What if you have a Dyson, a Musk or Edison in your team?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

 


Recently, I had the privilege of meeting with the CEO and part of his team at a major Australian corporation. They’re working on innovations at a faster-than-normal pace using a 90-day cycle of testing, seeing what works, dropping what doesn’t, and starting over.

The “90-Day Innovation Cycle” is becoming more popular, driven by start-up companies that are known for agility, flexibility, pivoting and other management methods that have helped them get moving. Larger companies adapting this mindset and system have been able to increase their innovation rate as well.

But can innovations be made, perfected and released in 90 days?

Harvard Business Review published this article in 2014, Building the Innovation Engine in 90 Days. In it, the authors outline their formula for shifting your company’s process for innovation into high gear. Their 90-Day Minimum Viable Innovation System fosters innovation and new ideas without the years-long process of getting innovation into operation or endless funding issues.

Their process consists of four stages:

Day 1-30: Define Your Innovation Buckets

Day 20 to 50: Zero In on a Few Strategic Opportunity Areas

Day 20 to 70: Form a Small, Dedicated Team to Develop the Innovations

Day 45 to 90: Create a Mechanism to Shepherd Projects

By fast-tracking your process, your company can get new products and/or services to the market faster, as well as identify the ones that probably won’t work.

But what if you have a Dyson, Musk or Edison on your team? The 90-day cycle wouldn’t work for innovative ideas like theirs. Consider:

Engineer James Dyson made more than 5,000 vacuum cleaner prototypes based on a centrifugal-force fan he built for a factory. For many years, he was told the same thing: “this will not work.” Today, Dyson’s vacuum cleaners, hair care tools, fans and other home care products are available all over Australia and in 65 countries around the world. Dyson’s engineering team continue to work on innovations that make life better.

Fellow engineer Elon Musk heard the same thing, (as well as “it’s not technically possible”) but continued to persevere until he was successful in creating reusable Stage One parts for rockets. After a SpaceX unmanned vehicle successfully ferried supplies to the International Space Station in 2012, SpaceX, is now a global leader in commercial space launch vehicles. Musk previously founded PayPal, electric car maker Tesla, and Zip2, one of the first online map services.

Thomas Edison didn’t just invent the light bulb one day. He made 10,000 prototypes before he got it right, and it took a lot longer in 90 days. Instead of calling his light bulb project a “failure,” he simply realized that he’d “found 10,000 was that won’t work.” His little invention transformed everyday life. (I’m typing this under two light bulbs early in the morning in downtown Melbourne café, both acknowledging Edison’s success and demonstrating the irony.)

Don’t tell someone “it can’t be done,” unless you’re prepared to be proven wrong. Dyson, Musk and Edison went out and proved that it can be done. But they didn’t do it all in 90 days. Persistence and continually working and testing new ideas helped each one eventually get to the solution that actually worked.

Great ideas need time and perseverance to grow, develop and be implemented to work. Because the world needs some big changes, (i.e. environmental sustainability, positive social impact) it’s essential that we give our teams the time and space to help achieve these big goals.

Some ideas may benefit from the 90-day system, even in a big company. But understand that not all of them will fit in that time frame.

I want to challenge large corporations to incorporate this type of deep and meaningful work into their organisation. If your company is serious about innovations that make a difference, give your team and their ideas time to progress and succeed.

 

Why Climate Change really excites me

Thursday, October 19, 2017

 


Since I was a teenager I have been reading about climate change. In the last ten years, however, the tone and urgency of articles on the subject of global warming have clearly altered, becoming much more ominous, and for obvious reasons given all the problems posed and the scientific data relevant to the numerous factors. Yet oddly, despite all of the menacing facts, people do not seem inspired toward significant change in their habits. In fact, such articles may have the opposite effect, causing citizens to feel overwhelmed and thus to avoid the situation altogether.

As a professional Industrial Designer, I find the situation challenging in the most exciting way, for I wish to share in the responsibility of re-inventing products that will enhance environmental sustainability. I look forward to contributing to the global action that the world must undertake in order to survive, and perhaps even thrive in the next few decades. I embrace the design challenges that would halt irresponsible manufacturing and consumption of disposable products while creating beautifully styled and long-lasting functional objects.

Designing such handsome and substantial products is one of my goals, and one of the ways in which I can help the world to meet the necessary adjustments for climate change. New business models are also urgently required, as well as inventive logistic and manufacturing systems that would have less negative impact on the planet. The political, economic, energy, water, food and migration issues surely present monumental dilemmas, but I believe that as an Industrial Designer I can help unravel the problems and plan for more rational ways to meet climate change challenges. My training, my skills, my creative vision and my zeal can help us move away from the current paradigms, and benefit all of the people on the planet.

 

The 3 stages of creativity

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


The Three Stages of Creativity

After more than 20 years of experience in the design industry, I can recognise patterns. The one I want to talk about today is the pattern I have witnessed around creativity. In my work as a product designer I have observed three distinct stages in the creative process, all of which are important. However, I’ve found that it’s the third stage that is the most powerful in terms of creative output and yet also the most undervalued one in the work environment.

