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fall 2004 studio project summary

about InnovationSpace InnovationSpace is a transdisciplinary laboratory at Arizona State University where students and faculty partner with researchers, inventors, and businesses to explore user-centered product concepts that improve society and the environment.

InnovationSpace provides integrated product development services to university researchers, independent inventors, entrepreneurs and corporations. In the InnovationSpace program, transdisciplinary teams of students work to define new product offerings, develop and refine product concepts, build engineering prototypes, and create business plans and visual materials to communicate the end results. With these in hand, InnovationSpace partners increase the effectiveness of their efforts to transfer or market new product concepts. The program emphasizes social and environmental responsibility throughout the development process, guiding students to consider the

impact of their concepts on people and the environment. In the process, InnovationSpace provides students with the opportunity to help researchers, inventors and businesses conceive and develop new product concepts that create value while also improving society and the environment. InnovationSpace works closely with Arizona Technology Enterprises (AzTE), Arizona State University’s technology transfer division. AzTE is committed to working with InnovationSpace in facilitating the transfer of new product concepts to commercial markets. With the help of AzTE, InnovationSpace will make a positive impact on students, faculty, the university, industry, and society as a whole.

an entrepreneurial joint venture

InnovationSpace is an entrepreneurial joint venture between the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, and W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. The program involves faculty and students from business, engineering, industrial design and graphic design in a hands-on product development laboratory.

fall 2004 studio project summary

our mission The mission of InnovationSpace is to transform product development education and practice into a 21st century process for sparking progressive economic, social, and environmental change.

integrated innovation The idea that fuels InnovationSpace At InnovationSpace, we’ve developed a model of product development that we call Integrated Innovation. It helps everyone at InnovationSpace focus on a specific definition of innovation that leads to positive social change. It involves exploring and resolving four key questions: What is possible? What is valuable? What is desirable? and What is good?

Integrated Innovation compels business, design and engineering teams to confront the real challenge facing 21st century product development – namely, to design products that people want and need while, at the same time, creating measurable value in the marketplace, and improving society and the environment. That’s what we call innovation!

Ignites the exploration of technology and design concepts. This work entails speculating about unique applications of technology and materials, visualizing more effective ways to design the interaction between people and things, and developing concepts and experiences that create a better and more sustainable future. While wildly creative, the design work at InnovationSpace is grounded in research and well-articulated criteria.

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Leads to in-depth research into the marketplace. It often entails extensive analysis of competitors, the identification of emerging threats and opportunities, and an understanding of events occurring in dynamic markets. At InnovationSpace, the creation of value (from a business perspective) is an essential component of all our creative work.

Integrated Innovation

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Entails studying and clarifying the needs and desires of targeted user groups. At InnovationSpace, we put an emphasis on conducting this research in the field where our teams interact directly with users. It’s all based on a simple belief that supporting users in new, more meaningful and delightful ways lies at the heart of successful product development.

fall 2004 studio project summary


Involves understanding key social, political and environmental conditions and trends. If we’re working to develop new product concepts to help an aging population, for example, we carefully study evolving attitudes about aging and disability, trends in healthcare, and the ever-changing status of federal and state policy relating to care for elders.

the InnovationSpace studio description

This special course provides an opportunity for teams of senior-level students to complete a great school project while also (potentially) contributing to a better future. It does so by challenging students to work together to create comprehensive Innovation Proposals (focused on a new product design concept) that address socially progressive projects. The course is structured around a model of innovation called Integrated Innovation. It entails teams of students: • Gathering information about consumer demand, technology, market conditions/ trends, and social/environmental conditions/trends • Defining key conclusions and Actionable Insights • Developing a comprehensive Innovation Proposal that includes the conceptual specification of a new product design concept(s), communication strategy(ies), and a detailed rationale for why the proposal is: >> useful, usable and desirable (from a consumer’s perspective) >> feasible (from a technological perspective) >> valuable (from a market perspective) >> progressive (from a social and environmental perspective) The course is project-based but includes readings, presentations (by both faculty and students), discussion and the public exhibition/presentation of each team’s Innovation Proposal to external groups. Please note that this course is part of a two-semester sequence. Students in this course are expected to enroll in the follow-up course in the spring, during which the Innovation Proposals will be developed and defined in more detail.


