1st Edition

Consumer Product Innovation and Sustainable Design The Evolution and Impacts of Successful Products

By Robin Roy Copyright 2016
    212 Pages
    by Routledge

    212 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Consumer Product Innovation and Sustainable Design follows the innovation and evolution of consumer products from vacuum cleaners to mobile phones from their original inventions to the present day. It discusses how environmental concerns and legislation have influenced their design and the profound effects these products have had on society and culture. This book also uses the lessons from the successes and failures of examples of these consumer products to draw out practical guidelines for designers, engineers, marketers and managers on how to become more effective at product development, innovation and designing for environmental sustainability.


    1.Introduction: Patterns of Innovation  2. Washing Machines  3. Lamps and Lighting  4. Television  5.Vacuum Cleaners  6. Mobile Phones  7. Lessons for Product Developers and Innovators  References


    Robin Roy is Emeritus Professor of Design and Environment at the Open University. Since joining the OU in 1971 as one of the first lecturers in Design, he has chaired and contributed to many OU courses on design, innovation, energy and environment, most recently Design Essentials; Innovation: Designing for change; and Environment: Journeys through a changing world. In 1979, he founded the Design Innovation Group to research design and innovation management and sustainable design. He has published many books, book chapters, papers and articles on topics ranging from design creativity and the successful management of new product development to environmentally sustainable education systems and consumer adoption of low and zero carbon technologies. He is a Fellow and Council member of the Design Research Society, a former Director of Carbon Connections Ltd. and a Trustee of Powerful Information, a local international development charity.

    ‘Robin Roy has written intriguing histories of a selection of consumer products – washing machines, lamps and lighting, televisions, vacuum cleaners and mobile phones – looking at the patterns of their technical evolution and the causes of success and failure. He puts special emphasis on the environmental impacts of designs including their use of energy and materials. Professor Roy with his lifetime experience of studying product innovation is uniquely qualified to write this book that will fascinate the general reader and be particularly useful in teaching, design and industry.’ - Professor Philip Steadman, Energy Institute, University College London, UK

    Consumer Product Innovation and Sustainable Design is a fascinating and incredibly useful book that builds upon a significant amount of research from the author. Its focus around five types of products provides the reader with both a set of interesting histories but also design case studies which will be particularly useful for students and practitioners. The focus on sustainable design within these case studies helps the reader understand the subject within the context of product innovation. This book should become essential reading for all product designers no matter what career stage they are at.’ - Professor Tracy Bhamra, Loughborough University, UK

    'By combining the archives of Which? Magazine with an analysis of the evolution of popular consumer product categories Consumer Product Innovation and Sustainable Design reminds us why the things around us have the capacity not just to shape our own lives, but that increasingly it is how a product uses our limited resources efficiently that is the key to success. Robin Roy has produced a book that will be invaluable to product designers and others in thinking innovatively and responsibly in determining tomorrow’s good designs.' - Peter Lloyd, Professor of Design and Associate Dean, University of Brighton, UK

    Consumer Product Innovation and Sustainable Design draws on a huge amount of research and experience from the author and is based on a series of solid cases on the innovation process associated with five consumer products. Of particular note is integration of environmental considerations into the analyses and the final section on lessons for product developers and innovators. This book will be an essential resource for both practitioners and researchers interested in learning lessons on the evolution of innovation of 'active' consumer products.’ - Professor Martin Charter, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design, University for the Creative Arts, UCA Farnham UK

    ‘Robin has taught and researched consumer product innovation and sustainable design for many years. We have to thank him for producing this timely book that gives all of us access to a great archive of information set within a framework that challenges contemporary design practice.’ - Professor Tom Inns, Director, Glasgow School of Art, UK

    'There is no one better qualified to write on consumer product innovation and sustainable design than Robin Roy. His background in design analysis and theory developed during a long and distinguished career at the Open University has enabled him to bring an authoritative perspective to the area. Indeed his clear and accessible style makes this a work which is both comprehendible and useful. He covers the innovation and evolution of representative range of products from vacuum cleaners to mobile phones. The context for their development includes the involvement of legislation and environmental issues, so that the social impact they have had can be understood. There are both successes and failures which enable him to draw conclusions and to provide guidelines for designing, engineering and marketing new products, which most importantly will be environmentally sustainable. This book is essential reading for not only design students but for all those interested in sustainable product innovation.' - Michael Tovey, Professor of Industrial Design, Coventry University, UK