But let’s start at the beginning.

The first stage of the creative process is called Immersion. At the beginning of a project one needs to understand its context and its environment. So, initially, I spend time reading reports, observing customers and making inquiries. For example, a few years ago I was designing aquarium tanks. I spent a number of days with the end customers, the retail people, the wholesalers, the workers at the warehouse, and so on. This process gave me a new perspective on all the stakeholders involved in the product. And because an aquarium tank is part of your house, I studied interior design trends, the short term, as well as the long term ones.


So, immersion is about collecting all the necessary information on the product and its context.

After you have all the facts, you’re ready for the second stage: creative work. This may mean sitting down at your desk with a pen, digital sketching and writing down ideas. It could be experimenting with your 3D software. And did I mention sketching?

When I was studying Industrial Design, my teacher advised us to draw hundreds of sketches. No just a few – but literally hundreds. His intention was for us to go way beyond 500 sketches, so that we go through a lot of ideas and, most importantly, through some personal emotional process. Walking through this process is the key to innovation – something I’ve witnessed for myself.

How does it work? Well, in a nutshell, in the process of drawing the same product again and again – and again – the experience is so profound that one effectively goes through the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance), and then comes out of that with a fresh, new angle that one wasn’t even aware of before. It’s a process I have used when coaching engineers and designers and it’s amazing how useful it is. Yes, very often one sketches the same idea over and over again, but that’s the point!


Regarding its duration, creative work is uncertain. Sometimes, the process can be quite fast and it has happened that I have found ideas and solutions to problems after just a few minutes of work, but, for the most part, this is more the exception than the rule. In my experience, creative work often requires days and sometimes weeks, so I like when I can start working with my clients at very early stages in their project, because then I will have that time creativity needs.

Creative work can be a painful process for some. For me it is an uncertain, yet beautiful stage. Uncertain, because I have no idea where it’s going to lead me. Beautiful, because I have seen time and time again that it leads to unique designs, which push the boundaries. I tend to think innovation lies after this process, but this will be the topic of another discussion!

Finally we’re ready for the third stage: letting go. We have probably all heard that story of an engineer or a designer who found his or her idea in the shower. Well, this is also true for me. I have found that relaxing and “letting go” is the root of my best ideas. It has happened many times that I have found an idea while falling asleep, having a bath, taking a walk in nature, and so on. It usually happens in an unexpected moment, at a time when my mind is at ease and not focused on “work”. Then the idea just appears! However, I also discovered that this “aha” moment is more likely to happen when I have progressed through the first two stages – immersion and creative work. Conversely, I noticed that if I continued working on stage two for too long, I could get stuck. So, in order to be efficient, I realised that I needed to alternate between working and letting go.


When I was designing the aquarium tanks mentioned above, the creative-work stage was taking months: the marketing department kept changing their ideas and weren’t clear on what they actually wanted. I was living in a spacious flat in Annecy, near the mountains in the south of France. One evening, after having concentrated all day on various aspects of the design, including technical challenges of where to place power points and cords, I decided to have a bath. I completely let go of work and just relaxed for a moment – and suddenly I had a vision of the whole project, from the technology involved, to the graphic design. I stepped out of the bath and went straight into my office to sketch and those ideas and sketches led to a series of very successful products. (And even the marketing department was finally happy!).

I really believe this third stage to be immensely important and my concern is that I don’t see that “creative/letting go” time valued in the business world. A client is happy when they see many sketches because it looks very productive, but that same client would probably be wondering what I’m doing if he discovers I’m not available for a meeting, because I’m wandering in the woods, or relaxing in the spa. Yet, “it” happens at these moments and their project may benefit much more from my walk, or spa, than from another hour sitting at the computer.

Can the workplace change for creative people and allow them this highly productive time, even though it can appear like they are on holidays? I hope so.

 

Sustainable chair strikes Gold at the Melbourne Design Awards last night

Thursday, July 28, 2016

 

“A brilliant and courageous design, gracefully executed” –Local Design Studio Strikes Gold at Melbourne Design Awards


Melbourne design studio D2 Design last night won a gold award for product design at the 2016 Melbourne Design Awards. The winning product, designed for the New Zealand-based start-up Revology, is a sustainably designed chair, made from a striking, linen-based composite. In the words of Mark Bergin, CEO and Founder of Design 100 and Design Awards Judge:

“A brilliant and courageous design, gracefully executed. The jury were taken by the boldness and elegance of the chair, celebrating the modern plastics era juxtaposed with the richness of linen.”

 

This concept chair represents the core values of D2 Design: innovation and sustainability with function and elegance. Manufactured from completely new material – a linen composite material called flax and a thermoplastic – the chair is fully recyclable. In addition, you can easily replace theplastic parts of the chair, ensuring that this chair will last for generations. It’s a seat you can enjoy sitting on for more than one reason!

 

Inspired by the classic Parisian café chair, it is a beautiful meeting of tradition and technology. The chair is crafted using an innovative moulding technology. It is lightweight and able to be customised with an interchangeable seat and back rest. The soft-touch organic matte finish of the flax fibres contributes to the chair’s elegance. This, combined with its comfort and a unique look, makes this chair not just an object to sit on, but also one to admire. The team presented their concept chair to high acclaim at the JEC trade show in Paris earlier this year.

