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Good Design Awards 2016

Wow what a night. It certainly was a celebration and a great result. We were very honored to be awarded 3 awards on the night - 2 Good design awards  and a Best of Category award. to top it off we found ourselves as a finalist in the Product of the Year award. 

All I can say is that I'm so pleased for our clients who had the vision to invest in design and develop innovations in directions that didn't have defined results. The trust they placed in us and our collaboration together resulted in the awards we all received on the night.

Congrats to Christie Parksafe for a Best of Category for their A Series barbeque bench

Congrats to Christie Parksafe for a Best of Category for their A Series barbeque bench

Celebrating a great nigh with some other award winners

Celebrating a great nigh with some other award winners

Christie Parksafe - A Series All Access barbeque bench

Christie Parksafe - A Series All Access barbeque bench

Quest Engineering - MX Series Weatherproof Loudspeaker

Quest Engineering - MX Series Weatherproof Loudspeaker

Quest Engineering - UB1 Mounting bracket

Quest Engineering - UB1 Mounting bracket

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What design can do: Refugee challenge

The WDCD Refugee Challenge is a joint initiative between What Design Can Do, the UN Refugee Agency and the IKEA Foundation. It has called on the global community to submit ideas to improve the lives of refugees in urban areas. 

We collaborated with Green Co Water in their pitch to deliver access to clean drinking water in camp/ urban environments. Typically access to clean water is difficult but with the Pak Flat Tank an a collector this can be achieved anywhere where their is rain.

The images below show some of the concepts that were developed for the challenge. These form the basis of ongoing developments in expanding the effectiveness of rapid delivery of clean water collection and storage to disaster affected areas.

Adapting existing tarp structures into effective water collection devices.

Adaption of IKEA foundation shelter to deliver clean drinking water through compact guttering system. Concept enables reduced transportation footprint in combination with Pak Flat Tank yet rapid deployment on site.

Utilising the natural base created through a combination of Pak Flat Tanks communal structures can be incorporated to provide sheltered spaces for water collection but also community gatherings.

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Good Design Awards - Finalists

Congrats to Quest Engineering and Christie Parksafe on becoming finalists in the Good Design Awards for 2016. Its been a real joy to work with them in creating these innovations and we wish them all the best in the upcoming awards. 

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A Series BBQ shortlisted @ Good Design Awards

Its a trifecta. We are again so happy for Christie Parksafe to have been shortlisted for the Good Design Awards. Having been in the industry a long time it was great to work with a company that had the vision and drive to shake things up and forge ahead in a new direction.

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Q Mount UB1 shortlisted @ Good Design Awards

Awesome news again for Quest Engineering after getting the UB1 mounting system shortlisted at the Good Design Awards. It was a journey bringing this revolutionary mounting system to life. After a number of false starts it finally arrived. Again it's great to see Quest receive  recognition for the passion they have placed in design and integrating it into their development process. 

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MX series shortlisted @ Good Design Awards

It was great to hear this week that the MX series was shortlisted in the Good Design Awards. I'm so happy for Quest Engineering who started the journey integrating design into their products some 10 years ago. These products really embody their passion and drive for excellence and we are so pleased to have been there by their side. 

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A Series BBQ officially launched

April saw the unveiling of the much anticipated A Series BBQ bench for Christie Parksafe. A leader in the field of commercial public use barbeques, the A Series represents a huge leap in accessibility and contemporary design.

The A Series has been designed from the ground up to ensure everyone can access it effectively. The design has enabled people with in wheelchairs to interact with the BBQ in a natural manner allowing them to position themselves underneath it. Previously the only way to access park barbeques was to orient the chair side on, certainly not a natural cooking method.

Positioning of the hotplate also keeps it out of reach of little hands and the curved surfaces stop any potential accidents. 

The entire unit has also been design to be delivered flat packed. At only 300mm high the A series can be transported on a pallet anywhere in Australia or the world easier and cost effectively. Produced in Australia it showcases the viability of local manufacture in delivering globally competitive products.

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MX Speaker goes live

We are very excited to have one of our new products hit the shelves with the release of the Quest MX speaker series. It is the first audio installation loudspeakers to meet the highest environmental ingress and audio fidelity standards whilst being available at an affordable commercial audio cost.

