#ICYMI Rise and Design: The Power of Design

To the delight of our Yorkshire members, Rise and Design finally arrived in Leeds last month. With intentions to showcase great design stories, as well as introduce Design Network North to a new audience, ‘The Power of Design’ succeeded on both fronts.

Design Network North, Friday 23rd Sept, White Close Gallery, Leeds. For all further info contact: Briony.McStea@designnetworknorth.org
Jayne Purcell, Kirklees Council (courtesy of Burns Rowatt Photography)

Almost sixty companies gathered in the White Cloth Gallery in Leeds city centre to hear about two inspiring stories, one describing a novel, award-winning programme in Huddersfield, the other a fabulous example of a truly design-led product.

Jayne Purcell of Kirklees Council took us through the birth of Comoodle, alongside Lesley Gulliver of The Engine Room. The Engine Room worked with Kirklees Council to turn this community based initiative into an award winner, coming away with €1 million in the Bloomberg Mayor’s Challenge, positioning Kirklees alongside Barcelona, Athens, Stockholm and Warsaw. Comoodle was conceived as a way to enable the local council and wider community to share ‘stuff, space and skills’ in a way that not only saves money, but helps to build a culture of sharing and caring. As well as being embraced by the public, Comoodle won the DBA Design Effectiveness award in 2016, which showcases the real impact of design.

Then we heard from Dan Conlon of Cocoon Labs who, together with group of colleagues, decided that home alarms seriously needed a makeover. They went on to develop Cocoon, a home alarm device that is affordable, unobtrusive and aesthetically pleasing. Cocoon is able to track movement from inside the entire home, and can alert you by phone if it detects anything untoward. Cocoon was almost entirely crowdfunded, and Dan took us through that process.

Design Network North, Friday 23rd Sept, White Close Gallery, Leeds. For all further info contact: Briony.McStea@designnetworknorth.org
Lee Taylor, LDT Design (courtesy of Burns Rowatt Photography)

Cocoon Labs developed the software and technology at the heart of the home alarm, whilst LDT Design created the look and feel of the product. Lee Taylor from LDT Design showed us how they developed the exterior of Cocoon, and how it gives the alarm the ability to run its state of the art software efficiently without overheating.

As usual, we finished off with lots of networking. Some had brought along banner stands to showcase their businesses, and the rest just came armed with business cards. We were fortunate to have a chatty, enthusiastic bunch attend; they created a great atmosphere and really kicked off our first Leeds Rise and Design!

And we’re not going to stop there – the Rise and Design tour continues! We’ll be in Huddersfield in the New Year, ready to meet a whole new set of fresh faces. If you would like us to visit your city, get in touch!

Until then, why don't you have a look at some of the other events we've got coming up


Design Network North is part of RTC’s new programme called ‘Designing Better Business’ – launched in 2016 - which will provide support for north east businesses looking to continue to innovate and design better world leading products.
RTC was founded in 1989 with the sole purpose of helping businesses innovate and create new higher value products. Today, the business operates out of offices in Sunderland, Gateshead, Leeds and Daresbury and specialises in helping companies develop new products, embed new skills through training and access funding for innovation.
Designing Better Business’ is part funded by European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020