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Multi-disciplinary design

There’s a buzz these days about something called multidisciplinary design, a concept explained this way by Harry West, vice president of strategy and innovation at Design Continuum: “One thing I think we need to be clear on is that multi-disciplinary design, in and of itself, does not deliver real value. It’s a means to an end. And the end that we’re looking for is that a team be able to have a really holistic view of the problem so that they equally understand and equally respect the consumer’s emotional needs around a product or service offering — as well as the technical or financial constraints around delivering that offering. Innovation often happens not in the center of a discipline but in the spaces in-between the disciplines. So, in order to find those opportunities, you need to have a team that can see all of those different aspects and have equal respect for those different considerations of a problem. What we have found is that we need to have teams that include members who are very left-brained and very right-brained with no hierarchy between the disciplines. What that means is that somebody coming in from the best business school in the U.S. works alongside as an equal with someone coming in from a design school.” 

Innovate Forum 30 March 2006