Welcome to the Northern Design Quest
Led by Design Network North the Design Quest allows you to follow in the footsteps of a designer. You will have the opportunity to design your very own product, using products created in the region to inspire and demonstrate the design journey.
The Ideas Lab is where it all begins, because every great product started as an idea in someone’s head.
Take the Cats Eye. We see these every day, or rather every night, along every road in the country. From country lanes to motorways, these clever little objects light the way for motorists and cyclists while needed no power or moving parts, and have probably saved countless lives in the years since 1934 when they were first used.
They were invented in Halifax by Percy Shaw. He noticed that the eyes of a cat reflect light that shines on them, such as from a car headlight, and realised that the same effect could be used to light up roads at night. So he created a simple but very clever product, that had at its heart two glass spheres with a reflective back, that mimic the effect of a cats eye. S
Since they were invented, Percy Shaw’s product has been used on roads all over the world, and is still made today in the original factory in West Yorkshire.
But it all started when he saw a cat in the middle of the road. Now most people would have simply noticed this and then carried on, but for Percy it sparked off an idea, which eventually turned into a world leading product.
And that’s what we want you to do in the Ideas Lab – to spark off as many ideas as you can, and see which ones might become a useful product.
There are guides around showing you different ways to be creative, and to come up with ideas. And we want you to come up with as many different ideas as you can. Don’t stop at five, or ten or twenty, because just like any inventor, most of your ideas won’t turn into anything.
But like Percy Shaw you just need one of your ideas to be the great one that changes the world.