Want a good return on your investment? Try collaboration

Collaboration, as discussed by Lynda Relph-Knight (Comment, DW 3 July), is key to the entire design process. Designers are often treated, at best, as just suppliers by clients and, at worst, as a kind of giant Etch-a-Sketch service. In turn, designers themselves often miss opportunities to harness the power of collaboration.

If you’re involved in design procurement, the phrase ‘return on investment’ should be of interest to you.

Employing design is an investment in the success of your venture – the return on which can be measured.

Design is a process, a way of thinking and solving problems, of which you’re a part. Too often, it’s equated with a commodity that can be ‘delivered’ (hence my reference to suppliers).

Design is not a product or a service – it’s a collaborative, dynamic, flexible, interactive process with a tangible outcome or artefact.

Effective collaboration is clearly an essential requirement for ensuring an excellent return on investment.

Ian Allison, Creative director,  Bell Design, by e-mail

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