Advertisement

Embedding Creative Processes in the Development of Soft Body Armour: Physiological, Aesthetic, Functionality and Strategic Challenges

  • Janet Coulter
Part of the Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies book series (SIST, volume 18)

Abstract

The paper describes how creative processes were applied to developing a new product range, to enhance performance, streamline production, reduce costs and open up new markets for body armour solutions. It describes how a company with a proven track record in manufacturing, had lost market share during the first Gulf war due to supply chain issues and had found it difficult to regain share, as the market place had shifted in terms of design. The paper details internal and external challenges in bringing creative processes to the company, to enhance personal protection, improve performance and deliver on aesthetics. Social contexts and physiological issues brought additional challenges. From a business operations perspective, valuing and solving design problems had to be cost effective to manufacture using existing technology. The paper outlines how an academic in fashion and textiles used anthropometrics to research and develop creative solutions for soft body armour. The innovative, new products are now used by security forces globally.

Keywords

Design led User-centred design Anthropometrics Innovation Knowledge Management Knowledge Exchange 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Atkinson, D.: Supply Chains: Collaborate to Innovate. In: Jolly, A. (ed.) Innovation; Harnessing Creativity for Business Growth, Kogan Page, London (2003)Google Scholar
  2. Cohen, W., Levinthal, D., Damiel, A.: Absorptive Capacity: A New Perspective on Learning and Innovation. ASQ 35, 128–152 (1990), faculty.babson.edu/krollag/org_site/org.../cohen_abcap.htm (last accessed January 10, 2012)
  3. Cooper, R., Press, M.: The Design Agenda; A guide to Successful Design Management. John Wiley & Sons, UK (2000)Google Scholar
  4. Coulter, J., Davison, G., McCLean, C., Carmody, O.: ‘What if?’ Research and Innovation by Design. In: Proceedings of the Senior Staff Conference, University of Ulster (2009)Google Scholar
  5. Coulter, J., Archer, E.: “What if?’ Research and Innovation by Design. In: Proceedings of the Senior Staff Conference, University of Ulster (2009)Google Scholar
  6. Daanen, H.A.M., Reffeltrath, P.A., Koerhuis, C.L.: Ergonomics of Protective Clothing. In: Jayaraman, S., et al. (eds.) The Netherlands in Intelligent Textiles for Personal Protection and Safety. IOS Press, Amsterdam (2000)Google Scholar
  7. Deans, G., Kansal, C., Mehltretter, S.: Making a Key Decision in a Downturn: Go on the Offensive or be Defensive?. Ivey Business Journal Online (January/February 2009)Google Scholar
  8. Dent, E.B., Galloway Goldberg, S.: Challenging “Resistance to Change”. Journal of Applied Behavioural Science 35, 25 (1999), doi:10.1177/0021886399351003CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Esslinger, H.: A fine Line: How business strategies are shaping the future of business. John Wiley & Sons, San Francisco (2009)Google Scholar
  10. Estrin, J.: Closing the Innovation Gap: Reigniting the Spark of Creativity in a Global Economy. Mc-Graw Hill (2009)Google Scholar
  11. Fraser, H.: Design Business: New Models for Success. In: Lockwood, T. (ed.) Design Thinking. Allworth Press (2010)Google Scholar
  12. Geroski, P.A., Gregg, P.: Corporate Restructuring in the UK during the Recession. Business Strategy Review 5(2), 1–19 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Geroski, P.A., Gregg, P.: Coping with Recession. UK Company Performance in. Adversity. University Press, Cambridge (1997)Google Scholar
  14. Gopinathan, P.M., Pichan, G., Sharma, V.M.: Role of dehydration in heat stress-induced variations in mental performance. Arch. Environ. Health 43, 15–17 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grant, R.M.: Prospering in dynamically competitive environments, Organisational capability as knowledge integration. Organisation Science 7(4), 375–387 (1996)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Grant, R., Baden-Fuller, C.: A knowledge-based theory of inter-firm collaboration. Academy of Management Best Paper Proceedings, 17–21 (1995)Google Scholar
