Quel design pour réinventer l’innovation ?

Qu’est ce que l’innovation par le design. Un article intéressant d’Alice Rawsthorn – Reinventing Innovation – redesign of society

Lire l’article du NYT – Reinventing Innovation

Un article est intéressant d’Alice Rawsthorn, critique de design que je vous recommande de lire.  

Encore une fois, il ne faut pas oublier que si le design se rapporte à des besoins, des attentes, des « futures needs », ceux-ci sont relatifs aujourd’hui dans nos sociétés.
Les dimensions sensibles, plastiques, symboliques et exploratoires qui ont conduit à la chaise Vitra évoqués dans l’article sont intéressantes.
Bien sûr, nous sommes alors dans une innovation incrémentale.  Mais celle-ci n’est pas simplement une amélioration.

Elle est l’expression d’une sensibilité et d’une qualité plastique et esthétique qui signe l’appartenance de l’objet à un système identitaire dont nous avons besoin et qui représente l’époque.

Je crois donc que l’on ne peut pas opposer ainsi le design et ses façons d’innover. « le old et le new ». Tout n’est en effet pas innovation et tout n’est pas à transformer. La transformation est d’abord un acte de construction  d’espérance. C’est avant tout un acte de création, de projet et de dessein. Le monde a aussi besoin de beau et de symbole en ces temps obscurs. Il nous faut alors « intégrer » l’histoire, le présent et le futur, afin de métisser le connu et l’inconnu et produire une symbolique sociale.

L’article pointe les dangers de la surexposition des mots. On pourrait également pointer le danger de vide de sens et d’esthétique qui guette le design. On passe ainsi souvent d’un « BuzzWorld » à un autre dans cette surexposition d’un design qui devient déco.

 Tout homme sincère et honnête peux aider à transformer le monde. Talentueux à la manière de l’ancien monde,  je pense que les Bouroulec ne sont pas les bons exemples pour stigmatiser cette innovation Old School. (Pensons à Karim Rachid )

Il est cependant important de montrer la diversité des paysages plutôt que de les opposer. 

Le monde est complexe, les enjeux sont complexes et l’incertitude est là. Tout le monde est bienvenue pour tenter de construire un monde supportable. L’important est de participer, chacun à sa façon. Il est alors crucial de s’inscrire dans une histoire et une culture pour relativiser les modes et se situer dans des enjeux réels. Il est cependant prudent de savoir ce que l’on demande à un designer et à qui l’on s’adresse…


L’Article du new yor time

Reinventing Innovation

Published: April 5, 2009

LONDON — Some words just wear themselves out. They are used — or misused — so often that they lose their meaning. “Design” is one, “creative” is another, and if I see “contemporary” used to describe one more stick of furniture that looks as if it has been sequestrated from a 1980s porn palace, I will scream.


The Vegetal chair, designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. As the economic and environmental crises deepen, there is a growing recognition that many aspects of our lives need to be reinvented.


When the gDiaper, which consists of a biodegradable insert worn inside a pair of underpants, is soiled, you can flush it down the toilet. If it is only wet, you can compost it and it will decompose within a few months.

A recent recruit to the endangered list is “innovation.” Once hailed as a panacea, it has been so diminished by hyperbole that it risks seeming irrelevant. (“Transformation” is the fashionable favorite to replace it.) Yet just like “design” and “contemporary,” “innovation” is losing credibility as a word at the very time when it is needed most urgently.

As the economic and environmental crises deepen, there is a growing recognition that many aspects of our lives need to be reinvented. Politicians routinely call for the “redesign” of society, and urge businesses to “innovate” their way out of recession. This readiness to embrace change — even radical change — coupled with advances in science and technology, is unleashing a stream of innovations. Here are some of the most exciting ones.

1. Old-school innovation

When most people imagine design innovation, they think of designers experimenting with new technologies to develop new products, which will be better than their predecessors. That is exactly what the French brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec did with their Vegetal Chair for the Swiss company Vitra, which seems set to be a highlight of the Milan Furniture Fair later this month.

The Bouroullecs’ aim was to create a plastic chair that looked as if it had sprouted like a plant. They did so by molding the seat in the shape of a basket of twigs. The spaces between each “twig” make the Vegetal seem light and airy, and form holes through which the legs can be inserted to stack the chairs on top of each other.

The result is a great example of “old-school” innovation, and the most complex chair that Vitra’s engineers have ever produced. (That is saying something, given that they spent more than 20 years struggling to adapt Verner Panton’s S-shaped Panton Chair for mass-production.)

2. Green innovation

Whereas “old school” innovations tend to focus on making existing products easier to use or more efficient, a new goal is to make them environmentally responsible. A great example is gDiaper, the flushable baby diaper now sold in North America.

Conventional disposable diapers are an eco-nightmare. They are the third largest contributors to landfill sites in North America, with some 50 million being discarded each day. They take up to 500 years to decompose, and (here comes the yukky bit) the “contents” can seep into the ground water system, and contaminate it.

When Jason and Kimberly Graham-Nye were expecting their first child, they searched for an eco-friendly diaper and eventually found a company in Tasmania that had invented one. They bought the rights to the design and refined it into the gDiaper, which consists of a biodegradable flushable worn inside a pair of underpants. When the flushable is soiled, you can flush it down the toilet, or, if it is simply wet, use it as compost in the garden, where it will decompose within a few months.

3. New-school innovation

No sooner did Apple’s iPhone go on sale than amateur innovators started to invent applications for it. Thousands have surfaced. Among them is a dual innovation, which is also an exciting departure for music. It is Bloom, an interactive music system developed for the iPhone and Apple’s other touch-screen devices by the musicians Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers.

The first thing to say about Bloom is that it is fun. If you tap on your screen, you will see a splash of color rippling across it and hear a note of music that sounds like a gently rung bell. Tap it again, and you will cue a different hue and note. Do nothing, and a random sequence appears on the screen. The images and sounds then repeat until they fade into nothingness.

“We’ve both been interested in the idea of music which created itself as it plays: where you, the ‘composer,’ start the process and a system of some sort develops it in ways you wouldn’t have expected,” explained Mr. Eno. “I imagined a time when, instead of a record, you could play a ‘musical system’ which constantly generated new music never exactly repeating itself. This only really became possible with computers, and Peter made several experiments in that direction. However to use those you still had to be sitting at a computer. The iPhone put a computer in everyone’s pocket: the ideal platform for generative music.”

4. Social innovation

Another new-school approach to innovation is using design to tackle social problems. Take MeetUp, a service now being developed by the British social design group Participle to combat loneliness among elderly people. As the elderly population has expanded, loneliness has become a serious problem, and is proven to aggravate neurological conditions, like Alzheimer’s disease. The standard solution is to invite seniors to group activities in the hope that they will make friends there, but it seldom works.

MeetUp was devised as a subtler and more effective way of enabling them to get to know each other. It begins by coordinating telephone discussions among elderly people with shared interests. Once they have bonded, they are offered the chance to be taken by scooter or minibus to meet in person. They can also participate in joint activities, like gardening and cooking, from their homes. “If you dump people in a roomful of strangers they retreat into their shells,” said Hilary Cottam, founding director of Participle. “The insight was to help them to form their own groups of like-minded people. We prototyped MeetUp for six months, and have proved that it works and that it can save a significant amount of money on health care and social services.”

1 Comment

  • agat

    Tout à fait d'accord!! un objet, pour être convivial a besoin de reconnaissance culturelle, (Histoire et histoire personnelle) et d'imaginaire, provoquant curiosité et envies

Leave a comment