Articles

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Using Design to Build a Great Brand

Robert Brunner (the man more commonly known as the person who hired Jonathan Ives) has achieved something that I always hope to achieve with the clients I work with.

He has helped a fledging company build an awesome brand and thrive in a competitive market thought the use of great design. Not only that, the brand has since been acquired (with much buzz) by Apple for a mind numbing $3 billion dollars. That company is non-other than the headphones brand Beats by Dr Dre.

Amazed? I was. Now check out the video where he shares insights on how he did it.

Robert Brunner: What All Great Design Companies Know from 99U on Vimeo.

Some great one liners like “Technology Enables Design Establishes” or “As Designers we give away our intellectual property too cheaply”, and lots of stuff on the role design plays in today’s business environment. Do enjoy the video as it’s probably the best one I’ve seen this year. Thanks for sharing Robert!

Designing for the New Economy

3D Printed Toy Car

Wouter Scheublin, in cooperation with the Dutch research institute TNO, designed this wonderfully minimal pull back car made through 3D printing.

Wouter leveraged on some of the strengths and advantages of the 3D printing process, in this case laser sintering, to design the car and the pull back mechanism all in one go,

Every part, including the gears, axles, wheels and pull back spring all come out from the printer as a complete assembly. The only assembly required is the 4 rubber bands tires and perhaps packaging.

I applaud Wouter’s amazing experimentation and sublime Industrial Design. This product really got me excited. However I was quite surprised to note that this car is on sale on his website at Euros €180, and obviously made to order.

I wonder if a designer is experimenting in such advanced manufacturing processes should he not also experiment with an advanced business model as well? Why not sell the 3D file at perhaps €10-20 and possibly make a whole lot more money, and at the same time save on shipping costs and effort?

With 3D Printing cafes exploding all around us, I think selling the 3D file of your design is the way of the future.

Via: Website

Next to the Skin Technology Showcase: The Process

As you may know from our last post, we worked with ETPL (the technology transfer arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore) to develop 10 wearable prototypes for the Next to the Skin Technology Showcase.

What was notable in this program was not just the 10 meaningful wearable solutions, it was also how design was integrated as a strategic activity in the formation of the program, the way it was run, and the value the program offered the business.

ETPL-Design-Thinking-Bootcamp

We kicked off this Design Led Innovation program with a 3-day Design Thinking Boot Camp where teams of investors, designers, engineers, scientists, technologists and commercialization people got together to create a shared vision of what the future of Wearables could be.

A_STAR Workshop Observation Card

We also got the scientists out of their lab and into the field to observe or speak to humans doing what they do best. We gave the participants one of our Design Thinking Tools, the Observation Card, and showed them how to be amateur ethnographers for a week.

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Through this ethnographic activity, we manage to get the scientists and technologists in our teams to shift their thinking from one that is technology driven, to one that is user centered and focused on how their customers would experience the benefits of their technology.

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After that, it was a design implementation activity where we worked with the core team, the scientists, and external industry experts to fine-tune the design of the 10 wearable propositions. It was a fully iterative process filled with mad scurrying and sleepless nights. Luckily we had Apples and chips to keep us sane!

Anyways, this short video pretty much documents the process of how we did it. Do have a look and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below?


Can’t see the video above? Check it out here on YouTube.

Stay tuned to our website for the full case study where we will be showcasing the complete project and the deliverables soon.

Next to the Skin : 8 Weeks, 10 Wearable Concept Designs and Everything Else in Between!

Next to the skin-final

I’m super excited to share that tomorrow marks the launch of one of the biggest projects we have led and worked on to date. In partnership with ETPL, we brought to life The Next to the Skin Technology Showcase where in 8 weeks, we worked with multidisciplinary teams of scientists, engineers, and members from ETPL (the technology transfer arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore) to visualize the future of wearable solutions from the eyes of the consumer.

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The result? 10 functional wearable prototypes that are driven by customer insights and underpinned by patented technology. This is Design Led Innovation at its best.

Kicking off the program with a 3 Day Design Thinking bootcamp, the teams rapidly connected data points created from consumer needs, business opportunities, future trends, and technology building blocks to create meaningful wearable propositions.

From then it was an extremely quick iterative process where our team of industrial designers came in to visualize what these propositions could be. After that, it was a close collaboration with the engineers to bring the designs to life as working prototypes.

The 10 designs will be exhibited at Startup Asia Singapore 2014 from tomorrow. However, the exhibition will be open to the public on the 8th of May 2014 from 3.30pm onwards.

Finally, if you are interested to learn more about the designs, do sign up for the free showcase after the public viewing at 6.45pm.

Startup-asia

PS: Do stay tuned for the full case study, videos and possibly daily photo updates!

Paul Rand on Art and Aesthetics


If you can’t see the video click here.

What a great snippet of a 1996 film by Preston McLanahan. I really like how Paul Rand bridges the gap between art, aesthetics, form, content and ultimately design.

Aesthetics is the study of the interaction and fusion between form and content. —Paul Rand

Via: @johnmaeda

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