Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
I had a thought recently that I feel like sharing:
The year 42803 will exist one day.
Like Y2K there could be a panic in the year 9999 about every device coordinated for only 4 digit dates – assuming systematic devices like that will still exist by then.
I think that by the year 42803, our generations will be thought of as a primitive civilization that was dependent on the wheel for most of our machinery – they’ll look back and laugh. Documentation will show a civilization that couldn’t harness space and time and control gravity. They’ll probably look back and chuckle at the fact that we were a species that was stuck on planet earth. Our cars, feet and homes were all attached to the planet and we were stifled by gravity holding us down.
I think it’s fun to look around and try to imagine even new devices as primitive and underdeveloped. The gravity problem will probably take a while to figure out. I read a study recently that was talking about some scientists who have built a laser that can produce as much energy as the sun on a spot smaller than a human cell. Pretty wild.
Some people feel that if given the opportunity to live forever they would turn it down based on the sheer loneliness of the idea - I feel otherwise. I would endure the pain of seeing generations of my family come and go and love lost and found for centuries only to trade it off to see where the human race is going and what’s to come. I don’t think Star Trek is far off. I believe there is intelligent life out there and I believe, eventually, we will have the capacity to bend space and time and be able to propel machines and forces using magnetic and kinetic energies.
The only reason I doubt the existence of god is that for centuries people thought of all of the unanswered questions as gods. The god of the sun, moon and stars - until science explained it all. The, ‘”why are we here?”, question to me is simple, we just are. I doubt lions or piranhas’ think too hard about that stuff. Even dolphins, who’s minds are more advanced, probably don’t worry too much about their “purpose” – a porpoises purpose :)
Anyways, I enjoyed the thought as I drove by OCAD yesterday about the year 42803 and what they’ll think of our civilization. It made me question design and objects and where we're going and what we're doing.
My inherent struggle with design is, WHY? I have an internship with a toy company but is that really the contribution I want to make in this world? Do I really want to dedicate my skill-set to that industry? I struggle with this daily. Above are some designs that I appreciate and I hope that some day I will be able to focus my attention in similar directions.
Happy Holidays and Happy Thinking.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
'Automatic Eyes' illuminating the road ahead, digital dashboard telling you traffic density information, and an atomic reactor melting the mountainside as it paves the tunnel behind? We live in the future, I tells ya! Well, okay, maybe we don't have the 'atomic' tunnel-builder yet, but the current tunnel boring machine is pretty close to that dream come true. See how many current conveniences are listed in the video above. My voice is hoarse from yelling "I SAW THAT BEFORE!" way too many times.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Here is a recent development by the good folks at MIT.
Helping the blind see and giving our fine soldiers night vision and out secret spies xray vision.
However many useful and cool advancements are made in technology, there will always have to be designers to make it possible for people to actually use.
HongKong is known for its overpopulation and tight spaces. Our body-storming exercise focuses on user experiences in a 2' x 4' bathroom space - a dimension not uncommon in many government housing apartments in HK. Participants were given bathroom scenarios to act out within a bathroom mockup. Their interactions were recorded and summarized here in a 5 min clip.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, December 5, 2010
A handful of smart, savvy makeup manufacturers are launching take-back programs that not only sort and recycle containers for you—but offer sweet deals to their customers as added incentive (hello, free lipstick!). A few of our favorites include:
Back to MAC: One of the first companies to dabble in recycling programs, MAC Cosmetics accepts returns of its primary packing as part of their commitment to environmental responsibility. Collect and return six containers, and they'll throw in a free lipstick - of any color or shade your heart desires.
Aveda Recycle Caps: Recognizing that the majority of plastic bottle caps do not get recycled today, Aveda goes the extra mile and accepts not only caps from their own bottles and tubes, but flip top caps on food products like ketchup and salad dressing, laundry detergent, and even plastic water bottle lids.
Return to Origins: Like Aveda's program, Origins takeback program is brand agnostic -consumers can bring any empty bottle, jar or cosmetic tube into any of Origins stores or department store counters nationwide. Then, the company says, "all returned packaging is sent back to central location where products are recycled or used for energy recovery." Pretty great, huh?
These trail-blazing companies are the first of what we hope will become many to give new life to old cosmetics containers, but they can't do it alone. With more and more options for responsible disposal available to us every day, it's on our shoulders to make sure all those little plastic containers and bottles make their way to the right place!
**This article shows us how we could all be involved in the "green-life," which benefits us and the world. Cosmetic companies should participate more into these kind of recycling programs. I always don't know how to recycle lotion and make-up containers after using them. There are refills for eyeliners, but not many manufacturers have these.
"Designing the needle-free future of vaccine delivery"
Iomai, now part of Intercell, was a new entrant in the field of needle-free vaccination with IP for a patch - based method of dermal delivery. While the start-up was well on its way to developing the pharmaceutical science behind the vaccination, there remained the challenge of prepping the skin to effectively accept the vaccine. The company approached IDEO to develop a viable method of applying a needle-free vaccine delivery patch. The result is a vaccine patch concept and application prototype that consider the complete user experience, from mail-out packaging to application, and has the potential to make self-application possible for the first time.
