Tuesday, October 31, 2006

A Short Definition for Design

Design is the conscious act of arranging elements to solve a problem (or address an opportunity).

Graphic design is the conscious act of arranging elements (font, color, image, layout...) to solve a communication problem.

Interior design is the conscious act of arranging elements (lighting, furnishings, fixtures, materials...) to solve a space problem.

Product design is the conscious act of arranging elements (materials, form, technology, business strategy...) to address a mass production opportunity.

This one is for you to fill- in the blanks.

Interaction design is the conscious arrangement of elements ( _______, ______, ______, ...) to solve a ___________problem.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Concept: User Interface Design - The Black Box

A design concept allows others to begin to see the potential of a design solution in the abstract.

This concept begins to identify the challenge brought on by the trend of loading mobile phones with so much functionality that the experience of the user is compromised.

What if...a mobile device's interface changed to reflect conventional/long-standing and real-world experiences of common devices.

Read more

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Definition of Interaction Design

As computing technologies expand and as more digital products become part of our lives so goes new design opportunities. Interaction design is another and growing branch of the big tree of "Design".

Interaction design is the process of defining the complex dialogues that occur between people and interactive devices —from household applicances, computers mobile communications devices to automobiles.

A Definition

Business Week Article

A Book on the Subject

Another Book

Interview: Bill Moggridge

Below is an example of BMW's iDrive interactive system. The dials and switches on the center console are used to control many of the functions of the vehicle including: audio, navigation and ventilation systems just to name a few.

Blog: Interaction design What is It?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Exhibtion: The Future of Global Design

Chicago's Museum of Contempary Art is hosting Bruce Mau's view of the potential of design to impact the world.

"Design affects all aspects of our lives and holds the possibility of changing the very nature of human life itself. Massive Change is an exhibition grounded in a provocative proposition. It is a celebration of the human capacity to change the world and a call to recognize both the power and the responsibility of design."

Exhibtion Details

Sunday, October 22, 2006

New Product: Bagless Cordless Handheld Vac

Personally I been looking for a product to fill my vacuum void. The Electrolux stick (2-in-1) vacuum came close but its limited suction power caused me to hold off spending a tite $100. And the popular Swifer dust mop just does not come close to addressing my cleaning needs.

So the idea solution for those (me) that live in small spaces and have cars that need to be cleaned, at least on occasion would be a cordless product that has flexibility. Hooray for Dyson, as it continues to out innovate its more established competitors.

The Root 6's radical/macho aesthetic maybe a little off putting to some? I question the dependence on holding the device only by a handle. The handle only approach raises a usability concern and may have missed an opportunity to make use of the users forearm for additional support and control?

Dyson Homepage

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Book: Designing Business

This book by Clement Mok was the first published document that codified (and inspired me to follow) my belief that design had the potential to exist within the context of business differently than it was functioning at the time (1996).

Designing Business

Smithsonian - National Design Museum

The Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum seems to be on track in developing programming that will reflect positively on Design (broadly defined)for a mass audience.

Cooper Hewitt - National Design Musuem.

Winner of the first People's Design Award.

The Katrina Cottage
A great choice for the first People's Choice design award. A temporary dwelling doesn't need to function nor look like a trailer. The residents of New Orleans who are working to restore nomality to there lives should at a minimum benefit psychologically from this solution.

Washington Post Article

The Designer

A Technology Source for Designers

I would recommend designers read Wired Magazine if not subscribe to it as a source for technological developments. It presents digestable information on culture as it relates to the history, impact and the future potential of various technologies.

Wired Magazine

A Definition for Design

"Design, stripped to its essence, can be defined as the human capacity to shape and make our environment in ways without precedent in nature that serves our needs and gives meaning to our lives"

John Heskett Toothpicks and Logos (2002)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

An Online Design Magazine

Core77 is a great resource for most things related to product design broadly defined.


The Story Behind the Birth of the IPod

If one product clearly defines the power of design thinking and its potential impact on business strategy the IPod is a lesson to be studied.

In the Beginning: The IPod Story 1

The Ipod Story 2

Professional Organization for Product Designers

The Industrial Designer Society of America (IDSA) serves the professional needs of those in the profession.


Experience: Shopping as a Product Designer

One would think shopping for a product designer would be easy, and if not, then how much more difficult for the average consumer?

What I noticed recently when shopping for a space heater is that it is no easy task to discern a good value when comparing products in the retail space. The fact is that with so many retailers selling the same brands to the same customer segment how do they all stay in business?

My Story

I was able to comparison shop between five major retailers all within blocks of each other (Target, BestBuy, Lowes,Sears and Home Depot). And what I discovered was the weight of finding the best product value has been placed squarely on the shoulders of the shopper. But sorting through an overwhelming number of choices is not for the faint-at-heart.

After doing my online research which included visits to retailer sites and social shopping sites that offer users opinions and comparing heating technologies and materials(i.e. convection, radiant, oil filled, ceramic and microthermic etc.). I headed out to shop for a good heater. Having five retailers so closely situated allowed me to quickly comparison shop and to my amazment discover a little manufacture/retailer secret.

