Design and Innovation Projects

Main atriumSome of the ISC’s earliest projects focused on design-led innovation processes. Below are a selection funded during the our first phase, 2003-2008:

‘Aha’ – Creativity, Technologies and Design (2005-06)

(Dr Jennifer Whyte) – What is behind the ‘aha’ moment that leads to the development of new technologies and designs? The nature of creativity has changed as a result of the rising complexity of technological systems; miniaturisation of components and bundling of products with services.

Design and Governance of Capital Good Projects (2005-2008)

Dr Jennifer Whyte, Professor David Gann) -This project was part of a wider multi-university research initiative through the EPSRC Grand Challenge: Immortal Information, and Through-Life Knowledge Management (IITKM): Strategies and Tools for the Emerging Product-Service Paradigm. The objectives included defining the business context for firms engaged in long-term provision of complex product/service projects and developing theories and practice for superior supply relationships and supply chain formation in long-cycle.

Design and Delivery of Terminal 5 (2005-06)

(Dr Andrew Davies, Dr Jennifer Whyte and Dr Catelijne Coopmans) – The project business theme carried out research on the design and delivery of the Heathrow Terminal 5 (T5) project. Working with the client (BAA) and major constructor (LOR) on the project, our research showed how these two organisations created a breakthrough innovation in how to manage mega infrastructure projects, which can be successfully replicated on other projects.

Design Quality Indicators (DQI) Analysis Project (2005)

(Dr Toke Reichstein, Dr Jennifer Whyte, Professor David Gann) – After creating the Design Quality Indicator, an online tool used for measuring and mapping design quality, we assessed the success of its application by conducting a macro-level analysis established the DQI’s major impact on UK construction. It has been used on projects ranging from £900,000 to £450 million.

Focusing on Design in Innovation (2003-04)

(Dr Jennifer Whyte, Professor David Gann) –  A key issue is where design takes place in the production of complex products.  The project is investigated how changing technologies of design affect design practice.

Informal Learning in the Built Environment (2004)

(Dr Boris Ewenstein) – This project explored exemplary social contexts and cultural dynamics that motivate informal learning. We  identified different kinds of knowledge which are mediated and circulated within informal cultural contexts in the built environment

Managing Knowledge Representation in Design (2003-06)

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(Dr Boris Ewenstein, Dr Jennifer Whyte, Professor David Gann) – This project addressed organisational abilities to develop and exploit knowledge through its representation in the design process. The research was conducted in collaboration with the University of Sussex and, companies in the architectural design and high-tech manufacturing industries.

Playful Engineering (2004-08)

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(Dr Catelijne Coopmans, Dr Jennifer Whyte) – This project investigated the role of prototyping and simulation tools in the innovation process in sectors such as pharmaceuticals and construction. We supplied advice to designers and managers on using simulation, ran workshops for collaborating firms and industrial participants, and published academic papers in various leading journals.

Structural Glass (2004)

How Engineers Innovate and Learn (Dr Jennifer Whyte (in collaboration with Andrew Hargadon, University of California, Davis) – This project articulated the processes by which engineers learn about new materials and use their learning to innovate. The project examineed how Dewhurst Macfarlane and Partners pioneered the use of glass as a structural material, through work on a series of consulting projects.

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