Brilliant Ideas That Never Saw the Light of Day


Senior Design Strategist Ruby Steel recounts her most brilliant design idea that never actually happened.



As a “fixer” on BBC Two’s television series The Big Life Fix, Ruby Steel, with a team of the UK’s top designers and engineers, takes on challenges at an individual level. One such challenge was that of 8-year-old Josh, a profoundly blind child in southeast London, whose disability prevented him from using his school playground with the other children at break times.

The biggest barrier to him entering the space was his overall lack of understanding about where he was at any given time. So we set about designing a playground that would allow Josh to navigate the space and feel confident, using beacons that leverage Bluetooth technology, to map out the playground. But in our enthusiasm to prototype and rapidly solve the challenge, we broke a fundamental design principle – we were not designing inclusively. To solve for Josh, we couldn’t ignore the needs of the other children.

“Often the best ideas spring from flawed ones.”

Ruby Steel
Feb 2019