Departmental Seminar: Innovation


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Seminar for undergrads at Parsons New School.

How does one identify opportunities to create new things, services, experiences? Are all innovations good? What is the history of innovation and how are innovative ideas and practices integrated in cultural practices? This course explores classic texts on entrepreneurship and innovation while also considering the role of the artist and design as an agent of change, and the nature and promise of technology in the creation of our possible future(s).

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Departmental Seminar: Innovation

  1. 1. Departmental Seminar III: Innovation PUDM 2100, CRN2502 Department of Design and Management Parsons School of Design Fall 2004 Wednesdays, 12pm-2.40pm, Room L809 Instructor: Ian White Office Hours: By appointment Office: Room 825, 66 5 th Ave. E-Mail: Office phone: 212-229-5391 Course Description What makes something new or original? How do you spot new opportunities to create new things, services or experiences? How do you determine whether another innovation is actually a good thing? What is the history of innovation and how are innovative ideas and practices integrated in cultural practices? This course explores classic texts on entrepreneurship and innovation while also considering the role of the artist and design as an agent of change, and the nature and promise of technology in the creation of our possible future(s). Innovation seminar is a required course for students in the Department of Design & Management. This course will help you understand the role of innovation in society from a multidisciplinary perspective. Over the semester, we will examine various models of innovation and their impact across different markets and groups, with particular emphasis on management decision making. By the end of the course, you will have acquired the tools to critically analyze discrete topics and ideas within the larger sea of thought. Classes will be a combination of lecture and discussion designed to engage students. Reading assignments will serve as the basis for class discussions. Writing assignments will act as a means to synthesize material. An oral presentation will foster further collaboration in the classroom setting. During the course of the semester, several guest lecturers will join our section, or in conjunction with other sections of this departmental seminar. Date Theme Readings/Due September 8 Intro September 15 /Guest Speaker “Fast, Focused and Fertile” “The Discipline of Innovation” "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" “Spark Innovation through Empathetic Design” September 22 Models of Innovation Diffusion, Ch.1 Innovator’s, Ch.1 September 29 Models of Innovation Innovator’s, Ch.2 October 6 Creativity “Creativity and Innovations in Organizations” “Continuous Learning: The Creative Journey…” “Creating the Conditions of Creativity” “Eureka! Scientists Map the Moment” **Paper Due** October 13 Intellectual “The Early Development of Intellectual Property
  2. 2. Innovation Seminar Page 2 Property I Institutions in the United States” “Introduction to Patents & Trade Secrets” “Inventing a Better Patent Law” “The Future of Ideas” “Patently Absurd?” October 20 Intellectual Property II “Rembrandts in the Attic” “Leading the News: Drug Study Finds Little Innovation” October 27 Linkages to Design “Innovation: What’s Design Got to Do with It?” “Why These Ideas Work, But Seem Weird” November 3 Adoption of Innovations Diffusion, Ch. 6, 7 Innovator’s, Ch.3 “The Science of the Sleeper” “An Investigation of the Diffusion of Online…” November 10 Innovations within Organizations Diffusion, Ch.10 Innovator’s, Ch.7 “Wyeth is Upbeat About Innovation…” “Flop Factor…” What’s the BIG Idea? (Case) **Paper Due** November 17 /Guest Speaker “Prototyping is the Shorthand of Innovation” November 24 *Thanksgiving – No Class* December 1 Business Innovation Innovation at 3M Corp. Kikkoman December 8 Business Innovation IDEO Product Development “The Pencil” “Sticky Fingers?” “Handles Help Paper Bags Hold On” December 15 /Presentations Rogers, Ch.11 December 22 /Presentations TBD Materials Required texts are widely available and can be purchased from (seems to be the cheapest),, and bookstores. Texts are approximately $50. To access your CoursePack, students will need to do the following: 1. Open the XanEdu "Login/Register" page at: 2. If you have previously registered at XanEdu, log in. If you are new to XanEdu, click the "Student Registration" button under "New Users Register Here". Complete and submit the registration form. 3. Confirm your CoursePack Selection, and complete the purchase form. Choose one of these options for your CoursePack delivery: Option 1: Digital access plus packaged print copy Price: $ 87.75 (includes all printing, shipping and handling costs) You will have immediate access to your Digital CoursePack Your personal print copy will be shipped to you within five business days from purchase of your CoursePack.
