Is Your Business ‘Winning By Design’?

10 Nov 2017 | 04.46 pm

Is Your Business ‘Winning By Design’?

New study from Expert Group for Future Skills Needs

10 Nov 2017 | 04.46 pm

A report from the Expert Group for Future Skills Needs recognises design as a “key component” for innovation and presents evidence that design can add value to enterprise, saying that it “can act as a bridge between technological, service, user-centred and social innovation”.

Traditionally, says the Winning By Design report, design has been perceived as a solely aesthetic process entailing a visual component or tangible product. However, this perception no longer holds true. Design is now pervasive in many sectors, often working hand in hand with technological advancement.

New digital technologies are giving rise to new forms of products and services which in turn are putting new pressures on businesses and society. This is requiring that solutions be designed for increasingly complex problems — often global and diverse in nature.

Design thinking is also changing the way businesses operate. Today it informs the strategies of major organisations and is being used to create innovative services, address social issues, and even to shape better public services and policy-making.

Download Winning By Design Report

The group has recommendations to enhance and develop design in Ireland in the areas of design education provision, design training for businesses and designer upskilling and funding of design. The first recommendation calls for a review of enterprise demand and the provision of higher and further education design courses in all education institutions to foster deeper understanding in this area.

Group chairman Tony Donohue said: “Winning by Design has begun to look at the specific design skills necessary across the economy to meet the future needs of enterprise in the traditional non-design sectors.

“As the definition of design has broadened, so too have the design skill sets required by industry. Traditionally, design roles have been associated with problem solving and creative ability. Nowadays, firms have a clear and strategic requirement to recruit and train designers who possess wider skill sets including, but not limited to, multi-disciplinary learning, empathy, creativity, technical ability, business acumen and strategic thinking.”

The Expert Group on Future Skills Needs advises the government on current and future skills needs of the economy and on other labour market issues that impact on Ireland’s enterprise and employment growth.

The group’s report summarises its findings under three headings — the provision of design education; design training for businesses and designer upskilling; and how to fund design — and includes a detailed action plan to develop and enhance design in Ireland.

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