Design capacity

Design capacity
See also

Design capacity is an organisation's capability in gaining and assimilatation of knowledge about designs. Managing design capacity properly is a key, an integral element in success of the business. It is understood also as seen and unseen results of a design development, including knowledge gained by employees during the process. When an enterprise has already worked out some knowledge, it is important to locate resources in optimal way so that the next design capacity is supported and expected outcome as well. To achieve that, a company should create a specific procedure (or an audit) which will take all of resources which the company has and then will guide to alloccate them accordingly[1].

Developing the design capacity

Developing the design capacity enable an organisation to absorb faster technological knowledge and innovations. The most important aspect is a network knowledge: connections between companies, suppliers with their specialisations and related industries. Being a part of industrial cluster supports sharing the knowledge - an example of that might be Design Knowledge Network (DKN). The design capacity in an organisation might be described within the organisational' structure, where some areas of technology, processes, customers and markets will be described as seen design results (or silent design) and other will be called unseen design results (capacities)[2]:

  • Unseen design results: production, marketing,
  • Seen design results: engineering, industrial design.

Factors influencing the design capacity

Morgan P. advices what should be considered before the design capacity is developed[3]:

  • Focusing on the critical functions and effectiveness of permormance to overcome challenges during design process,
  • Preparing strategies of capacity development (implicit and explicit), investigate problem' nature, think of means that could be used, timeliness, needed support, level of innovation the design must meet and any organisational outcomes which are welcome to be achieved. These all have definite effect on choosing capacity indicators for the design,
  • Techniques which might support the strategy of implementation such as: trainings, services of advises, assessments from institutions, workshops, stratety in resolving conflicts, team building and supply of needed equipment,
  • Clarify the context and environmental factors such as: the economy, the policy, the legal, political trends, the informal ‘rules of the game’, conflict in the society and it's complexity level.

Author: Anita Bernacka


  1. Heap D., Jerrard B., Burns K. (2007), p.1-16
  2. Morgan P. (1997), p.5
  3. Morgan P. (1997), p.5