Public defence in Design, MSc John Knight

Public defence from the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design
Doctoral hat floating above a speaker's podium with a microphone

The title of the thesis: Let it Flow – Making Generative Service Design Work

Doctoral student: John Knight
Opponent: Professor emeritus Gilbert Cockton, Northumbria University
Custos: Professor Sampsa Hyysalo, Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Department of Design

This research explored digital design teams’ working methods and identified improvements to current agile work practices. The study addressed the lack of research on in-house teams and reported practitioner strategies for success. While these foundation practices are primarily oriented to designers, they have relevance to other disciplines (including software development) and areas of research including occupational science. 

The key findings suggest that agile development is implemented in a wide variety of ways resulting in the need to apply a range of relevant measures to ensure the harmonious working of different teams and practices. This conclusion extends current research-based conclusions that tend toward a single methodological solution to improving in-house agile. Instead, this research suggests that combinations of practitioner agency, work remediation and, for extreme, scaled agile implementations, operational control structures are expedient. These various ways and means of improving agile design work are supported through several documented frameworks that were developed in the course of this research. The conclusions suggest that fusing the power of agile and design offers great opportunities that have heretofore been untapped.

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