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Three case studies of innovative products

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In this talk I’ll report on research done in collaboration with Dr Roxana MoroÅŸanu Firth. We conducted case studies on the design of three innovative products that are now commercially available: a novel hand saw, a folding electrical plug and a suspended bicycle wheel. Each case is illustrated with a series of prototypes that documents the development of design ideas over a number of years. This is supported by interviews with the designers, reporting on how those ideas changed, why they changed and why those changes didn’t occur earlier. The cases emphasise the designers’ persistence over long time periods, the role of physical making in idea development, the productive effects of design constraints and the benefits of exploring alternative applications for the core ideas. Collectively, the cases connect to and contrast with experimental research on idea development, suggesting topics that are currently being overlooked by researchers but which deserve more attention.

This talk is part of the Engineering Design Centre Seminars series.

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