Designers Designing Businesses. Understanding how designers create enterprises

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • Aalto University


This paper is based on a practice- based research project which investigates the roles that designers play when designing businesses, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. During this project, the first author designed a business concept for a client. The research methods presented in this paper were used to both carry out the business design project and to answer the research questions. Research questions were answered by integrating findings from literature review, eight interviews with designer- entrepreneurs and business designers based in Barcelona, Madrid, Naples and Berlin and observations of fifteen enterprises in Helsinki, Barcelona, Paris, Naples and Milan. The study provides evidence that designers have a distinctive way to create and conduct businesses, combining methods and approaches typical of their profession and following a process similar to the one employed in business design firms and proposed by business design scholars.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-63
Number of pages13
JournalDesign Journal
Issue numbersup1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational European Academy of Design Conference: Running with Scissors - University of Dundee, Dundee, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Apr 201912 Apr 2019
Conference number: 12

    Research areas

  • business design, strategic design, design and entrepreneurship

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