Arup Joins IDEO with Cards for Innovation.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on March 22, 2006

The Foresight & Innovation team at Arup, the fascinating engineering, planning, and designing collective out of Europe best known for the Sydney Opera House, has developed a 50 card deck of cards that highlights leading trends that will drive the future.

According to Mark Vanderbeeken at the Putting People First blog, “The drivers are arranged and presented within societal, technical, economic, environmental and political domains, with each two-sided card depicting one driver. As well as vibrant visual record of research, these cards can be used as a tool for discussion groups, as personal prompts for workshop events or as a ‘thought for the week’.”

I like cards as an educational tool. I was first introduced to them by Rem Koolhass who presented at Davos about four years ago. No power point. Just a deck of cards for each of the 30 people present. It was very powerful.

The IDEO Method Cards, of course, are a great example of the power of cards to teach. Each card has a photo on one side that is provocative and a short discussion of a key issue on the back. For each, I am looking at one card now—Be Your Customer. It says How: Ask the client to describe or enact their typical customer’s experience. Then Why : This is a helpful way to reveal client’s perceptions, etc.

I haven’t been able to see the Arup cards but I expect they are very powerful tools as well.

Reader Comments

Saul Kaplan

March 26, 2006 2:02 PM

It is interesting to watch Arup, IDEO, Design Continuum and other hip industrial design firms sprinting toward the corporate unmet need to tap design thinking and process to enable business model innovation. Its not just about built out environments any more....its about experimentation with new customer focused business models that delight consumers every day with compelling experiences. Companies need to do R&D for new business models not just for new products and technologies. Design is central to pulling it off.

steve baker

March 27, 2006 1:53 PM

Bruce, do you that's where the Pentagon got the idea for the Iraq villain cards? Maybe that guy you were sitting next to at Davos that year, the one who kept muttering about multilateralists, worked for Sec. Rumsfeld.

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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