Contextual Innovation and Practice
Contextual Innovation and Practice is the creative application of science, mathematical methods, societal understanding, and local knowledge to address a physical need that serves the user of innovation. ARI increases operability, sustainability, and functionality of engineered projects, systems, and operations by identifying and addressing the unique context in which they reside, and optimize the impact of place, people, and time on its development and use with Contextual Innovation and Process.
CIP uses a tested methodology to identify place-based conditions and values that are critical to adoption, maintenance, and sustainability of a technology or process. By interacting with a user population, learning from them about what is important to them and what practices conflict with their experience and identity, CIP can assess the potential for design conflicts that would make an innovation undesirable. The methodology focuses on five key characteristics that determine the likelihood of comfort with a design, allowing designers to focus on features that harmonize the relationship between product and user.
An infrastructure by definition serves a collection of people, not all of whom share the same needs, capabilities, and expectations. CIP assists in identifying the features of an infrastructure that best aligns with the majority of the user population while acknowledging dissenting identities and objectives.
While the market determines the success of product consumption, CIP can assist designers in maximizing value for the broadest possible range of target consumers. Using our processes, CIP can explore the diversity of consumers to highlight the features and functions that make a product most usable and desirable to the largest population.
CIP explores not only the physical conditions and predispositions of users, but also considers the motivations, expectations, and interactions of parties in an organizational setting to identify mismatches, communication deficits, and implicit biases and assumptions that can adversely affect organizational dynamics. Drawing upon the CIP levels of perception, we work with parties to assist in bringing everyone to an assimilative view, which allows them to understand others’ assertions without the filter of their own experience.
Globalization of Operations, Technology, and Product Development
As the boundaries and borders of the world continue to yield to the attraction of markets and trade, a global awareness becomes more critical to functioning in the 21st century. CIP assists businesses and designers in identifying and incorporating culturally distinct conditions and needs to encourage collaboration between societies of different experience and knowledge.
Alignment of user context with an innovation before and during design will strengthen the relationship between product/process and user while incorporating the unique capabilities, knowledge, and skills of the user population produce a more effective and sustainable outcome. Particularly when working with diverse designers and users who come from different background, experiences, and objectives, CIP mitigates the challenges of matching a product or process with the user group for which it is intended.