Design Quantification Lab (DQL) Initiative

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Design Quantification initiative                    Cdr-smallest.jpg  DQL-smallest.jpg

By creating, detailing, validating and testing of front-end metrics and methods, we are predicting the success of products, services, agendas and policies for any private or public organization, using triple-bottom line metrics. These methods support actionable framing and communication of complex design challenges.


 Innovation - use open innovation         Project - define aspirations & reality    Project structure - diverse risk

Initial projects

a) New Research Paradigms for Business Progress
In 2010, the UN Global Compact and Accenture released a report, entitled A New Era of Sustainability: CEO reflections on progress to date, challenges ahead and the impact of the journey toward a sustainable economy. One of the most interesting points in the report showed that: “...while the belief in the strategic importance of sustainability issues is widespread among CEOs, executives continue to struggle to approach them as part and parcel of core business strategy.” As a result, the application for corporate sustainability often ends up coming from random, ad hock and unrewarded contributions from contrary and passionate individuals, and seldom comes from strategically informed corporate policies and declarations. Bottom-up processes are imperative for corporate culture to shift towards a more sustainable one, but its been proven that top-down initiatives are much more influential to significant changes. Furthermore, corporate thought leadership is traditionally informed by market researchers, economists and strategy consultants. Though valuable, these disciplines tend to come from a shared worldview, built upon a shared set of assumptions. Given the imperative of long-term thinking in a complex world, we must start paying attention to these assumptions in order to discover new ways of thinking. In other words, we have to start paying attention to the processes used in business research in order to achieve innovative thinking. The end can no longer justify the means. For further information please contact: Tina Santiago or Soren Ingomar Petersen

b) Co-created Dynamic Design Briefing (CDDB) method
Use a Co-created Dynamic Design Brief to coordinate and communicate needs between marketing and design, providing a competitive advantage for consumer-oriented businesses competing in a dynamic market. The potential revenue increase and risk reduction is significant and an improvement in these two areas could tip the risk willingness, thereby snowballing the business into a strong growth curve or towards the innovation of a new product, and successfully outpacing the current recession.

c) Peace Design - Journalism Challenge
Explore potentials for journalists to contribute to peace by informing communities and people earlier on the conflict-curve, rather than only reacting to events as they develop. Collect and spread ideas that can be implemented for enabling and coordinating the measurable impact of journalism, particularly citizen journalism, on basic conditions for world peace.

d) Design Trend Prediction
Explore opportunities for early detection of design related trends using automated random search applications, based on MS XLS. Buzz on the Web, as measured by the number of Web Citations, which have been shown to act as an early predictor for design’s financial performance.

e) 80/20 Design for Entrepreneurs on a Shoestring Budget
Leveraging design in the early product planning phases offers huge ROI. Unfortunately entrepreneurs often have little or no knowledge of design and subsequently down prioritize design efforts. How can a cost-benefit design service be tailored to start-ups, providing an 80/20 understanding and implementation of design?

f) Design awards as metrics for design quality
Marketing perceives Design Awards as a key measure for a product’s design quality. How can the current understanding of the relationship between design criteria and external performance metrics be further refined to inform design- decisions?

g) Growing Creative Communities
How can cutting edge design thinking and processes be used to systematically promote development of creative communities in urban areas and expand these communities into the virtual space?

h) National Brand-value
Explore how to measure and increase the brand-value of nations (e.g. Danish Design, Italian Design, Japanese Design) and how to transfer national perceived brand-value to its industry’s products.



- Sara Beckman, UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, Berkeley California
- Ken Pickar, Caltech, Pasadena California
- Ab Stevels, Delft University, Delft Nederland
- John Heebøll, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby Denmark


- Rambøll Group


We are pleased to announce the Design Quantification initiative at Stanford Center for Design Research.
Our vision is for business opportunities and design execution to be founded in shared interests, fair dealings and action oriented thinking. We are supported by objective metrics and encourage the exploration of alternative paths to sustainable progress.

The mission of our lab is the creating, detailing, validating and testing of front-end metrics and methods. We predict the success of products, services, agendas and policies in any private or public organization, using triple-bottom line metrics. These methods support actionable framing and communication of complex design challenges.

Collectively, we combine a decade of design research into how to integrate design into business plans, portfolio management, design briefing and concept selection. Now we are inviting partners and sponsors who share our interest and vision, and will be actively engaged in formulating research projects. Leveraging our collective knowledge in design quantification, open innovation and crowd sourcing we conduct agile research with quarterly results coordinated under our strategic goal: To reduce and mitigate risk in the development of sustainable and disruptive innovations.
For further information please see contacts at the bottom of the page.


Scientific papers

Literature list

DMI article

Profit from Design

ICED'11 Conference


For more information, please contact:

- Tanja Aitamurto, Initiator:

- Søren Petersen, Initiator:

- Martin Steinert, Acting Assistant Professor and Deputy Director at Center for Design Research:

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