Week 9: Challenge

The Challenge

  • Create an information graphic, or diagram, or animation that, for you, highlights the effective definition and process of a being a design entrepreneur today.
  • Upload your diagram to the Ideas Wall and discuss the pros and cons of how risk, failure and innovation is built into a model for business success;
  • What is the impact of different cultural insights with regard to opportunity and potential?


(GUNES, 2012)

The traditional design process has the designer working for a client, who holds the problem, to find a solution that fits the client’s specification. This holds some advantages for the designer because it allows them to practise their design skills and concentrate on the creative side of problem-solving. All the other tasks of positioning, financing, managing and marketing fall under the responsibility of the client, thus freeing the designer of the hindrance. However, the lack of responsibility is also a lack of power: the designer does not have any control other than what they have been briefed to do.

The situation I have described above is where design entrepreneurship comes in. It allows the designer to take control and assume responsibility for the full breadth of the project and provides a more holistic experience for those involved.

Design entrepreneurship projects are initiated for a number of reasons, as a student creating a self-initiated project giving themselves the voice of an imaginary client and their response to best show their skills, an experienced designer following an idea outside of their usual briefs or as a conscious decision of a company to embark on these ventures. It could be any combination of these situations and people, however, the common element is that the business skills are undertaken by the designer in addition to the creative tasks.

I would imagine that the process of developing a design entrepreneurship project (DEP) take on a very similar timeline to any other project, however, the tasks are completed by the same person or company.

First, the idea has to be conceived: the designer has the chance to use their own knowledge of their world to empathise with an audience and build a project around that. It gives them the power to draw boundaries of the project and lead in the development.

At the same time, the designer has to manage the financing, product planning, positioning and marketing, which are skills they might not have had to consider in a pure design role. However, these skills are essential to design entrepreneurship and requires the designer to gain additional skills adjacent to their project and thoroughly connect to the world in which their project is being launched. It challenged the designer to place their project in context and make the executive decisions over such balances such as quality vs cost.

The knowledge gained in producing design entrepreneurship projects will enable the designer to work with new perspective as they understand the cogs working around them.

There does remain the question of authorship if a DEP is undertaken by a company or studio. Does the project have to be under the remit of one person, or can responsibility be shared in a company?

With regards to cultural insights and how they can impact opportunity and potential, I think cultural insights could either help or hinder a project. For a designer to come in with fresh eyes might invigorate a situation because they are able to see the issue from a different perspective. This could lead to startling and innovative solutions that would otherwise not have been conceived due to ‘situation blindness’. On the other hand, knowledge of the situation means that the designer can apply an appropriate solution well.


I’ve been thinking about how to represent design entrepreneurship in an easy way, that’s also novel. I don’t want to spend too much time on this week so I can concentrate on the larger project for Brief 3. When the week’s challenge mentions animation I thought oooooooooh what can I do, knowing I can complicate things easily.

Spending some time this evening to practise After Effects following a Domestika course has led to this:


I imagine creative skills and business skills being on two different sides, or axis, fundamentally different but coming together. I see this as weaving fabric. In a traditional design brief, the client forms the warp (vertical) to provide the structure whilst the designer is the weave, (horizontal), making the pattern:

from Wikipedia
Lego man evolution

Or I like the idea of putting together an entrepreneur and a designer forming different lego figures from blocks and putting them together to create a mega figure called the design entrepreneur.


Or thinking of design entrepreneurship as three different corners to form a triangle, all essential in order to be a DE.

Or reinventing the wheel in a new combination?

Final Outcome



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