Archives: May 2014

Clerkenwell Design Week 2014

This week Rodd visited the 2014 Clerkenwell Design Week in London. With both international and local exhibitors the event was a fantastic place to get an overview of current trends, approaches and creative directions. Aside from cowering from sporadic downpours, we spent the day wandering the four main exhibitions spaces and open studios.

Take outs… the abundance of natural materials was exciting,

inspiring and refreshing. Varieties of wood, formed and ‘carved’ to a precision normally associated with ‘machine’ made.

There was also a wealth of beautiful glass, metal, ceramic and fabric products on show that in many cases were coupled with a strong amount of colour. From indulgent, bold and playful colours to calming, restrained and luxurious the colours on offer were truly attention grabbing. 

For an event typically associated with craftsmanship there was a surprising amount of 3D printing and 3D printed objects on display. These ranged in a variety of forms and functions from elegant coral like lamp shades to whole table structures.

Jump over to Pinterest to see our full photo-blog on our Clerkenwell Design Week 2014 board

When just enough is perfect

I remember the feeling of anticipation unwrapping my first amber coloured (highly expensive) rapid prototype or 3D printed prototype as its now more fashionably referred to. These fragile, laser cured, step-laden prototypes were a thing of high tech wonderment.

‘3D Printers’ are the latest cool kid on the block. What does this mean for design prototyping? These geek fascinators with low fidelity, slightly rickety resin prototypes are old news. By today’s industry standards rapid prototypes are things of great material and numerical accuracy. Greater accessibility and lower costs has led to the ‘consumerisation’ of the desktop machines.

This is exciting, but remember that a glue gun and few bits and bobs are powerful prototyping tools too.

Rodd, along with many of our peers, has championed a ‘fail fast and often’ design culture and is prototyping more than ever. The ‘design to make and learn’ philosophy is a central pillar of a modern user-centred approach.

We ‘build’ iterations of rough and ready mock-ups from apps, to new services or new products. These are shared as early as possible, to engage with users, clients and the wider design team. In fact, these DIY prototypes are built whenever the time is right – the sooner the better,

and with a ‘just enough is good enough’ attitude. We take whatever format is quickest and most appropriate to prototype the crux of the idea and share it with end users. As we progress, our thinking matures, as does the fidelity of the prototyping moving into foam, CNC and rapid prototyping.

A prototype used to be an expensive, precious thing that was handed to clients as the design process was nearly finished. Today, everything can, and is, prototyped with much more freedom at lower costs.

The images above are just some of the iterations went through whilst developing ode. Read the story here

Rodd twitter picks this week

Every week we bring you the top tweets from our @wearerodd twitter stream.

1/ Printing and drawing in 3D will allow architects to walk around and inside the 3D sketches of their projects, according to an article on Dezeen. Thanks to the revolutionary Gravity 3D drawing pad, they will also be able to edit their designs as they go.

2/ “Technology shouldn’t change your own personal habits. It should mesh into the lifestyle you already live”, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky said, as he explains how he made smart watches that people want.

3/ “Design Can Drive Exceptional Returns for Shareholders”, this Harvard Business Review article suggests. The Design Value Index is a tool that was developed by Motiv

Strategies and the Design Management Institute to track the results of design-centric companies against those that are not.

To follow us on twitter click here


The Quantified Future of ‘Us’

The self collection of personal information, more eloquently known as the quantified self, is a consumer market that’s grown rapidly in popularity, impact and diversity over the past few years. Products and services such as FitBit, Nike Fuelband and Strava have demonstrated this well by offering users an engrossing and honest method of collecting and quantifying information about themselves.

However, the next step on the horizon for products within this market centres on switching from the personal element of the quantified self (the ‘self’), to a more communal approach: the ‘quantified us’.

By widening the ‘sharability’ of information collected by the user, beneficial and exciting things can happen. One person’s data can be pooled with that of a wider community, which can then begin to tell a very different and deeper story.

This goes beyond the common fitness apps. It paves the way for the collection of big data that would offer tangible and realistic benefits to both small and large connected communities across a range of themes. Considered in the context of healthcare, the advantages are numerous (too many to include here!).

A ‘quantified us’ could allow quick access to broad and transparent medical data that’s been collected relatively passively. For the public, it would create easy access to information on symptoms and experiences of others. For businesses, it could serve as a method of collecting clinical insights and identifying patterns that can help improve their diagnostic methods.

Designers therefore need to consider how best to translate large sets of data into meaningful information from the perspectives of all types of users.


Rodd Insight goes live

This month sees the launch of Rodd Insight, a monthly roundup of visual inspiration.

Each edition will collate the latest trends in Colour, Material and finish from key industry sectors. The images will link to Rodd’s Pinterest account where you will find a selection of interesting and inspiring images.

Each month will focus on different areas – Impact/ Discipline/ Culture. We will showcase the best in design from disciplines such as Product, Sports, Transport, Graphic & Print, Packaging, UI, Architecture, Interiors, and many more.

To Visit Our Pinterest boards please click here

If you would like to sign up to Rodd/ Insight please click here

Our blog

Welcome to our Rodd blog. This is where you will find all the latest design project releases, news from the industry, our trend and show reports as well as the inside track on life in and around the Rodd studio.

Rodd Design is a privately owned industrial design and innovation studio formed in 2000 by Tim Rodd and Ben Davies, focused on delivering the highest quality creative work and commercially effective product design.

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