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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 is 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?

In addition to 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 Widen+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 but 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 Moa Dickmark  |  22 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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The young Danish designer Mikkel Mikkelsen first caught my attention when I saw a series of experiments he had created with wood, aluminium and acrylic/plexi. A dining table with the same honesty as the original experiment captures the lessons learned.

Ever since I first saw the experiment, I've enjoyed following his progress as a designer, and a few months ago, one of his latest endeavors caught my attention once again. This time around, it was due to a duck. I know it sounds a bit odd, but this small little character with a metal beak is a remarkable duck, it's a duck you fall in love in a heartbeat, and it's a part of a grander book project created by Aviendo Fairytale. Seeing how far Mikkel has come since the first time i saw his design, how true he has been towards himself, his design and the people he come into contact with, I figured it was about time you all got a proper introduction to his work.

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Core77: How did you get into the field of design?

Mikkel Mikkelsen: Before I started in the school of architecture, I was working in construction while I was doing business school. I was working in building high-end private homes in a company where my dad was a constructing architect. So the interest for architecture started there I guess—my dad also had his own studio before this, so drawing houses has always been in my life. It was like it was meant to be.

I think after architecture school, I was looking for a way to keep working on mikkelmikkel because I was, and am not very interested in a 9-to-5 job in one of the big companies. I tried this a couple of times but I always end up feeling stuck behind a computer and very detached from the projects. I think it has something to do with the scale of the projects in the big companies. I have always preferred the smaller scale that relates more directly to the basic needs of human beings.

To me, the interaction with clients are what drives the projects. A new project is always kind of a journey where you get up close and personal with the people you work for, which I find very interesting. Half of the journey is identifying and understanding the needs and challenges in a project before solving them.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  22 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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UK design blog Dezeen have collaborated with car manufacturer MINI at London Design Festival this year to create an exhibition of commissions exploring the future of transportation. Far from a showroom for shiny self-driving cars or connected-car dashboard concepts, was eclectic collection of exploratory interpretations by artists, designers and architects was on display in the ground floor entrance of design and furniture fair designjunction. The exhibition space itself embodied the theme—architect Pernilla Ohrstedt teaming up with 3D-scanning specialist ScanLAB to create her contribution 'Glitch Space'—an enormous arrangement of vinyl white dots meticulously laid out across the exhibit floor as a representation of the swaths of environmental data that will flow through the city in a future of driverless cars.

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On the same theme, Dominic Wilcox, ever the inspiring out-of-the-box thinker, turned a lot of heads with the revealing of his incredible 'Stained Glass Driverless Sleeper Car.' Not just a pretty piece of craft, Wilcox's creation is actually a profound reflection on the future design possibilities for the automobile. In a future in which cars are self-driving and super safe, the forms, materials and uses that have constrained automotive design in our time may no longer apply. Although Wilcox's fictional future car manufacturer's website shows a spectacular array of possibilities this could present, the stunning stained-glass model on view demonstrated the equally appealing option of rolling around town in a half-car, half-bed 'hybrid,' revealed when lifting up the hood (below).

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Posted by Coroflot  |  22 Sep 2014

Work for Nike!

Nike does more than outfit the world's best athletes. They are a place to explore potential, obliterate boundaries, and push out the edges of what can be. This iconic company is looking for a Footwear Materials Designer II in Brothers, OR with an exceptional application of design skills including high level concept development to further elevate their brand. Are you up for it?

As their Footwear Materials Designer II - Nike Sportswear, you'll leverage materials to deliver a premium, recognizable and consumer relevant brand point of view in the marketplace through strategic vision, design direction, storytelling and editing. You'll lead the development of the materials creative vision and strategies for category/consumer groups, maintaining hands-on involvement in Materials design and development, in support of creative direction, seasonal initiatives and go-to-market strategies. Glory awaits. Apply Now.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  19 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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While food trucks are all over NYC, and the cocktail trend continues to spread across the city, we've never seen anyone combine the two and create a Booze Truck. But a select amount of tipplers in the UK just may spot one. It isn't any regular booze truck, and as far as we can tell they ain't charging for the drinks. Which should remain affordable for the proprietors as it can only seat two folks at a time.

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With Grey Goose for a client, London-based branding agency Ragged Edge created The World's Most Intimate Martini Bar, as they've nicknamed it, by restoring an old Citröen Type H. In addition to the exterior restoration, they've kitted it out with an interior of leather, marble, bronze, brushed metal, and etched glass to create a "fully functioning luxury bar."

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If you're wondering why there are photos of bread on the side for a company hawking vodka, the project is officially called the Boulangerie Francois Camionnette ("French bakery van") as a nod to another branding event RE held last year: In London's Soho they launched a pop-up artisanal bakery, where guests could "sample fresh Grey Goose bread, made using the finest soft winter wheat from the Picardie region in France." (That's the same type of grain Grey Goose is made from.)

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  19 Sep 2014  |  Comments (4)

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As the Nazis occupied France and commandeered production at the Citröen factory, Citröen's design team was still secretly working on their own projects. One of those was the iconic 2CV economy car. Another was an equally quirky-looking but very different sort of vehicle called the Type H. And interestingly enough, one of its key design elements was inspired by the aircraft used by the Germans occupying France.

