Design as an Economic Development Enabler

By Bruce M. Wood.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Economic development agencies at national and regional levels have recognised the importance of design and creativity as a driver toward growth, wealth creation and potentially company and job creation. Many regions employ a strategy of promoting the crucial nature of design and then proceed onto promoting a number of design companies either locally or internationally, this activity although important is only part of the answer. There are a number of projects that have actively developed a strategy of firstly supporting design activity, the outcomes of which can then be promoted to a wider audience. The project developed in Glasgow, United Kingdom (UK), by the author, as an experimental project for a celebratory motive has successfully supported the development of new products, facilitated new company start-ups and created wealth. The project and processes have also been agile enough to be transported to other locations in the UK and internationally resulting in the same high level of success. This has lead to the project strategies and management now being utilised as an economic development tool closely related to design and creativity.

Keywords: Design, Design Intervention, Economic Development, Tangible Outcomes, Wealth Creation

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp.589-606. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.925MB).

Prof. Bruce M. Wood

Director, Centre for Creative Industries, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK

Professor Bruce Wood is a qualified Designer with 17 years of experience in industry on a national and international scale. Founder of the Centre for Creative Industries at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in 2002, he has created Masters programmes in Product Design and Development, Digital Media and more recently, Design Practice and Management, He leads on the areas of Design Management and Sustainable design on this programme. He has supervised numerous Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) projects and his present research activities include economic development through the use of creative industries as a driver for new products and services. Prior to joining GCU he directed a number of large-scale design-led economic development projects resulting in the development of over 200 products. His PhD entitled ‘Design as an Economic Development Enabler’ considers the in-depth role that design can play in Economic Development at a Company, Regional, National and International level.


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