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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  24 Nov 2014  |  Comments (2)

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It's easy to hate those lists of obviously untested "lifehacks" and bluetooth-strapped "innovations," but if you do nothing to combat them aren't you effectively condoning them? The Stupid Shit No One Needs & Terrible Ideas Hackathon stands up to the tide of bad concepts and needlessly tech-infused bullshit. Organized by Amelia Winger-Bearskin and Sam Lavigne, this year's hackathon produced some truly inventive and horrific creations. Here are some of my favorite innovative stupid hacks (possibly NSFW after the jump):

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Tweet Your Food automatically updates Twitter with every bite you take. Now you can plug in and go to town, secure in the knowledge that your meals are finally keeping up with your information age lifestyle.

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iPad On A Face is what it sounds like. This "artisanal, handmade, and Certified Organic" invention hacks the necessity of dropping grands and grands on a telepresence robot, by projecting your face digitally via an iPad. The iPad On A Face is mounted with an exclusive "holsterhat" to a human host, and your live projected presence is ready to go!

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Posted by Tobias Berblinger  |  19 Nov 2014  |  Comments (1)

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Since 1957, the Good Design Award has taken place in Japan to evaluate, encourage and promote design in industry. The products and services awarded receive a "G-Mark," a note of distinction that apparently has high recognition among the Japanese public: the Japanese Institute of Design promotion states that 86% of the population is familiar and aware of the mark. Applying the G-Mark to products and services is a boon to smaller manufacturers to elevate their presence in the marketplace and serves to promote the work of industrial and product designers in Japan.

Despite its prominence in Japan, the G-Mark is not as well known internationally, particularly outside of Asia. This year the Japanese Institute of Design promotion made a concerted effort to invite international design press with representatives from publications like Design Bureau, Taiwan's uDesign, Yanko Design and of course Core77 among others. We were given access to the exhibit as well as interviews with jury members and the chairman of the 2014 Good Design Award, renowned industrial designer Naoto Fukasawa.

The scope and scale of the Good Design Exhibition itself is quite immense, with 1,258 winners, covering fields including Furniture Design, Architecture, Automotive, Service Design and Design for Industrial Manufacturing. In addition to the G Mark Winners, the Good Design Exhibition includes G Mark co-sponsored awards programs from Thailand, India, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, which not only showcased the contemporary design scenes of the regions but emphasized the materials and techniques of small manufacturers that have been losing economic traction and international awareness due to large-scale mass production spurred on by cheap labor.

copperbike.jpgAbove and below: recipients of Thailand's Design Excellence Award.

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Tokyo Midtown, an immense mixed-use development space in Roppongi, was the main hub of this year's exhibition, with satellite exhibitions in Shibuya and Ginza.

Beyond the stringent criteria in the screening process, this year's annual theme was Kokochi (心地) which roughly translates to a "Quality of Comfort." Naoto Fukasawa describes Kokochi as a satisfying quality of interaction that is essential for design. According to Fukasawa, successful Kokochi in design builds a harmonious interaction between the users and technology. For him, Kokochi is an essential aspect of design that contemporary designers must strive for, in order to create relevant products and services. Additionally, Jury Member Gen Suzuki describes this sensation as a result of achieving a harmony or balance between all the facets of a design. Designs that best exemplified the theme were chosen for the Good Design Best 100 Special Exhibition.

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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  17 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Many, many designers have experienced creative breakthrough by taking something apart and putting it back together. Over this past weekend, thinkers, makers, hackers, know-it-alls and novices around the world threw down on The Deconstruction. The premise is simple, but the outcome is not: make... something. Strictly open-ended, The Deconstruction is somehow both a creation competition and a collaboration-focused conference while having no set theme or topic. This vague but fun event kicked off on Friday, as teams livestreamed and documented their projects through the weekend.

Projects can be physical, digital, mechanical, social, multimedia... Regardless of the mode, the only criteria is to "create something that did not exist 48 hours before" and to highlight interesting problem-solving. Fun interviews and updates will be happening at their HQ "inside the internet", and prizes will be given for teams' summary videos, problem-solving, and outstanding student contributions.

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Posted by Coroflot  |   6 Nov 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Recently, RKS presented a topic in one of their Sessions that all designers should be concerned with. Think about it: When was the last time you considered the security of your innovations? When it comes down to it, do you know how to protect your innovations?

