Monday, November 30, 2009

Repair Manifesto

To continue the discussion on DIY and repairability of stuff check out the Dutch design concept Platform 21
They have made a very knowledgeable Repair Manifesto which ends with something worth remembering in the discussion; Stop recycling, start repairing.
And to quote Allan Chochinov "Stop Making Crap" as the best solution to reach sustainability in design.

Maker's Bill Of Rights

Linus' earlier post about DIY objects prompted me to think about how we can design products that address the current strong DIY movement, or 'trend'.

I was reminded of the Maker's Bill Of Rights, a rather tongue in cheek checklist of commandments to help DIYers (Makers) seek out products that can later be hacked, repurposed, or self-repaired. From a sustainable design perspective, creating products according to this philosophy will potentially extend the 'life' of the product considerably (and decrease the likelihood that it will go into landfill)

The Maker's Bill Of Rights:

Some highlights:
- Ease of repair shall be a design ideal, not an afterthought.
- Torx(Screws) is OK; tamperproof is rarely OK.
- Screws better than glues
- Schematics shall be included.

Pratt 'Design For A Dollar' Student Exhibition

Here's a great exhibition from the students at Pratt ('Design For a Dollar'):

It's an annual competition that challenges students to design objects that re-use/ repurpose waste materials. Hilights include a beautiful lamp made from egg cartons, scissors laser cut from old rotary saw blades, and stools assembled from old magazines.

Peter Morville On User Experience

Thought I'd post this rather good article by Peter Morville on user experience design methods, as it's quite pertinent to our upcoming final projects.

In it, Morville outlines various conceptualization/ research techniques to improve design process and make for more robust, user-oriented design. Some familiar methods here, and some not so familiar. It seems to be geared more towards User Interface designers, which gives a slightly different perspective (and also might be useful for those of you who are doing screen-based/ social networking-related final projects)

Paola Antonelli on Designers' role in Interdisciplinary Collaboration

This is a great little article in Seed Magazine, by Paola Antonelli (senior curator at MOMA).

In it, she talks about the burgeoning trend of interdisciplinary collaboration, and the importance of designers in facilitating this cross-pollination between fields, since designers are best positioned as "intermediaries between research and production".
Also, "to cope with this responsibility, designers need to set the foundations for a theory of design and become astute generalists."

And the Pursuit of Happiness ...

I found this charming photo essay the other day on the New York Post
("And The Pursuit of Happiness", by Maira Kalman), and thought it was quite relevant in the light of our recent topic of trends, as well as sustainability:

The main theme of the article is that the ideal vision of a good America, as dreamed up by its founding fathers, was one rooted in democracy, and happiness sprung from living off the land (an agrarian society).However, the development of America has since deviated from that vision, growing instead into the polluted, shallow, fast-food nation we know today.

She then touches on various movements and thought patterns that are possibly bringing America back this simpler, more sustainable, more people-oriented way of thinking -- the slow food movement, organic farming, reconnecting communities through cooperative farming activities. "We could think small and shift to a new(old) way of growing food and eating and being".

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Even though we are in an industrial design programme, is there something compelling about the DIY-approach to making stuff. I found this blog Make the other day and really appreciate it. There are some cool stuff to look at, both low and hi-tech.


I found a Swedish trend watcher: Trendgruppen It is in Swedish but you can always use Google Translate.

They have a blog and they visited a German erotic fair called Venus in October.

It seems luxury is the trend and the companies want to move into the best room.

Just start turning some dildos for Christmas gifts!

Google's Carbon Footprint

To the credit of Linus Strom who discovered this article, I figured it would be interesting to mention. Each Google search emits 0.2 grams of CO2, not considering the user's computer. That is equivalent to 1kj of energy or the amount of energy your body burns in ten seconds.

The next time you are doing a little research on the web, think of each search processed by Google's data centres.

Just remember how curious we all were when we were kids. We know a lot more than we think, rely heavily on instinct and make assumptions. Write them down on a paper and organize them using the techniques we have learned in this class.

