3D food printers change brand image

I followed map in Prague, Czech Republic. I crossed a bridge (Legions’ Bridge), climbed up a tower (Petrin Tower), and drank beer at a local brewery (Strahov Monastery Brewery). However, I went to one place most tourists are not interested in. I visited a design exhibition held at a convention center (Výstaviště Praha Holešovice).  …

Details

Is picture worth a thousand words?

Japanese draw, Chinese speak, and Koreans write. This is my temporary conclusion about how people communicate in three countries. I *suspect* Japanese draw because they intend to help readers understand messages correctly (receiver-oriented), Chinese speak because they find typing Chinese characters difficult (sender-oriented), and Koreans write because these two reasons do not apply (message-oriented, maybe).    …

Details

How to enjoy coffee more and consume plastics less?

Taipei is hot in summer. After sweating an hour, I ordered an iced coffee at 羊毛與花 Youmoutoohana Coffee. To my surprise, it served me a glass of coffee with a metal straw. After sipping coffee through it, I became a huge fan of metal straw. This summer, I will buy and bring a few metal…

Details

Mushroom shaped magnet

Thai designers make interesting experimentation. At a department store in Bangkok, I found several stationary items and kitchen utensils designed by Qualy, seems to be a local Thai design company. Although this company introduced a series of interesting products including owl-shaped salt and pepper shaker or bear-shaped one, the most interesting one is mushroom-shaped magnetic.    …

Details

How can we avoid bike theft?

In Shenzhen, China, people ride bicycles almost for free because bicycle sharing companies such as Ofo (yellow) and Mobike (orange) compete each other aggressively. Numerous brand new bicycles are poured on a daily basis.     Using bicycle sharing system is very convenient. I subscribed Mobike. There is no parking station. Instead, I use app to search for available bicycles.…

Details

People tip less when the tip jar looks like a human

Henckell is my favorite cafe in Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. It is a local place with great coffee and sandwich. I feel cozy inside. It has only four small tables.     There is a tip jar next to the credit card machine on the counter table. Interestingly, it has a smiley face, two arms, and two…

Details

Chinese love plastic

Chinese government tries hard to reduce plastic waste. Recently, it banned plastic waste import. According to financial times, half of the UK plastic waste need to find alternative places desperately.     In contrast, Chinese people seem to overuse plastics. In Shenzhen, for instance, plates are often wrapped with plastic packages. We should tear it down…

Details

Do we need floor signage?

We now see a wide variety of floor signage. In Singapore, there is a yellow-painted footstep on the right side of the paved road at the Marina Bay. Since this road is crowded by runners, this signage probably helps them run on the right side of the road.     In Shenzhen, China, there are…

Details

What happens when you reserve a taxi at 6am in Copenhagen?

In Copenhagen, people rarely take taxi. They ride bicycles or, if needed, take public transportation such as bus or subways. Therefore, I was not surprised when I heard that Uber’s operation was illegal. According to the news on March 28, 2017 by Alanna Petroff at CNN, “The government is passing a new law that will essentially…

Details

People do not prefer crowded restaurants over empty ones

About 36 million people live in Tokyo and its neighboring cities. Most restaurants well known to foreigners are heavily crowded. Therefore, when I dine out in Tokyo, I have to wait for a table for a decent amount of time. The fact that many local people are waiting for their tables relieves my concern that…

Details

McDonald’s satisfy our mixed desires

When we go to a new place, we often have a mixed desire, that is, the desire for exploring something new as well as the desire for doing exactly what we have done before. When some of my friends go to another countries, for example, they almost always try exotic dish at local restaurants but they end…

Details

Why are trash cans angled on bike lanes?

In Copenhagen, Denmark, many people choose bicycles rather than cars. In fact, the priority on the road seems to go to bicycle riders than pedestrians. Therefore, Danes often have more three bicycles; one for commuting between home and train station, another for commuting between train station and workplace, and the other for enjoying weekend. Some trash cans…

Details

Read the clock, literally

Red Dot Design Museum is located in the heart of Singapore’s most iconic location, the Marina Bay. This area is one of the most fun places and interesting destination to visit and for sightseeing in Singapore, with numerous attractions within walk distance from the museum. There is an exhibition space in the museum and exhibitions are…

Details

Three escalating numbers are enough to teach moral behavior

In Singapore, we should pay fine when behaving inappropriately in subway: S$500 when eating or drinking, S$1000 when smoking, and S$5000 when using flammable goods. Interestingly, eating durians is also inappropriate but the fine amount of doing so is not clarified. I suspect that Singapore government seems to know intuitively that people follow rules if they…

Details

Glass shaped like milk carton

Most cocktail glasses are designed to hold the unique aroma of the cocktail to maximize its taste. However, some glasses play different roles. While I visited Singapore, my friend recommended me to visit Loof, a rooftop bar. It is located across the famous Raffels Hotel, a colonial-style super luxury hotel in the downtown. According to the website,…