Intellectual property attorney Dan Dooley and Matthew Joynes, CEO of the gaming peripheral company Wikipad, provide extensive advice and insight on handling intellectual property from a entrepreneurial perspective. From avoiding willful infringement on patents to protecting and ensuring no infringement on your own patents, this presentation will open your eyes to the IP terrain that must be covered when you're inventing and designing innovative products.

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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  21 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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With three years under its belt, Design Week Portland is starting to take on a clear character. With a central theme as broad (bordering on meaningless) as 'design,' it's natural that every city and organizing body will produce a distinct festival. So far Portland Design Week closely reflects the current trends in the city's industries and culture. The prevailing emphasis is on graphic design, traditional crafts, storytelling and skill-sharing. Fittingly, some of the clearest examples took place at the new Design Week HQ. The physical HQ, located in the heart of downtown under a series of conspicuous domes, was a hub for info and for a rotating series of artists and performers. Each day different artists did time illustrating bright banners inspired by tweets from the #dwpdx hashtag. The banners were color coded by day, and filled the courtyard over the course of the week.

Music, dance, and talks filled the third dome every day in an intimate (if sometimes stifling) public space. An early favorite was Carl Alviani's "Words Behind The Work," where designers read from works that inspired, influenced or challenged their work. A prime quote: "Just like learning about kerning will ruin signage forever, this is going to destroy your mind about porches."

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Another notable event was the live drawn history of alphabets by Elizabeth Anderson (of Anderson Krygier) and the following theater piece "The Typographer's Dream," which posed the deeply Northwestern question: 'Are we what we do for a living?' Deep shit, man.

Cultivating Community

Interactive events were common and productive. IDL Worldwide's merchandising competition pitted visual merchandisers against one another in an aesthetic rumble. The Design Efficiency intensive with Fluid Design doubled down on career skills, both technical and personal, to help designers be more effective. Make/Mend/Reflect, presented by Maker's Nation, offered a multi-discipline series of creativity exercises around embracing ugliness and working through problems. This entailed prompted writing, mending, and ugly creature building. Vital tools for the designer's toolkit(?). The huge number of open houses and open studios were an overwhelming option for interact with brands, agencies, workshops and individual designers.

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In keeping with our town's twee reputation, traditional crafts were a common subject. Printmaking, woodworking, glassblowing, textile design, letterpress, ceramics, and even macrame were taught, open-housed and exhibited. Among these I was particularly happy to see a panel discussion about bookbinding, book collection and the book as art object on the schedule. Portland may have small art and design scenes but it offers a great landscape for book lovers. The role of art books and publishing in design is both fascinating and evolving, and the panel featured well-informed stakeholders from Publication Studio, Division Leap, Monograph Bookwerks, and Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books.

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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  20 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Portland is a solidly 2D town. We do great graphics, our branding is beautiful, and the interactive design coming out of here is innovative and interesting. Which is really lovely... but leaves us a little lacking in the physical department. Traditional crafts are on the rise, but where are the really interesting product design projects? Apparently, they're still in school.

Of all the events and all the open houses attended last week, the University of Oregon Product Design show was easily my favorite. Possibly because I was the only one there and thus didn't have to contend with two dozen graphic designers drawling about their current shows while pretending that they were there for something other than free wine. Also possibly because 97% of the work in the small show was clean, slightly surprising, and whimsical without pretense.

The show features work produced in Asst. Professor Wonhee Arndt's studio, the theme was "Home Away From Home," and selected pieces made an early debut at Milan's Design Week. Here are my favorites.

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It's easy to imagine this rolling storage bin by Chris Lau being used as a fun organizer for kiddos or slightly absurd adults. Nice lines, easy to move, easy to clean inside and out.

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Ceramic oddities by Trygve Faste and Jessica Swanson titled "Intertidal Deployment Objects" show a fun blend of nautical and traditional pottery influences with disconcertingly neon glazes, and could ostensibly be producible. I'd own one—in this climate you never know when you need to deploy some intertidal objects. The structured but cozy "Construction Quilt" by Wonhee Arndt makes fort building more interesting and wrapping up an architectural affair. Less compelling when wall mounted, but it looks like it would be plenty of fun.

