Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Transworld Business has got an interview up with Mike Tobia, the ex-pro snowboarder turned product designer and Director of Product at accessories brand Dragon. Tobia's worked on the design of APX snow goggles, which feature a frameless design that offers unprecedented peripheral vision.
Tobia had this to say about design inspiration:
In terms of consumer products, Apple has no doubt been the most direct inspiration to me and probably every other designer today. I used to feel guilty, like I was cheating, when using them as design influence until I started doing research on Jonathan Ive (Apple's Senior VP of Industrial Design) who clearly takes the same approach. His influence is Dieter Rams, probably one of the most influential industrial designers of all time who lead Braun's design department from the '60s through the '90s. If you google 'braun apple inspiration,' you'd be amazed at the amount of design correlation between the two. You can tie almost every Apple product design to the influence of Dieter Rams and Braun. It made me realize that I shouldn't feel guilty about borrowing other designs as influence and that it's a fundamental process of design evolution.
Read the rest of the interview here.(more...)"
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
ND dates for product this year are 7th, 8th 9th July. Further info can be found at, www.newdesigners.com.
You should make sure you get there this summer to check out the comp for your work next year. Places to stay, costs, dates etc see Craig.
We hope to see you there!
With their guide stick in one hand and a firm grip on the handrail, the visually challenged rely on instincts while negotiating a flight of stairs. The Safety Dot is a set of braille indents on a handrail, which makes using the stairs an easier task. I love the thoughtful intent and the simple way it can be integrated.
Designers: Monocomplex & Hwang Jungjoon
Friday, March 25, 2011
The frequent traveler knows having the right accessories can keep a trip from becoming a disaster. Neck pillows are notorious for promising more than they deliver. However something high-tech like the Digital Neck Pillow is worth exploring. Its supposed to be soft and temperature controlled and with gimmicks like an integrated MP3 player and digital sunglasses. Perfect to keep you entertained or lull you to sleep. I want one!
Designers: Jung Hwan Song & Joo Young You
Remember the Watch Diary, yes the very one that pointed out your current chores with a bright red pointer and sheepishly reminded you of ones you missed, plus the upcoming ones? Well the hardbound diary has now been upped to a Whiteboard Cutout. You can plan your daily timetable on its face and maybe even attach pictures using the magnet. I prefer this use-and-rub version. What about you?
The Free Form Ruler enables you to measure the length by “drawing” an invisible line, straight or curved. The unit of measurement is displayed and can be adjusted at the top. What a brilliant idea! Where was this when I was in design school? I studied fashion design and all the straight edge and french rulers in the world probably couldn’t have given me measurements as accurate as this concept proposes.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
For a while, every time my wife and I went to the local big box store we would stop by the vacuum cleaner section and check out the Dyson products. We would take them off the shelf and go through the motions with each set of products. My wife would always ask me, “How do you think they look”? The designer in me could not overlook the bright utility colors and the strong use of machine form language.
And then one day, our old Hoover vacuum literally bit the dust. We brought home the hyper-colored Dyson. I began putting the over-designed object together. The box of parts transformed into a vacuuming tool within our living room. It made me think about invention, design, and true innovation. The big question that came to my mind was “Where does invention exist within product design?”
I began vacuuming my house. Flurries of dirt were sucked from the carpet and started swirling around in a dusty cyclone. It triggered a feeling of empowerment. As the power tool displayed its true effectiveness, it made me realize that this product was revolutionary within its market. The Dyson vacuum cleaner represented new technology in a category that had remained stagnant for decades.
This revolutionary product was not developed haphazardly. Engineering and designing this vacuum required the Edison approach of good old trial-and-error where a prototype must be built and thoroughly tested. The methodological approach is to use failure as a catalyst for insight, improvement and refinement. Multiple cycles of revisions lead to a perfect model.
Dyson built 5,271 prototypes in four years until he reached a machine that would satisfy his expectations. Invention involves this trial-and-error method, because invention takes time and persistence. These qualities are also essential to true design and engineering breakthroughs. Of utmost importance in this process is the continuous collaboration between designers and engineers from the beginning to the end of the product development process. When designers and engineers take the time to invent products from the ground up, they have the power to infuse change into the world.