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  • Online Teacher CPD session video available now!

    If you missed the teacher CPD in August and September, you can watch the recording of the online session.

    Design Ventura 2017 online teacher CPD from Design Museum on Vimeo.

  • Design Ventura 2017 – Key dates

    6 September – Design Ventura goes live, video brief is available
    18 September – 20 October free workshops and visits to the new Design Museum in Kensington
    15 November – Submission deadline for entries
    24 November – Top 10 teams notified
    8 December – Pitching event
    February 2018 – Celebration Event
    February – March – Exhibition of top ten entries at the Design Museum

    You can find all these dates and more on the Tick list.

  • Design Ventura video brief now available!

    Anna Bullus, Gumdrop Ltd introduces the 2017 Design Ventura Brief.

    Design Ventura Brief 2017 from Design Museum on Vimeo.

  • Meet the 2017 Design Ventura brief setter

    Anna Bullus of Gumdrop Ltd and my gumboots, is this year’s brief setter.

    Anna left School to do a foundation course at Camberwell College of Art where she specialised in Three Dimensional Design and graduated with a Distinction. She went on to study Three Dimensional Design at the University of Brighton where her idea for the Gumdrop was first born. During her degree Anna specialised in plastics and material experimentation, which led to her developing an interest in recycling.

    One day when walking home from University, Anna decided to pick up every piece of litter she could find, take it home and Google each piece to find out what happened to it once it became waste, and if there were other uses for each material. Inside an empty crisp packet was a lonely piece of chewing gum that soon became the brainchild for her Gumdrops.  When Anna Googled ‘chewing gum’, to look at who was recycling it and what it was made from, she could not find anyone or anything that re-used chewing gum. She quickly realised that chewing gum was everywhere, and was a major litter problem that was going unnoticed, and with that Anna decided to give gum a second life.

    Anna found herself in her final year at Brighton in a Chemistry lab experimenting with different materials, temperatures, resins, you name it she tested it. After hundreds of experiments she came up with a mouldable material which could be used to manufacture a bin which would collect chewing gum and subsequently be recycled to make new bins, the Gumdrop bin was born. Anna breathed a huge sigh of relief knowing that she at last, had a product to use for her final year project, but little did she know this was going to become her career.

    After leaving University with a First Class Honours Degree, Anna gained experience as a Product Designer with Hulger, and Case Furniture as a Junior Product Developer in London. At the same time Anna was showcasing her ‘gumdrop bin’ project worldwide, this generated a huge amount of demand so much so that Anna decided to leave Case Furniture to set up her own company, to tackle the global problem of chewing gum waste.

    Anna needed to develop her material into a product that was commercially viable, so she approached the Polymers Department at the London Metropolitan University. Here, she spent three years developing her material from recycled chewing gum, now known as Gum-tec. Gum-tec can be used in existing manufacturing processes such as injection and blow moulding.

    With her material ready and a new Gumdrop bin designed and produced, Anna launched the Gumdrops in 2010 with Legoland being one of the first sites to take them on. The Gumdrops have now travelled far and wide across the UK. Gumdrop Ltd has attracted some fantastic companies like BAA, Royal Mail, Amey, ISS, Westfield Shopping Centres and Wrigley’s. The Gumdrop Bins are proving to be a great success and reduced gum litter by up to 46% in the first 12 weeks of use.

    It is not just the Gumdrop bin that has developed and grown. Gum-tec is now being used to make other products such as Gum-tec Gumboots, dog bowls, rulers, frisbees and sports cones. This range of products is set to expand and grow in the future.

