The competence of a successful designer

Niina Turtola, Kaarina Määttä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The designer’s practice is subject to ever-increasing demands in the accelerating transformations and complexities of our time. A designer's competence requires continuous renewal and realignment, yet it contains several permanent qualities. The purpose of this article is to create a holistic picture of the competence of a successful designer. This article shows how a designer's competence is constructed of four factors: cognitive, social, emotional, and functional. Cognitive factors include several characteristics required for design thinking, especially creativity, and the ability to produce new insights and the ability to cope with uncertainty. Design is a social process, where interaction skills and the ability to collaborate are crucial in a co-design approach to collective creativity. The designer's positive feelings, attitudes and enthusiasm promote design thinking, problem-solving and innovation. Functional factors, such as good knowledge and skills, are essential tools for the development of the design. These promote the designer's work satisfaction and well-being. The success of a designer requires multi-faceted competence, and success does not only depend on personal characteristics. Success is influenced by the environment in which the designer works. A good atmosphere of the work community, support and encouragement promotes success for all parties involved in the design process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-49
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Business and Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2023
MoEC publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • designer
  • competence
  • success
  • skills

Field of science

  • General education


Dive into the research topics of 'The competence of a successful designer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Citation for this output