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Vision concepts, a design-led futures technique, for SMEs

Category : #FutureThroughDesign / PhD project · by Feb 22nd, 2017

Siga el link para ver un video explicativo en español – Another video (in Spanish) following this link.

Over the last few decades, design has gained a prominent strategic position. Organizations have started to look at design as a process, which adds value to the front end of innovation (Verganti, 2009). As a process, Deserti (2011) distinguishes between situational and visionary design. The latter, also known as design-led futures, is a form of design, interested in ideas and not just products (Dunne & Raby, 2011), which experiment on speculative futures (Auger, 2012) to stimulate radical innovation. Prototypical examples are concept cars, traditionally used to guide automakers through change.

Small and medium-sized enterprises have lagged behind in applying design (De Lille, 2014), especially in nontraditional forms, e.g. design-led futures, largely because there are no established methods to facilitate their implementation. We propose a tailor-made, design-led futures technique that assists designers through developing vision concepts for SMEs (Mejia Sarmiento, Pasman, Hultink, & Stappers, 2017), called DIVE. It builds on our inquiries on vision concepts in large corporations (Mejia Sarmiento, Hultink, Pasman, & Stappers, 2016).

More on this project here.


  • Auger, J. (2012). Why robot?: speculative design, the domestication of technology and the considered future.
  • Mejia Sarmiento, J. R., Hultink, E. J., Pasman, G., & Stappers, P. J. (2016). Concept Cars as a design-led futures technique. In Proceedings of the 23rd Innovation and Product Development Management Conference (Vol. 1, pp. 1–21). Glasgow, U.K. Retrieved from http://jrms.pktweb.com/?p=3583
  • Mejia Sarmiento, J. R., Pasman, G., Hultink, E. J., & Stappers, P. J. (2017). Preliminary lessons from DIVE, a design-led futures technique for SMEs. In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Anticipation. London, U.K.
  • De Lille, C. S. H. (2014). UCD4SME: Small to Medium-sized Enterprises involving their users and clients for product innovation.
  • Deserti, A. (2011). Mappe e Strumenti perl’Advanced Design. In In M. Celi (ed.), Advanced Design. Visioni, Percorsi e Strumenti per Predisporsi all’Innovazione Continua (pp. 47-60). Milan, Italy: McGraw Hill.
  • Dunne, A., and Raby, F. (2013). Speculative everything: design, fiction, and social dreaming. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
  • Verganti, R. (2009). Design-driven innovation. Boston, MA.

Javier Ricardo Mejia Sarmiento


(1) Comment

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