. community —

Takram Academy 2: Technology-led Innovation

  • Location:
    WHERE The White Building - Unit 7 Queen's Yard,. White Post Lane. London, London E9 5EN GB - View Map

This event is the second in a series of collaborations between SPACE and Takram London, a new breed of design lab that blends professional practice and design education. Miles Pennington, Director of Takram London and a Professor at the Royal College of Art will guide you through the process of exploring technology-led innovation.

The White Building
Sat 6 Feb, 10am – 6pm
Sun 7 Feb, 10am – 8pm


Is necessity the mother of invention? Or is Invention the mother of necessity? Human needs and desires often catalyse ideas for new inventions. The job of the innovator is to create solutions to take advantage of those human derived opportunities. However, there are other ways of starting – one is to start with Technology – I have this, what can I do with it? Such an approach is useful, because technology is often created in University laboratories or R&D centres of corporations, but have no immediately obvious application – I have this but what on earth am I going to do with it? Technology-led development might seem aimless, but in fact is necessary as part of our exploration of what might be possible. However, it can mean that we are left we a ‘treasure chest’ of unused technology – amazing functionality with nowhere to go. Remaining unutilised is not an option. It is therefore important to understand how to look for applications to innovate with these discoveries. The Technology-led Innovation workshop is about exploring such a situation. You have a technology, but now you need to find something to do with it. As we will see, there are pitfalls to this approach, so participants need to know how to steer an innovation project through those challenges and on to success.

Takram Academy
This event is the second in a series of collaborations between SPACE and Takram London, a new breed of design lab that blends professional practice and design education. Miles Pennington, Director of Takram London and a Professor at the Royal College of Art will guide you through the process of exploring technology-led innovation.

Format
This workshop is experiential – participants will be learning and discovering techniques to improve their ability to tackle technology-led innovation challenges. Teams will be given a simple, but fun technology to interact and build with – it is not complex, but serves as a useful example to learn process from. The first stage of the workshop is understanding the technology – asking what can it do? Next, through idea generation participants will explore how you can use that technology to improve something – what can it do better? Then it is time to invent new uses for the technology – in this critical stage we base everything on people (who and where to start). This is often the critical missed step for most technology-led innovation – exploring ‘what can it do for people’? In the final phase we step away from technology-led process to check that it is leading us in the best direction. Taking the most stand-out looking application, we explore others ways of doing the same thing – you might have an interesting technology, but is it the best way to achieve the application proposed? Participants ask and investigate ‘what can do it better’? We finish the day with a review and discussion about the approaches.

In summary
Technology analysis – what can it do?
Improving existing things – what can it do better?
Inventing the new – what can it do for people?
Check it makes sense – what can do it better?
What will you learn?
Through this introductory workshop you will learn to:
Objectively analyse a technology
Multiple idea generation techniques
Idea mapping, analysis and identification
Sketch modelling skills
Developing confidence in developing ideas based on new technologies

Workshop style
The workshop is open to all and will be very interactive. Everyone will get involved. Participants will be working in teams of 3-5 people and there will be 20-25 participants in total. The activities will be intense and stimulating, but no prior knowledge or experience is required – in fact we welcome people from all kinds of disciplines and backgrounds. Innovation is driven by the difference and diversity of the people involved.

Schedule
Prior to the workshop a detailed schedule and notes will be distributed – there will be a very light requirement for pre-work before the workshop start.
Day 1 AM
Introduction and review of technology-led innovation challenges
Play-time with a simple new technology example
Discover and define the ability of the technology – what can it do?
Day 1 PM
Idea generation 1 improving on existing products – finding what it can do better?
Idea generation 2 inventing the new – what can it do for people?
Mapping out ideas and identify stand-out ideas; group review

Day 2 AM
Reflect and selection – choosing the stand-out idea
Make and fake – bring initial technology-led ideas to life
Show and tell – teams share their mocked-up inventions
Day 2 PM
Idea generation – is there a better way to do the same things – what can do it better?
Review and compare, group discussion on technology-led innovation process
Drinks

Requirements
An enthusiasm to learn (this workshop is open to all, not just designers)
Collaborative attitude, the workshop will be carried out in teams
All equipment needed will be provided, BUT it may be useful to bring a laptop

Comments