Design and the Creation of Value

Design and the Creation of Value

by John Heskett

John Heskett (1937–2014) was a prolific and pioneering design academic. He worked as chair and professor of design at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, spent fifteen years as professor of design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and was also a visiting professor at universities in Denmark, Turkey, Chile, Germany, Japan, and Finland. He authored many classic design texts, including ‘Industrial Design’ (1980), ‘German Design 1870–1918’ (1987), and ‘Philips: A Study in Corporate Design’ (1989). A large part of his research focused on business applications for design. He was especially interested in exploring how design creates economic value, and the role of this in the design policy of governments and corporations. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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, Clive Dilnot

Clive Dilnot is professor of Design Studies at Parsons The New School for Design, New York, USA. Recent publications include Ethics? Design? (2005) and, as co-author, Design and the Question of History (Bloomsbury, 2014). Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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and Suzan Boztepe

Suzan Boztepe is based at the IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark. She previously worked in the department of industrial design at Middle East Technical University, Turkey. She holds a PhD in Design from Illinois Institute of Technology, USA, where she also received her Master of Design in Strategic Design Planning. Author affiliation details are correct at time of print publication.

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Bloomsbury Academic, 2017
  • DOI:
  • ISBN:
    978-1-4742-7-4302 (hardback)

    978-1-4742-7-4296 (paperback)

    978-1-4742-7-4265 (epdf)

    978-1-4742-7-4272 (epub)

    978-1-4742-7-4289 (online)
  • Edition:
    First edition
  • Place of Publication:
  • Published Online:
Design and the Creation of Value
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John Heskett was a leading design historian with a particular interest in design and economics. This book publishes for the first time his writings on design and economic value, and design’s role in creating value in organisations and products.

The first part of Heskett’s text introduces the main traditions of economic thought as they explain the relationship between producers, markets, products and consumers; he then goes on to consider the importance of design and design thinking in innovating and creating value in business practice and product development.

Heskett refers to examples of businesses such as Dyson and Apple that have successfully responded to the value of design in their practice, and others such as the Ford Motor Company that were faced with the threat of bankruptcy because they failed to encourage innovation and creativity or to respond adequately to the challenges and opportunities presented by new technology.

Heskett’s text is accompanied by critical and contextualising overviews by leading design scholars, which place Heskett's writings within the framework of contemporary design and business thought and practice.