The MX was designed to “fit in” to any architectural space where typically environments are as unique as their audio challenges. All of the exterior surfaces of the MX are curved allowing a soft distribution of light and combined with the material significantly reduce any light reflection that may occur. The high fidelity audio delivers exceptional performance allowing architects and venue designers to create a seamless full range audio presence.

In addition to the many advancements in audio performance the MX series feature are unique patented mounting system. Known as they QB-1 it delivers replicable positioning accuracy and outstanding weight carrying capacity in a simple, compact form.

After many months of development it’s great to see these advancements hit the shelves.

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Crowdfunding - a new customer experience

Since the Tactica One made its debut on Kickstarter we have been asked why we decided to use crowdfunding. Of course there are the obvious reasons around funding but when this is not necessarily the issue, why use crowd funding?

Just a small selection of the crowdfunding platforms available

Just a small selection of the crowdfunding platforms available

The reason we decided to use crowdfunding was to engage with our customer, our tribe in a meaningful way. Before the campaign all the time was spent researching the problem and developing a solution for it. We tried as much as we could to connect with our users but there was no way that we could have the same impact as we did during and post the campaign. 

What the campaign achieved was an increased level of exposure and interaction with customers from all around the world. We started receiving feedback even before the bottle openers were sent out and when they did begin to land in people's hand the feedback kept coming. And this part is what crowdfunding is all about, the connection with our customer.

Not only has our customer provided valuable insights into our product and how they interact with it but they have also been on the journey with us. In a world where people are inundated with product solutions, having meaningful connections with your customer is paramount. Think about how many product would a customer be intimately connected with from its very beginning...very few.

But how do you create the same type of deeper, meaningful connection within a normal retail environment. It all starts and ends with the story, for the story brings meaning but its meaning must resonate with the customer, and there lies the challenge. The more that we can empathize and understand the more opportunity there is to connect, and to begin your own story with the customer. Loyalty is built on trust and trust is built on a demonstrated history of listening, understanding and honesty.

 

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Melbourne Design Market

Tactica One debuts in Melbourne

The Melbourne Design Market showcased alot of local design talent and was the platform for the debut of Tactica One. The day started out at a chilly 3 degrees and keep its icy feel till the end.  Despite the cold weather the turn out was great with people from all walks of life attending. 

We had a great chance to speak with alot of people and get some great feedback. Many loved what they saw and were asking about the next innovation. It certainly got us thinking of getting our next product out before the end of the year. 

Marcus Cher of #MasterchefAU also dropped in to say and lend his hand to open a few brews. 

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Dubai a new centre of innovation

UAE design innovation coming to life

It's been with great pleasure that I've been involved with a new design development in Dubai, UAE over the last 12 months. This month saw me leave the cold winter of Melbourne only to arrive in Duabi to the hottest day on record, in the world, for the UAE. A blistering 53 degrees...ouch. 

Unfortunately I can't share any details about the project other than to say that once its finished it will be a sight to see. Not only will it have direct local benefits but it will also have implications around the globe. It also is going along way to showcase the UAE as an up and coming centre for design innovation.  

Below are a few of the pics of the trip from the Burj Arab to the driverless trains of the Metro.

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Sharktank goes Live

Feeding frenzie

Well not quite. Although we didn't quite get the outcome we would have liked it was an absolutely great experience. To get the opportunity to pitch to the sharks allowed us to understand peoples perceptions that have no exposure at all to the product previously. Like any development getting raw, unfiltered feedback is priceless. 

After about 40 minutes of grilling we had all the sharks bow out. It certainly gave time to pause and reflect on the innovation, its application, business viability and so on. The challenge is always to look at how you can take on board the feedback and build a better product/ business/ enterprise. Only time will tell our changes work.

For now you can see all the edited goodness by clicking the image below

 


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Delivering on ideas

Realising ideas

All great innovations start with an idea. The important thing to note is that no matter what  the challenges the idea was allowed to forge ahead to being realised. This is not an easy task. Throughout the development process reality begins to challenge the thinking and theories. These times become the defining moments, for dealing with challenges whilst maintaining the design integrity is what ultimately deliver great products.

Promises, promises, promises

In every development there are always supporters. Sometimes they are investors, crowd funding backers and even family and friends. Regardless of who they are one of the most important things is the promise, the promise that started it all off and allowed the idea to start becoming a reality.

