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OvercrowdedDesigning Meaningful Products in a World Awash with Ideas$
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Roberto. Verganti

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780262035361

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262035361.001.0001

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The Art of Criticism

The Art of Criticism

The Quest for a Deeper Vision

(p.97) 5 The Art of Criticism

Roberto Verganti

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on the mindset to innovate in a world overcrowded by ideas. Innovation of solutions typically is built on the art of ideation. The more ideas are generated, the better the chance to find a good one. In a overcrowded world, the search for meaningful innovation instead requires the art of criticism. In fact, since the process starts from the inside, we need to be sure that what comes from us is meaningful to other people. We need to challenge our old assumptions; to question how we make sense of the environment; to seriously take in new perspectives. Taking a critical stance does not imply being negative but going deeper, searching for the contrasts, creating tensions, discussing differences, reshuffling things to find a new order. Without a critical reflection on what we believe in and what we search for, we would interpret new insights with old lenses. We would see only what we wanted to see. This principle is a significant departure from the fundaments of creative problem solving. Recent innovation studies have described criticism as being marginal or even deleterious. They are not wrong. They just address a different kind of innovation: the search for novel solutions. But when it comes to breakthrough meaningful directions, these principles are simply turned upside down.

Keywords:   Criticism, sparring partners, radical circles, interpreters, re-framing, vision, leadership, innovation, design

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