Design center at Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok is well-known for Kao San Road, Pad Thai, and foot massage. Like other Asian cities, however, it has an upscale design center. Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC) is located on the top floor in the Emporium shopping complex, a luxurious shopping mall in Bangkok. As this center is located at the heart of the city (Phrom…

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Lightening tactitle paving for pedestrian safety

Tactile paving is a system of textured ground surface indicators. It aims to assist pedestrians who are blind or visually impaired (see Wikipedia) and is also called truncated domes, detectable warnings, Tactile Ground Surface Indicators, or detectable warning surface. In Seoul, Korea, some of the tactile pavings light up at night. Interestingly, its color turns…

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Learning from errors

Stellan Ohlsson, Professor in Psychology at University of Illinois at Chicago visited COGENG (Cognitive Engineering Lab) at SKKU and gave a speech on skill acquisition. He introduced his own work of learning from errors in which he argues that, in order to acquire or specializes in a certain skill (e.g., changing a lane to the left while…

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Self experiment for behavior change

Changing behavior is important but challenging. Thus, it attracts huge attention among practitioners as well as researchers. For instance, Charles Duhigg introduced various examples in his book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Professor BJ Fogg at Stanford University proposed a behavior change model at the Persuasive Technology Lab. Designers graduating from…

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Hand print for escalator safety

Jenny Xie wrote A Potentially Brilliant Idea to Keep Escalator Obstructors to the Right at the Atlantic Cities. In her article, a London-based designer called Yoni Alter made an interesting proposal to signal “stand on right, walk on left.” Although his idea has not been implemented yet, he proposed to paint two different foot prints on the…

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No more SWOT analysis for strategy

At the Dong-A Business Form, Richard D’Avneni, Bakala Professor of Strategy at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University, gave an interesting talk about Hypercompetition, which is the term that he coined about 20 years ago arguing that there is no sustainable competitive advantage. In this talk, he emphasized the dynamics of market by telling us…

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Cafe: East vs. West

People often go to cafe not for coffee but for work. According to Mehta, Zhu, and Cheema (2012), an appropriate ambient noise (e.g., cafe noise) enhances work performance. Their five studies showed that people performed creative tasks better when surrounded by the moderate ambient noise (70db) than the low one (50db) or the high one…

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Participation for immersive experience

When people visit a historical place, they wonder what happened long time ago. They sometimes enjoy watching an exhibition such as changing royal guards in Seoul (above). In the historic place at the Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, however, young visitors go beyond watching an event; they march in the parade with soldiers. This immersive experience…

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Printed vs. Online newspaper: Humor

Imagine that you are looking for tenants. Typically, you go to the websites of flea markets (e.g., Craiglist or Kijiji) or newspaper. You rarely pick up and open the classified section of the printed newspaper. However, I recently met a funny ad in the classified section of the printed Washington Post and, thanks to it,…

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Unexpected color for taste perception

Color determines food judgment. According to Hoegg and Alba (2007), for instance, the brightness of an orange juice affects people’s taste discrimination more strongly than its brand name (e.g., Tropicana or Winn-Dixie) or its price information. Food judgment is probably influenced by the hue and saturation of the food as well. Recently, I find some stores…

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Street people: East vs. West

Street people are the people who live a public life on the streets of a city. Some ask us to view them as our community members (e.g., Homelessguide) and others consider them as business opportunities (e.g., Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid). Regardless of our objectives whether we want to help them or make…

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Interdisciplinary media art work @ KGIT

KGIT (Korean German Institute of Technology) held a new media party. In this year, students presented their year-long projects under the name of X-program, which encourages students to work with others from different backgrounds. Therefore, some works highlighted their commercial aspects and others stressed artistic flavors. Among many interesting works, I was impressed by the art…

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Artificial products for consumers

Most urban dwellers want authentic, natural goods. Unfortunately, growing plants or baking breads requires a significant amount of effort. Therefore, they often buy or enjoy artificial ones instead. Some artificial products are so carefully crafted that people misjudge them as the real one (See the real frozen beer (left) and its imitation (right) at the Kirin Ichiban popup store).…

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Holistic approach for furniture sellers

Analytic (holistic) approach makes a store look cheap (upscale). I have visited an outlet furniture store in which the whole items are simply piled up. This analytic approach made me difficult to imagine how a room looks like. Therefore, I decided not to buy any item in this store. If the manager in this store uses…

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Package design for health supplement

Recently, Yuyu changed the package of its health supplement. Its previous package provides information mostly in the front side and mostly in the verbal format, which makes it challenging for its sale representatives to communicate with potential buyers. The new package embraces visual design and zoning. It now provides much information visually as well as provides different types of information in different…

