What Zaha Knows That You Don't
42. ...But What's The Question?
From Pokia to Hulger
We first met Nicolas last year when he wowed the world with his custom-made line of Pokia retro-cell phone handsets. At the time, his production was extremely limited, and each handset was hand soldered (by him) and sold on EBay. Since then, Nicolas has moved into the big time, manufacturing his own line of handsets, marketed under the new name Hulger. We had the luck to test one of his first P-phones, and loved it. His latest offering (and our favorite), the Penelope handset has some of the kind of beautiful finish that's been missing from products since the 1950s. We caught up with him to see what his thoughts were on manufacturing, muscling with the big players, and what a new designer can expect in taking their designs all the way.
IDEO Vacation pt. 2 : Top Bill-ing
If you thought the last part of the IDEO vacation was cool, wait until you hear what happened next. Previously, I wrote about my meeting with Daniel Kushner, a designer in IDEO's San Francisco Offices. He and I talked about the certain qualities that make IDEO work as well as it does. About focused knowledge in groups, but broad collaboration throughout the firm. About a development cycle that puts "phase 0", a method for outlining the user and problem space, front and center. About a defined method for problem solving that is both repeatable and adaptable. The more we talked, the more I came to understand that IDEO is less an office full of workers executing some higher-up's wishes, and more a group of designers able to tackle the toughest of problems because of their unique collective state of mind. The next day, I had the good fortune to have a lunch with Bill Moggridge who, along with David Kelley, founded this group and crafted this state of mind. What he told me made me stop asking questions like "What will designers do in the next century?". Instead, I wonder what designers and design thinking won't touch.
IDEO Vacation pt. 1 : What makes IDEO so... IDEO?
Most people take vacations to the ski slopes, or tourist destinations. This winter, I decided that visiting IDEO would be more fun. So with a couple of taggalongs interested in getting some California sun, I headed off to sunny San Francisco, and its lofty neighbor Palo Alto. I wanted to see what makes a firm like IDEO -- which, let's face it, has an almost magical appeal when you're a design student -- what makes it so successful at continually turning out concepts that not only answer design questions, but answer them in ways that are often so far off the beaten path that they create entirely new product definitions.
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Dominic Muren and IDFuel Team