Thursday, January 28, 2010

Manifesto of the Global Agenda Council on Design

A design conversation is now part of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting this week in Davos, Switzerland.

Members of GAC first conversation resulted in the following thoughts on DESIGN:

"Throughout history, design has been an agent of change. It helps us to understand the changes in the world around us, and to turn them to our advantage by translating them into things that can make our lives better. Now, at a time of crisis and unprecedented change in every area of our lives – economic, political, environmental, societal and in science and technology – design is more valuable than ever.

The crisis comes at a time when design has evolved. Once a tool of consumption chiefly involved in the production of objects and images, design is now also engaged with developing and building systems and
strategies, and in changing behavior often in collaboration with different disciplines.

Design is being used to:
· Gain insight about people’s needs and desires
· Build strategic foresight to discover new opportunities
· Generate creative possibilities
· Invent, prototype and test novel solutions of value
· Deliver solutions into the world as innovations adopted at scale

In the current climate, the biggest challenges for design and also its greatest opportunities are:"

Read More of the Businessweek Article

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apple's Latest Contribution to Altering the Way We Live

Now that the speculators have been proven correct, that Apple would introduce a tablet device, have they gotten it right?

The Kindle, Amazon's ebook reader and category leader, will probably suffer as a result of the Apple's Ipad greater design pedigree, greater functionality and approachable price point.

The predicted winners are content providers (i.e. publishers of books, magazines, newspapers) and of course Apple shareholders. It was a short ten years ago that Apple stepped in a space that the music industry refused to address constructively but instead chose to take legal action against consumers who wanted to share digital music files. Likewise, the print media industries struggle to recapture revenues lost to the internet, and Apple introduces a device and supporting software iBooks that offers a possible solution.


NYTimes at the Blogs at the Product Announcement

NYTimes: Is the iPad a Game Changer?

“A defining quality of Apple has been design restraint,” says Paul Saffo, a technology forecaster and consultant in Silicon Valley.

That restraint is evident in Mr. Jobs’s personal taste. His black turtleneck, beltless blue jeans and running shoes are a signature look. In his Palo Alto home years ago, he said that he preferred uncluttered, spare interiors and then explained the elegant craftsmanship of the simple wooden chairs in his living room, made by George Nakashima, the 20th-century furniture designer and father of the American craft movement.

Great products, according to Mr. Jobs, are triumphs of “taste.” And taste, he explains, is a byproduct of study, observation and being steeped in the culture of the past and present, of “trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done and then bring those things into what you are doing.”

NYTimes: Steve Jobs Design Philosophy Considered

Friday, January 22, 2010

Recession 101: Designers Looking for Work

The loss of traditional design jobs is more evidence that the shift in desired skills tracks to areas of technological advances (i.e. interaction, animation...). In the attached article one designer demonstrates that a creative response could lead to the very opportunities one had dreamed of, though they may be packaged a little differently.

NYTimes Article

Friday, January 15, 2010

Samsung: The New Top Dog in Consumer Electronics

It seems that Japan has been replaced by another far east competitor.

Korea has been showing itself to be the hot bed of innovative and well designed consumer electronics products as demonstrated at the 2010 Consumer Electronic Show and profit growth over 2009.

It is worthy to note the absence of western brands from this distinction, with the exception of Apple, the move of manufacturing and design to the east is clearly evident.

Article by Jeff Yang

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Essay: Why We Should Teach Design Early

Rob Stokes a Senior Interaction Designer in frog design’s Austin studio posted the following essay. It is worth taking a few moments to read.

"Designers, through training and experience, develop a different lens through which to see the world. They move through spaces, environments, and systems, making observations and developing insights about what works well and what doesn’t. They then use those observations and insights to create innovative solutions for everyday problems. If design is the crossroads of beauty and purpose, design thinking is the intersection of creative and analytical thinking.

But when do we learn how to think like a designer?

In today’s world of standardized tests and performance-based educational funding, students are not evaluated on the way they approach a problem, but whether or not they come up with the right answer.

What happens when there are many right answers, as is often the case with non-linear design solutions? When can we start teaching students how to creatively evaluate their ideas?"

Read Full Essay

Core77 Essay

New Leadership at the Cooper Hewitt ( National Design Museum)

A well known pioneer in design has accepted the leadership role at Smithsonian's National Design Museum effective in March 2010.

Bill Moggridge has been at the forefront of the most signficant changes that marked the evolution the design profession in the last 50 years. And so, if seems fitting that he is now tasked with shaping the institution that will chronicle the past and hopefully chart the future of design for the coming generation.

Washington Post Article

Friday, January 08, 2010

Design Road Show: Project H Emily Pillion Goes on Tour

I was really impressed with Ms. Pilloton's defense of Product Design during her presentation at the ISCID conference this past fall. And, now she is embarking on a national road tour promoting practical design solutions that impact the lives of people. She will be visiting high schools and colleges through out the country, and persuading a generation of students to consider being a Designer.

Itinerary for Design Revolution

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Design History: Norma Sklarek

The first African American female registered architect in the United States, Norma Sklarek, is a testament to the commitment necessary for success in a creative field.

Biography and Videos

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A Design Opportunity: A Snow Shovel

Life is wonderful for pointing out opportunity for improvements, personal and practical ones.

So the recent snow fall that blanketed the DC area with 16+ inches of the white fluffy stuff identified for me a need for a powered shovel of some sort, for property owners with small paths or those faced with infrequent snowfalls. Currently, most offerings require major financial investment as well as, space for storage that is more burdensome than the snow fall itself.

A quick assessment identified only two products that fit the bill. Each not having short comings which is evidence that the comment to address the issue was limited. This is an opportunity I will ponder and seeing if I can find a fitting solution before Dyson (the vacuum guy) gets his hands on it.

The End of ID Magazine

In 2009 the print media world shifted to the point that more than a few newspapers and notable magazines decided to call in quits. ID magazine's end speaks to more than the challenge of producing printed media in the digital era, but also the changing landscape of design and mismanagement.

Has the profession lost a voice? I think not. I can't say that it served my interest in design for more than a decade. But none the less it was a magazine that provide a visual reference that Product designers did exist.

Historically, tough economic times mean cuts in design related expenditures. I would suspect this will continue to be true this time through?

ID Magazine History

Reflections from a Insider

NYTimes Article

Friday, January 01, 2010

Auto Design: 2010 Camaro

The 2010 Camaro is beautiful. The portions and lines on the new Camaro are amazing, as they capture the power and dynamism of the heritage of America's unique view of the automobile as muscle car (aka: hot rod).

It is rare that an American car company gets the portions right. To often the pressures and influences of safety, cost etc. undermine the overall shape of the final product. But in this case the designer, Sangyup Lee, was able to delivery a wonderful looking final product.

NYTimes Article: New Camaro

Happy New Year- What a Year Past

Wow! 2009 was a full year so much so that my blogging suffered. The past year will be remember as the year consumed with the purchase and renovation of a home. But now,I am ready to continue my explorations and share my design discoveries again.

So let me start on this first day of the new year with a thought about American auto design.