Design in 2016 – what will product design look like?

As part of our series on the future of design in 2016 Rodd design managing director Ben Davies looks at what will happen in product design over the next 12 months.


What do you think 2016 will hold for product design?

“Recent technological developments in data analytics, the internet of things and 3D printing, have meant that product designers are suddenly empowered with many new opportunities to explore and exploit.

2015 was all about measurement and this is going to continue this year. The excitement surrounding the endless possibilities that are facilitated by data analytics has led to an explosion of devices centred on the quantified-self: exercise, hydration, sleep and diet are now all commonplace activities we track.

Who knows what will come next in the £6 billion mobile health monitoring market? We’re thinking propositions for the bedroom, bathroom and living spaces. Devices driven by the Internet of Things will flood the market with products coming from both the start-up community and to a lesser degree from the tier-one brands, which are still tentatively looking to explore how they can drive mass market volumes and, more importantly, differentiate their products in a sea of connected peripherals.

3D printing is not new but the technology is evolving rapidly, costs are falling and we are hopeful that in 2016 the technology will breakout from its current geek-niche market, into the mass market. If it does, it will present a serious manufacturing option for creative, innovative and fast-moving consumer brands looking for faster time-to-market and higher levels of consumer personalisation.”

What was your favourite product design project in 2015?

Transport: Google self-driving car, by YooJung Ahn, Jared Gross and Philipp Haban
Google self-driving car, by YooJung Ahn, Jared Gross and Philipp Haban

“For us, the stand out product is the Google Car. We’re much more excited by this than any other of the automakers offerings. Why? Primarily because of the shift in focus on the user experience. Google will offer us such a fantastically connected experience that will be so much more than just a car.”

Discover more of 2015’s biggest product projects

Google unveils driverless car

Apple launches a stylus, but what would Steve Jobs think?

Microsoft launches hologram headset

Cheap, 3D-printed bionic hand is UK Dyson Award winner

Jasper Morrison designs back-to-basics mobile phone

See all Design Week’s product design stories at

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