..:: KEYNOTES ::..




Interspace Network: The Future of Work and Workplaces

Louise Guay, President of open innovation and co-creation center, Living Lab Montréal


Visionary executive, leading a company in fashion and technology for many years, My Virtual Model Inc., I created the Virtual Identity concept and its inception in the MVM Network which has been deployed on many platforms. Having been a screenplay writer for the Canadian national television (Radio-Canada), a board member of the Bell Funds for TV & web projects, and an expert in retail ecommerce integrating cells, PDAs and stores in multiplatform networks, particularly at Sears with the IBM Websphere Commerce partnership, I have an invaluable expertise anchored in a true understanding and practice of the Female Economy.




Complexity as an Innovation Driver: Profiting from Mass Customization

Frank Piller

Professor, RWTH Aachen University and MIT Smart Customization Group



Frank T. Piller is a Co-Director of the MIT Smart Customization Group at the MIT Design Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and a chair professor of management at the Technology & Innovation Management Group of RWTH Aachen University, Germany, one of Europe’s leading institutes of technology.  Frequently quoted in The New York Times, The Economist, and Business Week, amongst others, Frank is regarded as one of the leading experts on strategies for customer-centric value creation, like mass customization, personalization, and innovation co-creation. His analysis of “Threadless” (co-authored with Susumu Ogawa), an innovative crowdsourcing business model in the fashion industry, has been elected as one of the Top-20 articles in MIT Sloan Management Review.  Frank Piller is an acclaimed speaker at management conferences and in executive education programs around the world. He has been elected twice “teacher of the year” (2001 and 2006) at TUM Business School and was a recipient of the RWTH Teaching Award in 2010 and received an award for innovation in teaching within the German Exzellenz initiative in 2012.



Interactive creativity within co-creation and complexity management

Sebastien Ebacher

Producer at Ubisoft Montréal

Sebastien Ebacher holds a Master Degree in Economics from the University of Montreal, specialized in Information Economy and he is currently a Producer for Ubisoft Montreal, a video game production studio. For the last 12 years, he has been active in many aspects of the game industry, starting as a game industry analyst for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. In 2004, he also acted as the CEO of Artmedia Studios, a video game and web design studio.

From 2001 to 2004, Sebastien was also member of the Board of Alliance NumeriQC, a non-profit organization, that served as the business network for Quebec’s new media and interactive digital content companies. 

Previous to joining the industry, Sebastien worked as an economist for Industry Canada in the Information Technologies and Telecommunications sector.






Augmented Reality: the Innovative Approach

Awane Jones, Founder & CEO at Merchlar



Awane Jones holds a Bachelor degree in Political Sciences from Concordia University. Yet, more importantly, he is a born entrepreneur and a pioneer in augmented reality. Banking on ten years of experience in the music industry, where he produced and taped, music for televised programs, he co-founded Merchlar in 2010 with a number of partners. Within a few years this young firm would earn a number of entrepreneurship accolades. Merchlar quickly evolved into a digital agency specializing in augmented reality, mobile and web applications. It now develops interactive and immersive experiences for its customers, and realized its first augmented reality concept in 2010 in collaboration with Astral Média. The business solutions Merchlar offers its clients are unique and always highly innovative. It has, in the last few years, worked with such recognized businesses as Desjardins, JP Morgan, STM, les Canadiens de Montréal et collabore avec plusieurs agences telles que SidLee, LG2, Publicis, Edelman et ICaxon.




Mass Customization and Variability in Mass Transit Vehicle Design

André Thibault

Head of Product Management, Bombardier Transportation North America

André Thibault, Bombardier Transportation North America

André Thibault is head of Product Management for Bombardier Transportation North America. Within his scope of responsibilities he leads the advance development of rail vehicles to meet the future needs of growing cities, therefore interacting with the Research, Development and Innovation teams as well as Bombardier’s Intellectual Property and Trademarks experts.

With Bombardier for more than 20 years, Mr. Thibault has developed a wide range expertise in engineering and product design. He made his debut in rail manufacturing in La Pocatière, Québec, where he started as a production engineer. André Thibault was then assigned to the Bombardier Transportation North America headquarters in St-Bruno, Québec, where he worked on multiple projects in the design and integration of vehicle systems. Among some of his major accomplishments, Mr. Thibault headed the engineering team that designed the Chicago Transit Agency’s newest generation of subway vehicles.





Mutual and Overlapping Visions Explore Co-Creation and Mass Customization

Valérie Lamontagne

PhD, Department of Design & Computation Arts at Concordia University

Valérie Lamontagne is an artist-designer and PhD scholar researching “Performative Wearables: Bodies, Fashion, Technologies and Laboratory Cultures” at Concordia University where she teaches in the Department of Design & Computation Arts. She has curated and collaborated on design and media arts exhibitions and events. Valérie Lamontagne joined the Cirque du Soleil as the Creative Lead of C:Lab 6 months ago.

Cirque du Soleil has been at the avant-garde of physically and aesthetically bold performance for over 30 years. Now we are entering an era of new hybrid forms of performance where the audience and the stage performers interact; where non-human and human elements “perform”; where the script of the performance is open-ended or turned on it’s head. With projects such as “Sparked” that explored the potential of drones to perform on stage to the recent “Nest” installation featuring an immersive ritual space that invited the visitor to perform Cirque du Soleil’s C:Lab is an experimental platform that is re-thinking publics and collaborations in relation to co-creation, customization, chaos, and the encounter of the impossible in live performance.


Valérie Desjardins

Head of product development at Cirque du Soleil costume department

Valérie Desjardins holds a bachelor degree in dramatic art from UQAM. She is the head of product development at Cirque du Soleil costume department. With her team, she works to find the best way to integrate new tools, technologies, and methods with the aim to enhancing a costume’s “WOW” factor. Valérie Desjardins has been with the Cirque du Solei for 17 years.

