2008 The Global Studio - Thinking out of the Box project in collaboration with Auburn University and the Great Southern Woods (GSW). For more information about the Global Studio see http://theglobalstudio.eu/global_studio_projects_box.htm
The video was produced by Laura and Rachel
Laura and Rachel, who studied at Northumbria University, were the members of the Design for Industry team. They both had a background in design research and Service Design. This worked well as their interests were similar enough for them to believe in the unusual direction they had chosen to take, but their skills varied enough to make the tasks manageable and enjoyable.
The ‘Thinking Outside the Box’ project was about helping a timber company based in North America to expand their product range, and the company already had some quite specific requests. The company wanted to develop range of packing boxes which would be used by a moving companies or individuals to move or store their house content. However, Laura and Rachel found that as they understood more about their client and their needs, the project evolved to become more about how to encourage people to consider to buy these new products, rather than what the products actually were and how they worked. This was important because our initial research made it clear that most people (accepting our limited research participants) could not conceive a use for the client's intended product, so they wouldn't buy it! We hoped to add value to the client in the way we thought they most needed it, rather than the way they expected it. This also resulted in a product much more suited to both our skills and interests.
The video was crucial for us to be able to show our clients the discovery we had made – that people did not see an immediate use for their new product and they might need to be shown/encouraged. It was important the client was persuaded by this first hand research as the consumer opinion was much more powerful than just being told the opinions of designers.
Making the video was an enjoyable task that helped us to focus on the aims of the project – persuading the client that they needed to invest in their marketing and branding in order to be successful with their new product line.
The importance of following your gut instinct and being unafraid to question the intent of a brief, but always backing up that instinct with research and persuasive evidence.
The video was very worthwhile, but did take a long time to edit and compile, we have both used this technique again, but only when it was the most appropriate method in order to justify the time involved. The benefit of using video is that it can be used to tell a story, as well as persuade the audience, and so is definitely a media that will be used by both of us in the future.
Laura can be contacted via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel’s email is: email@example.com
More information about the Global Studio is available from: http://theglobalstudio.eu or a mirror site http://theglobalstudio.info