Does location play a role in design management?

What is fascinating about our world? What does shake one’s emotions? After asking this questions to 20 people, students and staff, at the London College of Communication, I almost had a common answer: travelling.

When you leave the place where you use to live, you are truly able to experience the diversity that composes our earth. Humans are moved by the sight of uncontaminated nature: the shape of the plants, the variety amongst creatures and so on.

The naturalist Charles Darwin observed these diversities during a 5-year voyage around the world. His opinion about the range of the species was then published in the book called “On the origin of species”, in 1859.

The full range of variation amongst species is due to the differences in their genes. Each creature exists because their genes that allow them to survive and reproduce within a determined environment.

As species adapt themselves to the environment, businesses do it so to locations. Any practice coined by the humankind needs to consider the location to perform, due to its sustain and success. Nobody would

open a 100 rooms hotel in the middle of a desert because it does not assure a profit, but someone would be more likely to built it on a paradisiac island, because of the appeal such environment is known to transmits.

McDonalds, the burger fast food restaurant which opened in the 40’s, has gradually become a gigantic fast food chain worldwide. Due to the diversity of their clients (globally located), McDonalds Corporation adjusted its menu to the locals’ taste. For example, McDonald’s Singapore shops serve their burgers made with a rice cake instead of the classical bread bun, or in Hong Kong, they serve Ice Cream Sundae filled with green tea sauce and red beans. Design Management functions as the mediator between the business and the location: it provides the requirement asked from the place where it performs, to guarantee secure success.

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Creative Map of Silicon Valley to show some of the companies that raised in this location – Santa Clara County, California

However, Design Management has shown the capability to extend its benefits to a broader and ever- growing “location”: the internet. Silicon Valley, the area – surrounding San Francisco Bay in northern California- has demonstrated it. This particular geographic area has been the stage for new technologies, new companies, and huge wealth. New businesses are likely to develop successfully over this land, where companies such as Google, Apple or Facebook are willing to invest in young entrepreneurs. Silicon Valley is the oldest high-tech community on earth, and its location benefitted from the migrations of American, looking for new jobs in aerospace and electronics. It also furnishes infrastructures, therefore, education. All these features allowed the city to create its culture, based on risk-taking, multi-cultural, meritocratic and

entrepreneurial. Companies such as Surveymonkey, Odesk, Imvu, Evernote, Box and so on, after Silicon Valley, have found their location online.

The Internet is the platform where globalisation and digitalisation come together, capable of empowering anyone, anywhere. Design Management is the new gene that enables businesses to exist in the profitable location which is the internet.

By Nicole Afonso Alves Calistri, 2016

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