Blog fail... for whatever reason I can not post the link but I'm sure you can find if you searched "Google Carbon Footprint" on Google. hehe

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Winners at the iSound headset design competition

These are the winners at the iSound headset design competition in South Korea. \
They are just concept but hope it helps you guys to do the headset project =)

1st place

2nd place

3rd place
4th place

5th place

Cellular phone for the blind

This is another product for blind people. I think it is important to design a product for people with disability for industrial here it is! (Sorry I know all of us are tired of the headset project LOL)

This cellphone for blind users is designed by Zhenwei You, and it is called B-Touch. It would give blind users the same kind of multifuctional versatility that the iPhone enjoys. Instead of a gossy touchscreen, the B-Touch instead has a Braille interface that will allow sightless navigation through the phones proposed features, including voice recognition and speech, a simple navigation system, and scanner that can read text from a page as well as recognize objects.

The B-Touch is sadly just a concept, but hopely something like this will be invented soon!

Wireless Electricity is here!
Wireless electricity is using the principle of electromagnetic induction.
That's totally gonna change the way we charging things, no more annoying tangled-up cords!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Fun Tram Tickets

This idea I think should be brought to the attention of the TTC. It is based off of the Fun Theory everyone has been posting about.

I think it would be cool if every time you swiped your metro pass to ride the TTC you could have a chance of winning some money.

One other thing

Here's a snazzy Social Design Network.
Haven't had the chance to play around with it yet but it looks like fun.



Don't get too caught up in the end users and project deliverable...

Remember what we have learned in this class.


F*ck Yeah Venn Diagrams

Making live easier to understand!

Robots: check out the guy's mutton chops

Hey this is pretty crazy. This guys works on robotic facial expression. There's some mention about studying human expressions, it'd be nice if there was more. Also don't be surprised if Tyco ends up buying a 'zeno'.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mental Models

Aligning design strategy with human behaviour. (Illustrations)


How's everybody doing?

we're getting close to the crunch time, I thought that could put on a smile on everyone's face!

graphics inspiration

since were getting schooled on our graphics skills; here's a few websites i like to check out for fresh ideas.

hope this helps.

Test Your Awareness

This is a fun little number to open our eyes.
Try these two:

Sometime when I get caught on one problem, it's impossible to see the other ten around it.
It's a good tool sometime to lean back, look for NOTHING, and see EVERYTHING...

Hope it helps,
if not, I hope you enjoy it...


Its that time of the year

  1. These are some tips to release stress
  2. Dont let stress get on your way~! =D
  3. Manage Time Wisely:It’s important to give yourself plenty of time to work on your studies if you want to do well, and you can save yourself a lot of stress if you plan ahead with good time management skills. Setting up a schedule for study, breaking up your studies into smaller chunks, and other time management skills are essential. Here are some more time management tips you may find helpful.
  4. Get Organized:Have a system of organization for note-taking, keeping track of assignments, and other important papers. Being organized can bring you the peace of mind that comes from knowing where everything is, remembering deadlines and test dates, and clearing your mind of some of the mental clutter that disorganization brings. Keep a calendar, a schedule, and a filing system for your school assignments, and you’ll find it prevents a significant amount of stress!
  5. Create a Good Study Environment:Creating a soothing environment can reduce stressand help you learn. Aromatherapy, for example, is a known stress reliever, and peppermint essential oil is said to wake up your brain, so I recommend burning it as you study. Playingclassical music as you study can also soothe you and help you learn (unless you find it distracting). Here's more on finding a good study space.
  6. Know Your Learning Style:Did you know that we don’t all learn in the same way? It’s important to know whether you’re a visual, kinesthetic or auditory learner, as you can tailor your study practices around your particular learning style and make success easier to attain. Grace Fleming provides a quiz to help you assess your learning style so you can streamline your efforts.
  7. Practice Visualizations:Visualizations and imagery are proven stress management techniques. You can also reduce student stress and improve test performance by imagining yourself achieving your goals. Take a few minutes each day and visualize, in detail, what you'd like to happen, whether it’s giving a presentation without getting nervous, acing an exam, or something else that will support your success. Then work hard and make it happen!
  8. Develop Optimism:It’s been proven that optimists—those who more easily shrug off failures and multiply successes—are healthier, less stressed, and more successful. You candevelop the traits of optimism and harness these benefits for yourself, and do better in your studies as a result.
  9. Get Enough Sleep:If you want your performance to be optimum you need to be well-rested. Research shows that those who are sleep-deprived have more trouble learning and remembering, and perform more poorly in many areas. Work your schedule so you get enough sleep, or take power naps.
  10. Use Stress Management Techniques:Chronic stress can actually impair your ability to learn and remember facts as well, stress management is one of the most important--and most overlooked--school necessities. A regular stress management practice can reduce your overall stress level and help you to be prepared for whatever comes. This self test will help you choose wisely.
  11. Learn Study Skills:Here are some more specific study skills and tecnhiquesd that can help you improve your performance. The more prepared you are, the less stressed you’ll be!

