Gold iF award for Designit
13 March 2013
Designit, one of the leading industrial design agencies presenting at our Product Design + Innovation conference on 15-16 May, has won the gold distinction in the iF 2013 awards for a first aid kit it designed for Falck.
The domestic first aid kit guides the user to one of four categories – bleeding, burns, bruises and strains. The award jury said: “A first-aid kit as it should be: clearly arranged and extremely well organized. Four sections, made immediately visible by their different colors, help the user find their way around. The fold-out elements make it possible to have an overview of the entire contents at all times, and to go for the correct products intuitively even in difficult situations. A must-have for every household.”
Designit said: “Re-designing Falck’s first aid kit has been an exceptionally exciting and enriching challenge – calling for not only creative muscles and rich design expertise, but also for a profound understanding of first aid scenarios.”
Sagentia fires up Quadro
Phil Gray, MD of Quadro Design Associates, speaking at Product Design + Innovation 2011
7 March 2013
Sagentia is a global innovation, technology and product development company with more than half its business arising in the medical sector, but also working in the consumer and industrial product spaces. It is expanding its expertise in industrial design with the acquisition of Quadro, which will remain independent under the management of Gray and co-founder Morag Hutcheon, design director.
Sagentia’s MD, Dan Edwards, said in a statement: “We have enjoyed collaborating with Quadro for several years, and are delighted to now formally welcome them into our team. The value this brings – having design and technology staff co-located – is clear to our clients. Quadro has significant experience across all three of our key target sectors – consumer, industrial and medical. And as the medical/healthcare industry increasingly focuses on usability of medical devices we know the time is right to invest in human factors and strategic design capability.”
Gray says that over the past decade he has espoused the close alignment of design and product innovation in his work with clients, and also as a national director of British Design Innovation, and during the Product Design + Innovation conference, which he co-chaired in 2012.
He said: “Our collaboration with Sagentia is recognition that design is an integral part of innovation, not an add-on after you have got the technology sorted out.”
As well as working on Sagentia projects, Quadro will continue to work with other clients across a variety of sectors. Among its global client base are multinational groups such as AT&T, Pyrex, VTech, Toshiba and Siemens.
The support of Sagentia will allow Quadro to pursue an ambitious growth plan, which will involve hiring talented designers. “We expect to multiply up over the next three years,” said Gray.
More design leaders to take part in Product Design + Innovation 2013
28 February 2013
We’re delighted to reveal new speakers from innovation-led companies have joined our Product Design + Innovation 2013 conference programme. The conference takes place in London on 15-16 May.
Jereon Raijmakers (pictured above), global creative director of healthcare at Philips Design, will be the keynote speaker in a session on Consumerisation of Healthcare, which will look at the process of innovation that is taking some of the complexity out of health management.
Nike Digital Sport’s design lead Jamian Cobbett will contribute insights to the session on Internet of Things: Designing Connected Objects. Duncan Smith, head of products and systems division at Cambridge Consultants, has also signed up to take part in the session.
UX leaders taking part in Product-Service Ecosystems: System Thinking and Collaborating with Frenemies include Paul De’Ath from Telefonica Digital and Andrew McGrath from Thomson Reuters.
Award for LA Design and Sonatest
28 February 2013
LA Design’s recent work for Sonatest has received the highest category recognition in the 2013 A’Design Award competition. The UK consultancy is no stranger to prestigious awards, such as the Red Dot Award and DBA Design Effectiveness Award it won for the Purelab Flex project, which was the subject of a joint presentation with Elga Labwater at Product Design + Innovation 2011.
The Sonatest Prisma is a portable ultrasonic flaw detector, designed for material testing in difficult environments. It’s the first portable detector to incorporate advanced real time imaging and 3D scanning, making material flaw interpretation much easier and reducing technician time on site.
The Prisma is the latest in a successful product range that Sonatest has developed with LA over a number of years, ensuring consistent brand language and user interaction.
