Great Expectations: Design Teaching, Research & Enterprise


The Keynote Presentation: THE IMPORTANCE OF DESIGN

by Sebastian Conran Conran2016epde.pdf 14.5MB


There is a clear business-case for using rigorous Design Process and Creative Thinking tools in early stage innovation can be even more effective for industry for multiple reasons: more innovative & appealing products, simpler manufacturing, quicker responsiveness, and shorter product-development timescales. All of which leads to greater product resilience, customer satisfaction, less aftersales resource and ultimately better profitability

Although its meaning has become quite nebulous the word Design derives from Latin designare; scheme, plan, mark out, devise, choose, designate, appoint. The designer is literally "one who schemes" and creates the vision for others to follow.

Traditionally Britain has a culture that believes in amateurism and that anyone ‘creative’ could design something nice. There is often a tendency to view design as a sort of marketing tool used in the selling process to package and communicate the product offer. However in a contemporary world - whether Porsche, Dyson or Apple - if aiming to offer globally outstanding product then excellent thoughtful design is essential to achieve success.

Professional design exists within a wide bandwidth of disciplines including: industrial, architecture, interface, product-styling, graphic and fashion. Designers tend to specialize in specific fields such as: automotive, built environment, luxury, strategic, branding, or web design. For example industrial designers are trained and experienced in product innovation and industrial fabrication. They are skilled at collaborating successfully within technical teams throughout the product development process; they tend to think rigorously and in the long term. However with buying seasons twice a year the more intuitive fashion designer is obliged to follow an entirely different schedule.

The choice of which discipline is appropriate for a specific task, and when & where in the innovation process is best applied significantly impact on the outcome of a project. What is the scale and impact of the challenge – do you need a nurse or a neurosurgeon, or perhaps a more of a generalized practitioner?  Whatever the choice of designer, both talent and experience can count for a lot and some are better than others.

The one thing that all designers should have in common is that they employ their creativity and experience to create the maximum Value (as in perception of fair exchange), whilst using available resources as efficiently as possible. Another way of looking at it is that value consists of brand, design and quality, divided by cost.

Key Message: Outstanding design can leverage excellence and success from your business; do not leave it too late, design is not just the marketing graphics & logos, wrappers & websites, posters & packaging – although it is part of it, this comes towards the end of the process. Design needs to be the first thought as well as the last.

Conference Introduction

The 17th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education was hosted by the Loughborough University Design School in partnership with the Design Education Special Interest Group (DESIG) of the Design Society and the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED). The conference brings together representatives from Education, Design Practice, Industry and Government agencies that have an interest in developing new approaches and direction in Design Education. The conference provides a forum for participants to discuss current educational issues and to identify new approaches, address new challenges and shape new directions for design education.
This year’s conference theme concentrates on the growing expectation surrounding Design Teaching, Research and Enterprise.  The conference aims to reflect on the expectations of academics, students and industries concerned with the discipline of design and promote informed debate to explore, navigate and manage expectations and delivery.


Conference Progrogramme

Conference programme can be access from this link

Conference Registration

Conference registration is will open in May 2015. Details of costs and how to register may be found here.


Conference Travel and Accommodation

>> Hotels and Transport and Joining Instructions


Participation in the conference may take a number of forms: