/design & innovation against poverty/

How will we shop in 2025?

Category : #FutureThroughDesign / PhD project · by Feb 4th, 2016

The design of a Vision Concept to explore the future of Solutions Group

  • Problem owner: Solutions Group
  • Process owners: design students: Jette Bloemberg, Elisa Engelsma, Francesca Zuurhout, Eva Oosterlaken, Maite Gieskes, and Jamie Ongkiehong (Honors Program Bachelor of Industrial Design Engineering – PO3 – TU Delft); and design coach: Ricardo Mejia (ID Studiolab, TUDelft).
  • Place & Date: The Netherlands, January 2016.


Solutions Group is a Colombian company that design, produce, and install point-of-purchase advertising displays. With 13 years in the market, providing more than 150 jobs, the company has been essential for the economic and social development of Funza, a small town near to Bogota, Colombia, where its facilities are located.

As many other SMEs, Solutions Group is facing a constant dilemma, it has to act according to the current situation and need to be ready for the future. Cornella (2013) claims that organizations have two primary needs, exploiting old ideas to survive in the present, and exploring new ideas to have opportunities in the future. But, SMEs focus almost exclusively on short-term problems (French and Bell, 1990), and they do not have enough skills to explore the future (French and Bell, 1990; and Cornella, 2013). As a result, SMEs have less potential for innovation and competitiveness.

To solve this concern and based on the outcome of an inquiry into Vision Concepts (e.g. Concept Cars) as a speculative design technique in large corporations, I developed DIVE. It is a toolkit that can be used by designers to support innovation in SMEs and then mix their capabilities of exploiting and exploring, to be efficient now and competitive in the future, adequately.

The honours-students, working in two groups, have identified context factors, envisioned an image of the future, defined a strategic direction, created a Vision Concept and made a prototype and a video to communicate this concept to significant stakeholders.

The goal of this project is to design a Vision Concept to explore a preferable future of the shopping experience, which can inspire new ideas for Solutions Group.

Method: DIVE, vision concepts as a design-led technique

DIVE is a tailored toolkit that supports designers through the design of Vision Concepts with businesspeople who run SMEs, helping them to innovate. DIVE displays an agile, inexpensive, and hands-on design-led technique to explore and communicate a preferable future. The diagram and table below present a summary of the five steps of the technique.

You can download DIVE here


The two groups developed two complementary concepts, (i) the Real Experience, and (ii) the Experience Box, both focus on the value of the customer experience in 2025.

Here you can find a short report of each case:
(i) the Real Experience
(ii) the Experience Box

The real experience

The experience box

Javier Ricardo Mejia Sarmiento