Spotlight on … Professor James Woudhuysen

James-Woudhuysen

Professor James Woudhuysen

Professor James Woudhuysen helped to install Britain’s first computer-controlled car park in 1968, before graduating in physics. James has edited and written for many well-known industry magazines including Design and Blueprint Magazine, and also written numerous books on the subject of innovation. Prior to his role as independent forecaster and visiting professor, James was Chief of worldwide market intelligence for Philips Consumer Electronics in the Netherlands and Director of product designers at Seymourpowell.

 

You’re speaking again at PD+I 2016, what made you decide to get involved?
It’s always vibrant, with great speakers and a fresh, no-posing attitude to free speech and open debate.

 

What are you currently working on?
Manufacturing, IoT, rail travel, cybersecurity; co-editing, with Martyn Evans and James Moultrie, The Wiley Handbook of Design and Innovation: Trends, Scenarios and Recommendations for 2030 and beyond.

 

Why did you decide to work in the design field?
I needed a job and saw one in the papers – Technical Editor, Design magazine, at the Design Council. I asked my Dad if he wasn’t a designer. He said he was. From then on it was downhill

 

Is there a designer or company you particularly admire and why?
Ramesh Annapindi, MADLAB, Bangalore.
Should you meet your heroes?
I have heroes, but society tends to prefer celebrities. Mistake!

 

What product or design you wish you’d worked on and why?
Apollo 11. It’s obvious why.

 

What is the greatest challenge you face professionally?
As a forecaster, the challenge of staying ahead.

 

Can you describe yourself or your company in 10 words or less?
Speaker to big firms about the future of technological innovation.

 
PROF. JAMES WOUDHUYSEN WILL BE SPEAKING IN THE AFTERNOON OF FIRST DAY OF PD+I 2016. HIS KEYNOTE IS ENTITLED: CIRCULAR BUSINESS MODELS AND THE STRUGGLE FOR MANUFACTURING.

Spotlight on … Gadi Amit

gadi-amit.jpg

Gadi Amit, President, NewDealDesign LLC

Gadi Amit is president and principal designer of NewDealDesign – the 2013 Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award Winner – and one of Fast Company magazine’s 1000 most creative people. Gadi has been responsible for projects including the Fitbit line of wearable devices, the Ara Modular Phone, the Lytro Light Field Camera, TYLT Devices, Whistle and Sproutling wearables. He was also named a ‘Master of Design’ in 2010 and alongside his team has received over 100 design awards.

 

You’re speaking at PD+I 2016, what made you decide to get involved?
I was involved with the 2014 conference and I am always very interested to see what’s happening all around the world in terms of innovation. The UK has a tremendous innovative community which always attracted me. Conferences are all about ideas and being exposed to new trends, and London always provides new inspirations and ideas, as well as the chance to meet interesting people.

 

What are you currently working on?
I’m working on a variety of projects, probably the most comprehensive ever. We’re currently dealing with products at the cutting edge of medicine, as well as autonomous objects – which are not limited to cars. We are also working on a variety of smart home devices and applications, nearly all of which are a combination of strategy, physical, digital and engineering. Most projects arrive as 360 degree engagement, so as well as design, brand strategy is important, and as well as the object, so too is the digital experience.

 

Why did you become a designer?
I don’t know that I had any other choice. I come from a family of two architects and discovered industrial design in my twenties. It’s my calling and I have never tried anything else.

 

Is there a designer or company you particularly admire and why?
It’s a complicated question. I am inspired by a few designers and find people like Naoto Fukasawa and Antonio Citterio to be very influential. There are a lot of very good designers out there, it’s hard to pick only a few when there are so many. I admire companies which take big chances and try to push boundaries, for example Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors. BMW is also picking up the green challenge with its i division, which is an impressive approach.

 

Should you meet your heroes?
I have met Naoto once or twice and Benoit Jacob from BMW I (at PD + I, by the way). I think there is a difference between the persona of a designer and a design itself. We shouldn’t personify design work. I have a slight reservation about design heroes and personification of designs. Some people have large, impressive personalities and some are much quieter, but that doesn’t impact the stature of work that they do.

