Designing Innovation: Analyzing the Role of Design in a Design Driven Innovation Process
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Although the various drivers of innovation have been discussed extensively by innovation scholars, design has only recently been acknowledged as a possible driver of innovation. This study builds on the study by Roberto Verganti (Verganti, 2008) on the Design Driven Innovation process and elaborates on the existing framework for this process. The framework on the Design Driven Innovation process suggests that upcoming innovations or changes in sociocultural context and technology are first picked up by interpreters who create visions. These visions are used by companies to create innovative products which are used by users in the sociocultural context. Therefore there should be a delay between the moment interpreters start discussing a topic and the moment it is picked up by the sociocultural context. This delay is equal to the time it takes a company to develop the vision from the interpreters into a product for the users. This consequence of the framework is tested in this study. The output from a group interpreters in the International Journal of Vehicle Design is analyzed and compared to the output of the sociocultural context, which is represented by newspaper articles in the New York Times. Word co-occurrence networks are used to identify the topic of the discussion at a certain point in time. Of the 12 identified topics, 8 topics show the expected delays. The total of 18 observed delays average at 5 years which is consistent with the expected time a company needs to develop a product. The main conclusion in this study is that an analysis of interpreters in an interpreter network may indeed provide useful information on changes in the sociocultural context and could thus be used to anticipate change. However, the limited amount of observed topics make future research in this field necessary.