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A Methods-based Approach to the New
Innovation is often characterized as the "fuzzy front end" of business. The design process taught at ID has been likened to "cutting cubes from fog," in other words, bringing definition to ambiguity. One example of this occurred when a team of student from the Institute of Design was tasked with exploring possible opportunities in the consumer space for the use of robots. The project required them to research and assess the state of technology, health and social trends, demographics, global attitudes towards robots, market opportunities, and analogous industries. Through the application of methods, the team settled on exploring the use of robotics in the care of the elderly and over the course of months developed potential businesses, along with an implementation plan. At any given time during the school year, dozens of such projects are underway, involving students in the pursuit of envisioning futures. And at the same time, organizations reach out to ID to help them think through just these kinds of problems.
As the pace of change in the world continues to accelerate, the demand for people trained to take on the ambiguous will continue to grow. This is why ID is more relevant than ever.