Frido Smulders, a born innovator with a background in aerospace engineering and an objective perspective on the design world. His passion and drive for new solutions has brought him great success in the world of design. He has an impressive repertoire of research and publications, exploring the socio-interactive processes related to product innovation and its management.
Aside from his research and teaching activities, he is currently Director of the Strategic Product Design master program at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands.
We were eager to hear his vision on the need for new design professionals and how the Master of Strategic Product Design is incorporating these new characteristics into its curriculum. We got inspired by his passion for education, and his commitment to shaping the future of the design profession.
This interview gave us a peek into the work involved in engineering an educational program that fits our rapidly changing world and its increasingly complex problems.
More about Frido:
Frido Smulders has been appointed to Associate Professor in the section of Jan Buijs (PIM department). Apart from his teaching and research activities, he is leading the Master Strategic Product Design and is member of the Valorisation Advisory Board IDE.
Before joining IDE in 1993 Frido has been working as a management consultant in the field of new business development, creativity and technology. He joined IDE first on a part time basis running his innovation consultancy besides it.
Over the years at IDE Frido has been secretary to the PIM-department for 7 years, teaching for 13 years the 3rd year’s course on Corporate New Product Development (old bachelor curriculum) and has been coaching over 80 graduation projects. Presently he lectures on Project Leadership, Leading Strategic Design, Creativity, Entrepreneurship and Collaborative Business Design.
In 2006 he defended his PhD-thesis describing the social process among designers and actors from production during the transition of a new product to the production process. With his research he aimed to connect the engineering sciences to the social sciences. His present research follows naturally from this line and focuses on the socio-interactive dimension of product innovation and more specific on the disciplinary and functional interfaces therein (clients, suppliers, management, etc.). In his vision the socio-interactive dimension forms the flip site of the well-known ratio-analytic dimension (i.e. steps, phases and stage gates). Outside IDE he collaborates among others with people from Maastricht University, Manchester Business School, University of Technology Sydney and Carnegie Mellon University.