The secret is that the products are not the same. Each retailer had in stock a different model of the same brand of heater as the retailer up the street. It is the feature differences that allow each retailer to use pricing structure that if used alone could lead an unaware shopper to think that they found the lowest price for a particuliar brand heater. This would not be the case, thus the customers are not finding the best value but only the lowest priced item in the category. So without considering the feature differences of seemingly simuliar products it is now harder to comparison shop.

Manufacturers have learned how to survive in a retail space full of big-box competitors by "tweeting there products". They are using a different feature mix on the same brand product when sold through a different retailor. And this strategy leaves the customer with a more difficult task of comparing apples to apples.

Slate Article on Shopping for an Iron

Monday, October 16, 2006

Design at Apple

The other man behind Apple's phenomenal success is Jonathan Ive. Here are a few artilces that consider his influence.

International Herald Tribune

Business Week Article

Wired Magazine Article

Motor Trend Magazine Article

Design Museum-UK- Jonathan Ive

Video: Steve Jobs introducing the first Mac in 1984 designed by Frogdesign.

Design at BMW

Chris Bangle, chief of design at BMW, has proven to be a controversial figure in the auto world. Here are a few articles that consider his influence.

The sculpture below is by Umberto Boccioni entitled: Unique Form of Continuity in Space (1913). The piece served an as inspiration for Bangle and reference can be seen in the form language of many of the latest BMW models.

Design-Emotion Article

Fast Company Article

Bussiness Innovation Insider Article

Forbes Article

A Definition of Industrial Design?

The following is the conclusion of an essay on finding an appropriate definition of Industrial Design written by Gadi Amit.

"We've got a lot of ingredients in this soup...Form, function, desirability, manufacturability, affordability, cultural reference, and so on. But our fragile profession might do well to stand on the two legs it was born with: Design that is Industrial. ID is a synthesis of the visual, emotional, functional and cultural (or a way to ceate an object of desire equipped with a sense of mission)...as long as you can repeatedly put it in a can and ship it at a price you would pay for yourself."

Design Thinking An Introduction

The essay that follows was found online and I am not sure who to credit(Victor Lombardi) , but take it as a starting point on the subject of Design Thinking.

What is Design Thinking?

As with design, there’s probably no one definition of design thinking everyone will agree on. The term design alone can refer to nouns such as designers, physical products, and style as well as verbs such as process, create, and make. For example, Charles Burnette in his IDeSiGN curriculum calls it, “…a process of creative and critical thinking that allows information and ideas to be organized, decisions to be made, situations to be improved, and knowledge to be gained.”

Lately many more people
are talking and writing about the application of design thinking to intangible problems, design not only as a verb but as a way of thinking about situations. I felt a need to review what has been said and define the term for myself before I could put it into use. Ways of thinking are always difficult to define, but I’m reminded of how Lao Tzu said “The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao” yet he still managed to write a book about it.

Design thinking is…

, especially with others having different and complimentary experience, to generate better work and form agreement
Abductive, inventing new options to find new and better solutions to new problems
Experimental, building prototypes and posing hypotheses, testing them, and iterating this activity to find what works and what doesn’t work to manage risk
Personal, considering the unique context of each problem and the people involved
Integrative, perceiving an entire system and its linkages
Interpretive, devising how to frame the problem and judge the possible solutions I’m sure one could play with the language and categorization to find more or less characteristics, but I’m happy with just those six.

Article: Creative Professionals Working Within a Business Context

Chris Conley of IIT's Institute of Design shares his insights on how innovation can be included in a general business context.

Business Week Article

Chris will be in NYC at the end of the month I hope to see you there.

'The New Business Degree Is Not An MBA'Monday,
October 30, 2006, 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Conde Nast Auditorium, 4 Times Square
(42nd & Broadway, enter on 43rd)

NYC Presentation Details

Magazine: Fast Company's Design Issue

One of the most progressive business magazines for the last decade addresses Design in its annual Masters of Design issue.

Fast Company Magazine

Video: A View of What is Industrial Design?

Here is a short video that seeks to explain what industrial design is. I would love to tackle this question using the same format.

YouTube Video

Steve Jobs Reflects on the IPod at its 5th Anniversary

The IPod that ubiquitous device which has single-handedly revoluntionize the way the world receives and listens to music. What is it about this product that addressed the needs of the public that serves as a model for developing products in a digital world?

Newsweek Article

Steve Jobs introduces the first IPod

Washington Post Article on Chuck Harrison

The Washington Post interviewed Charles Harrison "the Jackie Robison of design" during his visit (10/2006) to Washington DC. Chuck was selected as the 2006 recipient of FocusOnDesign's (FOD) Lifetime Achievement Award .

Washington Post Article

Chuck's Book

FOD - Washington DC Design Organization

Why I am Creating this Blog?

It is my intent to catalog design related content in one spot that would serve as a reference for myself and others interested in the issues surrounding the field of Design.