The costume department at the Cirque du Soleil invests great efforts in creating the illusion of mass customization. However, while every costume is unique and tailored to the performer, our design iteration build on extensive pattern libraries, in which standard leotards, pants, and shoe designs are fashioned and modulated. In addition to this we have an extensive fabric collection with different kind of technical material for various needs that can be customized at need. Furthermore, all costume design is the result of a large team, co-creating its outcomes. In addition, Eureka!, an innovative space for employees fostering collaborative developments for idea iteration and testing outside of the official Cirque mandates will be discussed. Eureka works on a voluntary basis fostering employee participation outside of their regular functions in which its motive is: “Innovation is a mindset, not a department.”




..:: Session 1.3 ::..

Industry Track Speakers 


Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

Bike Friday offers highly-configurable, custom-fitted, high-performance bicycles that can be packed in a suitcase. A prospective customer must be willing to spend 1-3 hours on the phone with a sales associate to configure and order a bicycle. The company successfully created and deployed a wonderful back-end process for executing individual order configurations. However, the advantage in order execution was entirely people-dependent on a very knowledgeable inside sales team in the “configure-price-quote” front end process. The business owner knows this front-end issue is an obstacle to current and future growth. The owner doesn’t believe he has the know-how to solve this problem that has existed for some 30 years. What steps were taken to overcome this mass customization challenge? What was missing? How was this problem solved? I’ve provided much of the content from the actual consulting proposal that was the basis for this project.



Richard Bellamy, CEO RPI

How do businesses increase the impact and permanence of marketing messages in a world where people are becoming immune to interruptions from the barrage of digital channels? The secret is the unique ability of print. Yes, print. When combined with digital marketing, print is more impactful than ever. Mass customization enables the ability to recognize each customer’s heterogeneities and deliver personalized print products in just days. This creates a real connection that touches the heart of each customer in a way that digital communications simply cannot. Personalized print stands out as a trustworthy channel. Fact: 91% of prospecting direct mail is opened as opposed to a mere 11% of marketing emails. In this session Rick Bellamy, will share how RPI uses Collaborative, Adaptive and Transparent customization to engage customers for some of the world’s largest retailers and brands.


Variant related costs as base for modelling of complex technical systems          

Uwe Metzger            

The continuing increase in individual product solutions and in particular the increasing product complexity means that manufacturers often loose transparency about the overall costs and bottlenecks generated by product variants. This paper describes a practical procedural model to analyse the costs generated by product variants as base for a systematically modelling of a technical system. The procedure is described at an example for household appliances. A feasible and systematic cost model for the overall expenses of variants is a very reliable aid to support the evaluation of the architecture of complex technical systems. This makes it even possible to simulate different scenarios as well as alternative technical solutions and interfaces, even with complex technical systems.



Mathieu Lachaîne, President and founder – Ubios 

Is it possible to co-create a sustainable future while continuing to grow and create value for future generations ? The internet of things is coming with 100B devices. Can we leverage all this incredible data with an innovative business model, that would be sustainable, profitable, and customizable for all? During his conference, Mathieu will explore the creative possibilities enabled by technology and will expose his vision for the sustainable smart home of the future… mass-personalized for you. (

Serial entrepreneur, adventurer, involved citizen, disrupter. Coming from an information security background, what started as another side project to test a few crazy ideas in electronics is now in the final steps before launch. And it could well change the way we think about the smart home: as a sustainable energy-efficient, human-centered lifestyle for the future.


How to master Mass Customization with Product Configurators

Paul Blazek, Co-Founder & CVO Combeenation      

Mass Customization increases customer loyalty, raises the product price the customer is willing to pay, engages the customer in the creation process and drives word-of-mouth marketing channels. But to take advantage of that, a customer-company-interaction tool plays a special role: the product configurator.

Up to now, large amounts of IT-development budgets were needed, lot of time and conceptional, visual and feature decisions. Nevertheless statistics show that the majority of these configurator projects fail before they hit the market, getting stuck in choice navigation and solution space development. And a lot of the ones that go do not get the user acceptance expected.

The powerful configurator management system Combeenation enables the lean customization development process. It allows to start quickly, to manage complexity the easy way, to listen to the audience on a continuous basis and to stay agile by high-frequently adapting the configurator to customer needs.



Industry Track Speakers

..:: Session 2.3 ::.. 15h15Room Amphithéâtre SH-2800


The ultimate personalized experience for omnichannel retailers

Jean-Philippe Boudreau, Director, Digital Growth Absolunet

In order to deliver a best-in-class personalized 360° experience, a digital marketing automation strategy using powerful customization tools and online real-time merchandising is currently the biggest return-on-investment driven lever to embrace. Marketing departments know their prospects, how they got to their sites, what pages they have viewed, if they are a new shopper or loyal to a brand, perhaps even their gender and other demographic details. Using this strategic data effectively to re-market is the key to not only getting them to choose a brand over a competitor but to enjoy spending the money with it and therefore be likely to return thanks to consistent and contextual consumer experiences. Now that online retailing industry has put money and effort into building a site and getting people to it, the personalization is now the next important topic for board of directors.


The reality of Mass Customization for apparel and how to make it profitable

Terri Ghio, CEO and Chief Rainmaker at Perfectly.Me 

A case study of from Personalization to Customization – the Customer, the Business and the Technology. A review of the journey that includes a combination of personalization and customization and the differences. How we are using technology to profitably build our business without losing the critical personal touch needed. Taking a very personal experience and using technology to scale and deliver to customer’s expectations.” Just because you can does not mean you should….not everyone is capable of designing apparel that is flattering even if they have the tools to do it. Our Business Model – Recommendation engine for Custom Apparel and Style Services based on an intuitive Personalized StyleCode We are building a dramatic new world for women’s wardrobing. For the past 60 years we’ve been trapped by off-the-rack clothing; told how our bodies need to fit into the shape of the clothes, instead of the clothes fitting us. We’ve spent billions on outfits that just don’t work, that are left in the closet and eventually given away. We’ve relied on the manufacturers to “get” us, to deliver what we want, while being sold an ideal of how we should look based on the “Ideal woman’s (photo shopped) body.” The difference between personalized, made to measure and custom apparel – which is critical to the world of Mass Customization. Our Customer and her needs – Our customer is a 40-65 year old women who is tired and too busy to shop for things that fit! She values herself and wants to transition to her current self.

