Author Archive

What underpins creative and successful innovations?

I am currently writing a book covering a well-trodden path – creativity and innovation – with design as an essential link between these two activities. These are topics that have interested me since joining

Black Inventors and Innovators: New Perspectives

As part of Black History Month, The Smithsonian Institute’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation held a week-long webinar series, from 16-20 November 2020, about Black and other inventors of colour

Patterns of invention, design and innovation – the case of vacuum cleaners

Today almost all households in industrialised countries have at least one vacuum cleaner. But after World War Two the adoption of vacuum cleaners was surprisingly slow, and it was not until 1955 that half

155 card-based design tools

In November 2017 I wrote a Design@Open blog on some preliminary findings of research that James Warren and I were doing on card decks as tools for designers and designing. Since then we have

Professor Godfrey Boyle

Professor Godfrey Boyle, Emeritus Professor in the Design Group at the Open University, has sadly died. After studying Electrical Engineering at Queens University, Belfast and working as journalist for Electronics Weekly, in the early

Bauhaus 100

The Bauhaus –one of the world’s most influential art and design schools – was established by Walter Gropius in Weimar, Germany in 1919 and this year the centenary of its foundation is being celebrated

E-bikes charging ahead?

Has the time for e-bikes – electrically assisted cycles – arrived at last? E-bikes have been available for many years, and popular in China and parts of continental Europe, but only bought in small

Where do creative ideas come from?

‘All designers probably say the same thing, that inspiration is everywhere and in everything. We study the work of great mathematician and designer, Buckminster Fuller and others like him – it leads to new

Designing successful consumer products

I have always been interested in design, and as a child I was fascinated by the old washing machines, cookers and lamps in London’s Science Museum. As a teenager I wanted to be an

The world of card-based design tools

Sets or decks of cards – similar to playing cards – are a long-established type of tool to aid designers. One of the earliest examples is The House of Cards created in 1952 by