What you will study
Central to the module is a project which will give you the opportunity to apply some of the concepts and methods that you will learn.
The module is structured into two parts, each made of up of three blocks that explore different aspects of innovation.
In Part 1 you’ll focus on how opportunities and ideas for innovation are created.
Next, in Part 2 you’ll consider how ideas for innovation are implemented and may result in widespread adoption. You’ll begin working on your project in this second part of the module.
The study material, which is delivered online, makes extensive use of a range of media and resources to support your learning.
Part 1 – Creating ideas and opportunities for innovation
Block 1: Exploring innovation sets the scene for the whole module. This block presents a number of case studies, including mobile phones and racing bikes, which introduce you to the design and innovation process, its outputs as product, service or system innovations, and its impacts. A model, which is used throughout the module to enable you to understand the design and innovation process, is presented at the end of this block.
Block 2: Sustainable innovation focuses on how design and innovation can address major challenges such as climate change and how the relationships between products, people and context offer opportunities to design things differently. This block will help you critically evaluate design and innovation practices and to integrate social, technical and environmental knowledge in design thinking.
Block 3: Visions for change considers the role of visions of change in creating and promoting opportunities and ideas for design and innovation. It introduces approaches and tools that you can use to help develop visions of change. The block ends with a discussion of responsibilities and ethics of design and innovation.
Part 2 – Implementing ideas for widespread adoption
Block 4: Innovation projects: working for change focuses on the practice of designing product, system, and service innovations. You will learn how to undertake a design and innovation project and develop a design brief from your own ideas. This block will help you to select, use and evaluate a range of tools and methods to help with your design and innovation project.
Block 5: Creating concepts: places for people explores the processes and outcomes that contribute to the making of sustainable homes and built environments to show how design specifications and concepts are developed as part of the innovation process. It will equip you with the design thinking skills and tools to help you further develop your project.
Block 6: Implementing innovation: transport futures draws on case studies of projects in the area of transport and mobility to show how the details of an innovative product, service or system are developed. This block considers how the case for the implementation of these innovations is made and presents tools to assist in this process and help you to plan how your project might be advanced beyond the module.
If you are considering progressing to The engineering project (T452), this is one of the OU level 3 modules on which you could base your project topic. Normally, you should have completed one of these OU level 3 modules (or be currently studying one) before registering for the project module.
The module will help you develop knowledge and skills necessary to innovate in many different fields including product design and architecture, engineering, business and creative industries. You will be able to engage with various sources of innovation to create opportunities and ideas for innovation and grow your ideas for adoption. You will also develop an understanding of the environmental, social and economic impacts of innovation.