Coroflot's 2009 Designer Salary Survey Results

After reading Jason’s post on jobs within Canada, I started to look at other websites that provide information on design job opportunities worldwide. I came across Coroflot, a website aimed at design employment opportunities. On the website designers can post their portfolio, search for jobs by employer, and receive tips on design processes. There is also an analysis of Coroflot’s 2009 Designer Salary Survey that is broken up into categories such as: design salaries by region USA & Canada, design salaries and creative field by work environment, experience and salary by creative field, etc. Since the survey encompasses different areas of design ranging from web design to design management, you can visit the overall results summary to narrow your search. For example, you can select the area of concentration (i.e. industrial design) and select a specific job title within this field i.e. freelance, business development (sales), designer (entry level), and so on.

Check it out!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

True North Strong and Free

40 Canadian designs feature in Wallpaper's November issue.
Also links to 40 other worldly designs from other corners of the world.

Geography of time

Ever wonder how our biological clocks are tuned into the 24 hours of a day? Quoting Bruce Hinds, "first thing in the day" doesn't mean the same thing to everyone. We talked about this book in biomimicry, which sounds interesting, if we just has a little bit of time to read!:

A Geography of Time: The Temporal Misadventures of a Social Psychologist, or How Every Culture Keeps Time Just a Little Bit Differently, by Robet Levine.

Tools for creating ideas

great site


Rhino files

hey guys,

a great resource for some models if you need them in your renders


our future in canada guys, not exactly inspiring...lets go overseas!!!


Ken Robinson on Education

Ken Robinson believes that educational systems need a different view of human talent and ability, and of the real conditions in which people flourish. He believes that intelligence is diverse, dynamic, and distinct and that many brilliant people who he has met did not do well in school because public education is not designed to develop everyone’s talents. In the TED talk posted below Robinson quotes Picasso who believed that “all children are born artists…the problem is to remain an artist as we grow up.” Robinson believes that educational systems are stigmatizing mistakes and as a result, we are educating people out of their creative capacities since people are not prepared to make mistakes. The idea that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow (or are educated) out of it struck with me since I’ve noticed a lot of articles on how childhood fun and play informs adult design practices. Structures like the “Official Playground” that provide a space for work and play help to facilitate creative thinking in adults who are accustomed to typical adult working environments. Doesn’t it make you wonder why we sit at desks all day long?

Message socializing

This is pretty cool, talks a bit about online social networking. It's almost good enough to make me sign up for facebook. 

Stefana - How the internet enables intimacy

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Are you addicted?

Remembered this when John Deissel commented on my blogging.

Generally interesting to think about how technologically driven most of our lives have become, but also might be something to look into for your trends analysis, or for your 'disruptive technology' research (David Quan's core class).


