Designing Business: Injecting and Connecting Business Frameworks into Undergraduate Product Design Education

By Shea Tillman.

Published by The Design Collection

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

As creative problem solving and decision making is increasingly being used to fuel innovation within corporations, it is has become more important than ever for designers to grasp the business parameters in which their design solutions will be serving. While the value of design and the visibility of the design profession have risen within the ranks of the business world in the last decade, integrating a holistic business approach within an educational design program has become increasingly problematic. Core curricula expansions, the longer duration of academic terms, and the ever-increasing need to expand the design curricula offerings have contributed to reductions of specialized business courses within undergraduate design programs. Thus enters the concept of the business expansion studio. This interdisciplinary studio course shifts the efforts of student creativity toward developing a sub-branded product expansion for an existing company, complete with the visual components required to launch the idea. Students formulate and design business strategies, brand names, visual identities, packaging, point-of-purchase, and tradeshow exhibit concepts that become an outgrowth of their unique product expansion idea. This paper will explore and demonstrate how business strategy and marketing principles can be used as a creative framework within the educational design studio making creative projects more relevant while better equipping students for the business world. Specific examples of approaches integrated into a 3rd year product design studio course will be illustrated.

Keywords: Branding, Industrial Design, Product Design, Packaging Design

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.53-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.060MB).

Shea Tillman

Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Design, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama, USA

Shea Tillman is an Assistant Professor teaching industrial design studios and coursework within the Department of Industrial Design at Auburn University. Shea holds a Bachelor of Industrial Design from Auburn University and Master of Arts in design from The Ohio State University. His research interests include the integration and communication of user research into the product development process, as well as the role of brand in developing product family form language.


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