This project explores ways of evaluating design-led approaches to innovation. Building on insights from academic literature, it investigates conceptual and practical evaluation challenges through creative methods. Together with a fellow researcher, I considered academic literature on the changing understanding of design innovation, the role of innovation labs in this context, and how evaluation approaches have changed to address the challenges of evaluating such projects.
We then use and build on these insights to investigate ‘Experience Labs,’ a design-led approach to innovation developed by the Institute of Design Innovation. The resulting report introduces the concept of ‘learning based innovation’ as a framework for articulating the value produced by design research. Moreover, we developed visual tools to use this framework to help Experience Labs practitioners learn from their own work as a form of formative and participatory evaluation. This way, our research addresses both the conceptual and practical challenges of evaluating Experience Labs.