Peter Ford graduated from Leicester Polytechnic in 1983 to join the London based product design group BIB (Butler, Isherwood and Bartlett). Peter worked on a wide range of international products for companies such as Ferguson, Duracell, BT, BOC Ohmeda, Minolta and many more.
In 1987 he joined the Leicester based product design group Jones Garrard (designers of the Eurostar) as associate director responsible for the design of consumer products, medical devices and capital equipment, adding companies such as Pfizer, Black and Decker, Gent, 3M and Unilever to his repertoire.
Peter joined De Montfort University in 1991 as a senior lecturer in Product Design helping develop the multi award winning (Dyson, Addis, BASF, RSA) BA and BSc Product Design courses to their current status. He continues to tutor on these courses in addition to Masters and Higher Degree supervision.
In response to demand from industry, Peter formed the De Montfort University Design Unit (a design research and currently group currently consisting of 8 staff) in 1992, initially undertaking projects for British Nuclear Fuels, DA Systems and Reckitt and Coleman. To date the group has also undertaken work for companies such as Guinness, Adidas, the Pentland Group, British Telecom, Oxford Instruments and many more. This design research and innovation activity for private sector companies is currently ongoing; at present the group is undertaking work in the UK, Finland, Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
In 2003 the Design Unit commenced its first Regional Design support programme entitled Improving Business by Design (IBBD), a scheme to help SME’s make better use of design in their business strategies. Enlisting the assistance of local design groups, the project was highly successful resulting in the creation of over 30 jobs and a significant increase in GVA into the East Midlands.
Improving Business by Design was followed by the establishment of the New Product Development Centre in 2006 and the first of the groups Resource Efficiency in Design (RED) support programmes.
In 2008 the group was commissioned to undertake a design pilot scheme for the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), a design support scheme involving over 150 companies in the East Midlands.
In late 2009 the group established the Retail Lab, a unique facility to investigate resource efficiency within the retail sector. In addition the group has undertaken the second of its Resource Efficiency in Design (Deep RED) research projects, investigating resource efficiency relating to design and the supply chain. In addition the Design Unit is currently undertaken further SME Design Support projects funded by Europe (ERDF).
In early 2011, Peter Ford was awarded Chair of Design at De Montfort University for his work in his field, Nick Butler OBE, RDI (former Head of Butler, Isherwood and Bartlett) and Sir George Cox (former Chairman of the Design Council) being among his referees.
In summary, for over 20 years, Professor Peter Ford has specialised in assisting Small, Medium and Large Enterprises make effective use of design within their businesses strategies and more recently on the benefits of being resource efficient in the design and development of these products, this has extended to advising Governments in the UK, Oman and Indonesia on the role of design in industry.