Design thinking and artistic interventions - tools for understanding and developing organizational creativity?

  • Oriana Haselwanter
  • Marja Soila-Wadman
Keywords: Creativity, Artistic interventions, Design thinking, Design management Aesthetics, Organizational development


Organizations in both the private and public sectors need to find new, creative ways of handling challenges in the complex environments of global competition. Engaging creative professionals like designers and artists - with the aim of developing organizational creativity as a strategic tool - has attracted a lot of interest in different kinds of organizations.

In our study, we followed a weekly intervention process led by an artist, within a trade union. The union wanted to bring change to its working processes, with the ultimate goal of increasing membership numbers.

The study is based on qualitative methods inspired by ethnography. Creativity, design thinking and artistic intervention literature form the main theoretical framework. Between the members of the workgroup and the artist, we have noticed a lot of discontent and differences in ways of understanding business versus creative goals.

We propose that knowledge of design processes, conceptualised in design thinking writings, can help to communicate what is going on during an artistic intervention process, thus narrowing the gap between different understandings. However, a certain amount of friction and conflict will be both necessary and desirable during a creative process.


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How to Cite
Haselwanter, O. and Soila-Wadman, M. (2016) “Design thinking and artistic interventions - tools for understanding and developing organizational creativity?”, Swedish Design Research Journal, 12(2), pp. 32-42. doi: 10.3384/svid.2000-964X.14232.
Research articles