As an industrial design consultancy it is always surprising to learn how blurred the role of designers in an new product development team still seems to be. Especially in English speaking countries like NZ, many use the term synonymously for engineering and design practices even though there is a clear distinction and expert skill sets involved (which is obvious in different university programmes and degrees). The misconception that both would be able to conduct each others work to the same level of expertise - especially within complex projects and a demanding market - is astounding and sometimes frustrating. We plead instead for work in closymbiosis, with respect and an open mind. This will enable outstanding results good for your business and the consumer. Oliver Neuland compares the role of an product/ industrial designer with that of an architect, who not only provides the basic function of structural sound shelter, but a building which is tailor made to the people (and organization) meant to use it and responses to the environment it is located in. Like the designer is an architect, next to many other roles, the advocate for the user far beyond basic functionality. This short interview is not an attempt to define design in general, but to highlight a certain role within an development team. Obviously the activities of product designers go far beyond the discussed and will be subject of other videos to come.

Slim Ride is a driverless rail system concept based on multiple small cabins with an extremely narrow footprint. It can adjust to changing city infrastructure requirements with limited available space. As part of a multi-modal network this public transport solution explored innovative rail technology trends. It aims to offer Auckland's car-focused audience a iconic and appealing alternative feeding into larger transport hubs. OND worked on this project for several years through several evolutional steps. This is a documentry how it evolved.

How to get started


Note down some keywords around your project.
Use Mind map template to get started (download here). Additionally compile some visual material explaining
your project or inspirations. 

Summarize essential information about the project you envision. This can be simply re-styling a product or technical concept, idea visualization, new product development, identify opportunities through market and trend reviews or new technology or material use. See project brief as a guide.

 Get in contact with us to arrange an initial free consultation and quote. Feel free to propose what the work would be worth to you - we will look into reasonable proposals if the challenge is interesting to us.

Arrange a kick-off workshop with all parties/people involved in the project to collect all existing information, ideas, want and needs. Invite at least a representative of decision makers and strategic leaders, marketing, product planning, engineering (R&D), production/manufacturing and design team. 

This will enable a flying start with clear communication and already a pile of feasible ideas to work on and test. We are trained moderators and enable a efficient and result-driven use of the groups time together.

Mindmap Project Brief K-WorkshoP