Product ecosystems : an emerging methodological approach to study the implementation of disruptive innovations : the case of the CityCar

Williams, Tim & Chamorro-Koc, Marianella (2013) Product ecosystems : an emerging methodological approach to study the implementation of disruptive innovations : the case of the CityCar. In Sugiyama, Kuzuo (Ed.) Consilience and Innovation in Design Proceedings and Program vol. 1, Shibaura Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan, pp. 1286-1295.


The car has arguably had more influence on our lifestyle and urban environment than any other consumer product; allowing unprecedented freedom for living, working and recreation where and when we choose. However, problems of pollution, congestion, road trauma, inefficient land use and social inequality are associated with car use.

Despite 100 years of design and technology refinements, the aforementioned problems are significant and persistent: many argue that resolving these problems requires a fundamental redesign of the car.

Redesigned vehicles have been proposed such as the MIT CityCar and others such as the Renault Twizy, commercialized. None however have successfully brought about significant change and the study of disruptive innovation offers an explanation for this. Disruptive innovation, by definition, disrupts a market. It also disrupts the product ecosystem. The existing product ecosystem has co-evolved to support the conventional car and is not optimized for the new design: which will require a redesigned ecosystem to support it.

A literature review identifies a lack of methodology for identifying the components of product ecosystems and the changes required for disruptive innovation implementation.

This paper proposes such a methodology based on Design Thinking, Actor Network Theory, Disruptive Innovation and the CityCar scenarios.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 68335
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: CityCar, Design Thinking, Design Driven Innovation, Disruptive Innovation, Introduction
ISBN: 978-4-9980776-3-3
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Design Innovation (120302)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 25 Mar 2014 23:55
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2014 01:32

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