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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  16 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Ziba turns 30 this year, and the renowned design company is understandably proud. To celebrate the diverse and lasting work of founder Sohrab Vossoughi, he and other design veterans discussed the future of product design. On the panel were Vossoughi, Allan Chochinov of SVA and Core77, John Jay of Wieden+Kennedy, and Aura Oslapas, previously Chief Design Officer for Best Buy, with questions and moderation by Carl Alviani. These folks had strong opinions, punchy advice, and more personality than your average lineup of industry heads. Here's our synopsis of the key questions and insights.

The definition of "product" has shifted over time. What does it mean now and why?

Oslapas started off clarifying that a product has come to describe services and software, in addition to hardware. Vossoughi agreed, but pointed out that even as design becomes more integrated with business the consumer still thinks of "product" in physical terms. Jay, as a communications and advertising pro, disagreed, pointing out that in his field of design creating an emotional response and relationship to another product is itself a product. Chochinov jumped on this, noting that Product Design has never been a particularly clarifying term, and now the growth of interaction design has made things even more complicated: "I can never hope to have a career moniker that makes sense. If it weren't so funny it would be cruel." Referencing the recent Facebook/Ello debate, he pointed out that point of view is everything, since from one angle Facebook is the product, but in reality it's us the users who are the profitable product. Oslapas countered that consumers still call the product by what it is, unless there's an issue—"product" is just a business term for the thing that we sell, rather than name or noun used by the user. In Allen's words: a product is something that needs to be fixed.

What are new impacts on the field and practice of design?

Social media was the first, albeit obvious, theme. In Jay's estimation, user engagement is empowering enough that it's changing everything. Ideas necessarily have to come from different places, and the production process is no longer a Push theory from the producer's end. Oslapas credited design methodologies and tools that cross disciplines. Prototyping tools and new work models are both rapidly shifting expectations towards greater collaboration.

User-centeredness, as Chochinov put it, is design's current but deeply problematic frame. "Users are part of the problem! Earth-centric design won't fly with consumers, but it's essential that we use the privilege of the design community towards making something of use at all." This shifted into a scathing critique of what he sees as the main goals in design, namely providing convenience, beauty, pleasure to anyone with the disposable income to afford it.

Ziba_Design_Panel-FIRST.jpgFrom left: Allan Chochinov, Aura Oslapas, Carl Alviani, John Jay & Sohrab Vossoughi

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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  10 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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ShowPDX is one of the long-running events that makes Design Week Portland worth leaving the house for. Now in its ninth year, the show is a small juried furniture exhibition with a specific focus on brand new work from the Northwest. The votes have been cast, and if you're in town you have until the 14th to visit them in person at the Fisk Building.

As is becoming PDX-standard, this year's submissions showed a heavy slant towards woodworking (they still call us Stumptown for a reason) and lightly updated Midcentury lines. There were some standout pieces, with and without vintage wood appeal. Here are our favorites.

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Phloem Studio has retro wood in the blood, but I love the thick rope update to the traditional woven seat on the Harbor Chair. Really elegant frame doesn't hurt. Inspired by childhood boating adventures, it's scratching my macro textile itch without going absurdly nautical.


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The Kindred Tables are a set of three indoor-outdoor mini tables, collaboratively designed by Ashley Tackett of SERA Architects and Gavin Younie of Outdoor Scenery. Their separate backgrounds in interior design and landscape architecture combined well with these airy looking but super solid pieces that would work as well in a garden as in a living room. Steel bases with marble off-cut tops make for durability, but the side-centered leg placement keeps them from feeling too clunky and suggests a jewelry-like stone setting.

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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  10 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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How do you feel after listening to a Stefan Sagmeister lecture? Whether you mean to or not, you probably feel... happy. Sagmeister is a plainspoken powerhouse of graphic design and a walking wealth of lifestyle koans. His Design Week Portland talk, presented by Portland's AIGA, touched on the internal and external frameworks that impact our positive emotions. To illustrate his ideas about designing happiness he veered between beautiful shots of his interactive installations and often smutty infographics unpacking what "happiness" really is and how to get it.

Using the casual, personally-oriented storytelling familiar in most of his public talks on the subject, this keynote also got technical. Through personal anecdotes and work highlights, we got a guided tour through the research and findings he came to while struggling to make his movie on happiness a reality. Up first: definitions and limitations of happiness. Surprisingly, it turns out that self-reporting is pretty accurate. Do you think of yourself as happy? If asked, how would you describe your life satisfaction? From the sound of it, most of our public answers would check out when tested against our MRI readings. So that's cool.

