Learning across silos: Design Factories as hubs for co‐creation

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Collaboration through innovation is central to the discussion of how today's universities can respond to new interdisciplinary challenges, competitive environments and stakeholder complexity. Innovation hubs represent a dynamic example of how the public sector, including higher education, is responding to the need for new methods and perspectives that foster desired intra‐institutional change. This study examines one of these types of platforms, the Design Factory Global Network originating at Aalto University, in order to shed light on key enablers and barriers to furthering collaborative efforts within higher education. Based on 25 in‐depth interviews with 17 Design Factories, including perspectives from students, staff and educators, the findings show that institutional policy fostering flexibility, securing a physical cross‐disciplinary and multi‐purpose collaborative space, upper level support and building community are all vital in ensuring design‐driven experimentation that contributes to the effectiveness of higher education.


Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Issue number4
Early online date6 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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