IDEO began by investigating a range of skin preparation techniques to enable the vaccine to reach immune system cells in the dermis. By concentrating on the user experience and looking at the needs of patients and nurses in vaccination contexts, IDEO was able to rapidly generate and prototype concepts for application and supporting devices. This approach led to the patch device and test units for use in Phase I/II clinical trials. As a result of devising techniques and concepts in reference to the impending clinical trials, IDEO optimized the product development cycle and helped maintain the development timeline toward approval from the FDA.
IDEO’s design is a working model of a concept device meant to ensure consistent application across a range of users. A proprietary mechanism controls the application of the skin preparation and patch location. The patch is shelf stable and has the potential to be sent through the mail and self applied, enabling optimal delivery for pandemic vaccination and large-scale vaccination in emerging economies. IDEO also designed the patch to be easy to manufacture using standard materials and processes, setting the stage for myriad future applications and new models of vaccine delivery.
Following Iomai’s creation of this early phase working model, Intercell and IDEO plan to continue development of a final version to take to market. Intercell currently has two vaccine candidates in late stage development. Iomai completed its IPO in 2006 and was funded under a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services directed toward its pandemic flu program. Iomai merged with Intercell in August 2008.
**This is a great idea to help third world countries without having to spend a lot of money in delivery.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
"Researchers at the Engineering and Sciences Research Council are developing composite materials that "bleed" resin when stressed or damaged, effectively creating a "scab" that fixes the damage. It’s an innovation that could drastically improve air safety, foster the development of lighter aircraft and bring biomimicry to aviation."
Heres the link for the full article: Airplane Heal Thyself? Self Repairing Aircraft....
It doesn’t make much sense to me that I can talk to someone on the other side of the planet from a device that sits in the palm of my hand shooting signals to space and back within seconds but I still wipe my ass with a 4x4” square of thin, temperamental paper. Lets get our priorities straight. For something that is so close to us and used for very personal and sensitive reasons I would think that someone, somewhere would be looking in to a re-design. Seedless watermelons?! And all I get is one more ply?!
I have trouble mopping the floors in my apartment. Not because I’m lazy, but because I haven’t yet found an easy to use, effective household mop. I like the industrial dreadlock white one’s that janitors use in schools. The sponge ones that are offered in a hundred varieties at Canadian Tire are ALL shit. I end up just pushing around dust bundles and pubic hair. They shouldn’t be called mops, they should be called re-distributors.
I don’t like that my coffee table is called a coffee table. I don’t drink coffee.
Some of our classmates recently designed a rapid-prototyping application that would allow people to design their own instruments. I think that this a valuable idea that should be further investigated. Why isn’t there a kid’s toy that allows the user to buy a box of parts or sections of instruments that can be fastened together to create whimsical winds and sounds?
The fact that I sit on the DVP by myself during rush hour in a car that seats five surrounded by hundreds of other people in cars that seat more than they ever transport is fucked up. There needs to be a better system. I don’t think that companies should be looking in to lighter or more environmentally friendly cars. We should be brainstorming better systems of transport to eliminate the need for the consumer car in the first place.
Record. 8 Track. Tape. CD. DVD. USB. What’s next I wonder?
Babies growing in women’s stomachs is as sci-fi as it gets.
Do you believe in monsters? If you didn’t know a bear as you know it now and you were walking through the forest and saw one, wouldn’t you think it was a monster? Good marketing can sell us anything. Giant dark beast with razor sharp teeth, giant paws and protruding claws, lives in the forest, will attack, roars that below over the distance and my four year old nephew cuddles with a plush version every night before bed and calls him Sam.
The clever Green roof system by Marco Castro
Thursday, December 2, 2010
A very interesting design, with relevance to our Roca project, uses touch control and digital display to function. Sensors and a microphone allow the user to control water pressure and temperature with extreme precision, reacting to the users voice and hand motions that runs through a microprocessor to save settings.
Link to the full article : Water Symphony
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Coca-Cola and Emeco have combined their products to create the Navy Chair made from recycled plastic Coca Cola bottles in hopes of doing something "green". Each of the 111 Navy Chair is made from 60% rPET plastic Coca Cola bottles and 40% is from other materials such as pigment and glass fiber.
Although the product is aimed at recycling and giving used objects a second life, I can't help but think that it's just all a business scheme, especially as it was debuted at the 2010 Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan and the fact that only 111 were made makes it seem more like a limited edition designer item to get people to spend thousands of dollars on.
On the other hand, a design like this: Andre Kim's Eco Coke Bottle would definitely not be even considered by Coca Cola despite all its merits in reducing the carbon footprint to 0 for every 321,856,830 bottles shipped. And all because Coca Cola has to retain its image and the silhouette of their bottle for branding reasons. Guess that's the difficulty of being a designer... trying to create a balance between our own design principles and the business value for the company.