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Formernas liv i designföretaget: Om design och design management som konst
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Business. (Konst och företag)
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The life of forms in the design company : On design and design management as art (English)
Abstract [en]

Design management has become strongly associated with strategic management of creative resources or immaterial assets within the creative economy. It is a development that has involved a growing interest in the way innovative and aesthetically oriented design companies use design as a resource. They constitute a category of companies that claim to represent a unique way of looking upon design itself and also a more intuitive and entrepreneurial design management philosophy.

The research concerns Swedish so-called “radical design innovators” who are active in the furniture and interior decoration industry. The study is based on in-depth interviews with leaders, and the aim has been to gain greater insight into how they look upon design as a resource. The study was done from an art point of view. Since design management, due to its alliance with creative economy, has incorporated aspects traditionally associated with the artistic sphere, the aim of the study has also been to improve our theoretical understanding of how art broadens the way by which design is looked upon as a creative resource.

Art is represented by Henri Focillon and his notion of “form as life”. Art is understood as something that belongs to knowledge and reality directly at a basic level. The study shows that the design leaders perceive design-form as a poetic image, i.e. as a “lived” quality that escapes verbal definition as it appears as a movement in space, matter, mind, and time. It also shows how their intuitive design management philosophy can only be understood if we look upon design as an artistic process, i.e. a process based on the dynamic relationship between seeing, doing, and bodily being-in-the-world. To sum up the study shows the importance of conceptualizing radical design innovators as aesthetic actors - and not only as innovative ones - if we are to achieve a fuller understanding of where their creative potential resides.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm : Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet , 2009. , 310 p.
Keyword [en]
design management, art, aesthetics, Focillon, form as life, creativity, visual quality, visual thinking, experiential knowledge, radical design innovators
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-26757ISBN: 978-91-7155-845-9OAI: diva2:211834
Public defence
2009-05-28, Philipssalen, hus 3, Kräftriket, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-05-07 Created: 2009-04-13 Last updated: 2009-04-20Bibliographically approved

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