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  • Reflections

    Well-being, Industrial Design

    Having just completed the Parsons Product Design thesis program, I can't help but reflect:

    Called "A Good Life," the program is conceived - ostensibly - as a partnership between regional not-for-profits and thesis students. Pedagogically, the emphasis is less on finding an NFP as it is on finding oneself.

    The process begins with the thesis coordinator's asking students to identify their passion and a problem. "Who is your user?"

    It occurs to me that this very natural, seldom questioned methodology is a bit problematic. The very nature of our discipline seems to be pessimistic. Without denying the power of design to make lives better, I still feel compelled to ask if we might rather design a glass for the water that's there, if you catch my meaning. Why are we inclined to see people's lives as half empty?

    The method of instruction propagated by the Product Design department at Parsons encourages (intimates?) the following line of thought...

    1] You are not like me, therefore something is wrong with you;

    2] You cannot be happy the way you are, and you don't know how to redress this fact;

    3] I do (because I read a magazine article).

    Granted, my model is a little cynical, but I'm trying to be polemic here. As designers, it's easy to feel good about ourselves when we've shaped the very problem our products answer.

    The question I leave open is this: can we design for the half-full?

    (I think so.)

    ...
  • Social Design

    Community, Communication Design

    How can a graphyc designer can contribute for a better world? Anybody knows?

  • Change the World for 15 Bucks

    Well-being, Communication Design

    Q. How many World Changing actions can you fit into 45 seconds? Well, here's what one answer from the team at WeAreWhatWeDo.

  • Mind the Gap: Wouldn't it be better if...

    Community, Communication Design

    Mindthegap_177_

    London based Communication and Public Service Design agency thinkpublic and The Ideal Government Project are inviting everyone to help design better public services, in a competition called Mind the Gap.

    The competition is an exciting collaboration between thinkpublic's Real Work Experience - launched last November, and The Ideal Government's "Wibbipedia".

    So, if you are a designer or someone who has an idea for improving public services, submit an idea! All you have to do is describe a public service exactly as it is, and then describe how good it could be.

    For more information visit MIND THE GAP.

  • Designer Be true to Design !

    Arts & Culture, Industrial Design

    Treetrunkbench_177_

    Design is moving away from consumer use and production and get closer to museum pieces and art. Its good to have a concept but the designed object should be rather a product than a story.

    How can you call yourself a designer if your product has no potential use or can not be produced on a bigger scale to bring it to the people you designed it for, and you product is only be understood and desired by the select few who visit the musea's to read the descriptions on the pedestal where you piece is shown. " DO NOT TOUCH PLEASE", but this is design , not art. It should be touched and used and admired.... because of its ingenuity. not because of its provocation of it.

    A designed product should be always in favor of the user. Off course a design should start with a strong concept, but the product is the goal and not only serve a artistic purpose.

  • Who are you ?

    Arts & Culture, Industrial Design

    The question “what kind of designer are you?” doesn’t quite make sense to me. When we look at the product a designer, artist, craftsman does, we evaluate the work based on the concept, aesthetic and functional qualities and not by the educational background or specialty, “label”, of the person. And from My point of view, people that accept or reject something based on the label of it’s maker, are having a narrow-minded view of the world, and not willing to break the molds!

    If you look at the definition for “designer”, it's a person who designs any of a variety of things and implies the task of creating or of being creative. So narrowing it down to a single type of product or field is not the right way to approach it. They are just different skills and both take talent in different ways. I think that a collaboration of skills will give the individual designer a wider view and possibilities and these will be very valuable for him and the client. Anyone who communicates their concept through their product is a designer, independently from the medium used or the type of design you are trained in.

  • Branding

    Arts & Culture, Audio/Visual Design

    Annymaldesign2_177_

    It´s only a logo.

  • MyType: Extended (May 2nd – May 18th) :

    Arts & Culture, Communication Design

    Mytpe_show-02_177_

    MyType

    Extended (May 2nd – May 18th) : Type exhibit by Canada's rising star of new modernist typography

    Due to popular demand, 'MyType,' an exhibit of type-based, large format posters by Noel Nanton, has been extended through to Sunday, May 18th. Nanton will also be giving a talk and walk-through tour of the exhibit on Sunday, May 18th from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

    Nanton, who is creative director of typotherapy+design, has created a series of original, limited-edition posters reflecting his own, very new take on classic modernist typography. Each poster is an original work of art and showcases Nanton's unique, type-based language. The posters include original, typotherapy-created fonts along with edgy takes on classics including Helvetica and Avant Garde.

    Nanton has been widely recognized in Canada, Europe and Japan for his original typography and graphic design. typotherapy+design is a boutique, Toronto-based studio specializing in typography, editorial design, branding and packaging.

    What: MyType, an exhibit of type-based posters by typotherapy+design creative director Noel Nanton.

    Where: K6C Gallery, 938 Bathurst Street (just North of Bloor) Toronto, Canada.

    When: Show extended to Sunday, May 18th. Designer Noel Nanton will be giving a talk and walk-through tour of the exhibit on Sunday, May 18th from 4:00 to 5:00 pm

    www.typotherapy.com, www.keep6c.com

    For more information, please contact Kate Cassidy at kate@typotherapy.com

    ...
  • Craft as Eco-Agency

    Arts & Culture, Environmental Design

    Postcard1_177_

    Craft as Eco-Agency is a new online exhibition in gallery1 at Poplar ArtCraft.

    New York artist Abigail Doan creates "...tactile maps, floating topographies, and in situ souvenirs that highlight the delicate nature of our environs via geomorphic agency and environmental tinkering."

    See gallery1 at http://poplarartcraft.mackenziefrere.com/

  • Design vs Branding

    Communication, Communication Design

    Design_177_

    I was reading an article some weeks ago in the Swedish business magazine Dagens Industri which made me a bit confused. The theme was branding (and design). In the article, Stefan Ölander from the branding agency Rewir says; "Today most products and services are exchangeable, it's branding and communication that make the difference."

    I have a few objections.

    My first questions is - could Apple exchange the iPod or iTunes? Could Fritz Hansen exchange the Ant chair? Could Omega exchange the Speedmaster?

    My second question is - does he mean that a company can exchange most products without changing the company and its values itself? Like changing into products with bad design, of poor quality, without authenticity which are bad for the environment? Or disposable products that we are not emotional connected to? Or just some smoothed average design that are not iconic and timeless at all? Products made by child labour? And so on…

    If we hold for true that a brand is (only) a perception in a consumers mind, the physical deliverance of great products will be even more important; the smell, taste, feel, look and sound. Everything that actually has to do with design. Design is like a "visualization of a business strategy" and products are the true messengers of a brand. Nothing you just replace by snapping the fingers.

    Today you can't diminish the importance of good design. Business executives (and marketers…) that don't understand the power of design in gene...

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