  • 45% of American women are Petite < 5’4” and 10% are Tall > 5’8”
  • 60% of American women are size 14+
  • Clothing is made for 5’7”size 8 rectangle body and does not accommodate the over 40 year old body (It does change)

Our Technology and support systems

We begin with an interactive quiz to find out what visually will appeal to our client. We use a body scanner to capture measurements to determine what will look best on our client and we are developing a visual technology for determining the proper color palette. We then offer intelligent decisions with choices that will support their needs and flatter them aesthetically. We will describe the research over the past 10 years leading to the final solution. From MVM to MyShape to Unique Meality and more…Limit what can be personalized and customized based on preset parameters – easier for the business and better for the customer – too many choices are not a panacea.



Elisabeth Stefanka, CEO of Stefanka lingerie

The research and development of Stefanka Inc. is a concrete contribution to the field of Mass Customization, Personnalization and Co-Creation. The following paper explores the conceptualization of a business using 3D scanning technology in the domain of lingerie and swimwear. Five main phases of research and development has brought Stefanka to the stage of commercialization. In October 2015, the next step is to establish partnerships with retailers to implement interactive fitting rooms for a recommandation of product fit and to sell licences to manufacturer creating customized bra, swimwear, lingerie and apparel for the upper part of the body. We implemented new algorithms, created identification of landmarks points, circumferential and volume algorithms for women’s breast anthropometry. Stefanka has created a solution for retailers to create an interactive in-store experience by a seamless and fast 3D scanning booth.



Michel Babin, CEO of Techmed 3D 

TechMed 3D will present its scanning booth project, which allows a quick full body scan and obtain multiple body measurements instantaneously. This is especially designed for the mass-customization market, and can apply to the fashion or the fitness industry. The customer is standing on a rotating platform, while a low cost scanner is acquiring the data, which is analysed in real time by our software. There are some factors of importance in this project. First is the low total cost of the system, which allows the installation of multiple units. Second is the small area occupied by the booth, to be able to install it any limited space at a low cost. Third is the intimacy required. The process is automatized, so that the customer can go through the whole process by himself. Forth is the instantaneity of the process. The measurements are available right away, eliminating the use of cloud computing.



Thomas Sychterz CEO and founder of Launchleap

Studies show that “co-creation, an active, creative and social collaboration between producers and users” ( Frank Piller 2011)1 drives sales, customer engagement and margins up. Practice backs it as well yet, until now, only few large organizations engage in it continuously. Because co-creation involves a high level of human resources as well as large capital investments for the IT tools, smaller size business are barred from it. But what if there was a tool more approachable, easy enough to understand and use? How much could smaller businesses benefit from direct powerful feedback during the development of new products and services? That’s what LaunchLeap has set out to discover when the startup launched in October 2014. LaunchLeap is an online customer collaboration tool that primarily targets small and medium sized businesses. The premise is simple: use the proven positive operational and marketing benefits of co- creation by involving the end consumer and giving him a sense of ownership.



..:: Session 1.1 ::..


Academic sessions presentations

  Co-Design Visual Displays in Virtual Stores: An Exploration of Consumer Experience    

Juanjuan Wu, Natasha Thoreson, Jayoung Koo, Angella Kim             
Contact: Juanjuan Wu (   

The purpose of this research is to learn about consumer preferences for visual displays and their experiences in co-designing an ""ideal store"" for themselves mainly regarding visual displays. Research participants were shown modules of six virtual stores that the researchers created that displayed merchandise based on grouping methods of lifestyle, brand name, and color, and varied in high or low density. The research participants, acting as co-designers, could pick and base their design on one module. However, they were encouraged to make changes and display merchandise that reflects their own needs and preferences. A total of 39 co-designed virtual stores were content analyzed based on a framework that was developed from the literature. And 37 written reports were also analyzed to learn about participant's co-design experience.

Apparel Technology Integration and Development for Purchase Activated Manufacturing    

Muditha Senanayake, Peter Kilduff                    
Contact: Muditha Senanayake (       

The apparel supply chain today is driven by risk based forecasting and planned over production at every link and has been discussed as unsustainable. Even though number of researchers and commercial technology companies has attempted to address this issue, up until now, there was no viable alternative to this overstock, discount and wasteful retail cycle. With the availability of digital communication, retail and production technologies the modern consumers demand more customized and personalized apparel products that need to be supplied quickly. Considering these dynamics a team consisting of educators and technology companies is developing a demand driven virtual inventory manufacturing system for Purchase Activated Manufacturing business named AM4U. This embrace ecommerce solutions and business integration systems with latest digital technologies to color fabrics and produce apparel on demand. The team is currently developing its first Integrated Mini Factory that can demonstrate this strategy under one roof.

 Is it important to personalize the dimensions of a fashion 2D model on a retailer’s website? The role of gender, body satisfaction and congruence         

Anik St-Onge, Merles Aurelie, Pichonneau Florian, Senecal Sylvain                 
Contact: Anik St-Onge (                 

The difficulty of finding out how well an item fits without trying it on, is one factor that is limiting the proportion of apparel sales conducted online (Zheng et al., 2012). To address this problem, most of the retailer websites feature a model wearing the clothes. However, although viewing the apparel on models reduces the risk related to buying clothing online, most models are often more attractive and thinner than average. The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of the different sizes of 2D virtual models (small and large) presented on the retail website on these variables: customer body esteem, congruence with the model, attractiveness towards the 2D model, attitude towards the brand and purchase intention. Using an experimental design with four different models (2 (size) X2 (gender)) in the USA, we collected 184 respondents

Proximity Marketing as an Enabler of Mass Customization and Personalization in a Customer Service Experience       

Nataly Levesque, Harold Boeck                      
Contact: Harold Boeck (              

More and more companies are adopting Proximity Marketing, an emerging form of marketing enabled through wireless technology. This article presents how companies can use Proximity Marketing to enhance their service experiences through a real-time mass customization and personalization of their promotions. Data collection was performed through a multi-case study approach of companies that are currently or have been using Proximity Marketing to enhance their services or the customer experience. Data analysis was performed to extract several variables namely the potential and actual benefits, how the offering is customized and personalized by Proximity Marketing as well as important issues relating to consumers. Our findings illustrate that very few empirical studies have been performed on the topic, which is consistent with an emerging field of research. Recommendations for further studies are addressed. Finally, managerial considerations and recommandations that will contribute to a company’s positive brand image and return on investment are presented.

