Revolutionary Measures

Celebrating Cambridge design

Good design is at the heart of successful products – just look at devices such as the iPad and iPhone.

Sinclair C5

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And when I say design it isn’t just whether it looks pretty or cool but something that delivers a good user experience – essentially creating a product that is simple and intuitive and delights the customer every time he or she uses it. Not an easy thing to do, but get it (and pricing) right and you have a timeless classic.

A new event aims to showcase some of these classics that have been designed in Cambridge and had an impact across the world. Design Icons: Cambridge Innovation Festival will celebrate the design talent in the area by highlighting some of the key products of the last 40 years. The range of products is incredible, stretching from the well-known, such as the Sinclair ZX Spectrum and BBC Micro computer to those with less obvious Cambridge connections such as the Dulux PaintPod and the Proprio prosthetic foot.

The event, organised by Creative Front Cambridgeshire and backed by the Design Council, will take place throughout February 2012 combining a high profile exhibition and design-related events across the city.

90 products have been nominated, but only 20 will make it to the exhibition. 19 will be chosen by a panel of industry experts with the public having the chance to have their say and nominate the People’s Choice. Voting runs until 31st December 2011 so log on now to www.camdesignicons.co.uk and make your selection. My money is on the sleek, elegant and completely impractical Sinclair C5 electric vehicle….

 

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December 12, 2011 Posted by | Cambridge, Creative | , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Leading from the Front

The west end of King's College Chapel seen fro...

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When people think of Cambridge the things that tend to come to mind are the university, technology hub and biotech/healthcare industries. But it is also one of the UK’s creative hotspots, with the creative industries employing 12,000 staff across Cambridgeshire and contributing £1 billion to the local economy. 24 per cent of the UK’s game developers work in the county, which was news to me.

While we creatives have been talking to each other (through initiatives such as the excellent CamCreative) clearly the creative industries have been hiding their collective light under a bushel.

Hence the formation of Creative Front, an Anglia Ruskin University-led initiative designed to be an umbrella for creativity in the county. Perhaps symptomatic of the fragmentation in the sector, it has taken four years to get off the ground, and has just about launched its website. This aims to be a one stop shop for those looking to buy creative services or network with colleagues, get training or mentoring and advertise jobs etc.

Having heard Caroline Hyde from Creative Front talk I can see in principle that it’s a much-needed idea. But I do worry that it’s taken four years to get to an average looking website and there don’t seem to be clear plans for building thought leadership (and business opportunities) for Cambridge creatives nationally and internationally. Asking the 12,000 creatives what they want is going to get you a similar number of radically different answers. In a city crammed full of networking organisations and hubs Creative Front is going to have to differentiate itself and deliver value quickly if it is to achieve its laudable aims.

 

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April 1, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment