Throughout my career I have worked in different innovation environments, from technical invention, to research and development management and design innovation. I began working in technical invention spanning a range of industries including food, agriculture, energy and medical devices before moving into university research and development engagement and strategy. My current role draws on a range of innovation methods, particularly design innovation, to both better frame challenges to enable industry growth and to efficiently these strategies.
I work in the Design Innovation research centre at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) running the sector innovation program. My role focuses on the application of Design-Led Innovation methodologies developed within the centre to develop sustainable growth strategies through design.
Peppou, G., Bucolo, S. & Thurgood, C. 2016, 'Designing competitive industry sectors', Proceedings of the 20th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference: Design Research Meets Design Practice at the Inflection Point, Academic Design Management Conference, Design Management Institute, Boston, USA, pp. 348-368.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Industry sectors are typified by their complex, networked and open nature; characteristics making them well suited to innovation through the application of design. In spite of this apparent suitability there remains little research published specifically regarding the application of design to sector-level strategy formation. In response to this apparent suitability of design, a Design-Led Innovation (DLI) (Bucolo, 2016) approach was modified to scale to a sector. DLI is a design thinking method that integrates deep customer insights into business models informing organisational transformation and strategy. This paper explores the adaptations and challenges that occur when scaling design to a sector in the form of a proposed framework: The Sector Grand Challenge Framework (SGC Framework). This is described through a case study applying the SGC Framework to the development of a Food and Agribusiness (Agrifood) growth and competitiveness strategy in partnership with Food Innovation Australia Limited (FIAL), an Australian Federal Government Industry Growth Centres initiative. The SGC Framework uses many of the same principles as DLI, scaling from successful applications to small and large firms to an entire industry sector. This scale exacerbates key challenges observed within a firm including: poor linkages between groups, large, complex stakeholder networks, and lack of unifying purpose or vision. Based on this initial experience there is a significant opportunity for future research both into the new value created by a Design-Led approach to sector level challenges and the implications for design as a field.
Thurgood, C., O'Donnell, M., Peppou, G., Lulham, R. & Bucolo, S. 2016, 'A Tool to Bridge Design Innovation Research and Practice: The Project Experience Map', Proceedings of the 20th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference: Design Research Meets Design Practice at the Inflection Point, Academic Design Management Conference, Design Management Institute, Boston, USA, pp. 1486-1502.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Design is reaching out to business and society as an approach to innovation. Consequently, there is a need for collaboration between research and practice: if we want to assure quality of design practices and to build knowledge in these new domains, we need to be able to conduct research into their application and trace these processes as they fold through longitudinal research. The outcomes from these collaborations are often documented in formal reports on other deliverables for partner organisations, and scholarly publications for the researcher; however, the speed and nature of design projects and research processes means critical learnings and opportunities for new knowledge are often lost. Thus, there exists a need for high quality, reliable knowledge capture and transfer methods for the establishment of design practice and research in these new domains. In this paper we offer a new tool, the Project Experience Map (PEM), to assist in this process. The PEM shares the visual layout and principles of an existing design tool, the customer journey map; however, instead of depicting the story of a customer interacting with an organisation, we argue that the PEM can be put to an entirely different use: collating data and insights from design projects.