Strategic Design Research

Strategic Design Research at the

Research at the has spanned a number of different project realms: from health care to sustainability to studio pedagogy.

For example, this paper has been recently accepted for publication by the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. The research was been based on action research in COMM 388: Design Strategies for Business Innovation at the Sauder School of Business.

Authors: Andreanne Doyon and Moura Quayle


Purpose:The purpose of this paper is to document the use of studio pedagogy and Strategic-design principles for teaching sustainability and innovation.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The Climate Smart Project case study for this paper uses a mixed-methods approach to document and assess students’, instructors’, and observers’ individual experiences, as well as a collective studio group observation. The case study is based on a studio cohort of twenty Commerce undergraduate students working on a seven-week project on sustainability issues in real-time with Small and Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs).

Findings: Our observations are organized under five themes: Studio-based Learning and the Strategic Design Process; The Studio Learning Environment; Values Inventory & Assessment; Sustainability Education; and Leadership and Mentoring.

Practical Implications: All five are particularly important in complex problem contexts such as sustainability in business. Using a Strategic Design approach to add more balanced and hence sustainable value to solutions, students are able to respond and encourage continual improvements, small and large, in their work and for their employers

Originality/Value: Our case study represents a different approach to higher business education because it blends studio and design pedagogy within a business school to teach sustainability and innovation.