Enhancing the Consumer’s Value of the Co-Design Experience in Mass Customization: The Relationship between Perceived Value, Satisfaction, Loyalty Intentions, and Individual Thinking Style

Frances Turner, Aurelie Merle                   
Contact: Frances Turner (   

This empirical research examines the extent to which the consumer’s perceived value of the co-design experience influences satisfaction with that experience, loyalty intentions toward the online mass customization (MC) program, and whether the consumer’s thinking style during the co-design experience affects the perception of value. 180 study participants used’s “Design Your Own” customization program, completing pre- and post-surveys regarding the co-design process. Results validate the positive (negative) influence of control and enjoyment (complexity) on satisfaction with the co-design experience and the positive impact of satisfaction on loyalty intentions toward the MC program. Additionally, thinking style influences perceived value. Experiential thinking during the co-design experience positively (negatively) influences control (complexity) and has no significant effect on enjoyment, whereas rational processing increases complexity and enjoyment, exerting no significant effect on control. Managerial implications of these results can help providers build value-laden, MC co-design experiences.

3D DRESS : Dynamism of A Hand Waving

Danielle Martin, Sasha de Koninck, Leila Ligougne 
Contact : Danielle Martin ( (

The research group 3dTrio has developed a 3D printed dress that questions the place, the relevance and the application of 3d printing in fashion. The exercise explores the shape of a hand in movement and traditional weaving techniques manipulated through computer software. The shape of the dress in itself is innovative. It wouldn’t exist through traditional methods of draping or fabrication. 3dTrio has chosen to work with the movement of a hand to generate the draping by studying its dynamic and challenging structure. In addition, the designers explored generative woven textiles by warping, twisting and reshaping it in 3D space. 3dTrio wanted to explore 3D generated textiles and shapes that could not be done on any textile machine out there today. Jacquard weaving machines were the first computers and it is interesting to see what jacquards become with these powerful tools in terms of infinite possibilities manipulating the warp and weft, in 3 dimensions. This 3D dress is honoring Cristobal Balenciaga references from the 50’s and 60’s, by its sculptural draping and shape. It is inspired by a study of the hand’s movement in sequential images and refers to human being sensibility and his manipulation in the fashion and technology fields. The dress was designed at Eyebeam and printed at Shapeways.

Co-Creation of Experiences in Retail: Opportunity to Innovate in Retail Business   

Ron Journee, Marcel Weber         
Contact: Marcel Weber (

What ‘s the best innovation strategy for retailers to differentiate from or to compete with their rivals and to achieve a sustainable and unique position in the very competitive retail marketplace? Should retailers engage customers and enhance affective customer loyalty by co-creating their experiences with them? An appropriate way to answer these questions is to create insight in and to understand customer experience and customer co-creation in retail business. In this article we accomplish this by reviewing extant scientific research on customer experience, co-creation and retail strategies, and propose a conceptual framework for customer co-creation of experiences in retail business. We assert that the purpose of customer experience is to create and deliver value to both customers (via activities related to customer engagement and co-creation) and the retailer. Retailers can increase their competitive advantage by innovating with a focus on customer experience co-creation.

..:: Session 1.2 ::..


Academic sessions presentations


An Open-Source Model of Collaboration and Customization in architecture

Carlo Carbone, Basem Eid Mohamed           
Contact: Carlo Carbone (

Modernity in architecture was substantiated by a revolution in manufacturing. Factory produced systems for buildings and their components induced an appeal for mass production in architecture. The sometimes confluent and often divergent dream of a factory-produced architecture has had the issue of customization at its core. Prefabrication of architecture is still promoted as an efficient and lean process, however the repetitive model of continuous production often connotes a lack of variability. This repetitive model of industrialized building is being challenged by new technology and an increased need to respond to social heterogeneity. Today’s theoretical experiments of custom prefabrication address a range of issues from conceptual, to design, to fabrication and construction. These models for flexibility and variability are yet to permeate a generalized lack of innovation within the industry. This paper presents an evolving methodology for developing a collaborative platform toward assembling a customizable architecture from manufactured systems for architecture.

Mass Customization in the Building and Construction Industry

Kim Noergaard Jensen, Kjeld Nielsen, Thomas Ditlev Brunoe, Søren Lindhard             
Contact: Kim Noergaard Jensen (

Recent research shows that the productivity in the Danish construction industry has doubled since 1966, which is significant less compared to other sectors in Denmark. However, increasing industrialization has achieved results in other industries in Denmark in terms of increasing productivity. This paper answers how the involved companies consider themselves compared to their competitors, and how they see the market demands customized products, and furthermore, it affect their capabilities, and viewpoints regarding harvesting of advantages related to utilizing of Mass Customization. This research is based on a questionnaire involving a number of Danish companies in the building and construction industry to determine the prerequisites and viewpoint for utilizing the advantages inherent in the use of Mass Customization.

Reconfiguring variety, profitability and postponement for product customization with global supply chains

Martin Bonev, Anna Myrodia, Lars Hvam        
Contact : Martin Bonev (

At present, many industrial companies offering high product variety focus on systematically reducing the complexity of their product range and business processes. Related challenges are often named to increase time to market, reduce the effectiveness in product development, and lower process efficiency. For manufacturers with global supply chains additional uncertainties arise in defining the right manufacturing strategy with respect to production location and postponement. To better understand related managerial implications, this paper discusses a case study a global manufacturer providing customized industrial applications. In particular, the study investigates the relationships between product variant profit-ability and manufacturing strategy relative to postponement and location. The results indicate that an improved configuration of these factors through substitution and supply chain redesign significantly increases the overall product portfolio profitability.

