Model to Support the Creation and Management of an Internal Design Structure in Engineering-based Organisations


The expansion of experience design has led many non-design-oriented companies to form internal teams of designers to meet the needs of their clients, especially large engineering organizations. However, the value of design is still hard to grasp, and there are many challenges in creating and managing internal design structures within organizations whose core business is not design. This research focused on gaining a deeper understanding of the challenges and existing opportunities to create a model for supporting the creation and management of internal design structures in organizations. It promises to contribute to a better understanding of the value and impact of design in these organizations, with the aim of transforming the perception of the role of designers. A case study was conducted through interviews and questionnaires in an engineering consulting firm, which revealed that there is little investment, both financially and strategically, to promote design practices and management, and thus the value generated by collaboration between teams. Communication differences were highlighted as one of the main barriers, which could be overcome with closer collaboration between teams and by disseminating success stories throughout the organization. The conclusions of this study were organized into a model describing the journey of creating and managing an internal design structure in engineering organizations. It consists of four stages: creation of the unit, awareness, internal selling, and operationalization of the team. This model is intended to support engineering organizations that are interested in creating and/or developing a design team/structure to help them achieve their strategic goals


Sofia Dinis Esteves
Professor, IADE, Faculdade de Design, Tecnologia e Comunicação, Universidade Europeia, IADE, Faculdade de Design, Tecnologia e Comunicação, Lisboa, Portugal

Katia Amaro
Student, Masters, Universidade Europeia, Portugal


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design Management and Professional Practice