A unique opportunity to learn more about the importance of design within the context of manufacturing.
World-renowned designer Sebastian Conran was our guest speaker at the seminar on designing and manufacturing the future, part of the series of Design@WMG events hosted by our Experiential Engineering Group and WMG centre HVM Catapult.The event took place on Wednesday 10th May in the International Manufacturing Centre.
The talk entitled “Form Follows Fabrication” gave attendees an insight into creating aspirational, innovative and successful user experiences, through Sebastian sharing his experiences from 40 years in the design industry.
The exceptional turnout at the event included WMG staff, students and guests, interested in hearing from an internationally recognised designer, on the significance of design and innovation, and the future of manufacturing.
(Photo credit - Jannecke Nilsen)
Form Follows Fabrication
There is a virtuous circle: Excellent Design and Manufacturing creates Value, which in turn generates Sales and the Wealth that funds the Culture that eventually influences Design.
However good user-experience led product design & engineering is, it may become irrelevant if items or service are not chosen & purchased in the beginning. This is especially true today with on-line trading offering such a bewildering choice compared to the retail offering at the beginning of the 21st century. Nowadays, good design is no longer enough, it needs to be exceptional to win sales success - a key purpose of design is to create value in the mind of the consumer - and without this there is no trade and business will wither & die.
So how do we transform great Science, Technology, Manufacturing and Engineering into outstanding User Experience, Consumer Lifestyle and Social Culture? Today's innovative technology needs not just deliver functional behavior it also needs an appealing personality and to be emotionally engaging for it to be commercially successful; here design can also play a powerful role in bridging the gap between academic research and an accessible & engaging consumer experience.
Industrial Designer Sebastian Conran shares his 40 years of insight in working across the world creating aspirational, innovative and successful user experiences at many different value tiers from innovative childcare merchandise and emotionally engaging robotics, to luxury automotive leather goods and Concorde interiors.
An engineer & inventor at heart, Sebastian Conran has design in the blood. He focuses on designing technologies to make them more emotionally engaging. Passionate about designing thoughtful, stylish products that are satisfying to use, he believes ‘form follows fabrication’ and by clearly understanding how things are to be made and how they are to be used and experienced. He has created a plethora of enduring, designs that have received many design & innovation awards and patents.
Now an internationally recognised designer, Sebastian Conran majored in Sciences at school, then studied Industrial Design Engineering at Central St. Martins, when he also collaborated with the Clash designing clothing, record sleeves and posters.
He started his professional career at Wolff Olins in the late 70’s designing branding for the likes of Shell and Pilkington Glass, before moving on to lead product design at Mothercare in 1981. His career has covered many fields of industry including the design of the last interior for Concorde.
In 1986 he founded Sebastian Conran Associates design studio, which he continues to lead. Sebastian likes to take a hands-on, down-to-earth approach to all his design studio's projects, and is intimately involved in all aspects of design throughout the innovation journey, sharing his wealth of design & making experience and manufacturing expertise with the design team.
From stacking shelves at Habitat in his teens to founding the Consequential Robotics startup, Sebastian's life has always been focused on understanding how things are made, sold and used and creating value in designs that enhance the experience of life. As well as ingeniously creating innovative and emotionally engaging designs, he has overseen many thousands of successful and enduring products all the way through from concept to consumer.