Doing things in new ways, solving problems and pushing boundaries are the essence of any good economy.

Good ideas happen in the most unlikely and sometimes most inconvenient of ways. Inspiration, so often elusive, can hit us at the most awkward of moments. Why? Because the ultimate solutions to problems are rational, but the process for thinking them is not.

An engine of growth for Scotland was what we imagined when we were developing Design in Action – an engine fuelled by of all our talents and with the precision engineering to take inspiration to the marketplace in record time. We want to turn what is so often a strange journey to an unknown destination into a profitable business trip.

So here’s how we do it. By joining together people in the most unexpected ways. We connect the dots in ways you never thought of. And a picture bigger than you ever thought of will start to emerge.


We started off as six universities funded by a research council doing something new.  We are a growing network of business people, academics, designers and creatives who want to find new connections and new ways of doing things. The 5 key sectors we are looking at are Food, Information Communications Technology, Wellbeing, Sport and Rural Economies.

The project is led out of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design at the University of Dundee. We are funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. 


Link to the project 


Prof Chris Speed (Co-Investigator), Design Informatics

Dr Debbie Maxwell (Research Fellow), Design Informatics

Ziego Zamora (Phd candidate), Design Informatics

Karl Monsen (Phd candidate), Design Informatics

Full list of partners across Scotland

Design in Action: Final report

To read the full Design in Action project report click here.

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