  3. 3. Innovation Seminar Page 3 Shipping of a print copy is for valid U.S. addresses only. If you are outside the U.S., choose Option 2 below. Option 2: Digital access with desktop printing Price: $ 61.05 You will have immediate access to your Digital CoursePack. You will not receive a printed copy of the CoursePack. You can print your CoursePack yourself, if your system hardware and connectivity supports downloading and printing very large files from the Internet. If you are not sure if your system supports this, we recommend that you select option #1 above. 4. After completing the purchase, you will be taken directly to "My XanEdu" where you can access your digital CoursePack. Questions? Please contact XanEdu Customer Service at 1-800-218-5971. Required Texts Christensen, Clayton and Michael Raynor. The Innovator’s Solution. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2003. Rogers, Everett. Diffusion of Innovations. 5 th ed. New York: The Free Press, 2003. Course Reader (Required) Amabille, Theresa. “Creativity and Innovations in Organizations.” Harvard Business School Note #9-396-239. 5 Jan, 1996. “An Investigation of the Diffusion of Online Games in Taiwan: An Application of Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation Theory.” Journal of American Academy of Business September 2004 Benjamin, Walter. "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction." in ed. Hannah Arendt, Illuminations (Glasgow: Fontana, 1973). Bounds, Gwendolyn. “Sticky Fingers? How Avery Found an Office Problem to Solve” The Wall Street Journal 13 July, 2004. Brown, John Seely. “Research That Reinvents the Corporation (HBR Classic).” Harvard Business Review. 1 August, 2002 Burton, Tim. “Flop Factor: By Learning from Failures, Lilly Keeps Drug Pipeline Full” The Wall Street Journal 21 April, 2004 Cheskin and Fitch: Worldwide. Fast, Focused & Fertile: The Innovation Evolution. 2003 Drucker, Peter. “The Discipline of Innovation” Harvard Business Review 1 August 2002 Gladwell, Malcom. “The Science of the Sleeper.” The New Yorker “Handles Help Paper Grocery Bags Hold On” The Wall Street Journal 16 March, 2004 Hensley, Scott “Wyeth is Upbeat About Innovation At Its Drug Labs.” The Wall Street Journal 3 June, 2004 Khan, Zorina and Kenneth Sokoloff. “The Early Development of Intellectual Property Institutions in the United States.” Journal of Economic Perspectives Vol. 13 No. 3: Summer 2001 Kelly, Tom. “Prototyping is the Shorthand of Innovation.” Design Management Journal Summer 2001
  4. 4. Innovation Seminar Page 4 Kumar, Vijay and Patrick Whitney. “Faster, Cheaper, Deeper User Research” Design Management Journal Spring 2003 Leonard, Dorothy and Jeffrey Rayport. “Spark Innovation through Empathetic Design.” Harvard Business Review 1 November 1997 Lessig, Lawrence. The Future of Ideas. New York: Vintage Books, 2002. Pgs 205-233 Long, Jim. “Continuous Learning: The Creative Journey…” Design Management Journal Spring 2002 McGinley, Laurie. “Leading the News: Drug Study Finds Little Innovation.” The Wall Street Journal. 29 May, 2002 “Patently Absurd” The Economist 23 June, 2001 Radford, Tim “Eureka! Scientists Map the Moment” The Guardian 13 April, 2004 Reinhardt, Andy Business Week. “Inventing a Better Patent Law” 22 December, 2003 Rivette, Kevin and David Kline,. Rembrandts in the Attic. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2000. Pgs 1-27 Robinson, Rick and James Hackett. “Creating the Conditions of Creativity.” Design Management Journal Fall 1997 Sutton, Robert. “Why These Ideas Work, But Seem Weird.” Design Management Journal Winter 2004 “The Pencil: Too Good to Replace” The Salt Lake Tribune 21 November, 1993 von Stamm, Bettina. “Innovation: What’s Design Got to Do with It?” Design Management Journal Winter 2004 Cases “Kikkoman Corp.: Consumer Focused Innovation.” Harvard Business School Case # 9-504-067. January 5, 2004 “What’s the BIG Idea?” Harvard Business School Case # 9-602-105. November 14, 2001 “IDEO