The research cluster for integrated design deals with teaching strategic use of design as well as various experimental and sensory investigation of how design works for companies and consumers. The research cluster emerged as long term cooperation between the Academy of Art, The Design School (now KADK), the Technical University and CBS plus professional design users and designers. Originally it dealt only with practical education. Due to an experienced need the questions of how design contributes to society, to firms value creation and consumers preferences, esthetics and value, a long range of studies took place, integrating design with management and marketing.
Tore Kristensen started studying integrated design in 1987. Since then several people have contributed with a range of projects. Bo Christensen, a psychologist by education, researches creativity, using various sensory measurements, including eye tracking. Mia Münster is a retail architect, who studies retail atmospherics and works on developing a method to study how interiors influence emotions and value perception. Jesper Clement is originally educated as an architect who specialized in package designer and is now in charge of neuroscience measurements & cluster. Tore Kristensen, educated at CBS, in collaboration with Gorm Gabrielsen, Department of finance has developed a method for measuring various perceptions and values of design using experimental methods.
According to John Heskett, “design, stripped to its essence, can be defined as the human capacity to shape and make our environment in ways without precedent in nature that serves our needs and gives meaning to our lives”. This means that the research must be broad covering many aspects of physical and now even digital environments, exploring what these environments mean and do- also emotionally. Design offers a compatible insight to marketing and consumer research by adding the physical and cognitive context. This provides new insights into how marketing and markets actually works in a knowledge context. By altering the cognitive issues of a design one can see that markets work with differing effectiveness- even when respondents see exactly the same impression.
The Transformation Academy started as an informal club where creative leaders in the Danish society would discuss user transformations caused by design?. The academy is now becoming a professional organization to stage and suggest new research initiatives within transformative experiences and suggest ways to realize them. The neuro-science lab works closely together with the Academy in order to study transformative effects on users.
Academically it means using experimental methods and stage various environments measuring indirectly what they influence. A typical study is based on paired comparisons of objects, environments or statements at an individual level. Aggregation is done according to a pragmatic procedure, for instance to explore how a selection of individuals who share a particular background to study particular issues. We concentrate on how much an individual is affected by a particular variable?, rather than how many.