    Anna has gone on to be nominated and win many awards for her innovative ideas, including being nominated in 2010 by the Financial Times for a place in the ‘Top 50 Women in World Business Ranking,’ in the same year she was also placed in Management Today’s ’35 Women Under 35 to Change the Future’.  In 2011 she was selected as one of Kevin McCloud’s ‘Grand Designs Green Heroes’, and also selected as one of the ‘Top 20 Young Entrepreneurs’ by Start Your Own Business Magazine. In 2012 she won Tomorrow’s ‘Best Cleaning Product,’ was given a  ‘Homes & Gardens Eco Designer of the Year Award,’ and was also placed in Wired Magazine’s ‘Europe’s 100 Hottest Startups 2012.’

    Anna aims to deliver innovation on a global scale and continues to pursue her goals by educating and inspiring the public to reduce chewing gum waste.

    The future’s green with a drop of pink.

  • Second place students visit Sebastian Conran’s Studio

    On Tuesday 25 April we had a visit from the team from Reepham High School & College in Norfolk. The team came second in Design Ventura 2016 with BluPrint, their wooden, laser cut interactive toy with pop out shapes that can be combined in different ways to create imaginative, fun characters.

    The judges thought BluPrint was a fun, creative idea which was very well presented and the team had developed a great prototype. To improve the product for sale in the Design Museum shop, the judges suggested that the team could develop their design with other design themes such as architecture or vehicles that may fit in with the Design Museum content.

    Their prize was a visit to the Sebastian Conran Associates Studio, to see behind the scenes of a product design studio and to discuss the possible development of their product.

    The team then worked with Sally Jones, a Design Museum Educator, to develop the marketing and a point of sale display for their product.


    At the end of the day the team had positive ways to take their fantastic idea forward.

    Thanks to Marie Favre and David Moseley for giving us their time.

  • Design Ventura Pitching Day 2016

    The Ventura Team were very impressed on Monday when our top ten schools came in to pitch their products to our panel of judges. Everyone looked smart and had sent in their presentations before the day, so there was time for all the teams to have a short run-through of their pitches and to get some feedback from our volunteers.

    The judges; Alice Black, Asif Khan, Chris Ruse, Michael Skapinker and Sebastian Conran had a tough job choosing which teams to award prizes to, but they have reached a decision and all the prize winners will be revealed at the Celebration Event in February.

    Our judges (left to right) Asif Khan, Alice Black, Chris Ruse, Sebastian Conran and Michael Skapinker.

    Our top ten teams in the auditorium before the pitches begin.

    The judges deliberating over the top ten ideas.

    The day ended on a very hands on activity – redesigning an Ikea lamp.

  • Design Ventura Shortlist 2016

    Congratulations and thank you to all Design Ventura schools that have completed the project by submitting an entry and participating in the project’s evaluation.

    Our panel of shortlisting judges have selected the top entries from the 240 schools who registered to take part, the shortlisted schools will be invited to pitch their idea to a panel of judges here at the new Design Museum in mid December.

    All schools that have submitted an entry will receive participation certificates in the post. The shortlisted schools will be contacted separately by email and letter with details of the pitching event.


    The Design Ventura top ten shortlisted schools for 2016 are…..
    (in alphabetical order)


    Alexandra Park School, London

    Grow up
    A flat packed plant holder that encourages the reuse of containers.

    Chancellors School, Hertfordshire

    Light up your life
    A DIY lamp kit with bendy legs to adapt to many terrains and uses.

    Dame Alice Owens School, Hertfordshire

    Forest Fits
    A unique set of seasonal themed coasters which fit together to create new shapes.

    Endon High School, Staffordshire

    Skyline Solvers
    A tactile, changeable puzzle with images of London’s most popular landmarks.

    Harrogate Grammar School, Harrogate

    Aqua Hook
    A water bottle hook that can be clipped to any loop outside of a bag to carry a bottle.

    Invicta Grammar, Maidstone

    Eazy Squeezy
    A device that can help you to make a cup of tea safely and without mess.

    Reepham High School & College, Norfolk

    An interactive toy with pop out shapes that can be combined in different ways to create imaginative, fun characters.

