Building Capability: Embedded in Design

The Business of Design D.Cast is a discussion about running a design business or design in a business.

We’re looking at a range of subjects but covering a single theme for each episode. We’re looking for insights, experience and anecdotes to share with the audience and we’ve prepared the questions below as thought/discussion starters.

But it’s less an interview and more a discussion.

Embedded in Design

In this D.Cast we’re taking a slight detour and talking about working in-house, in large organisations.

From building internal teams and navigating corporate structures, to championing the value of design and the deep understanding that comes from working in a single organisation.

On this D.Cast we have two very smart designers who have worked on both sides of the divide, to share their experiences and insights.

Concepts Explored:
- Working in a corporate environment
- Championing design and design’s value
- Working on a single brand/stable of brands
- Politics and teams 

What’s the difference between working in house as opposed to a studio?

What are the relative advantages and disadvantages?

How do you manage corporate ‘politics’ – are they better or worse than studio politics?

Is there a focus on championing design and it’s value within a large org? Or is it lead by example and show the value?

Being embedded in an organisation would give you deep insights into the creative opportunities but can it become a struggle?

Does it take a mindset shift to focus so deeply?

Can you be too close? The argument for an agency is you get an objectivity being on the outside looking in.

What do your teams look like? Do you get to draw from a broader range of skills?

Introducing Our Panel:

Pictured: Bevan Tonks (left), Luke Pittar (right)

Bevan Tonks FDINZ, TIL Brands
Bevan Tonks is an Auckland-based, award-winning graphic designer who spent twenty years in design studios gaining experience working across a broad spectrum of design disciplines and business sectors before making the move in-house where previously he was Head of Creative for natural skincare brand Trilogy, and is currently Head of Creative for Australasian fragrance house ECOYA. 

Luke Pittar PDINZ, The Warehouse Group
A designer and design leader, who has a broad background of experience in brand strategy and identity design, packaging design, communication design, spatial design, UX design, and product design with a master's in co-design.

As a designer, Luke has been recognized and awarded both nationally and internationally, across multiple categories.  

As a manager and leader, Luke has proven experience in setting up high-functioning teams. To date, he has helped establish four design practices and two cross-functional teams. Both in Agile and non-Agile environments.

Luke is currently focused on building design thinking capability as a strategic value driver in one of New Zealand's largest businesses. This involves helping The Warehouse Group build design thinking capability at scale, with a view that it is a skill everyone can master and something that can be used at every level of the business to accelerate the ability to deliver value to its customers.

Deliverables to date are a collaborative/operational design thinking framework, design thinking toolkit, design thinking training academy (have trained over 200pl), and ongoing coaching support, which has resulted in the delivery of direct improvements to the customer experience, co-designed by the people in the business and customers.

The above informed a behaviour change across the business in how they think and act towards their customer, accelerating the delivery of further experiences improvements. 

A series brought to you by Gideon Keith FDINZ, Seven, DINZ board member (left) and Ryan Ward PDINZ, Archant, DINZ board member (right)

DINZ Interviews

When the opportunity arises, DINZ interviews leading designers from here and overseas. These interviews seek to dig beneath the surface to address the common and uncommon challenges, problems and opportunities the design community faces.