Under­stand­ing of design

The def­i­n­i­tion and under­stand­ing of design have expand­ed con­tin­u­ous­ly over recent decades. Based on the notion of the suc­cess­ful cor­re­la­tion between form and func­tion, design today extends far beyond the aes­thet­ic exte­ri­or of prod­ucts and services.

We at bay­ern design define design much more broad­ly: We believe design com­pris­es the devel­op­ment of actions and usages as well as the build­ing of sys­tems, prod­ucts, iden­ti­ties, and cul­tur­al pat­terns. Com­mu­ni­cat­ing and con­vey­ing major trans­for­ma­tion-relat­ed top­ics is anoth­er facet of design as we under­stand it.

To design means to rethink what is there


Design as a mindset

Design as a mindset
Design­ers shape soci­ety. In doing so, they excel with a very unique approach: com­pre­hen­sive and user-focused think­ing, tan­gi­ble and vision­ary work­styles, and an open and solu­tion-ori­ent­ed spirit.

Design­ers’ work is visionary
Design­ers work and think not only the­o­ret­i­cal­ly in words, but also prac­ti­cal­ly in shapes, atmos­pheres, spaces, and emo­tions. They tie artis­tic free­doms in with func­tion­al, needs-based actions. In this way, they help make ideas, con­cepts, and tech­ni­cal inno­va­tions become under­stand­able and tangible.

Design­ers’ work is solution-oriented.
Design­ers use solu­tion-ori­ent­ed approach­es to respond to the crises and chal­lenges of our time. They devise tan­gi­ble, func­tion­al, and viable process­es and arte­facts. An applied dis­ci­pline, design always is in search of improve­ment and transformation.

Design­ers’ work is agile and open
Design­ers have the poten­tial to dis­cov­er and explore new paths and solu­tions in unchart­ed ter­ri­to­ries through their cre­ative process­es. Design­ers work and think in an agile and flex­i­ble man­ner and are open mind­ed with regard to the out­come. With this stance, they adapt to new sit­u­a­tions and con­texts and in doing so act both in a con­serv­ing and a dis­rupt­ing manner.

Design­ers’ work is holistic
Through their expan­sive way of think­ing, design­ers sup­port new con­nec­tions among areas of exper­tise, indus­tries, and stake­hold­ers. Coop­er­a­tive and inter­dis­ci­pli­nary work­styles fos­ter alliances among top­ics and play­ers. When work­ing, design­ers play off a vari­ety of eco­nom­ic, social, cul­tur­al, and eco­log­i­cal fac­tors and con­texts in their minds.

Design­ers’ work is human-minded
Design­ers con­tribute a nov­el way of think­ing that keeps an eye on people’s social, cul­tur­al, and eco­nom­ic needs. Through research and obser­va­tion, design­ers eval­u­ate the shift­ing of indi­vid­u­als’ pri­or­i­ties and needs. Design­ers have an inclu­sive and empath­ic spir­it. They design com­mu­ni­ca­tion, inter­ac­tion, and par­tic­i­pa­tion and thus, ide­al­ly, cre­ate user-cen­tered design and even soci­ety-ori­ent­ed design.

Design as an ele­men­tary com­po­nent of com­pa­nies’ strate­gies and busi­ness organization

The Dan­ish Design Lad­der and its exten­sion (design as a sys­tem) illus­trate that design reach­es far beyond the aes­thet­ic exte­ri­or of prod­ucts and ser­vices. In this con­text, the pos­i­tive cor­re­la­tion between com­pa­nies’ design and inno­va­tion activ­i­ties is par­tic­u­lar­ly relevant.

bay­ern design intends to com­mu­ni­cate, in a tar­get­ed man­ner, the diverse lev­els at which design and design meth­ods are used to help estab­lish an extend­ed under­stand­ing of design in all parts of admin­is­tra­tion, the econ­o­my, and society.

The design sec­tor must empha­size and com­mu­ni­cate its eco­nom­ic rel­e­vance to a larg­er extent by using assess­ment approach­es in a pro­fes­sion­al man­ner with the objec­tive of sub­stan­ti­at­ing the con­tri­bu­tion of design ser­vices to the val­ue chain. In par­tic­u­lar, we rec­om­mend that in addi­tion to craft-relat­ed ser­vices, con­sult­ing and plan­ning ser­vices must be moved to the fore­front and their rel­e­vant val­ue con­veyed in a dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed manner.

Com­pa­nies and insti­tu­tions using design-rel­e­vant ser­vices (deliv­ered by exter­nal ser­vice providers or inter­nal employ­ees) must be aware of the eco­nom­ic rel­e­vance of these ser­vices and must ana­lyze their con­tri­bu­tion to the val­ue chain. In par­tic­u­lar, the dif­fer­en­ti­at­ed use of var­i­ous ser­vices includ­ing con­sult­ing, plan­ning, and design must be inte­grat­ed into the devel­op­ment process, and thus into the val­ue chain, in a sen­si­ble man­ner from the start and must be com­pen­sat­ed accordingly.

In addi­tion to craft-relat­ed fun­da­men­tals, uni­ver­si­ties offer­ing design-relat­ed pro­grams need to include com­ple­men­tary sci­en­tif­ic con­tent and con­tent pro­mot­ing leadership/management skills. This applies to design and to busi­ness uni­ver­si­ty pro­grams alike.

Insti­tu­tions that spon­sor design should not focus only on the design sec­tor; they also should mon­i­tor and ana­lyze the labor mar­ket rel­e­vant to design as a whole. The col­lec­tion of reli­able empir­i­cal data in this field also relies heav­i­ly on the incor­po­ra­tion of the steadi­ly grow­ing dis­ci­plines of ser­vice design (design of ser­vices) and socio design (con­sult­ing, plan­ning, lead­er­ship, and man­age­ment) into busi­ness classifications.


What good design is able to achieve

Design con­nects peo­ple and ensures ori­en­ta­tion and identity.

Design is empath­ic; it can improve and even save lives. Design thinks out­side the box; it tries to deal with the unex­pect­ed and devel­op new solutions.

Design facil­i­tates dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion through auton­o­my and uniqueness.

Design builds under­stand­ing and helps make inno­va­tions and tech­ni­cal devel­op­ments emo­tion­al­ly con­ceiv­able and experienceable.

Design con­nects mind­sets and cours­es of action. Design nev­er stands alone because it forges rela­tion­ships between dis­ci­plines and topics.