Innovation Tools & Techniques

Innovation & Entrepreneurship

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Curt McNamara is an experienced engineer, biomimicry educator and Buckminster Fuller scholar. We recently caught up with him to discuss his fully online course devoted to the subject of innovation called Innovation Tools and Techniques. This is a 15-week course that is a core part of MCAD’s Sustainable Design Program and will be offered in Fall 2015. The course is open for registration (only a few seats remain and classes begin August 24!).

Curt asks, “What idea of yours will change the world?”

MCAD’s Sustainable Design Program has created and is continuously improving an online innovation laboratory to enable change makers. Join us on a journey to explore how your sustainably-focused idea can be turned into something being useful to a community. For example, we all have concepts and plans, yet many of these never move into implementation. Everyone can benefit from simple strategies to move an idea along the path to implementation. This course will give a variety of tools, from strategies for sustainability to creating simple prototypes. We’ll use techniques including Design for Flow, Locality, Collaborative Consumption, Lightness and Triz (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) to generate novel ideas.

Students have used the course to explore business ideas, develop thesis work or advance their own research. In all cases they learn deeply, share in a community of like-minded individuals and come away with a set of actionable innovation tools that they can use over and over.

Your life work awaits

This course is an investment in your self-expression, and is an investment in yourself and in our future. Only you can do this work. Can you imagine having your first prototype ready to be shared with the larger community? Consider investing in yourself to improve your ability make ideas happen by taking Innovation Tools and Techniques this fall.

Course description

Innovation is applied creativity. Designers need to know personal practice, innovation techniques, and how to implement their ideas. This course teaches all three techniques through a combination of reflection, focused exercise, and the creation of plans. Each week, students learn one technique for idea generation along with one technique for sustainable innovation. Students reflect on their personal practices (e.g., how they reflect sustainability, what their best practices are, and how they can improve) and engage in ongoing dialog with fellow students to learn and critique their practices. The course projects stress multiple approaches to design situations, focusing on the design customer and implementation of ideas.

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Image courtesy of Flickr CC by Dennis Skley