The three factors that he believes influence happiness most are our activities, life conditions, and genetics. Specifically, the more non-repetitive activities, the more supportive your social environment, the better. Genetics, as a factor you can't impact, he doesn't "care for." Moreover, the material conditions of our lives only matter up to a point—money matters up to "middle class" and then stops having an appreciable impact as you get richer than $85K/year. People, perhaps unsurprisingly, find success relative: Most people would prefer to make less money overall but more than their neighbors when opposed to making more money overall but less than their neighbors. Telling. It's also why you get a little depressed seeing everyone else doing so damn well on Facebook.

Sagmeister's own notorious work cycle, which is loosely structured around taking a long sabbatical every six years, incorporates diversity of activity and socializing into his life, which in turn helps bring diversity and social thinking into his work. Even those of us without our own internationally renowned agencies can apply those ideas. The value of seeing new things, talking to new people, and pushing your own boundaries are obvious—as he put it: "Seek discomfort."

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Posted by Kat Bauman  |   8 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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The Design Week Portland opening party was as beautiful and laid back as you'd expect for Portland. Staged at the historic and dramatic Staver Locomotive building, the scene was split between the odd-old and brightly modern. Entering through a blinding mirror-striped walkway visitors arrived in a huge moodily lit ex-industrial warehouse. Model train tracks wound through parts of the space and acted as unusual counters for drinks vending. The vaulted ceiling was hung with lights and live video installation pieces. Meanwhile outside, fire pits and food carts kept people close and sociable.

Back inside, guests lined up for their chance in a "live photobooth": a seat in front of a two way mirror, behind which artists scribbled frantically for 90 seconds to produce their portraits. A large glossy black open sketching wall invited anyone to add their own work to the communal pool, with predictably yearbook-like results. The other interactive highlight of the night was Set Creative's video installation, a pair of dazzle-painted boxes labeled "Fear Of Missing Out" into which viewer peered to watch the crowd around them... and their own darting eyes projected onto pyramid screens above.

All in all, a sweet and visually enjoyable start to a colorful week.

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Posted by Hand-Eye Supply  |   7 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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The real heart of Design Week is the chance to peek behind the curtains and into the workspaces of creative people around town. Come by the Hand-Eye Supply Open House to check out the back story of how we do what we do, because sharing is vital, and snooping in inspiring!

Community engagement is key to supporting a creative culture, and for HES that engagement is more like an endless honeymoon. Our fortnightly Curiosity Club speaking event highlights the varied talents of local minds and encourages ongoing learning. The HES Quarterly brings together talented people and cool gear every three months. While creative work takes good tools and elbow grease, it also benefits from a strong social network.

Tour the shop and facilities 4–7pm, today. And if you didn't get tickets you can still tune in online at 6pm to catch the talent-packed panel presenting at the Design Week edition of Curiosity Club.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 4–7pm
427 NW Broadway
Portland, OR 97219

Posted by Kat Bauman  |   4 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Tonight marks the start of a dense week of design, craft and innovative thinking as we kick off this year's Design Week Portland. This evening's opening party will feature installations by Set Creative and a DH set by local legend Rev Shines of Lifesavas. From October 5th through 11th, the rest of the events are cast far and wide over the city. This year there is an official HQ, located inside a series of geodesic domes in Pioneer Courthouse Square, where information and registration are centralized and where experimental events will take place throughout the week.

Like the design field itself, the festival's highlights are all over the physical and conceptual map. The lineup is thick with speaking events, open studios, demonstrations, curated shows, and panel discussions. The exhibited work ranges from modern architecture and cutting edge advertising to letterpress and ecosystem design.

Stay tuned for live and almost-live coverage of the highlights and question marks of this year's DWP.

Posted by Ray  |   3 Oct 2014  |  Comments (2)

SonosStudio-AncientChaos-Dev.jpgDevonté Hynes with "Ancient Chaos"

Normally we'd be skeptical about a pop-up venue by a wireless speaker company, but seeing as Sonos was hosting the likes of John Maeda, The Principals, and New Yorker music critic Sasha Frere-Jones—to say nothing of the musical artists—at Neuehouse this week, we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Billed as a "weeklong exploration of the intersection of music, art and technology," the Sonos Studio includes several multimedia pieces and performances especially commissioned for the pop-up at the event space, including a collaboration between The Principals and Devonté Hynes, a.k.a. Blood Orange. The design studio and musician recently unveiled "Ancient Chaos," a site-specific installation at the venue in Lower Manhattan: a series of articulating, ceiling-mounted panels (made of mylar 'scales') that is complemented by an 11-minute composition by Hynes.

