One of the few positive points of the Corona-crisis is that it provides an opportunity for reflection. For me, this included looking at the design considerations applied ages ago and the ones we use now. What are the differences and what is still valid?
A lesson from the Corona-outbreak is not to take anything for granted. In developed countries, the emphasis is very much on achieving maximum efficiency and effectiveness, in developing countries my design criteria focussed on maximum resilience. That means shifting from looking at “what can go right” to “what can go wrong”.
Nowadays we love to go for the new technical stuff, with buzzwords like big data, disruptive technology, machine learning, etc. In the process, we tend to forget the “what can go wrong”-side of things. Of course, we talk of co-design, but in practice, this is dealt with as a step in the process and then we go on with the technical things that make us so happy.
The danger is that this creates a mismatch between the “technical solution” and its successful long-term application. Not that there is anything wrong with technology, but things should be kept in perspective.
Here are some design considerations from a long time ago that still apply, in my opinion, and are maybe forgotten in our desire to hit the ball out of the park. This effect is reinforced by the fact that most innovation funding is project-based and we, therefore, want to show quick results.
Home and office of the engineer
Co-design at work
Disruptive technology in action
And, of course, we are “human, all too human”: after a while, we will forget what this Corona-thing was all about. But still, the crisis gives us a good opportunity to give co-design and innovation a new look.
Written by Mark Noort
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement No.776691. The opinions expressed on the web page are of the authors only and no way reflect the European Commission’s opinions. The European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information.