DS 93: Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2018), Dyson School of Engineering, Imperial College, London. 6th - 7th September 2018

Year: 2018
Editor: Erik Bohemia, Ahmed Kovacevic, Lyndon Buck, Peter Childs, Stephen Green, Ashley Hall, Aran Dasan
Author: Torrisi, Vanna Savina; Inamura, Tokushu; Hirai, Yasuyuki
Series: E&PDE
Institution: 1: Royal College of Art, United Kingdom; 2: Faculty of Design, Kyushu University, Japan
Section: Creativity and Innovation in Design and Engineering Education
Page(s): 224-229
ISBN: 978-1-912254-02-6


The focus of this paper is disruptive innovation, created through processes of hybridisation. For the purpose of this study, the term ‘hybridisation’ refers to the blending of design practices that strongly reflect key societal and behavioural aspects of the two or more respective original cultures. The research addresses the role of hybridised design practices in tackling documented weaknesses in the innovation industry in Japan and in the UK. Re-mix is a collaborative research project between the Royal College of Art (RCA) and Kyushu University (KU). A series of experimental short projects explored the mutual impact of combining two design practices embodying the regional cultures of the involved institutions. The contrasting design practices embrace the full spectrum of innovation: from incremental innovation (KU) through inclusive approaches with close coordination with participatory communities, aiming at solid improvements, to radical innovation (RCA) fostered by diversity, ambiguity, improvisation, conflict, high-risk strategies and acceptance of failure. Two projects were undertaken in London and Fukuoka, which were used as fields for mutual observation, and mapping of practices during and after the end of each phase of the project. This revealed opposing factors in innovation culture and process, as documented in the literature. Initial findings have shown strong potential in this approach, as a method to trigger a novel hybrid process. Based on the observation of team performance, it has been postulated that such a process may be characterised by non hierarchical structure, as well as effectively merging a risk taking culture with specialist knowledge.

Keywords: Hybridisation, interdisciplinary, innovation, disruptive, participatory, design thinking


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