The importance of design in business has also raised interest in the academic world. Different research projects reveal the value design for companies, independent of their size or field of activities. Academic research also creates credibility and relevance for businesses to utilize design in their R&D&I work.
Aalto University has two ongoing projects diving into the world of design.
Aalto Design Factory leads a research project on Design Return of Investment (ROI) with the aim to increase understanding the impact of design on business. It handles questions like how and to what extent does design affect the level of competitiveness of a business or how much different design efforts add value to business. Additionally, the research focuses on ways to measure the added value and how to communicate these issues to stakeholders. The research is expected to finish in autumn 2012, during Helsinki’s World Design Capital year.
Another research project, Employment of Design Strategies, is managed by Aalto University’s International Design Business Management program. The project analyzes the practices and structures of design management in selected companies on both organizational and process level, and by doing so aims to open new insights into strategic use of design in business. Results are expected to be ready by next summer.