Category Archives: Design Studies

Quirky Presentation

Last friday,(24/02/12) my group and I made our presentation on Ben Kaufman and his journey to Quirky. We had spent many hours researching the company, getting in touch with Ben, and rehearsing the presentation so that it would keep the audience’s attention. We were quietly confident on the day while watching the other groups present about entrepreneurs from their own specialist subjects, but being the last group to present caused a few nerves between us. Everyone did a great job speaking on their parts, however technology was out to get us, so we suffered a minor hiccup with one of the slides which was quickly sorted. We received a lot of questions at the end of our presentation which suggests the audience were very interested in our research!
One slide in particular that kept the audiences attention was the live video feed of Quirky’s board meeting which we were able to tune into, get a mention and ask Ben some questions. The whole project has been a fantastic success and a great start in creating links and contacts in the design industry around the world!

Here is the link to the video feed of the board meeting with our questions.


Presentation Development

My group and I spent a lot of time in the studio’s putting together our presentation on Ben Kaufman, and his journey to success with his business, Quirky. His story is so inspirational to us as student designers, Launching his first product before graduating from high school, and only a few years later becoming the CEO of Quirky, a multi-million dollar design company. Just goes to show that if you think you have a good enough idea, you should never give up on chasing it!


Today my Design & The Market group started working on our shortlist for entrepreneurs to research and interview for our given brief. We narrowed it down to:

Phillipe Starck
Ben Kaufman

After conducting some initial research into each of these designers/businesses we decided to focus our attention on Seymourpowell and Ben Kaufman, as these are the most relevant to our brief.
We then found out as much about the two as possible without an actual interview, and came to a decision on presenting our work on Quirky. Our next step is to arrange an interview with Ben Kaufman who is the CEO of Quirky, whether in person or via skype is undecided.

Design & The Market

This is a module lead by Mike Press and Christina Hirst, its aims are to develop students entrepreneurial skills and knowledge of the business world in relation to their practice of design.
I have been encouraged to look into current business models then innovate and design new business ventures which will hopefully enhance my employability or even give me the foundation to start my own. I will also have the opportunity to work with outside organisations and professionals to benefit from their knowledge and experiences and to also develop contacts to aid me in my future career as a designer.
A large part of this module is maintaining a blog, which I am already doing, so all of the information is documented right here and can be accessed through the “design studies” tab at the top of my page(but you probably already knew that, if you’re reading this..).
This blog will be documenting my personal enterprise plan which details my research, sources of advice, information and my objectives as this plan will be the starting point for my self directed study in 4th year.

My first piece of work for this module is to do some background research on a designer/company with my group members for the “Enterprise Research Project”, then interview with them to gain as much valuable information on their business module as possible to be presented to my tutors.

Aphasia Awareness

During my 2nd year at University, I was given a brief for a group project about Aphasia Awareness. The brief was generally about finding a way to use service design to help aid people who suffer from aphasia in any way possible. Whether it was a physical product that made life a little easier, or a way to make the general public more aware of the disability.
Our findings are displayed below in the following report.

Our aim is to raise as much awareness about aphasia to the general public, so that when they interact with someone with a communication problem they know how to deal with the situation making it as easy as possible for everyone involved.

The concept that we  have come up with is to use manikins to represent people with aphasia, and place a number of them in busy public places. Each manikin will tell the story of a different person, how their life was before the stroke, how it is now, and an example of the struggle they go through with simple every day tasks.

The long term goal is to have an event such as this in every major city to spread the word as far as possible, the more people who know and understand what aphasia is and how to help those who suffer from it, the easier it makes life for those who do.

This link has a lot of information on the subject for anyone who isn’t familiar with the disability.

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