Part 1: Description and explanation of innovation
The Nomad Micro-Home
Fig 1: taken from The Daily Mail’s publication (2013)
The Nomad micro-home is essentially a flat-pack, self-assembly product. It is a two storey house with all of the mod-cons of contemporary living condensed or minimalized to provide a house that delivers a basic living area that makes the most of the available space by creating innovative ways of incorporating the material things needed for necessary habitation (Warren, 2013) Ian Kent is the CEO of Nomad, his ambition is, to ‘create something that makes a large impact on society in a positive way’ (YouTube, 2013) his constructive discontent came from the basic need for a dwelling in a world where property prices are spiralling beyond many of the world’s poorest populations (YouTube, 2013). The micro-home was developed after Ian Kent spent 35 years in the construction industry, he wanted to develop something that was affordable by stripping back a house to its bare essentials ‘to provide a pure affordable product’ (YouTube, 2013). The Micro-home is an incremental innovation because Kent has taken the basic components of a house and changed the perceived needs for spatial dimensions.
Here is a breakdown of the aspects of innovation:
Degree of novelty – ground space it covers (10ft by 10ft)
Level of innovation – how components are integrated to save space Sustaining – low cost materials and self-efficiency
Kent’s vision can be seen here with his concept drawings.
Fig 2: Kent’s sketches (2013)
The Micro-Home is packed for flat-packed for shipping.
Fig 3: taken from The Daily Mail’s publication (2013)
Below we see an innovative way of saving space while incorporating a staircase leading to a mezzanine floor above the kitchen which is used as the bedroom.
Fig 4: taken from The Daily Mail’s publication (2013)
Kent is also pushing for disruptive innovation by challenging the way houses are made and supplied. He wants to challenge the way homes are constructed by making them self-assembled and how they are distributed by flat-packing them the same way modern furniture can be bought. But this isn’t the end of Kent’s vision: by doing this, he made something that’s not only affordable but also sustainable: Its size reduces materials and the weight makes it cheaper for shipment. Implementing technology to allow it to go ‘off-grid’ by using Solar power, rain collection systems - and a grey water filtration system is also being developed - to make it self-sufficient (YouTube, 2013).
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Part 2: Position of innovation in the product/service/system spectrum and explanation of positioning.
I position this innovation as a ‘product’ because it can be purchased and used by one or two people for the use of habitation. It has been designed to be sold for ownership and the ownership can be transferred if so desired (The Open University, 2014). However, the lines between the product, service and system spectrum are blurred with this product; although the Nomad micro-home is a stand-alone dwelling. Its potential is so much more than that. In unit 1 of Block 1 (Open University, 2014), J Howells explains that manufacturers make products that create a platform for services and systems (Howell, 2002), and there is certainly a huge amount of scope for these micro-dwellings to be used in services and systems such as a mobile work-force housing service, and a rapid re-housing system for people affected by natural disasters (Warren, 2013). Fig 5: taken from The Daily Mail’s publication (2013)
I suggest that leaving this product as purely a ‘product’ would not take advantage of its function for services and systems that require quick, affordable and easily distributed housing on mass. It therefore, can cross over and be incorporated into services and systems. As I have already discussed, this ‘product’ has been developed and designed for ownership, but if we look at a ‘service’...
Bibliography: Howells, J  (2014) Unit 1, Introduction: Innovation: designing for change, T317, The Open University [online], available at http://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=547080§ion=5.2 (accessed 04/11/14)
Rogers, E,  (2014) Block 1 unit 2: Innovation: designing for change, T317, The Open University [online], available at http://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=547844§ion=5.1 (Accessed 04/11/14)
The Open University, (2014) Block 1, unit 1: Innovation: designing for change, T317 online], available at http://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=547080§ion=5.1 (Accessed 04/11/14)
The Open University, (2014) Block 1 unit 2: Innovation: designing for change, T317 online], available at http://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=547844§ion=5.1 (Accessed 04/11/14)
The Open University, (2014) Block 1 unit 3: Innovation: designing for change, T317 [online], available at http://learn2.open.ac.uk/mod/oucontent/view.php?id=547883§ion=2.1.3 (Accessed 04/11/14)
INDIE GOGO. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/nomad-micro-home-easily-assembled-under-30k
Interview with NOMAD Micro Home CEO Ian Kent - November 2013. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aNWYunWE_M
Nomad Micro-Home By LYDIA WARREN, PUBLISHED: 18:11, 1 November 2013. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2483695/Company-offers-easy-assemble-micro-home-costs-just-25-000.html.
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