    St Marylebone School, London

    A biodegradable plant pot which changes colour when moist to reveal an image inspired by the Design Museum and to indicate when you need to water the plant.

    St Olave’s Grammar School, Kent

    Marble blocks
    A puzzle game which fits together to make a course for a marble to run through.

    Woking High School, Surrey

    A colour changing t-shirt to encourage young people to embrace each person’s individuality.


    Schools in this category will be contacted separately.
    The shortlist for this category is…..
    (in alphabetical order)


    Chigwell School, Essex

    Shadow stories
    A bedtime story aid that allows a scene or character to be projected onto a wall or ceiling with the use of a light or torch.

    Mill Hill School Foundation, London

    Flip Switch
    A product that allows children to expand their imagination by creating scenarios for their characters in iconic landmarks backdrops.

    Royal Grammar School, Newcastle

    Kit Control
    A visual checklist enabling the user to physically and mentally check off items of sporting clothing as they pack their sports bag.


  • Photographing your product or prototype

    As you begin to prepare your Design Sheets for entry to the Design Ventura competition, you will invariably be thinking about how you are going to present your ideas visually. Drawings work really well to show your design concept, and diagrams and technical illustrations to accompany your written explanations will show exactly how your product works.

    A prototype/mock up of your product is a great way of showing our judges how your design will work and how it will look, so please make sure you include photos of these prototypes if you can. Here are some tips for taking a great product photo:

    Natural Light
    Set up a table near a window for your photoshoot – sun diffused through cloudy skies or a white sheet makes an excellent setting for a product photo. Really bright direct sunlight or a camera flash create strong dark shadows and make products look less attractive.

    Use a big piece of paper or a plain colour piece of cloth as your background to make your product really stand out. To create a seamless sweeping backdrop, stick your piece of paper to the wall and drape it over the table in front and then place your product on top.

    Learn how to create a seamless backdrop in this tutorial from Fstoppers.

    Set your camera or phone up on a tripod to make sure the image won’t be blurry. If you don’t have a tripod, improvise! Find a place to rest your camera and use the timer setting to make sure the photo isn’t affected by shaky hands. Sometimes, even a steady hand can create a blurry photo, so find away to rest your camera securely on the table for the optimum shot.

    To really help the Design Ventura judges understand your design, it is a good idea to take photos of your product from a couple of angles. If it opens, show it open and closed. If it has a great design on the other side, make sure to take a photo of that.

    Photos are a great way of telling your products story – Globe Academy’s Design Ventura entry for a foldable plate, Dish Dash, used photographs to help explain how the product worked.

  • Tips for effective communication

    To be able to communicate effectively and engage your audience can be a challenging task and requires practice. Even politicians and public figures have practised speaking many times to develop this skill. The more you practice in front of a trial audience and ask for feedback the better you will be on the day of your presentation.

    From my own experience, speaking in front of an audience can be daunting. People pay as much attention to what you say as to how you say it.. So it is just as important to work on the way you deliver your message as the content.

    The key components of effective communication are content, structure and delivery.

    Ask yourself what you expect the audience to take away after your presentation and do not assume that your audience has previous knowledge about what you are going to talk about.

    Concise and simple content is more digestible than when it’s lengthy and detailed. Think about 3-5 main bullet points or headlines that best summarise your content.

    To structure your presentation it would be useful to ask yourself the below questions:

    • Who is your audience?
    • What is the problem?
    • What is your solution/idea?
    • What is your product?
    • What are the key features and how do they solve the problem?
    • Key takeaways

    Your presentation should be engaging to the audience – one person reading from a powerpoint is not very memorable. Some ways to make your presentation more engaging could be by asking questions, telling a personal story they can relate to or using puzzles and analogies.

    Body language, eye contact and tone of voice can also influence the impact of your message.Try using your arms when emphasising a strong point or modulate your voice.

    Planning ahead and practicing will give you confidence in communicating to an audience, not only when trying to pitch, but in any situation where you need present in front of a group of people..

