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Posted by core jr  |  17 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

DSchoolFutures-Conclusion-1.jpgThe more things change, the more they stay the same. Photos by Kyle Oldfield, winner of our design school photo contest

Yesterday we published the last installment of our D-School Futures series, in which we interviewed the chairs of 11 leading industrial design programs about the evolution of ID education. Along the way, we gleaned quite a few insights into what it's like to be an ID student today, how schools are reacting to rapid changes in the industry, and what all of this means for incoming students and recent graduates. For those of you who haven't had time to read the full series—or who just love a good listicle—here's our shortlist of five essential takeaways.

1. Now Is a Really Good Time to Launch a Design Career
OK, so you would expect the chairs of design programs to be bullish about the profession; they couldn't very well tell us that now is a crummy time to get a degree from one of their programs. Even so, our interviewees gave us the distinct impression that now actually is a really good time to be getting into industrial design, or any design field for that matter. With the economy looking increasingly healthy, design firms are hiring new graduates at a steady clip—and, more importantly, businesses of all stripes are continuing to recognize the importance of design to their bottom lines.

2. Designing Physical Stuff Is Not Becoming Less Important—If Anything, the Opposite Is True
Worried that designers of actual, physical stuff are going to become obsolete in the coming decades, as more and more of our daily tasks are handled by digital tools? Don't be. As several of our interviewees noted, physical objects are not going away anytime soon—and, besides, as digital tools become more advanced, people will expect richer and more nuanced experiences in ye olde three-dimensional world. "While our tools and experiences are moving toward digital interactions, there will always be physical, visual or multi-sensorial manifestations that are part of the input and output of those interactions," Art Center's Karen Hofmann told us. "Design will be the differentiator in how successful or meaningful those product experiences will be."

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Posted by core jr  |  16 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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by KitchenFanatic

[Editor's Note: This product was sent to us from Savora for review.]

Among food lovers, graduating from "parmesan" powder out of a green cardboard cylinder to freshly grating Parmigiano-Reggiano at the table is a rite of passage. So too is grating your own nutmeg and zesting your own orange peel. The staggering selection of graters at a Williams-Sonoma indicates that more Americans are willing to GIY (Grate-It-Yourself). You can find graters in all shapes and sizes, tailor-made for specific ingredients (nutmeg, ginger, citrus zest, chocolate and coconut, to name a few). But with 3,795 search results for "grater" in Amazon's Home & Kitchen department, do we really need another one to throw on the pile? The people at Savora, a line of culinary gadgets owned by the North American Lifetime Brands, think so.

The Savora Hand Grater, a relative newcomer, combines rasp-like perforations with a removable container in one racy handheld grater. The company's lead designer, Sid Ramnarace—who has previously worked with Ford Motors—is behind the ergonomic designs that "mirror the smooth, aerodynamic lines of a modern automobile." Indeed, Savora's products have a whiff of something newly acquired by a man in a midlife crisis.

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Posted by core jr  |  16 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

DSchoolFutures-SAIC-1.jpg

This is the final installment of D-School Futures, our interview series on the evolution of industrial design education. Today we have answers from from Lisa Norton, director of Designed Objects within the Architecture, Interior Architecture and Designed Objects (AIADO) Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Tomorrow we'll have a list of what we consider the biggest insights and lessons from this eleven-part interview series.

How different is industrial design education today than it was ten years ago? Will it look very different ten years from now?

Industrial design education today is vastly different with respect to technology, manufacturing, distribution and the roles of designers within changing and expanding markets for their skills and offerings. Due to the exponentially increasing speed of the diffusion of innovation and the fact that design touches all sectors, I think it's safe to say that both design education and design practice will experience decisive shifts generated from within and outside of academia.

What would you say to a prospective student who worries about the relevance of an ID education in an increasingly digital world?

Industrial design practice and pedagogy are always changing in order to keep pace with emerging digital tools and new possibilities. Many leading programs in industrial design have long ceased making a distinction between digital and analog approaches to design education. Digital and analog methods are complementary avenues along a continuum of technological developments. Given the wide range of research, ideation and production choices available to designers today, it is no longer possible to make meaningful distinctions between these terms.