More at BDI, of which LA Design is a member.
Teca Studio goes the extra mile to understand China
27 February 2013
A session at Product Design + Innovation 2012 had a panel discussion on designing in Asian markets, and in particular China. This revealed that most UK design consultancies had not taken any decisive step in China (with some notable exceptions like PriestmanGoode). So it is intriguing to hear of one company, Teca Studio, that not only established a base in Shenzen but aims to get even closer to the Chinese market by taking to the road.
A road trip may seem like a very western indulgence, but for Andy Lee (founder of Teca) and Dina Guth (who manages Teca’s Shenzen and Hong Kong offices), their 4,000 km journey last year was invaluable.
“Being independently mobile without having to rely on a local driver opens up many new possibilities and opportunities. Arriving at a local client's office or factory by your own steam is often greeted with surprise and delight,” says Dina.
In her account of the road trip, she says attendance at the British Business Awards in Shanghai (where Teca was the winner in the Creativity category) provided the initial spur for the journey. They drove along the coast to Shanghai, taking in the cities of Shantou, Xiamen, Ningde, Ningbo and Hangzhou, before crossing to Suzhou and Nanjing and back inland along another route to Shenzhen, traversing five provinces in total. “We wanted to visit Second and Third Tier Cities on our trip as well as the First Tier and to get a feel for the China of right now.”
Dina explains the motivation for such a lengthy trip. “Much of our professional work now requires us to identify the trends and dynamics of Chinese consumer society and habits. In Europe little has changed in the past five years but we have to work much harder to monitor the Chinese market, things really do change in the space of a year in a way no other market currently does. Part of this knowledge is to actually go out and experience the real China on a regular basis and this has now become part of our annual routine.”
Dina Guth at the British Business Awards
Van Berlo extracts the best from plastics for Gutmann
21 February 2013
Plastics have taken a step into a domain dominated by metal with Gutmann’s creation of a kitchen extractor hood which heavily features plastics in its design.
The German company usually makes its expensive hoods from stainless steel, but the new L-Original hood has an internal frame made from glass fibre reinforced polyamide and an outer shell made from ABS. The flame retardant materials provide a high gloss finish in black or white, and a carbon texture is also available.
Dutch design firm Van Berlo says it made the most of using plastics to create a unique design. Switching to plastics also enabled high volume manufacture, which keeps the product price down, allowing Gutmann to enter a new segment in the hood market.
Van Berlo says the L-Original is the most energy-efficient extractor hood on the market. It uses a new filter technology which captures grease better than traditional filters and allows a recirculation system. The specially developed filter cartridge ensures minimal air resistance and this made it possible to use a lighter motor consuming only 50W in the highest position.
Van Berlo’s design and development process for L-Original is shown in a YouTube video.
Designit helps Harman establish design centre in China
15 February 2013
Jim Dawton, partner at strategic design consultancy Designit, will be a speaker at our Product Design + Innovation conference in May. Dawton will take part in a session on the consumerisation of healthcare. His consultancy’s work with a client in another arena, audio products, is the subject of a Designit article.
The client, Harman, had 13,000 employees, 16 brands and 0 in-house designers, when Designit was engaged to help create the Harman Design Centre in Shenzen, China. Now it has 15 product, user interface and experience designers.
It’s an interesting story which highlights a theme that arises in our conference discussions – how to achieve the corporate reshaping necessary to embed design and innovation throughout the organisation. One result of Designit’s intervention is better and more informed decision making.
“When new ideas are presented internally today, it’s not two pages of text, but a full-blown pitch. Projects have to be sold internally now, rather than presented,” said Manuel Gattinger, acting Design Manager at the Harman Design Centre.
Find out more about conference speakers at Product Design + Innovation 2013.
Yves Béhar: US connects design and the entrepreneur
8 February 2012 - A Bloomberg Businessweek interview with Yves Béhar, founder of design firm Fuseproject and a partner in wearable technology group Jawbone, explores the idea of “the designer as entrepreneur”.
