The role of doing and making models with materials: Outlining “designerly and human-centred entrepreneurship”

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This paper seeks to demonstrate the central role of making and creating models in what we call “designerly and human-centred entrepreneurship”. We refer to empirics from studies of Danish entrepreneurs working on how to develop their businesses. In Drucker´s (2001) “Management Challenges for the 21st Century” he predicts the new paradigms of management will change and continue to change our basic assumptions about the practices and principles of management. One of the key influences is that of design. 10 years later Johansson & Woodilla argue there is a need for a paradigmatic widening within Design Management, since, if it stays within the current Functionalist paradigm, it is difficult or even impossible to embrace the ambiguous aspects of praxis-based design knowledge (Johansson & Woodilla, 2011). We believe this paper contributes to the more humanist and interpretive paradigm, by bringing forward examples from design research with entrepreneurs, clearly indicating the power of design processes in business. Our paper focuses specifically on how design processes, here defined as ‘reflective-conversation-with-materials’ (Bamberger & Schön, 1983), can act as strong ‘inner dialogues’ (Sørensen, 2011) about personal values in life and in business. Thus, our outline of ‘designerly and human-centred entrepreneursip’ builds on designerly ways of knowing (Cross,1982), Drucker’s idea about value clarification and self-management (2000), as well as Sheldon’s idea about ‘motivation’ (2012). We frame this within Goleman & Senge´s recent concept “The Triple Focus” - in this paper emphasizing the ‘inner focus’ (2013, 2014). We briefly refer to experiential and aesthetic learning experiences that leads not only to value clarification, but also to changes in the entrepreneurs’ self-awareness, values and identity. Thus we highlight, and suggest the current design management discourse to promote, the strong role design processes with materials can play in business modelling and entrepreneurship.
TitelTangible Means: Experiential Knowledge Through Materials : Conference Proceedings
RedaktørerAnne Louise Bang, Jacob Buur, Irene Alma Lønne, Nithikul Nimkulrat
ForlagDesign School Kolding
Publikationsdato25 nov. 2015
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-87-90775-90-2
StatusUdgivet - 25 nov. 2015
Begivenhed Design Research Society (DRS) - Design School Kolding, University of Southern Denmark, Kolding, Danmark
Varighed: 25 nov. 201526 nov. 2015
Konferencens nummer: 5010958


Konference Design Research Society (DRS)
LokationDesign School Kolding, University of Southern Denmark


  • Values, Entrepreneurship, ‘reflective conversation with materials’, The Triple Focus, Experiential Learning