[Herald Design Forum 2016] ‘Design innovation is the power of product, future’
Published : Oct 11, 2016 - 17:09
Updated : Oct 12, 2016 - 08:32
In a world where innovation is driven by technology, creating a vision of innovation starts with designers, who can give consumers an experience through innovative designs, according to Dick Powell, co-founder and chairman of design and innovation company Seymourpowell.

“Years ago, when we did research about the future of TV, we expected some interesting opportunities beyond an ordinary TV in the living room, and now we are seeing slimmer and aesthetically designed TVs that are changing our lives,” said the UK-based industrial designer who will be speaking at the Herald Design Forum in Seoul on Nov. 8.

At Seymourpowell, alongside his business partner Richard Seymour, Powell has worked on thinking outside the box. They came up with innovative designs for kitchen bins, razors, burglar alarms, economy class seats on airplanes, shopping carts, toilets and a specially designed bra for heavy breasts.

“Design is not the answer to everything, but for any business that wants to make a product durable, a successful product requires design innovation which can change the culture of the business -- which can be both visible to the company and outside the world,” Powell said in an interview with The Korea Herald.

Powell is the current chairman of D&AD -- a British nonprofit firm established in 1962 to promote and inspire thinking in design and advertising.

Dick Powell (Herald Design Forum)

Powell is also a mentor to the team at D&AD and has continuously called on government and business leaders to recognize the value of embedding design and creativity into the DNA of British businesses.

“It all comes down to education, including design education. I believe a tiered design education can identify and nurture talented and creative designers, where they can also explore their capabilities on their own,” said Powell.

Powell also added that government support for the growth of the design industry is significant.

“Government can help a lot, as they can give a strong voice about design to inform everything it can do from education to trade to promotion,” said Powell.

With over 30 years of experience, Powell said that design is not just about being different or more stylish, but about being better -- better for people, better for business and better for the world.

That is why he believes passionately in the role of creative people in shaping the future, particularly in the intimate relationship between innovation and design to create things, made better by design.

“Venturing into the unknown usually implies more risk and sometimes it takes time, but it’s innovators who forge the future. It’s the innovators who illuminate the future for others to follow,” he added.

By Kim Da-sol (