Product Designers Of The Future

Three designers who are breaking away from the “normal” approach to design are Tom Gyr, Lil Yates, and Philip John Luscombe. Not content with following the crowd and just creating nice pieces, these three are proving that you can be crazier than Beyonce and Britney Spears with hair clippers and still create beautiful and intriguing products with a story behind them.

Product Designer Lil Yates looked towards OCD suffers when designing her latest collection made up of Checking Dice, Checking Stamp, and Symmetry Card. I’m not entirely sure her Checking Dice, designed to aid and reduce any stress suffered by OCD patients, met the needs of her brief.

Inspired by the cult-book The Dice Man, Lil’s dice have been created to show tasks the OCD sufferer must perform, such as check the oven, while the second and third dice determine how many times the task must be completed. Does this help or hinder an OCD sufferer though? Does it add yet more things to be performed every day or control what has to be done?

If the dice do fail the brief and in fact don’t help reduce stress, then they are, in effect, about as useful as an inflatable dartboard. I actually love these products as nice things, however, and believe that they show Lil has earned her.


I have to own up to the occasional foray into H&M and other high-street purveyors of ridiculously cheap clothing. On those days when the contents of my wardrobe bore me to tears, I can enjoy the thrill of having something new to wear for a mere handful of change. The styles are copied from the catwalks and out in shops almost before the models have reached the end of the stage, and with prices so low, it’s tempting to toss garments aside after just a few uses, as trends move on. I’m not alone; every year a shocking 900 million items in perfectly good condition are discarded, clogging up landfill sites around the world.


The good news for those feeling guilty about the damage being done to the environment by disposable fashion—or harboring concerns about whether child labor was employed in the production of their clothes—is that you can get your shopping fix and still be ethical. TRAID, a British company with Red or Dead founder Wayne Hemingway as patron, operate four sustainable fashion stores in London and one in Brighton.

A registered charity, its main aims are to protect the environment by diverting clothes and shoes from landfill, to raise money for overseas projects, and to increase awareness of world poverty and environmental issues. With a thoughtfully selected pick of the best-donated clothes and accessories, TRAID proves that second-hand needn’t mean ill-fitting, frumpy, and out-of-date, marred by suspicious stains.

Since 2010, designers from the award-winning TRAID remade line have been reinventing and customizing second-hand textiles to create unique, edgy pieces. Imaginatively combining different fabrics with contrasting patterns and styles, shirts are ripped apart and embroidered to create fitted tops, and faded sweatshirts given a new lease of life as pretty dresses.

As Head of Design Paula Kirkwood explains: “It’s a great antidote to the monotony of the high street.” This season they’re rolling out a range of stylish hand-printed T-shirts, restyled suit jackets, and handmade bags and brooches. Wear your green credentials proudly.