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PD+I 2015 Conference, London

The PD+I 2015 conference took place on 20-21 May 2015 chaired by Chris Lefteri, generating ideas, dialogue and business opportunities in the industrial design community. Following the success of the event, planning is under way for PD+I 2016. To find out more about opportunities at PD+I 2016, contact Donna Bushell dbushell@crain.com.


Features

Pulling power: a zip that goes round curves

 
27 February 2015 - The zip fastener is a product that is over 100 years old. Yet, in all that time no-one has come up with a design that allows zips to go round a curve. Wendy Howard and her partners Andy Honour and Ray Pitman think they have come up with the answer and are looking for manufacturers with the vision to take their innovation into production, writes David Eldridge. Read our feature on the design and development of ZipZag. Wendy Howard will be presenting at PD+I 2015, discussing How to Improve the Effectiveness of Studying Industrial Design. 

Seymour and Hegarty on how to persuade the client

5 June 2014 - A dialogue between design and advertising agency giants Richard Seymour (Seymourpowell) and John Hegarty (Bartle Bogle Hegarty) was a pinnacle at PD+I 2014, where they shared their experience and insights into overcoming obstacles presented by clients, writes David Eldridge.

Seymour said: “Unless you can provide [the manager] with a different way of doing it, that’s going to make them look good in their business, it’s not going to happen.”

“You can do something they can’t. That gives you power,” said Hegarty.


Brunner at PD+I 2014: Now designers are the heroes

4 June 2014 - Industrial designers have greater potential for influencing corporates than they believe, according to speakers at PD+I 2014, who suggested ways and means to “Make stuff happen”, the main theme at the London conference in May, writes David Eldridge.

“Five years ago in San Francisco, all the heroes were technologists. Today designers are the heroes,” said Robert Brunner, one time head of industrial design at Apple, before he founded Ammunition in the US and became chief designer at Beats by Dr Dre (until its takeover by Apple in May).

“This is your time – take advantage of it,” Brunner told the PD+I audience in the opening keynote.


Digital design breaks out of the box at DOTY 2014

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, writes David Eldridge. The 2014 nominations include Metro Trains: Dumb Ways to Die, which is a smartphone game, interactive posters, a book and more, designed by McCann Melbourne to make young people think about rail safety. It’s in the Digital category, but could have been placed in the Graphics section.

And what about the Touch Board – is this Digital, Graphic or Product? Designed by Bare Conductive, the Touch Board is a way to turn any surface into an interface, by means of painted and conductive images linked by electrodes to the functioning object. At the DOTY 2014 show, you can make sounds by playing a keyboard painted onto the exhibition wall, or touch a switch graphic to turn on a lamp.

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, another nomination in the Digital category, 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.


In The Making: Barber Osgerby share their wonder at frozen objects

27 January 2014 - In The Making is the latest in a growing number of design exhibitions, seminars and books that examine production and materials, treating the process in a similar way to the finished object, writes David Eldridge. There are two differentiators with the Design Museum’s new show: the objects are shown at a part-way point in their manufacture; and the collection has been curated by Barber Osgerby, the pair who have joined the UK’s design elite since designing the Olympic Torch for the 2012 games.

“We are in love with and invigorated by the making process,” said Jay Osgerby at a preview where he and Edward Barber showed journalists around the small exhibition. The 25 objects they have selected range widely from an Underground train’s aluminium face to a rack of pencils, yet they are all frozen in the process of becoming a finished product.



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Great feedback from PD+I 2015

The fifth anniversary event of PD+I took place on 20 and 21 May at the America Square Conference Centre in London, and as in previous years, the conference didn’t disappoint. With a great line-up of speakers from big name brands and design groups including Whipsaw, McLaren, Williams Advanced Engineering, Plan, Mormedi, Bacardi and Speedo, the industrial design dialogue inside and outside the conference sessions was enthusiastically received. “There are a lot of designers here, typically when I go to conferences there is a higher number of clients, so this really is product designers learning from each other,” said Heather Martin, Vice President of Design at Smart Design. Hear more of the great response from PD+I 2015 participants in our video.


Tej Chauhan to tell us how he teamed up with Tesco on Hudl2

21 April 2015 - At PD+I 2015, delegates will be hearing how Tej Chauhan, creative director of Chauhan Studio and one of the many speakers at the conference, collaborated with Tesco to design the Hudl2 tablet.

Chauhan will use the Hudl2 as an example of how design DNA and balancing customer brand design language can deliver enhanced propositions and commercial success. The tablet has an easily recognisable visual identity, with carefully designed surface finishes, colours, and materials, plus the arrangement of the camera, speaker details and display forms a simple yet strong pattern.

He said: “We wanted to create a beautiful object that conveyed confidence and communicated the Hudl2’s technical acumen, whilst being friendly and accessible for a broad audience. Our goal was to create an object that people will want to pick up.” 

Keith Metcalfe, the head of Hardware Product Development at Tesco, praised Chauhan and his team's work: “Working with Chauhan Studio on Hudl2 has been an absolute pleasure and we could not have asked for a more productive partnership. Chauhan Studio always took time to listen to us in order to understand what the Hudl brand stands for. They then came back with ideas and concepts turning that understanding into product designs that we knew our customers would be excited about.”

Find out how to register for PD+I 2015 in London on 20-21 May. 