  17. Hartman, N.: Sure ways to tackle uncertainty in tough times. Financial Times, Managing in a Downturn Series (February 5, 2009), http://www.ft.com/reports/managingdownturn (last accessed December 15, 2011)
  18. Jayaraman, S., Kiekens, P., Grancaric, A.M.: Heat Strain and Fit, TNO Defense, Security & Safety. In: Jayaraman, S., et al. (eds.) The Netherlands in Intelligent Textiles for Personal Protection and Safety. IOS Press, Amsterdam (2006)Google Scholar
  19. Jenkins, J.: Creating the right environment for Design. In: Lockwood, T. (ed.) Design Thinking. Allworth Press (2010)Google Scholar
  20. Johnston, R.E.: The power of Strategy Innovation; A new way of linking creativity and strategic planning to discover great business opportunities. Amacom (2003)Google Scholar
  21. Jolly, A.: Innovation: Harnessing Creativity for Business Growth. Kogan Page, London (2003)Google Scholar
  22. Kelley, T., Littman, J.: The Ten Faces of Innovation; Strategies for heightening Creativity. Profile Books (2004)Google Scholar
  23. Kitching, J., Blackburn, R., Smallbone, D., Dixon, S.: Business Strategies and Performance during difficult economic times. Department of Business Innovation and Skills. Small Business Research Centre, Kingston University (2009) (January 04, 2010)Google Scholar
  24. Kotter, J.P.: Leading Change: Why Transformation efforts fail. Harvard Business Review 73(2), 59–67 (1995)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  25. Leifer, R., McDermott, C.M., Colarelli O’Connor, G., Peters, L.S., Rice, M.P., Veryzer, R.W.: Radical Innovation: How Mature Companies Can Outsmart Upstarts. Harvard Business School Press, Boston (2000)Google Scholar
  26. Lewin, K.: Frontiers in Group Dynamics. I. Concept method and reality in social sciences: social equilibria and social change. Human Relations 1, 5–41 (1947)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lieberman, H.R.: Hydration and Cognition: A Critical Review and Recommendations for Future Research. J. Am. Coll. Nutr. 26(suppl. 5), 555S–561S (2007)Google Scholar
  28. Lorange, P.: Optimists have a bright future. Financial Times. Managing in a Downturn Series (January 29, 2009), http://www.ft.com/reports/managingdownturn (last accessed December 14, 2011)
  29. McDermott, C.M., Colorelli O’Connor, C.: Managing radical innovation: an overview of emergent strategy issues. Journal of Product Innovation Management 19(6), 424–438 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mellis, W.: Partnering with Customers. In: Jolly, A. (ed.) Innovation; Harnessing Creativity for Business Growth. Kogan Page, London (2003)Google Scholar
  31. Olins, W.: The Wolff Olins guide to corporate identity. The Design Council, London 12 (1990)Google Scholar
  32. Parasuraman, D., Grewal, D.: The impact of technology on the Quality-Value-Loyalty-Chain, A research Agenda. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 28(1), 168–174 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Press, M., Cooper, R.: The Design Experience, The Role of Design and Designers in the Twenty First Century. Ashgate Publishing Limited, Hampshire (2005)Google Scholar
  34. Rixon, D.: Strategic Commitment- The Foundation Stone for Innovation. In: Jolly, A. (ed.) Innovation; Harnessing Creativity for Business Growth. Kogan Page, London (2003) Google Scholar
  35. Thakara, J.: Winners! How today’s successful Companies innovate by Design. Gower, London (1997)Google Scholar
  36. Rhodes, D., Slater, D.: Seize Advantage in a Downturn. Harvard Business Review 87(2), 50–58 (2009)Google Scholar
  37. Vinding, A.L.: Human Resources; Absorptive Capacity and Innovative Performance. Research on Technological Innovation and Management Policy 8, 155–178 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Von Stamm, B.: Managing Innovation, Design and Creativity, 2nd edn. John Wiley and Sons Ltd., Chichester (2008)Google Scholar
  39. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7088341.stm (last accessed December 15, 2011)

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Coulter
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Institute for Art and Design (RIAD)University of UlsterBelfastUK

Personalised recommendations