- Written by: Milica Miletic Serbedzija |
- Category: Design |
The Multidisciplinary Design Approach – Examples
What does a designer do?
Designers create almost everything we use in our daily life. Their work includes fashion items like clothing, shoes or jewellery, different types of vehicles like cars, bikes or yachts, food packaging, new materials and many others. The range of products is wide and falls into different categories. The furniture designers are skilled in designing all kinds of furniture, both for outdoor and indoor use. The subject of the designers’ work is also products for special purposes such as medical devices and technical equipment, computers and items of information technology. They create products for mass production, those produced in small series or as individual pieces. The designers’ work is present not only in our physical world and environment but also in the digital space. Some of the services that designers provide for the virtual world are Web design, mobile applications, software design; computer graphics and 3D model design, design for the film or the entertainment industry as well as many others.
We encounter these products in our everyday life, with different frequencies, every day or from time to time depending on the user and his needs and habits.
Designers work in different manufacturing sectors and design products for different markets.
They use design skills and technical knowledge to create completely new products or correct existing products in terms of function, appearance or cost reduction.
About Multidisciplinary approach
When: We always apply a multidisciplinary approach when facing complex and heterogeneous design problems.
How: A multidisciplinary approach involves teams of experts with different experiences and perspectives of observation with mutual cooperation and new types of team relationships.
Why: With a multidisciplinary approach, we can reach appropriate and high-quality solutions through the teamwork of experts from different profiles who generate a better understanding of problems with interconnected causes.
Benefits: A multidisciplinary approach to design leads to innovative solutions based on a comprehensive understanding of complex problems. This approach opens up possibilities for the realization of products with new forms and functional characteristics, created with the use of modern materials and the application of advanced production processes, adequate for the given market and of course responsible towards the environment.
Below will be presented the products that were created as a result of a multidisciplinary approach to design. The realized solutions and product characteristics most vividly confirm the advantages of this approach.
Understanding new customer’s needs
The product Viture ONE is smart glasses. During product development, Benjamin Hubert and design agency Layer provided their client with different services: strategic research; industrial design; colour, material and finish; engineering; design for manufacture and art direction. The result of their work is Viture ONE - glasses that combine the features of fashion detail and fun technology in one product. All the necessary technological components are located in the thin frame of the glasses weighing just 78g. The 120-inch virtual screen, through the lens of the glasses, allows the user to enjoy media and games anywhere, anytime. The system is compatible with almost all major streaming services and gaming platforms The eyewear is paired with a semi-flexible, collar-like neckband that contains the powerful CPU (central processing unit) and GPU (graphics processing unit).
Layer Studio has developed a new generation device that is far from a conventional product. During the research process, they recognized the need of modern users. With a multidisciplinary approach, they designed and developed the product with high-tech performance but without bulky screens. At the same time, Viture ONE has an attractive appearance like most fashion items. The eyewear has been designed to offer a high degree of comfort to the user.
Research and advanced product solutions
Refaeli Ma designed the Y-3 Neue treadmill running shoe. During the process, she cooperated with experts from different fields: orthopedists, designers, sales experts, professional trainers and the users-runners. The outcomes from the research and the identification of the needs and habits of runners supported the design process. One of the goals was to avoid risks and possible injuries to users while running.
Numerous research was carried out in the field of materials and structure of footwear. Y-3 Neue running shoes are equipped with advanced Equal gel and artificial ligaments. These two parts work together and are complemented by an ergonomically shaped insole.This construction of sneakers enables the correct position of the ankle joint and prevents deformities during running.
The materials contribute to the comfort of the user and the aesthetic characteristics of the sneakers. Model production was no less demanding. Several methods including vacuum form, 3D printing&casting, hand sewing and clay modelling are combined. The designer has created a product with functions suitable for the modern user, with an attractive shape. Handmade leather upper, breathable mesh, and 3D cast outsole with tracking pattern give the identity to the product. The multidisciplinary approach has led to a product model with advanced solutions different from those represented on the market.
