Literature on Design Thinking has mainly focused on whether its key principles enhance performance in the development phase (the D of R&D) of the technological innovation process. However, it has dedicated scant attention to the earlier research phase (the R of R&D). This aspect is surprising, given that many innovations fail as a result of early research actions and decisions. This article examines how it is possible and desirable to apply Design Thinking to the research phase of the technological innovation process. How can Design Thinking support innovation, even when advanced breakthrough technologies are at stake, the market is distant, and product applications and specific user needs have not been identified yet? To respond to this question, we investigate the research work of the design center of a global electronics company that uses a design approach called Proxemics to envision future interactions between bodies (people), objects (technology), and spaces (context). Although Proxemics is consistent with and implements the human centeredness and experimentation principles of Design Thinking, results of this study show that its logics and tools are different from those used in Design Thinking in the D of R&D due to the more abstract nature of the tasks in the R of R&D.

The contribution of Design Thinking to the R of R&D in technological innovation

Magistretti, Stefano;Dell'Era, Claudio;Verganti, Roberto;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Literature on Design Thinking has mainly focused on whether its key principles enhance performance in the development phase (the D of R&D) of the technological innovation process. However, it has dedicated scant attention to the earlier research phase (the R of R&D). This aspect is surprising, given that many innovations fail as a result of early research actions and decisions. This article examines how it is possible and desirable to apply Design Thinking to the research phase of the technological innovation process. How can Design Thinking support innovation, even when advanced breakthrough technologies are at stake, the market is distant, and product applications and specific user needs have not been identified yet? To respond to this question, we investigate the research work of the design center of a global electronics company that uses a design approach called Proxemics to envision future interactions between bodies (people), objects (technology), and spaces (context). Although Proxemics is consistent with and implements the human centeredness and experimentation principles of Design Thinking, results of this study show that its logics and tools are different from those used in Design Thinking in the D of R&D due to the more abstract nature of the tasks in the R of R&D.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1201139
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