‘What’s the best idea you’ve had that hasn’t made it to fruition?’

Dyson has revealed a series of its projects that never made it past concept stage. What’s the best idea you’ve had that hasn’t made it to fruition?’


There’s no way I’m telling you my best idea. I’d have to kill you. But here’s one I’m happy to share which I like, but my wife thinks is rubbish. “Story Cookbooks”. The idea is to create a series of books that encourage children to both read and learn simple cooking skills. Each story would be based around creating a mini-adventure that involves all the different ingredients, visually and narratively, that comprise a specific recipe. The idea could be enhanced through encouraging a collaboration (or mash-up 🙂 between celebrity cooks and writers, be adapted for television and potentially delivered through a leading national supermarket chain. So who’s right? Me or my missus? Interested parties and collaborators please email info@jon-daniel.com

Jon Daniel, independent creative director


Back in 1998, Kev (now my business partner) came into Goldsmiths and set a group of us a brief to create a Swatch watch of the future. I designed a strip of LCD that downloaded its designs from the internet; ten at a time and played them on a loop. You could buy designs or add your own to the gallery to access the collection for free. It used infrared to download the files and I don’t think it would have ever worked. Nevertheless, I’ve always wanted to see it through and see if we could make it. Maybe one day…

Matt Wade, partner, Kin


Music is absolutely central to my life and my work. How we listen, and where, the quality of the sound: all questions that led me to develop among other things The Vamp®, which combines digital technology with our brilliant old speakers. One evening a few years ago I was just sitting around with my earphones on, thinking how isolating and almost anti-social these things are. What if I wanted to share the music I was listening to with a friend? Instead of handing her the earphones, I could just put them on the table, press a button and transform them into loudspeakers! I still think it’s a great idea. Unfortunately, so did the Apple Corporation, who patented it before I got there.

Paul Cocksedge, founder, Paul Cocksedge Studio


As creatives, we constantly create a plethora of hypothetical ideas, of which very few are made into reality. Hands up who has a whole catalogue of inventions, innovations and thoughts just sitting gathering dust! One of my favorite ideas that never made it past concept stage was The SPLAMP™ – an over-sized headphone-shaped speaker-lamp aimed at the young professional design aficionados. The SPLAMP™ would come in three different sizes, as pairs and/or individual and both the sound and light would be controlled through your iPhone. A series of customised SPLAMPs would also be available, illustrated by a group of amazing artists. One-day maybe.

Jenny Theolin,  director, Soapbox & Sons


One idea on my maybe-some-day slate is called Urbug (I even bought the URL Urbug.com some years back). It’s a bubble-like electric city vehicle with 4×4 attitude for handling speed bumps (has sensors to soften suspension exactly as they’re crossed). Kind of an urban beach buggy with serious Eco-credentials and a weird mix of macho (it’s quite fast) and playful expression.

Nicolas Roope, co-founder, Poke


I was recently showing my teenage sons some of the work I did at college (when this photo was taken), including a calendar I’d designed for a D&AD brief. I’d reinvented the concept of a calendar: I’d split the year into irregular months, split weeks into different lengths, used daily words to live your life by (rather than dates). It might be the best work I’ve done. Depressingly it was 25 years ago (and got no recognition from D&AD). I’m seriously considering publishing it now to see if it’s worthy of one of their pencils.

Michael Smith, director, Cog Design


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