Here in Part Two of our interview with Design that Matters, Tim Prestero and Malory Johnson sound off on the pitfalls of designing for social impact, how to assess user feedback, what it's like working with design newbies, the future of their current project, and what young designers seeking long
To change floors in a building you've got staircases, escalators, elevators and, in some magical parts of the world, paternosters. That's pretty much it. But an international design collective known as the Rombout Frieling Lab has designed an entirely new method of going up or down. They call it Vertical
As a designer, have you ever had a "What the fuck" moment? Tim Prestero experienced his while working with a group of Special Forces operatives. A former Peace Corps volunteer and then-PhD-candidate at MIT, Prestero's original life plan had been "to fix the world as an environmental scientist," he explains.
Design plays a major role when it comes to sustainability and global welfare. Everything from building efficient refugee tents and sustainable cities to recyclable batteries requires design thinking. But have you ever thought about the role design plays when it comes to food waste? Food waste is actually one of
Tim Prestero and his team at Design that Matters did everything right: They identified an important, life-saving product design need, did heavy research, designed a good-looking and functional product that solved that need, and won awards for it. But then the product failed to gain traction. Why?
A team of researchers at Oxford University have coaxed an artificial intelligence program into an impressive leap forward and towards our own obsolescence. The program, known as LipNet, is showing particularly promising ability to read lips in video clips, thanks to machine learning and a novel way of approaching the
Ryan Eder's idea for an inclusive workout system, The Access Strength, began as his student thesis project at University of Cincinnati. After The Access Strength took home multiple IDSA awards, including Best in Show, Eder realized that he needed to do more than travel around and share his idea—he needed to take action and bring it to life. Through years of effort and research to bring his realization to market, Eder's company, IncludeFitness, transformed into both a physical and cloud-based pla
Ours is the plugged-in generation, loaded up with devices that demand a steady flow of energy at home, at work, and on the go. We have spawned an era of energy dependence - and there's no indication that we can stop. The science advocacy group, Union of Concerned Scientists,
It's not often we see fashion design working to empower a community—clothing is usually about the individual. For this reason, among many other important ones, ASIYA's line of culturally appropriate activewear instantly caught our eye. Through the sleek design of their athletic hijabs, ASIYA aims to encourage Muslim women of
If you want to research how to design for those with disabilities, you can buy the Inclusive Design Toolkit we looked at here. But industrial designer Janna Deeble did his research the hard way: An accident left him in a wheelchair for three months, providing first-hand experience of what it's
We all have a view of our immediate environment that informs the way we behave within it. We keep our voices down in the library, we raise our voices when we're watching a playoff game at a bar. We cross our offices to throw paper into the recycling bin rather
As we saw in 2001: A Space Odyssey, you never want to create an AI named HAL 9000 and embody it in an illuminated red circle. But if you give it additional circles of yellow and green and name it Surtrac, it turns out it can be quite helpful. Surtrac
Commonly thought of as exclusive to legislative work and developing written laws, public policy is an often unnamed aspect of design thinking. Public policy must be responsive, investigate practices and be solution oriented. But what does it have to do with STEAM? STEAM is the product of incorporating arts and
Farming is Filled with Emotions For the over two million American families who farm professionally, their work is toil and struggle, risk and fear. It is also joy and love, commitment and loyalty. Farm stories are generational, passing down both knowledge and lore from one generation to the next—from tales
As far as we're concerned, BioLite has got the best products on the market for turning firewood into energy. That's why we gave their BaseCamp stove a Core77 Design Award last year. BioLite's cooking stoves improve combustion efficiency, reduce smoke and generate electricity, a triple win. Now a sort
Lots of designers want to change the world. Buckminster Fuller did, at least representationally, by conceiving of the following image: Might've taken your brain a second to recognize that particular chain of islands. Fuller's Dymaxion Air-Ocean World, as he called it, presented the world from a different perspective. Rather than
Imagine the moment a baby is born. In a complications-free birth, the infant is delivered to the safety of its mother's arms where it feels the mother's heartbeat, rises and falls with the mother's breath, snuggles into and smells the mother's skin, and hears the mother's voice. Several medical studies
After missing her train and showing up fashionably late, Youtube sensation and self proclaimed robotics comedian Simone Giertz recently spoke to students at Brown University about the importance of building useless things. Held by Brown's Humanity Centered Robotics Initiative, Simone's lecture spoke in a humorous way to the initiative's goal
After months of the top 19 full-system design project entries competing head to head for victory, the 2016 Buckminster Fuller Challenge has officially come to a close. Finalists proposed thoughtful projects ranging from solutions to over populated cemeteries to better designs for harvesting water—it's a wonder the panelists could come to a final decision.
This month, we're reporting from Indonesia, a country in Southeast Asia comprised of thousands of tiny islands. Of these islands, the beauty of Bali is legendary but as we found out when we arrived, it shares at least one thing in common with other island destinations—an enormous amount of waste
A pregnant acquaintance of mine related the following story, about how "Grandmas of Harlem continue to come to my rescue." As she boarded a bus, "This grandmother, sitting in an interior seat of the bus, saw me and flagged me over. The young man sitting next to
Remember our discussion on one-handed cutting boards awhile back? Well one student has a new solution, and it's already earned him IKEA's attention… and a James Dyson Award! Loren Lim, an Industrial Design student at the National University of Singapore, has isolated several types of kitchen discomfort that people experience
This past weekend over 700 people gathered in Providence, Rhode Island for Better World by Design. In it's ninth year, the conference held between adjacent college campuses Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University, brings creators, innovators and professionals of all types together for a three day long gathering
Designers and consumers have an urgent challenge to confront in the current discussion around sustainability. How can we distinguish between goods which seem eco-friendly, but actually contribute to a culture of waste, and those that are truly green? Designer Danielle Trofe had to challenge herself to look at every aspect
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