Jon Kolko » The Tenuous Relationship Between Design and Innovation
The most popular types of innovations are product and process innovations. Product innovation refers to a change in the product. It can be in. explicitly incorporate the underlying meme, and it must account for the inflection .. The relationship between product innovation and process innovation is. In this situation, an innovation process is overkill. We'd argue and methods for ideas to transverse the path from idea to commercial product.
One fundamental lies in the nature of materials and how we culturally characterize them. In part because of their work, the field now accepts that materials need not be placed in categories such as "rich" and "cheap" but instead may be placed in categories of function and purpose. That they succeeded in that exploration applied to a particular chair was the application of the exploration — one that met the demands of value and pragmatism.
Similarly, Design research and design practice still do double duty in our field.
- Product Innovation
That duty covers more than the idea of newness and must be further teased apart if we are to make the best use of their unique functions. Innovation, properly defined, might be a new way to characterize successful creativity, when applied in a business setting, However, in discussions with academic colleagues, I often hear Designers define their profession in terms of language, method, communication, and empathy.
Designers often feel that they play a socially integrated and culturally relevant role. For example, Carnegie Mellon has convened two conferences on service design, and the University of Salford sponsors the website Socially Responsible Design. Unfortunately, some seem to characterize the "business of design" in a neutral or even negative light rather than as a process with different but important concerns. Design is the term we use to describe both the process and the result of giving tangible form to human ideas.
Design doesn't just contribute to the quality of life; design, in many ways, nowconstitutes the quality of life. All of these definitions relate Design deeply to the underpinnings of human life. Their words echo the feelings of many designers who feel that their work is as important to culture as are spoken and written language, and as critical to humanity as are human relationships. Thus, Design as viewed by Designers is not necessarily innovative, or inventive, and while the fruits of Design may be a portable music player or a beautiful car, Design itself is a process of communication.
So, in order not only to be taken seriously, but also to make its best contributions, Design, as well as the general community, needs to explicitly consider these particular aspects within the process of exploration and discovery. Design with a capital "D" The operating confines and constraints of a business — which certainly affect the process of artifact creation — are not part of the discipline of Design itself.
This may be a controversial statement only if one views Design as design — that is, as a small part of a larger discipline of business or engineering or science.
The 3 Types of Innovation: Product, Process, & Business Model - Differential
But Design is not a small part of a larger discipline; it is a proper entity of its own. It can be academically separated from Art or Science, and must be pragmatically distinct from the fields of marketing or engineering. Here, I am in no way attempting to argue that Design should not be intertwined tightly with these other disciplines in business practice; the pragmatic distinction is one of method, vocabulary, technique, and history.
It has been illustrated continually that a tight and interdisciplinary integration of all business entities affords a great deal of success in industry.
Relationship between Process and Innovation – Innovation Excellence
But this application of Design Thinking in industry is only one application of the field; consider Design Thinking in politics, or in healthcare, or in nature. While some may argue that Design is not a discipline because aspects can be found at work within other disciplines, I would argue that, to understand what is implied by claiming Design as a distinct discipline of its own, one might turn to the generally accepted first mention of this seemingly complicated idea.
Bruce Archer is referenced as the first to consider Design and specifically Design Research as separate from, and different from, Art or Science and Art and Science Research.
Archer, formerly the Director of Research at the Royal College of Art, continually argued that Design is a third area, separated from science or the humanities, and with a rich potential for disciplinarity, solidarity, and cohesion: Design, in its most general education sense, where it is equated with Science and the Humanities, is defined as the area of human experience, skill and understanding that reflects man's concern with the appreciation and adaptation of his surroundings in the light of his material and spiritual needs.
It is its own discipline. His definition had little to do with innovation and instead considered how Design reflects both physical material and also more fleeting spiritual needs and desires. His perspective placed an emphasis on the human aspects of the discipline.
The distinction between Design and other professions, including the Fine Arts, has been, then, steadily acknowledged and referenced by many academics over the last half-century, with increasing specificity. Saikaly provides a survey of this academic perspective concerning the unique nature of Design in his text Approaches to design research: Towards the designerly way. Not surprisingly, he references Herb Simon, who notes: Similarly, Saikaly notes that Narvaez believes "[t]he study object of many sciences, among them the physical and natural sciences, encompasses everything that is, in turn, their field of action whereas design, as it has been interpreted and particularly taught, reveals some differences" p.
We hold the idea that design is its own tradition of inquiry, as well as action, and is among the oldest of traditions. Saikaly calls attention to this historical shift in order to illustrate the necessity of Design Research — a specific form of research centered on practice-based immersion, "comparable with but distinct from research in the sciences or the humanities since it advances knowledge partly by means of design practice" p.
But in Design Research, the problems of individuals can be explored without the business aspect intruding into the process. This statement is supported by Saikaly's analysis of doctoral research, specifically in Design, conducted at various universities throughout the world. He concludes that, in conducting doctoral- level Design research, investigators do not attempt to follow a scientific inquiry or create studio works.
Instead, their goal is to create "'plausible ideas' of represented phenomena through design practice" p. While scientists and those working in the humanities are familiar with and rely heavily on inductive and deductive reasoning, those engaged in design activities often become familiar with and embrace abductive reasoning. This type of reasoning can be thought of as the promise of what might be a — "good fit" or a "best guess". Abductive reasoning manifests itself in an iterative application of a theory to a real-world problem a design process of creation made up of both inductive and deductive influences.
D into d Thus, while some academics have begun to understand and embrace Design as a unique discipline, the business world continues to struggle with the appropriate integration of Design Thinking in the marketplace. The lack of documentation on the part of professional designers, the often overly philosophical and complicated documentation from academics, and the overzealous hype produced by design and business publications, leads to a strange sense of elitist misunderstanding concerning the "magical" nature of design process.