Like the 2CV, the Type H was meant to do more with less. But whereas the 2CV was meant to haul people and their farm goods, The Type H would be its urban counterpart, a proper delivery van. It would be a direct successor to their TUB and TUC delivery vehicles, whose production had been killed for want of raw materials during the war. Here's what that pre-war TUB looked like, by the way:

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As you can see, a van requires a lot more surface area than the 2CV. This raised the problem of how to stiffen the van's structure while using materials as economically as possible. The answer was flying above Citröen's heads and landing at airfields in occupied France:

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Posted by Carly Ayres  |  19 Sep 2014  |  Comments (1)

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While studying abroad in Denmark during the fall of 2013, Meg Czaja toured Lego Headquarters and was disappointed with what she saw. For a class at the Kolding School of Design focused on the topic of play, the designer explored the toymaker's facilities, becoming increasingly disillusioned with the company's outlook on children in the United States. "One of the speakers, whom I believe worked in marketing, said that children in the U.S. don't know how to use Legos without instructions, which is why they are now sold in sets," Czaja says. "Rather than trying to challenge the notion, this mentality was driving their current designs—in lieu of a child's capacity to create. I found it to be incredibly troublesome."

That experience stuck with the Pratt MID candidate when she came back to the States, as she actively sought out opportunities to design for children's unrestricted, self-prompted play. The perfect opportunity came last spring in a soft-goods class taught by Rebbecah Pailes-Freedman. Given the task to design a backpack that incorporated an inherent social message, Czaja naturally gravitated to the topic of free play. The result is the PlayPack, which incorporates toys in its construction and can even become a toy itself.

Czaja kicked off the 14-week project with a comprehensive competitive analysis of existing backpacks. Making trips across New York and New Jersey, Czaja visited Target and REI stores to take photos and gather information about the bags they sold. Focusing on the bag construction, she looked at materials and the way zippers and other fasteners were handled, along with other features. "I think I examined over a hundred backpacks," she says. Czaja sketched out potential designs, honing those down to a final ten to present to her class.

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In an effort to make the experience similar to that of a client/designer relationship, the professor picked the final direction for PlayPack, and then Czaja had to execute it. Designing and prototyping happened concurrently as the designer spent a few days mocking up the paper backpack from craft paper and masking tape on a child-sized mannequin, while simultaneously figuring out how the pack could be played with as individual pieces. "What if the bag itself became a toy that could be used in conjunction with the objects it held?" Czaja asked herself. "The form came from there. I never wanted the bag to be a toy in typical terms. I wasn't aiming to make a backpack that looked like a rocket ship or an octopus because, overall, that's limiting."

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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 hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  19 Sep 2014  |  Comments (1)

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The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus roll out today, and uptake will be massive. In addition to the insane sidewalk lines you'll shortly see on the news, Apple has racked up a staggering 4 million pre-orders. iOS app developers who upgrade their offerings will have a ready market, but they "can't just treat screens in the 5.5-inch range simply as a scaled-up version of a smaller phone," writes mobile products developer Scott Hurff, citing basic ergonomics. "[With the larger sizes] grips completely change, and with that, your interface might need to do so, as well."

To help app developers who haven't already made their bones on already-large Android devices, Hurff has released "Thumb Zone" maps on his blog. Research from Steven Hoober, author of Designing Mobile Interfaces, concluded that the majority of users prefer to use smartphones one-handedly, and Hurff used Hoober's data to create visual representations of where your thumb can, can't, and can kind of reach on various models of iPhone:

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Then he puts Thumb Zones for the 6 and 6 Plus side-by-side:

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This is where you start to see a sharp difference brought about by a much larger screen size. The sheer width of the 6 Plus means the thumb can no longer naturally reach all the way to the left edge, while the different grip required to support the larger device also changes the shape of the "Natural" area.

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Posted by core jr  |  19 Sep 2014  |  Comments (2)
Advertorial content sponsored by Dassault Systemes
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"The MP3 player wasn't a new thing when the iPod came out, nor was the iPhone the first smart phone," observes John Maeda, Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and former president of the Rhode Island School of Design. "But they were the ones that made you give a damn."

What Maeda describes in that 2011 Huffington Post article is the First Moment of Truth (FMOT)—that moment when a consumer walks into a store, faced with several comparable products and has to make a decision. They pick up MP3 player one, MP3 player two, hold them in their hands and, in that FMOT, decide which one they will purchase. In a world where many products are relatively similar in terms of technology, price, performance and features, design is that differentiator.

That differentiator is what companies like Karten Design try to create. "How do you get mindshare? How do you stand out? How do you create "sticky" stuff? We use design research," says Stuart Karten, Principal and Founder of Karten Design, a product innovation firm made up of scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, and designers who go out and spend time with the people for whom they are designing products.

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"We are trying to understand their habits and ceremonies, so that we can create products that fit in with the way people live their lives, making them easier to adopt," explains Karten. "Most importantly, we are trying to find unmet needs—common needs that are persistent in people's lives, but aren't being satisfied through the current products, or even the product categories that are available on the market. We use unmet needs to drive new ideas."

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