Jeremy Allan

Travel & Design Blog

What Is Innovation?

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& The Role It Plays

What It Means To Innovate

To better understand innovation, there must first be an understanding of what it means to innovate. To innovate is defined as "making changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products." The significance in this definition is the ability to take what exists and alter it through different processes. The key component is the inclusion of methods, ideas, or products, this is crucial because it does not limit innovation to a singular platform. What this definition doesn't touch on is the importance or significance that innovation must have in the intended culture. Whether it's physically, mentally, historically, or socially, that innovation must have meaningful value for the culture it was designed for. Without this meaningful connection, no matter how innovative it may be, it has no social benefits. Thus the innovation is lacking purpose for its existence. 

Innovation Comes In Many Forms

I believe there is a misconception about innovation and the affects it's having on society are detrimental. The notion that innovation is only possible when an entirely new object or idea is created is entirely wrong. Although this is a form of innovation it isn't the only way, but if a culture is set in this mindset it will be one of excessiveness. The creation of a brand new object or idea is not the only answer, but having the ability to adapt, repurpose and update existing creations can be just as innovative, if not more. Through this process different forms of innovation can come into fruition, potentially having more social and ecological benefits. A meaningful innovation could be as simple as access one object for its full potential, for example if technology permits itself for more then one usage case that it does not currently function for. Linking the camera on a phone, with the ability to send that images was an outstanding innovation. This example emphasizes the importance of innovation without the creation of a brand new object, instead it innovated off the meaning of a camera and a mobile device giving it greater purpose & meaning. Having the ability to think critically of the needs a culture has and adapting the surround goods or ideas to benefit that culture is ultimately the goal. Whether it's through the development of new objects or the adaptation of the old, the importance is understanding the needs of the people its for. With the end goal of creating meaningful innovations that betters those who interact with it.

-Jeremy Allan

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