D A Y # 12

CONCLUDING REFLECTION: Post-Project Thoughts

Day #12 marks the end of the subject ‘Business Innovation’. Despite only spanning over the course of 2 1/2 weeks, I have found the subject quite interesting and insightful.

Reflecting back upon my initial expectations of the subject on DAY #1, I wrote that the subject would “explore the fields of design management, management theory, innovation and leadership to give students contexts for designing entrepreneurially”.

Task 1, 2 and 3 definitely covered all these aspects as mentioned in the subject outline as was expected. However, what I did not expect was the way in which we were encouraged to look at ‘future worlds’ and ‘future markets’. I had no idea that predicting the future was so important to business entrepreneurs, and that there are a countless number of websites, organisations and blogs which talk about future trends and technologies.

Initially, I found it difficult to grasp the concept of ‘future worlds’. I found Task 2 a really valuable exercise as it helped to clarify exactly what we were expected to do for the subject.The ‘futures matrix’ demonstrated the wide range of different future scenarios, formulated through different ‘drivers of change’. From Task 2, we were then able to work on Task 3. I am proud of our overall design pitch and feel that it could in fact be a potentially successful product for the future.

In my first blog entry I wrote that “I hope to gain a new outlook on design and widen my potential to become an innovator for the future”. I’m not sure how successful an innovator I will be, but I have definitely gained a new outlook on design practices, and gained valuable insight on how to create not just for the present, but into the future.

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D A Y # 11

JEHS – ‘OUR SERVICE’

For Task 3, our group has developed a service for the future world of 2030 based on our predicted future scenario. As mentioned in DAY#9, we believe that our target market in 20 years time will be businesses with an increased interest in personal well-being. We have identified the client as companies who want to minimise work-related stress and increase the well-being of their employee’s, and therefore raise the morale and productivity of the company.

Reducing work-related stress increases productivity

“What our service aims to do is to provide an outlet or escape from the stress of the daily grind. Working full time, up to 60 hours or more per week, can be a demanding task, placing pressure on an employee’s physical, mental and psychological health. JEHS has developed a unique service to cater for the well-being of all employees. It is not only a service, but a tool to maintain positive attitudes in the workplace and to raise productivity.

JEHS will set up ‘creative spaces’ within your company, providing hobby hubs, relaxation areas and interactive rooms designed to stimulate one’s creative juices, and release the inner child. These ‘creative spaces’ place an emphasis on playfulness, creativity and freedom of expression,   featuring a wide range of different materials, equipment and furniture.

‘Creative spaces’ may include woodwork stations, games and puzzle rooms, art studios,  library lounges, and fitness and relaxation areas. If required, a mentor or teacher will be available to work with the employees in order to gain full advantage of the areas.

‘Creative Spaces’ may include activities such as:

  • cooking
  • games/puzzles – chess, checkers, bingo, trivia
  • woodwork
  • art/craft – paint, draw, clay, pottery, candle making
  • sewing/knitting/crochet/cross-stitch
  • karaoke
  • origami
  • photography
  • exercise
  • relaxation
  • music
  • reading
  • drama

These ‘creative spaces’ are low-cost to set up, and inexpensive to maintain – JEHS handpicks the most basic items to create incredibly powerful, rewarding and beneficial programs. Investing in a ‘creative space’ will reap long-term benefits, raising the overall morale and productivity of the company.

Companies will be able to allow unlimited access and/or allocate certain time slots in the week to allow their employees to utilise these ‘creative spaces’. It will not only create a dynamic break in the perpetual routine of work, but will give your business a competitive edge.

We believe that each company is unique with varied ways of operating, a diverse mix of people and different types of demands. Therefore, a range of activities will be custom picked for the particular needs of your company in order to suit the employees perfectly.

We are constantly building upon our list of activities to fill these ‘creative spaces’ and are open to exploring all things creative, enjoyable and that will make a positive impact on the employee and the company’s well-being. In a world where financial gain is often placed at the forefront, we at JEHS believe in building a healthier and more optimistic workplace environment for the future.”

D A Y # 10

TASK 2: FUTURES MATRIX

For Task 2 we had to select two drivers of change and present 4 extreme scenarios in a ‘futures matrix’.

Driver of change #1: mass-production of goods & industrialisation vs. smaller businesses, local & markets

Driver of change #2:
increase in self-awareness & interest in well-being vs. no interest in well-being, anaesthetised

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Group Five's 'Futures Matrix'

‘WORLD OF ZERO CONSCIOUSNESS’

In quadrant #1 the world is an extreme place to live in, with an increase in the mass-production of goods, and a disinterested, unhealthy and anaesthetised population. The world is very much a dystopia reminiscent of Blade Runner’s 2019 Los Angeles – bleak, miserable and functioning like a repetitive monotonous machine.

Blade Runner's dystopian Los Angeles - Ridley Scott, 1982

There is an ongoing and continuous demand for goods with everything operating 24/7, yet there is no ethical or moral conscience. High density living, pollution, the depletion of natural resources, mental illness, depression, robotic, mindlessness, repetitive – the people of this world work for mere survival and do not feel any desire to fulfil their inner mental, spiritual, psychological or physical needs.

Johnny lives in a tightly packed 50 storey apartment block, built only 3 metres apart from neighbouring blocks, creating a haunting replication of the now demolished Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong. His apartment is comprised of one room of 12 square metres, the ceiling low enough to brush the top of his head and the concrete walls cold, dank and heavy. His singular window makes the space dim-lit, forcing Johnny to rely on artificial light perpetually and blurring the definition between night and day.

Johnny's world bears a haunting resemblance to the demolished Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong

His personal possessions are little to none – a bed which folds out from the walls, a kitchenette, a heater/air conditioner, a desk, a chair and a computer. Toilets and showers are located on every second floor and despite being communal, Johnny has never bumped into any other tenants during one of his rare trips to the bathroom. His kitchenette is most obviously the cleanest part of his apartment, appearing almost unused due to the quick, inexpensive and convenient delivery food services. If it were up to him, Johnny would not have a kitchenette if it did not come built in with the apartment – it was one of those mass-produced products, making each apartment in his block identical to the next.

Johnny’s skin is a pale colour, having not found the need nor the desire to venture outdoors (even if so, the tightly-packed, high density buildings would have hidden the sun). Besides, he needed to remain at his computer or his boss, whom he has never met nor spoken to, would declare him unreliable, inefficient and therefore redundant.

His chair is heavily worn down, the cushioning barely identifiable underneath the pressure of Johnny’s 130kg body. He can no longer recognise his family despite the potential for interconnectedness in his highly technological world. He thinks of nothing other than completing the ongoing list of tasks sent to him and updated every half an hour. Johnny’s job is to complete a certain task somewhere in the middle of the production process, to be passed on to another, and then to someone else across the globe, in an endless chain of mass-produced goods.

He claims to have seen and travelled the world, yet does not realise that viewing these things virtually through the computer screen is not what we of the past would consider as ‘experiencing’. His body is under intense physical, mental and psychological strain and is, unknown to Johnny, a ticking time-bomb. Like many others, Johnny is not expected to live past 35 years of age, yet he does not find this statistic questionable.

When Johnny dies suddenly at 29, the computer immediately detects his absence and sends corpse collectors to his apartment. Five men are needed to carry his body away to the city’s cremating area. Johnny’s apartment is declared ‘for lease’ and is occupied by another man named Johnny 2.5 hours later.