The research project at its core: “We are designing an approach to innovation that makes better visible how ideas materialise. With this approach we seek to bridge Now and possible Future, production and use, technology and experience, thinking and doing, and the different expert knowledges needed to innovate.”

The words ‘approach’ and ‘innovation’ are carefully chosen. In conversations with Christoph Wecht and the students of MxD we discussed the meaning of words such as ‘design’ and ‘innovation’. Design (Gestaltung in German) is in the Central-European context loaded with the concept of giving form to tangible objects. The word design makes it difficult to convey the research aim. A possible way forward would be to use the word innovation. Innovation is, at least in the Anglo-American space, closely connected with design. We can pose the question whether ‘innovation’ as a concept can be used to avoid the constraining local concept of design.

The word “approach” was hotly debated with students of the 6th semester at MxD. We have not come to a conclusion about it. The question is still up in the air, whether we should use the word “practice”, “method”, “process”, “approach”, “strategy”, or “Haltung”, which can be translated with “mindset”, but does in German have a more bodily association, close to the word “posture”.

Are we working on a design practice, a design method, a design process, a design approach, a design strategy, or a design mindset?