Stories of design success

P.A. Rodgers, A.I. Milton

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores how we, as design researchers, practitioners and educators, view and define design success in the context of design education. Within our work as design educators, we often describe a successful design student as "those that produce work which is of real distinction, showing originality of concept, interpretation and realisation as well as an outstanding grasp of the context in which their work is placed. Thus, this success is recognition of an unusual combination of talent, commitment and critical/contextual knowledge. The paper adopts a novel approach to success, however, in that it explores the notion of success from the personal accounts of a number of recent design graduates. Rather than relying on the conventional etymological, pedagogical or practical definitions of the term success, the paper seeks to provide first-hand case study stories of what it means today be a successful designer. Data concerning the graduates' formal educational success is contextualised and amplified by a preliminary analysis of results from semi-structured interviews. The paper seeks to explore their personal agendas, motivations and approaches, comparing their perceptions with those of their peers and tutors, and how one can help foster and engender positive models of personal development and self efficacy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2007
Event16th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2007 - Paris, France
Duration: 28 Jul 200731 Jul 2007


Conference16th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2007


  • design
  • product design


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