Designing Urban Futures

Reconsidering Innovation explores how innovation can be shaped and cultivated. A hot-button topic, innovation labs, centers and hubs are popping up all over the place. But what does it mean to design for innovation? How can we do so better?

At its essence, innovation comes from being open to change. When you are open to change, you set the stage for creating new and unexpected products, technologies, coworkers, business models and management styles. This openness to change is a kind of resiliency, meaning an individual or system’s ability to adapt to changing and challenging conditions. Resilient examples in the surrounding world -- from DNA to the internet to ant hills -- show that development and innovation is dependent on increasing opportunities for interaction and connection between diverse groups. It's these interactions that offer the most potential for adaptation over time.

If the goal is to increase interaction and connection between diverse groups, designing for interaction and collaboration is key. In this way, designing for innovation becomes a factor of designing for social interaction. An architecture of innovation must be one that increases our interactions with others.

Conducted for Pinto + Partners, this research investigates innovation across a range of disciplines to understand how design can support it best.