*notcot in design , 22:35

Innovation as a Commodity- 03.12.05

creativity.jpg After a year working on my design masters in Milan with design folk, mostly european and asian, you get somewhat coined “an american” extremely fast. Easy enough to write off as another stereotype, but from all stereotypes there lies something deeper. After a long talk with the head of my design program after thesis and graduation were said and done, the truth finally came out.

INNOVATION (aka WOW FACTOR) : apparently its what the US is known for (as well as other things we will not mention)… by the europeans and asians with their strong sense of history and constant reminders of the past strongly influencing their futures. So while at first it is easy to take offense, looking closely at what americans have revolutionized is the outside-of-the-box, adaptive, bounce-back in any situation survival skills which have helped our country flourish in a way… i suppose. Or thats what “they” say anyhow. So in a time of automation, extremely efficent computing and manufacturing (and outsourcing?) with this fear of all great things moving to asia to revolutionize the world as we know it… now what?

The trend in articles popping up in creative and business magazines is in realizing what our strong points are in. After working with an talented international design crowd for a year, simply growing up in american culture has apparently impacted my approach with an out-going rule-breaking naievete… slowly balanced with absorbing an understanding of european and asian constantly looking to the past. Now if only we could all harness the strengths of both, theoretically, anything is possible.

This little rant inspired by this creativity test (like you can really test that) i was led too, and the site it came from…

So jump started from this idea of quanitfying creativity (the irony is lovely), and exploring further into the page that put up this site, its dripping even further in irony due to the fact that they are literally packaging and selling innovation. Or how to derive your own innovations.

Take a look, for a mere 495 Euro, you can get the Innovation Toolbox… with books and “Laminates” (bring you back to elementary school yet? where its covered in plastic to save it from your juice box squirts), Playing cards, and essential whiteboard markers?

Is it only me? or does the idea of being sold innovation and handheld through a way of thinking through flash cards seem somewhat counter-innovative. Or funny at least. That the innovation of selling innovation is real, and that innovation is a real commodity that can be made by anyone… well made, bought, sold, and resold even (see bottom of page).

I have less of a point than an ongoing observation in trend. Its been bothering me for a while, and this test just proved/provoked it. They should have a test on innovation, it doesnt seem just to be able to even quantify it. But neither does giving me a grade on my creativity for that matter. Take the test have a laugh, and ponder how you’re going to adapt to this “new world” so many people seem to have started fearing…

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