Dr. Alexis Noel was watching her family's cat clean itself, as you do when you go home for the holidays, when she noticed that his tongue kept getting caught on the blanket he was sitting on. That would be a momentary distraction for most of us, but Dr. Noel happens
Ah, the brainstorming session. It's the cornerstone of team interactions and project-based workflows everywhere. Traditional brainstorming sessions—the ones where everyone sits around a conference table and takes turns throwing out ideas—can be effective, but there are definitely better ways to go about it. If your brainstorming sessions operate the same
I guess if you landed here you are confused. That's okay because it is confusing. Well, at least if you try to look at it from a binary, reductionist, point of view. Let me start by saying that, in my experience product developing, it is never about choosing between one
Each year, technology company Draper hosts an exhibition called Engineering Possibilities at their HQ in Cambridge, MA where some of their work is put on display for both industry professionals and the general public to see. Visitors are invited to participate in interactive demonstrations, including VR experiences, "drone" flying and
If you were to imagine the construction site of the future, your vision would likely be filled with robots operating other robots, with almost no humans in sight. However, what if designers instead imagined a construction site where robots and high-tech interconnected tool systems worked together support the efforts of
A few years ago when my colleagues were designing an aging-in-place walk-in shower for Jacuzzi, they rented a nearby virtual reality facility to evaluate a simulated version of an early prototype. The VR facility staffer donned a suit packed with sensors, and the designers on Bresslergroup's project team were able
Musical instruments are undergoing a renaissance. Waves of techno-cultural innovation are melding arts and sciences, and steadily raising the tide on traditional crafts, turning them on their heads. The transformation of the musical instrument—through networks, sensors, data and computation—is not only a story about the craft of making musical tools,
As a designer, you can probably picture a finished product in your mind long before the specs are finalized. But even if that mental image is crystal clear, significant questions linger regarding how it will all come together—not the least of which being what materials you should use. In my
The cover of National Geographic Magazine last month, and the multiple alarms that have been ringing over the past two decades, is testament to the fact that we have a huge plastic problem that needs to be fixed. Lucky for us, designers can actually help solve problems. Sustainable Design, design
Scroll through the hundreds of icons for "camera" on Noun Project or the 124,706 community-generated drawings of cameras on Google Quick Draw, and you'll notice they're all remarkably similar. Together, they suggest a shared cultural understanding of a camera: a classic point-and-shoot. But the cameras we encounter
When starting a new product-based business, a major roadblock you'll likely hit is figuring how to bring your product to life for the first time. Outside of your homemade prototypes, you've never had to deal with finding a manufacturer before! But your product, whatever it may be, is in demand,
Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun designs out-of-this-world experiences for the likes of NASA, Mattel Inc. HQ, LEGO HQ, MoMA and more. Her celebrated and respected "Willy Wonka" approach to experience design is what brought her to Brooklyn-based A/D/O's attention last year, when she was a speaker at their Common Sense Festival.
Nike just announced a 10-pair sneaker collection completely designed by 14 female Nike designers, all working on either Nike's color and materials team or sneaker design team. Drawing inspiration from two of Nike's most iconic sneaker silhouettes—the Air Force 1 and Air Jordan 1—the designers were put to work creating
Last week's WGSN Futures conference, an event founded by the trend research agency, focused on the future of retail, branding and marketing in a time now dubbed the "Retail Apocalypse." With thousands of brick and mortar stores shutting down last year, it's clear traditional retail needs a bit of rebranding
Is there anything worse than being wide awake when everyone else is asleep, and you know you have to be at work the next day? When no matter how hard you try, you just can't fall asleep? The conventional wisdom is that artificial light, and now our tablets and devices,
This Danish modern sewing cart was designed in an era when many households had sewing machines. Castors allow the user to wheel it over to the work. The top provides a worksurface on which fabrics or patterns can be laid. The legs are designed with raised corners for an
As someone who collects books on woodworking I am routinely faced with the conflict of Cost vs. Space vs Ease of Use. While many people love their E-Books - and I have a bunch myself, the physicallity of an actual printed book makes the world of difference for me. That
What happens when you plug your Prius in? Are you ultimately drawing power from coal, nuclear, wind, biomass? It depends on where you live. Most of us know that America generates its electricity from a multitude of sources, as shown in this graphic: However, that pie chart doesn't accurately represent
Shaving has been around for a long time. In the 4th Century B.C. Alexander the Great, an early proponent of shaving, ordered his troops to do it. Alexander had observed that beards were a martial liability for soldiers; if you didn't remove your own facial hair, your opponent would do it for you—by using your beard to grab your face.
