Strategic Design

Strategic Design is a collaborative process for tackling complex problems.

It is an emergent business discipline, with strong roots in user research and participatory design.  The practice of Strategic Design features multi-disciplinary project teams that blend creative and critical thinking techniques and data analysis to co-create, test and launch resilient solutions to “big picture” or systemic challenges.

As a naturally integrative way of thinking, design works well in today’s complex business environment, especially on problems that are ill defined and owned by many.  The Strategic Design framework developed by the Sauder is particularly effective for creating both opportunities and clarity when the way forward is not obvious or when the system is simply stuck.  Strategic Design differs from many other approaches, as it applies co-creative principles that engage all stakeholders throughout the problem-solving journey, to arrive at innovative and often unexpected solutions.

Design processes have historically been used in a variety of industries to produce tangible things, such as products or services.  Strategic Design draws on established methodologies from these traditional design practices, and combines them with creative and analytical approaches from other disciplines, including commerce.  The result is a user-driven, generative process that turns inquiry to action.

The design process at the Studio has been through several iterations and continues to evolve.  The diagram below represents the current approach.