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  • james toleman

    owner/director at industrial design innovation

    Toulon, France

Qualified in Industrial Design Engineering at Central School, London, in 1986. James moved to the US in '90 in search of a wider design expertise. He joined top design offices in New York, Silicon Valley, and San Francisco for a 10 year period - maintaining a continual search for a wider knowledge and expertise in design craft. During this period he was a senior designer in the early years of IDEO, partnered with Bob Brunner to develop a Product Design Group at Pentagram SF , and regularly lectured at Stanford and CCAC. Back in Europe James joined Seymour Powell, then Therefore Design in London, before setting up his own studio - James Toleman Innovation Design in 2000 in France, to push a re-focusing on the experiential process of making - providing clients with specialised knowledge on a unique collaborative level. During a 3 year hiatus from '05, he conceived, developed and art directed the construction of one of the most dynamic new brands at Decathlon : co-conceived the award winning innovative “brand launch” product : Oxelo Diabolo: the inline skate with brakes which work. In '09 James founded Industrial Design Innovation Studio, marking a new era of collaboration between innovation specialists. James is a regular visiting lecturer at Euromed Management Design School in Marseille / Toulon where he develops workshop, brainstorming and innovation techniques with masters students in both Design and Business Programs. James is an expert at making things to put in the hands of users: design by investigation and experimentation - create, test, refine. He calls this biotic (human centered) design. The workshop is the centre of creative activity. This capability accompanied by honed brainstorming, workshop and user scenario development techniques enables the development of virtually transparent MMI’s and the use of the object becomes a simple pleasure. James work reflects a broad range of capabilities and interests and has consistently won international recognition.

Work Samples

  • Abaxis diagnostic blood analalyser

  • First Lady - Luxury Mobile Telephone

  • OXELO Diabolo inline skate

Work History

  • innovation design workshops - principal visiting professional

    • Euromed Management, Marseille
    • Nov 2007 - Present (10 years 1 month)

    Developing various methodologies, systems and theories to enable a complete understanding of the relationship between target users and the products and services we design and develop.
    - Workshops
    - Ateliers de Risque
    - Brainstorming
    - Product Semantics
    - Product Psychology
    - User Scenario
    - Lateral Thinking
    - Problem Solving
    - Prototyping by Hand

  • director

    • design innovation studio
    • Mar 2000 - Present (17 years 9 months)

    I am interested in joining your product development team or helping you create a tailor-made independant design and product development team enabling you to build your clients needs into successful products.

    Visit my website for more info on how I can work with you to bring your ideas to light - www.jamestoleman-innovation.com

  • senior designer, remote contributor

    • therefore design, London UK
    • Aug 1998 - Present (19 years 4 months)
  • visiting innovation design professional

    • International School of Design INDIA DSK Supinfocom Group
    • Nov 2010 - Nov 2010

    sharing design and innovation methodologies - student mentorship and guidance through week long masterclass workshops.

  • brand design director

    • decathlon OXELO inline and ice products
    • Jun 2006 - Dec 2008 (2 years 6 months)
  • design director inline + ice brands

    • Decathlon
    • 2006 - 2007 (1 year)
  • product design consultant

    • Proctor and Gamble
    • 2002 - 2003 (1 year)
  • senior designer / design manager

    • pentagram design, San Francisco, USA
    • Mar 1996 - Jul 1998 (2 years 4 months)
  • senior designer

    • IDEO, Palo Alto, USA
    • Mar 1992 - Mar 1996 (4 years)
  • designer

    • human factors industrial design, inc
    • 1990 - 1992 (2 years)


  • central school of art and design

    • BA (Hons) Industrial Design (Eng) Industrial and product design
    • 1983 - 1986
  • Bryanston

    • 1977 - 1982



2010 iF Hannover - industrial design award Decathlon Oxelo Diabolo inline skate 2009 Red Dot - industrial design award Decathlon Oxelo Diabolo inline skate 2007 iF Hannover - industrial design award Abaxis medical appliance Medical Design Excellence Gold Award - industrial design Abaxis medical appliance 1997 IDEA Silver Award - Concepts - Diba, Internet Information Appliances, visual identity IDEA...
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