Responsible Innovation: A Model for Holistic Design Pedagogy

Juan Manuel Salamanca Garcia, Lisa Mercer, Molly Catherine Briggs

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Current discourse around innovation has aroused global interest on the part of corporations,governments, and non-profit organizations in applying human-centered design methods to renovate or expand their offerings. While enriched product and service portfolios benefit those who partake in the marketplace, innovations undertaken for innovation’s sake have been seen to undermine some social and environmental conditions for the general public. In this paper, we argue for a holistic view of responsible innovation that deals with the design,reification, and maintenance of positive, equitable, and meaningful futures desired by sustainable networks of human and non-human actors. We have organized a conceptual model of responsible innovation around clusters of topics, theories, methodologies, and modes of design action. This model offers designers a systemic perspective on the often overlooked implications of innovative offerings. We explain how the responsible innovation model informs a new graduate design curriculum at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign that offers four tracks of study. The model acts as a scaffold for students to construct research paths across topics and methods, thereby empowering them to outline their learning experiences and develop sustainable solutions. The holistic model also serves as a pedagogical tool to help faculty engage the opportunities and challenges of responsible innovation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages12
StatePublished - 2019
EventDesign Revolutions: Annual Conference of the International Association of Societies of Design Research - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: Sep 2 2019Sep 5 2019


ConferenceDesign Revolutions
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • social responsibility
  • graduate design education
  • design futures
  • innovation


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