Waste Not Want Not Baby!
When you get into world resource shortages, and high consumption, the other side of the same discussion is waste. Consumer waste is the inevitable by-product of the current short appliance turnaround trend. But that doesn't mean that designers have no choice but to crank out waste. In order to beat the enemy, you've got to know it, so say hello to garbage.
Still Time to Burn
If you haven't had a chance to register yet, there's still plenty of time to get your ideas together for Bonfire #3: Clip-n-Seal It! Maybe you've had a breakthrough about sealing for the holidays. Or, maybe your winter recreation idea could use a low-cost, watertight seal. Whatever your idea, drop us a line and get registered.
The Blossom's Thorns
We've written before about the changing global manufacturing climate, and how it may be affected by China and the rest of east Asia rising in prominence. But while this is a boom time for product design, with more consumer electronics, home, and kitchen product offerings than ever before, it may be a dying time for the current breed of western industrial designer. Lets look at how you can get the bloom without being stung by the thorns.
Oh Rulers Of The World...
It happens to all of us. Some days, you just wake up feeling like you're a tiny gear in some giant machine, and your efforts are barely making a dent in the surface of anything. So, for those times, we've put together a little pep talk to rouse your spirits. You're designers damit, that's a heck of a thing to be!
Citychanging and Worldchanging
Design is less about learning particular skills, and more about learning a framework for human problem solving through products. In order to help you all out in your quest to further that framework, we thought you might get a kick out of a few sites that explore change as their central theme.
Design in Virtuality
If you'll remember a few weeks ago, we had a bit on the growing opportunities for integrating virtual information into the real world through design. But interestingly, with the recent surge of massively multi-player online games, there has been an explosion of the opposite. Designers are turning to the virtual world as an outlet, and sometimes even an income source for their designs. Will wonders never cease?
The (iPod) Killer App?
Probably beginning with Intel's Pentium line of processors, consumer electronics has become increasingly focused on having the best statistics. We've gotta have 2.4 gigahertz phones, 3.1 gigahertz processors, 40 gig portable MP3 players, and a gig of DDR Ram memory (or is it SDDR or SDDRSRR... whatever). The progress of the iPod and other music players are perfect examples of this desire to have more an more room, often simply for the sake of having room. But new developments in Wifi network technology and cellular phone networks may make all of that largely irrelevant. Things could get interesting.
Deliver Us From Porn
As you might have noticed, if your interested in Texas Holdem or Online Gambling, you're sure to find something you might like in the comments from previous posts. We're working on this dilema, but until we come up with a solution, we're freezing the comments. Unfortunately, and we feel like assmasters about this, in the process of removing some of the offending comments, we completely wiped the comment field from the database. We have some of them backed up, but most of your comments have been lost. All we can say is, hey, we're designers, not IT gurus.
But never fear. We'll have you all commenting as happy as clams in no time. Until then, if you have something really great to say, mail it to us, and we'll see that it gets put up.
Time For An Oil Change
Last week, while discussing China's rapid development into a leading world consumer nation, we touched on the future of our oil-based...everything. But in our research for that piece, and in subsequent discussions in the media after the election furor has died down, we've come to see how much larger the world's dilemma is. So, we thought it was important to once again take a look at the current and future oil situation, and it's pertinence to design. More importantly, we want to offer some ideas that you as designers can use right now to make a difference.
We're big believers in sketch modeling -- making a quick bang out model can go a long way to telling you if you're on the right track, or if you've got a lemon on the drawing board. Working with pink foam or foamcore can only get you so far though, so we're always on the lookout for new materials. Today, we got some samples of a new architectural model making material called Taskboard, and we put it through the paces. See if it's right for you.
Icelanders Against Ikea
We're always super excited to get email submissions from our readers around the world. Sometimes though, our 6 years of Spanish education just aren't enough. So what if you can conjugate the preterit nosotros form of saber (supimos. Bam baby!) when you get mail in Icelandic? But in the interest of world peace and spreadin' the goodwill, we've done our best to get this cool story from Ragnar Freyr Pálsson up.
Don't Lose Touch
Something like 85 % of your knowledge of the world comes through your eyes. So the guy who said form follows function probably had something. Obviously, formal queues are tremendously important in a user's understanding of a product and its use. But even though so much information is piping through the ol' Ojos, when it comes down to it, your fingers and hands are probably going to do the work. So don't neglect the touch.
Interview: The Men Behind Clip-n-Seal
To help you all out in getting some inspiration for Bonfire #3: Clip and Seal It!, we thought it might be cool to hear from the men behind the magic. D.L. Byron is inventor and Technical Director of Clip-N-Seal, and Scott Benish is Brand Manager. Both these guys have done what many designers dream of but rarely get the chance to do: Take one of their products all the way from concept to creation. Here's what they've got to say about the journey.
All Sealed Up
Well, it's been quite a while since the last Bonfire, but we think you'll find it was worth the wait. This time, we've teamed up with our favorite badass bag benders, the folks at Clip-n-Seal, to deliver a longer format Bonfire with some real tooth; this time, it's all about closing, sealing, securing, pinching, clamping, and holding things together. Take a look for yourself: the Bonfire is lit!
Connection in a Disconnected World
History is built on community. It is the reason for countries like China remaining cohesive after thousands of years, and the reason that colonial nations like India and the United States were able to break away from their far-flung rulers. Traditionally, community has been defined by geographic proximity, because of communication difficulties. But in an age of widespread connectivity through voice, text, and the internet, is it time for a redefinition of community?
The End Of Consumerism
With the office of the U.S. Presidency re-filled -- and yes, it might not have turned out how we wanted -- we nevertheless find ourselves in the same world we were in a week ago. And in that world, because of numerous factors, like elections, controversy, and war, a serious issue which hits very close to home for designers is being overlooked. Amid all this chaos, we may have reached the end of the "consumer boom".
Ive on ID
Jonathan Ive, winner of the Design Museum's Designer of the year award last year, and designer responsible for some of the most deeply emotional (either with love, or loathing) products out there, made a rare speaking appearance the other day at the London Design Museum. He made a point to speak to student designers...
Voting is Design
If you're reading from in the U.S., you're probably aware that we get to vote today. If you hadn't planned on voting, consider this: Whatever flaws the elective process, or the people running for office might have, this is still one of the coolest design projects you'll have a chance to put on a resume. Today, millions of Americans, like those in other democracies around the world, will work together to re-invent our country. Even if you only have a small part to play, it's still pretty neat. So get a move on. No matter who you vote for, just make sure you vote.
Design Breeds Growth
When Intel announced last month that it would cancel its 4 gigahertz Pentium 4 processor in favor of a more function-based product stratification strategy, computer and gadget pundits everywhere proclaimed that Moore's Law was dead. But processor speed doubling isn't the only exponential factor present in today's tech arena; insane growth is rampant, and it's a golden opportunity for designers.
Dominic Muren and IDFuel Team