In our journey to bring Tactica One to reality we started with an idea and a promise. It is one that helped drive us during the development and overcome the challenges we faced. Today we sit ready to start shipping out the Tactica One's to the many supporters of the project. It is our time to deliver on the promise we made some months ago.

Time will now tell if indeed we did deliver on the promise. Ultimately it is up to the supporter and the user to decide. I just can;t wait to see what happens in the next few weeks. Stay tuned...

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Good Design Selection Pick

TACTICA One has taken one step closer by being part of the Good Design Selection. In the coming months we should know if we manage to snag the Good Design Award. It's great to see the market feedback as it enters the market. From design awards to the consumers, the feedback so far has been great.

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TACTICA One - IDAward winner

Well it's been a big week for the us here with the TACTICA One winner its second award. This time with the International Design Awards in the US. From a large selection of entries it received a Bronze award in the homewares category. We are really pleased that it is getting accepted by the broader community. As always it is only when you release something into the marketplace do you only get to understand what people think. It's a great start for TACTICA One

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Tactica One takes out Platinum A Design Award

We are over the moon to have found out that the Tactica One has taken out the highest award in the A Design awards for 2015 - a platinum award in the home wares category. 

It's fantastic to see that all the hard work in the development of this humble bottle opener has resulted in such an award. Although we were confident you just never know what the results will be and if the judges understand the depth thinking and development behind the Tactica One. 

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Crowdfunding challenges - when things go wrong

Integrity, integrity, integrity

One of the challenges with crowdfunding is ensuring the integrity of the projects being listed. The system only works when you have projects that when funded move all the through to completion. Without this confidence falls and people stop backing projects.

I wanted to go through my own experiences with Kickstarter and crowdfunding. I have backed a number of projects from small to large. The one that I wanted to talk about today was the Colladjust. This was the first project that I backed and thought the idea really hit the mark as I was encountering these issues. After the viewing the project I decided to back it. What I didn't expect to see is what happened next. 

Over the following year there we few and far between updates that although starting out positive soon became evident that something was not right. What followed was a storm of negative comments that continue today. The very people that had supported the Colladjust and Mathew Hills had turned against him. The images links you to the 100+ comments that are looking for answers (below are just 2)

What this shows is the absolute need for integrity in a project and the people running it. Any backers or supporter can understand challenges that occur in a projects journey to reality. What they cannot stomach is when there is a lack of communication or honesty. The Colladjust project firmly sits in the camp where the majority of backers feel that they have been scammed. Although there may not have been an intention of this to occur from the outset, a lack of communication throughout the project has lead people to feel this way.

What is the greatest disappointment is that through this process a number of supporters have thrown in the towel and refused to support any more projects. Crowdfunding is an amazing new mechanism for ideas to seek the funding they need. Never before have people had access to funding so readily. We as supporters need to be more vigilant on the type of projects that we support as well as the funding sites themselves. They need to ensure that there is ultimately a mechanism that comes into play when there is a documented lack of integrity in a projects execution. After all, if more projects are allowed to fail then we all risk the future of crowdfunding

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Airpocket scores big on Kickstarter

Well the campaign has finally finished and to say that Trish has had a successful campaign may be an understatement. The Airpocket campaign managed to reach $49, 254 or 328% of the funding goal. It;s a great result and certainly demonstrates the pull of people power. In this short campaign Trish was able to not only secure funding for production but also demonstrate that there is a clear demand for the product. Well done!

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TACTICA One starts production

Its always great to finally get to see your ideas become a reality. Its what we live for, designing, developing and finally the realisation...there's nothing quite like it. Ultimately however it's when those ideas made real are placed into the hands of the user. That's when the true moment happens. When all else fades away and you are left with the only truth, their experience.

Well this week we are that much closer to getting the TACTICA One into the hands of our users as we start production testing. Last week saw the finalisation of the tooling and the first off tool samples start running of the tool. 

Often it takes some adjustment to get things right but we have been working with some master craftsman in our tooling team that have helped deliver a tool that's almost perfect. Our initial samples have been produced delivering excellent results.  

Further adjustments have meant that we are even closer to our production run which is expected this week. 

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