March 2015

  • From Tape to Shape

    March 26, 2015
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    This week’s Weekly Innovation Challenge offered interesting insight into the purpose of innovative design. This can be seen very clearly when comparing the design of the winning team to other designs. For me and my team, the opportunity to improve in the future lies in becoming more aware of design steps outside of analysis.

    The challenge itself was to “design and build a freestanding lamp” that was to be built only with tape, an LED light, a battery and wire that was provided. The winner was to be selected based on factors from aesthetics and originality to commercial viability.

    For our team, we quickly came together to brainstorm how we would make a lamp from tape. We each contributed ideas, deciding to start by building a tripod-style base and make a cone that reflects the light. Altogether, our design was to be like a desk light. A major concern of ours was ensuring that the light had the proper structural integrity. We added colorful tapes to make it more aesthetically appealing.

    Though some other teams did traditional style lamps, a few teams stood out with creative designs. Among these designs were a head-lamp shaped like a crown, an airplane lamp, and a lamp in the shape of a fish. The fish-lamp design was selected as the winner. While our team and many others were concerned with the quality of our lamp product, we failed to look at the value for the end user. While there are a huge amount of desk lamps and traditional style lamps on the market, a fish-lamp is new and innovative approach that appeals to the customer.

    Ultimately, it is easy to get caught up in what has been done and miss what can be done.

    Winning Reflection - Steve Wolfe

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  • Google Feud Challenge

    March 19, 2015
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    There have been previous trivia challenges as part of the Weekly Innovation Challenge.  This week’s trivia challenge, however, was a little different in that each team was required to have a laptop.  Instead of one computer displaying the trivia question, as is generally the case, each team would work independently from the other teams on trivia questions generated on their computer through the site Google Feud. 

    There were a number of things about this week’s challenge that were exciting for me.  First, I was able to join a team of two people who were regular participants in the Weekly Innovation Challenges, but whom I had never met.  It was fun to work with people who had previously been a competitor and now new collaborators!  Second, because I was able to join a group that was new to me, I was able to see how others have been approaching these challenges.  The newly formed group was instantly able to work together as a team.  This may have been motivated by the desire to obtain the common goal of winning!  Regardless of what the motivations were, as a group we were able to create a welcoming, working environment.  The third exciting part of this week’s challenge for me was the Google Feud website.  I had never heard of this site before and am not sure that my professors would be excited to hear I found something else I would rather do than my schoolwork!  But whether Google Feud ends up eating a lot of my time or not, I like learning about new things.  And that is the real reason I keep coming back to the Weekly Innovation Challenges.  This week my team did not win, but every week I walk away having learned something new!  

    Winning Reflection - LIz Jolley

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