Spinning in helices: design and the question of value
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Whilst those who practice, research or teach in design are cognisant of the agency of the discipline and its effectiveness for situational change, potential commissioners or clients of design are still to be persuaded of its worth. A number of recent attempts to measure the effectiveness of design have helpfully reignited an interest in design’s value to commercial and societal interests, yet such models for evaluation are not unified to a point where different types of organisations – ranging from the commercially competitive to the socially motivated – can apply them to understand the value of particular design interventions. This paper develops a framework for analysis of the knowledge value of design to an organisation or society, building on the theoretical model of the quintuple helix and ‘modalities of knowledge’ respectively and then applies this analytical frame to ten design (research and practice) projects conducted over a twenty-four-month period. The paper concludes with recommendations on how such a framework – the Design Value Helix - may be developed for future analysis of design value for research, business and societal use.
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