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Product Design + Innovation Conference 2014

PD+I 2014 will be an unmissable event, says Kevin McCullagh, director at Plan and chair of the conference for the past four years. “It is always an excellent platform for networking, and the 2014 conference will be no exception, allowing you to meet with old friends and update your contact book under one roof.” Kevin has helped put together another premium programme of speakers from brands and consultancies, including Grohe, Orange, Toyota, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and SeymourPowell.

Go to our PD+I 2014 conference pages and find out about speakers, how to register, and the latest conference news.

Rhona Greenhill - Rhona.greenhill@alarming-events.com - speaker enquiries

Keri Hickmott - khickmott@crain.com - delegate places

Levent Tounjer - ltounjer@crain.com - sponsorship

 


Features

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 2013 - 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.


Design Chain @ K shows plastics in full bloom

31 October 2013 - The Design Chain @ K conference, organised by Crain Communications, which also runs the PD+I conference and website, took place on 21-22 October at Messe Düsseldorf, Germany. This was the first design-centred conference at the K show, the leading exhibition for polymer material suppliers. Angie DeRosa at Plastics News reported on some of the speakers at the conference.

The iPhone 5c illustrates a point several speakers made at Design Chain @ K: that materials, chief among them plastics, will help drive consumer stories. Individualization and unique branding are where Apple excels, said conference Chairman Chris Lefteri. "What they've done a very good job at is to tell us how we feel," Lefteri said. "The future is built on telling consumer stories." Materials are part of the story: "Plastics did change the way the world looks. But plastics will not do this in the future. Plastics will play a different role."


FEATURE: The Future is Here – it’s more than merely 3D printing

31 July 2013 - 3D printing has leapt out of the world of geeks and nerds and entered the public’s imagination, said Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum in London, as he introduced journalists to the museum’s exhibition “The Future is Here,” which opened last week.

The exhibition does catch the wave of DIY design and manufacture, with 3D printers operating at the show and a sofa whose design was crowdsourced from the public. But, writes David Eldridge, as well as the 3D printing buzz, the exhibition displays other manufacturing technologies (such as CNC routers and laser etchers) and offers signposts to the directions that individualised design and production may go once we get through the hype phase.

The subtitle of the exhibition is “A New Industrial Revolution”, yet the first display is of a timeline that implies continuity from the Industrial Revolution through innovations of the 20th century to the digital world of now. Are we in a new age of information or passing into a new stage of an economic phenomenon that started 300 years ago?

The future that has been conjured by hypers of 3D printing is of the consumer empowered by software and technology and transformed into the designer-maker, printing their designs in their garage. This DIY utopia is unlikely to replace mass production any time soon, but the vision reveals an urge for user participation in design and manufacture that is now taking many varied forms. Read the whole article


How can industrial designers contribute to the work of scientists?

30 May 2013 - Putting together industrial designers with scientists may sound incongruous, but a project at the University of Cambridge suggests there is a lot to gain from closer working between these two groups, writes David Eldridge.

At our Product Design + Innovation conference, Dr James Moultrie, head of the Design Management Group at Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM), revealed interesting outcomes from the project.

The Design in Science project was initiated by IfM in 2011 in collaboration with the university’s science departments. Its purpose was to explore: “How and to what extent can industrial design play a useful role in early stage scientific research?” Pic: Algae-based solar panels. Institute for Manufacturing. Read the whole article



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Latest Articles

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. 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.


Gadi Amit talks about wearables

27 March 2014PD+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. 


PolyOne supports colour creativity

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.


PD+I will be of material benefit

7 March 2014 - CMF: Materials Innovation is a session at PD+I 2014 which brings together industrial designers and materials experts to explore the ways in which companies can leverage the potential for product innovation through manufacturing processes and materials. Speakers are Monica Dalla Riva, European Design Lab manager at 3M; Peter Booth (pictured right), founder of Tin Horse; and Marcel Dartee, global marketing director sustainable solutions & biomaterials at PolyOne. Find out more about the conference sessions at PD+I 2014.


Philips on top at iF awards

4 March 2014 - Philips says it has emerged from the 2014 iF awards as the participant with the most accolades, 47 in the product category. At the award ceremony in Munich on February 28, it was announced that Philips had scooped an unprecedented four Gold awards for: Sonicare DiamondClean Black Edition toothbrush, Lifeline GoSafe HomeSafe Emergency Help Communicators, Metronomis LED range and DesignLine LED TV (pictured above).

Sean Carney, chief design officer at Philips, said: “Our focus on design excellence and creating value for people shines through in the record-breaking number of design awards received.” When Carney spoke at PD+I 2012, he acknowledged the challenge of maintaining the standing of design within a large corporation. PD+I 2014 returns to this theme in a session on “Making stuff happen (inside corporations)”, which will include Gavin Procter, director of design innovation at Philips Consumer Lifestyle. Find out more about the PD+I 2014 programme.


Alloy and BT win gold at DBA Design Effectiveness Awards

24 February 2014 - BT and its long-standing design partner Alloy have won gold in the Product category of the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2014 for the BT 6500 range of DECT phones. The 6500 cordless range is BT’s fastest selling device of all time. 

Gus Desbarats, chair of Alloy, who has been a regular speaker at our PD+I conferences, will take part in a session at PD+I 2014 on design education, where he will represent the British Industrial Design Association as well as Alloy. Jim Blyth, managing director of Alloy, will also be at PD+I 2014, speaking in a panel session on the cross-disciplinary issues of UX design and industrial design.


Making stuff happen at PD+I 2014

7 February 2014 - We have announced the conference programme for PD+I 2014 and it’s every bit as eclectic and provocative as the first three events. An overarching theme is ‘Making stuff happen’, a typically cross-disciplinary platform for debate by PD+I speakers and delegates.

James Woudhuysen (pictured right), Professor of Forecasting and Innovation at De Montfort University, will be taking a look at the ethics of innovation, in a seminar entitled ‘Ethics: How to stop feeling guilty about stuff’. Alongside a panel of responders, James will be looking at the role of ethics in innovation, and challenging the perception that designers are culpable for frittering away precious resources, contributing to the paradox of choice and mindless consumerism – ‘stuffitis’ as it is sometimes dubbed.

Why not join the fertile minds at PD+I 2014? Find out more on our conference pages


In The Making by Barber Osgerby

27 January 2013

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. 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. Read our feature article.


Wearable tech may not wear well

22 January 2014 - Wearable tech formed part of a session on designing for the Internet of Things at our PD+I 2013 conference. Jamian Cobbett, design lead at Nike Digital Sport, discussed the Nike Fuel Band, which has figured in the first group of wearable tech products that also includes Fitbit, Jawbone and Google Glass. Kevin McCullagh, director of Plan design strategy consultancy and chair of the PD+I events, has given his forthright opinion on Why Wearable Devices Will Never Be As Disruptive As Smartphones in an article for Fast Company’s website. “The biggest threat to the wearable nirvana is the smartphone,” he says, as it can easily serve the functions of dedicated devices for activity monitoring.


Occupational standards are critical for UK profession, says BIDA

7 January 2014 - National Occupational Standards for industrial design have been approved by the UK government following extensive research and consultation by the British Industrial Design Association (BIDA) and Creative and Cultural Skills (CCS). BIDA chair, Gus Desbarats (pictured right), described the standards as “an essential platform for clearer recognition, meaningful accreditation, much needed professional development training and a better fit between modern jobs and education”. They are also a "base point" for UK industrial design to move forward and meet global best practice.


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