Design Studies (2016)

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Person, O., Snelders, D., & Schoormans, J. (2016). Assessing the performance of styling activities: An interview study with industry professionals in style-sensitive companies. Design Studies, 42, 33-55. doi: j.destud.2015.10.001


In this paper, we study the design activity of styling and its performance assessment within style-sensitive manufacturing companies. Based on interviews with industry professionals at such companies, we analyze how the contribution of styling and expressive products is perceived and assessed. We delineate how these companies stimulate sales and profits, enhance their brand visibility and promote the wider acknowledgment of their capabilities in the market through styling. We also describe how press coverage and design awards function as performance measures for styling activities alongside product sales. In addition, we describe how the perceived contribution of styling activities and its assessment are codependent on how the companies and their designers operate and make decisions on the expressiveness of products.

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Strategic Design Integration and Management research group (SDIM) is at the Department of Design, School of Arts, Design and Architecture, Aalto University, Finland