Details

Cow shaped cheese board

About 6,700 cheese boards and cutting boards sell on the Amazon.com. Their prices vary between $5 and $370. Majority of them are rectanglular. However, not a few boards interesting shapes. At one of my favorite Canadian stores, West elm, I found a cow-shaped mini cheese board and cutting board. Its price was $22.     I bought this…

Details

Private Karaoke for two people

I have long believed Asians go to Karaoke for team spirit. When a popular song appears on the screen, they show companisonship by standing up and singing all together. When a song is new, they start their own conversations with the next person. Regardless of whether they sing or talk, Karaoke is the place people confirm…

Details

Thompson, a Japanese paper clock

Some products are stunningly beautiful. They include Balmuda toaster, Dyson’s hair dryer, and LEGO brick. People sometimes buy these products without thinking much whether the purchased items are useful or needed. They seem to have a desire to posses the aesthetic quality of these products. Interestingly, they often become passionate ambassadors of these products. Recently, I met a…

Details

From Samsung 2013 to Huawei 2016

Although smartphone market is slowing down, smartphone manufacturers constantly open their stores. While I was staying in Shenzhen, China, I paid a visit to a nearby shopping mall called Yitian Holiday plaza (9028 Shennan Road, Nanshan District 南山区深南路9028号益田假日广场). As most other shopping malls do, it has a wide variety of shops and restaurants. I visited the same shopping…

Details

LEGO-like solution for error management in hotel

Today’s travelers are not looking for a just tooth brush. They are looking for an experience, something they can relate to. Whether an environmentally conscious traveler or business traveler, guests are demanding more out of their hotel stays than ever before (see Trends Changing the Way Guests and Hoteliers View Amenities). One of the frequent…

Details

What are common problems with ATM machines?

We use ATM machines to deposit, withdraw, and transfer money. However, strangers unintentionally overlook what we do when they stand behind us or next to us because they stand side by side and people queue behind us. Unfortunately, this issue has not been addressed in Korea yet. Only a tiny, low-resolution mirror is attached on…

Details

How to avoid long lines for women’s restrooms

Women differ from men. Carol Reiley mentioned in her blog post titled When Bias in Product Design Means Life or Death that “female drivers are 47% more likely to be seriously injured in a car crash” because seat belts were historically designed to be safe for men and thus unsafe for women. When it comes…

Details

Hide doors to be popular

Most bar owners promote their places by placing a sign board outside or updating their menus on social network services such as facebook or instagram. Interestingly however, some bar owners “hide” their doors. I had a chance to visit the bar called Nightjar in London. Surprisingly, it has a super tiny metal sign on a wood door. Therefore, I passed over…

Details

Seoul: Past vs. Present

While Seoul grew rapidly from the ashes to become a metropolis, this city lost much of its uniqueness and beauty, in particular, a set of organically linked traditional buildings. Two miniatures at the Seoul Museum of History showed stark contrast.     Seoul became the capital of a sovereign nation in 1945, with Korea’s liberation from Japanese…

Details

Simple massage cushion

Most massage cushions or pillows look masculine. However, I met different ones in Japan. These massage cushions are wrapped with carefully designed fabrics and therefore look like interior items or shoulder bags. These cushions are also intuitive to use; they have only one power button and one power cord. Color, Materials, and Finish (CMF) matters.…

Details

Air Canada, UI and CX of in-flight entertainment system

I recently traveled by Air Canada from Incheon (Seoul) to Vancouver and then to Toronto. I spent 9 hours in a new airplane (Being 788 Dreamliner) and then 4 more hours in an old one (Airbus 320). In two airplanes, I watched same movies and listened to same music to learn a commonality and several differences…

Details

K-Beauty items in Canada

The Face Shop is a skincare and cosmetic manufacturer, retailer, and a franchise business. It is a subsidiary of LG Household and Health Care of LG Corporation.   The Face Shop had its store inside one of the biggest shopping malls in Toronto, CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Similar to the stores located in Seoul, a lot of…

Details

Green package design: Boxed water stands out from the crowd

Many people are now buying water in bottles rather than drink straight from the tap because bottled water has been perceived to be safer and of higher quality than tap water, and it was viewed as a healthful alternative beverage to soft drinks or alcohol. Although purity marketing successfully increases sales of bottled water, it failed…

Details

Empathic story-telling print ad in Canada

Canadians living in Ontario buy wines at LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario). People working at this place often check photo-ID (e.g., driver license) to verify whether the buyer is old enough to drink alcohol. These carefully-managed and highly safe liquor stores sometimes make their customers unhappy, in particular, those who forget to bring their IDs.  …

Details

Japanese pork and Canadian chicken?

Soup is a liquid food, generally served warm, that is made by combining ingredients such as meat and vegetables with stock, juice, water, or another liquid, according to Wikipedia. Warm soups are popular as a type of comfort food in the world.     People have their own favourite ingredients for soups, and different meats are…

Details