an online conversation
about design management

The DBC in Paris

With Carol I have been working and vacationing in Paris since the beginning of May.

It has been an interesting exercise in working remotely. I experienced this to a certain degree while running workshops in each state during March and April. I have been able to maintain contact using my iPad and an application called Parallels. This allows me to control my office Mac from my iPad and gives me access to everything I have in the office. I have continued to use Parallels in Paris with success. I am able to print out mailing labels in the Melbourne office for sales of The business of design and then have them collected for mailing. It has been seamless.

I have also been able to keep up my mentoring using GoToMeeting. This allows me to video conference and share screens so that we can discuss things like the Design business model canvas and the strategies that designers have prepared in the workshops.

I've also met with designers in Paris and examined the practice of design management. In Europe design management has a much stronger presence than in Australia. For instance this week we will attend an end of year exhibition for graduating designers. One part of the exhibition shows the work the students have done in design management. In Paris there are a number of undergraduate and post graduate degrees in design management one of which is allied to Parsons, the New York based design university. The employment of design managers in large European companies has long been of interest to me. Organisations as diverse at Proctor and Gamble, Camper, Carrefour (a French supermarket chain), Rubbermaid and Larus Design (a furniture designer/manufacturer) all use design managers.

I have taken the opportunity to have a couple of meetings with Brigitte Borja de Mozota an academic who specialises in design management research. The interesting thing about Brigitte’s work is that it has a very solid academic research base but is also very easily applied in a design studio.

I have an interest in Brigitte’s research because I came across some of it many years ago when I was developing a design audit process. Brigitte’s research gave me a good framework for the audits.

I have been meeting with Brigitte, in part to explore how I can take my experience in design audits add her research and build them into a design integration program for designers in Australia. The discussions with Brigitte have helped me refine the program I am developing to make it very practical whilst based on solid research.


Greg Branson

Greg’s passion is the research and development of methods that improve design management and the role of design in business.

Greg has developed a series of business tools to help designers manage their business better along with a series of workshops that show designers how to use these tools.