Innovation must be linked with research

I was pleased to read Richard Seymour’s letter on the subject of intuition (DW 6 September). I doubt if any great design has been produced without it.

But I am less sure about the Mini being a good example of intuition leading to success. When the car came out, Ford took it apart and concluded that it was over-engineered and couldn’t be made at the price. They also found that people would have been prepared to pay more money for it. Perhaps this proves that intuitive design may not always be good enough and needs to be backed by good research.

Ford realised that making a larger car doesn’t cost that much more than a small one and created the Cortina, which was a huge commercial success. Ford’s market share went up as BMC’s went down.

Having trotted out this piece of history, I am still convinced that intuition is the spark for all the best things.

Tom Karen

Ogle Design


Hertfordshire SG6 1JA

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