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John Bound Retires From DMI Advisory Council
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John Bound

DMI Advisory Council






John Bound has made significant contributions to the design management community by bringing together diverse groups and interests: business and design, academia and industry, materials science and arts, to the benefit of all.

Self-effacing and generous, he has inspired many to be more innovative and creative.





John Bound Retires From DMI Advisory Council

John Bound recently stepped down from the DMI Advisory Council after fifteen years of collaborations between DMI, the Royal College of Art (RCA), and Innovate UK’s Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN). John was an early thought-leader in inclusive design research, exploring the design implications of social and demographic change. In addition, his insights on design management and his work helping UK companies improve their innovation effectiveness provided DMI a valuable lens into the work of international members.

Following his business development role at Michael Peters Group, John worked alongside Professor Roger Coleman from 1991 to help create the RCA's pioneering DesignAge program on design for an aging population. The Program later became the globally recognized Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design.

Between 1993 and 2005 John organized the influential 'Design for our Future Selves’ and ‘Include' conferences on inclusive design. As part of the Centre’s international outreach, he invited former DMI President Earl Powell to act as a reporter-at large for the ‘Include’ conference. Earl reflected that “Include expressed very clearly the idea of design as the language of citizenship” and that “the great thing about events like this is that researchers get confirmation that their work is valuable and their intelligence is expanded by networking.” John appreciated Earl’s encouragement at that time, and their mutual background in woodworking was another cause for continuing friendship and collaboration.

John was subsequently appointed Head of Innovation Development at InnovationRCA, the RCA’s centre for IP commercialization, professional development and knowledge exchange with industry. Networking was central to this role and in December 2004 John took the opportunity to initiate and host the first DMI London Dinner at the RCA, in association with Design Council Deputy CEO Harry Rich. The dinner brought together many of the UK’s leading design management figures, including Professor Naomi Gornick and Orange’s Clive Grinyer, and supported Earl’s vision of expanding DMI’s presence and impact in the UK and Europe.

A few months later, John and InnovationRCA director Professor Jeremy Myerson welcomed DMI back to the College for an exhibition celebrating 50 years of Braun design innovation as part of the 2005 DMI Europe conference. Alongside this, John and Earl arranged the DMI/RCA Braun Future Forum, bringing Braun design head Peter Schneider, Sir Terence Conran, Ron Arad and other leading UK designers together for an enlightening exchange on the future of design. A second DMI Insights Dinner was held in November 2005, this time including senior figures from BIC, BBC, Philips as well as Raymond Turner, Stephen Conlon, Rachel Cooper and Sally Brazier from the DMI community.

Over the next few years John continued to champion industry/academic collaboration at the RCA, and ran a successful Innovation Forum for major brands with design studios in the London area. This enabled design leaders from Sony, Samsung, BAA, Diageo, Ford and many others to network with each other and gain insights from RCA heads of program - from Design Products and Vehicle Design to Sculpture. He was also instrumental in creating the opportunity for RCA students and staff to contribute artworks and products to the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, including design of the victory ceremony podia. As Head of FuelRCA he ran an imaginative program of professional development events, mentoring and helpline services aimed at helping students and alumni take their first steps as practicing artists and designers.

In late 2011 John was invited by former Board Member Stephen Conlon and former DMI President Karen Reuther to join the DMI Advisory Council. After re-connecting with Sally Brazier at the DMI Helsinki conference he and Sally took up former DMI President Michael Wescott’s call to reinvigorate the DMI’s international activity by holding a series of DMI NightOut events in London. These included a July 2013 DMI gathering featuring Kevin McCullagh of Plan on design thinking, and the May 2014 DMI Night Out at KTN which previewed the DMI Europe conference ‘Making Change by Design’. John was recently delighted to be invited by Sally to the recent DMI Night Out at Ravensbourne, and to discover that design management remains a hot topic for both seasoned practitioners and the new generation of designers.

John continues to work part-time for Knowledge Transfer Network - helping UK companies improve their innovation effectiveness and connecting the materials science and design communities - while finding a few more hours in the week to pursue his interests in playing Cajun music, restoring his 1960’s drum kit, exploring the great outdoors by bicycle and visiting old friends.


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10/7/2018 » 10/9/2018
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