The Role of Design Concepts in the Development of Digitalized Industrial Services

Janne Pekkala*, Salu Ylirisku

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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B-to-B industrial manufacturing organisations are moving the focus from designing products to services. This transition challenges the management of innovating, which is increasingly collaborative and networked. Organisations need to be able to tackle the related uncertainty in order to prepare, secure, and plan their use of resources. Design concepts are known to have various beneficial roles in product and service development in various development contexts. In this article we study how design concepts were utilised within, and between, three development projects in a Finnish company in the context of B-to-B industrial manufacturing. Eight roles for design concepts are identified in the 11-month study, and these are presented as stories concretising how design concepts functioned. Design concepts were utilised in 1) anticipating future, 2) implementing design, 3) training, 4) engaging in dialogue, 5) setting goals, 6) establishing vocabulary in organisation, 7) planning and securing resources, and 8) linking projects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S2813-S2822
Number of pages10
JournalDesign Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
EventInternational European Academy of Design Conference - Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy
Duration: 12 Apr 201714 Apr 2017
Conference number: 12


  • Design concept
  • concept design
  • industrial service design
  • fuzzy front-end
  • product development


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