Image courtesy of

Click here for an informative document (first couple paragraphs will sum it up pretty well), or click here if you want to watch a quick movie instead [although... if you don't have a few minutes to read because you are loosing focus and itching to click away in order view other internet content... maybe that's a sign?...]

Supposdly, this is a credible test to measure your level of Internet Addiction [IE. mild, moderate, or serious] (based on studies done by Laura Widyanto, Ph.D., and Mary McMurran, Ph.D.).


Rollable beer cooler... for the beach!

Pretty smart design if you ask me - but even if you don't agree, how about the presentation/renderings? Hard to argue they are not clear, professional representations of both the design's aesthetics and functional specs.

There are more/larger images to check out here:
The HippoRoller


Real Work

Mark Moskovitz's Real Work is a collection of objects and videos that target modern workers who "have lost a meaningful connection to genuine exertion in their daily routine."

For example, an adjustable hammer that allows users to decide how much weight is needed for each job.

Check out these links for other great projects by Moskovitz:


Plate?... check. Jam?... check. Knife?... check. Ready, aim, FIRE!!!!!

Check this out:

CATAPULT TOASTER ...enough said.



Check out this site for inspiration on mechanical structures class. Although these bridges are pretty extreme for this assignment, they give you an idea of the crazy type of structures that can be made.

The Banpo Bridge in south Korea definately takes the cake!

The ultimate invention

Unlike Kurt, this only turns itself off.

This message was approved by Kurt.

Don't mind Kurt, he is being replaced.

Got some extra cash lying around?

Introducing... from Volkner Mobil:


Quick summary - Luxury RV Has Slideout Garage

Quick clip [2 mins. approx] - Top Gear


Appartently I've been living under a rock...

YEAH, I KNOW... What I just posted was old... most people have seen it - "That's so 2 years ago," blah blah blah... oh well, it's cool, I hadn't seen a video of it before and figured I'd post it in case someone had missed it too... SOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRY!!


Materialize freehand sketches... YEAH, SERIOUSLY... CHECK IT OUT!!

Pen strokes made in the air are recorded with Motion Capture, and the resulting 3-D patterns are output digitally to a laser sintering machine. Over several days, the machine produces the object by shaping and hardening 0.1-mm layers of liquid plastic. Sketch Furniture is on view and on sale (about USD 10,500 per piece) at the Barry Friedman Gallery in New York. - [from]

FRONT - Sketch Furniture


Change by Design

Tim Brown’s book Change by Design explains how design thinking can be incorporated into organizations in order to inspire innovation. One topic in the book explains IDEO’s Diego Rodriguez and Ryan Jacoby’s business knowledge on how companies can manage their portfolios of design-based innovation. The “Ways to Grow” matrix resulted as a tool that evaluates the innovation efforts within an organization.

Innovation efforts are mapped out on a vertical axis representing existing to new offerings (product, system, and/or service) and a horizontal axis representing existing to new users. This matrix categorizes the innovation efforts of a company and demonstrates the balance of these efforts. Brown argues that a company’s best defense against a constantly changing world is to diversify its portfolio by investing in all four quadrants of the matrix.

-incremental tendencies
-important/ majority of a company’s effort is likely to be concentrated in this stream of innovation
-i.e. extension of a successful brand
-secure a company’s base

-extend existing offerings to solve unmet needs or current customers or adapt them to meet the needs of new customers or markets
-i.e. Toyota Prius is an example of incremental and evolutionary innovation (Prius caught the demand for energy-efficient personal transportation while competitors were making SUVs, offered customers lower fuel consumption as fuel prices increased, innovation behind the hybrid electric motor, indication of fuel economy)
-stretch a company’s base

-the most challenging and the riskiest type of innovation (both the product and the users are new)
-occurs rarely
-i.e. Apple’s iPod (core technology not new, but company created a market for a different type of musical experience)

Monday, November 23, 2009

LEDs and Shameless Self-Promotion!!!