In both practice and academe, the designer is frequently misunderstood.Process Innovation
However, when seen through the lens of a unique discipline rather than as a set of haphazard buzzwords based in the popular media, one can find that Design is not mysterious, and the process through which design solutions come to exist is not difficult to understand or to duplicate.
This process, while not shrouded in secrecy, is emotionally charged and very human — it embraces both analytical thinking and reflective, reflexive feeling, which are characteristics all people share, yet a duality that few seem willing to embrace. This combination of logic and illogic highlights some of the differences between this profession and disciplines like Engineering and Science.
In Design both the scientific method and literary devices exist within Design methods and Design devices.
For example, the idea of chairness — communicating the nature of something to sit on — depends on devices that are not necessarily innovative. The realm of science, social influence, human need, and cultural relevance is subject matter of the profession itself, which serves as the backdrop for the development of products, systems and services — designed artifacts.
Tangential, but not synonymous The subject matter of Design is not that of innovation. While these are perfectly sound applications of Design in business, these do not define Design itself. What does define Design is often debated, but usually includes some relationship with language, and process, and humanity — and the use of the aforementioned abductive reasoning to apply these concepts within different areas of Design. Parallels have been made between Design and communication; Graphic Designer Saul Bass is frequently quoted as saying "Design is thinking made visual" Koning,http: In making this statement, he echoes Rudolf Arnheimwhose seminal work on visual thinking equates it with the most important kind of thought for which language is only a translation.
From another perspective, author and educator Richard Buchanan connects language to the discipline in a more holistic manner, as he refers to the discipline as a "liberal art of technological culture" p. Through both the pragmatic creation of visual communication, and the notion of relationships embedded in a semantic language, a designer creates a design that attempts to assist the viewer not only in experiencing a particular emotion such as relaxation but also in understanding aspects of the content of a message such as formality or informality.
This understanding goes deeper than novelty, or invention, or even utility. The audience is invited to realize — either attentively and logically, or in a more ethereal manner — the intentions of the design, in order to feel the intended message.
This language is not metaphorical. The designer does not design as language is spoken. In fact, design is language only in that it attempts to shepherd understanding in a specific direction.
In a successful design, the ambiguity of the message is limited, and while there is certainly room for interpretation, the interpretation is, in comparison with the fine arts, dramatically less free.
Of course one must always consider context. While a design might imply that a chair says cozy and comfortable, how that invitation to meaning will actually be received depends on whether the chair resides in a living room or the waiting room of a trauma center. Conclusion Design from this rich complexity begets a design profession that has a rich and healthy foundation in academic discourse. This discourse emphasizes the role of process, and informed trial and error. The nature of Design and design do envelop and necessitate drawing connections between seemingly disparate disciplines.
Design does examine and consider the role language plays in the creative process as well as the process of use or consumption. A foundation of theory instead of buzzwords increases the potential of the process of Design as a unique method of inquiry and problemsolving. While some Designers have had success in integrating their tools and processes, and themselves, into the business environment under the guise of innovation, the notion of innovation is but one potential avenue of inquiry for Design and Design Thinking.
Unfortunately, it is the gap between the academic discourse and the professional designer that has created this strange misuse of the word Design and made it harder to appreciate available Design resources found within a corporation. Strategist Larry Keeley, who valued the mentorship of the late Jay Doblin, a designer, professor, and Director of Chicago's Institute of Design, and the namesake of Keeley's company http: After years of studying the processes that drive new and valuable products in the marketplace, Keeley, in an impassioned reply to Bierut's Innovation is the new black, states that innovation is a: NEW field, not just a new word.
I further contend that it has its own methodology, complexity, and professional demands. Bierut,online Keeley is right. The often arbitrary interchange of the words Design and Innovation are doing a disservice to the growth of both concerns. Design can be innovative, and the innovation can be powerful.
Design can also be other things: All of these things need to be better understood, documented, debated and explored if Design is to enjoy the status and solidarity of a respected discipline. And while these qualities may not have a great deal of business value, they hold a tremendous level of human value. That is the benefit, and power, of a unified and unique discipline of Design: When it has shed the artificial constraints of business, or art, or engineering, the unique discipline of Design can begin to truly affect positive change for society, for culture, and for people.
How it learned that what customers really want is to keep the change. Retrieved October 27th,from http: As a result, product innovation dominates in the early stages. But later on, as technological and market uncertainty reduces, firms focus on efficiency. At that time, process innovation becomes more important. The role of dominant design in innovation choices Is there a clear point when firms begin to change their innovation focus from product to process? Fortunately, research provides a clear answer here.
Before this point, firms experiment with the product. After this event, companies focus more on the process. When dominant design emerges, product innovation passes the baton to process innovation Technological, Market and Financial uncertainty and Innovation Firms face many types risks. Three key ones are the market, technological, and financial uncertainty. Companies attempt to reduce these risks. Early on in new technology, all three uncertainties are high.
Product vs Process Innovation
What the technology can provide and what the market wants are both unclear. As a result, whether there is money to be made is also not very clear. As the dominant design emerges, technological and market uncertainty reduces. But, financial risk is still high because the cost structure is not yet optimized.
Process innovation helps optimize the cost structure and reduce economic uncertainty. Industry Stability And innovation The emergence of dominance design is one driver of industry stability. It leads to shakeout and reduction in competition.
Process innovation helps firms deepen their positions due to cost structures. Uncertainty declines and incumbents become entrenched. Most profits are made in this era. The risks firms took in the early stages begin to pay out now.
In this sense, the era of minor innovations is where most profits exist in an industry. While incremental innovations continue, the direction of change moves beyond product and process innovation. Firms begin to focus on channel innovation, packaging innovation, commercial innovation and financial innovation.