Yesterday I attended a seminar of innovation held at Philadelphia University that proved interesting in that the school has embraced an approach to teaching Design within a broader context including Commerce (Business)and Technology(Engineering). The schools strategic plan frames it as follows:
Traditional design produces products that are safer, easier to use, aesthetically pleasing, highly cost effective, and environmentally friendly. Corporations have begun to realize that there is exceptional power in the design process, or design thinking, not just the product.
Design, as a discipline, contributes its process, which identifies the needs, opportunities, and as a discipline, contributes its process, which identifies the needs, opportunities, and applications of capabilities; design also serves as the integrator synthesizing the complementary design, engineering, and commerce discipline methodologies
Engineering applies the principles of mathematics and the laws of natural science to analyze, design, develop, and devise improvements that benefit humanity. The engineering major provides for flexibility to address the unknown technical challenges that will confront society.
Commerce is the act of leading a team toward accomplishing a goal beyond the scope of individual effort with the intent of creating and capturing value. Business must be opportunity seeking, holistic in its approach to problem solving and driven to create and capture value for a broad set of stakeholders.
Innovation is spawned at the intersection of business, engineering, and design. In the integration of these disciplines will develop an education for leaders and decision makers. In the College of Design, Engineering, and Commerce, innovation will be at the heart of the academic experience, leading to success and leadership in the professions.
The keynote speaker was founder of ECCO Design, Eric Chan.