    Finally, try to have fun and see your presentation as a chance to let people know about your unique idea!

    Written by Ha Dinh, Treasury – Deutsche Bank

  • Collaging Your Ideas

    A great method that will guide you though the design process and help you when collating your design sheets for competition entry is the creation of a collage, which by definition is a piece of art made by sticking various different materials such as photographs and pieces of paper or fabric on to a backing.

    Collage is a visualisation technique that can help you to determine and express the colour palette of the product, materials, shapes; the context and even your target market as this new universe that you’re creating needs to relate to them.

    How to create a collage

    1. Decide what you want to communicate and brainstorm words that relate to your project. Using abstract concepts at the beginning will help you to broaden your imagination and give you more possibilities.
    2. Search images that relate to those ideas. Use magazines, newspapers, Google, and gather as much content as possible. Analogies from different disciplines are great sources of inspiration.
    3. Select the most relevant images and start playing around. Decide the orientation of the background; consider the size of the images, their separation/integration and structure the composition.
    4. Once the collage meets your expectations paste everything together or if you’ve been working with online images then use Illustrator or Photoshop, as they are great tools to modify the images and make them look exactly how you would like.
    5. The collage summarises the concept you’re working on. So how do you know if it´s right? Show it to your teachers, friends or even to your mum and ask them what they see… if they mention some of the concept you brainstormed, you’re on the right track. You could use some of these collaged visualisations of your ideas as part of your entry sheets if they really help communicate the feel of your product.

    Collages help structuring, developing, analysing and presenting visual issues that are difficult to express in words so if the direction of the project hasn’t been defined or you’re struggling with the user/ colours/ context then doing one is a great way to develop your ideas or a great way to consolidate and express your ideas for your design sheets!

    By Design Expert Andrea Amistadi

  • The Design Process – From Crisis to Creativity

    How to navigate the design process from crisis to creativity, with real world design project experience from Design Industry Expert Andrea Amistadi.

    Andrea explains more:

    Being that this year’s Design Ventura competition relates to the theme of move I want to share a project, which my friend and I worked on while being design students. The assignment was to develop a contemporary dance costume whose shape had to change when being used.

    Where do we start? Research!
    We researched the concept of movement in different disciplines: art, dance, everyday objects and fashion, as we needed to understand how to translate that into a costume. Our first source of inspiration ended up being a Chinese lantern and how its shape and dimension change when you start playing with it.

    Inspiration and ideas!

    1. Op-art and kinetic art: colours and shapes to create optical illusions.
    2. Fashion: we needed to know what’s already out there.
    3. Contemporary dance: we had to understand the body in movement in order to create a costume for it. As a designer, you think about needs.
    4. Materials: soft, light, flexible and stretchy to allow movement.
    5. Colours: bright, they needed to be seen.

    Once we had enough information we created a prototype and tested it. Is it easy to wear? Is it too heavy? Does it actually change its shape? What isn’t working? We had a long process of testing, implementation, evaluation and redesign.

    Four days before our deadline, things weren’t going that well, we received terrible feedback when showing the prototype, it didn´t look good or interesting and it wasn´t working properly either. We were running out of time and freaking out. We started the project having a great idea, but by the end there was tension and we needed to find a quick solution if we wanted to make it work.

    How do you move on from crisis?
    First we needed to identify the problem. We asked for feedback, we went back to our research. We tested some of the solutions and realised that by changing the materials we would gain more flexibility and reduce the weight. So now we needed to refine the design which meant building it from scratch… Ahhhhh!!!!

    We spent the next three days sewing, making the weirdest dance moves, taking pictures, eating loads of crisps, not getting much sleep and also having fun.

