WALSH, I. and CLEMENT, M., 2001. Steps towards the development of a ‘culture of innovation’ amongst undergraduate industrial designers. IDATER 2001 Conference, Loughborough: Loughborough University
Developing innovative solutions to problems is no easy task. Firstly there has to be a desire within the individual to seek out the innovative solution; secondly there is the problem of how to identify what constitutes an innovative solution; and finally one has to combat the natural tendency toward risk aversion. Successful industrial design is by its very nature innovative. Therefore generating a culture of innovation is a vital requirement in the development of a successful designer. Do we know how to stimulate, incubate and nurture innovation? What are the factors that give rise to an innovative mindset? This paper describes the experiences of an industrial design programme that for five years operated with a degree of success. However on review the programme was deemed to be lacking in innovation. Changes were made and after three years the impact was assessed and quantified and the results are now reported. Through the review strategies were developed which led to the creation of an environment for the promotion and nurturing of innovation appropriate to an undergraduate industrial design programme. Following the three year review further refinements to the model have been implemented, this will be the subject of further study.