Not Signed-In
Which clippings match 'Clear Objectives' keyword pg.1 of 1
02 JANUARY 2013

Facing ambiguity differently across design, business and technology

"team[s] of students of mixed disciplines worked together to understand and map a problem–space (identified by the client). They then defined a solution–space before focussing on a particular opportunity outcome. The range of projects included incremental innovation opportunities represented by the Lego and Hasbro projects through radical Philips work to truly disruptive work with Unilever. The studies confirmed stereotypical view points of how different disciplines may behave. They showed that design students were more (but not completely) comfortable with the ambiguous aspects associated with 'phase zero' problem–space exploration and early stage idea generation. They would only commit to a solution when time pressures dictated that this was essential in order to complete the project deliverables on time and they were happy to experiment with, and develop, new methods without a clear objective in mind. In contrast, the business students were uncomfortable with this ambiguity and were more readily able to come to terms with incremental innovation projects where a systematic approach could be directly linked to an end goal. The technologists, were more comfortable with the notion of the ambiguous approach leading to more radical innovation, but needed to wrap this in an analytical process that grounded experimentation. Meanwhile, the designers were unclear and unprepared to be precise when it came to committing to a business model. "

(Mark Bailey, 2010, p.42)

Bailey, M. (2010). "Working at the Edges". Networks, Art Design Media Subject Centre (ADM–HEA). Autumn 2010.



2007ADM-HEAambiguityambiguity and uncertainty • ambiguous approach • analytical processapproaches to ambiguitybusinessbusiness modelclear objectivesclient needscollaboration • core competency • Cox Reviewdecision making • design outcome • design teamsdesign thinkingdisciplinary culturesdisciplinary knowledge • disruptive work • Dorothy Leonard-Barton • end goal • grounded experimentation • Hasbro • idea generationincremental innovationinnovation practice skillsinterdisciplinarityinterpretive perspective • learning cultures • LEGO • multidisciplinary design • multidisciplinary teamsNorthumbria Universityopen-ended process • pedagogical cultures • phase zero • Philips Researchproblem-solvingproblem-solving • problem-space • project deliverablesproject teamsradical innovationrequirements gatheringsolution-space • sub-disciplinary specialisation • systematic approach • T-shaped individuals • T-shaped people • T-shaped skillsthinking stylesUnileverworking methodsworking practices


Simon Perkins
11 NOVEMBER 2012

Design Guides for Business: Writing a design brief

"A brief is basically a set of instructions that set out what you want your designers to do, along with the objectives and parameters of the design project.

It should make clear what falls within – and outside – the scope of the work. This will help everybody refer back to where they started and make sure that the design work is developing according to your objectives.

It will also help you determine how successful the project has been when you reach the end. ...

Unfortunately, all too often briefs are agreed verbally – but a well–considered brief can act as a general grounding document if the project appears to be heading in the wrong direction, so it's well worth putting something in writing.

And remember, the brief isn't carved in stone; it can be adapted as you go along, as long as it's done in collaboration with everyone involved and the new version is also written down."

(Design Council, UK)


Simon Perkins

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