My Experiences in BUS 358: Innovation, Design, and Prototyping

Project #6
Vinyl cut something.

Purpose
The purpose of this project assignment was to design and cut something using the vinyl cutter.

[Design Process Steps]
DISCOVERY: I needed to vinyl cut something, and I had wanted a sticker for my laptop for a long time. I had just gotten to the point where I could “tarnish” things (i.e. – car, water bottle) that I owned by applying stickers (I’ve always had a hard time doing this due to some other issues) and figured it was time for my laptop to become similarly “tarnished.”
INTERPRETATION: I needed to vinyl cut something, and hopefully it could be something that I (or someone close to me) could benefit from and use.
IDEATION: I decided that I would either cut a Superman, Batman, or Stitch cut-out for my laptop in a bright color (since I have a dark laptop) or cut a Navy emblem in dark blue for my mom (she’s wanted one for a while for my dad’s shadowbox).
EXPERIMENTATION: I decided that I wanted a Stitch sticker (in lime green) for my laptop cover. I had just gotten a new laptop and I really wanted to personalize it beyond what I could possibly find in a store. I went online and found a Stitch image on Google that I liked. I uploaded it into InkScape, set the “detail” and determined how thick of a cut I wanted on each part of the image. I decided that once it printed, I would take out the teeth, center of ears, and chest fur tuf and have those be “empty space” once applied. I thought that I had it all figured out – but I encountered problem after problem with the vinyl cutter (pressure of cutter, loading of vinyl, etc.). It took me roughly 2 whole nights in the lab to correctly print the Stitch sticker, take out the extra pieces with an Expo knife, and finally apply it to my laptop.
EVOLUTION: There is nothing that I would change about my Stitch sticker. I love it. I would possibly like to go back and add a “thought bubble” with a quote from the film Lilo & Stitch, but I have not yet decided on which quote or if I even really want to add to it – I really do love it just the way it is. It came out perfect to me, and I really just love it.

Pictures of Project 6 – Stitch:
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Essay 4

The Rise of the Creative Class

Richard Florida

  • Cities lacking lifestyle options, cultural diversity, and a tolerant attitude for creativity kill it
  • “Creative Class”: fast-growing, highly-educated, and well-paid workforce who share common values of creativity, individuality, difference, and merit.
  • Places that succeed in attracting and retaining the creative class people prosper. Others don’t.
  • Creative Class cities are tolerant, diverse, and open to creativity.
  • “As creativity becomes more valued, the creative class grows.”
  • Creative class includes 38.3 million Americans (30% of US Workforce)
  • Regions w/ large numbers of creative class folks are the most affluent and growing
  • Talented people want to see an environment open to differences.
  • “Diversity is something they value in all its manifestations. This is spoken of so often and so matter-of-fact, that I take it to be a fundamental maker of creative-class values.

Essay 3

How to Kill Creativity

Theresa Amabile

  • Creativity gets killed more often than it is supported. This isn’t usually on purpose.
  • Originality is not enough. Ideas also need to be appropriate – useful and actionable.
  • You must think imaginatively to be creative, but you also need EXPERTISE and MOTIVATION.
  • Creative thinking is how people approach problems and solutions – put existing ideas 2gether.
  • “Incubation” – ability to set aside problems temporarily, work on something else, and then come back with a fresh perspective. This work style encourages creativity.
  • INTRINSIC MOTIVATION. People will be most creative when they feel motivated by the interest, satisfaction, and challenge of the work itself (not by external pressures).
  • Managing creativity
    • SIX things managers can do: Challenge, Freedom, Resources, Work Group Features, Supervisory Encouragement, and Organizational Support.
      • Challenge
        • Match right people w/ right assignments, provide matches that stretch employees’ abilities
      • Freedom
        • Give people autonomy concerning the means – the process – but not the ends
        • Give them freedom to decide how to best climb the mountain
        • Autonomy w/ process fosters creativity b/c heightens intrinsic motivation/sense of ownership
      • Resources
        • 2 main: time and money
          • Time pressure can heighten creativity
          • Resource pressure can force a compromise, but resources above the “threshold of sufficiency” does NOT boost creativity
      • Work Group Features
        • Create mutually supportive groups with a diversity of backgrounds/perspectives
        • Teams must compromise w/ varied foundations and approaches (thinking styles, too) and this combines ideas in exciting and useful ways
        • Members must share excitement around team’s goals
        • Members must display willingness to help each other with difficulties/setbacks
      • Supervisory Encouragement
        • People need to feel that their work matters to the organization or an important group of people in order for their passion/interest to be sustained.
        • Freely and generously recognize creative work by individuals & teams, often.
      • Organizational Support
        • Creativity is enhanced when the entire organization favors/supports it
        • Put in appropriate systems/procedures for emphasizing creativity as a value
        • Mandate information sharing and collaboration; ensure politics don’t fester
  • THREE COMPONENTS of Creativity
    • Expertise, Creative-Thinking Skills, and Motivation

