25 September 2007

Universities, design, user experience and innovation

Be the first to share

UIAH
Finland plans to merge their three leading universities in business, design and technology into ONE innovation university by 2009.

An article on Finnfacts states that “the aim is a world-class university that would be able to compete with the best foreign universities and be an interesting co-partner for them.”

The initiative for combining the expertise at the University of Art and Design Helsinki, Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration and Helsinki University of Technology was taken by Yrjö Sotamaa, the principal of the art and design university, in the autumn of 2005.

“I firmly believe that Finland’s competitiveness in the future could be built on the ability to combine in a superior way the expertise in various fields in order to create innovations and successful corporate activity,” Sotamaa emphasises.

“Mere technical pre-eminence is not enough for creating successful innovations. Top-class design and business skills are also needed. The significance of experiencing and usability of technology will be given greater emphasis.” [My emphasis]

A keynote speech by Sotamaa at an innovation conference organised by the very forward looking “Better by Design” initiative in New Zealand can be downloaded here (pdf, 3.8 mb, 101 slides). In the speech Sotamaa discussed the fundamental change in thinking required for companies to really benefit from a design-led approach, and what is required to move design from being perceived as “beautiful, but not useful” or “rounding the corners”, to being deeply embedded in everyday business life and bringing substantial economic benefits when applied strategically.

Sotamaa’s design school organised last month the conference “User Experience Plus – Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces 2007“, with five thoughtful themes:

  • Skilled action, focussed on rich interactions and design for human dexterity;
  • New luxury, on innovative products and services that create an Emotion plus – effect;
  • The aesthetics of interaction, on how the interaction design itself can shape engaging experiences, through providing e.g. intriguing invitations, constructive disturbances, pleasant surprises, remarkable experiences etc.;
  • Illusion in interaction: If interaction is the ground in which the experience is constituted, then the question is how to design this ground for the experience so that the experience becomes pleasurable;
  • Social interaction about designs and their short or long term interpersonal effects.

Some conferences videos are also available.

Finally, January 2007 saw the start of the Helsinki School of Creative Entrepreneurship (HSCE), which is being looked on as the first step in the innovation university. According to the website, HSCE delivers tailor made programs to stimulate creative thinking as a basis for developing new and innovative product, service and experience offerings for customers.

In the UK meanwhile, NESTA is also exploring the issue of universities and innovation and just published a short paper on how to ensure that research funding encourages innovation.

(in part via Niti Bhan)

Be the first to share
8 May 2017
Why service design is the new black — Intel’s Todd Harple on fashion tech
The world of fashion is becoming increasingly digital — and not just wearable devices, but with clothing made from fabrics that actually integrate sensors and technology that can monitor and measure the wearer. As fashion starts to …
28 April 2017
Global study: Leading companies bet on customer experience
A new report from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services reveals that customer experience is vital for business success, and establishes social media as the foundation for customer experience. The survey, which includes 600+ leaders from the …
28 April 2017
[Book] Quantitative Ethnography
Quantitative Ethnography David Williamson Shaffer Boswell Press Available April 2017 > Download Introduction > Watch video presentation This is a book about understanding why, in the digital age, the old distinctions between qualitative and quantitative research methods, between the sciences and …
22 April 2017
An anthropologist in the boardroom
"It is often tempting to think that the 21st-century world is so closely integrated and digitised that the issue of culture is becoming irrelevant," writes Gillian Tett in the Financial Times. "But behind the scenes, …
22 April 2017
Boston’s human-centered research to design middle-income housing
In Boston, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics is conducting ethnographic, human-centered research to design middle-income housing that reflects people’s lived experiences, reports the Stanford Social Innovation Review. This includes intensive planning sessions in …
21 April 2017
ONE Design: a portal on Adaptive Path’s work with Capital One Bank
ONE Design is a content portal where Capital One, the eighth-largest bank in the United States, shares (many) inspiring stories of how their Adaptive Path designers "impact lives with humanity, simplicity, ingenuity - and empower …
21 April 2017
[Book] The Stuff of Bits – An Essay on the Materialities of Information
The Stuff of Bits: An Essay on the Materialities of Information by Paul Dourish MIT Press, May 2017 264 pages Virtual entities that populate our digital experience, like e-books, virtual worlds, and online stores, are backed by the large-scale …
13 April 2017
How Silicon Valley is (ab)using behavioral science and nudging
In an extensive review of The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, the book by Michael Lewis on the psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, Tamsin Shaw provides a deeper criticism of the …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

31 March 2017
Experientia guide to Milan Design Week 2017

It’s that time of year again – Milan’s don’t-miss event for the design community is here. If you’re looking to get inspired at Milan Design Week, then check out our top picks for the latest edition, from Experientia’s designers, strategists and partners. Milan might be best known for its busy streets, traditional cafés and world […]

12 January 2017
Experientia’s CITYOPT project awarded prestigious French award for its sustainable development design

Following the 2016 Smart Innovation Award at “FIMBACTE Trophées du Cadre de vie”, the CITYOPT project has once again been recognized, this time in the prestigious French design competition: “Observeur du Design 2017”, in the Service Design category. In June 2016, CITYOPT won the first stage of the Observeur du Design. Now the project has […]

1 December 2016
More on upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities

Last month Putting People First announced the upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities in Nice France. Meanwhile we are pleased to announce the full event agenda (see below). This event will feature professionals from leading research institutes and industry gathering to present key initiatives which combine Energy Efficiency and Service Design […]

29 October 2016
Upcoming conference on design & sustainable innovation for smart cities

Invitation to the International Conference on Design & Sustainable Innovation for SmartCities Nice (France) 8 December 2016 On the 8th December 2016, the CITYOPT project will host an international conference on Design and sustainable innovation for SmartCities, at the Centre Universitaire Méditerranéen, France. An open invitation to attend is offered to people and organisations who […]

28 October 2016
Experientia’s President, Michele Visciòla, panel judge for MacArthur Foundation’s “100&Change” competition

The 100&Change is an international competition and a landmark opportunity for thinkers and designers to tackle critical challenges affecting the world. Michele Visciòla will be one of the panel of expert judges who will select which project is worthy of the $100 million grant. 100&Change is the MacArthur Foundation competition – launched this year for […]

5 September 2016
Great engine, but the fuel seems poor. Discussing insight development in corporate marketing

The September issue of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) contains a lengthy essay, entitled Building an Insights Engine, on how Unilever has created the organizational capabilities to “transform data into insights about consumers’ motivations and to turn those insights into strategy.” The article was written by Frank van den Driest and Keith Weed of a […]

See all articles