Frugal innovation or frugal renovation: how can western designers adopt frugal engineering?

Par Jean-Pierre Micaëlli, Joëlle Forest, Eric Bonjour, Dominique Loise

Feeling doubts about the value of the hierarchical and linear model of innovation, scholars look for alternative models, finding a credible challenger in the frugal innovation framework. Frugal innovation is a way to do better and more with less. It is based on principles, explaining why we suggest labeling it as Frugalism. Despite its value, Frugalism pays too little attention to design, and especially to Abstract Design Paradigm (ADP), which is the current design paradigm in rich countries. We then gain an issue: can ADP be aligned to Frugalism? In this article, we give a positive answer. Our main hypothesis is that ADP already includes frugalist principles. There is then to consider inclusivity as a key driver, and to re-construe existing body of design knowledge to put frugal engineering and Design For Frugality (DFF) into practice.
JEL Codes: O32


  • frugal innovation
  • design
  • design paradigm
  • engineering
  • jugaad
  • Systems Engineering (SE)
  • Navi Radjou
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