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October 29, 2016

The Great Innovation Debate! for DesignPhiladelphia 2016

BresslergroupDMI, and Penn IPD presented “The Great Innovation Debate,” a dmi:NightOut. Does great innovation result more consistently from user research pull or from new technology push? Think of the most disruptive products, the ones that changed society. Were they driven by user research or technology? Which will drive design’s most significant breakthroughs in the future? 

Was human-centered design guru, Don Norman, correct when he famously wrote, ” … design research is great when it comes to improving existing product categories but essentially useless when it comes to new, innovative breakthroughs. … New conceptual breakthroughs are invariably driven by the development of new technologies.”

Are breakthroughs overrated? Consider what John Maeda wrote: “I believe the passionate incrementalism of the iPhone 5 is just as important a design accomplishment as the original breakthrough of its predecessors.” 

Industry professionals from Bresslergroup, Penn IPD, Johnson & Johnson, OLIVE Devices, and Stanley Black & Decker duked it out on October 13th, during DesignPhiladelphia 2016. The debate was moderated by Chris Murray, Bresslergroup’s Director of Industrial Design. The audience decided the winner! 

Following the debate, the audience and participants stuck around to nosh and debate amongst themselves. Read the wrap-up: The Great Innovation Debate — Five Moments That Mattered.

Bresslergroup is a research-driven product innovation lab and design consultancy. Our curious thinkers, makers, and problem solvers challenge and inspire each other every day to discover elegant solutions to complex development problems. 

The Design Management Institute (DMI) is an international membership organization that connects design to business, to culture, to customers — and to the changing world. Founded in 1975, DMI brings together educators, researchers, designers, and leaders from every design discipline, every industry, and every corner of the planet to facilitate transformational organizational change and design driven innovation. DMI focuses its mission in three areas: design valuation, education, and connection. 

The University of Pennsylvania’s Integrated Product Design Master’s program (Penn IPD) merges the disciplines of design, engineering, and business for the purpose of creating compelling new products and experiences. The program is designed to train students in technology, business, manufacturing, aesthetics and human-product interaction and provide them with a framework for bringing these disciplines together to create something new. 

DesignPhiladelphia, a signature event of the Center for Architecture and Design, in the oldest design event of its kind in the country and annually showcases the work of over 400 practicing architects, designers, and creative professionals. Experience design in unexpected ways through more than 120 exhibitions, workshops, demonstrations, tours, talks, and events held in venues across the city. For more information on planning an event, sponsoring, advertising, or attending the 2016 Festival, visit:

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