Given an open brief to collaborate, Drew Seskunas of the Principals noted that their introductory meeting two months ago was "really wonderful, kind of abstract... we kept it loose." You wouldn't know it by looking or listening, but Hynes was reportedly inspired by none other than J.S. Bach, specifically a book called The Cello Suites by Eric Siblin; The Principals, for their part, took the opportunity to reimagine the "Cosmic Quilt," which they originally exhibited at NY Design Week 2012. "It was a system that had a lot of potential but wasn't fully realized in the first iteration of it." Where the original piece responded to movement—i.e. differences in light and shadow—the new one responds to the physical sound wave of the music.

SonosStudio-AncientChaos-performance.jpgDevonté Hynes performing "Ancient Chaos"

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Posted by Coroflot  |   2 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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If you don't think about your company's intellectual property very often, it's time to pay closer attention to that which makes up, on average, over 90% of a business's value. Trade secrets, copyright, trademarks and patents for businesses can be confusing topics to explore, but thanks to the next RKS Sessions presentation, plenty of light will be shed on how you can do more to protect your company's most valuable assets.

On October 7th at Cross Campus in Santa Monica, CA, you're invited to the fourth RKS Session where veteran IP attorney, Dan Dooley, who will provide extensive advice and insight regarding intellectual property. He will be joined by a client, Matthew Joynes, CEO of the innovative gaming peripheral company Wikipad, who will give advice on intellectual property from an entrepreneurial perspective.

This is a perfect event for anyone building ideas and starting companies. You can secure your ticket and learn more about this RKS Session here.

Posted by core jr  |  22 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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As part of the upcoming Design Week Portland, our friends at Ziba are hosting a heavy duty panel discussion, set to take place at their HQ on Friday, October 10, at 6:30pm. Taking the theme of "The Future of Product Design," panelists will address questions such as:
- What defines a product, today?
- How will customization and on-demand printing drive entrenched industries to change?
- How will crowdfunding impact the making or design of products?
- What's the difference between design and making?
- Does the discipline have a future, or could interaction design swallow us whole?
...as well as your questions, submitted via the comments section below!

To show us where we're going and how to think about it, the panel features a lineup of design industry veterans and visionaries from multiple disciplines. The panelists will be Allan Chochinov, Chair and Co-founder, SVA MFA Products of Design and Partner, Core77; John Jay, President and Executive Creative Director of GX (previously of Wieden+Kennedy, Bloomingdale's); Aura Oslapas the former SVP current Chief Design Officer at Best Buy; and Sohrab Vossoughi, Founder and President of Ziba Design.

The discussion will be filmed and released after the festival, and it will tangle with the issues of making of things in the era of apps, Kickstarter, 3D printing, and open source. If you will be attending Design Week Portland, you can buy panel tickets here.

What's missing? You tell us! Leave your questions for the panelists here, and stay tuned for our event recap along with the rest of our DWP coverage.

Posted by core jr  |  19 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Right now the buzz term in education is STEM, which is composed of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Despite the momentum building around STEM careers, students continue to be widely uninterested in these growing fields. Intimidation, fear, real-world disconnect and unequal representation for girls and minorities are all contributing to an overall lack of interest. With STEM related jobs projected to grow by 17% over the next ten years, it is imperative to find a solution that re-inspires and reengages young generations to pursue these STEM disciplines.

Really, STEM has a branding problem.

Two Bit Circus is leading the movement to re-inspire the inventors and designers of the future through STEAM (STEM + Art).

This means harnessing a person's passion for music by exploring how to build a musical robot, or tapping into kids' excitement around fashion and applying that knowledge to designing and constructing wearable technology fashion pieces. By offering these young inventors the opportunity to create their own combinations of interest in STEAM, Two Bit Circus provides the spark needed to ignite not just their curiosity in these disciplines, but most importantly their enthusiastic pursuit of STEAM careers in the future.

To kick off this STEAM movement, Two Bit Circus have created the STEAM Carnival, a unique, high-energy event that will feature tech-infused game attractions and carnival-inspired entertainment to thrill, amuse, and reimagine the way we learn and play through STEAM.

The Los Angeles STEAM Carnival debuts October 25–26, 2014 at CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles. Engage in 90,000 square feet of fun, featuring high-tech games, mad science demos, circus performers and fun foods.

