What came first, innovation or technology? The answer is – neither. That may sound like I’m dodging the question, so let me answer it differently. There are many examples of technology being innovative, like the iPad. Steve Jobs and apple have come to define innovation in this era and are known for designing tools that change the way we use technology. On the other hand, we have taken this wonderful tool and used it to be innovative in the things we do. For example, we are able to use electronic tablets on construction sites to look at building information modeling, shop drawings, take photographs and communicate.
I contend that what really comes first is one’s ability to be creative. It’s the creative instinct that innovates. Whether it is creating technology or using technology to be innovative. It is the person’s ability to dismiss the day-to-day conditioning, the habits of life and the grind of living to free one’s spirit to be creative and to truly become innovative.
As a full service design firm in the area of healthcare facility design we see how the landscape of technology is changing every day. The advancement of medicine and the treatment options available are moving at a faster rate every year. New and highly technical equipment to diagnose and treat patient illness is being invented at an unparalleled rate. As design professionals, we owe it to ourselves, our clients and those who will use our buildings to be innovative and propose solutions that are creative and will yield better outcomes. We need to make innovation ordinary in our profession. Architects and engineers are very creative people by nature and by training. Architects and engineers are different in the way they approach problem solving, but when teamed together, can create innovative thinking and unordinary solutions. Innovation in healthcare building design comes from the interaction of creative minds working together to solve complex problems. It comes from those with many years of experience and from those who are just starting their careers. Our culture is centered on full service design teamwork. We understand the power of coupled minds and thoughts. We want to understand the new ways healthcare is being delivered and what the future might bring.
Here are a few quotes we have posted in our office to show what we believe in:
- “When we all think alike, then no one is thinking.“ - Walter Lippman
- "Once we rid ourselves of traditional thinking we can get on with creating the future." - James Bertrand
- “Big thinking precedes great achievement.“ - Wilferd Peterson
- "Vision is the art of seeing the invisible.“ - Jonathan Swift
- "All new ideas begin in a non-conforming mind that questions some tenet of the conventional wisdom.“ - H. G. Rickover
- "Creative thinking ability facilitates the ability to realize innovations“ - Emem Ite
- "I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of old ones.“ - John Cage
- "Never innovate to compete, innovate to change the rules of the game.“ - David O. Adeife
- “There are no old roads to new directions.” - Anonymous
Building an environment in which innovation is ordinary is not easy. It takes commitment and dedication to ideals, but once established, the solutions that come from it are powerful. So the answer to the question is – neither innovation nor technology comes first.
It is the human mind and its ability to be creative that enables both to happen.