Information-Driven Customization: A Profile Matching Model      

Basem Eid Mohamed, Carlo Carbone      
Contact: Basem Eid Mohamed (

The application of digital design and manufacturing strategies in the building field has offered architects the capabilities to explore new areas towards customized buildings. Housing, a vital sector in the industry, has witnessed a renewed surge of awareness in the last two decades, especially following these new approaches to design and production, aiming to adopt mass customization. While this interest has taken various, digital technologies have enabled diverse research and pragmatic solutions to contemporary prefabricated housing industry challenges, given that it represents an ideal model to adopt mass customization. This paper represents a framework for managing information throughout the process of customization in the prefabricated housing industry. The focus is on devising an algorithmic model that matches homebuyers’ profile, in the form of precise programmatic requirements, to a potential housing solution from a predefined database. Once selected, homebuyers are prompted to customize the prototype to further suit their needs.

 Utilization of Mass Customization in Construction and Building Industry

Kjeld Nielsen, Thomas Ditlev Brunoe, Kim Noergaard Jensen, Ann-Louise Andersen            
Contact: Kjeld Nielsen (

Mass Customization has since its introduction been utilized successfully in industry as a means to meet customers’ unique needs. The customization process has been subject to optimization with shifting focus over the last two decades and results of this research have been a presentation of several corner stones to achieve and utilize Mass Customization. Recent research indicates that Danish industry in general has increased its productivity 6 times over the last 50 years, whereas construction and building industry only doubled its productivity. Many different explanations are given for this; however, a common theme is that every project is different and highly customized, which indicates that mass customization may have potential to increase efficiency in this sector. This paper analyzes the construction industry in relation to existing mass customization theory and frame-works, to identify applicable elements of mass customization, and in which areas challenges can be expected in applying mass customization.

..:: Session 2.1 ::..


Academic sessions presentations


Implementing ‘Design for Do-it-Yourself’ in design education     

JanWilliem Hoftijzer         
Contact: J. Hoftijzer (

The changes that concern the technology of making, the so-called ‘scale-free’-ness of tools for example (Anderson 2010), have an effect on the type of profession designers will have in the near future. Relationships between suppliers, manufacturers, designers and users alter rapidly, causing business models to change as a consequence (Winsor 2004, Hoftijzer 2011), as many economic principles seem to be no longer valid (Haegens 2015). While many education programs prepare students for a future in a traditional user-supplier relationship context, anticipating the recent changes should probably be considered (Hummels 2011). A series of ‘design for DIY’ cases has been executed by students, that helped testing specific approaches of how to facilitate amateurs: to provide solution spaces. These cases, and a comparison to what a traditional approach of design, manufacturing, supply and usage would be, will be discussed in the paper, resulting in a list of clear recommendations for design education.

Co-creation and design thinking to envision more sustainable business models: a prospective design approach for organizational sustainability of SME manufacturers 

Alexandre Joyce                
Contact: Alexandre Joyce (

Many businesses such as manufacturers base their business model on selling more product. We begin our research with the question: How can we help organizations imagine their business model to be more sustainable? For this action research, we prepared a workshop for 13 manufacturing organizations and undertook a co-creation design process that resulted in more sustainable business model concepts. We followed-up with 5 participating manufacturers by using design thinking and ended up with our own concepts of more sustainable business models. We report on four advantages of following a dual design process of co-creation and design thinking when generating a vision for more sustainable organizations. In the end, we strike a balance between the engagement of co-creation that leads to pertinence and the guiding ideals that drive the design thinking process.

Minecraft and the Resource-Scarcity Advantage

Xavier Olleros               
Contact: Xavier Olleros (             

This paper tries to shine a light on the seemingly paradoxical role of resource scarcity as help, rather than hindrance, to innovation. It does so by showing that Minecraft’s remarkable success has been the result of a fertile set of design and business model choices, some of which were due to the typical constraints that weigh on an innovator who is short of time and money. First, by contrasting the phenomenal success of Minecraft with the disappointing performance of Second Life, I will show that Minecraft’s design and business model were exceptionally good. Then, by contrasting Minecraft’s success with LEGO Universe’s dismal failure, I will show that such optimal choices were partly due to the scarcity of time and money that Markus Persson, Minecraft’s creator, was working under during the critical months of his game’s initial development. The paper ends with some strategic implications of my argument

Design and innovation beyond methods    

Caroline Gagnon, Valérie Côté              
Contact: Caroline Gagnon (  

Nowadays, design professionals increasingly need to integrate research-based tools to support and defend their design strategies in order to bring innovation into the business world. The approach presented in this paper allows the use of more refined methods to analyze and develop design strategies based on empathic approaches and design thinking. The tools and techniques associated with these approaches are linked to what is often called ‘design research methods’ offering design professionals a better understanding of design issues and thus, better design choices. There is no doubt that these methods are useful, especially in a consumers’ heterogeneity and mass customization context, however, there are certain limitations in their practice. Therefore, this paper proposes a framework based on a literature review on innovation and on an experience assessment of teaching these methods (Gagnon & Côté, 2014) in order to address these challenges and translating them into innovation.

Equity crowdfunding and the online investors’ risk perception: a co-created list of Web design guidelines for optimizing the user experience

Sandrine Prom Tep, Sylvain Sénécal, François Courtemanche, Valérie Gohier        
Contact: Sandrine Prom Tep (

Equity crowdfunding is a new venue for businesses in search of investment money. It consists of funding within reach through dedicated online marketplaces, connecting angel investors and startups. It implies investment for partial ownership and is subject to securities and financial regulations. As the practices emerge, we need to better understand investors’ perception of the risk level associated with this type of investment. Our study evaluates how design and interface elements influence these perceptions. An experiment was conducted with potential investors (N=30), who went through the investment process on a Web prototype mirroring Using eyetracking and facial emotion measures, cognitive attention processes were observed and triangulated with investors’ risk perception evaluations.

..:: Session 3.1 ::..

SPECIAL SESSION – Managing Complexity of Mass Customization of knowledge-based systems in manufacturing design and production

Academic sessions presentations

A Business typological Framework for the Management of Product Complexity   

Paul Christoph Gembarski, Roland Lachmayer        
Contact: Paul Christoph Gembarski ( 

Managing complexity and product variety in product development, manufacturing and sales is a key factor to a company's success. Nevertheless, a general definition of complexity as well as dimensions for measurement of complexity is not yet at hand. After discussing different approaches for complexity management and measurement and deriving measures and dimensions we introduce the Hannover House of Complexity as Framework for the assessment of complexity management techniques and tools. Since complexity is considered to be company specific this framework is combined with a business typology. As example, product configuration systems for mass customization businesses are classified and discussed in the House of Complexity.

