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Adler, J., 2023.

Design communicating space tech innovation

Output Type:Chapter in a book

This thesis explores the value of visual design in the UK space technology
sector. It develops a bespoke design thinking model that supports the
communication of innovation in satellite and space technology
organisations. Its primary research question considers 'How can design
thinking communicate the values of space tech organisations in order to
foster an innovation culture?' Through a hybrid of case study and grounded
theory methodologies, design practice and theory combine to clarify,
produce and advocate solutions that increase collaboration between design
and the space technology industry. Case studies of practice-based
collaborations with industry partners explore the use of a bespoke design
thinking model that facilitates brand creation and development including the
generation of lo-and hi-fi visual prototypes. With divergent and convergent
aspects, the design thinking model is structured around five key stages: 1.
knowing, 2. pace, 3. crescendo, 4. reflect, and 5. recover. The model provides
a holistic approach where individual elements can overlay and intertwine,
generating a complex structure, unique to the organisation it is applied to.
The five industry partners in the North West of England specialise in
Intelligent Transport, Asteroid Mining, Space Engineering, Remote Sensing
and Space Settlement. Case studies draw upon expert interviews to
demonstrate and verify improved brand image reflecting the innovation
culture of these organisations. These improvements led to new business
models, new markets reached, improved stakeholder engagement, and
establishment of impactful visual design. Findings indicate that the bespoke
design thinking model positively transformed the organisations' identities
and enhanced the communication of innovation culture in the satellite and
space technology sector. The research provides recommendations on the use
of the bespoke design thinking model in design practice.