Towards an interdisciplinary knowledge exchange model

Uniandes design school help to transform Avianca into a design driven company in the flight industry

  • Santiago DE FRANCISCO Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia
  • Diego MAZO Universidad de Los Andes, Colombia
Keywords: collaboration, university, industry, design methodologies, innovation


Universities and corporates, in Europe and the United States, have come to a win-win relationship to accomplish goals that serve research and industry. However, this is not a common situation in Latin America. Knowledge exchange and the co-creation of new projects by applying academic research to solve company problems does not happen naturally.
To bridge this gap, the Design School of Universidad de los Andes, together with Avianca, are exploring new formats to understand the knowledge transfer impact in an open innovation network aiming to create fluid channels between different stakeholders. The primary goal was to help Avianca to strengthen their innovation department by apply design methodologies. First, allowing design students to proposed novel solutions for the traveller experience. Then, engaging Avianca employees to learn the design process. These explorations gave the opportunity to the university to apply design research and academic findings in a professional and commercial environment.
After one year of collaboration and ten prototypes tested at the airport, we can say that Avianca’s innovation mindset has evolved by implementing a user-centric perspective in the customer experience touch points, building prototypes and quickly iterate. Furthermore, this partnership helped Avianca’s employees to experience a design environment in which they were actively interacting in the innovation process.

How to Cite
DE FRANCISCO, S., & MAZO , D. (2019). Towards an interdisciplinary knowledge exchange model. Conference Proceedings of the Academy for Design Innovation Management , 2(1), 1569–1606.