Our Value As Creative Integrators

Paul Stoutjesdijk & Michiel Wolters –

We collaborate in an iterative process to gain insights among a discipline diversity. Thereby we develop concepts that are the foundation on which a strong relation between the company’s vision and society can be built.


The profession of a designer carries a broad set of activities. It has evolved from being a styling artist at the very end of the process, to a role that intercommunicates with a high discipline diversity.

To understand and speak the language of these disciplines, a designer needs to have the different capabilities to inform but also to get informed by these disciplines. It is the role of the designer to seek for opportunities to gain, filter and combine these information flows to create new insights that translate the company’s vision into meaningful and innovative products.

This explanation can be seen as the constant switch in a design process between a convergent and a divergent approach.

“This study shows that divergent thinking, considered the general process underlying creative production, can be distinguished from convergent, analytical thought based on the dimensional complexity of ongoing electroencephalographic (EEG) activity”- Mölle M., Marshall L., Lutzenberger W., Pietrowsky R., L. Fehm H., Born J. (1996)[1]

In the convergent approach a designers role can be very analytical using a funnel model for research based decisions, structuring information and filter insights. On the other hand in the divergent approach a designer has to gain as much related information as possible, within the time span. Finding valuable resources, embrace input and looking through the eyes of a user highlights the importance of a broad perspective.
In our study we both have created a natural tendency to look in broad perspectives. Because we are trained by a self directed learning construction we have created an eager but more important the ability to quickly abstract questions and assignments by iteratively envisioning, concretizing, analyzing and validating different aspects and directions. [2]

Our personal explaining qualities both in visual and tangible form give us the strength to guide ourselves and others in this iterative process. This ability is extended with a skill wherein we like to conduct social and cultural observations and apply our knowledge to turn these observations into predictions and products, thereby creating proposals which match and transform the needs of societies and cultural communities. By applying and translating knowledge as a prediction we go beyond existing needs and create new meanings as a base for innovation. [2,3]
Our approach of creation develops from research, experimentations[4], and gaining insights by exploring systematically [2]with a creative way of thinking, into visions that evolve into highly innovative ideas and concepts.
We have a technology awareness based attitude that enables us to determine the technical and economic feasibility of a design wherein our own integration of technology works as an explanation and a tool to communicate with engineers. As in the idea where the ideastorming project is arised from.

Concept Design of Future Products, is a research project funded by the National Science Council (NSC) of Taiwan. The goal of this project is to encourage cross-disciplinary cooperation between design and engineering researchers, and to develop design innovation abilities.” -Lin-Lin Chen (2006-2011)[5]

So we focus on the cross-disciplinary cooperation between design and engineering to introduce technologies into traditional crafts and cultural products. We strive to be the best in design instead of being an emulation of other disciplines.[6] Thereby our positive approach emphasizes new meaningful measures and proposals that encourage everyone to excel.

We are driven to create products that are of high importance in the users environments. Our products have to stay helpful over time but do not take over daily habits or replace actions of the user. People still have to think about what they are doing. We create, by enjoying designing with a positive and optimistic attitude and a smile on our face, designs that radiate and cause pleasant experiences.

Our function is to work as a creative integrator* between a diversity of disciplines on one hand and the companies vision on the other hand.

*“The within groups analysis of the data suggests that while emerges and non-lean manufacturers use industrial design to focus on quality, lean manufactures seem to recognize that industrial design can be used to provide competitive advantage in other areas and focus on increasing market share and increasing the perceived product value”- Bohemia, E. (2002).[7]

Thereby we collaborate, abstract, brainstorm, analyze, explore, involve and inspire in an iterative process to gain new insights among these disciplines. Out of this we develop concepts that act as the foundation on which a strong relation between the company’s vision and society in the form of an innovative product can be build.

Paul Stoutjesdijk & Michiel Wolters

[1] Mölle M., Marshall L., Lutzenberger W., Pietrowsky R., L. Fehm H., Born J., Enhanced dynamic complexity in the human EEG during creative thinking 208, 61-74, Elsevier Ireland Ltd. (1996)

[2] Hummels, C. and Vinke, D. Eindhoven Design Volume Two: Developing the Competency of Designing Intelligent Systems (2009).

[3] Verganti, R., Design-Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean. Harvard Business School Publishing Corporation, USA, (2009.)

[4] Lawson, B., How Designers Think: The Design Process Demystified (first published 1980; fourth edition 2005)

[5] Chen, L.-L., Ideastorming, NSC Concept Design of Future Products (2006-2011), Taiwan.

[6] Chen, L.-L., Presentation: Positioning Design in Academia. (2011), TU Delft

[7] Bohemia, E. Designer as integrator: Reality or rhetoric? The Design Journal, 5 (2), 23-34. (2002).

One comment

  1. Pingback: Creative Integrator Framework; creating a common language | The Strategic Value of Design

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