 

What product or design do you wish you’d worked on and why?
I would wish for the chance to work on an autonomous vehicle or a house robot which everyone can use. The intelligence of moving things is a topic I am intrigued by.

 

What is the greatest challenge you face as a designer?
Advanced technology and the challenge to bridge the gap between humanity and technology which is typically non-human. We need to take culture and humanity seriously in design for tech. It is our greatest challenge, especially in terms of intelligent ‘things’. We need to make their assimilation into our culture much more smooth, so that they bring inspiration and happiness to humanity rather than mistrust.

 

Can you describe NewDealDesign in 10 words or less?
A technology design studio working to humanize technology for people.

 

GADI’S KEYNOTE PRESENTATION “HOW TECHNOLOGY DESIGN SHAPES A SMARTER FUTURE” TAKES PLACE AT THE PD+I 2016 CONFERENCE IN THE MORNING OF THE 1ST DAY- 18TH MAY

 

Spotlight on… Julie Jenson Bennett

julie-jenson

Julie Jenson Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, Precipice

Everybody pauses when asked to describe Julie – not because she defies classification, but because 20 years of working on the knife-edge of business and design has stretched her experiences far beyond her original career in interaction and information design at Intel Corporation.

As a design strategist she’s defined dozens of disruptive technology products in networking, e-commerce, television and domestic appliances and holds a patent for novel visual browsing interfaces. As a leader, she’s consistently delivered vision, profits and growth in a range of business models, from small creative studios to global corporate teams.

Many of Julie’s clients know her best for her rigorous design research, which evolved from her own decision making needs as a senior business manager and product strategist. In the process of getting the answers she needs, she’s acquired a deep knowledge of cognitive science, emotion science, anthropology and material culture, and is passionate about both the power and limitations of user-centered design and consumer research.

Now, as CEO of Precipice, Julie continues to balance her time between business management and strategic consulting. She loves a good spreadsheet, informed risk taking, and getting great products to market.

You’re speaking at PD+I 2016, what made you decide to get involved?

Product Design & Innovation is such a central question of business today, it’s crucial to build the community and have spaces to hold interesting conversations.

 

What are you currently working on?

I have spent the past 18 months understanding what it means to be a man or woman today and how changes in this have created unexpected ripples in the products we choose to have in our lives.

 

Why did you become a designer?

It happened a bit accidentally. I intended to become a journalist, but my studies in writing, visual communication and psychology led me to the emergent field of interaction design before it had a name or a real professional identity. From there, I became obsessed with the intersection of product design and business strategy.

 

Is there a designer or company you particularly admire and why?

I started my career at Intel in the early ‘90s, and the recent coverage of Andy Grove’s death has reminded me of so many qualities that made that company great. But as a product designer, Intel particularly drove home the fact that you are designing for an entire eco-system of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and channel partners that need to be considered and appreciated, alongside what we see as consumers.

 

Should you meet your heroes?

Heroes live in the stories we create about other people. I am much more interested in hearing the stories other people tell about themselves.

 

What product or design you wish you’d worked on and why?

My recent work on gender has exposed the modern underbelly of dating. I’d have loved to have worked on Tinder, knowing what I know now, to rethink it from a different perspective.

  

What is the greatest challenge you face as a designer?

Balancing simplicity and complexity. If we worship the cult of simplicity too much, we miss out on the incredible richness of the human experience. But once we become perceived as complicated, we start to lose engagement. I have to constantly navigate that boundary every day.

 

Can you describe your company in 10 words or less?

Providing perspective on how and why stuff matters to people.

 

JULIE’S PRESENTATION ENTITLED FROM CRYSTAL BALL TO CULTURAL FORGE – MAKING MEANINGFUL CHANGE WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE PD+I 2016 CONFERENCE, IN THE AFTERNOON OF THE 1ST DAY.