Use Promo Code CORE77 for a $5 discount on each ticket!

Posted by core jr  |  15 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)

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By Tim Adkins

Ambitions are often simple dreams, born in shallow pocketbooks, that yearn for accoutrements larger than whatever the Joneses own. Some dreams deviate. They're more elemental, more profound. Consider Walter Dorwin Teague's ambition:

"I will strive to make the name I bear a loved one long after I am gone."

More than 50 years after his death, Teague's name continues to resonate. But the story of the man who strove to give it an eternal life has largely been untold. Last night, Jason Morris premiered Teague: Design & Beauty, a documentary on the seminal industrial designer, for a few hundred designers attending IDSA's 2014 International Conference in Austin, Texas. The film, nearly five years in the making, fills a substantial gap in our contemporary memory.

TeagueDoc-Morris_Audience.jpgJason Morris addressing the crowd

In the film's first few frames, we meet Walter Dorwin Teague as he faces a mid-life problem that he must design his way out of: He's a successful industrial artist who is restless. He sees the road ahead and envisions an intersection where his many interests and skills—including fine art, illustration, typography, fashion, architecture and storytelling—could converge to create a new method for giving form to experiences.

After Morris frames the conflict for us, Teague backtracks and follows a straightforward chronology. We learn that Walter—as Morris's narration refers to him in the first act—listed in his childhood diary all the books that he had read from age ten onward. We see some of the beautifully composed short films that Teague—as he is known in the second act—shot of the Chartres Cathedral in 1930. And we get some insight on the creative tension that soured the relationship between Mr. Teague—of the third act, of course—and the talented son who inherited his name and many of the senior Teague's creative gifts.

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Posted by core jr  |  11 Aug 2014  |  Comments (3)

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The 2014 IDSA International Conference is next week and if you're into industrial design and want to exchange ideas with other ID enthusiasts from all over the world, the Austin Convention Center is the place to be from August 13–16. Just in case you're on the fence, perhaps the Austin Design Firms Tour will sway you? The Austin Design Firm tour will take you from the conference center in a luxe, air-conditioned bus to a variety of top design firms in the Austin area. You'll get to see the work/idea space of these firms, meet the teams and chat with them about their upcoming ideas. Here's what two of the firms have in store for lucky visitors:

First, we have Fahrenheit Design, who, on a whim, decided to go the less-traveled route when it comes to their tour giveaways. They're all big LEGO fans and decided that their schwag should mirror their interest—so they designed a series of famous designers minifigures. Can you identify all of them?

In addition, IBM is hosting an open house as part of the tour and they're looking forward to reviewing your portfolio. That's right, IBM designers from the best design schools around the country can give students feedback on a variety of aspects, from storytelling and visual appeal, to content and providing direction for ID students interested in a future career in UX. Who knows? Maybe this will open a door for you at IBM...

The other firms on the tour are Axis Design / FES International, M3 Design, (make+SHift)atx, mixer design group and Pump Studios. Once you've had your portfolio reviewed by the folks at IBM and/or picked up your designer minifigs at Fahrenheit, head on over to the Core77 Party that starts at 9pm at the historic Scoot Inn. If you don't have your tickets for the conference yet, you can still register on-site or by calling IDSA before they sell out. We'll see you at the Scoot Inn!

Posted by Coroflot  |  29 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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You might exchange ideas, motivations and inspiration within your own circles on a regular basis, but how often do you get to do it with people from all across the globe? Your chance to do just that at 2014 IDSA International Conference is almost gone. Late registration for this annual IDSA event ends this Sunday, August 3, but you can also register on-site from August 3rd to August 16th.

Not only is there an impressive line up of speakers and events to attend, the local arts and culture of Austin, TX should keep you busy and perfectly entertained when you're not at the conference center. And don't forget about the Core77 Party on Friday, August 15, at the historic Scoot Inn, kicking off at 9pm. Get your tickets today before it's too late and we'll see you there!

Posted by   |  25 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Underway as of yesterday, the XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have been drawing lots of comparisons to the Olympic Games of London 2012. Some of this commentary has been plainly insipid, while others have been downright mean. Lyn Gardner's review of the XX Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony review was cruel and nasty, the way New York City fashion editors take pot-shots at Dallas by publishing images of big-haired women in loud dresses when covering social events in the Lone Star State.

