TU Delft – Innovation Starts with Space

Arun Shanbhag TU Delft Industrial design pics

During a recent holiday in the Netherlands, we got a chance to visit the Industrial Design School of the Technical University of Delft, thanks to Prof Jan Carel Diehl. I was struck by the design of their open lobby space and how they had created various nooks and crannies with simply different styles of furniture and lighting. The school building was a reconverted warehouse, so they had maintained the cavernous interiors, high railings and steep metal stairs. Everything on the main floor is movable and yet provides a cozy work environment for student teams.

It was an average Thursday afternoon and you can sense the intensity of the students working. No doubt it’s one of the top design and innovation centers in the world.

Hair Twister

This was the winning entry in the Innovation Tournament.

“Hair Twister” team from India proposed a mat filled with human hair to clean up oil spills. Hair mats can trap the oil without degrading or contaminating it. The oil could then be harvested and the mat re-used. Chemical mats and dispersants unfortunately, degrade the oil and make it a hazardous waste, which needs to be disposed off appropriately. Chemical dispersants also have their own issues with toxicities.

The hair mats could also be used in farming to retain soil moisture and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. Hair could be collected from barbershops essentially for free and not end up in waste landfills.

Win! Win! With the winnings the team members should get help to develop a polished, marketing video. See here for details on other entries.

See Related:
Amazing Pranav Mistry: Thrilling Potential of SixthSense technology

Video: Chance Favors the Connected Mind

Steven Johnson provides a visually engaging answer to the age old question, Where do Good Ideas come from?

He posits that it is not the eureka moments, but the interconnections of hunches and mingling of ideas that lead to fascinating inventions. I had to watch this short, fast-paced video several times to appreciate the nuances and graphics. Hope you enjoy it too.

In this TED talk, Steve elaborates on the role of coffee houses during the age of enlightenment in Europe, and gives recent examples of how chance favors the connected mind. If you are game for a cup of coffee or chai let me know.

Amazing Pranav Mistry: Thrilling Potential of SixthSense technology

From TEDIndia: Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data — including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper “laptop.”

Continue reading “Amazing Pranav Mistry: Thrilling Potential of SixthSense technology”

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