For those who in the know, OCAD has reintroduced their wonderfully magical Wearable Technology 1 course this semester. I, as well as a few fortunate others have had the opportunity to study circuitry and other conductive creations under Kate Hartman, a forerunner in the wearable technology world.

The integrating of active circuits into clothing and other wearables is a swelling trend and designers should take advantage of technology in their work. We can do anything that we want.

And now watch my video.



There's something about Lego that transcends age groups and has an everlasting appeal.


Some groups have tackled ideas on how to educate children, and I thought this would be a good example of a product that can not only be interesting and relevant to children, but to adults.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

*Repurposing IDEAS

check out Junktion for repurposing backyard junk
there can limitless possibilities when you see things in a different way
this is a lovely website with over 80 home furnishing products
next time you throw out your garbage ...think again!

Tjep's Self-sufficient Farming Explorations

In 2008, a creative agency called Tjep. developed a question that they would strive to answer: how can we, as designers, contribute to the fundamental developments that are taking place in Dutch agricultural research? Focusing on this question Tjep. began an investigation called Oogst (in Dutch, Oogst stands for harvest) exploring new developments in the agricultural sector. Consequently, Tjep. came up with two concept plans, one with a focus on creating synergy between production processes in agriculture, and the other with a focus on energy consumption and waste production in the residential sector. Oogst’s 1000 Wonderland- a self-sufficient farm, restaurant, hotel, and amusement park is one of the Oogst systems that caught my attention first. The toilets are linked to a bio-gas energy system and all users are paid per washroom visit! I think that it is worth checking out Tjep’s Oogst experiments, technology and Tjep’s incorporation of ‘agriligion’ into their systems at:

Recycled Toy Sculptures

Kris Kuksi’s Recycled Toy Sculptures

sustainable design, green design, eco art, recycled toy sculptures, upcycling, kris kuksi, art, artist

The beautiful thing about upcycled materials is that the end results often bear no resemblance to the original items. Such is the case with sculptor Kris Kuksi’s toy sculptures, which are constructed out of old toys, statues, and mechanical parts.

sustainable design, green design, eco art, recycled toy sculptures, upcycling, kris kuksi, art, artist

According to Kuksi’s artist statement, his work is “feeling that he has always belonged to the ‘Old World’. Yet, Kris’ work is about a new wilderness, refined and elevated, visualized as a cultivation emerging from the corrupt and demoralized fall of modern-day society. A place where new beginnings, new wars, new philosophies, and new endings exist.” That place is apparently also quite macabre and grotesque.

In any case, Kuksi’s mindblowingly detailed toy sculptures remind us that trash and discarded materials can be refashioned into nearly anything we want.

From :

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Shigeru Ban

one of the greatest architect Shigeru Ban

this might help designing brdige for our fianl proejct

get inspired!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Experience Design

Hey ~ so I noticed that this competition is purely on the bases of usability and experience design.. well I found this user experience design manual so we could use this information~
ON: Experience Design 101

Experience design can sometimes be a slippery term. With all the other often used terms that float around in its realm in the technology and web space: interaction design, information architecture, human computer interaction, human factors engineering, usability, and user interface design.

People often end up asking “what is the difference between all these fields and which one do I need?” This article examines the term and field of user experience to plainly extrapolate its meaning and connect the dots with these other fields.

Those of us in the field have stated that the discipline takes the theory and the techniques of traditional design, which it merges with theoretical and practical approaches from other disciplines. The result is a gestalt-like synthesis of unique procedures and methods, and of a project-based approach to develop objects, environments and systems.

Interaction design seeks to establish a dialogue between products, people and physical, cultural and historical contexts; to anticipate how the use of products will affect comprehension; and to determine a form that is appropriate to its behavior and use.

Experience design takes into consideration not only physical devices but services. Our lives are increasingly connected through telecommunications networks and filled with immaterial things: music, films, TV and other information sources. These services, provided by companies and public institutions, are as important as the machines through which we access them: the phone, pager, PDA or set-top box.

