What is the difference between Design and strategic design?

I asked myself the same question some time ago. So i joined a training course working on strategic design. Giving me some backgrounds and tips and tricks on how to handle strategic design project.

First lets have a look on a typical design project.

In innovation and design you normally choose a problem to be solved or a product to be developed. You do some research to gain some backgrounds then define your statement and then develop your solution. You can follow the Design Thinking process of you like. This will result in a possible solution or prototype for your defind problem. If you have a prototype you can check if you want to place your new product onto the market.

But what to do if your solution will have much broader effect on your company and the business model. Maybe a fully new direction you want to go. Or redefine the way your company works at all. This is where strategic design is taking place.

Open up your project into a larger organisation

This project cannot or should not be seen as a classic innovation project in your company. A more strategic approach is required. A strategic design project will also cover a lot topics around the development project itself. Including stakeholders and management personal as well.

In the course a three step process has been introduced covering the pre phase, the development phase and the production hand over. Every step consists of several steps and tools to cover every important step in the project handling. As one of the most important topics the communication and onboarding of all stakeholdersm has been mentioned. Including all important teams and management members can be key to have success in your project.


As a summary. Strategic design projects are strategy or game changing projects in your organisation. Can also consist of several design chellanges and will affect wide areas in your organisations. Breaking up a team into larger formations of teams, stakeholder and responsibles. Also have a larger livetime until the project will be finished.










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