Design for Good Value

This article has been written by Jean-Louis Fréchin, ‎French designer and architect, founder of NoDesign and daphnipolitan.

Jean-Louis Fréchin

Even if the past five years have moved our country forward, Design still remains a forgotten piece in our digital ambitions. However, events such as John Meada, designer and former MIT professor, becoming partner in the KPCB investment Fund are without a doubt important signs of mutation.

The reading « Design Techreport » is quite interesting. Between 2012 and 2017, several technology and consulting firms have acquired design companies. Flextronic: Frog Design; Accenture: Fjord, Mac Kingsey: Lunar Design; Google: the talented Mike and Maika; Facebook: Hot Studio and Teehan+Lax, the founders of Medium; and last IBM built the greatest Design team in the world.

The success of startups founded by designers such as AirBnB, the deploying of strategies driven by designers such as Matias Duarte for Android or Ammunition for the Beat by Dre headphones, have strengthened the role of Design as a key element of success in « venture capitalism » and US startups. The reason is simple, technology and market intelligence are no longer enough to make interesting products. More than adding value, Design actually creates value. 
More specifically, how can Design, as productive intelligence, from projects to products, help a startup to grow faster? Design carries within itself, through its ability to interact with all project stakeholders, the ambition to make innovative products and create services that improve people life. Through vision, background, conversation, proven uses, positioning and propositions, a designer is a booster who transforms a project into the real product of a company. « What to do » upstream and « how to carry it out » downstream. 
An experienced designer is essential to a startup. His design skills are thinking as well as doing. He helps the entrepreneur to set up his vision and his project. He guides him in transforming an idea into a product and into a real company. The association of « ideas and business model » and « technology and design » covers the strategic and operational needs of the company product: what do we offer, for whom, what are we doing, what are we looking at, what are we feeling and how do we use it » and « what is next thing » we will produce after that. 
Design is « le corps et l’esprit », the « body » and « soul » of the company . It is much more than the experience of the product. The design is the « product ». Therein, the duo « entrepreneur-designer » is from now on as important as the traditional duet with the technical manager. Nevertheless useful design must be a practice as well as a concrete philosophy. For such a fragile structure as a startup design has to offer a solid and large expertise over the entire creation process in order to make a full end to end product and experience.

Jean louis Frechin NoDesign
Jean-Louis Frechin set up NoDesign in 2001, a digital and innovative design studio specialising in design, innovation and strategic thinking for information technologies, interactions and new hardware for industrial and cultural projects. Jean Louis is recognized as a front-runner in digital design, mainly in connected object. He is also a consultant for firms and StartUps in new fields: innovation by design, advanced technologies, innovation strategy and interaction design. For him, design is a state, a prism for understanding and questioning the world. New challenges, new territories, attempting to enlarge the ‘scope of what is possible’ and ‘desirable’, without losing the basic values of design; meaning, simplicity, emotion, and above all human endeavour.

Jean Louis is lauréate of Via 2008, Carte blanche’ Grant, winner of the « Prix du Musée des Arts décoratifs », Observeur du Design, CES Best of Show inovation Award. NoDesign’s project are exposed in France and in lot of country: Moma (New York), Montréal, Milan, Genève, Zurich, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Vienna, Québec, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Centre Georges Pompidou, La Gaité Lyrique, Saint-Étienne). Jean Louis is currently columnist about Design & Innovation for « Les Echos », the main french economic NewsPaper. Curator, lecturer and researcher, he found the pioneer Digital design studio (Atelier de Design Numerique) at the ENSCI / les Ateliers in Paris in 1998., it is there that he passes on his experience, culture, insatiable curiosity and ‘project’ approach.