Monsanto GeoHotel Escola: The Use of Design in Low-Density Territories

Monsanto GeoHotel Escola: The Use of Design in Low-Density Territories

Ana Rita Baptista Garcia (Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, Portugal) and Sara Brito Filipe (Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, Portugal)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3628-5.ch018
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This research analyses the design process in the creation of Monsanto GeoHotel Escola (MGHE). The problem that underlies the study is the definition of the concept; identification of the actors who participated in the construction; the role of the academy, local government, and other partners; and the design strategy adopted. Methodologically, the authors triangulated documentary data with direct observation and interviewing the various team members as well as the heads of the partner institutions. They conclude that design thinking has proven to be an effective process to meet new needs. MGHE has adopted this method or process through multidisciplinary teams and focused on the needs of consumers: tourists, students of the Hospitality course. The active participation of consumers, from the partners involved in the process, from the inspiration phase to the ideation phase, including the implementation phase, ensured/ensures the necessary dynamics for the competitiveness of hotel equipment.
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Literature Review

Creative Economics, Design and Regional Development

Management implies and influences action. Planning strategies with a focus on the future, managing processes efficiently and effectively, and leading people are essential pillars for the good performance of any company. According to several authors, the design has favoured the competitive differential in the development of the regions. Cardoso, Saldanha and Casarotto (2007) consider that this presents itself as a resource capable of participating in the construction of strategies of innovation and differentiation of a region. The authors also point out that design can play an articulating role between companies, their peers and the entities representing the regions. This involvement generates the strengthening of ties with the local community and its culture, contributing to the consolidation of local/regional networks. Lastres and Pimentel (2001) state that several countries consider design as a means to promote regional development, as it encourages companies to make the best possible use of the specific traditions, characteristics and culture of each region. By analysing design as a factor of regional competitiveness, Ferreira (2006) points out that, in parallel with national policies based on technological development, several countries have prioritized increasing competitiveness at the micro level, seeking to increase the capacity of industries, using design as factor of regional competitiveness. In this sense Lastres and Pimentel (2001) emphasize that design management is an essential factor for the survival and greater productivity, for the competitiveness and innovation of the regions. In addition, design management contributes to building a regional identity, allows the sale of products and services at a higher price, develops consumer orientation, promotes the development of local culture, accelerates the launch of new products and services, identifies and enhances new markets; it sets itself up therefore as a core competency that is difficult to replace/imitate. Mateus and Associados (2013) also point out that the future of the Portuguese and European economy depends decisively on putting culture, creativity and knowledge at the center of economic activities. They add that “Innovation and differentiation are decisive in promoting non-cost competitiveness, value competitiveness, and they depend on the combination of mobilizing knowledge, enhancing culture and fostering creativity, whether at the level of human capital, or at the level of business organization”. They conclude that “The economy is less and less a path between raw materials and finished products, but an increasingly explosive mix of innovation and differentiation. In this sense, all industries will be cultural and creative or simply will not persist “(Matthew and Associates, 2013: 11).

Considering these assumptions, we had to focus on Design Management.

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