I've just released a new course at The Hand Tool School called Orientation. Its the result of running the school for more than 7 years and learning how new woodworkers absorb information and what questions they have right out of the gate that hold them back. This semester assumes nothing,
A Collection of Channels is a series highlighting channels we're paying attention to on Are.na. Interface focuses on channels related to the place at which independent and often unrelated systems meet and act on or communicate with each other.
Picture, in your mind, a homicide detective. Now picture a kindergarten teacher. I'm guessing you imagined the first person as male, and the second as female. Based on direct experience or what we've seen on TV, we all have certain stereotypes about which genders work in which occupations. But what
We designers often take for granted the terminology we use to describe parts of objects. But after seeing laypeople interchangeably use the words "bevel" and "bezel" in an online discussion about the forthcoming iPhone X, it's become clear that not everyone has our command of design and manufacturing vocabulary. Well,
If you haven't heard of Areaware, it's still very possible you've come across their work—the design objects they produce are found everywhere from museum stores and local boutiques to the pages of the New York Times. Each of their seasonal catalogs is full of original works from small studios and independent designers, many of whom are being introduced to a larger audience for the first time.
A group of students at MIT Media Lab's Tangible Media Group in collaboration with Fluid Interfaces has created a new design and fabrication system that they call Printflatables. Their system can produce "human-scale, functional and dynamic inflatable objects." If that doesn't sound exciting, well, take a look at some of
Ford and Domino's have collaborated on the Self-Driving Delivery Vehicle, an autonomous hybrid Fusion that will deliver pizzas to customers in a trial in Ann Arbor in the next few weeks. What's different about this, compared to other autonomous vehicle trials, is that the tests are meant to see how
I'm a long time Industrial Designer, the current Graduate Director of the MID Graduate program in RISD's Industrial Design department, and a Faculty in Residence at the Autodesk Build Space in Boston. As a resident, I proposed to expand on Autodesk's work of creating collaborative cloud-based software environments for creating,
We currently live in a highly visual world dominated by ads, videos, and photography, supported by social media outlets like Pinterest that can be used to share them. For developers and founders of the website Are.na, the founding of their site was based upon a genuine desire for an online
At this summer's 99U conference, Pentagram partner and designer Natasha Jen gave a presentation with an eye-catching title: "Design Thinking is Bullshit." This was actually the second time she'd given the talk--back in May Jen tweeted "Finally let it out of my system" after presenting it at HOWlive in Chicago--but
We created the 3D Human Model tool to incorporate anthropocentric data into our development process. The models are created using the scientifically validated data that can be found on www.dined.nl and in the Child Restraint System regulations. The development was done in conjunction with Dr. Johan F.M. Molenbroek, Associate Professor Applied Ergonomics at the Delft University of Technology. The tool is widely used by multinationals, agencies and industrial design educations. It can be purchased
The Family of Natural History Museums of Los Angeles is leveraging insights from the science of the past to imagine a brighter future. To deliver this, we are building a design and digital organization that brings a visitor-centered approach across all our three campuses (Exposition Park/Downtown LA, La Brea
There are few people in the design world more familiar with field research, and the extensive travel that goes with it, than Jan Chipchase. On May 6th, Jan launched what has turned out to be a very successful Kickstarter campaign to publish his most recent book, The Field Study Handbook.
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