Marijn van der Poll former curator of DDW gives his view on how world leading Research Institute imec and a conceptual designer are challenging traditional product development at the High Tech Campus.
You don’t need to work for long in industry to know that great ideas don’t travel very far inside organisations. Ideas are artificially stretched across an organisational structure; one person handles sales, the other focuses on engineering. Decisions are made at the top. This worked in the past but increasingly, this approach to developing products is being challenged.
Rik van de Wiel, R&D Manager at imec and Conceptual Designer and Lecturer Marijn van der Poll started exploring how idea and concept based thinking could be integrated into imec’s R&D process.
Where Engineers will see technology as the solution for each problem, designers at times seem more like artists; coming up with brilliant ideas but not commercially oriented.
Marijn van der Poll explains: "This may be partially true but the conceptual design approach has a unique quality when it comes to creating and nurturing strong ideas."
Van der Poll added "The funny thing is that the process is taught purely based on experience by knowledgeable active professionals, there’s no textbook, it is a matter of learning through doing. It has been able to develop as a method because of this organic structure. And with diverse results from Motorola’s upcoming Phonebloks smartphone by Dave Hakkens, winner of the Young Designer Award at DDW 2014 to Maarten Baas’ Sweeper’s clock being acquired by the MOMA in New York on the other side of the spectrum. It is consistently about putting the idea first and staying true to it."