InnovationSpace

Welcome to InnovationSpace, a place where inquiring minds collaborate to create a more livable and sustainable world.

KAET Research Review

What is InnovationSpace?

InnovationSpace is an entrepreneurial joint venture among the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering and W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The goal of our transdisciplinary education and research lab is to teach students how to develop products that create market value while serving real societal needs and minimizing impacts on the environment. Put simply, we seek to create products that are progressive, possible and profitable. At the same time, they must have a meaningful impact on the daily lives of ordinary people.

InnovationSpace utilizes two fundamental strategies for creating sustainable innovation: a model of new product development known as Integrated Innovation and the emerging field of biomimicry.

Model of Innovation

Model of Innovation

Successful initiatives are fueled by compelling ideas and ambitious agendas. Guiding our process of sustainable product development is a new paradigm known as Integrated Innovation.

At InnovationSpace, transdisciplinary teams of students from industrial design, engineering, visual communication design and business systematically work through a matrix of four questions:
Model of Innovation

  • What is valuable to users?
  • What is possible through engineering?
  • What is desirable to business?
  • What is good for society and the environment?

Using the model of Integrated Innovation, students aim to create products that

  • satisfy user needs and desires;
  • apply innovative but proven engineering standards;
  • create measurable value for business
  • benefit society while minimizing impacts on the environment.

Biomimicry

Biomimicry

Consumer products often are manufactured in quantities numbering in the millions. From their factory production to their disposal, products can have enormous downsides for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the soils we cultivate. As a result, InnovationSpace is committed to exploring new methodologies for sustainable product innovation.

One of the most promising is the emerging discipline of biomimicry. Biomimicry explores the forms, processes and systems of nature for clues to solving human challenges. This new area of study can help people create innovative solutions that will minimize the environmental impact of new products.

Biomimicry

With grants from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance and ASU's Pathways to Entrepreneurship program, InnovationSpace launched a major biomimicry initiative in fall 2008.

In 2014 InnovationSpace began a partnership with the newly formed Biomimicry Center at ASU. In the InnovationSpace classroom laboratory, students and faculty work to develop a deployable methodology for exploring bio-inspired innovation in design, business, engineering and sustainability practice.

For more information about biomimicry in InnovationSpace, check out the articles and video programs listed below.

Water by Design, created in collaboration with the Phoenix-based Television Workshop

Design from Life, produced by teaching assistant Dan Wandrey in collaboration with InnovationSpace faculty and staff

New ASU center mimics nature to create cutting-edge technology, ASU News

Faculty

Faculty

InnovationSpace’s core teaching team includes faculty from industrial design, visual communication design, sustainability, business and engineering.

Anthony Kuhn
Anthony Kuhn

Lecturer
Stephanie Mcnicol
Stephanie Mcnicol
Interaction Designer
Craig Hedges
Craig Hedges
Creative Director/Brand Strategist
Rhett Trujillo
Rhett Trujillo
Lecturer
Clint Penick
Clint Penick
Assistant Research Professor
 

Founding Codirectors

Paul Rothstein
Paul Rothstein
James Hershauer
James Hershauer
Mark Henderson
Mark Henderson
Mookesh Patel
Mookesh Patel

Research

Northshore
InnovationSpace Co-director Adelheid Fischer Publishes North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota's Superior Coast In May 2015 the University of Minnesota Press published North Shore: A Natural History of Minnesota’s Superior Coast, coauthored by InnovationSpace Codirector Adelheid Fischer and Minnesota ecologist Chel Anderson. The book explores the human and natural forces that have shaped the Minnesota North Shore of Lake Superior. 
See more
Innovationspace
New Toys for Children with Autism According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in every 100 eight-year-olds in the U.S. is afflicted with some form of autism. But there are no therapeutic toys on the market specifically designed to meet the needs of children struggling with the disorder. After months of intensive research, three teams of InnovationSpace students hope to bridge this product-opportunity gap.
Prasad Boradkar’s new book wins the Institute for Humanities Research Transdisciplinary Humanities Book Award
Prasad Boradkar’s new book wins the Institute for Humanities Research Transdisciplinary Humanities Book Award Prasad Boradkar, Associate Professor in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, is the recipient of the Institute for Humanities Research Transdisciplinary Humanities Book Award. His book, Designing Things: A Critical Introduction to the Culture of Objects, draws on his extensive design studies and his theory and philosophy of visual culture. Boradkar is the Director of ASU's InnovationSpace.
Video
rewind remix replay
Rewind Remix Replay: Design, Music & Everyday Experience Most people know Prasad Boradkar as the director of InnovationSpace, the popular product-development program at ASU. But Boradkar also maintains a thriving academic career as a design historian and theorist—and now museum curator. As guest curator of the exhibition "Rewind Remix Replay: Design, Music & Everyday Experience," Boradkar looks at the evolution of music from the perspective of industrial design. The show, which runs through May 23, 2010, at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art in Arizona, explores how the designs of such musical instruments as the Moog synthesizer and playback devices like the Sony Walkman have shaped our experience of music. In turn, Boradkar points out, our use and creative modifications of these objects have inspired designers and manufacturers. more

ASU News article

learn from nature
Learning from Nature Product designers create objects that help us accomplish the tasks of everyday living, from cutting vegetables for a stove-top stew and riding a subway to getting an X-ray or tapping on a computer keyboard. How comfortable, functional, safe or beautiful these objects are depends a lot on sleuths known as design researchers who carefully study the habits and needs of users. All too often, however, the nuggets of inspiration they unearth are reburied in dense reports and wordy dossiers.

Dan Wandrey, InnovationSpace teaching assistant in design, hopes to change that. As a graduate student in the School of Design Innovation, Dan is exploring the ways in which user research can be made more accessible, compelling, engaging and meaningful for the people who design the objects we rely on. Combining storytelling, in-depth research and first-person interviews, Dan has completed a series of multimedia narratives that reveal the telling connections between people and the world in which they live. The originality—and usefulness—of Dan’s documentary approach promises to introduce a powerful new communications tool in the field of design research.

You can see an example of Dan’s work in the following video, which showcases the research of fellow TA Adrian Smith. Adrian, a Ph.D. biology student in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, studies chemical communication among desert-dwelling ants. Using his extensive knowledge of insects and other organisms, Adrian is helping to lead a biomimicry initiative in InnovationSpace in which students are looking to nature for sustainable solutions to human problems.

ASU News article and video