History of Design at Scale™

Jiri Mocicka
Published in
5 min readApr 4, 2022


The history of Design at Scale™
Figure 01: The history of Design at Scale™

Historically, the design was defined as the stage-gate iterative process. To paint a picture, wall or cathedral, we all understand the task, and that can be measured and sized in some ways. They require a certain shape and size. Also, the emotional part of the experience is delivered through the artist or architect’s expressive[01↗] innovation.[02↗]

This article aims to map design as a scaling technique or process across 300+ years to the present day, where design delivers, connects, and enhances business wider and deeper than we know it.

Production lines
Figure 02: Production lines

Production lines

The relationship between design and technology has always been very prominent. By influencing one another, we have witnessed several inventions, such as steam-powered engines and manufacturing lines[03↗], that changed the world as we know it.

In early 1900 the car manufacturing facility at the River Rouge Plant [04↗] of Henry Ford [05↗] pioneered time productivity. Soon European shoe manufacturers observed product lines between 1920 and 1928 and successfully experimented with the assembly lines in Bata [06↗] shoe factories[07↗]. Lines relied on a verified concept where each part of the delivery was broken down into a sequence of tasks. This specific output allowed the business to assemble products faster.[08↗]

Fast forward 60 years or so, and big agencies used the same model in print production, breaking tasks into different departments (photography, illustration, typography, and so on). Print design flourished as a result in the 70s and 80s, impacting billboards[09↗], the boom of advertising[10↗] and print magazines[11↗], especially TV.[12↗]

Early Software Development
Figure 03: Early Software Development

Early Design Software Development

Incremental and adaptive software development[13↗] opened up a new era of development. This directly impacted project management[14↗] (later known as agile), influencing design delivery from the early 1970s.