DSchoolFutures-SAIC-2.jpgLisa Norton and student work from the Designed Objects progam

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Posted by core jr  |  16 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

IfIKnew.jpgThe Aronoff Center at UC DAAP, shortly after it opened in 1996 (L) and present day (R). Photos by Patricio Ortiz and Kyle Oldfield.

For our September 2014 Back-to-School Special, we're going back to the basics and delving deep into the Core77 forums to answer common student queries. This seven-part series of crowdsourced wisdom includes an attempt to define Industrial Design, a comparison of ID degree options, some pointers on teaching (and dealing with teachers), insight into why it's never too late to get into ID, a handy list of resume do's and don'ts, and advice on overcoming design OD. This is our ultimate list of pro tips.

Like any forum, the C77 boards are full of smack talk and advice, but some corners are more sage than others. For our seventh and final Discussion Board Digest, here is our updated and evergreen collection of the choicest advice and insight that older designers wish they'd had when they were students, aggregated and adopted from the OG discussion thread "If I Knew Then What I Know Now."

Ready? There are a lot of 'em, so pay attention:


Body Basics
Food and sleep. Skimp on either and it'll dock your ability to think and work effectively. Yes, you will be broke sometimes. Yes, there will always be tight deadlines and red-eye projects. But if it comes down to getting a couple more hours of sleep vs putting the maximum finish on a model before a critique, opt for the sleep: you'll be more coherent, more convincing and able to get more out of the feedback. And basic nutrition is required for basic neural functioning. The guy who lives on ramen is probably not doing so well synaptically, and your ability to think critically and remember stuff is the point of being in school. Balancing your diet right now is worth having to balance your bank account later.


Get in the Studio!
Spend as much time as you can bear in the studio. As several people have mentioned, it's impossible to do great work at your desk in the dorm, and having a dedicated space to get your thoughts out and work through ideas is important. Camaraderie and company are helpful too, and you can learn a ton from peers. Though it's less sexy than a bolt of inspiration from on high, good work truly only comes with effort and hours, or as Frank Tibbolt put it: "Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action." So get in there.


...But Get Out of the Studio Too
A breath of fresh air can make all the difference when you're stumped on creative pursuits, and inspiration strikes in unexpected places. Leave the studio if you're feeling stuck, take a walk or get a coffee, do something else with your eyes and mind and body and you'll find it easier when you get back. When you're not on assignment try to visit new places, different departments, and take in work outside of your focus. Movies, plays, lectures and art are all idea-stimulating and easy to find on campus.


Keep Sketching
Spend a lot of time improving your sketching. A lot. Really. Like, you can't spend too much time doing it, so stop reading and start sketching. Of all the technical skills a designer is expected to have, this is regarded as the single most important one. Practice a lot, not to impress anyone with your art chops, but so you can stay out of your own way and uncover ideas while problem solving. Sketching is faster than any other form of model-building or rendering. It's a portable, cheap, and (if you're good) immediate communication of ideas. It's the tool at the very core of being a designer. Careers have been launched over great napkin sketches—don't blow it off.

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Posted by core jr  |  15 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)
Content sponsored by Autodesk
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Autodesk had a big presence at the inaugural Core77 Conference, "Object Culture." Not only was technology futurist Jordan Brandt one of the morning's most energetic presenters, but attendees also had the chance to view a number of innovations from the company in the foyer area of 501 Union, where the Autodesk Fusion 360 team was stationed.

If you didn't get the chance to make it to Brooklyn to see the work in person, here's a look at a few that were on display (you can also check out our recap on the entire one-day event here):

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Adam Mugavero Eyeware

It started as an unfortunate accident when Adam Mugavero broke his glasses at a concert. He had been working on a wooden sculpture project and decided to use the remnant wood to fix them. The idea became a much more than a one-time fix and he began hand-sculpting couture eyewear. As his client base expanded and his creative interest in new materials—such as diamond wood, composite wood products, 3D printing and electroplating—grew, he decided it was time to make his eyewear more accessible through manufacturing. He starts by sculpting glasses by hand for a specific person then he reverse engineers the design in Fusion 360 to prep them for manufacturing.

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