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    Collaboration and Creativity: A case study of how design thinking created a cultural cluster in Dublin

    Robbins, Peter and Devitt, Frank and Millar, Grainne and King, Mary (2015) Collaboration and Creativity: A case study of how design thinking created a cultural cluster in Dublin. In: R&D Management Conference 2014: Conference Paper, 23-26 June 2015, Pisa.

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    Tourism is a rapidly expanding industry with a wide range of economic benefits. Expenditure by tourists visiting Ireland was estimated to be €4bn in 2012, a 4.4% increase on 2011, adding to tourism expenditure by Irish residents of €1.4bn. Tourism accounts for 4% of national GDP and 6% of all employment in Ireland. Following the economic collapse in Ireland post 2007, the national tourism agency (Fáilte Ireland) has had to dramatically alter its role from being a funder for tourism infrastructure to being a catalyst for and facilitator of collaborative R&D and innovation . This paper explores a case study of one such innovation initiative: a collaborative innovation experiment that brought together over 30 of Ireland’s most significant cultural institutions (including the National Gallery of Ireland, National Library of Ireland, Museum of Natural History) and commercial bodies to use a design thinking process to develop Merrion Square as a new, more integrated cultural tourism destination. Merrion Square is a 'cluster' or geographic concentration of cultural organisations that, in this case, cooperated to focus on delivering new and better cultural experiences for visitors. The group drew on ethnographic research; involved customers, tour operators, historians, local community activists and artists, and used them to develop a portfolio of novel ideas for individual and joint implementation. The outcome has been the launch of a series of successful new visitor experiences and the development of a far higher level of cooperation between the institutions. 85% of the institutions involved report increased visitor numbers as a consequence of the project – with some specific events reporting an attendance rate up over 42% on the prior year. Such events are now synchronised through a management company comprised of the member institutions. This paper makes a valuable contribution by outlining the role of design-thinking in collaborative, multisectoral tourism service design and by spotlighting the role of trends research.

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    Keywords: design thinking; cultural cluster; Dublin; Merrion Square; tourism; ireland;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Design Innovation
    Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Business
    Item ID: 6365
    Depositing User: Frank Devitt
    Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2015 15:05
    Refereed: No
      Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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