Innovative product solutions and customer satisfaction
Loop is a water bottle that provides the user with a high level of comfort. Functional characteristics of the product, allow easy handling, guarantee hygiene and quality of the liquid in the bottle. The bottle cap is multi-purpose and besides primary function serves as a handle for carrying or hanging it on a bag or backpack. One finger is enough to carry the bottle, while the other fingers of the user's hand remain free. The designed shape of the cap allows it to be safely placed on the neck of the bottle while the user drinks. The lid protects the drinking surface and ensures its hygiene. The insulating, double-walled vacuum steel preserves the characteristics of the liquid in the bottle and keeps drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold for up to 24 hours. The wide neck allows for the insertion of ice cubes into the bottle.
Blond's multidisciplinary design team participated in all phases of product development, from research and design to design for Manufacture.
In this case, the design team did not research new user needs. They were looking for innovative product solutions that would respond to already identified needs.
Blond created a water bottle that provides the user with a high level of satisfaction and comfort, thus positively affecting his life.
Electronics and sustainability
The Fold is a small, collapsible element for wireless charging of numerous devices we use in everyday life. Fold, equipped with a phone stand and compact, portable-friendly stack, allows the user to load up to three tech products simultaneously. The user can fold the device or take one of several configurations that best suit his current needs.
The soft silicone pad is a joint between plastic segments. This solution eliminates the use of glue and contributes that this product from technology areas is sustainable. Also, it achieves a high degree of safety, which is an important feature in the electronics industry.
The aesthetic characteristics of this charger derive from its functional components, which are fully visible. The colour and gloss level of the materials used contribute to the charger's simplicity. The more important is that the shape and structure of Fold allow the user to access the fastening elements so that the product can be disassembled for upgrading or maintenance.
The package of Fold, which is recycled and recyclable, combines in one product the shipping box (postal) and the primary packaging The packaging inside is functional, designed to accommodate broken or superseded components, allowing them to be sent back to the manufacturer.
This project is the result of rethinking the way people consume, live and communicate, by Blond Studio. Identified needs were approached in a multidisciplinary way, with the involvement of different disciplines and a focus on well-being and sustainability. The result is a product with an innovative solution that brings new opportunities and benefits to the user and raises awareness of the impact of electronics on the environment.
Responsible use of raw materials
Multidisciplinary Australian designer Adam Cornish designed the hammock. His product responds to the classic need of users to rock while lying down. Adam Cornish's answer to this task is different from the usual solutions. The hammock he designed is wooden, made from one piece of Accoya Wood material. The twenty-two different pieces are cut from plywood of standard dimensions. The flexibility of the interconnections of the elements, as well as the freedom of movement of the user, are ensured by the use of rubber vertebrae. The swing, suspended by stainless steel cables, is suitable for use in open and closed spaces.
The Wooden Hammock designed by Adam Cornish is environmentally friendly. It uses raw materials from cultivated plants and then achieves the maximum economy of raw materials, thus reducing the impact on the environment.
Respond to new needs of the customer
Ledger Stax is a hardware wallet the size of a credit card. The product is the result of a collaboration between Lyuer Design Studio, crypto brand Ledger and renowned entrepreneur Tony Fadell. The team recognized the growing need for users to use cryptocurrency instead of physical currency. They decided to create a hardware wallet to fulfill this need. This product allows users to securely store, access and send cryptocurrencies and NFTs. The ability to magnetically stack devices gives users the ability to store and organize different portfolios on separate devices.
Ledger Stax provides additional user comfort with the innovative and durable e-ink touchscreen that curves around the front face and spine of the device. The energy-efficient display also creates a clear visual interface and a more personalized experience, with the ability to display photos or NFTs on the lock screen.
This project confirms Layer's ability first of all to identify the needs of the modern user and then, with a multidisciplinary approach, to design and construct a complete and complicated piece of electronics whose time is yet to come.
Technology and tradition for sustainability
Paper Razor is the first razor in the world made entirely of paper, while the blades are made of stainless steel. The body is very stable, even though waterproof cardboard is 3mm thick and weighs only 4g. Razor is sold as a flat pack and is folded using an origami-like folding process. Paper razors are designed for single use and replace plastic ones.
This product represents an ecological design solution that is friendly to the environment. The selected materials are natural, with 98% less plastic used compared to disposable plastic razors. In addition, it saves on transport costs and provides user satisfaction with hygienic shaving conditions.
