Two interesting articles on mobile phone design showed up on my radar today, one, from the UK asks if "The dumb blonde phone is here to stay?". It's an analysis of the 'battle between form and function' currently raging in the cellphone industry referring to the trade off between features and styling. The other, from the US, discusses in detail the rising trend of cellphones as fashion accessories and the increasing importance of design as the differentiator. So the question remains, is design important or not? And if so, for whom?
After 30 odd years in the global design industry opening doors to new and frontier markets through exploratory user research, concept design, and innovation strategies, Niti returned to academia as a student to pursue a PhD in Product Development at Aalto University's Design Factory. Her dissertation looks at the contribution of design methods to foster agency and capacity for innovation as a resilience strategy to shocks at the micro-level of the individual. Her research approach has expanded the multidisciplinary lens of viability, feasibility, and desirability to a transdisciplinary one where participants generate the actionable knowledge for their own innovation pathways.