The Korea Herald is publishing an interview series on some of the world’s most creative minds who are invited to Korea to share their design philosophies and vision during the Herald Design Week 2013, Oct. 7-11. ― Ed.
|Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO. (Herald Design Week)|
Design is no longer just about enhancing the aesthetic qualities of products, but it can be applied to every level of an organization, product or service to achieve innovation and efficiency. Tim Brown, CEO of international design consulting firm IDEO, is a leader of this new approach to design ― design thinking.
Brown and his team have made positive impacts on many of the business organizations they worked with: they helped Bank of America attract more customers and create new account openings and with Air New Zealand, they changed the whole airline experience by redesigning the airline’s equipment and services.
Brown, who has also demonstrated his design thinking through projects with Korean companies such as Hyundai Card and Cheil Industries, is invited to talk about his design thinking at the Herald Design Forum held during the Herald Design Week from Oct. 7-11. Before his visit, he shared the value of design thinking and innovation in an email interview with The Korea Herald.
KH: What is design thinking?
Brown: In business, design thinking can be described as an approach that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and with what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.
KH: Where do you get your inspiration from?
Brown: Changing context is one of the best ways to encourage new ideas. Travel helps. Studying how people think about money in a different culture, for instance, gives me inspiration not only about that place but also the meaning of money in our own society. In Asia the concept of the extended family influences how people think about saving and spending. Spending time in Asia gives me new ideas about better services that could be developed.
KH: How do you keep your company constantly innovating?
Brown: At IDEO we think our culture has been the single most important facet of our success. Traditional creative organizations can be very hierarchical, but they have difficulty scaling, especially if these organizations aspire to work on a diverse range of projects. We have tried to create an organizational culture where every person is comfortable taking risks and exploring new ideas, but where they are also focused on improving the quality of each other’s ideas.
KH: What types of problems do you see design tackling in the future?
Brown: I hope to see design tackling challenges that concern life’s most basic needs. For example, I’d like to see designers approaching questions like, “How might we design our cities to be safe, productive, and sustainable places to inhabit?” “How might we feed, clothe, educate, and give shelter to the more than 3 billion people who live on less than $2.50 a day?” and “How might we create a sustainable balance between the needs of 9 billion people and the productive capacity of the planet?”
KH: What’s the message you’d like to deliver at the Herald Design Forum ?
Brown: As the world changes so design changes. We are living in unprecedented times of financial, technological, social and environmental disruption. The practice of design will be different in the 21st century as it responds to these changes.
By Lee Woo-young (firstname.lastname@example.org