Friday, 2 October 2009

2.10 User innovation, sustainability of design and network economy

Continuing from last time, and beginning with the issue of the creativity of users with help of E. Hippel (Democratizing Innovation) : Why do user's innovate? Because they cannot find products that would need their specific needs and contexts - but also because they like innovating and find pleasure in being creative. Users also tend to freely share their innovations, and actually profit form the sharing. According to Hippel, business can and should coexist with user-innovation by 1) making customized products for lead users or taking up innovations by lead users and making mass-products out of those, or more radically 2) produce tool-kits for users to finish and further innovate or customize the products, instead of finished products, or 3) sell services that are complementary to user-developed innovations.

Going on to E. Manzini (Sustainable everyday blog, especially the short paper on New Design Knowledge). According to Manzini, designers operate in a world where "everybody designs", and should see themselves as part of "designing networks". Promising cases are sc. creative communities, people who consciously are trying to create alternative solutions and practices and ways of living, and looser collaborative networks. Designers should sustain social innovation and stimulate and empower the abilities of users.

Roope then presented his concept of a networked graphic designer = Roope himself. Thanks!

Which took us to Y. Benkler's The Wealth of Networks, where he writes about the Internet Revulution and the emergence of a "networked information economy" it brings about. World-wide web has given the technological basis for a major change in economy, increasing the role of non-market, non-proprietary production and enhancing individual freedom and autonomy and easing wider participation in culture and its production. The basic question will be to what extent can we keep the resources of information production, the institutional ecology of digital environment as a commons = jokamiehen oikeus.

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