Designed for Life - In conversation with Dick Powell
For many of you tuning in to this episode, Richard Seymour and Dick Powell will need no introduction. For those of you who have not come across their work...you are in for a treat! As you will hear in this podcast, both partners brought (and continue to bring) very different skillsets to the business, advertising designer Richard Seymour and industrial designer Dick Powell were in different cohorts at the RCA and while their paths crossed, it was only a couple of years later while both lecturing in St.Albans that a common love of motorcycles brought these two creatives together and eventually led them to join up and create the powerhouse that is SeymourPowell.
They quickly established a sound reputation for the innovative and forward‐looking design of many products for leading British and overseas manufacturers. Much of their work is not for public consumption, as it is geared to developing future strategies for companies and brands, often several years from the present day. Amongst such clients is the Renault automobile company, for whom Seymour Powell produced advanced interior concepts for more than a decade.
Amongst the best‐known products designed in their London studio have been the seminal Freeline, the world's first cordless kettle (1986) for Tefal, the BSA Bantam motorcycle (1994), the Baby G watches for Casio (1996), sports cameras for Minolta (1998), and a bagless vacuum cleaner for Rowenta (2001) developed from the air intakes of desert helicopters. Other significant clients have included BMW, Nokia, Clairol, ICI, Ideal Standard, Panasonic, Yamaha, and Ford's Premier Automobile Division, showing Seymour Powell's F350 Concept Super Truck (2001) at the Detroit Motor Show of 2002.
They have also won several design awards including a Design Week Award (1990), a D&AD Silver Award (1991), and a BBC Design Award (1994). Both partners have also been actively involved in the promotion of design and the design profession with a wide range of inputs in design and business circles, design journalism, and broadcasting. Seymour and Powell have attracted wider public attention through their television work, most notably programmes such as the six‐part Better by Design Series (2000, produced by Channel 4 TV in conjunction with the Design Council) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhAtgJ3KRj8 which focused on the advantages that could accrue from a fresh appraisal of everyday products such as kitchen bins, shopping trolleys, and razors. One such case study concept, the Bio‐form bra for Charnos, became a best‐seller in the lead up to Christmas 2000.
We are indebted to Dick Powell for generously giving his time not only to this podcast but to supporting design and technology education over the years, including his 2017 lecture delivered for the D&TA at the RSA in Battersea in 2017 and freed up from behind a members paywall to accompany the launch of this podcast https://tv.data.org.uk/Designing-your-Future
So grab a coffee, find a cosy chair, plug in your device of choice and enjoy Designed for Life in conversation with Co-founder and Chairman of internationally renowned design and innovation company SeymourPowell, Dick Powell.
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