Packaging reflects the company's goals
On the project AIR CO VODKA, studio Joe Doucet & Partners collaborated with the founders of the company Air Co, in the development and launch of their first product AIR Vodka. It is an alcoholic drink produced in line with a patented, innovative technological process.
Assignment Joe Doucet & Partners was to create packaging for a new product that would reflect the company's goals and correspond to the high principles of sustainability.
The characteristics of the implemented packaging solution are that it can be 100% recycled and reused. The label is affixed with a custom natural, the non-toxic adhesive that allows for easy removal so the glass bottle can be stored and used for other purposes. Labelling on the bottle has been kept to a minimum to emphasize the purity of the vodka as well as to minimize the use of materials.
AIR Vodka is a clean, quality and sustainable drink, with a negative carbon content thanks to the applied production process. The packaging is aesthetically simple and elegant. In terms of characteristics, it corresponds to the product for which it is intended since it is also sustainable.
From the point of view of the client Air Co., studio JDKSP Ventures contributed to creating a recognizable image of the brand on the market.
A multidisciplinary approach in the development process enabled the realization of a product that is responsible for the planet and that contributes to cleaner air, i.e. the quality of life.
The new era of cooperation
AI Stool Recycled is the first design object designed by artificial intelligence. It is part of the AI family of furniture with new performance. It was created as a result of cooperation between the furniture manufacturer Kartell, designer Philippe Starck and Autodesk, a leading software corporation. Their software for design visualization and 3D engineering is especially interesting for creative clients.
AI Stool Recycled is an algorithmic response to input from designer Philippe Starck and company Kartell. In this case, creative thinking and artificial intelligence came together to develop a chair model that respects the original brief. The chair is environmentally friendly and made of recycled materials. It has a comfortable seat, a solid structure and features that meet the rigid requirements for certification. The AI Stool Recycled has clean lines and a simple yet elegant look.
The applied multidisciplinary approach to the product development process is far from conventional. It opens up possibilities for the application of new technological tools that realize the connection between artificial intelligence and human intelligence. New forms of cooperation support the implementation of innovative solutions and the speed of realization.
We expect that new technological tools will enable the realization of products that are sustainable for the planet, and comfortable for the user, but in a new way.
Responsible new mobility with style
DAB Motors and global design agency OUTERCRAFT have developed a new motorcycle model called CONCEPT-E. The initial idea for the first electric motorcycle concept offered by the company arose as a result of the evident increase in the demand for electric vehicles (cars, bicycles, etc).
After the research phase and initial sketches, the agency made 3D models of all the custom parts. These models allowed the first prototype parts to be printinted in 3D. The presentation of the functional prototype was an opportunity to evaluate the planned technical, aesthetic and ergonomic solutions before the start of production. DAB Motors presented the Concept-E in 2021 and signed a collaboration with the London brand Burberry for a limited series of motorcycles.
The offered CONCEPT-E motorcycle solutions are the manufacturer's response to the expectations of target customers. One of the main characteristics of an electric motorcycle is riding comfort reflected in several aspects. First of all, it is the improved motorcycle performance as a result of the application of new technological solutions. It is equipped with a 10kW motor and a 51.8V Li-ion battery equivalent to a 125cc motor. The engine achieves a minimum noise level even when driving at maximum speed. In addition, the motorcycle does not leave a smell and there are no harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Then, the motorcycle provides safe participation in traffic, easy manipulation and parking in small areas. CONCEPT-E is easy to drive after a few hours of training.
The characteristics of the motorcycle are the result of the application of innovative technical solutions, and some were designed especially for this project. In joint work, designers and engineers searched for optimal variants that integrate technological solutions and aesthetic expression.
Simplicity, attention to detail and the personification of speed embodied in the design of the rear part of the motorcycle are the aesthetic characteristics of CONCEPT-E. A product with this design language has distinct individuality with a note of luxury.
The work of multidisciplinary teams of experts from different specializations enabled the development and realization of an innovative product in the motorcycle category. The Concept E motorcycle is an example of sustainable design and a responsible attitude towards the planet in the automotive industry.
Medical instruments and technological innovations
A Holter is a portable medical device for monitoring heart activity. Adam Miklosi designed the Dab Ecg Holter patch with a unique design and material selection. The key design factors of this holter are construction, technological innovations and a perfect fit to the skin.