 Engineering Change Management and Transition Towards Mass Customization   

Simon Storbjerg, Thomas Ditlev Brunoe, Kjeld Nielsen       
Contact: Simon Storbjerg (                 

Intensified competition and increased demand for customization has put manufacturing companies under pressure for finding more efficient approaches at handling the operations. As a response to this, Mass Customization (MC) has arisen as a strategy aiming to build the capabilities needed for delivering customized products, while maintaining the economies of scale. Engineering Change Management (ECM), which concern the handling of technical changes, is another field that has grown in importance with the increased demand for customization. Despite the commonalities of these two fields, the relation between MC and ECM has until now not been studied. This paper reports the results of a longitudinal case study in a global manufacturer. The paper con-tributes an overview of the key enablers of ECM for pursuing the MC benefits. Based on this, the paper contributes with new knowledge on the relation be-tween the maturity of ECM capabilities and the success of MC.

 The potential of product customization using technologies of additive manufacturing  

Rene Bastian Lippert, Philipp Gottwald, Paul Christoph Gembarski, Roland Lachmayer      
Contact: Rene Bastian Lippert (   

The Additive Manufacturing offers new opportunities for engineering design. Thus, conventional design-rules are no longer valid. For the application of the Additive Manufacturing, relevant constraints have to be taken into account, which result from the process, design and value chain. To identify the potential of application, a comparison between conventional manufacturing processes and Additive Manufacturing regarding their advantages and disadvantages is realized. The results are used to evaluate the potential of the technology. Therefore, different demonstrators are analyzed. The investigated products are classified in a matrix, which describes the relation between lot size and degree of customization. Thereby, the degree of customization is clustered by a scale, which described six different forms of customization. By the classification of the demonstrators, an area was defined, which de-scribed potentially suitable components for Additive Manufacturing. The final consideration of an example process is based on a machine for brewing tea by using capsules.

Identification of Profitable Areas to Apply Product Configuration Systems in Engineering-To-Order Companies       

Katrin Kristjansdottir, Lars Hvam, Sara Shafiee, Martin Bonev       
Contact: Katrin Kristjansdottir (  

This article suggests a systematic framework for identifying potential areas, where Engineering-To-Order (ETO) companies may increase their profitability by implementing a Product Configuration System (PCS). In order to do so a three-step framework is proposed based on literature. The starting point is to conduct a profitability analysis to determine the accuracy of the cost estimations, and based on that the reason for the deviations across different projects is found. The next step is to generate the scope for different scenarios that aim to improve the current situation. Finally, it is suggested to make a cost-benefit analysis for different scenarios to determine where a PCS can provide the most benefits. This article is supplemented with a case study from an ETO company where potential areas for using PCS were found by applying the suggested framework.

 Current Challenges for Mass Customization on B2B Markets

Leontin Karl Grafmüller, Hagen Habicht           
Contact: Leontin Karl Grafmüller (

Since Pine’s (1993) seminal work, much has been written about mass customization (MC). However, existing studies focus mainly on B2C markets, paying far less attention to B2B. This is striking because early examples of MC include business markets and business markets differ from consumer markets in many respects. For instance business customers have always profited from individualized offers. MC is, therefore, not about increasing output diversity while maintaining cost-advantages of mass production. It is rather the opposite, i.e., maintaining the established degree of individualization while moving from made-to-order production to more a more standardized (supposedly IT-based) co-creation process. Our paper delivers a stocktaking of current challenges for introducing MC on B2B markets. It uses service-dominant logic as a framework of analysis. We analyze particularly in how far the creation and perception of customer value differs between B2C and B2B markets. Avenues for future re-search are proposed.

..:: Session 3.2 ::..


Academic sessions presentations


‘La Chispa de la Ciudad de México’: Co-Creation of Organizational Innovations and its Implications for Managing Innovation

Hans Lundberg, Ian Sutherland, Birgit Penzenstadler, Paul Blazek, Hagen Habicht    
Contact: Hans Lundberg ( 

Building upon our first study on the methodology InnoTracing and the software tool InnoTrace, we here expand our investigation further into the black box of moment-to-moment processes of innovation, creativity and leadership as they unfold in micro-level social interactions. Relative to our first event based study (a 2-day scientific conference in Munich) this paper is based on an everyday-based study (a 3,5 month study at the innovation department of Great Place to Work in Mexico City (‘GPTW Mxc’)). By thereby having studied two different temporal modes, we further the development of ethnomethodological methods aiming to deal with user-generated data. In a Mexican work context, the innovation department of GPTW Mxc is a radical organizational innovation with implications for five aspects of the management of innovation; the importance of individual/team-balance (1) and “me-time” (2) and the intangibility (3), “non-glamour” (4) and on-goingness (5) of everyday creativity.

Lean Customization and Co-Creation Supplying value in everyday life

Alexander Tsigkas, Antwniaa Natsika       
Contact: Alexander Tsigkas (

This paper does not address a specific research question using a specific research methodology. It serves the way of thinking on Mass Customization. As lean thinking takes the lead in the post-industrial era, mass customisation gains new meaning under the term Lean customisation. Lean customisation abandons mass as the symbol of economies of scale for the sake of economies of scope and, in so doing, becomes important at all levels of the value chain reducing waste and supporting surrounding sustainability. The significance of lean customisation is disclosed under the premises of three levels of customisation: technical, customer value through co-creation, and the supplying of this value. As a result, a new way of thinking is initiated in order to accommodate very diverse management challenges in which ethics are naturally incorporated. It is shown that risk is meaningful in ethical terms and not just within a technical calculable context.

Modular Standard in independent Automotive Aftermarket 

Thomas Kampschulte             
Contact: Thomas Kampschulte (         

Automotive Aftermarket business requires individual solutions for the end-customer and the full range of products for relevant cars worldwide. This article describes the experience in implementation of a concept named Modular Standard at ThyssenKrupp BILSTEIN to fulfill these requirements. The two approaches of the concept are described. One is a component-toolbox for shock-absorber internal parts. Second is the utilization of platforms for car specific parts. The combination of both supports customization based on reduction of design-complexity.

