Design theory Posts

‘Ethical’ design – or the ethic of progress?

Published 21 November 2015

Years ago, I saw the great US graphic design writer Stephen Heller address a big crowd of students in London.

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Publicly funded design support for SME manufacturers

Published 2 April 2014

Over the years, governments have put very little money into supporting product design among SMEs. Here’s a review of the results of their work.

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Leading innovation through design

The fuzzy front end of product design projects

Published 8 August 2012

In innovation, the simple transfer of knowledge isn’t enough – but uncertainty isn’t all bad

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Obliquo design

Design alone can’t save UK plc

Published 2 July 2012

Making products attractive and user-friendly is a good idea, but it is no substitute for R&D and investment.

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Rethinking packaging

Smart Design: rethinking packaging

Published 12 April 2012

How electronic packs for pharmaceuticals work with mobile IT to improve patient adherence to medication regimens

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The craze for design thinking

Published 29 January 2012

The historical and social reasons why hip designers talk of little else. Plus: elements of an alternative.

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The Next Trend in Design

Published 17 January 2012

Given the alacrity with which design managers uphold and then forget about future trends, it’s worth asking: Where do such trends really come from?

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What’s so special about Dutch design?

Published 21 December 2009

In design one doesn’t necessarily accept ‘the problem as given’.

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Innovation is more than just design; a reply to Virginia Postrel

Published 16 March 2005

Early on in her 2003 book The Substance of Style (HarperCollins) Virginia Postrel celebrates our old friend, the Apple iMac.

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Toward the global concept

Published 15 October 1987

Twenty years ago, design was just beginning today’s upswing – but the US had clearly begun to regain its worldwide prominence in the field

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James Woudhuysen, 1979

Political economy: the survival kit for designers in the 1980s

Published 5 April 1979

This article was the first leader published under my editorship at Design magazine (1979-82). For all its narrowness and youthful excess, it marked out new territory for thinking about design

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