ARD501 Contextual Design – Innovation

Lecturer – Dan Berry

What is innovation?

Innovation is what I’d like to describe as a crucial part of any business/organisation. Innovation is an act of creating something new, this could be a product, method or an idea.Having innovation is a crucial part to design thinking as we as designers need to come up with different methods/product/ideas on a daily basis. Otherwise known as ‘Thinking Outside The Box’.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”

Dan stated that we should find a definition to apply to our practices. I’m not entirely sure what he meant exactly by saying this but I interpreted as we should find innovate ourselfs to find a definitive and unique way of creating our work and applying it to our practices.
There are three types of innovation:

  1. Incremental Innovation
  2. Radical Innovation
  3. Crowd Acceleration Innovation

Incremental Innovation

Incremental innovation is where a product/method/idea has been created but small changes have been made to it. E.g
The original iPhone was created but then was adapted throughout the years to work with peoples needs. However the creators of Apple kept the idea of the original iPhone rather than create a whole new idea.

Radical Innovation 

Radical innovation is the complete opposite to incremental innovation, instead of adding improvements to an idea/product/method, radical innovation means creating a whole new idea all together. Radical innovation is important to the growing world as we are always looking for new exciting things.

Crowd Accelerated Innovation

I think that crowd accelerated innovation is the most interesting out of the three types of innovation.

“Crowd Accelerated Innovation was a phrase first coined by Chris Anderson, a curator at TED Talks. In his presentation on “How Web Video Powers Global Innovation”, Anderson lists three elements: crowd, light, and desire as the energy that keeps the innovation wheels turning. Ideas are communicated via viral video, where people can emulate what they see, and eventually innovate to create something new.”

I find this interesting that Anderson describes his three elements (crowd,light and desire) as the “energy that keeps the innovation wheels turning“. I find it interesting because I believe it to be true other than the lighting, I’m not entirely sure why lighting would help to innovate. I do however think that having a crowd of people with the desire to creating something is a brilliant way to innovate. This way there will be a number of different ideas all brought into one to create something creative and interesting.

I really enjoyed this lecture and have learnt to understand the innovation is a crucial part of any designers career. I do however believe that innovation takes time,patience and practice. Any designer has had to start at some point and innovation doesn’t come easily.


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