 

“As a designer, I’m always excited by new material or new technologies. This chair has combined both: using Flax as a new natural material in the furniture industry, and capitalising on newly developed technology to manufacture the product. The chair is the first of its kind ­-  something incredibly unique, yet timeless in design” – Philippe Guichard, D2 Design Creative Director

 

Philippe will present on innovation at the Bastille Day festival

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Philippe will present a keynote on innovation on Sunday the 17th during the Bastille Day Festival in Melbourne.


You can book your ticket here. Philippe will introduce two tools he has been working on for the last twenty years through storytelling and case studies. These two tools are simple and Philippe will share with you the hows, so that you can start practicing by yourself.

D2 designs the Revology chair

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

 

From seed to seat – inspired by nature

 


Do you believe products should be sustainable, innovative, elegant and functional? D2 Design does – and, together with the New Zealand-based start-up Revology, we have created the first mass-manufacturable, recyclable chair made out of linen. Together, the team presented this concept chair to high acclaim at the JEC trade show in Paris earlier this year.

 

The chair is constructed of a new material called “flax”, which is a mix of linen fibres and a bio-based thermoplastic. This material will be processed in mass manufacturing, thanks to a new induction technology (invented by Roctool), which allows a greater level of control in both the time-cycle of the process and its temperature accuracy. This allows the transformation of the flax into a hard, composite material, without burning the linen fibres.

 

It is a beautiful meeting of tradition and technology: the iconic Thonet chair – the one you would encounter in a Paris café – inspired us. Our re-invention created a modern, elegant seat with a unique look, making this chair not just an object to sit on, but also one to admire.

 

 

#Cablestop is on kickstarter

Sunday, November 02, 2014

We spotted this kickstarter project, as it is Australian design:

Cablestop is a sleek, compact and portable device for controlling the placement and organization of desktop power cords.

 banner-cablestop

Cablestop is a tiny, portable device that controls the placement and organisation of all of the power cords on your home desktop or office workstation. It will debut as a crowd-funding project on Kickstarter on September 15th 2014, and the campaign will be directed by Philippe Guichard, Peter Sackett and Manuel Pedrosa. Created by product designer Philippe Guichard, Cablestop outshines every other product of its type on the market by performing its simple task without creating clutter. Its elementary one-handed operation allows limitless options for controlling the placement and configuration of power cords for a huge range of desktop electrical devices, including laptops and desktops, tablets, computer mice, headphones, ear buds, mobile phones, backup drives, printers and more. Philippe Guichard is an industrial and product designer based in Melbourne, Australia. He is the founder and owner of D2 Design and Development, the practice he launched with a singular focus on the custom creation and development of products that improve peoples’ lives. “Making something beautiful is relatively simple,” he says, “but if a design doesn’t solve a problem, it has little value.” Cablestop-01   Cablestop-02 You can find more details at: https://www.facebook.com/cablestop www.cablestop.com.au

...something is brewing at keepcup

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Soon, the new keepcup glass! banner-keepcup-glass   logo-th-keepcup   keepcup-glass-01   keepcup-glass-02   keepcup-glass-03    

mophie space pack: iPhone 5 functional cover

Saturday, March 15, 2014

mophie space pack: iPhone 5 functional cover, more batteries, more memory!

banner-space-pack-mophie Well, we all know that at time we suffer from the iPhone limitations, such as the batteries life span at the lack of memory extension. Mophie is there to add two functionalities in an iPhone cover, you can choose from 16 or 32GB capacity, and get up to 100% more battery. Read more: Mophie-Logo-th   mophie-space-pack-01 mophie-space-pack-02 mophie-space-pack-03 mophie-space-pack-04    

apple's next move

Monday, March 10, 2014

Apple's next move into the car industry.

banner-apple-carplay "apple carplay, the best iPhone experience on four wheels", it says... "CarPlay allows one to access the features of any current iPhone that has a Lightning connector from a touch screen display in the center of the car’s dashboard, or by using voice commands through Siri. This will allow drivers to make calls, use Maps (at last, a navigation system that works), access voicemail, and many of the other features that a driver can’t normally access while piloting a vehicle." apple-carplay-01 apple-carplay-02 apple-carplay-03 apple-carplay-04  

Testimonials

"Philippe is a gifted Industrial Designer with the rare ability of coming up with relevant concepts and strategies on one hand and the ability of leading and inspiring a cross functional team to turn concepts up into profitable products on the other hand. One is his award winning products did create a whole new trend/category within the aquarium market."

— Alain Mars

"I reached out to Philippe for advice about a product innovation I had invented, because I was unsure how to move it forward. It was such a joy to exchange ideas with a fellow 'inventor' who warned me about all thinkable pitfalls, yet was encouraging and practical in his suggestions to take it to the next level. I've got a long way to go and therefore I cherish the priceless source of information and inspiration Philippe is, as an expert in bringing innovations to the market."

— Johanna Canberra

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