A. Dominoni

Politecnico di Milano (ITALY)
Research for innovation represents today the industry’s indispensable tool to hinder the international concurrence through out new design solutions aimed to optimize the know-how and the skills of each single firm.
This paper intends to demonstrate that some strategies which belong to the industrial design discipline can be applied to the industrial system to produce innovation in terms of new processes, products and materials crossing different expertises and areas of application to generate spin-off.
Currently, more and more research and design teams are composed by people with different nationalities, who often have different cultural backgrounds from each other. The professional collaborations, acquisitions, joint ventures are proliferating mainly because the technological content and the environmental requirements have become so complex that no company can have in itself the skills and resources to innovate.
Innovation today is no longer only a company innovation but an innovative result born from a network of relationships and cooperation that comes from the outside and even through the organisation of multi-disciplinarian working groups, capable of contributing with other points of view, to the growth of a new manufacturing reality.
Also, strategic design methodologies can be used to improve the efficacy of the education system reproducing with students the same dynamics and structures that characterized the professional and industrial fields.
This approach has the privilege to bring close the students to the real needs and rhythms of working with the everyday reality of professional firms, companies and research centres that very often use this innovative formula involving different kind of people to define in a short time new project scenarios. It can also offer, through the designer’s proposals involved in the activities, a quick and diversified response to a market in continuous transition.
Working in different groups with different capabilities, for a short but very intensive period of time, allow to the students to focus their full attention and energies on one project only, managing all stages of the creative process, from the initial brief, until the elaboration of the first ideas and the definition of the core’s concept.
In this way they are able to come up with a final presentation in which the project most important qualities will have to emerge through the comprehensive representation of the path taken.