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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/2799

Title: Innovation in design and technology : the polymer acoustic guitar and the case for the relegation of 'the design process'
Authors: Norman, E.W.L.
Keywords: innovation
imagination
knowledge
prototyping
polymer guitar
Issue Date: 2003
Publisher: © DATA
Abstract: Innovation and creativity are key aspects of design and technological activity. The development of the polymer acoustic guitar at Loughborough University has been recognised as a highly innovative project having received three innovation awards from major bodies. This paper describes three key aspects of the development, in particular the capability to imagine future possibilities, the role of knowledge and appropriate prototyping. These aspects lie at the heart of the innovation, although, of course, the whole activity was supported by key design skills, such as drawing and CAD. Some aspects of design epistemology (ways of knowing that facilitate designing) are discussed using evidence from this project, for example, the roles of ‘knowing that’ and ‘knowing how’ and the supposed tension between ‘craft skills’ and ‘modern technology’. The importance of fitness for purpose when prototyping is emphasised and the link to the problems associated with product outcomes and innovation noted. A model of design and technological activity is discussed which emphasises the role of knowledge in realising design possibilities. This model was first presented at DATA’s Millennium Conference (Norman 2000) and is a modification of one discussed by Roberts (1992). It incorporates the idea of technology for design as the summation of knowledge, skills and values (Norman, 1998) and provides an alternative way of thinking about design and technological activity. It is argued that existing ideas surrounding ‘the design process’, as represented by a series of stages derived from systems analysis, are a significant stumbling block to promoting innovation.
Description: This is a conference paper
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/2799
Appears in Collections:D&T Association Conference Series

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