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Creative Design for Innovation in Science and Technology

Periodic Report Summary 1 - DESIRE (Creative Design for Innovation in Science and Technology)

Competing in a global economy requires a movement towards innovation that recognises the key importance of creativity and design. This is particularly relevant now given the leading economic role of creative industries, including those that are heavily industrialised such as computer software development, broadcasting, advertising, digital media production, computer games development etc., as well as traditional fields of visual and performing arts. The core assumption underpinning our research is that design practices leading to technological innovation may best be understood within a broader conceptual framework that tackles issues related to the nature of creative processes in general, including those associated with artistic creation in particular. DESIRE network aims to establish an interdisciplinary network of researchers investigating creative design in various applied domains including interaction design, industrial design and arts design. The goal is to create an internationally recognised programme of research that will expand the state-of-the-art in creative design providing thus a basis for interdisciplinary investigation of technological creativity and innovation.

The main scientific contribution of DESIRE project consists in developing a framework underpinning and advancing our basic understanding of creative design process. Thus, the scientific objective is to build a rich expertise in creative design as a factor conducive to innovation. This general objective is detailed in (i) the exploration of creative processes; (ii) the modelling of creative process; (iii) the development of support tools for creative processes in design practices; and (iv) the development of tools to support creativity training.

The first two years of the project have been highly successful in reaching the intended milestones and deliverables. It was marked by recruitment, consolidation of the project network through the organisation of three steering committee meetings, organisation of research training, project dissemination, as well as organization and running of two network-open events.
The first summer school organised in Gargnano, Italy, between 19-26 September 2009 (http://desire.dico.unimi.it) was a successful event which attracted 19 external researchers selected from 31 competitive applications. The programme, focused on creativity theory and creative design included specific topics such as imagery, reasoning, emotions, haptics and sound in design. The first conference took place in Aarhus, Denmark in 16-17 August 2010 (https://conference.cbs.dk/index.php/desire/conference) and its theme was theories and models of the creative processes in design. The conference was attended by 52 external participants, and the proceedings will be archived in the ACM DL.
In the first year, the project has been actively disseminated through mailing lists targeting various research communities which supported the recruitment process. We developed a Facebook Group (DESIRE: Marie Curie Network) (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=115310853129) and a wiki page (http://desire-itn.pbworks.com/) for network use only.

In terms of outcomes, DESIRE researchers produced 45 papers and 24 posters (3 papers and 2 posters in average per researcher), including publications in prestigious conferences such as CHI, DIS and UbiCom of Journal of Design Studies. Two academics with the network: Linden Ball form ULANC and Bo Christensen from CBS have won the 2009 Design Studies Award for research examining the nature of analogising and mental simulation in product design.
Overall, we feel that the project has progressed very well during the first two years. This period was crucial in building the DESIRE team, providing a strong training foundation to researchers and supporting their research progress. We now look forward to continuing to deliver a successful training programme and strong research outcomes.