Archives for posts with tag: XYZ Design
… MESH TO FOSTER INNOVATION
Richard Perez, who straddles the creative and commercial worlds, will play a key role in Cape Town’s bid for World Design Capital 2014 Article published in Cape Argus, 27 July 2011
by Lorelle Bell
The light bulb as universal iconography depicting a bright idea, probably traces back to Thomas Edison who introduced the first one in 1879. He was not the actual inventor. The technology already existed and Edison improved on the idea of incandescent lighting. But his “bright idea’,  and far more significant contribution, was really his prescience in imagining the light bulb’s potential impact. Thus Edison went on to develop a whole industry around the invention; pioneering electric power generation and its distribution for domestic, commercial and industrial consumption, in the process.
This inventor, scientist and businessman’s contribution to industrialisation and his capacity to operate along the full value chain, taking a product from research and development to the actual creation of new industries to support it, are illustrative of the kind of impact and influence designers can have when they also understand business and can anticipate market needs.
The innovation unleashed through a meshing of design with business is what institutions like Design London (launched in 2007) were established to promote.  Design London combines postgraduate courses in design from the Royal College of Art (RCA) and business from Imperial College, London.
In Richard Perez, Cape Town is fortunate to have  a champion  with a BSc degree in Engineering (UCT), and MA in Design (RCA) and an Executive MBA (UCT); a combination that enables him to  straddle the creative and commercial worlds, applying a design process for better innovation.Perez is one of the individuals playing a key role in hoping to convincing Icsid (International Council for Societies of Industrial Design) judges to confer World Design Capital 2014 status on Cape Town during their visit to the city this week. As part of the … XYZ team  Perez will be speaking about the role of innovation and design in Africa’s drive towards sustainability and human capital development. “Designers,” says Perez, “can help to plan effective interventions for the future.”  When one considers the extent to which public policies and planning, and commercial research and development, are done years in advance, it is important to be able to imagine what needs these designs might have to meet in the future, he explains. “Design can help us identify potential synergies and eco-systems, how they might fit together, and how they can be made to work together. It can help ensure that the development process is agile enough to plan for changes, in a dynamic environment,”  Perez points out.
At a time when designers around the globe are reflecting on how narrow their roles have become – often limited to the development of individual products without involvement in a deep understanding of their markets and an exploration of their potential  – it’s salutary to think about designers like Edison and others whose design innovations we cannot now imagine living without. And time to consider whether a design methodology should not be integrated rapidly into our public and private sector project modeling.
In South Africa, where socio-economic problems appear to be multiplying, it’s going to take major innovations to secure the investment and development required for economic growth, and the strategies to ensure that poor people benefit from it. “Innovation,” states Perez, “is a powerful means of discovering effective solutions for government and public institutions needing to address social challenges in increasingly complex environments. “
It is also an important differentiator for businesses looking to compete and succeed in the knowledge economy era.
In Perez’s view the design process is a tool for Innovation, and “Innovation,” he explains, bridges the gap between the exploration phase and the exploitative phase of products, services or systems.  Most businesses, he says, work in the exploitative phase; measuring innovation by how much money is made and keen to eliminate risk. Designers, on the other hand, operate in the exploration phase where there is a greater likelihood – through an investigation of the unknown – of discovering new solutions. This is where the design process, and proponents like Perez who are skilled in working along the innovation continuum from exploration to exploitation, can add real value.
But, he says, “You need time and a culture that supports experimentation; that allows failure and learning from failure, one that is comfortable with uncertainty,”  referring to the space to experiment which could result in a completely new product that could be developed.
Ploughing his business and financial acumen into his role as director  for local industrial design firm … XYZ Design, Perez offers the firm’s clients the benefit of his understanding of the interrelationships between finance, marketing, innovation and operations, and an entrepreneurial background and involvement in developing and pursuing a variety of successful business ideas. In recent years he has travelled extensively to Europe and China assisting many newly developed fast moving consumer goods businesses in the transition from design to mass production, working in multidisciplinary complex teams from different cultures and countries.
He has been consulting for over 15 years in the new product innovation, design and development industry. Focusing on divergent thinking and design thinking methodologies to promote innovation, he has extensive experience in design strategy and management, value engineering, new product development and innovation strategy and management.
Photo courtesy of Cape Argus and remains copyright Independent Newspapers. Further reproduction is forbidden without the paper’s prior consent.
DWA | Design With Africa book coming soon!

DWA | Design With Africa book coming soon!

A book on design solutions emanating from Africa in response to needs and opportunities presented in a developing continent. Based on one-hundred case studies from Africa seen through the lens of DWA’s design ethos, with a consideration for their scale-ability, relevance to developing economies/contexts, responsiveness to emergency/disaster contexts, and global solutions for sustainability …

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CAPE TOWN DESIGNERS: MAKE SOME NOISE!

…XYZ Design and Design With Africa (DWA)‘s bicycle and cart has just been chosen for this year’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s DESIGN WITH THE OTHER 90%: CITIES  exhibition. Read the Cape Argus today.

XYZ’s modular bicyle design included in Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum exhibition
Lorelle Bell
Cape Town-based Industrial Design firm …XYZ Design has added another notch to its extensive international design accolade belt.

The company’s design of a modular bicycle and cart has been chosen for inclusion in an exhibition of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York to be held at the United Nations, in partnership with the UN’s Academic Impact global initiative, from 15 October 2011 to 9 January 2012.

The design, a bicycle that is easily and cost-effectively modified for use in remote areas where people have little access to motorised and public transport, will be part of Cooper-Hewitt’s  “Design with the Other 90%: CITIES” exhibition series.
Design with the Other 90% reflects a growing pre-occupation among designers with design’s capacity for solving social problems. Traditionally design served 10 % of the population; hence its hitherto elitist status. But this has changed in the 21st century – in tandem with the huge leap in growth of cities around the globe – as designers increasingly submit design to the service of development and seek to work with underserved communities to find effective, affordable and appropriate solutions to urban challenges.
The Cooper-Hewitt’s “Design with the Other 90%: CITIES” exhibition series aims to show how design “can address the world’s most critical issues.” The 5,000 square foot exhibition space will display projects and products that focus on designs informed by poor communities, and will address issues such as alternative housing, low-cost clean water, accessible education initiatives, sanitation and solid-waste management, transportation solutions, innovative systems and infrastructure, and urban design and planning.
Putting people at the centre of design is imperative in a Design with the Other 90% approach This includes communities in determining the design solutions through participatory or co-design processes.
Industrial designer Roelf Mulder (pictured top), XYZ’s managing director, led the design team who developed the bicycle and cart as part of a workshop on Sustainable Rural Transport – Technology for Developing Countries. The modular bicycle was designed for easy assembly and maintenance without requiring specialist skills or equipment.  The delivery of rural transport infrastructure and services could be a significant catalyst for sustainable economic development and improved social access and poverty alleviation in South Africa’s outlying areas. The national Department of Transport provided funding for the development of prototypes.
XYZ designs have featured in numerous other global design exhibitions including  the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Triennial in 2010, the EXD09 exhibition in Lisbon, Portugal in 2009, the New Africa design exhibition in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2007, the Universal Forum of Culture exhibition in Barcelona, Spain and the Romad+design piu exhibition in Rome, Italy in 2006.
Locally XYZ’s 4SECS condom applicator won the Design Indaba’s “most beautiful object” award in 2007, and its designs have been part of the permanent collections of the MOMA  since 2005 and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London since 1998.