The construction is such that Dab consists of two main parts: the sensor and the patch. The sensor is made of injection-moulded ABS plastic. High-quality dry silver alloy electrodes are integrated into its body. Technological solutions have made it possible to reduce the distance of the electrodes and realize the body of the sensor with minimal dimensions almost invisible. This type of holter has a minimal impact on the normal behavior of patients, thus improving the comfort and satisfaction of the user.
Security is ensured by storing all data in the Dab cloud since the sensor is connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth.
The second element is the patch. The final selection of materials was made after testing about 30 materials on different skin conditions. Materials adequate in terms of durability, production costs and user experience were chosen as the most suitable variants. There are two proposals for the patch a high-quality silicone version and a textile version (used in Kinesio tapes), depending on the user's activity. The way the sensor is applied to the body makes it easy and comfortable to use.
In this case, the given task went beyond the boundaries of design and included other areas as well. The development of this product was possible only with a multidisciplinary approach. Experts from different fields: doctors, designers, and patients from all over the world considered the given topic through many forms of cooperation like Design Thinking workshops, online and personal questionnaires and others.
The Dab Ecg Holter patch has a functional and simple design. It is the result of the conducted research, advanced technological solutions and consideration of user needs.
Applied technological solutions affect the reduction of production and maintenance costs of this single-use item while improving the user experience.
Safety and quality of life
Designer Joe Doucet designed the helmet Sotera with the aim to reduce accidents and save the lives of road users. Most helmets are designed to minimize injuries after an accident, while Sotera helmet should contribute to the user's safety in a specific way. This helmet is equipped with a USB rechargeable LED light panel that makes the user more noticeable to other drivers. In addition, built-in accelerometers detect when the driver brakes and switches to red, warning drivers behind them.
The Sotera helmet was realized through multidisciplinary work. It united functional, aesthetic and technical features into one product that has the task to protect the user and prevent accidents
Joe Doucet created a helmet with innovative features that affect the quality of life of users, traffic participants even the entire society.
User and planet in the focus
The Econovo collection consists of a range of marker products, ballpoint and gel pens. The design team Yellow Design was tasked with creating writing instruments with a corporate design and packaging. The resulting product combines functional, aesthetic and material characteristics in a way that meets the requirements of the modern user. The collection is equally suitable for work activities in the office, at home or on the go. The products are designed ergonomically, with innovative details. They attract attention with the character they possess and fit into any environment.
The design team has confirmed extensive knowledge of materials and their recycling. The Econovo collection consists of 70% recycled plastic, and the production process as well as the packaging are ecological. This product with minimalist design participates in environmental protection and is a factor in the circular economy.
Innovations through experimental work
Studio Drift is a multidisciplinary studio engaged in research and experimental work. The subject of their work is mainly the relationship between people, nature and technology in the lighting field. Their creations are always innovative, and unexpected, and attract attention. These are solutions that are not only relevant for individual projects and often guidelines for the future.
The Nola project presents a light glass structure consisting of pastel-coloured cloches with LED lights, also in colour. Four different dome sizes are combined with four different glass colours: pastel pink, blue, yellow or green. The LED system is integrated into the base of each Nola and is controlled individually with possible changes in light intensity. When the colours of the glass are mixed with the shades of light from the LED source, each Nola gets its colour and individuality. The composition becomes a luminous sculpture with a spectrum of colours captured in the void of glass cloches. Nola is a dynamic structure because every change in light intensity creates new combinations of shades and causes changes in the appearance of the whole.
Nola was created as an experiment in which infinite colour combinations of materials and light were explored in a spatial structure
DRIFT designed Nola for Dutch design label Buhtiq31’s first collection.
The installation was the result of the collaboration of designers and scientists, programmers, engineers and other specialists in the development of the project.
This post presents the products created by applying the Multidisciplinary approach to the design process. The goal of the post was to show how this strategy affects the final solutions. It was confirmed that Multidisciplinary teams can respond to the most complex tasks and those that go beyond the scope of design and enter other fields of science or engineering. The displayed products bring benefits for the user because they meet his needs, but they are responsible for society and the environment/planet too.
- Written by: Milica Miletic Serbedzija |
- Category: Design |