Essay 2

Nobody cares what you do in There: The Low Road

Stewart Brand

  • Any change to the environment/place is likely to be a good one (you can’t hurt it…)
  • “The place can’t get much worse anyways.” (do whatever you want)
  • Most low-road buildings are too hot in summer, too cold in winter. Amenities are sparse, it is sometimes dirty and it isn’t always (or even usually) pretty.
  • The personalities of the people become a part of the building.
  • “Temporary is permanent and permanent is temporary”
  • “they are disposable”
  • “Real estate values rise to the point where young artists/innovators cannot afford the higher rents, and the sequence begins again somewhere else. Economic activity follows low road activity.”
    • “Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must come from old buildings.”
  • When you can make adjustments to the space just by using a saw, you are in a Low Road.
  • “Low Road buildings are peculiarly empowering”

 Essay 1

The Discipline of Innovation

Peter Drucker

  • What all successful entrepreneurs I have met have in common is not a certain kind of personality but a commitment to the systematic practice of innovation.
  • Innovation is the means by which you create wealth-producing resources or enhance potential for wealth.
  • Innovation: the effort to create purposeful, focused change in an enterprise’s economic or social potential.
  • FOUR Sources of Innovation within a company: Unexpected occurrences, incongruities, process needs, industry and market changes
    • Unexpected Occurrences
      • Unexpected successes and failures are productive sources of innovation opportunities because businesses dismiss, disregard, and resent them.
    • Incongruities
      • An incongruity in the logic or rhythm of a process is a possibility for innovation.
      • Incongruities between expectations and results are also possibilities
    • Process Needs
      • Something that is needed to improve the process in question
    • Industry/Market Changes
      • When an industry grows quickly – the critical figure is in the neighborhood of 40% growth in > 10 years, the structure changes too. This leaves room for innovation to occur.
  • THREE sources of innovation outside a company: demographic change, changes in perception, new knowledge
    • Demographic Changes
      • Watch them and you may exploit great gains (japan and robots 10 yr lead)
    • Changes in Perception
      • Change a manager’s perception from half full to half empty and innovation will happen
      • A change in perception does not alter facts, but merely changes their meaning
    • New Knowledge
      • Knowledge-based innovations differ in time, casualty rates, predictability, and challenge. Knowledge-based innovations can be managed through careful analysis of needs and capabilities.
      • Long lead times and need for convergence of diff kinds of knowledge explain peculiar rhythm of knowledge-based innovations, their attractions and dangers.
  • Principles of Innovation
    • Both conceptual and perpetual, you must go out, look, ask, and listen
    • innovation must be simple, focused, and do only one thing (not confusing/complex)
    • Results may be modest, but from the beginning innovation seeks to become the standard-setter (determine the direction/technology/etc. to be ahead of the pack)
    • Innovations must aim at leadership from the beginning to be innovative enough
    • Innovation is work, not genius. You need knowledge, ingenuity, and focus.
    • Talent, ingenuity, and knowledge. Hard, focused, purposeful work.
    • Need diligence, persistence, and commitment otherwise the rest is to no avail.
    • “THE VERY FOUNDATION OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP IS THE PRACTICE OF SYSTEMATIC INNOVATION. “

Project #5
With a group, program an Arduino board to do something. I, Ashley, was in a group with Jenn Fortnash and Junghyun Ha. We were given an Ardiuno Uno board, a breadboard, and multiple connectors/wires.

Purpose
The purpose of this project assignment was to familiarize us with the basics of programming an Arduino board.

[Design Process Steps]
DISCOVERY: We needed a project that we could successfully complete (none of us had any working knowledge of Arduino).
INTERPRETATION: We should find something easy – and maybe look for a pre-written program online that we could slightly alter to do something “cool” to us.
IDEATION: We originally wanted to make something that would light up and pulse with the beat of music, but soon realized we could not “simply” do this. We decided to find a program that would allow for us to set the time interval between blinking LED lights. We also wanted a program that would send the LED lights all one direction (–>) and then send them backwards (<–) in a loop over and over.
EXPERIMENTATION: We found a pre-written program and plugged it into Jenn’s mac, as she had downloaded the Arduino software available for free online. We had several problems during the experimentation phase. The first was we originally (15 minutes) thought the Arduino would not work. We realized after a bit of troubleshooting that we just had to set the “USB Port” on the software to have it recognize the port we had the Arduino plugged into. Second, it took the 3 of us forever (several hours) and the assistance of a lab assistant to figure out how to actually complete the needed circuit (even though we had a diagram).
EVOLUTION: We did eventually get the board to work the way we wanted it to, and we even learned how to adjust the times for the blinking. In the future, if I work with an Arduino again, I will spend more time to make sure I do it all right the first time, because going back and trying to move tiny wires and connections after you have a “finished” product is extraordinarily difficult considering how complex the board becomes as it goes.

Pictures of Project 5 – Arduino Project:

a(Arduino Uno Board)

c(All connected!)

d(Ready to go! It worked!)

October 8, 2013

The Innovator’s Cookbook, by Steven Johnson, features essays from multiple innovators discussing everything from what it means to be innovative, the importance of the “Creative Class”, the dangers of “innovation blowback”, and the need for “venturesome consumption.” There were nine essays throughout the book, as well as several interviews with designers, innovators, and creative managers at the end of the book. As part of the BUS 358 course, I read “Innovator’s Cookbook,” and as per my usual, I took notes over the content. I have provided these notes in this blog for the convenience of the blog readers as well as for my own reference.

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