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Wood plank for steak choice

Buying a steak is not a challenging task. We can simply choose portion (e.g., sirloin), quality (e.g., AAA), and weight (e.g., 8oz). However, when I visited the SSG food market, an upscale grocery store in Seoul, to buy a steak, the store asked me to choose the thickness of the steak as well. Interestingly, I was provided with several pieces of wood plank whose thickness…

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Secret for home deco store

When consumers shop for home decorators, they often find it difficult to imagine how a space looks like if they buy and display specific items. Unfortunately, many typical home deco stores do not take into this issue seriously but take an easy or “analytic” approach: they simply pile up the whole decorators and categorize them…

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Classroom for empathy, creativity and cooperation

Although classrooms are used by students, they are not student-friendly. NHN NEXT, however, provides its students with the carefully designed spaces so that its students listen to the lectures, do their group projects, read some books, and even take some rests conveniently and comfortably. Teaching public software developers (e.g., portal sites, games, and social network services), NHN NEXT was found in 2012 by NHN,…

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Wood material for product line

About an year ago, I met two artists who opened StudioBlank and carved wood like a bowling pin. They produced a single product: wood massager called Tapi. We discussed how to increase sales and I suggested them to vary its size in order to target different segments. For example, sales representatives might be interested in small-sized Tapi because they want to give something…

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Sound from the wood wick candle

When we buy candles, we generally consider how they look or how they smell. Therefore, most candle makers carve their candles artistically or add scents to the candle waxes (e.g., Red Roses of Jo Malone). However, some candle makers pay attention to a different aspect of candle: wick. A candle wick is usually a braided…

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Designed in Gangnam?

  Wikipedia says, “The Made in China label is one of the most recognizable labels in the world today due to China’s  rapidly developing large manufacturing industry, China is currently the largest exporter in the world and the Made in China label can be seen on a wide range of goods from clothing to electronics.…

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Should we go noisy or quiet when exporting goods?

People like imported goods. Some like them so much that they even pick up the old license plates and place them outside their buildings for an aesthetic reason. (Note that this tiny run-down building is located in the center of Seoul and must have nothing to do with Nebraska or Iowa) Imported goods are welcomed in…

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What did advertisements look like in the 1970s in Korea?

I visited a special exhibition at the Seoul Museum of History and met an old day of Korean advertisement. “Title: Seoul Nostalgia: A Retrospective Photographic Exhibition of Kim Hanyong Having started as a news photographer in 1947 at ‘Gukje Bodo’ (International Report), Kim Han-yong is a renowned photographer who has devoted himself solely to photography throughout his…

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How do we evaluate designs?

My friend teaches Product Design. He uses coffee maker in his course. Students disassemble and assemble a coffee maker and then design a new one. A few days ago, I was invited to see the designs that his students submitted to his course. After discussing with him which ones are well designed and why, I…

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Timid-looking electric vehicle

At the Seoul Motor Show, I met a vehicle operated by electricity. It attracts attention not because of its strong performance but because of its soft name and weak design. It is called Yebbujana, meaning “Beautiful, isn’t it?”. Further, it has a curvy body with four extremely small headlamps. In general, having an inviting name and approachable…

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How to collect creative ideas massively?

Soren Petersen gave a presentation on how to collect creative ideas in a massive scale. He introduced how he applied crowdsourcing methods to address a wide variety of design issues including design marketing conflicts, animal rescue, peace innovation, to name a few. According to him, social platforms such as LinkedIn and HuffingtonPost are useful for…

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What happens when the men’s room sign is pink?

Blue is for boys and pink is for girls. This color-gender association is strongly established in many countries. In a women’s university in Korea, however, signs for men’s rooms and for ladies’ rooms are both colored in pink. My friend said that using the same color aims to avoid any gender discrimination. Interestingly however, pink signs seem to confuse men when searching…

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User experience for car marketing

Hyundai released i30 in Europe. So far, most of its marketing messages focus on how it looks (design) and what special features it has (convenience). However, I came up with a different thought after watching a youtube video that one of my German friends recommended me to watch. In the video, Martin Winterkorn, the Chairman of the Volkswagen AG,…

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What is the right choice for museum curators?

While I stayed in Boston for the conference, I visited Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston and met an intriguing decision-making question. I took a picture of a panel titled Making Choices which says, Every gallery represents a long series of choices. Who decides which works go on view and how they should be arranged? What factors go into making that…

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Research questions about design

At the 2012 International Design Management Research Conference  (August 8-9, 2012 @ Boston), I have attended a group discussion session called Research Methodology Clinic. Its description says, Join us for a group conversation, facilitated by Alison Rieple and Jeanne Liedtka, in which interested colleagues come together to offer feedback and coaching to each other on…

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