    What we learnt from this experience?
    The design process is not a linear path; it’s all about keeping an open mind, finding ways to improve, being critical and researching. You might need to go back to the beginning sometimes to find a solution but that’s the way it works. Be open to opinions, curiosity and experiment. Talk to your team members, teachers and share your ideas with people that are not involved in the project, so you´ll get a fresh perspective. Ideas and solutions come from the most unexpected places, so keep your eyes open.

    So what happened in the end with our contemporary dance costume? Well… it ended up being published in a fashion and arts magazine and also was featured as part of an exhibition showcasing new products and trends of young designers. We were very proud in the end but it is the memory of that very long weekend when everything ‘clicked’ together, working as part of a team and having fun what we still remember the most.

  • Cheap Materials for Clever Design

    When thinking about good design, sometimes the most simple of materials can lead to innovative, cheap, practical or beautiful solutions.

    Paper is a fantastically versatile material; although it seems everyday, designers have elevated the material by using it in new ways. Even just considering different kinds of paper chair, as in this blog post, you can see the myriad different ways a simple material can be manipulated through clever design practice.

    This environmentally friendly chair by Peter Plantan and Nusa Zupanc uses a sandwiching technique, gluing together thousands of pieces of paper to create a dense structurally stable material almost like plywood. through layering and gluing, flimsy newspaper becomes strong enough to sit on. Check out their design blog to find out more about the design and construction process.

    This pop-up chair “Watching You”, designed by Sekita Design Studio, uses thin sheets organised in a waffle form to give it strength. If you push it from the side it will collapse easily and fold away, but when you exert downwards pressure on it by sitting down it should stay standing.

    Christian Feibig’s Polygonal Paper Chair is based on computer rendering of a Chesterfield chair using only polygonal faces. This chair looks beautiful, but do you think it would break if you sat on it?


    This chair designed by Anton Green uses folded paper in triangle shapes to create a really strong and “sittable” chair just from paper. This is an example of how great design can create a beautiful looking and functional product from a simple and inexpensive material.

  • How to attract your target audience through design

    Hopefully by now you’re well on your way to developing and refining your chosen ideas. During my school workshops I saw some really good beginnings of drawn and sketched designs. Here is my advice on how to use design to attract your chose target audience; consider this both from your product and a packaging design perspective.

    My two key areas I will talk about here are ‘colour’ and ‘packaging’. I’ve picked a few examples of projects as reference for you. One thing to note on both of these areas is to keep things simple; the more complicated you make the look of your designs and packaging, the less chance your audience is going to want to pick it up in the Design Museum’s shop and, ultimately, buy it.

    There are many ways to use colour in your designs and packaging, so try out plenty of options.

    Colour can be a tricky area for designers as colours can mean different things to different people and not all colours are effective as when you would expect them to be. For example, pink is a colour traditionally known to appeal to a female audience, but take a look at what cycling brand Rapha have done to utilise pink in their packaging, which mainly attempts to appeal to a male audience. The subtle use of the pink makes the products feel premium and looks well designed; not all use of colour has to be bold.

    On the other hand, a bold single colour on your designs and packaging can help your product stand out against others on the shelf. Take a look at how food brand Makers & Merchants brand and package their products; simply just with the use of a bright red colour which is striking and looks appealing.

    By not over complicating your packaging, your audience will quickly and easily be able to see your product and figure out its function.

    When designing your product’s packaging, think about how much packaging is actually needed. You will have spent lots of time designing and refining the actual look of your product, so perhaps minimal packaging could be used to attract your audience in the Design Museum’s shop.

    A few great examples of this are firstly from Mustang jeans, who actually used their jeans as the outer wrapping when a customer ordered a pair from their online shop.

    Secondly, take a look at the Turbo Flyer toy, a wooden snap-out aeroplane toy which is housed in minimal packaging which reflects the design of the product itself.

    By Industry Expert Paul Jenkins

  • Ask the Expert – developing design and business ideas

    Emilie: Expert Panel, do you have any final tips to share with teachers and students about developing designs and business ideas?

