Strategic design

As a highly overused term it needs a little clarification. Design by its very nature has a strategic business impact especially when used to drive and deliver deliver new value and new meaning. Based on people, technology and design research, it enables you to drive market change and to create far more value through new relevant meaning. Another powerfull use is when utilized for strategic futures exploration to understand where people, your market and the world is going and how that could impact what we do and how we live or do business.

Looking ahead to create foresight is one of the most valuable and rewarding investments a company can make. Not just the usual year or two as most companies do (if at all), but to look into the ‘gray mists of uncertainty’ and to extract insights and premonitions that can help guide business creation and technology development.

It’s a powerful way to leapfrog market and competition by looking at how people are trying to live their lives around the world. As the cost of technology development is increasing and basic core functional elements are being digitized and commoditized it is for most companies also the only viable avenue to create ownable advantages and to focus development resources where these can be created.

Lead and end user involvement in articulating, developing, visualizing and refining future opportunities blossom when concepts are iteratively visualized as credible objects and software simulations, enabling deeper and richer engagement and feedback.

Creating physical instantiations of these future opportunities can also be a key communication tool in the dialog with employees, partners, the press, investors and markets to describe the corporate vision, the strategy to get there and why it’s worthwhile.

Navigator for tourists and visually impaired

The Sirius navigator project with DDC, developed to explore opportunities to improve the daily life of the visually impaired, by creating a pda/phone style navigator that through voice interaction and GPS signals can guide the user through a safe and direct journey. By integrating the needs of tourists who often have the same need for assistance in an unknown city it was thought to destigmatize the objects and service as well as to spread the costs.

Digital videocamera concept

This digital video camera based on the writable discs and large format viewfinder was created in 1988 as part of my thesis project at a time when video cameras where VHS, masculine and big resembling bazookas more that personal entertainment. It allowed both left and right hand operation and tried through friendly soft stying and an easy to use UI to redefine the camcorder. It was for number of years exhibited at the Design Museum in London and at the world fair in Osaka, Japan.

pda concept from the late 80's

This little pda concept was a quick study from the early 90’s looking at the integration of personal phones with large graphical UI and the personal digital assistants. At the time, phones where for car mounting and pad’s where non existent, so this model was used to establish a dialog of what would be desirable and appropriate with users and the press.

navigator for blind swimmers To help visually impaired swimmers achieve their fullest potential, this project proposed simple solution base on weak radio signals broadcast through the water from the lane dividers to a small head mounted receiver. By using a bone conductor to transmit the sound through the scull, the swimmers ears are kept unobstructed. lane transmitters for the navigator

The second part of the tool to help the swimmers navigate where these transmitters that through cables hung under the lane dividers transmit the signal to the head mounted receiver. A signal that gets stronger that loser the swimmer is to the divider and and strength of which can easily be adjusted to personal preference on the headset.

Philips standing cd concept

This more recent concept is not really strategic, but an operational exploration into opportunities to add enduser benefits to a very mature consumer product. By introducing a new interaction model and ways to place the product vertically on the table where there is rarely place enough, as it is. The concept is new yet recognizable and therefore a good starting point for enduser and sales channel dialog.

For obvious reasons most of the work in this areas is under NDA, but it’s a much under used business creation tool and an extremely cost effective way to explore business opportunities and create brand equity.

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