Design Attitude  book cover
1st Edition

Design Attitude

ISBN 9781472421180
Published March 19, 2015 by Routledge
262 Pages

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Book Description

Design Attitude is a book for those who want to scratch beneath the surface and explore the impact design and designers have in organisations. It offers an alternative view on the sources of success and competitive advantage of companies such as Apple, where design plays a leading role. It sheds light on the cultural dynamics within organisations, where professional designers have a significant presence and influence. At its heart, the book asks a question: what is the nature of designers’ contribution that is truly unique to them as professionals? To answer this deceptively simple question the author combines a multitude of hours of ethnographic study inside the design community; in-depth interviews with executives and designers from Apple, IDEO, Wolff Olins, Philips Design, and Nissan Design; and a follow-up quantitative study. Since the author comes from a management and not a design background, the book offers a different perspective to most publications in the area of Design Thinking. It is a mirror held up to the community, rather than a voice from within. Design Attitude makes the compelling argument that looking at the type of the culture designers produce, rather than the type of processes or products they create, is potentially a more fruitful way of profiling the impact of design in organisations. With design being recognised as an important strategic framework by companies, not-for-profit organisations, and governments alike, this book is a distinct and timely contribution to the debate.



Dr Kamil Michlewski was awarded a PhD by the School of Design at Northumbria University, having completed a programme supported by Oxford’s Saïd Business School. In his academic capacity he has published on the role of design and designers in organisational settings, tacit knowledge and aesthetics in organisational learning. He has presented at international conferences including the European Academy of Management, European Group for Organisational Studies, Design Management Institute and European Academy of Design. Dr Michlewski works at The Value Engineers - a strategic brand consultancy based in the UK. He advises a number of blue-chip clients on issues ranging from global consumer segmentation to brand strategy. Kamil previously worked as a senior strategy lecturer at Newcastle Business School.


’Design Attitude is a hugely important contribution to our understanding of the value of design. Kamil Michlewski offers a powerful account of design not only as an approach to management and innovation, but as a professional culture and a set of deeply held beliefs. Design Attitude is a must-read for managers, scholars and educators interested in how design can spur meaningful change through new frameworks, artefacts and organizations.’ Christian Bason, Chief Executive, Danish Design Centre ’Design Attitude is a book with insights that challenge us to see anew phenomena we thought we understood. Michlewski offers a compelling portrayal of the professional culture of designers and the attitudes and values that shape their creative work. He makes an engaging argument that elucidates how designers promote innovation in organizations that will speak to practitioners and academics alike.’ Mariana Amatullo, Co-founder and Vice President, Designmatters at Art Center College of Design, USA ’Kamil Michlewski has for the first time given us an accessible, well-evidenced insight into the Designer and their contribution to organisations and society. Offering us the essence of what it is to be a designer and how these essential attitudes enhance economies, society and the environment.’ Rachel Cooper OBE, Director of Imagination Lancaster, University of Lancaster, UK ’Kamil Michlewski's determined and detailed look at the underlying cultures that drive design-led innovation is a very useful addition to the literate in the field. His concept of Design Attitude, based on ten years of close study of practice in the field, explains why designers do what they do. Much of what he talks about - the ability to deal empathically and playfully with ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity - I recognise daily within my own group, and I am sure others will experience the same recognition.’ Jeremy Myerson, Director and Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design, Royal College of Art, UK