Break Through Innovation delivers ‘Light Bulb Insights’ for Early Stage Design

Posted on: 28/01/2019

KTN’s Design and Innovation Effectiveness team focuses on promoting human-centred design as a strategic tool for business growth.


KTN’s Design and Innovation Effectiveness team focuses on promoting human-centred design as a strategic tool for business growth. For both start-ups and established businesses, human-centred and early-stage design helps bring innovative ideas to the right market.

Jake Larsson, Design and Innovation Manager at KTN shares his thoughts on the Break Through Innovation event which brought together a collaboration of businesses and stakeholders from across design and industry.

At the outset of the event, Ed Hobson talked about what design really is.  Commonly, design is misinterpreted as a discipline that makes products and services look good. Working as multi-skilled consultants, designers execute targeted research, think creatively around a problem, test ideas on a low budget, offer much-needed facilitation and, finally, the best design work will also make the end result visually appealing and easy to use.

The Design Foundations programme funding offered by Innovate UK affords businesses the opportunity to work with designers to explore new innovative ideas and find viable routes to market. At a day-long conference in May 2018, designers and entrepreneurs involved in the Design Foundations projects were invited to share their experiences of working together with a wider audience. KTN presented this event specifically as a way to ‘Break Through Innovation’, offering a space where businesses could continue the momentum of collaboration and start planning how to get their products to market.  In my opinion, the event brought together a wide spread of individuals from across multiple industries and some very interesting opinions and insights were shared. It became apparent that understanding the RIGHT problem that a business is trying to solve is critical to finding the right solution. Design is the collaboration that challenges and critiques a problem. Thinking about design at the very early stages transformed a number of the initial Design Foundation concepts into design led solutions.

A series of videos and interviews were taken at the event of companies that had received funding to conduct human-centred projects and designers that worked on those projects, highlights of which can be watched below.


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What’s particularly interesting in the interviews is how the individuals being interviewed perceived the challenges of undertaking a human-centred design project and the benefits it can produce.

If you would like to know more about embedding human-centred design in your business, please talk to the Design & Innovation Effectiveness Team.

Find out more about the stand out insights from Break Through Innovation event here.


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