31 July 2014 - Industrial designers are riding the crest of California’s tech wave, Robert Brunner told the PD+I 2014 audience in May. He backed this up with the Beats headphones story and other products his company Ammunition has designed. One of them, Square Stand (pictured), has won gold in the 2014 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), announced by the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA) this month.
The Square Stand transforms an iPad into a point of sale device, allowing stores to swipe customers’ cards to complete sales transactions. Ammunition’s work on the new Square Reader was also awarded with a silver IDEA, as was its design of the Nook GlowLight, the latest e-reader from Barnes & Noble. Read about all IDEA winners in an article by Plastics News, our sister publication.
23 July 2014 - British Industrial Design Association (BIDA) launched an Education Special Interest Group at the New Designers event in Islington, London on 2 July. This will become an “outcomes based group that will address and take forward initiatives that will improve the co-operation, understanding and shared interests of industrial design businesses and the leaders of industrial/product design courses, particularly at HE level”, said BIDA CEO Mark Roelofsen. Stephen Green from Brunel University said: “The relationship between design in higher education and industry has become a priority subject for UK wide discussion prompted by various catalysts – not always positive.” (Pic: New Designers)
27 June 2014 - Tributes were paid to Brunel University’s student-industry collaborative projects at this year’s Made in Brunel showcase event in London in June. A session showed that SMEs as well as larger companies can benefit from the work of design students on placement.
Brunel has provided four interns over three years, all of them “very talented”, said Pete Cartlidge, director at Fuse, a 10-person, London-based toy design and development agency. John Burke from Cambridge-based Team Consulting, which designs medical devices, said his company benefited from having the perspective of young interns who show how the company can be an aspirational place to work.
13 June 2014 - At PD+I 2014 in May, James Woudhuysen laid into the arguments of environmentalists who blame the planet’s ills on the manufacture and consumption of too much “stuff”. As at previous PD+I events, he made the design audience think hard about assumptions and attitudes that underly the perceived wisdom of the day. In an article “Seven reasons we should celebrate manufacturing”, published on the Spiked website, James shares his thoughts on which areas of technology and manufacturing have the potential to bring great benefits to people – from printed materials and electronics to automated recycling.
5 June 2014 - Our PD+I 2014 conference took place in May and feedback we got from delegates was that the event was even better than in the first three years. The word “inspiring” cropped up in tweets from delegates who commented on the long series of design leaders who spoke over two days in London.
We have written some review articles of presentations and panel discussions:
Richard Seymour and John Hegarty on how to persuade the client
Robert Brunner says designers have replaced the technologists as heroes
9 May 2014 - Robert Brunner, founder of US design group Ammunition, is a sought-after design thinker who is regularly interviewed by the American media, including the New York Times. That’s because Ammunition is behind one of the great product design successes of the past five years: Beats by Dr Dre’s headphones and audio products. With Beats by Dr Dre hitting the news as a takeover target for that other design leader Apple, we think our timing is perfect in getting Robert over to our PD+I 2014 conference in London this month. Come and hear Robert make the keynote speech on design leadership on the opening day May 22 – find out how to register for PD+I 2014.
29 April 2014 - The difficulty for design teams to get recognition in large corporations is a challenge regularly raised at the PD+I conferences. It is the focus of an important session at PD+I 2014 taking place in London on 22-23 May. Titled Making Stuff Happen Inside Corporations, the discussion involves Pierre-Yves Panis (pictured), Design & User Experience Vice President, Orange; Gavin Procter, Director Design Innovation, Philips Consumer Lifestyle; and Dee Cooper, Director at Decide Consulting and former Product and Services Director at Virgin Atlantic Airways.
At PD+I 2013, Cooper discussed the pressures of getting approval for design decisions during her time at Virgin Atlantic. Delegates at PD+I 2012 probably remember the standout presentation by Louis Kim, vice president of the Advanced Platforms Group at Hewlett-Packard. Kim told the conference that “designers have to be organisational warriors” in order to exert influence at the highest levels.
31 March 2014 - It must be increasingly difficult for the Design Museum to allot nominations to categories in its Designs of the Year (DOTY) awards. It created a Digital category to recognise great work in new media, but this new context for design is proving to be leaky. Some nominations could be included in either the Digital, Graphic or Product categories.
As with anything new, designers are exploring the possibilities of digital design and when old boundaries are met they are being crossed. The Lego Calendar is a playful project which has a clear physical presence – a wall planner made of Lego where colour coded bricks represent time spent on projects. Take a photo of the planner (pictured above) with a smartphone and all of the events and timings are synchronised to an online calendar. Read our feature article.
27 March 2014 - PD+I 2014 speaker Gadi Amit of NewDealDesign features in BloombergBusinessweek’s Design Issue 2014. There’s a video on the magazine’s site where Amit makes some general comments about industrial design, but more interesting are his views on wearable tech in the brief article. He mentions some of the challenges of designing the Fitbit wrist device, and expresses concern that Google Glass wearers may not communicate naturally with their eyes.
At our May conference, Amit will take part in a session on “UX: Bridging the physical-digital interface”, along with Jason Mesut at Plan and Jim Blyth at The Alloy. Amit wowed the crowd at PD+I 2012, showing the innovative and highly desirable Lytro camera which NewDeal designed.
13 March 2014 - PolyOne, gold sponsor at PD+I 2014, worked with designers at Gobie H2O to develop a thermoplastics elastomer (TPE) material for the coloured parts of Gobie’s new water bottle (pictured above). The GLS Versaflex TPE material and OnColor colourants used on the bottle’s patented FlexFlo squeeze grip, non-slip base and finger-loop are recyclable, dishwasher-safe, and FDA-compliant.
PolyOne, and its group companies GLS and ColorMatrix, last year launched InVisiO, a series of creative resources and technical support services focused on maximising the use and performance of colour in polymer materials. “Working across the entire design process, InVisiO provides market, technological and operational insight to inspire creative innovation,” says PolyOne.