    Emilie: Or any final questions from Catherine from schools?

    Harry T: Only try help your students understand how important enthusiasm is in the pitch. If you think you’re idea is awesome, likelihood is others will.

    Catherine RS: Another question from Fitzwimarc School, for Christoph and Steven. What are the special qualities of past winning products?

    Steven Preston: All of the previous winners took something that was already familiar and gave it a unique twist; it was that creative re-imagining that added value and ultimately made their designs successful. I should also point out that each DV winner so far has been commercially successful in the shop

    Emilie: Yes there are lots of resources to help you on the website

    Chris Garcin: I think the discussion has raised some of the tips I was going to pass on – keep it simple, have the brief, or theme at the centre of an idea, think who goes to the Design Museum shop and what they would buy, explore ideas by sketching, get into rough models to try out ideas, have conviction in your idea and have fun!

    Komal: For those schools unable to visit the museum, we have lots of helpful blog posts from our Industry Experts.

    Catherine RS: That’s a great observation Steven, which I’m sure will be very useful to students. Successful ideas need to be unique, but also have something familiar that attracts customers.

    Christoph Woermann: There is no easy answer for special qualities that make a product pass straight over the finishing line. It is always a mixture of the creativity of the idea, the simplicity of its realisation, the commercial viability, a fun factor in having it, its uniqueness etc.. Never forget though that the presentation in the pitch is a unique chance to make to stand out. In the past we have seen social media campaigns, theatre performances, free prototypes and above all great fun with the pitching teams. This is an important part in the whole process, too. Hope that helps as a pointer.

    Emilie: Great point Christoph thanks, believe in your idea and go for it

    Catherine RS: Thanks Christoph – that’s enormously helpful. The competition is getting harder and harder, so ALL of the top ten ideas are potential winners, and it’s the personal conviction of the students alongside the idea that helps to push it through!

    Catherine RS: That’s it from me! My closing tip is to refer to the original brief and the judging criteria as you refine your idea and get ready to pitch in school.

    Emilie: What a fantastic web chat! Thank you all for joining us this afternoon, and sharing questions and expert advice.

    Emilie: Sadly we have run out of time

    Chris Garcin: Good luck students!

    Paul Jenkins: Thanks everyone, I hope I’ve been of some help! Good luck students!

    Harry T: Thanks for coming everybody. Best of luck with the rest of the competition. Maybe meet some of you at the celebration in the Spring.

    Christoph Woermann: To all the teams that participate in this year’s challenge: To take part already makes you a winner because you will learn a great deal about teamwork, meeting deadlines, operating a small business and realising that everything you really want will also happen. Good luck, you can all make it to the final round and remember, the design museum and the designers get always inspiration from you all.

    Emilie: our final chat will take place on Thursday 6 November 2014 at 3.30pm, on Chatzy, where we will share advice on: FINALISING IDEAS, PRESENTING AND SUBMITTING ENTRIES

    Emilie: Until then best of luck to all the students and teachers taking part, and thank you again to our Industry Experts for joining us and don’t forget submission date is 12 November 2014! Good luck again!

  • Design with environment in mind

    To consider and control both environmental and social aspects at the moment of designing can be a very hard job, but here are my top design products to inspire you:

    1. Reducing the amount of different materials used makes the product easier to recycle. This lamp uses only cork and metal, no screws nor glue.

    2. Using locally sourced materials reduces the negative environmental impact caused by transport and boosts local economies, usually improving social development. These containers were made in Mexico using the fiber of an edible fruit that grows from a vine that grows in the area.

    3. Considering standardised measures of materials can generate less waste. This desk was designed using one sheet of plywood with very little wasted.

    4. Making use of recycled, recyclable or biodegradable materials will reduce the environmental impact. This water container is made of recycled paper, which is easier to recycle than plastic.

    5. Painting a material usually complicates the recycling process. It’s nice to take advantage of the natural appearance of materials. This cube toy was designed taking advantage the natural beauty of the material.

