Design Culture Approaches to Industry 4.0 Challenges: Directions for Future Research


The paper proposes directions for future research into how Design Culture Approaches can be used to address the challenges posed by Industry 4.0. traditional industry management frameworks, such as Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, DMAIC, and PDCA, were successfully applied in ordered domains. However, the introduction of Industry 4.0 and its exponential technological progressions have shifted the manufacturing industry into a complex domain, causing significant challenges in employee engagement. Designers have been mastering complex domains, so the paper argues that Design Culture Approaches are well-positioned to address these challenges. A threefold method was adopted for exploring the interplay between design culture and Industry 4.0. First, a review was conducted about industry 4.0 challenges on the shop floor, traditional industry management, digital transformation and innovation, agile and startup management, culture, and design practices. Second, Cynefin Framework was applied to understand these challenges’ domains. Third, the result was discussed against the challenges and methods, analyzing the content’s outcomes from thematic analysis to understand if Human-Centered Design approaches have the potential to address the industry 4.0 challenges. The results suggest that Design Culture Approaches are appropriate to solve the 4.0 Challenge. Both are positioned in Complex Domains according to the Cynefin Framework with a substantial impact on people engagement. However, this hypothesis needs to be explored further because there is a lack of literature on applying Design Culture in industry management, particularly on the shop floor.


Pedro Gomide
Student, Ph.D. Candidate, IADE - Universidade Europeia, Lisboa, Portugal

Rui Patricio
Researcher, UNIDCOM, IADE, Lisbon, Portugal

Sara Gancho
Assistant Professor, Universidade Europeia, IADE, Faculdade de Design, Tecnologia e Comunicação, UNIDCOM/IADE, Unidade de Investigação em Design e Comunicação, Lisboa, Portugal


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design Management and Professional Practice