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Gus Desbarats

Founder, Chairman, Alloy






Design Leadership: Silo Busting to Create Great Experiences for the Internet of Things


Session Description:

Alloy’s extensive portfolio of coordinated device experiences in the fast-moving digital technology sector has challenged us to evolve our design methods early in order to stay relevant to shifting client needs. Over the last 6 years the Internet of Things has extended our work beyond stand-alone objects and software into the behaviour of complex connected service systems.

In this new, data-centric, totally interconnected world, most things are now possible, but the key business innovation question is still the same: what kinds of experiences work for people? Strategic Design has never been more important, but is yet another new separate design ‘discipline’ needed, or does ID need a reboot?

This talk will use alloy case studies of work and design careers to argue that we don’t need to invent a new design discipline we need to aggressively modernise the one we have by giving our work a stronger behavioural foundation and widening the use of best-practice design methods like ongoing multi-level experience mapping.

The aim of the talk is to share a proven roadmap for rapid professional development from stand-alone object design to brand innovation via connected service experiences.





Gus Desbarats has been leading top-level design consultancies in the UK since the late 80’s. His work has won countless design awards and touches the lives of tens of millions of people every day. He is the founder of Alloy, a leading Industrial-Design consultancy working across product, interaction, service design and strategy. In addition to directing Device Design for BT, Gus is currently leading a number of projects in connected service system design and the Internet of Things.

Gus is Chairman of the British Industrial Design Association and Visiting Tutor at Royal College of Art, School of Service Design. Gus is also widely published and a regular speaker on Experience Led innovation strategies and more widely on the challenging, ever changing, relationship between human behaviour, technology and organisations.






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