Nick Mival talks to New design magazine about anticipating the future

Published on: 13th April 2018

In conversation with Alistair Welch, DCA director Nick Mival explains why design consultancies are often the perfect partner in driving innovation.

Innovation’s great, isn’t it? Everyone wants to innovate, don’t they? Absolutely. But it’s worth remembering that innovation can only add value if it is appropriately directed. Innovating ‘randomly’ or simply for the sake of the new risks bearing little fruit. Design consultancies, which once upon a time may have received tightly focussed product briefs, are more frequently receiving early, open questions and briefs like ‘How do I recruit youth to my brand?’ These questions need to be answered by multidisciplinary teams that are comfortable with ambiguity and experienced in working pre-brief, creating opportunities and propositions before product. These teams use design thinking to help clients anticipate the future by devising and implementing innovation strategies.

DCA Design International is a case in point. Founded in 1960 as David Carter Associates, it is fair to say that DCA is one of the stalwarts of the UK’s product and industrial design landscape. From its headquarters in the historic Midlands.