A systems approach to design innovation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


How exactly can interdisciplinarity in the field of design be a lever for innovation? Where exactly might innovation be situated in interdisciplinary design? I address these questions by, first, de-constructing the terms ‘design’ and ‘innovation’ to expose their roots in science and art. I then identify patterns across science and art which can be applied to an expanded practice of interdisciplinary design, locating innovation in the connections between these disciplines. I then abstract these into design principles focused around practice- based research, providing illustrative case studies. The methodology for addressing the above questions draws from systems thinking combined with artistic research. Key findings emerging from our work include the construction of new ways of using and theorising information in design practice; the importance of embodied, multisensory experience in design processes and outcomes; and new methods of data collection and analysis combining multiple perspectives. These can roughly be grouped under a systems approach. The main contributions of this research are therefore in methodological innovation, and in an emerging set of design principles based on a systems approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTo Get There: Designing Together
Subtitle of host publicationCumulus Conference Proceedings 2018
EditorsLuisa Collina, Claire Brunet
Place of PublicationParis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978­2­9565440­0­5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2019
EventCumulus Conference 2018: To Get There: Designing Together - Various, Paris, France
Duration: 11 Apr 201813 Apr 2018


ConferenceCumulus Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleCumulus Conference
Internet address


  • design
  • innovation
  • systems
  • fiction
  • art
  • science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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