The surprising similarity between designing in complex development settings and a traditional bridal rhyme — except for something blue

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Photo by Dietmar Becker on Unsplash

As I wrote in a recent post, strategic use of design does not always mean that it needs to be integrated to the earliest phases of complex product and service development. Instead, in complex development settings, the strategic use of design is not so much an issue of when design enters projects but rather how design decisions become embedded in products and services. In this post, I discuss my research on design in shipbuilding and how I discovered that the key to strategic design integration lies specifically in how the complexity of complex projects gets managed.

Complex products and systems as “designed evolution”

The sinking of RMS…


Well, not necessarily.

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Photo by Vadim Fomenok on Unsplash

One of the key things in using design is timing: when should design and designers be brought into development processes and projects? The answer to this question seems self-evident: as early as possible because that’s when key decisions are made concerning, strategy, resourcing and the overall direction of development projects.

Moreover, if we are to design more sustainable products, it is the early phases of development where we should pay specific attention to issues such as material choice — and whether user needs are best met by products in the first place, but rather by services.

This is also how…

Dr. Pekka Murto

Senior Design Researcher, Service & UX Designer at Digitalist Group. Specialised in strategic design, design and complexity, and sustainable design.

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