Nigel Ball

Nigel WK Ball

Senior Lecturer in Design


I am the Course Leader for the BA Product Design course. I am a professional design academic, designer and researcher. With a background in commercial industrial/product design, I have a particular interest in manufacturing materials and methods, and how these choices impact on a product’s journey from a concept into real physicality. I teach across all levels of the BA/BSc Product Design course, and am currently the Course Leader.


“A designer cannot claim to have truly designed something until they also know how it will be made.” (Terence Conran, designer)

Whilst the initial concept stages of product creation are exciting, as a practised industrial designer I am fascinated by the latter stages of product innovation, and the way that material and manufacturing choices shape the final product outcome. My research interests focus on manufacturing materials, processes and systems. After studying Industrial Design at the then Leeds Polytechnic, I worked in a number of design consultancy roles. Over 20 years I worked on many commercial projects for a broad range of clients, some of which were well-­‐known consumer brands or major multinational corporations, but far more were small tech companies, or even entrepreneur tech start-­‐ups. This included diverse and obscure areas such as radio tagging, bar-code reading and fire service products, and demanded creative approaches to manufacturing for these small-volume applications. I have also worked as a design advisor to manufacturers and a mentor to emerging designers. These experiences continue to inform my interests in new product development. I am currently researching stories of UK product design and manufacture. 

Specialist areas of interest

Product/Industrial Design 
Manufacturing material, processes and systems
Product lifespan and longevity


Subject area

Product, Furniture and Interior Design Subject Group


Product and Furniture Design

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