Design Fusion & Future Ideas
Collaborating With Designers To Imagine The Future
At Untapped, our mantra is fusing the art & science of innovation to create big ideas for our clients. Over the past number of years, we continue to see the pattern that our best ideas and innovation come from fusing unobvious connections from many different sources.
One deliberate way that we drive these unobvious connections is to involve a variety of freelance designers in our projects. While consumer insight is important in any project, we recognise that it is difficult for consumers to predict the future. They can tell you what they like, love and hate today, but imagining what is next is very challenging for them. In contrast, designers from the fashion, beauty, textile, industrial and other worlds are out there, every day creating their version of what they believe the future will look like. By fusing their thoughts with robust consumer understanding and technology possibilities it frequently leads to breakthrough thinking for what could come next.
To catalyze this process we use a variety of methods at Untapped to connect different schools of thought. In some cases our designers join client-facing workshops to inspire the client teams with their current work and points of view and in other cases, our designers peer review product and service ideas once they reach a certain stage of development which allows for direct input and guidance for emerging product and service attributes based on where they believe the future lies. There are no hard and fast rules for this type of collaboration, it depends on the project & business objective and culture of the client team.
Looking more broadly outside Untapped, design collaborations are not unusual. Fashion brands such as H&M have been collaborating with designers since before 2004 (http://www.vogue.com/article/hm-designer-collaborations-ranked), Harvey Nichols have their ‘Holy Grail’ beauty project which enlists a series of beauty influencers to test a variety of products and rate their favourites (http://www.harveynichols.com/news/2017/01/20/holy-grail-2/), and Intel has recognised the power of creative minds and have appointed will.i.am as their Director of Creative Innovation (http://will.i.am/category/technology/).
Here are some of our favourite designers that we would like to thank for recent collaboration projects …
Award winning textile & material futurist Steph specializes in woven textiles and materials and the intersect between craft and digital design. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Steph is fascinated with how textiles and tactility are changing and how materials can inform product design. Her previous clients include Hugo Boss, Land Rover and Nokia. http://www.stephanierolph.com/#!about/cjg9
Charlotte Hayward is a leading hair and make up artist based in London. Her clients include stars such as Emma Watson and she has worked on films such as the Harry Potter series, X-Men, First Class and Sweeney Todd. A self-confessed beauty junkie Charlotte also regularly reviews a range of beauty & hair products and has a strong point of view on product design. http://charlottehayward.co.uk/
Rebecca Corbin Murray
2015’s top stylist to watch, Rebecca is a leading British stylist best known for her work with Downton Abbey and Cinderella star, Lily James. Based in London she travels around the world for a variety of different clients and events. Other clients include Doctor Who’s Jenna Coleman, Holliday Grainger and Jessica Brown Findlay. https://www.instagram.com/rebeccacorbinmurray/
Our design collaboration case studies also extend well beyond the worlds of fashion, beauty and textiles into co-creation & design thinking with graphic and industrial designers and illustrators, product development with food, health and nutrition specialists and Future Forecasting with leading semioticians. With every collaboration we discover unexpected connections that complement consumer and technology insights, consistently leading to new and differentiated ideas.
If you would like to find out how design collaboration could help fuel new ideas for your business, we would love to hear from you!