Join our network of non-profits, companies and individuals who believe social change can happen through design.

Become A Member

Koen De Winter

Saint-André-Avellin, Québec, Canada

professor Université du Québec à Montréal

Member since December 31, 2007

  • Let me try

    Arts & Culture

    In response to I have a question, posted by Catherine Ozols,
    in the thread A lack of design knowledge

    I understand that David Carlson has not had the time yet to answer your question, so let me try Catherine and use the opportunity to make a few comments. Before making it a creative design brief, let’s start with a design brief in general. Design does not always starts with a brief. In many cases the designer initiates a project based on an observation of a particular need and might pursue this project until it has reached a stage where he or she considers it mature enough to present to the market. Design briefs are used when the designer in collaboration with others or sometimes…others without the collaboration a designer put together the information that is needed to design a new product. In most cases it describes the capabilities of the company both in terms of technological capability, quantitative and qualitative and in terms of marketing and merchandising capability. It also describes the anticipated performance of the product and the context, both physical and cultural in which the product will be put to use. Finally a set of financial parameters including expected return on investment etc. These briefs can be very detailed and include such marketing details as preferred packaging size or occupied shelf width and detailed performance criteria like luggage compartment size for a car (in liters) or simple criteria like stacking height etc. For complicated products like cars a design brief is an extensive document with hundreds and hundreds of pages. For simple products it can be a few pages. Most of the time the design brief is a collaborative effort of those people involved in planning, brand management and marketing, design, production and finance. A creative design brief is different in the sense that the traditional brief is more or less a description of what is known about the product and the conditions in which it will be produced, marketed and used. The description is basically a description of the product you want to make. A creative design brief is different in that it may contain a lot of the same information but it is the start of a process and leaves room for un-anticipated elements of the product. In other words, it relies more on the design process and on what will be discovered during that development process. To some extend it is also a greater risk because the results may not fit in the natural or planned development of the company, the development might exceed pre-established budgets etc. On the other hand it might lead to more innovative products and if it is indeed too innovative, it might be used as a beacon-product, in other words a goal that is used internally but that will reach the market over a longer period of time. Apart from being used as a marketing tool, experimental car models are often the result of a more creative design brief. I hope this answers at least part of your question…and to David: Ursäkta om jag tolkade dig fel…

Leave a Response

Fields marked * are required

No file selected (must be a .jpg, .png or .gif image file)

Once published, you will have 15 minutes to edit this response.


To design is first and formost a verb

Contact Koen De Winter

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design