Get Our Newsletter

Sign-up for your monthly fix of design news, reviews and stuff to make you smarter.

Follow Core77
Twitter Facebook RSS

core jr

The Core77 Design Blog

send us your tips get the RSS feed
Posted by core jr  |  14 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)


By Robert Grace

Business executives, designers and Chinese government officials alike received a hefty dose of knowledge and insight this past weekend about the value and importance of design not only to products and environments but also to the human condition.

A diverse mix of more than 700 attendees—of whom roughly half were non-designer, C-level business officials—attended the inaugural Design Success Summit at the Portman Ritz-Carlton Shanghai on Oct. 11 to listen, learn and debate the role that design can play in enhancing business and improving lives. Held in the midst of Shanghai Design Week, the day-long conference was capped by presentation of about 180 awards to the winners of the ninth annual Successful Design Awards competition.

An underlying yet high-minded theme that emerged at the DSS event, in addition to its stated goal of "amplifying the value of design," was the role that designers can and should play in the betterment of society.

In the highlight of the event, Don Norman, former Apple VP and co-founder/principal of the Fremont, Calif.-based Nielsen Norman Group (and sometime Core77 columnist), tag-teamed with Prof. Patrick Whitney, dean of the Illinois Institute of Technology's Institute of Design, on a 90-minute discussion, during which the pair challenged the aspiring designers in the audience.

Referring to design as "the intermediary between technology and people," Norman urged young designers to become generalists, not specialists. He suggested that students not major in design, but rather focus on gaining an understanding in history, literature, politics, and other such broad-based topics, because designers need to be able "to look at the entire issue." The key, he suggested, is not just solving the immediate problems that present themselves, but rather analyzing the entire situation. "Design is not about giving you answers," he said, "it's a process to determine what the real problem is."



Posted by core jr  |  13 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)
Advertorial content sponsored by Dassault Systèmes

Taking a step beyond static X-ray images, the OrthoSonos™ system detects friction across a joint's full range of motion, giving surgeons a clearer picture of patients' joint health. Designed by Karten Design.

Bringing a consumer product to market is a challenge in and of itself—taking an idea through concept development, business analysis, beta testing, product launch, and beyond. Add the FDA to the mix, and it's a whole 'nother story. This is the challenge faced by medical device and product firms, which not only have to make a fully functioning, well-designed product but also have to put it through several rounds of rigorous testing by the FDA and other regulatory bodies.

"They're parameters. They don't stop you from doing anything, but they do make you do it in a way that you, as a user, would probably think is a good thing," says Aidan Petrie, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Ximedica, an FDA-registered product development firm with an exclusive focus on medical products. On any given day, Ximedica is running 40 individual programs, overseeing the steps required to bring these products to market. "We don't do anything that isn't a FDA-regulated product," says Petrie.

The timelines for these projects can run anywhere between two to six years. While time-to-market is not the primary driver, finding ways to close that gap can make a big difference in profitability. For companies like Ximedica and HS Design, closing that gap meant becoming International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 13485 certified. "There are so many regulatory and quality metrics that had to be put in place to satisfy those requirements that it made us a better and stronger company," explains Tor Alden, Principal and CEO at HS Design (HSD). "It also put us to a level where we couldn't just accept any client. We had to become more sophisticated as far as who our clients were and how we could say no or reach a point of compliancy." By building those regulations into the design process, these companies are able to anticipate and plan for any potential timely obstacles from the get-go.



Posted by core jr  |   9 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

Sebastian-CMOA.jpgLook Again, on view until January 19, 2015, at the Carnegie Museum of Art. Photo by Bryan Conley

Our friend Sebastian Errazuriz is out in full force this fall, with not one, not two, but three exhibitions on view at this very moment. He's doubled down with shows here in New York City, where he's based—alas, the uptown half of the bifurcated exhibit Functional Sculpture / Sculptural Furniture closes tomorrow; the other half will remain on view at Cristina Grajales until the 24th—while Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Art is hosting a proper retrospective, Look Again, which will be on view until January 19, 2015. (As we noted over the summer, his latest project, the "Explosion Cabinet," debuted in Pittsburgh; versions of it are on view at both the museum there and at the gallery here in New York.)

Sebastian-CGG.jpgFunctional Sculpture / Sculptural Furniture at Cristina Grajales Gallery. Photo by Ari Espai

On August 19, just a few short weeks before the opening of the three shows, the Chilean-born designer took the stage at TEDx Martha's Vineyard, where he presented his general outlook on life and his craft in the form of a primer to his clever—and often outright cheeky—oeuvre. You can almost get away with listening to it in the background, but the slides of his work go a long way:


Posted by core jr  |   9 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)


If you're checking out grad schools for next September, be sure to take a look at the MFA in Products of Design program at SVA in New York City. Chaired by Core77's Allan Chochinov, the department will welcome guests to its Information Session/Open House on Saturday, November 8th, from 1pm - 4pm. Meet faculty and students, tour the department and Visible Futures Lab, and preview projects and the curriculum. Here's a bit more:

"Please join us for our Open House and Information Session. The MFA in Products of Design is an immersive, two-year graduate program that creates exceptional practitioners for leadership in the shifting terrain of design. We educate heads, hearts and hands to reinvent systems and catalyze positive change.

"Students gain fluency in the three fields crucial to the future of design: Making, from the handmade to digital fabrication; Structures: business, research, systems, strategy, user experience and interaction; and Narratives: video storytelling, history and point of view. Through work that engages emerging science and materials, social cooperation and public life, students develop the skills to address contemporary problems in contemporary ways.

"Graduates emerge with confidence, methods, experience and strong professional networks. They gain the skills necessary to excel in senior positions at top design firms and progressive organizations, create ingenious enterprises of their own, and become lifelong advocates for the power of design."

Check out all the goings on at the department goings at their site, and RSVP for the Open House/Information Session event here.

Posted by core jr  |   7 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)


Last month's design-education spectacular is over, but please indulge us as we present one more piece of (belated) back-to-school content. As we were compiling those interviews, confessions and FAQs, we thought it would also be fun to ask some established designers to tell us about their own most memorable d-school moments. So we reached out to a bunch of folks and asked them each the same question:

What's the craziest, most outrageous or most regrettable product or project you dreamed up during design school?

Here are answers from ten noteworthy contemporary designers.


Misha Kahn

Initially, I was sure it was this thing I made called the Unimelt 5000, which melted chocolate creatures and turned them into hot chocolate. Inside was some pretty wily electrical work, including a hair dyer, a milk frother, a blender and a garden hose. But then I was looking through some school photos, and there's a laundry list of questionable choices! Others include a coffee table that you had to lube up and spin into an orgasm; a giant waffle standing on syrup drips; a cast rubber chair; and a giant wall-mounted wrecking ball.


Karim Rashid

I was far too serious in university to develop anything really crazy and outrageous. But when I was teaching at RISD in 1991, I developed concept projects to inspire my students. I would produce pedagogy based on our future digital tools. Here is a mobile phone "tree" that was composed of a small mobile handset and removable touch screens with real-time images so you could leave your last video call image up on the tree to remind you of your family or friends. In 1991 this was only a fantasy that now is a reality.


Max Lipsey

The first thing I thought of was this project for Nike to design the shoe of the future. I came up with a shoe filled with live bone cells, and the structure of the shoe would form/grow around your foot as you walk. I still think it's kind of a cool idea, but pretty far out-there. As I recall, my teachers were not so thrilled, nor was Nike. Some fellow students found it to be as awesome as I did, while others thought that it's super icky (which it is). No regrets, though!