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Strategic design is the application of future-oriented design principles in order to increase an organization’s innovative and competitive qualities. "Traditional definitions of design often focus on creating discrete solutions—be it a product, a building, or a service. Strategic design is about applying some of the principles of traditional design to "big picture" systemic challenges like health care, education, and climate change. It redefines how problems are approached, identifies opportunities for action, and helps deliver more complete and resilient solutions." 
Its foundations lie in the analysis of external and internal trends and data, which enables design decisions to be made on the basis of facts rather than aesthetics or intuition. As such it is regarded as an effective way to bridge innovation, research, management and design.
The discipline is mostly practiced by design agencies or by internal development departments. Businesses are the main consumers of strategic design, but the public, political and not-for-profit sectors are also making increasing use of the discipline.
Strategic design has become increasingly crucial in recent years, as businesses and organisations compete for a share of today’s global and fast-paced marketplace.
“To survive in today’s rapidly changing world, products and services must not only anticipate change, but drive it. Businesses that don’t will lose market share to those that do. There have been many examples of strategic design breakthroughs over the years and in an increasingly competitive global market with rapid product cycles, strategic design is becoming more important.”
Today's business environment calls for a leader who not only has sound analytical and business skills but is also able to think intuitively and look for creative solutions to business problems.
Globally and nationally there are a plethora of management programs that have created an army of learners who are strongly left brain oriented but tend to be undeveloped in the right brain hemisphere which works on synthesising information through intuitive thinking. The increasingly globalised business world needs leaders who are able to view the workplace holistically and develop an ability to ‘connect the dots’ in an effective and coherent manner. The current thinking in the management pedagogy has produced straight-jacketed managers who miss the view of the larger picture leading to leadership rigidity and absence of strategic thinking; hence stifling creativity; the foundation for the continued success and growth of business. The concept of design and design thinking has seen an upward surge in India due to the resurgent growth of design and a demand for students and professionals who can apply design thinking for both career development and exploring entrepreneurial opportunities. In a recent quote by R.Gopalkrishnan, (E.D.) at Tata Sons has said that ‘Future leaders are likely to use creativity more than analysis as a tool to shape their companies and manager their resources’.
The aim of Strategic Design is to encourage learners who are interested and passionate about ‘design thinking’ and would like to develop themselves as ‘Design Visionaries’ and align their learning with the strategic goals of the organization. The learners in Strategic Design will have a unique opportunity to develop this thinking through a cross – discipline program by interacting with academicians and industry professionals and will be introduced to the elements of design and management for strategic thinking.
- Design management
- Design methods
- Design thinking
- Industrial design
- Instructional design
- Product design
- Service design
- User centered design
- The Design of Business
- Strategic design as described by Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO
- Definition of strategic design by INDEX:
- Strategic Design For Business Program at MIT ID
- Strategic Design Management at NID
- Helsinki Design Lab
- Strategic Design Master at the design akademie berlin
- Strategic Innovation Lab
- Social Innovation Generation, generation de l'innovation sociale