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Posts Tagged ‘Product Design’

Without limits: The weird and wonderful world of fantastical one-off design

Posted Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

What happens when top designers are given the freedom to create whatever they want? Something weird and wonderful, says Sophie Lovell
The Independent, Saturday, 25 April 2009

What we need is obvious, says the great German industrial designer Dieter Rams: “Less but Better” – less junk, less pollution, less waste, fewer “things” altogether and in their place, better, more refined, essential tools for living. And of course he is right. So why do we need new chairs that we can’t sit on, conceptual artefacts that serve no obvious purpose and strange remixes and hybrids? In order to find new solutions designers need to experiment. Now, more than ever, they need to question every given, test every avenue and challenge all our preconceptions if they are to help find new ways of moving forward.

The realm of design, like many other disciplines, is now challenged to fulfil an increasing number of roles: to keep up with new materials; to facilitate our increasing technological dependence; to help make the world a better and more sustainable place, yet also balance all that out with the demand for the trophies of conspicuous consumption and an unquenchable desire for novelty.

Many designers think of themselves as explorers, testing the boundaries of materials, processes and mediums. They are committed to experimentation, and a growing band of gallerists, patrons and curators are nurturing these experiments in the form of one-offs, prototypes or limited editions. Thus the most fascinating innovations in design are now coming from an unexpected quarter: where it brushes against… the realm of art, and of conceptual art in particular. These pioneering individuals are asking some big questions. What is design? What does it mean to call oneself a designer? What are the roles of objects and products? If design is to provide so many solutions, where does it have to go to find new answers?


Grant Assisted design

Posted Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Are you interested in Design Assistance this year? You can apply for design assistance in the following areas:
Concept design
Product Design / development
Engineering design
CAD modelling and visualisation images
• Rapid Prototyping (FDM)
Website design and build
Graphic design
Branding and Marketing

If one or more of these could be of benefit to you please have a look at the full or part-funded options available to you below or call to discuss. Most of these are applicable for Midlands based enterprises:

Manufacturing Advisory Service Assist 1
MAS assists are 50% funded projects intended for all stages of the design process including rapid prototyping. They can’t be used for graphic design or marketing but can be used for websites in certain cases where it provides a link into the manufacturing/ordering process.
MAS allow a single 10 day assist or two 5 day assists per year.
http://www.mas-wm.org

Manufacturing Advisory Service Assist 2
MAS also offer a larger pot of 50% funded money (£5000-£15000) for large projects which will provide strategic change within a company. These projects need to be linked to manufacturing in some way with the aim of increasing jobs, sales, productivity etc within the company. It is open to any company within the west midlands. These projects are intended to be 10-30 days of work over approx 9 month period. Payment from the client would be required monthly.
http://www.mas-wm.org/www/servicesStrategicChange.htm

Advantage Proof of concept fund
This is a Fund for established start-up businesses in the west midlands. It is intended for innovation and product development providing 75% funding up to £30000.
All sectors considered but priority is given to advanced materials, healthcare, Energy, prototyping, transportation and digital media.
Money is paid to the company retrospectively based on invoices. The Fund is limited in the number of awards it can provide each month. Estimated application time – 6 weeks.
http://www.advantageproofofconcept.co.uk

LEGI Assist
Location: Coventry only (post code check req.)
Provides assistance to Start-up businesses – £500 grant to start business, business mentor, hot desk facilities etc.
Support for existing businesses – business coaches, support packages and a onetime grant of £2000, £1500 of which can be spent with us on consultancy services.
We are an approved LEGI supplier and can provide the consultancy services for businesses with less than 25 employees. The grant money can be spent with us on Product, graphic, or web design.
http://www.legicoventry.co.uk

Business Link assist
We are also registered as a business link west midlands supplier. Company’s involved with business link will have access to grants providing 50% or more match funding e.g.
• High Growth Programme – For pre-start and new starts that are going places. Average grant value £2,500.
• Diversification – breaking into new markets. Average grant value £9,000.
• European Regional Development Fund – variety of projects in objective 2 areas – grant value £5,000.
• Creative and Knowledge Industries – media, publishing, software, art.
• Access to Finance – help to raise money through loans, investment and major grants. Average grant value £2,500.
This is currently only within the West midlands but eventually we will be on the National Database of suppliers. Business link assists can be for websites, product design and development, and marketing.
http://www.businesslinkwm.co.uk

Innovation Networks
Innovation Networks provides grant support to West Midlands based SMEs who are innovating with a new product, process or service.
There are two grants available, a £10,000 Revenue Grant or a £15,000 Capital Grant. The grants are quick and easy to apply for. The simple application process normally takes no longer than 2 to 3 weeks.
Innovation Networks has just secured funding for a further 3 years and will be up and running in the near future.
http://2wm.co.uk/innovation-networks/


 
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