Failure in Design

  • Bernhard Rothbucher
  • Katharina Rothbucher
Part of the Management for Professionals book series (MANAGPROF)


Failure in design may occur anywhere in the process of design, but also when a finished design object interacts with the recipient. Failure is thus shown to be an integral part of the design activity and the design artefact. Remarkably, failure of existing products has often triggered the development of new radical innovations. Design might be one of several disciplines that has cultivated failure as part of its professional routine, and one that has developed a “sense of failure” because of it. In some phenomena that are presented in the main text, failure is identified as the reason for a perceived higher value of the final design artefact.

The authors lay out the intersection of design and failure in a number of categories and connect them to findings from empirical research in a wide range of disciplines. Each intersection is packed with examples from history or practice to further shed light on it. The conclusion provides starting points to incorporate the reflections into the real-world practice of managers and other professionals who are interested in a new perspective in order to improve their own activities.


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Online Resources

  1. On the book website, additional content on failure is provided. Please visit:

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernhard Rothbucher
    • 1
  • Katharina Rothbucher
    • 1
  1. 1.SalzburgAustria

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