Designer as integrator: reality or rhetoric?

2013-02-04T14:34:19Z (GMT) by Erik Bohemia
The literature suggests that internal and external product integration are key elements that facilitate a successful product development outcome. It also suggests that the industrial designer is well placed to be an integrating force within organizations. However, do organizations use industrial designers as integrators of various functions or do they use industrial designers for other reasons? The results from a survey conducted with Australian manufacturing organizations indicate that these organizations perceive the role as 'an integrator of various functions' as being the least important role performed by industrial designers. This suggests that the necessity of industrial designers to perform in the role of integrator may reflect rhetoric generated from within the design literature rather than organizational reality.