Material as the Motor for Innovation

The impact of creative professionals on technical innovations

5 November 2010 · Design Attack Festival Krakow

Although Germany’s industry in fact accounts for 18% of all European patents, it still has lost the prospect of successfully placing new products in international markets. It’s not the number of patents which leads the economy to success, it’s the number of innovations! The classical way of creating innovation has to undergo a radical change.

It is no longer just enough to produce technologies and materials with functionalities in parts per thousand behind the decimal. People in the western world have everything they need for living and now long for products which will satisfy their needs even before they are able to put them into words. What we need more than ever, are people who can recognize societal development and who as a result of their education and mindset have an ability that is as a rule denied to the representatives of the technological disciplines. Infatuation with technology and details is a hindrance to the success of a product. It is therefore essential that equal status be shared by the technological and the creative disciplines. Designers are the ones who awake latent needs in customers and add an emotional value to the technological.

If integrated early in the innovation process, designers can contribute a great deal when the development of the interrelationship of applications is being dealt with. Who else is going to contemplate reasonable applications for ferro fluids, thermochromatic coatings or textiles that can remember the original position of their fibres – 70 percent of all new products are based on new materials!

On November 5, 2010, Dr. Sascha Peters was invited to the Design Attack Festival in Krakow to clarify his ideas about the importance of designers in the innovation process and to present some of the most recent material innovations brought about by designers.

image: concept study “Recy” with a wooden body (source: Mercedes Benz)