Module: Exploring the Business Landscape

Background

The role of designers in new product development is still very limited considered. They some times act as the creative persons who often come out with brilliant ideas or those who can act as communication medium, using their skills of visualization to help convey information cross the boundaries or the project managers who can manage development projects in a designerly way. When dealing with complex and poorly defined societal problems, there is often an opportunity for radical innovation and it also requires collaboration across different industries and between profit and non profit organizations. But where will the innovation start? What are the potential landscapes for this innovation and what are the opportunities for the potential parties involved? What can a designer contribute to this situation?

In this module, we explored the use of design and the design process of intelligent systems and related products and services in societal context to propose societal innovation landscape. This module connects to the social innovation against loneliness module which will be conducted prior to this module. Though participating in the early module is not a requirement to join this module.

Highlights

Because this module had an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) I am not able to show the results of the Module here.

Reflection

Goal

I chose this module, because I experienced the module: Activating your innovation radar as a very good module in terms of theory/practice and the real clients. In my opinion, one week was too short, that is why I searched for a new challenge with a real client. My learning goals were to get more confidence and experience in communicating my ideas and concepts. Meanwhile learning more about the given theory: Product Service Systems, Actor Network theory and Body storming.
The notion to work with real clients was an extra motivation to work extra hard for a good results, for me. At first I thought it would be the same module, but the described theory was different so I saw it as extra practice.

Process

In the beginning my position in the group was more on the side lines. We had a group of 5 people and I didn’t knew everybody. I did this subconscious, when I noticed that some things with me and Philemonne clashed sometimes. Later on, when I understood better the motivations and strong points of the other team members, we worked better together. I guided the process and together with Bas we generated most of the text for the final movie. Thereby my role was on gathering facts to support the story. Philemonne focused on the overall quality and was guiding the editing. Jelle together with Paul where responsible for the content and editing.
The experience from previous module helped me to guide the process of making the animation movie. I focused on the structure of our story, a clear introduction, hook, and scenario with the why how what principle.

Analysis

Because it was the same structure as previous module, I understood each step and knew what was coming. This was very helpful for me as I could take a more guiding role in the process. I talk a lot about my role, because that is something where I am looking for as a designer, I want to know what kind of position I can take in a future company. I see myself as someone who keeps an eye of the validity, meaning and communication of the concept. I am a team player and I can see strong and weaker points in people. By dividing tasks appropriately I can guide the process in the right direction.
This module was with an NDA with quite a specific technology. We had little information and little knowledge of what we could do with this technology. This forced us to think outside the box and continuously switch between concepts to look for a value that would both fit Toyota (the client) and the technology. The battle between these two was interesting and I believe we succeeded quite well in finding a middle road. In the end our idea also could function without the technology, but linking it towards this technology gave some advantages.
The given theory in the beginning together with the activities gave a good basis for me to base the story on. Especially the Describing and inscribing meanings was a helpful method to see what you want to achieve. Role playing the actor network was a fun way of analysing the concepts possibilities and pitfalls.
This module I learned a lot about my own capabilities, how I function in a group and what I can mean for a company like Toyota. It was interesting too see how such a complex challenge could give a meaningful result. The role playing and actor network theory combination is, in my opinion, a very good tool to analyses a concept with a whole group. It was fun daring and it made everybody think and laugh, which is a good combination in my opinion.

Future

While reflecting I see 2 things, one the process/teamwork and the linked theory.
I learned what my role is in such a set up and feel confident to take this role in future situation. When I have more background information than the rest of my group, I should inform them early about what I know and invest more time in finding out what the motivations of the other members are. Because it was such a short project this is easily forgotten. During the Activating Your Innovation Radar module we had to share our visions on the challenge, this helped me too understand what each team member wanted to achieve.
Together with the knowledge of Activating your innovation Radar about PSS, with the knowledge about describing and inscribing meanings and actor network theory, I have a package of tools to apply during the design process. Now I have to continuous on my own way and incorporate it in the longer design process

Feedback

The work quality was excellent. You demonstrated your quick learning capability and your dedication to the learning goals. The concept itself is very innovative, it combines insight from two different industrial sectors and it is a clear radical innovation. Toyota was interested in the results. One of your student members will continue this direction further with the involvement from Toyota. Your creative presentations/self explanatory videos were very clear and offered excellent communication with high quality visualizations. Even after the module you improved your presentation that is beyond our expectation. The final report is a very lite, but clear report demonstrating the process and outcomes.

You are a very competent group with great collaboration among each other. Your time management was perfect. It was really great to work with you.

Tijmen, you were very visible in the team. Your structural way of thinking and logic in presentation is very impressive.

This module was one of the most interesting modules I had until now. The way of working and presentations is something which I will remember and apply in the future.

Reference

Module feedback

 

Lecturers: Dr. Lu Yuan, prof.dr.ir. Caroline Hummels, ir. Ehsan Baha Client: Toyota Semester: M12 Team Members: Jelle Tuinhout, Phillemone Jaasma, Bas van Hoeve, Paul Stoutjesdijk Competencies: Ideas and Concepts,User focus and perspective, Socio-cultural awareness, Designing business processes, Form and Senses, Teamwork and Communication, Design and research processes, Self Directed and continuous learning Duration: 1 week