n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Design science and living lab research for innovation and development in South Africa

Volume 4, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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We provide an overview of design science research methodology as well as Living Labs and how these two methodologies compare, the uniqueness of both and how they can support each another within a specific context. An example is provided to indicate how design research has been applied within a Living Lab environment where an artefact (Digital Doorway) was designed and deployed in a South African rural community in the North West Province. This shows how innovation and development is supported within a specific context. The main objective is to indicate how design science was applied to support the deployment of an artifact (the solar panel digital doorway) in an open innovation environment (Living Labs) where users from the rural community of the North West Living Lab were involved in providing feedback on the design and development of the artifact. To effectively plan and manage a large-scale project like the Digital Doorway where a multidisciplinary team work collaboratively to co-create and co-design an artifact like the digital doorway, it becomes imperative to provide an overview of how each of these research designs can support the end deliverable or product. Feedback from users was applied to improve the product to suit their needs and context. The end result was that a more robust and applicable product can be provided to support rural community development and to involve the community in the innovation life cycle through design science research and living lab processes.

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