While this may all come down to the "Scottish Cringe" (a national trait of self-deprecation), the Opening Ceremonies at Celtic Park on Wednesday night raise the valid question of how one distills culture and values into a stadium floorshow?

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To be sure, there were several cliché moments like giant dancing tea cakes, an inflatable Loch Ness Monster and John Barrowman's costume of purple tartan. But there were also some inspired moments like the Scottish Ballet's touching duet to a muted version of the Proclaimers' "500 Miles"; the Scottish terriers accompanying each nation's athletes; and the gay kiss in the opening moments. This last gesture was an unequivocal statement to the 42 participating countries that have laws against homosexuality on their statute books: These Games (a.k.a. The Friendly Games) are a celebration of equality and diversity.

But aside from the impossible task of portraying a nation's historical contributions in a one-hour spectacle (London 2012's supermodels and Sochi's weeping bear seem farther from the mark than highland dancing on whisky barrels), there is some stellar design work associated with the XX Commonwealth Games at Glasgow 2014.

Queen's Baton

In addition to the Queen's Baton, which we reported on last October, the designs of the medals, podiums and medal bearers' costumes all have a quality of elegant abstraction as they contemporary updates to traditional representations of Scottish culture at the medals ceremonies of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

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Posted by Coroflot  |  24 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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How often during a year, or perhaps a month, do you find yourself frustrated or underwhelmed by a tool, system or product you use regularly? Better yet, how often during those moments do you think to yourself, "If only it worked this way instead..." If you've ever dismissed the viability of these ideas because they would be too difficult/costly/complicated/inconvenient to manifest, then the third installment of the RKS Sessions is for you.

On August 5, RKS Sessions presents The Transformation of an Idea into Mass Success, featuring Craig Hickman, creator of the easy-to-use paint program Kid Pix. Hickman saw how frustrated his own son would get trying to use early computer drawing programs and turned his own "why doesn't this work better..." moment into the iconic easy-to-use paint program that encourages children to use computers.

Sign up today to attend this presentation on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM in Santa Monica, CA, where you'll learn how Hickman incubated his idea into mass commercial success.

Posted by Coroflot  |  10 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Last week, in Santa Monica, the design consultancy RKS hosted a presentation by Tesla Motors' Javier Verdura on "Designing Disruptive Innovations." Verdura is Tesla's Director of Product Design, a post he's held for the last two years, so he was well-qualified to talk about the making of the Model S and the upcoming Model X—including the thinking behind the sci-fi "Falcon Wings" Tesla will be using as rear doors on the latter SUV model, which is slated for release early next year.

Verdura also touched on Tesla's recent release of its patents—"We want to make sure that everybody wants to make electric cars"--and described in depth the organization of his Los Angeles-based design team. Watch the video of his talk to find out what it's like to work with Elon Musk ("You really can't say no to anything; you just have to figure it out") and how Tesla's engineers make cars that are "just scarily built."

Posted by Coroflot  |   7 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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From August 13th thru the 16th, the 2014 IDSA International Conference is bringing a list of provocative speakers to Austin, TX, all in the name of sharing valuable, practical and enlightening information with the masses. Core77 is proud to sponsor the event so we wanted to introduce you to one of this year's Conference speakers, Maria Boustead of Po Campo. Maria will be speaking about Designers as Entrepreneurs, a topic she is quite familiar with as the founder of her own bike-centric bag company. We asked Maria about her journey from designer to entrepreneur, where she finds the best creative exchanges and for a preview of her Conference presentation.

What limitations in circa 2008 era biking gear led you to start Po Campo?

At the time, I was working at a design agency. I liked biking to work or to meetings or wherever; I found it to be enjoyable and a good source of both exercise and new ideas. Of course, you need a way to carry your stuff and I quickly learned that backpacks and messenger bags would make my back sweaty and that they would be uncomfortable if loaded up with too much stuff. Therefore, I was on the hunt for a bag I could attach to my bike while riding and then easily detach and carry around as my normal bag throughout my day. There were plenty of good quality bike bags on the market, but they were built more for bike touring and weren't really designed to be carried around, both aesthetically and functionally. When I couldn't find a bag that fit the bill, I decided to design my own.

How did you get into softgoods/bag design?

