Vox Pop

The Renfrew Group has joined forces with biotechnology consultancy Ivotech to bring design and technology disciplines together in the healthcare field (DW 13 September). Is this a good idea and, if so, what other sectors could benefit from this type of approach?

‘My personal philosophy is that individuals prosper most by concentrating without deviation from their main talents. This includes commitment to experimentation, some of which is bound to fail. Joint business ventures are a low-risk way to explore possibilities and attract attention. Like love matches, design and technology permutations are endless – compatibility and energy are the key to success. Are we seeing the birth of another truly multidisciplinary group?’

Ross Kinneir, Director, Kinneir Dufort

‘Product designers have always created formal and informal links with specialist groups in product fields where a particular expertise is required. Whether it is creative thinkers collaborating with technologists, biochemists, psychologists or whatever, this kind of collaboration and teamwork has always been a crucial factor in product development. The healthcare field is a specialised sector requiring exactly this approach, and off hand I cannot think of a sector that doesn’t.’

Andy Davey, Principal, TKO

‘It makes perfect sense. They’re not the first and they certainly won’t be the last. A problem clients often face is narrow thinking caused by “specialists” (experts being people who know a lot about a little). This is one way around the problem. But the challenge is to find a common language that both sides understand.’

Richard Watson, Founder, Global Innovation Network

‘This is an excellent idea. The potential of design thinking is realised when it is accurately matched to the needs of business. Creating a new service offer in this way improves that match. There is opportunity for us all to benefit from collaborating and offering a more focused service product. We will see more of this.’

Alan South, Head, Ideo Product Development Europe

‘Often technology companies don’t deal with emotional and lifestyle issues experienced by the user, focusing on the clinical fundamentals rather than the means to provide the solution. A joint venture of this kind ensures that the needs of the user will win out. This coherent approach can be applied to pretty much any field.’

Nigel Goode, Director, Priestman Goode

Latest articles