The nature of narrative seems to provide a tension – it seems – between individual stories and collective ones: popular, institutional, organisational. Narrative as a tool to propose or narrative as a tool to interpret may lead to different types of innovation. The notion of innovation, per se, also is grounded in different cultures (corporate, organisational, institutional, in resonance with societal, and more) and modus operandi; hence the need of a spectrum/continuum view.

The Innovation Spectrum helps visualize the impact of innovation, from evolutive to disruptive.

A preliminary note is essential: there is a paradox in talking about innovation because we can describe it, as well as its impacts, only after having experienced it. However, design practice focus is on what does not yet exist.

“Technology is the answer … but what was the question?”

– Cedric Price, 1966

It is easy to talk today about the innovation of the smartphone and its impact on usage. Let us go back to the end of the 20th century, before the application of “touchscreen” technologies: imagining the mobile device with a touch screen was already explored, but to foresee its concrete implementation required many steps. Considering the implications and impacts remain difficult, even today.

Stories to be continued.

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