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'See more' potential

In the last month we have been all over the country from Darlington to Southampton, following the 2015 Solidworks launch events with our VAR Solid Solutions.

Without a doubt the highlight was the main event at the Motor Centre, Gaydon with over 350 people attending and Richard Seymour (of Seymour Powell) as the guest speaker.

His was a presentation that has made me take a fresh look at the industry we are in and the power that we have as designers, engineers and manufacturers to ‘make a difference’.

Granted, we can’t all change the world due to day to day logistics and limitations, but if what I’m about to share motivates you to ‘think outside the box’ a little and get excited about ‘potential’, like it did for me, then that’s no bad thing - and it’s all within the spirit of fun!

Solidworks launch 2015Richard had fairly tough acts to follow, as guest speakers at the event in previous years have included Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Olympic cyclist, Chris Boardman. But he certainly didn’t disappoint. He delivered a very impressive, highly motivational speech to the designers and engineers in the audience, that highlighted the potential influence that they have on people’s behaviour. When I say “impressive”, that really doesn’t do it justice as I haven’t stopped repeating excerpts from it yet!

I’m as guilty as the next person at getting lost in the minutiae of day-to-day manufacturing challenges and losing sight of the bigger picture. So I for one found it fascinating to step away from the daily issues around how we “get things made”, to reflect on the impact of the products we’re producing and how people use them.

I’ll illustrate my point with a brilliant example that Richard shared. It’s the ‘deepest litterbin’. You can watch a short YouTube clip of the bin in action here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tcrhp-IWK2w.  

Who would believe that such a very simple idea of putting audio feedback into a litterbin would result in 75% more litter being collected than in an adjacent bin?! As can be seen in the YouTube link, a good deal of laughter was generated at the same time, and people’s behavior certainly did change.

Solidworks launch 2015Richard also made us reflect on who we are designing for and how people and generations see and use things in different ways. Richard demonstrated his point with a picture of a typewriter. Of course everyone in the room could identify what it was. But consider explaining the product to a child from today’s electronic age. What would they, your potential clients in ten years time, see? They do not see a typewriter. They see “a laptop with built in printer that needs no power”!

It certainly got me thinking and looking for examples where a bit of fun could radicalise the daily grind. So, if you have a minute, and for the sake of ‘professional development,’ check out…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsnOZKoxf20 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4o0ZVeixYU

All good fun and I hope they brought a smile to your face to, but seriously, isn’t that the power of design at work?

Thank you to Richard Seymour and Solid Solutions for a very memorable presentation. 

Any comments or questions? Please contact us and we will be happy to help.

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