Mini-me, 3D printer, and handmade effect

I once believed mini-mes are expensive because they are produced by cutting edge 3D printers, which differ from my 3D printer or a mere 3D food printer. A news article elaborates that human miniatures are not cheap. Pinla3D scans its customers in-store and then gives them a choice of 3D model sizes. A 25cm (9.8-inch)…

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People need vocabulary to develop taste

Barry Schwartz argues in his book, the Paradox of Choice, that increasing choices does not make us happy. Instead, reducing choices boosts sales and giving more options lowers choices. Autonomy and Freedom of choice are critical to our well being, and choice is critical to freedom and autonomy. Nonetheless, though modern Americans have more choice than any group of people ever…

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Donate in cash or by credit card

We often pay in cash or by credit card. Differently from cash, credit card often leads us to over-consumption. This is because credit card does not require us to write down the amount paid (rehearsal) and our wealth is not depleted immediately rather than with a delay (immediacy) (Soman 2001). We could also donate in…

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A visual nudge for social distancing inside an elevator

As Coronavirus spreads widely, people are asked to keep distance from others. The Straits Times posted a photo showing that visitors at an Indonesian shopping mall stand on boxes inside an elevator. Another simple visual nudge was found in Seoul, Korea. The elevator floor was divided into nine squares. A single pair of foot prints…

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How to breathe better with a mask

Wearing a mask becomes common as the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus disease) dominates our lives. However, people find it difficult to breathe with a mask. I recently found an interesting new product for masks at Granhand where I visited to buy droppers or incenses for my office. Though you can not seize nor hold the…

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Empty space sparks creativity

Space matters when we need creativity. According to research, when a ceiling is high, people become creative because a high (vs. low) ceiling primes the concept of freedom (vs. confinement). Similarly, Jump Associates has various types of cubicles for designers; “garage” cubicles are widely open for those who want to be creative, whereas “Zen rooms”…

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Color marries between buttons and bulbs

We often write down something on the surface. For instance, a window says “this is a window” or a pedestrian crossing says “Look Right.” However, written, verbal information is easy to be ignored. Compared to verbal information, visual information attracts attention better. When I visited the design department at the University of Sao Paulo, one…

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Feedback leads to virtual progress

People seek for feedback about progress. When travelers arrive at the Chek Lap Kok International Airport, they catch a train to Kowloon and Hong Kong. In the train, there is a blue-light indicator which shows where the train is right now. This feedback gives correct information to travelers. However, feedback is not always objectively given…

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Are fresh fish better than canned fish?

I love canned sardines. Whenever I visit different cities, I buy a dozen of canned fish on the way back home. I was excited to find Annam Gourmet at Ho Chi Minh city, Vietnam because it has a wide variety of canned fish, along with fresh fish. Canned fish are fish which have been processed, sealed…

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Why does the amount of Coke differ across bottles?

When I had a lunch at Buenos Aires, Argentina, I ordered four bottles of Coca Cola. Interestingly, bottle sizes differed and the amount of soda in each bottle looked different. I simply thought this was due to the Quality Control failure of the Coca Cola in Argentina. After coming back from Buenos Aires to Seoul,…

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Curitiba has a sophisticated taste of design

I had a business trip to Brazil and Argentina with others. We gave lectures, ran workshops, participated in walk-in tours, and made new friends. I was impressed by the airport in Curitiba, Brazil. When our plan touched down, I noticed a fire extinguisher and two public phones were attached on a grey wall. At first,…

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Is survey a form of arts?

There are different forms of arts like painting, sculpture, architecture, and photography. However, survey could be a form of arts. I learned this from the exhibition of Korea Artist Prize 2019 at the MMCA (National Museum of Modern Contemporary Art, Korea). Korea Artist Prize is a prestigious art award and exhibition of Korea. This award…

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Why do people choose beers on the left side of the menu?

One of the most famous pubs in Prague, Czech Republic, is Strahov Monastery Brewery. Perched atop the city part of the Strahov Monastery compound and the lush surrounding Petrin Hill, the Strahov Brewery is a delightful find in the bustling city of Prague. Just steps from the massive Prague Castle complex, the microbrewery serves about ten…

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How could we stop cigarette butt litter?

Cigarette butts are the tail ends of the cigarette left over after someone has smoked it. They are under-acknowledged, but widespread, pollutants. At the Quora, someone said the following. In fact, thanks to the fact that for decades smokers just didn’t care where they threw them, there are very likely cigarette butts in the Amazon…

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How many items should be displayed in a store?

When we are curious about value of an unknown object, we often consider how many people surround it. If it is alone, we believe it is expensive. If it is surrounded by many others, we believe it is cheap. This is because, according to O’Guinn’s et al. (2015), as the social density of a given…

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Why do we doodle?

According to Wikipedia, doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be composed of random and abstract lines. However, all doodles are not same. Some doodles are hedonic and others are utilitarian. Hedonic doodles are personal. They are drawings about interpretation of subjective experience, mostly for fun. For instance, I…

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We humanize machine behavior and mechanize human behavior

In order to spice up our daily communication, we often humanize what electronic devices do. For instance, we say, our mobile phone is “stupid” or our storage space “gains weight.” This “anthropomorphism” is defined as the attribution of human traits, emotions, or intentions to non-human entities. According to Wikipedia, it has ancient roots as storytelling…

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Are Consumer Design Evaluations Trustworthy?

Joo, J., & Chung, J. (2019). Are Consumer Design Evaluations Trustworthy? Archives of Design Research, 32(1), 47–59. Background Designers often consider consumer design evaluations. However, whether consumer design evaluations are trustworthy has been rarely discussed. We propose that consumers equate the concept of design with the concept of uniqueness, which suggests that their design valuations…

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Apply behavioral economics to sell design more

Chen, W., Kim, S., & Joo, J. (2019). How Do We Nudge People to Choose Aesthetically Pleasing Products?. Archives of Design Research, 32(1), 61-73. Background People often choose between two competing options: option A (aesthetically superior but functionally inferior) and option F (functionally superior but aesthetically inferior). We hypothesize that people like option A more when it…

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Why is it so hard to apply Design Thinking to Korean Companies?

Joo, J., Lee, A. J., & Park, J. H. (2018). A New Framework of Design Management and Three Additional Requirements To Apply Design Management to Korean Companies: Experience Design, Collaboration, and Trial and Error. Design Convergence Study, 17(6), 145–165. The present research has two objectives. First, we introduce a new framework of design management proposed…

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Jasper Morrison, Super Normal designer

Piknic, a unique building in Seoul, hosted an exhibition of a British designer Jasper Morrison. The title of the exhibition was THINGNESS. For the hundredth anniversary of the Bauhaus, piknic presents an exhibition offering a general introduction to the world of British designer and modernist interior Jasper Morrison, who has created a sensation with his…

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Chinese people need more than a drinking fountain

We know that westerners and easterners think differently. Markus and Kitayama (1991) argue that different cultural thoughts come from different self concepts. Roughly speaking, a US citizen has an independent concept whereas a Japanese citizen has a dependent one. Markus, H. R., & Kitayama, S. (1991). Culture and the self: Implications for cognition, emotion, and…

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