Consumer Product Design and Innovation: Past, present and future

Roy, Robin (2016). Consumer Product Design and Innovation: Past, present and future. In: Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference (Lloyd, Peter and Bohemia, Erik eds.), Design Research Society, London, UK, 10 pp. 3755–3770.




This paper summarises some of the content and conclusions of a new book which discusses the innovation, design and evolution of six consumer products – bicycles, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, electric lamps, television and mobile (cell) phones – from their original inventions to the present. It discusses common patterns of innovation, how environmental concerns and legislation have influenced design, and some of the effects these products have had on the environment and society. The paper also uses lessons from the successes and failures of examples of these products to draw out guidelines for designers, engineers, marketers, managers and educators on how to design successful new products and to design for the environment. It concludes with trends and sustainability challenges for future consumer product design and innovation.

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