Design Strategy

Stanley Garage Door Opener Research

Client: Innovative Home Products, Inc.

This wide-ranging research effort studied existing information on the garage door industry, products and users, followed by a quantitative and qualitative study to determine the unmet wants and needs of users. Subsequent research activities were also undertaken in the design and development of the product and retail strategy. Instead of handing off a report, the research team created a matrix representing problems to be solved and opportunities for innovation. One of the key results of the research was the concept of the changing role of the garage as an extension of the home for food storage, home office space or exercise. This finding influenced designers to create a more appliance-like appearance and a color that blends into the finished garage environment.

Contact: Debra Hans,
Hauser, Inc.,
805.497.5810 ext274;

Designers: Hauser, Inc.

Andersen Windows Research

Client: Andersen Windows, Inc.

Andersen sped the development of its new line by placing designers on its research team and designer researchers on its development team. The resulting research shifted Andersen's focus from numbers to an intimate picture of the dynamic by which architects, builders or remodelers and ultimately homeowners choose windows. Two lines were developed to accommodate low and high-end homeowners.

Contact:Mark Prince,
Design Continuum, Inc.,

Designers: Design Continuum and Andersen Windows, Inc.

Avant Dental Handpiece Concept

This team went beyond innovations in usability and design to develop a patented process for manufacturing this one-piece plastic dental drill. At a price that is less than one quarter that of traditional metal handpieces, this high-performance drill lowers cost of ownership and operation and subsequently healthcare costs. The plastic model is built to last the same amount of time as a metal drill but is meant to be thrown away and replaced instead of prolonging the life through expensive servicing.

Contact: Michael Francis,
ZIBA Design, Inc.,

Designers: ZIBA Design, Inc.

Crossroads Concept

Client: Wilsonart International

Interiors of aluminum travel trailers never match the streamlined exteriors. This prototype turns the current Holiday Inn design into a suite at a boutique hotel in an effort to appeal to younger consumers. Replacing hardwood cabinetry, carpeting and vinyl tile and wall covering with laminate reduced weight and the attendant odors associated with the traditional materials and created a clean, modern look. Focus groups viewed the new interior as optimistic, fun and beautiful.

Contact: Alison DeMartino,
Wilsonart International,

Designers: Wilsonart International, inside design and C.C.D.

Windstar Solutions

Client: Maytag Appliances

"I live in my car" takes on new meaning with this concept vehicle developed by Maytag Appliances and Ford Motor Company. Mini appliances are integrated into the unused spaces of the van to perform household functions of laundry and microwaving on the road while a home solutions console provides a wireless link to the owner's home appliances. This allows the owner to turn on his dishwasher from the road or check that he has turned off his oven.

Contact: Kristen Petrillo,
Leo Burnett USA,

Designers: Maytag Appliances, Ford Motor Company and Blue Dot

mAcrowave: New Frontiers for the Modern Microwave

Whirlpool designers set out to redesign the microwave, which has basically remained static since its origin in 1967. Their designs focused on human needs with technology playing a supporting role.

Contact: Richard Eisermann,
Whirlpool Europe,
+39 0332 759767;

Designers: James Irvine, Italy, Konstantin Grcic, Germany, Christophe Pillet, France, Riccardo Giovanetti, Italy, and Whirlpool Europe, Italy, Latin America and North America

NEXCA SDC-200i Digital Camera Concept

A digital camera the size of a compact could become the next fashion necessity for computer savvy women in their twenties. It's technically powerful, at 2 megapixels, yet highly portable, easy to use and affordably priced. Such a specialized product could create a niche market for Samsung.

Contact: Sang-Yeon Lee,
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.,
+82 2 750 9296;

Designers: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Modular TV Concept

While broadcasters are scheduled to switch to digital broadcasting by 2006, uncertainty still surrounds the technology and the associated costs of the appliances necessary to receive the signal. This concept uses the digital TV as a gateway to operate digital peripherals such as DVDs, MP3s and Internet appliances. Instead of buying these individual devices, the consumer would choose particular functions that would be bundled onto a module to be plugged into the digital TV. The module concept is predicted to cut the purchase price of individual components by 40 percent while enhancing the value of the digital television.

Contact: Sang-Yeon Lee,
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.,
+82 2 750 9296;

Designers: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Korea

Compact Mobile Phone Concept

Borrowing from the timeless architecture of a woman's compact, this mobile phone opens to reveal a large high-resolution screen and a generously sized keyboard. Since calls are made on this hands-free device with an earpiece, the designers did not have to spend time on the ergonomics of holding the product and could concentrate on balancing size and usability. The robust aluminum shell is graced with jewel-like internal buttons to give it a more precious quality.

Contact: Mark Delaney,
Samsung Design Europe,
+020 7841 4888;

Designers: Samsung Design Europe, United Kingdom

BLU Concept

Garments of the not-so-distant future could double as billboards, computer displays or canvases for modern art and expression. Three prototypes were developed using e-paper and e-ink, GPS technology and micro fuel cells to illustrate the idea of literally bumping up against art and technology as we walk down the street.

Contact: Maureen Rathjens,
Lunar Design,

Designers: Lunar Design