Cognitive Computing and Managing Complexity in Open Innovation Model       

Robert Freund

Abstract: Risk and uncertainty is an under-investigated feature of innovation and needs to be further studied, because managing uncertainty and complexity can be regarded as a core practice of successful innovation management. As argued, multiple competencies on several levels (individual, group, organization and network) are able to negotiate complexity and uncertainty in open innovation models. On the other hand, computers and robots have made remarkable advances into the workforce in recent years. This paper discusses opportunities and limitations of cognitive computing in open innovation business models.

Combining Configurator 2.0 Software with Designcrowdfunding  

Matthias Kulcke                 
Contact: Matthias Kulcke (

The approach presented aims at reducing complexity through early communication with future customers, in short: Managing complexity by efficiently managing the creation of the product's solution space. In using designcrowdfundings to gather funds for a first series and also for the gathering of information about customer desires in regard to the product, designers and producers can already resort to online-plattforms providing the necessary technology to run a crowdfunding process. To develop the product configurator in the succeeding step of entering the market, there are also tools available that allow building a product-specific configurator from preprogrammed modules (e.g., that can be filled with individual content through an easy-to-handle user interface. The paper discusses the merging of these two types of platforms to further raise the potential of crowdfunding as a co-creation tool for solution space-development, by integrating configurator 2.0 software in the incentive strategy of designcrowdfundings.


..:: Session 4.1 ::..


Academic sessions presentations


From ETO to Mass Customization: a Bi-Level ETO Enabling Process       

Aldo Duchi, Filippo Tamburini, Daniele Parisi, Omid Maghazei, Paul Schönsleben     
Contact: Aldo Duchi (   

During the past few years many companies are playing in their respective market managing one batch of their commercial offer as mass-customizer and another as a pure ETO company. This newly created business model generates new needs and issues both in the internal organization approach and in the supporting IT systems. The competitive advantage of successful firms relies on the effective management of their purely customized orders, with the aim of include relevant knowledge and information in the Standard Space of Action. The aims of this work is to conceptualize this new Business reality, presenting and innovative underlying scheme for the Engineer-To-Order Enabling Process focused on the de-sign phase. Some best practices are presented, discriminated between long and short term. The focus is not just on the technological aspect, but also on the organizational one. The framework, empirically validated through case studies, can support companies to make this approach sustainable.

Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems in Small and Medium Enterprises

Thomas Ditlev Brunoe, Ann-Louise Andersen, Kjeld Nielsen                
Contact: Thomas Ditlev Brunoe (

As mass customization is being widely adopted, manufacturing companies are faced with an increasing challenge of establishing and maintaining manufacturing systems with sufficient flexibility to meet customers’ diverse needs while being efficient and competitive. Furthermore, shortening product life cycles re-quire manufacturing systems to be able to react quickly to changes in market and products. Reconfigurable manufacturing systems (RMS) are widely acknowledged as a feasible principle to design a production system, which is both flexible, efficient and able to change capabilities and capacities rapidly. Most literature, however, addresses the design of RMS in large companies, whereas limited literature is found related to SMEs. This paper investigates the potential and challenges related to implementing RMS in SMEs, by conducting a case study of a SME in the Danish manufacturing industry. It is concluded that RMS in some cases can be beneficial for SMEs, however significant challenges exist, which calls for further research.

Investigating the Impact of Product Volume and Variety on Production Ramp-up

Ann-Louise Andersen, Mads Bejlegaard, Thomas D. Brunoe, Kjeld Nielsen        
Contact: Ann-Louise Andersen (

Reconfigurable manufacturing systems are attractive options for realizing the competitive strategy of mass customization, due to their ability to quickly introduce new products and rapidly change functionality and capacity. However, achieving such efficient reconfigurations requires continuous reduction of production ramp-up. This is a rather challenging task, as ramp-up periods generally are characterized by many unforeseen events and problems that create high uncertainty and difficulties in realizing planned performance. Therefore, the aim of this research is to empirically investigate ramp-up challenges in two case companies, a large enterprise producing high-volume standard electronic products and a SME producing low-volume customized excavators. Through this multiple-case study, significant differences in ramp-up challenges are identified and related to product volume, product variety, and company type. The findings provide a valuable addition to current research, which is mainly related to ramp-up in high-volume industrial settings.

Mass Customization Challenges of Engineer-to-Order Manufacturing

Maria Thomassen, Erlend Alfnes           
Contact: Maria Thomassen (

Companies in engineer-to-order manufacturing environments that seek efficiency gains through adopting a mass customization strategy meet major challenges. Current research on the implementation of mass customization in companies traditionally has a strong focus on the transition from mass production and few studies only involve settings characterized by high variety and low volume production. The purpose of this study is to bring further detail to major areas of concern when adopting mass customization principles in engineer-to-order manufacturing. A literature review of mass customization and engineer-to-order was carried out and principles for mass customization implementation were tested in a case company. The study revealed that major issues of MC in ETO are interdependent across several decision areas and involve manufacturing as well as engineering and design phases. This paper provides more in-depth insights to practical consequences of implementing MC in ETO manufacturing.

Conceptual Model for developing of Platform-centric Production Architectures  

Jacob Bossen, Thomas Ditlev Brunoe, Mads Bejlegaard, Kjeld Nielsen         
Contact: Jacob Bossen (

Product architectures and product platforms have been researched extensively the last decade to cope with the challenges of large product variance, but an ever-increasing demand for speed and cost effective new product and product variants introductions motivates a more holistic and integrated approach to product development. Hence, a need exists for extending the scope of designing product architecture and platforms to cover manufacturing system information. Ultimately, this will lead to improvement of the robust process design capability of mass customization. Although attention to production architectures and production platforms has increased, not much has been published within this area. Furthermore, empirical observations show that the current vocabulary and detail level of constructs, models and methods is not sufficient for industrial application. With origin in current research on product architectures and product platforms, this paper addresses these issues by providing a conceptual model and vocabulary for production platform design.

Machine-part formation enabling Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems configuration design – Line balancing problem for low volume and high variety   

Mads Bejlegaard, Thomas Ditlev Brunoe, Kjeld Nielsen, Jacob Bossen         
Contact: Mads Bejlegaard (

Group Technology plays an important role in mass customization, coping with the difficulties in multi-product, small-lot-sized production, due to the importance of product and part family formation. There have been many applications of Group Technology organizing manufacturing facilities and many approaches have been created but none of these has been found to be universally suited to all types of companies. Hence, many companies, use instead their own systems for their particular applications. Based on an existing manufacturing environment this paper contributes to the process of machine-part family formation by identifying machine-parts formations and process similarities. Additionally, configuration of a Reconfigurable Manufacturing System based on one particular part family identified is carried out with the purpose of assessing the line balancing problem of high variety.

..:: Session 4.2 ::..


Academic sessions presentations


KBE-Modeling Techniques in Standard CAD-Systems: Case Study – Autodesk Inventor  

Paul Christoph Gembarski, Haibing Li, Roland Lachmayer          
Contact: Paul Christoph Gembarski (

Due to shorter product lifecycles, enhanced use of carry-over-parts and product customization, digital product models are frequently modified and adapted to new functional or design requirements. Basis for this is the ability of parametric modeling in today’s CAD-systems. Knowledge-Based-Engineering (KBE) extends this approach by use of methods and algorithms to implement design knowledge within CAD-models. So, dimensioning formula, design rules or manufacturing restrictions can be included in order to transform the design problem to a configuration problem. After a brief introduction in existing KBE modeling paradigms, in this article we present methods and functionalities of the CAD-system Autodesk Inventor Professional (in the out-of-the-box system configuration without extensions like Inventor ETO). To those belongs the implementation of logical, geometric, topological, and mathematical constraints, design rules in classical if-then-else notation, spreadsheet driven design, and intelligent templates. Hereby different configuration systems are set-up and presented in our application examples.

Goal-Oriented Data Collection Framework in Configuration Projects

Sara Shafiee, Lars Hvam, Katrin Kristjansdottir      
Contact: Sara Shafiee (             

This article proposes a systematic framework for data collection when executing Product Configuration System (PCS) projects. Since the data collection in PCS is one of the most time consuming tasks, a systematic framework to handle and manage the large amount of complex data in the early stages of the PCS project is needed. The framework was developed based on the current literature in the field and revised during testing at a case company. The framework has proven to provide a structural approach for data collection, which saved the company both time and money in the initial phases of the PCS project. The framework consists of five steps, which are; establishing a goal and the methods for stakeholder analysis, categorize and group the data collection, prioritizing of products and functionalities, collection and validation of the data by domain experts and finally analysis, documentation and maintenance in the future.

Challenges in Choice Navigation for SMEs 

Kjeld Nielsen, Thomas Ditlev Brunoe, Lars Skjelstad, Maria Thomassen       
Contact: Kjeld Nielsen (         

As Mass Customization is becoming a more widely adopted business strategy, not only large companies, but also SME’s are beginning to adopt mass customization. Previous research indicates that in order to become a successful mass customizer, companies must hold three fundamental capabilities; solution space development, choice navigation and robust process design. Since mass customization often requires complex systems related to these three capabilities, this is often resource consuming and can thus be challenging for SMEs due to the smaller scale compared to traditional Mass Customizers. This paper analyzes six different cases of SME mass customizers, by describing and comparing the challenges they have been faced with implementing mass customization. This paper focuses specifically the capability Choice navigation and thus addresses the challenges these companies have encountered in relation to product selectors, product configurators or other systems used for matching customer requirements with selection within the company’s product variety.

The Evolutionary Process of Product Configurators        

Paul Blazek, Monika Kolb, Clarissa Streichsbier, Simone Honetz     
Contact: Paul Blazek (   

The field of mass customization is constantly in an evolutionary process, which becomes obvious when observing product configurator offerings over a period of time. The evaluation of the biggest collection of product configurators, the Configurator Database (, reveals which industries and product categories show the highest growth and where the offer is likely to decline. Besides having a look on statistical developments, the objective of this paper is to identify functional and visual changes of these crucial tools for mass customization. Based on case examples in the automotive industry, the user interfaces of configurators are researched with a special focus on visual elements and interaction possibilities.

Topics in Mass Customization. A Bibliometric Analysis        

Stephan Hankammer, Frank Piller, David Antons, Robin Kleer         
Contact: Stephan Hankammer (

Since the emergence of the concept of Mass Customization the research discipline has gone through various changes regarding relevant research questions, practical applications and connected research topics. With the help of a systematic quantitative review of the literature hidden structures and research activities within the discipline of Mass Customization are revealed. For the mapping of the research area, we used the following steps: First, an expert survey revealed 19 terms being useful to identify literature related to Mass Customization. Using Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science Core Collection we collected ca. 8.000 research papers through these search terms. We analyzed the collection of papers iteratively and excluded those of lower quality and relevance from the analysis. On the remaining papers, we apply two bibliometric methods: Bibliographic coupling helps us to better understand the structure and emergence of topics in the past, whereas co-citation analysis predicts future topics and fields of research.

Mass Customization in SMEs – Literature Review and Research Directions

Stig Taps, Thomas Ditlev Brunoe, Kjeld Nielsen     
Contact: Thomas Ditlev Brunoe (

As mass customization is spreading to more and more different niches, this business strategy is no longer only applied by large companies offering products to end costumers. More SMEs are beginning to adopt this business strategy. This research is a literature review study to identify Mass Customization literature, which specifically addresses the challenges, which are relevant to SMEs. The literature study first indicates that very little literature has been published on Mass Customization in SMEs. Second, the literature study classifies the identified literature into 1) general or strategy focused SME Mass Customization literature, 2) SME Mass Customization case studies, 3) choice navigation and information systems in SMEs, 4) solution space development in SMEs, 5) robust process de-sign in SMEs and 6) research focused on mass customization in specific industries. The paper concludes by identifying major gaps in literature and pointing out future research directions.