He describes his experience in positive terms, saying the US has changed in the past 10-15 years. Now it’s expected that designers are a key part of the team, a sentiment he even hears from venture capitalists.
“It’s a radical change. And I think it’s one that shows this new sophistication in business. But also for everyone. I mean, every single person now can talk about design intelligently, can speak to the quality of the app, the quality of a movement, the quality of the products. And that’s a sea change in America.”
But not so in Europe, Béhar says. “Our industry is more about design in some ways today than European businesses are.”
In the article, he goes on to discuss crowdfunding, the multi-investor system that has been successful for US entrepreneurs trying to finance their first products.
Fuseproject designed the prototype of Ouya, a $99 gaming system, (pictured above) which had raised $8.6m on Kickstarter by mid-January. When the renderings were posted on Kickstarter, feedback “allowed us to push things in a new direction”, says Béhar.
The article, which is one in a series on design published by Bloomberg Businesweek, also covers recent work Fuseproject has done with Beiersdorf’s Nivea brand, Herman Miller and other clients. There is also a video interview with Béhar.
PDD opens Hong Kong studio
29 January 2013
UK-based PDD has expanded overseas with the opening of a Hong Kong studio. The industrial design group, which has 60 people at its London headquarters, has integrated Formart Industrial Design’s Hong Kong studio, led by Oliver Breit.
PDD says 75% of its business is outside the UK, but the integration of Formart will further strengthen its industrial design and production management capabilities, while expanding work in the consumer sector throughout Asia, and specifically China.
Karsten Fischer, CEO of PDD, said: "Oliver Breit and his team have 14 years of experience in the market, allowing us to provide our clients with the invaluable combination of local and global expertise."
The new PDD studio is located on Hong Kong Island in Sheung Wan. Existing clients in Hong Kong include Microsoft, Kenwood, DKB Household and emerging white goods manufacturers in China and Singapore.
Paul Priestman to speak at Product Design + Innovation 2013
18 January 2013
Paul Priestman will be one of the leaders in industrial design who will speak at our Product Design + Innovation conference in London on 15 and 16 May 2013. His company PriestmanGoode has a long-established global reputation for designs of the highest quality and for working with high profile clients.
Paul will speak in a session on Wired Transport, an area in which PriestmanGoode continues to offer innovative design concepts and solutions. The company’s Air Access concept to improve a wheelchair user’s experience on an aircraft was this month nominated in the Design Museum’s Designs of the Year competition.
Kevin McCullagh, director of Plan and columnist on Core77, will again chair the unique two-day conference dedicated to industrial design. After chairing the conferences in 2011 and 2012, Kevin is well placed to lead discussions on this year’s themes: product-service ecosystems, emerging industries, premiumisation, the internet of things, consumerisation of healthcare, wired transport and the circular economy: designing for reuse, repair and recycling.
British Design Innovation is supporting the conference for the third year, with speakers discussing the valuable design interventions that BDI member companies implement with their partners.
Clive Grinyer, director of customer experience at Cisco IBSG, will speak in the session on System Thinking and Collaborating with Frenemies. Delegates at the 2012 conference will remember the lively debate Clive had with James Woudhuysen, who also returns for the 2013 event.
Speakers in the session looking at the Internet of Things: Designing Connected Objects include: Dr Uday Phadke, chief executive of Cartezia and Tej Chauhan, founder of ChauhanStudio and designer of the Autographer.
A session on Premiumisation: Trading up to Higher-end Products and Services will feature representatives of leading brands including Magnus Welander, CEO and president of Thule, and Ignacio Germade, head of total product offering at Vertu.
Contributors confirmed for the Consumerisation of Healthcare session include Jim Dawton, partner at DesignIt, Jason Mesut, head of user experience at RMA and Thomas Troch, innovation manager at InSites Consulting.
Visit our conference pages for more information on registering for the conference.