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Understanding How Design Action Plans Support the Strategic Use of Design

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  • Zitkus Emilene
  • Jea Hoo Na
  • Martyn Evans
  • Andrew Walters
  • Anna Whicher
  • Rachel Cooper


The strategic use of design at the national level to drive economic and societal impact benefits from coordinated activities that integrate and apply key stakeholder agendas. This study is part of a large research project that aims to develop an integrated action plan for design in the UK, generating insights that go beyond existing approaches in order to achieve greater recognition and application of design as a strategic driver of innovation. Drawing upon Nagy and Fawcett (2003) ‘VMOSA’ strategic planning process, the paper systematically analyses six European Design Action Plans (DAPs) to better understanding the key components required of action plans. The analysis demonstrates that while DAPs vary significantly in their format, structure and articulation of actions, the insights generated directly inform understanding of how these plans can effectively support the strategic use of design in the public and private sectors in the UK.