Design is now a key driver for businesses and organisations looking to innovate, differentiate themselves from competitors and get closer to their users.

But what do these organisations mean by design and how are they using it?

Throughout the Age of Design project, we will investigate a series of key case studies of businesses using innovative design – from public sector organisations looking to improve their customers’ experiences to car companies using design to innovate and prepare for the future.

Our panel of design experts will provide commentary and analysis and consider how design thinking could shape our future experiences.

We will aim to analyse, explain and celebrate the design’s power to change, shape and improve organisations.

Welcome to the Age of Design.


Tom Banks 

Editor, Design Week

A word from our partner, IBM

Two key issues face every company today: customers’ expectations are changing, and the pace of that change is accelerating. And now with the advent of the cognitive era, digital and real world experiences will undergo even more fundamental change.

Cognitive systems are able to understand all the world’s data. They will reason and learn from every interaction. The cognitive era offers designers the possibility of ever-deeper human engagement.

To address these issues, IBM is bringing the power of design and design thinking to the modern enterprise. For the past four years, IBM has invested heavily in design.

Bringing these new skills and practices to bear, we began by changing how we worked internally. And then, based on what we learned, we developed design and design thinking services to help our clients navigate this new world of experience, pace and scale.

By setting users—not raw technology or buyers—as our North Star, IBM has established human experience as our principal benchmark and is delivering breakthrough user experiences for ourselves and our clients.

The Age of Design programme will help explore these themes and hopefully remind us that – in Thomas Watson, Jr.’s words – “Good design is good business”.


Phil Gilbert

General manager, IBM Design

Visit the Age of Design homepage.