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Daniel Stillman

New York, NY, United States

Designer (Product Design)

Member since May 10, 2007

  • Making Energy an Effort

    Environment, Industrial Design


    Check out this article

    I think these hand-cranked LED toys are social design, not just because of the "green" aspect which is intentional, but in that they can shift our views of where energy comes from.

    Toys that run magically on batteries run down... and we just go buy more. The child thinks that energy is something you go and buy - a commodity that never runs out. This toy might show children that energy is a resource that requires effort - it's not magically stored in a coppertop. Energy is work.

    We look at the world as a resource we can exploit - and we need to remember that to get something out of this world you have to but effort in - no free rides!

  • Carpet_177_

    Check out today's NYTimes Science section for this article on Interface carpet. CEO coins the phrase "Restorative Enterprise" which I really like.

    People have been asking what Social Design example I keep giving is Belu Water, which is featured here. An entity devised to be an engine of social and environmental change is social design - design for the greater good.

    Anderson had a revelation 10 years ago...he realized that in the future, his company's mere compliance with eco-law would be hindsight. He realized they had to do something and they did. 10 years later sustainability has slashed their waste and upped their recycling, among other things. Anderson says that the company has saved $336 million over the last 10 years from these efforts.

    Cool Carpet

    While no one has developed nylon yarns that can be recycled into new carpet, they have devised a way to repurpose worn tiles into making backings for new carpet, in a product line called "cool carpet", diverting 16.8 million pounds from landfills annually.

  • One laptop per child

    Communication, Communication Design


    Will the introduction of these mesh networked laptops change the web? I feel at the least, with more young people, with more capacity and with education, it's hard to imagine that the web will not develop into a 3.0 that is totally unrecognizable from our nascent "2.0" perspective.

    That futurism avoids George's call for thoughtful design, tho'

  • Design for the other 90%: Photovoltaics

    Well-being, Industrial Design


    Cheap always winds up being expensive, I always say...when you try to cut corners, or can't afford corners, there are repercussions.

    SELCO-India's profile on Cooper-Hewitt's site points this truth out...if you can't afford a good system, you pay dearly for a cheap one. SELCO indicates on their website that they help finance the purchase of these solar systems, enabling people to wean themselves from petroleum generators or car batteries for their day-to-day electricity needs. it's cleaner, but also cheaper over time. This shows again the power access to credit has to transform people's lives.

  • Click and Aid: Ripple wants eyes

    Aid, Communication Design


    make ripple your homepage and save the world. No, really! thanks to electroplankton I found this great beta start your online seaches at ripple and look at an ad before you go on your way. Money is contributed to good causes. Win-win, right?

  • The Map: online communities

    Community, Communication Design


    Design21 isn't on the map of online communities yet..but being aware of the landscape is interesting.

    from neatorama

    full sized image is here

  • IDE: it's time for social design revolution

    Community, Industrial Design


    Browsing the site for Cooper-Hewitt's Design for the other 90% I found this nugget:

    “The majority of the world’s designers focus all their efforts on developing products and services exclusively for the richest 10% of the world’s customers. Nothing less than a revolution in design is needed to reach the other 90%.” —Dr. Paul Polak, International Development Enterprises

  • Designing online communities

    Communication, Communication Design

    I found these guys because they blogged about Thinkcycleand saw what i saw: no activity for a while. But life goes on.

    These guys are interested in tools to help build online communities and to engender that each community isn't a little island - but states with maybe, i dunno, roads between them? Maybe sites want to keep their people where they are, but i think it's like having a PDF format - it helps everyone if you can read everyone's work.

  • Open Source Green Design: Natalie Jeremijenko

    Community, Industrial Design


    Reading the Cooper-Hewitt Blog for Design triennial i saw this project from Natalie: cooper-hewitt profile

    What's great about this project is that it hacks widely distributed consumer technology using open-source plans and helps educate kids about technology and pollution. Open source is social design because it uses the power of the big community brain to both solve problems and to implement solutions over a bigger range than an individual could.

  • Belu water is a great first step

    Environment, Industrial Design

    Check out their website and their article in the features section...They are really doing quite a lot for the environment and their community. Purchases of Belu water fund clean water initiatives in the UK (local to Belu) and abroad (India, Mali), They're going to fund a garbage filter for the Thames and have supplied hand pumps to rural villages in India.

    Belu also points out that shipping water from Fiji to the UK is insane. The carbon footprint of shipping is huge. So Belu went to the trouble to find water sources in the UK. I think it's a very admirable effort. i just wish Poland Spring would do the same.

    On the flip side...corn is better than oil and is technically renewable...but it is usually grown with petrochemical fertilizers. The next step would be to make the growing greener. Belu points out that the bio-plastic can be made from potatoes, beets...really, anything with carbs and sugars. Corn does grow fast, though. Plus this article from Columbia University's news service points out that corn plastics use 20-30% less petroleum overall than PET. So that's great.

    This project really seems to have taken a village; looking at their supporters page you can see that they were helped by local design schools and water charities, among others. Parson's in the US seems to be leading the way on this...I hope other schools follow suit and find worthy projects to contribute to.


Empathy + Intelligence + Creativity = Design

Contact Daniel Stillman
Empathic Design Blog

My Interests

  • Industrial Design
  • Environmental Design
  • Communication Design
  • Fashion Design
  • Audio/Visual Design