Benjamin Chia to reveal Silicon Valley’s secrets

4 March 2015 - With wearables and mobility on the agenda at PD+I 2015, delegates can benefit from the perspective of Benjamin Chia, Chief Creative Officer (CCO) and Partner at San Jose based elemental8, who is in the exciting lineup of speakers.

Benjamin’s extensive experience as he takes to the stage to offer a flavour of how Silicon Valley adopts a multidisciplinary approach to industrial design, using a user centric and brand relevant mentality to deliver a truly comprehensive and cohesive user experience.

He said: “We’re always excited to talk about what we do here in Silicon Valley in terms of user experience, finding the perfect balance between aesthetics and function of physical products and applying to the user interface. PD+I 2015 is particularly exciting as we recognise the conference’s ability to bring industrial leaders and other like-minded people together in one place, and that place is London, so we can reach out and talk about the Silicon Valley approach to a UK and European audience.”


Pulling power: a zip that goes round curves

27 February 2015 - The zip fastener is a product that is over 100 years old. Yet, in all that time no-one has come up with a design that allows zips to go round a curve. Wendy Howard and her partners Andy Honour and Ray Pitman think they have come up with the answer and are looking for manufacturers with the vision to take their innovation into production, writes David Eldridge. Read our feature on the design and development of ZipZag. Wendy Howard will be presenting at PD+I 2015, discussing How to Improve the Effectiveness of Studying Industrial Design. 


The winner’s post at DBA Design Effectiveness Awards

20 February 2015 - British Industrial Designers Association (BIDA) is celebrating the success of two of its members, Alloy and LA Design, which both won gold at the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2015. Alloy won for its work on the BT Hub 5, and LA Design won for a referee’s electronic paging system designed for its client Touchline Flags. Alloy and BT’s entry also won the coveted Grand Prix “best of the best” at this year’s award, as well as the Sustainability Award.

BIDA said: “The brief for Hub 5 was driven by a wide ranging customer experience audit, highlighting several issues that could be resolved through a number of design interventions. However, a key challenge was to ensure the device would fit through a letterbox inside its’ postal packaging, to allow a smoother progression from service sign up to installation.

“The insight of using a postbox as a key driver of form factor enables BT to reduce costs, improve the initial customer experience, and significantly lower BT and their customers CO2 emissions. It was a hugely complex challenge that required effective collaboration numerous BT teams & Alloy to deliver a new service with demonstrably better product, packaging & technology to deliver a market leading service.” 


Airbnb’s new head of design questions ‘design culture’

3 February 2015 - Airbnb, the current darling of the IPO world, has appointed Alex Schleifer (pictured right), previously with Say Media, as its head of design. In an interview at Wired, titled Why Airbnb’s New Head of Design Believes ‘Design-Led’ Companies Don’t Work, Schleiffer says: “In the last few years experience design has really been given a seat at the executive table. But the models that were inspired by industrial design and older companies just don’t apply.” Instead, he thinks designers should be de-emphasised at tech firms and the user viewpoint is made paramount in the organisation. Interesting to compare his remarks with the views of Robert Brunner, our keynote speaker at PD+I 2014, who told industrial designers: “This is your time.”


Chris Lefteri looks towards PD+I

12 January 2015 - Chris Lefteri, chair of our PD+I 2015 conference, says he will build on the great work done by Kevin McCullagh and our event team in the first four years of PD+I. “PD+I has always had a high level of quality, with some really great speakers over the years, and I want to build on this, particularly at an international level,” said Lefteri, whose career has spanned industrial design, books, magazines, academia and materials consultancy. “At the end of the day, people are hungry for knowledge and want to learn, and PD+I is a great place in which to do this.” Read the press release. PD+I 2015 takes place at the America Square Conference Centre in London on 20-21 May.


Ian Callum is given Minerva Medal

23 December 2014 - Ian Callum (above), director of design at Jaguar, has been awarded the prestigious Minerva Medal by the Chartered Society of Designers for his outstanding contribution to automotive design. Callum has led the design renaissance at Jaguar in his 15 years at the company. He started his career as a designer with Ford, moving to manager of the Ghia design studio in Turin. He went on to manage TWR Design, before joining Jaguar. CSD said Callum is the first car designer to be awarded the Minerva Medal since Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro in 1981.


Pains, strains and automobiles

27 November 2014 - Two leading lights from the PD+I conferences, James Woudhuysen and Kevin McCullagh, have recently published articles on transportation – a key arena for 21st century debates on sustainability and innovation. In James’ article, he decries retrogressive attempts to move us away from the supposed evil of cars and planes, and offers six arguments for innovation in transport, including why you can’t manage the demand for transport down. Kevin’s article on the Telegraph’s website suggests innovation will happen at the individual level, through smartphone apps and internet-connected vehicles. Electric vehicles, though, are likely to “remain niche lifestyle accessories for the rich due to their expense, charging hassle and flat battery concerns”, he says.


PD+I is back in 2015 for 5th anniversary

21 November 2014 - Our PD+I conference is returning to London for 2015 with a brand new venue and – building on the great work of Kevin McCullagh in the first four years – a new conference chair, Chris Lefteri. Chris is an internationally recognized authority on materials and their application in design, as well as editor and creative director of Ingredients magazine, and founder and owner of Chris Lefteri Design Ltd – through which he has worked with several Fortune 100 companies and major design studios across Europe, the US and Asia. The unique two-day conference will be held on the 20th and 21st May at London’s America Square conference facility.


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