and branding in their companies.

We also say a big thanks to Fabiane for this talk!

Stay tuned for more conversations on DESMA chats!

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