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Prospective Studies: L’École de design, an ally of innovation

Prospective Studies: L’École de design, an ally of innovation

For over twenty years, L’École de design’s Business Strategy Department has been supporting and guiding companies in their approach to design through prospective studies and workshops, thus becoming an important ally of innovation in business.

The beginning of the academic year is a time for companies and local and regional authorities who want to submit their design questions to the school, in order for them to be included in the prospective studies and workshops. Indeed, our institution has a wealth of resources for tackling research topics. From the outset, this collaborative approach with companies has proved to be an indispensable aid for companies wishing to innovate. Design is not only essential in the creation of objects but also in innovation. Our collaborative approach has four key features which make it a complementary and effective strategy for companies who are embarking on a process of innovation.

Design thinking, another way of looking at the problem

Design helps people understand signs, codes and concepts. This way of thinking lets us analyze design problems in a different way to other sciences and allows us to look at things differently. This new way of seeing things is a real asset for L’École de design’s partners, since it gives them a wider variety of perspectives. The school is thus a precious ally to all those who seek to push back the boundaries of what is possible in order to tackle their design problem.

Creativity is a collaborative and unifying process

What could be more exciting than finding an original and effective solution as part of a team? This experience gives the group a sense of cohesion and encourages them to defend and invest in their solution. Indeed, using creative means to solve a problem is a formidable approach especially in a team situation. It makes the group buzz with excitement. In workshops, we have often noticed the collaborative and unifying effect of working in a team which, in terms of management, is vital to innovation.

Design serves as a mediator for communicating with users

Representing objects is an effective form of communication which prompts the public to react to suggestions made by the designer. Design has the ability to depict a product as much as a service since it puts the user at the forefront in each of the various life cycle stages. It illustrates people’s capacity to identify themselves with change. Over the past few years, the school has participated in this type of project to help local authorities communicate with users by giving them possible design ideas for public spaces and services. This approach allowed the establishments to generate interest amongst the users and to get their reaction.

Design always involves risk

The success of a design approach is almost certainly the ability to take a risk when finding an innovative solution. Creation makes you break the rules and challenge the norms, to break away from conventional ideas. This attitude is a prerequisite to finding new directions. The design approach must be applied to the project as early on as possible, as the consequences are minimal in terms of budget but the opportunity for innovation is vastly increased. The school offers companies this form of creative diversity to help them to work with the students to come up with the greatest number of solutions. As a result, they see the benefits of having tried and tested many possible solutions before pursuing one of them.

This year, the School will once again help over 35 companies and local authorities to push back the boundaries of what is possible, take a fresh look at their design problem, illustrate it with scenarios and produce a creative impetus which can lead to solutions that are both original and compatible with their market.

Contact: Jean-Luc Barassard