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GLH: 13 Hours

5.1 Invention
Essential idea:
The protection of a novel idea of how to solve a problem is a major factor in commercial design.
Nature of design:
Invention by lone inventors or in collaborative, creative teams is at the forefront of design. Designers must not only be creative and innovative, but also understand the concepts that will make a new product viable. A designer must use imagination and be firmly grounded in factual and procedural knowledge while remembering the needs and limitations of the end user.
Concepts and principles:
  • Drivers for invention
  • The lone inventor
  • Intellectual property (IP)
  • Strategies for protecting IP: patents, trademarks, design protection, and copyright
  • First to market
  • Shelved technologies
Aim 1: Inventions are often the result of an individual or group's curiosity about whether something can be done or a problem can be solved. On occasion, inventions are the result of an individual's curiosity about something other than the product that they finally develop. These inventions include microwave ovens, ink-jet printers and Post-it notes.

5.2 Innovation
Essential idea:
There are many different types of innovation.
Nature of design:
Designers will be successful in the marketplace when they solve long-standing problems, improve on existing solutions or find a "product gap". The constant evaluation and redevelopment of products is key, with unbiased analysis of consumers and commercial opportunities.
Concepts and principles:
  • Invention and innovation
  • Categories of innovation: sustaining innovation, disruptive innovation, process innovation
  • Innovation strategies for design: architectural innovation, modular innovation, configurational innovation
  • Innovation strategies for markets: diffusion and suppression
Aim 4: In order for an invention to become an innovation, the idea of the product needs to be effectively communicated. The communication can take many forms and be between many stakeholders.

5.3 Strategies for innovation
Essential idea:
Designers have a range of strategies for innovation.
Nature of design:
Companies encourage advancements in technology and services, usually by investing in research and development activities. Even though the research and development (R&D) may be carried out by a range of different experts from varied fields of research, the development process is often based direction of development. This methodology structures the R&D of new technologies and services.
Concepts and principles:
  • Act of insight
  • Adaptation
  • Technology transfer
  • Analogy
  • Chance
  • Technology push
  • Market pull
Aim 6: Innovation should always occur in context and a deep understanding of the culture as well as the behaviours, needs and wants of the consumer is required.

5.4 Stakeholders for invention and innovation
Essential idea:
There are three key roles in invention and innovation, which can be shared by one or more people.
Nature of design:
Collaborative generation of knowledge and high efficiency information flow allow for diversity, increased resilience, reliability and stability within an organization. Through participatory research stakeholders can make full use of the resulting innovation and invention, by transferring findings relevant to the sector in which they are positioned. A designer's increased awareness through shared industry knowledge enhances profitability and policy.
Concepts and principles:
  • The inventor, the product champion, the entrepreneur
  • the inventor as a product champion and/or entrepreneur
  • A multidisciplinary approach to innovation
Aim 7: On occasion, the inventor needs to act as both entrepreneur and product champion. The adoption of these additional roles requires a significant amount of learning to take an idea from the mind, realize it and then diffuse it successfully into the marketplace.

5.5 Product life cycle
Essential idea:
There are several key stages in the product life cycle.
Nature of design:
Designers need to consider the whole product cycle of potential products, services and systems throughout the design cycle and beyond. Products may have an impact not only on the direct consumer but also on society at large and the environment.
Concepts and principles:
  • Key stages of the product life cycle:launch, growth, maturity, decline
  • Obsolescence: planned, style (fashion), functional, technological
  • Predictability of the product life cycle
  • Product versioning/generations
Aim 2: An understanding of the product life cycle allows the designer to design a product with obsolescence in mind. Doing this at the design stage can potentially eliminate the effect of a product on the environment when it is no longer in use.

5.6 Rogers' characteristics of innovation and consumers
Essential idea:
Innovations take time to diffuse into a target audience.
Nature of design:
Rogers' four main elements that influence the spread of new ideas (innovation, communication, channels, time and a social system) rely heavily on human capital. The ideas must be widely accepted on order to be self-sustainable.Designers must consider various cultures and communities to predict how,why and at what rate new ideas and technology will be adopted.
Concepts and principles:
  • Diffusion and innovation
  • The impact of Rogers' characteristics on consumer adoption of an innovation
  • Social roots of consumerism
  • The influence of social media on the diffusion of innovation
  • The influence of trends and the media on consumer choice
  • Categories of consumers in relation to technology adoption
Aim 10: By categorizing consumers, the designer can identify particular segments with a market sector to gain feedback. By engaging with these stereotypes, the designer can utilize their experiences with a prototype in order to guide further development.

5.7 Innovation, design and marketing specification
Essential idea:
Successful innovations typically start with detailed design and marketing specifications.
Nature of design:
Designers must establish clear parameters for a marketing specification in order to create unique and creative solutions to a problem. Designers need to collect useful and valid data from the target market and audience throughout the design cycle to ensure the specification includes certain essential components.
Aim 4: The ability to transform their research findings into series of specifications is a skill that designers must develop to become successful. being able to express parameters and requirements succinctly allows the designer to develop focused solutions to the design problem and meet a client or the target market's want and needs.

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