I graduated from college in 2001, just when the first tech bubble burst. Hardly anyone was hiring junior designers so when I got a job at Arctic Zone, a manufacturer of sewn coolers and lunch bags, I was beyond ecstatic. I had always enjoyed sewing and was interested in softgoods, but hadn't had any experience in cut-and-sew manufacturing before that job. I really fell in love with it; it is perfectly suited for how I like to create. It is a truly iterative process because there is little to no tooling that you have to invest in, so you can literally update and tweak with every production run. I also enjoyed discovering new fabrics and experimenting with textures and colors and prints. Your palette is so much bigger than with other materials, and I find that to be a lot of fun from a design perspective.

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Posted by core jr  |  26 Jun 2014

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If you haven't heard about why the Tesla name has been all over the news lately, perhaps it's time to discover what makes this company so innovative. On July 1st, you have the chance to get the inside scoop directly from the Director of Product Design and Project Management, Javier Verdura. In their second event in this series, the RKS Sessions presents Designing Disruptive Innovations, a look under the hood of the innovative company- sharing their history, design process and where they're headed in the future.

Get your ticket today for this event and check out the rest of the RKS Sessions series for more thought-provoking presentations.

Posted by core jr  |  16 Jun 2014

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It's just a few short days away. The inaugural Core77 Conference is this Thursday, June 19! If you're not sure about going, keep in mind there are only a handful of tickets left but there are TONS of reasons to attend. You've probably read about what the day's schedule has to offer, and who will be speaking there (including her, him and them,) but what about the rest of the day and night? Here's the scoop on the fun and food that will compliment some of the most enlightening presentations you'll hear this summer.

When you arrive, you'll receive your conference packet-on-a-lanyard that is stuffed with the following important items:
1.) Your name tag, which makes networking that much easier.
2.) The printed program guide so you know who is speaking when.
3.) Your dinner ticket, which is good for a some delicious chow from the Milk Truck Grilled Cheese food truck later in the evening.
4.) Your complimentary conference token, redeemable for $5 toward the goodies for sale at the conference merchandise table. This includes t-shirts, books, hand screen-printed posters, a notebook and a tile from +POOL.
5.) Your ticket to be redeemed for a mystery gift at the end of the night.

Your packet-on-a-lanyard is an important part of the entire day, so make sure you keep it close. Lunch, on the other hand, is on us, so there's no need to worry about a ticket. We are proud to be serving lunch straight from the Brooklyn Commune kitchen, a Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn, community cafe and restaurant that serves local and sustainably-sourced food prepared by Chef Chris Scott. They promote sustainability through sponsoring educational opportunities about healthy choices, and through partnerships with local producers, artists and organizations. Their menu is well-reviewed, too, so everyone wins!

As the presentations conclude and we're all happily sated thanks to the Milk Truck, New Orleans brass-funk-rock band Bonerama will take the stage. If you haven't heard their music yet, check them out on Youtube for a taste of the good tunes and good times they're bringing to the conference. Registering for the conference automatically puts you on the VIP list to enjoy the drinks (on us) and music at the end of the day, but your friends are welcome to join us! Just let them know the fun, music and cash bar get started at around 6pm.

With all these reasons to register for the Core77 Conference beyond the day's content, what are you waiting for? Tickets are almost gone. Get yours today!

Posted by core jr  |  13 Jun 2014

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From August 13–16, designers and design industry professionals from all over the globe will gather in Austin, TX, to participate in the 2014 IDSA International Conference. This year's theme is "The Exchange," which is something all designers can appreciate—between ideas and actions, designers and developers, educators and students, researchers and users and people and products, various exchanges create the dynamic space in which designers operate and thrive. The presentations and content will allow attendees to create meaningful exchanges in six main areas: context, community, value, culture, interpersonal and education. Sounds great, right?

This is why the time to get your ticket for this event is now. Regular registration, and ticket prices, lasts until July 13th, at which point the price goes up. Just take a look at the speaker lineup and schedule and you'll see plenty of reasons to register sooner than later. One of which is the Core77 Party on Friday, August 15. We'll be tearing it up at the historic Scoot Inn starting at 9pm. We look forward to seeing you all there!

While you're in Austin, don't forget to do some exploring. The city has more art, music, culture and drool-worthy food for every type of personality and palate than you could possible discover in one trip. For example, Iron Works BBQ is just a few steps away from the Austin Convention Center where the conference is being held.

But that's just our opinion. We encourage you to experience Austin for yourself, and what better excuse than the 2014 IDSA International Conference? Get your tickets today and we'll see you at the Core77 party!