Design Space is a space that can exist physically or virtually, implicitly or explicitly that enables the explorationand development of insights and ideas, defining what makes a great concept, driving the project forward to launch. I've defined it before but do so again as it is a key tool for design thinking. Design Space consists of four matched pairs of factors that influence the outcome of the project. They are:
Design for Consumer: consumer and channels
Design for Manufacture: technology and supply chain
Design for Competitiveness: brand and competition
Design for Sustainability: business [strategic] drivers and legislative and environmental drivers
At the centre of the activities is a space inhabited by all four and this is Design Space where everything-people, stuff, knowledge- should come together, collaborate; sharing, discussion and rejigging existing and new knowledge, making connections that generate the new insights, ideas, concepts, prototypes, that ultimately lead to new and enhanced products and services enabling the enhanced experiences for the people who buy and use them.
We can also think of Design Space as something that envelopes our products and services. In this case Design Space will encapsulate the rationale for creating the product or service the way it has turned out- Design [Space] Rationale is intended to capture the reasons why a certain physical or performance artefact is designed and made the way it is. Design Rationale will not only provide support for future reflection upon the artefact but also support the process of designing and the choices that are made, in the design context.
THe beauty of exploring Design Space is that it can open up "Why-not" views of the project scope.. so it may enter as a motor-bike retail franchise opportunity but exit as an internet site. The ability of a team to create products and services that are distinctive, reflect new thinking and appeal strongly to customers.
In other words "every object has a story". How stretching the story is depends on the interaction of the team in Design Space.