Regulating creativity and management constraints in design practice

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Design education and management, Stage-gate model, Business constraints


Managers and producers regard designers are people difficult to work with, in particularly when it comes to the balancing of creativity, budgeting, timing and producing. It is not new to see designers at work may take advantage of stretching their time to the fullest to generate idea, waiting for the particular spark for inspiration and intuition. This empirical study examines whether there is a system applicable to design practices and how it would nurture design students to self-regulate creativity and management constraints. For a better understanding of the issue, interviews were conducted with design practitioners, design teachers and students. Findings reveal that the major management constraint that hinders creativity is time. Respondents further show that budget, work environment, client, management and communication style have significant influences on creativity. Implications of this research suggest that the “Stage-gate model”: a management method commonly adopted in the new product development industry resemblances design process and has its significances during the planning, developing and controlling stages in design practice. Thus, stage-gate model should be introduced to design students to raise their awareness of the constraints and limitations when working with different stakeholders.

Source Publication

DesignEd Asia Conference 2013, Dec 3-4, Hong Kong

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