This course has been designed to achieve the following objectives: • to provide an opportunity for students and faculty to make a positive contribution to a better future • to establish a new, more effective and more realistic educational experience for students from business, design and engineering • to assist university researchers and other groups in the successful transfer of socially progressive inventions to the private sector • to create opportunities for students to benefit from the transfer of their ideas and concepts to the private sector


At the conclusion of this course, students will: • understand Integrated Innovation and how it can be applied to create progressive proposals featuring design, business and engineering • acquire valuable experience in crossfunctional teamwork • acquire valuable experience in developing and presenting information and proposals that are direct and persuasive • appreciate how their work can contribute to improvements for society and the environment

fall 2004 studio project summary

studio assignments This fall studio includes four phases with deliverables due at the end of each phase.

Phase 1 – Collecting Information Activities Entails comprehensive research into the four Integrated Innovation Factors. Activities will include some fieldwork as well as traditional types of secondary research. The work will generate both qualitative and quantitative information. Deliverables • Research Binder

Phase 2 – Making Discoveries Activities Involves making sense of the information gathered during Phase 1. Each team will utilize a specific set of analysis tools and methods to define conclusions about what was discovered about consumers, technology, the market and society and the environment. Deliverables • Analysis Brochure structured around the Integrated Innovation factors

Phase 3 – Creating Opportunities Activities Involves the exploration of multiple product design concepts and the development of a comprehensive Innovation Proposal. Deliverables • at least one (1) product design concept • at least one (1) communication strategy • rationale for the technological feasibility of the product design concept • rationale for the market opportunity created by the product design concept • rationale for how the product design concept improves society and the environment

Phase 4 – Exhibit & Presentation Activities Entails each team planning, exhibiting and presenting its Innovation Proposal to a public audience. Includes detailed rationales for why the Innovation Proposal is desirable and/or viable from the perspective of the Integrated Innovation factors. Deliverables • a visual, public exhibition of each team’s Innovation Proposal • a short (15 minute) team presentation to external groups fall 2004 studio project summary

new product concepts Three InnovationSpace teams are exploring product possibilities for the aging population in the home environment. Based on researching elders’ needs and wants, the teams are envisioning new product design concepts to help an aging population maintain an independent, healthy, and productive lifestyle.

Team One: Age On Partners

Conties adult undergarment

Product: Conties is an adult undergarment to treat adults with light to medium incontinence problems. A reusable fabric undergarment holds about five disposable and ultra-absorbent pads. A few times per day the pads can be easily removed and flushed without ever taking the fabric garment off. The team is seeking to remove the stigma attached to “adult diapers.”

Team Two: Boom Design

The Assist

Product: The Assist is a mechanical device disguised as a cabinet that helps to lower and raise people from the toilet while providing additional bathroom storage. Buttons lower the fully adjustable Assist rails and users tuck the rails under their arms instead of using their own strength to move up and down—like existing products. The Assist does all the work then stores away inconspicuously.

Team Three: Integrated Genius Product: The Atlas is a storage system for garages that raises and lowers a large shelf at the touch of a button so space above and behind cars can be used. It’s designed to help the elderly with cramped, crowded garages and avoid falls because of clutter on the ground that could be put out of the way with little strength.

Atlas garage storage system

fall 2004 studio project summary

new product concepts Three other InnovationSpace teams are collaborating with the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering’s Center for Cognitive Ubiquitous Computing (CUbiC) to further develop a device called the iCARE-Reader. This device enables people who are blind or visually impaired to access text-based materials by scanning printed text, and then translating it into a synthesized voice.

iCARE-Reader Tabletop

CUbiC’s researchers have developed the iCAREReader into a fully-functioning prototype. One InnovationSpace team is working with CUbiC to refine this prototype into a tabletop device that is suitable for deployment in libraries and other institutional settings. Another InnovationSpace team is working with CUbiC to develop a briefcase-sized, portable reader. A final team is working with CUbiC to develop an even smaller version of the reader—possibly a wearable device. In all three cases, the InnovationSpace teams and CUbiC are striving to develop market-ready concepts, supported by business plans, engineering specifications, and promotional materials. Team One: Decipher Product: Tabletop Unit, designed for libraries and other public areas.

iCARE-Reader Portable

Team Two: Fetch Product: Portable version, works with any laptop computer by wirelessly connecting to the camera unit. Speech rate and audio level is controlled by a wireless knob. This product is designed for students to use in the classroom at first, and then will open to wider markets. Team Three: Visual Voices Product: Wearable version, called Rogo, comes in the form of glasses fitted with a camera and speakers. They connect wirelessly to a handheld device that translates print materials into a synthesized voice.

iCARE-Reader Wearable fall 2004 studio project summary

InnovationSpace Brochure  
InnovationSpace Brochure  

Introduction to InnovationSpace