Product Development.” Harvard Business School Case # 9-600-143. June 22, 2000 Suggested Texts Christensen, Clayton, ed. Harvard Business Review on Innovation. Harvard Business School Publishing: 2001. Drucker, Peter. Innovation and Entrepreneurship. New York: HarperBusiness, 1993. Kelley, Tom, et. al. The Art of Innovation. New York: Currency, 2001. Lessig, Lawrence. The Future of Ideas. New York: Vintage Books, 2002. Peters, Tom. Re-imagine! New York: DK Publishing, 2003 Petroski, Henry The Evolution of Useful Things: How Everyday Artifacts-From Forks and Pins to Paper Clips and Zippers-Came to be as They are. New York: Vintage Books USA, 1994 ---------. Invention by Design. Boston: Harvard University Press,1996. ---------. Small Things Considered: Why There Is No Perfect Design. New York: Knopf, 2003 ---------. To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design. New York: Vintage Books USA, 1992. Van Dulken, Stephen. American Inventions: A History of Curious, Extraordinary and Just Plain Useful Patents. New York: New York University Press, 2004
  5. 5. Innovation Seminar Page 5 Final Grade Calculation Attendance/class participation 30% Final presentation 40% Essays (2) 30% Essays Written assignments should be 4-6 typed pages in length and not less than 1,000 words. These assignments will allow you to explore material to a greater degree than is possible in class. You are expected to consult with sources other than those required for this course. It is strongly encouraged that you refer to recommended texts (listed above) and perform your own research based on your own interests. You must adhere to MLA style. Topics will be discussed and assigned during class. Essays must be submitted in printed form at the beginning of class. Electronic submissions are not permitted unless you have received prior authorization from me. Presentations Developing a point of view and orally sharing it with an audience is an important practice. Doing so will help you assimilate material, develop a cogent argument and persuasively present your position. For this course, presentations will help you accomplish three objectives: working collaboratively (presentations will be given by teams of 2-3 students), clearly and concisely presenting a point of view and defend that position to your peers. Presentations will take place during the final two class sessions. Each presentation will be 25 minutes in total length. This includes 15 minutes of presentation time and 10 minutes of question and answer. Presentations will be oral and supplemented with visual aids, where useful. It is expected that you will use design and presentation tools learned in other areas of your curriculum. PowerPoint, Flash, Illustrator, etc. are some of the tools you may wish to use. Please note that this is not designed as a multimedia presentation to showcase your design/technology skills. Rather, these tools are designed to help support your presentations. Order will be determined by the instructor. Reading Please note that assigned material has been developed with you in mind; this means simply reading will not ensure adequate preparation. You must critically read and prepare articles for class discussion. It is presumed you have the ability to summarize an article or reading. To ensure proper preparation, it is suggested you use a pen to jot notes in the margins. After reading articles, construct a narrative from your notes. Then seek to form your own opinion—do you agree with the author? Why? What examples from your experience stand contrary to the author’s point of view? Stepping back from the material, thinking about it in a new light and then re-approaching it may often yield useful insights. Grading Criteria Work that does not adhere to the minimum terms (length, due date, etc.) set out in the assignment will not receive a passing grade. Failing papers may also include those that are incoherent, or that consist almost entirely of quotations from outside sources.
