The work I’ve been leading for kt (Korea Telecom) has recently been recognised by Red Dot, iF and the Good Design Awards. The work won a total of 6 awards for the Product Identity, networked devices (home hub, modem & set top box) and remote control with the packaging work receiving the Red Dot “best of the best” in the Design Concepts category.
The work involved developed a range of 14 new products for kt’s olleh brand and a comprehensive product identity for their entire suite of 56 products. For more information see the Seymourpowell blog .
The year long project was a collaborative effort involving a core team of myself, Nick Sandham, Jamie Cobb, Soyoon Kim and other researchers, designers, visualisers and modelmakers from Seymourpowell.
Seymourpowell Associate Design Director, Matthew Cockerill, comments on last week’s iPhone 5 launch announcement:
“For some the iPhone 5’s release has been a disappointment – we all like the new and the different, designers more than most. Industry ‘experts’ may point to an unchanging design language, lack of NFC or deficient technical specifications a little like they did back in 2007 about the lack of keypad, multi tasking or a decent camera on the first iPhone. But that’s not what matters to most people.
Whilst competitors worry about how to visually differentiate their products or segment the market, Apple focus on creating the right hardware to support the software and services it takes to deliver compelling product experiences. To this end the hardware is a triumph of product engineering over styling.
Of course it’s an iteration, an iteration on the smart phone paradigm that they so successfully defined. As Apple have shown with their previous paradigm-defining products (Mac, iMac, iPod, iPhone & iPad), they are masters at knowing when to refine and when to change the game. The competition may be catching up by playing the game that Apple defined, but for now the iPhone 5 will keep them out in front.”
I’ve just contributed to an article for IT Business management and technology magazine, Microscope giving my round up of the year from a tech trends perspective.
“It has been a disruptive year with the tech land grab for the post PC world continuing to unfold. With Apple having put the first stakes in the ground with their iPhone and iPad ecosystems in previous years, the competition has been running to catch up and in many cases failing.
The balance of power is continuing to shift from hardware focused manufactures to software and content providers. Android continues to gain market share with the launch of the ice-cream sandwich version of Android and perhaps more significantly Amazons Kindle Fire seems to have found the sweet spot for mass market adoption of tables, namely price, tightly integrated content delivery and an interesting Silk browser deploying a slit architecture.
Many hardware manufactures have begun to admitting defeat in the battle to own the whole product experience. Evan hardware and software together have not proved enough to attract consumers. Nokia’s abandonment of their MeeGo platform in favour of a Microsoft’s Windows OS and HP’s recent disastrous launch and withdrawal of their Touchpad tablet in less than two months are cases in point.
With larger companies struggling, it’s interesting to see smaller companies beginning to take the initiative. Two recent launches have caught my eye, the crowd funded ipod nano watch strap from LunaTik and the photo redefining Lyto near field camera
It will be interesting to see whether, freed from the drive to own the whole experience, hardware manufactures might begin to play to their strengths and focus on innovative diverged products that provide real value to consumer.”
Last week as part of the Managment of Design Module I gave a talk to students on the MSc Strategic Managment of Projects course at UCL . I talked about the design process and how you balance the needs of the client, design team and consumer.
After over two years of development the Boots Smooth Skin Plus from CyDen Ltd. has been launched. This in-home body hair reduction system using light based technology to distroy hair follicles, giving the user permenant smooth hair free skin.
Matthew Cockerill, Associate Design Director at Seymourpowell, explains the challenges and results that the team faced during the design process: “This is the kind of project we love doing- taking a genuinely innovative technology and embodying it in a product that meets the needs and desires of the user as well as that of the business.”
“We carried out ethnographic research, uncovering key insights that allowed us to develop fundamental ergonomic improvements. We spent a lot of time in our workshop developing and refining prototypes and worked closely with CyDen’s engineering team to deliver the final product to the market.”
Design Week recently asked me “What is your favourite piece of industrial design & why?” for a voxpop as part of World Industrial Design Day on 29th June.
“A difficult question as so many are my favourite, from the purity of form of Richard Sapper and Mario Zanuso 1969 Brionvega tv, the obligitory Ram’s right up to Sam Hecht’s Bell alarm clock or the unibody designs of recent Apple products.
But for today I’ll have to say my favourite piece of industrial design has to be the Sony Clié T400 PDA from 2001. It’s not necessarily regarded as a design classic, it probably won’t show up at MOMA or the Design Museum but for me it really exemplifies what industrial design is all about. Bringing together elements of brand, technology and the needs of people in an object that has that magical ability to stand out at point of sale, embody the brand in physical form and ultimately delivery a delightful product experience.
The craftsmanship and detailing of the T400 shows a true master at work, raising functional elements to a level of technological jewellery. Even now, after 10 years my excitement at this piece of industrial design is undiminished. Although I seem to remember the stylus did keep falling out, but I guess nothings perfect.”
The Clie T400 was by Tetsu Kataoka who worked at the Sony Design Centre until 2004.
During a recent trip to Seoul, South Korea I was profiled in the local culture, lifestyle and design magazine, Design. Having lived and worked in Korea they where interested to hear my views on Korean and western design.
I recently spoke at the UK Trade and Investment design seminar in Seoul. My talk looked at design in the age of intelligence.
This seminar showcased the best of British design. Six British companies including Seymourpowell, PDD, Kinneir Dufort, Tangerine and Applied Information Group took part in the seminar and met potential Korean business partners. Over 60 people from various industries (ICT, automotive, medical device, food & drink, consumer good and interior design) took part.