Saturday, October 27, 2007

Auto Design: Tokyo Motor Show

It appears that the American entries are generating little interest at the biannual auto show taking place in Chiba Japan.

But the German auto makers are turning heads by taking the wraps off the Audi and BMW small and sporty entries.

NYTimes Article

Slide Show

USA Today

Friday, October 26, 2007

AIGA's Twelve Step Design Process/ Cases Studies

The America Institute of Graphic Artist (AIGA) website has an interesting and nicely organized explaination of the steps in designing visual solutions.

the process of designing solutions


Wall Plug Plate Made Functional

There is something very practicle about this solution that I have not seen before.

This is an answer to a common problem, extraneous cables, that works so effectively on a functional level that I hope its creator earns a buck from the idea.

Karl Zhan

Blogging For a Year!!

Its was a year ago that I embarked on blogging about design.

I can say I am pleased at how this venue has been personally useful as an outlet for sharing my views on design, sharpening my writing and analysis. And on a very practical level this site functions as a digital repository of various design related resources and stories that I have found to be interesting.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Design Conference: Connections 2007

I am looking forward to attending the International Council of Industrial Design (ICSID) conference this week. It should be "cool" to be in a space with a few hundred other designers discussing issues surrounding the profession.

San Francisco Chroncile Article

Event Photos

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Auto Design: Honda New Hybird

Wow! Japan auto makers are proving that they understand the beauty of form as evidenced in the early photos of Honda's Concept CR-Z. Japanese car companies have led the race to making new hybrid technologies availble, now adding style points this could be a tough act for American companies to slow the decline of their combined marketshare.

The vehicle will be introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show on October 27th.

The fact that it is a hybird did not seem to cost it styling points.

More Photos

USA Today Article

Why Design is Important?

The following essay was written by Niti Bhan.

"Design is first and foremost a philosophy, based on a system of values, which seeks to solve problems. What are we creating? Why and for whom? Are we correctly framing the problem to be solved? These are the questions to which the answers are then manifested tangibly in the form of a new product, service or business model.

Human-centered design approaches the task of problem solving by always seeking to understand the end-user’s needs and aspirations, goals and the environmental conditions and constraints in which they live. When we can design a product or solution that meets an unmet need or challenge successfully that becomes good design.

These qualities are what make design a powerful tool for not only increasing shareholder value for corporations but also benefiting their customers by providing elegant yet effective products, services and business models."more

Tradeshow: Home and Houseware Products

A great place to hangout for aspiring inventors and designers is in Chicago at the annual housewares tradeshow. This is were one can get a sense of what it takes to get a commerical product to market. Also, I have found that the design component (i.e. speakers and related programming) seems to grow each year.

IHA Website

Reflections from Sitting on a Design Jury

This is a great essay from a non-designer, Micheal Schrage, who was invited to sit on the jury of one of the most prestigious American design award competitions.

"I confess that I had a hoot of a time and learned a lot--both about design and about myself. More important, I gained a very keen insight into the way that great design does--and does not--align with great innovation. You're fully welcome to disagree (this was originally written in July), just as did Lord Rees. But if you do disagree, please make a better argument.

Serving on a criminal jury exposes one to unpleasant realities about the legal system and human nature. Serving on a design jury, on the other hand, merely exposes you to unpleasant truths about corporate innovation and creative talent.

Much to my surprise, being a design juror gave me a far more useful and revealing glimpse into pop culture than a criminal trial. The experience radically altered my perceptions--and preconceptions--of how designers design and what "good design" really means. I literally do not look at "designed" objects or services the same way anymore. Neither would you."

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Parking in Chicago: The Need to Innovate

It is encouraging to read that the city of Chicago is seeking for ways to improve the parking experience in the city.

They are implementing one part of a solution I proposed in my 2003 thesis project: theLINC Parking System (creating an digital parking infrastructure for a city environment).

Earlier this year Chicago walked away from a more ambitious plan to create a city-wide WiFi network, which was the core concept in my proposal.

The challenge for any large city grappling with the parking issue is finding a solution that addresses multiple layers of problems associated with managing public spaces, while building inter-agency collaboration and leverging technological innovations. Any city that takes on the opportunity must be willing to develop a new model for managing the public spaces. The benefit will be a city able to face the 21st century with an infrastructure that supports growth, new revenue stream as well as an enhanced quality of life of its citizens.

Currently, Chicago appears to be approaching the opportunities around parking without coordination between agencies. Therefore, it can be expected that a quality and sustainable solution will not be achieved. It will take broader support from the city's leaders along with a systematic rethinking of the problem.

Tribune Article

Tribune Article Leasing Meters

2007 Solar Decathlon: Designing an Energy Efficient House

The Department of Energy (DOE) sponsors the biannual event where 20 colleges unveil their solutions to energy efficient homes on the National Mall, Washington DC, October 12-19, 2007.

DOE Team Links


Photo Gallery

Friday, October 05, 2007

Where are the Best Design Schools?

Business Week magazine compiles 60 profiles of "the best" design schools found around the world.

It is impressive to see how much interest there is in the profession, but some countries seem more invested in the development of thinking creative people based on the number of students and quality of corporate support.

The List

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Design Masters: Paola Antonelli

This MOMA curator can lay claim to being the most influential woman in design, though she would not say so herself.

I remember coming across her book Mutant Materials and finding it the best book on materials for a non-chemist/ student of design. By the way I am still looking to get my hands on a copy that I can call my own.

This month's Fast Company magazine profiles Ms. Antonelli and other designers in their annual Design Masters issue.

Fast Company Article

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Designing for Medical Needs: Diabetes

There is tremendous opportunity to improve the function and appearance of medical devices for the benefit of those whose suffer from chronic diseases and whose lives are dependent on ongoing therapy.

It is estimated by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that 7% of the U.S. population, over 20 million Americans, have need for diabetes management tools and that number is expect to continue to grow. The link below looks at some solutions that are being launched to address the need.

Business Week Article