  6. 6. Innovation Seminar Page 6 For the purposes of evaluating your class participation, papers and oral assignment, the distinctions between the various passing letter grades should be based on the following: D – Adheres to all of the general guidelines of formatting, page-length, and the minimum terms of the assignment. Written work receiving a “D” grade may be a simple restatement of fact or commonly-held opinion. Work at this level tends to put forward obviously contradictory or conflicting points of view. “D” grades may also have serious organizational and grammatical errors in evidence, which may or may not impede the reader’s ability to understand the author’s point. C – These are average grades. They will demonstrate some success in engaging with the assigned readings or material. The work will show that the student can identify and work with key terms and passages in a text and apply them to ideas and examples found in other texts, or other outside material. Additionally, the paper and presentation will demonstrate effort in the areas of analysis and critical thinking by posing an interesting problem or question. Typical of a C, however, is that the original problem or question, once asked, does not move the paper forward. Often, there is no real solution given, or there is a variety of possible solutions put forward without a clear sense of where the author’s commitment lies. This grade may also have significant organizational, grammatical and/or editorial errors in evidence. These errors may periodically impede the reader’s ability to understand the author’s point, or may lead to a paper that seems repetitive or circular. B – These are above average grades. The B grade does everything a C does, but offers a sustained and meaningful structure to a critical endeavor that is more complex than a paper at the C level. What also distinguishes a B paper is the author’s ability to offer a unique insight, to ask questions of primary or secondary source material, and/or to set up a debate between texts or points of view. The author’s point of view is clear and an argument is sustained fairly consistently throughout the work. Recipients of these grades are logically organized, and also respond to the assignment in thoughtful and distinctive ways. Although minor grammatical and editorial errors may be present, they are under control and do not impede meaning or clarity in the paper. A – These are exceptionally good papers that go above and beyond the expectations and requirements set forth in the assignment. They demonstrate substantial effort and achievement in the areas of critical thinking and scholarship. They also demonstrate considerable interpretive connections between concrete ideas or textual moments, a high level of analysis, and flexibility of argument. The argument or point of view that is offered is consistent throughout the paper, and governs the use and interpretation of all examples, and primary and/or secondary source material. “A” papers are very well organized, and are free of grammatical and editorial errors.
  7. 7. Innovation Seminar Page 7 Policies Students are responsible for all assignments, even if they are absent. Late papers, failure to complete the readings assigned for class discussion, and lack of preparedness for in-class discussions and presentations will jeopardize your successful completion of this course. It is extremely important that you not fall behind in your work, given the rapid pacing of this course. This is a discussion/workshop class rather than a lecture course. Therefore, the success of this class depends on you as well as on me. Class participation is an essential part of this class and includes: keeping up with reading, contributing meaningfully to class discussions, active participation in group work, and coming to class regularly and on time. Excessive or repeated instances of lateness may be counted as absences. Regular, on-time class attendance is extremely important. Students with repeated absences and/or lateness for any reason risk a substantial negative impact to their grade, including failure. Students who have three or more absences risk failing the course. Use of the university portal will be an important component of this class. Regular participation in periodic online assignments and discussion is extremely important. However, participation in the online environment will not be considered a replacement or substitution for active, in-class participation. In rare instances, I may be delayed arriving to class. If I have not arrived by the time class is scheduled to start, you must wait a minimum of thirty minutes for my arrival. In the event that I will miss class entirely, a sign will be posted at the classroom indicating your assignment for the next class meeting. Free tutoring is available through the office of Academic Advising. Time spent with a tutor is time well spent as it allows you to work on specific issues in your writing, which may not be addressed in class. The office of Academic Advising is located on the 5 th floor in the 2 West 13 th Street building. I encourage you to contact me with any questions about the material or anything else course-related. The best way to reach me is via email. I commit to respond to you within 24 hours. To ensure my availability, please contact me to make an appointment.
  8. 8. Innovation Seminar Page 8 New School University Statement on Academic Integrity Plagiarism and cheating of any kind in the course of academic work will not be tolerated. Academic honesty includes accurate use of quotations, as well as appropriate and explicit citation of sources in instances of paraphrasing and describing ideas, or reporting on research findings or any aspect of the work of others (including that of instructors and other students). These standards of academic honesty and citation of sources apply to all forms of academic work (examinations, essays, theses, computer work, art and design work, oral presentations, and other projects). It is the responsibility of students to learn the procedures specific to their discipline for correctly and appropriately differentiating their own work from that of others. Compromising your academic integrity may lead to serious consequences, including (but not limited to) one or more of the following: failure of the assignment, failure of the course, academic warning, disciplinary probation, suspension from the university, or dismissal from the university. Every student at Parsons signs an Academic Integrity Statement as a part of the registration process. Thus, you are held responsible for being familiar with, understanding, adhering to and upholding the spirit and standards of academic integrity as set forth by the Parsons School of Design Student Handbook.