Experience design involves the design of immaterial as well as material things: services and software as well as hardware. Interactive technologies need a new kind of design, a fusion of sound, graphic and product design, and time-based narrative.

Developing this new kind of design will lead to a new aesthetic interface: one of use and experience as well as of form. When function and information (and perhaps entertainment) converge you should get a universal emotional design that takes the most positive human behaviors into account.

Getting The Terms Right

User experience is a term used to describe the overall experience and satisfaction a user has when using a product or system. It most commonly refers to a combination of software and business topics, such as selling over the web, but it applies to any result of interaction design. Wikipedia definition

Interaction design is a sub-discipline of design which examines the role of embedded behaviors and intelligence in physical and virtual spaces as well as the convergence of physical and digital products. Sometimes referred to by the acronyms “IxD” or “iD”… Wikipedia definition

Information Architecture (IA) is the art and science of structuring knowledge (technically data), and defining user interactions. Wikipedia definition

Usability is the measure of the ease with which particular people can employ a particular tool or other human-made object in order to achieve a particular goal. Usability can also refer to the methods of measuring usability and the study of the principles that may predict whether an object is found usable in practice. Wikipedia definition

Human-computer interaction (HCI) is the study of interaction between people (users) and computers. It is an interdisciplinary subject, relating computer science with many other fields of study and research. Wikipedia definition

Human factors engineering, also referred to as Ergonomics is the study of optimizing the interface between human beings, and the designed objects and environments they interact with. Wikipedia definition

User interface design is the overall process of designing the interaction between a human (user) and a machine (computer). It includes graphic design, information design and a wide variety of usability methods. Wikipedia definition

User experience design is a subset of the broader field of experience design; the latter being defined as:…an approach to the design of products, services and environments based on a holistic consideration of the users’ experience. Experience design is therefore driven by consideration of the ‘moments’ of engagement between people and brands, and the memories these moments create. Also known as experiential marketing, customer experience design, experiential design, brand experience.

Based on this definition, experience design uses the interactions of customers with products, services and company branding to optimize the overall impressions left by these. User experience design takes a similar approach and applies it to a specific set of products– computer-related ones. For example, an experience designer may refine the customer service and ambience of a hotel, whereas a user experience designer will optimize the customer’s interaction when making a reservation online, interacting with the hotel website or will improve the staff’s systems for managing hotel operations. The key difference can be found in the examination of the word ‘user.’

Eco-friendly pot humidifier

♡ lovepot ♡

Sustainable humidifier made out of tissue ball.

The tissue ball is made of honeycomb shaped felt so that it can enhance water absorbing ability with large surface.

In the package of the pot, there is a bottle of aroma liquid and people can use it for the fragrances as well as humidification.

Airless wheel


This is Great inventor !

Wheel without air !


National Characteristics in Design

Check out an interesting 5 minutes from an early episode of "Top Gear" (British Car Show).

Season 1, Episode 3 [click play, don't mind the pop-up, and fast-forward 10 minutes into the episode).


'National Characteristics' (how cars are designed based on cultural differences/traditions), as well as how cars mirror the furniture characteristics from the country in which they were built.


Nice post Ansis - here's another take on Hipsters.

Found this randomly... anyone know the name of comic-strip? I can't remember/find it anywhere.


Data Visualization

Thought I would post this to demonstrate just how many methods of visualization there are. Check out the link, roll over each symbol to reveal examples of each.

Local Food Movement , a trend?

Two places that were referred in class today,

Jamie Kennedy Kitchens

Who really needs technology?

Here's a low tech, no cost way of documenting your brain storming. I've been using this method ever since we were doing some brainstorming in one of my group meetings and we needed some large sheets of paper. We didn't have any so we just used the paper towels found in washrooms. It's free and it comes on a long roll so you are not limited to the amount of brain storming ideas you can come up. In addition, it rolls up into a nice little form to place into your bag. Try it sometime, just don't take the whole roll!