Dr Elaine Ritch: seeking a design marketing collaboration


Dr Elaine Ritch


Glasgow Caledonian University

Teaching area

Marketing and Retail

Looking for…

I would like my students to engage with product design students so that they can experience how designers think (based on the premise that to be a good marketers, you have to understand the design process). Out of this, they can develop communication and negotiation skills. The task for the students who take this core module is to a design sustainable housing concept (either a housing scheme or block of flats, one house, one room, or features within a house. This has to be a reflective process that includes a wicked problem – where housing is unsustainable -and thinking broadly around this to see if design can present a solution. I am open to negotiate a different project that still maintains the key principles of a design-marketing collaboration process if that helps to progress the COIL partnership.

Session offering

trimester beginning 16 Sept 2017

Numbers of students


Further information

The learning outcomes for this module are:

•             Define the relationship of Design to wider Marketing activities

•             Characterise and explain the field of Design Management

•             Identify the role of Design Management in Business success

•             Communicate business intention to designers by means of a brief

•             Select the appropriate style, tone, format and content in the creative construction of marketing communication tools

The focus is very much on design, but most of them do not recognise the creative aspect of marketing or the importance of design for marketing activities. It is the collaboration of design and marketing that the module focuses on, as portrayed by Apple – Steve Jobs was not the designer, but contributed to the design process with his business and consumer behaviour knowledge and this led to a consumer use orientated marketing approach.

The collaboration can contribute to an integrated approach to thinking through how design can respond to concerns for sustainability. Cultural dimensions would add to this, for example recognising that other countries have different policy and expectations for sustainability, some better, some worse. Culture would them inform practice and behaviours. It would also provide examples of international marketing that spans cultural elements to include core design features.

The sharing of cultural and discipline perspectives would deepen and expand the student experience through challenging their knowledge and introducing new concepts for consideration. Hopefully it would enable them to think more broadly and have an appreciation for other cultures and disciplines.

The inclusion of technology is another advantage for the project, I would be happy to use Skype, email and Facebook for the collaboration if the partner does not have blackboard – then perhaps I could meet with the learning technologist to determine if we can use GCU Learn. The students who take this module have to post a video marketing their ideas at the end of the module and are expected to view one another posts and make comment – so already I am encouraging the use of technology and constructive collaboration. It would be great to expand this culturally.


Email: Elaine.Ritch@gcu.ac.uk