In September 2013, after successfully defending my Ph.D. dissertation, “Perceptive Qualities in Systems of Interactive Products,” I moved from the academic environment of the Eindhoven University of Technology to Philips Design. At Philips I work in the Design Research and Innovation group, where I am mainly involved in design innovation and strategy processes—an interesting move after finishing a rather theoretical Ph.D. on designing for product behavior and intelligent systems. In this role I get a chance to further investigate what designing for complex, intelligent systems means in a corporate environment.
Rethinking Value in a Changing Landscape: A Model for Strategic Reflection and Business Transformation (Reon Brand and Simona Rocchi, 2011) Making Sense of the Chaos: From Data Mining to Data Meaning (Philips Design, 2012) Within Philips, digital innovation and designing for product-service systems is an important point of focus. In this respect, Philips Design has published several interesting papers that I would recommend reading. These two are particularly relevant to designing for product-service systems. In my current projects I heavily build upon the learnings and insights derived from these papers.
Designing Smart Textile Services through Value Networks, Team Mental Models and Shared Ownership (Martijn ten Bhömer et al., 2012) Setting the Stage for the Design of Highly Interactive Systems (Joep Frens and Kees Overbeeke, 2009) From Collection to Reflection – On Designing Freed, a Tool for Free and Flexible Organization of Designers’ Digital Work (Philip Mendels, 2013) In my work at Philips I often refer to various works of my former colleagues from the Designing Quality in Interaction research group. Bhömer et al. gives strong clues on how to facilitate the co-creation of product-service systems in a multi-stakeholder setting. Frens and Overbeeke clearly articulate characteristics of highly interactive systems and the design skills needed to design for them. Mendels is very relevant to my work, as we are looking for ways to deal with ever-growing collections of data and analyzing them, respecting the skill of our people researchers who collect and deal with this data.
Designing for Adaptive Lighting Environments: Embracing Complexity in Designing for Systems (Remco Magielse, 2014) Magielse’s doctoral dissertation is very informative on how to design for complexity, openness, and growth, a question I think is at the core of designing product-service systems. This work naturally informs the various connected-lighting projects we run.
Magielse’s doctoral dissertation is very informative on how to design for complexity, openness, and growth.
Innovation Paradigms: How Design Needs to Evolve to Deliver Value (Paul Gardien et al., 2014) Last, I would recommend keeping an eye for this to-be-published (August 2014) collaborative work between my former and new colleagues in the International Journal of Design. This work deepens the story of Rocchi and Brand mentioned earlier, placing it in design history and especially providing insights into the tools and skills we need to develop to respond to the challenges and opportunities brought by new economic paradigms.
Eva Deckers is a consultant in the Design Research and Innovation Group and domain lead for the Parents & Kids Experience Domain at Philips Design.
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