The Design, Organisation and Strategy (DOS) department is a leading research environment that explores the influence of strategic design within organizations and societal transitions.
Our work involves shaping organizations and transitions by developing specialized design methods, tools, and guidelines, as well as supporting entrepreneurship. DOS has embraced new technologies and focuses on areas such as service design and system innovation. Strategic design combines design thinking and business strategy to find innovative solutions that meet user needs, business objectives, and consider broader social and environmental impacts.
With over 20 years of experience, the DOS department has been actively advancing strategic design in product and service innovation within organizations. In recent years, we have expanded their focus to include societal transitions, specifically in sustainability, health, and mobility. Our research projects cover areas such as the circular economy, digital healthcare systems, and sustainable mobility. This expanded focus complements their existing expertise in marketing, consumer research, and design methods, and incorporates system design, organization design, and business model design into our work.
Our mission is to study the potential and influence of strategic design within organisations and societal transitions as well as our ability to shape these organisations and transitions. In our research projects, we develop, test, and apply strategic design theories and methods and contribute to theoretical knowledge in adjacent domains such as organisation design, innovation management, marketing, consumer behaviour, sustainability, and health.
Strategic design within organisations and ecosystemsOur investigations into the role of strategic design within organizations have emphasized innovation practices and their connection to societal transitions. These transitions involve diverse stakeholders and necessitate radical changes in ecosystems. Our research has delved into topics like systemic design, design leadership, design identity, design for values, and design entrepreneurship, providing valuable insights for external visitors seeking knowledge in these areas.
Strategies for sustainable innovationTo aim at a sustainable society, we have investigated and developed strategies to successfully implement sustainable innovations for transitioning to a Circular Economy. We have focused on the role of design for encouraging consumer adoption of sustainable innovations as well as for steering the desired (circular) behaviours when interacting with such products and services. Furthermore, we explored how organisations should market these innovations, by investigating sustainable business models and circular eco-system innovation.
Design methods and practicesResearch on design methods and practices in the last period has explored how AI is producing new practices of design (design intelligence) along with new approaches to creative behaviour, service design, and system innovation. These new approaches aim to achieve a complete picture on these important developments by taking cognitive, collaborative, organisational, and system perspectives.
In addition to research collaborations within our department, we also work actively together with researchers from the other departments in both formal and informal ways. We have done so by establishing collaborative Delft Design labs (e.g., the CardioLab and Connected Creativity Lab, as seen below), the Product Evaluatie Laboratorium (PEL), amongst others.
PROMPTThe Horizon 2020 PROMPT project tackles environmental issues related to electronic product consumption by combating premature obsolescence and promoting a Circular Economy. It develops an independent testing program in collaboration with research institutes, consumer associations, and repair institutes to extend product lifetimes and reduce negative environmental impact. The project's scientific contributions, policy influence, and engagement with stakeholders highlight its efforts to promote sustainability and resource conservation while raising awareness and shaping consumer behaviour.
Forging Resilient DesignersThis project tackles the research gap in design education by developing pedagogical advancements to foster meta-cognitive reflection and resilience among design students. The project generates ten principles for designer resilience and provides accessible learning activities and materials through an open-access website. Its impact extends globally through replication of the "graduation community program" and adoption by international partners, contributing to the advancement of design education and the promotion of sustainable and impactful design practices.
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