Recipe for innovation: collaboration between engineers and industrial designers


Gus Desbarats Chairman of British Design Innovation (BDI), the national representative organisation of the industrial design profession, has made a public appeal for increased collaboration between engineers and industrial designers for the greater good of the UK economy.

Design development consultancy, Haughton Design, is a shining example of how industrial designers and engineers can work together to develop innovative concepts through to manufacture. Managing Director, David Mills, revealed “At Haughton Design we offer the complete design development process. We don’t just create concept designs, we truly understand engineering, tooling and manufacturing so that we deliver designs that not only appeal to the customer, but are practical to manufacture.”

Doug MacArthur, Haughton Design’s client, praised the company’s approach to design and stated “it is a recipe for innovation; you need both ideas and solutions to create a successful product.” The Haughton Design team are able to challenge each other and ensure that the end result is a product that excites the customer, while being on cost and on time.

It was Mills’ 5 year technical apprenticeship with Union Locks, which encouraged him to integrate design and engineering. “My apprenticeship gave me a firm grounding in how to design for manufacture. I had to make sure my designs were suitable for the shop floor to manufacture, and if the design wasn’t practical you soon knew about it!”

Mills has built a strong team who are able to combine industrial design skills with practical engineering capabilities. New recruits will regularly be sent to manufacturing facilities to understand various manufacturing processes, allowing them to design efficiently.

Haughton Design is championing the future of British design and engineering by working with The Black Country UTC and The JCB Academy, to ensure that students have necessary skills to support the UK economy.