    6. Looking after fair trade conditions will promote that products are developed in an environment that ensures decent working conditions and fair remuneration for workers. This means that a socially responsible product will improve the overall quality of life of the people involved with it. These baskets were made by indigenous people of the Philippines using traditional basket weaving techniques, with local materials upcycling old plastic containers. This project was made to boost this certain community.

    7. Designing for disassembly will help the people in charge of recycling the product making all parts easy to pull apart. This can be achieved by avoiding the use of adhesives to bond materials of different types. Mechanical joints are always better, like this wooden stool that uses no glue and no screws, it structures it self by the way it was designed.

    8. Giving a second function to a product causes the product to extend its use stage. This bottle cap doesn’t have to go in the garbage. It can be a toy instead.

  • Drawing helps you think

    Every designer draws. Getting your ideas down on paper helps you to make sense of your thoughts and create original work. Below are a few tips to help you with your sketches:

    KEEP IT SIMPLE!! Everyone wants to make their work look good but producing a masterpiece at the design stage just wastes time. A quick line drawing should be enough for you to get an idea of what your product does…some of the best designs have literally started on the back of a napkin!

    (Milton Glaser’s sketch and final design for the “”I ‘Heart’ New York”” identity)

    REFINEMENT . The best designs need a lot of refinement- design classic the Dyson Vacuum cleaner was redesigned 5127 times! So draw, draw, draw and draw again until you’re happy with the design of your product. A pencil and paper are a lot cheaper than a prototype!

    (James Dyson’s original Dyson vacuum cleaner)

    COLLECT IDEAS AND SHARE. Don’t worry if you don’t feel confident drawing your ideas. Fashion designer Paul Smith has a great ‘eye’ for fashion but lacks the skill to sketch out his designs. Instead he collects words and patterns to create a ‘mood board’ which shows his designers how he would like his clothes to feel, they then sketch up ideas for him to approve. Partner up with a friend in your group who can help visualise your thoughts.

    (Paul Smith’s notes and designers sketches)

    GOOD DRAWING/BAD DRAWING: Drawing is a safe way to make big mistakes and learn from them. No one is going to die over a bad drawing- so relax and let your mind wander to the craziest of places. And remember, the rubber is there for a reason…

    (Russian designer Nicolai Ladovskii’s design proposal for a block of flats in Moscow)

  • Prototyping – Making Ideas

    Now your team has an idea or even more than one. Time to test your ideas. Get making; prototyping; take your idea from a sketch on a page to something you can hold in your hands. Then you have something to show people – use their comments to help you make your idea stronger. Use anything: paper; cardboard; stick together other objects. Prototyping can be scary at first, but it gets easier the more you do it. And once you do, you will want to prototype every time you design.

    Below are some of great prototypes. Notice none of them are complicated or anything like the finished product.

    Bowtiful bow tie –

    Supersoaker –

    Dyson vacuum cleaner – and


  • What makes a good idea great?

    Enterprising ideas: Simple ideas with big appeal – what makes a good idea great?

    Explaining what makes a good idea great is tricky, first it’s understanding what makes a an idea ‘great’ in the first place.

    Personally, I think it’s an idea which makes you smile, it captures your full attention, you immediately ‘get it’, you value it’s cleverness, usefulness or sheer beauty.

    You don’t have to be an experienced designer to hit upon a great idea, the process gets easier with experience, years of brain training! But with applied dedication, curiosity, perseverance and imagination anyone can come up with that winning idea. It’s all about having an open, enquiring mind. And, the time to properly consider and develop your thinking into strong concepts.

    Remember, everything’s been done before, it’s about learning from what’s been done and making things even better. A completely innovative, fresh new idea will always stand out, that’s what you should strive for.

    To be really ‘great’ the idea really has to answer the brief in the most succinct way, the simpler the better.

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