Dr Mersha Aftab
MA Design Management Course Director
Dr. Mersha Aftab is a senior lecturer in Design Management and the course director for postgraduate design management courses at Birmingham City University. Before joining the Faculty of Architecture, Design, and Media in September 2019, she was a Senior Lecturer in Innovation at the Faculty of Arts, Design and Social Sciences, Northumbria University, since 2012.
In 2006, she finished her BA in fashion and information technology from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, India, and began her professional career with India’s largest retail giant, Shopper’s Stop inc. Before pursuing her masters, she also got the experience of working as an assistant product manager with the United Colours of Benetton (India). She got her Master's degree in Design Management in 2010 from Northumbria University.
Mersha joined Philips Design, Eindhoven, as an intern in 2010 under a collaborative scholarship scheme between Philips and Northumbria University. During her internship, she used design research to refine and explicitly define the value proposition and development process run by the Research Development and Innovation team at Philips Design. In 2013 she was awarded her doctorate on the topic ‘design as a functional leader: a case study to investigate the role of design as a potential leading discipline in multinationals’.
Since 2013, her research has revealed that for design to be a leading functional discipline within an organisation and lead breakthrough innovations, designers must have the connector-integrator (interdisciplinary) capability, i.e. the ability to connect different disciplines to work together. Mersha’s work has led her to collaborate with Nokia, Daimler, Sony Erricson, Lego, Google, and Samsung. Mersha’s interest also lies in exploring the role of design in triggering a change in the culture of organisations.