When you hear the word "design," what do you think of? Interior design? Graphics? In the current business environment, design is much more than having a sense of where to put the furniture. For today's business leaders, design is an integral part of product development, office organization and corporate identity. Successful companies use design as a management tool to forge and cement customer relationships.
Design means different things to different people. According to James Houghton, chairman of Corning Glass, design is everything that goes into the portrayal of the company. It is products, innovation, communications, graphics, architecture, advertising, corporate identity, leadership and more. The importance of good design is stressed at Corning, with a corporate philosophy of design guiding every activity.
In corporations like IBM, Philips, Cummins, Sony, and Citicorp, to name but a few, design is a corporate resource managed from the top. For these companies, design management is more than merely having a design department or using design consultants. Rather, the design of products, services, communications and environments is strategically coordinated across departmental boundaries and is key to competitive differentiation. They understand the need for integration of design with corporate strategy, competitive products, brand globalization, and the marketplace.
The broad scope of design includes architecture and landscape architecture, product and service design, the graphic design of corporate communications (from forms to packaging and merchandising displays), and interior design - extending into facility management and office organization. This design spectrum must address performance, quality, durability, appearance and cost in each arena.