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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Money for designers

How much money do designers (and creative professionals) make? According to the Coroflot Design Salaray Guide, design managers and interaction designers make more money than architects and graphic designers, in particular, in North American cities and other international cities. One way to make more money is, I believe, to put some academic flavor. Here is…

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Audiovisual performance @ KGIT

After finishing a talk at the New Media party in the KGIT (Korea German Institute of Technology), I had a chance to enjoy a performance conducted by two students, Wonki Jung and Jinpoong Lee. When they created sound, a visual pattern was generated by the computer.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Su0Uh-e0mzY]

Power of story

At first, I did not like the Touch Wood phone by DoCoMo. However, an ad introduced by the Core 77 website changed my view completely. In the ad, a wooden ball plays Cantata 147 as it rolls down the wooden xylophone in the forest. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_CDLBTJD4M] Interestingly, I found this product more special after watching the…

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Integrating material and form by Neri Oxman @ Ontario College of Art and Design

Neri Oxman gave a talk, “Mediated Matter,” at Ontario College of Art and Design. She argues that material should not be secondary to form. Instead of separating fabrication from concept modeling or data analysis, she proposes, designers should create a seamless object by integrating these tasks. She presented interesting projects in which she used a single material to perform multiple functions. Her…

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Games solve real-world problems

Jane McGonial, a game designer and a presenter on TED, visited U of Toronto and presented her work, How we can harness the power of video games to solve real-world problems. She made an interesting argument and shared various interesting examples of games that help us individually and collectively. In her presentation, she argued that (1) games have…

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Human Factors symposium @ University of Toronto

I attended a Human Factors symposium at the University of Toronto. It was organized by the HFIG (Human Factors Interest Group) and titled as Celebration of Applied Human Factors Research, in Honour of Prof. John W. Senders’ 90th Birthday. At the symposium, I noticed an interesting connection between decision-making and Human Factors. Research in decision-making…

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Evolution of design thinking

In 2006, what was design thinking? (see more at Luke Wroblewsky‘s blog) Roger Martin When it comes to innovation, business has much to learn from design. The philosophy in design shops is, ‘try it, prototype it, and improve it’. Designers learn by doing. The style of thinking in traditional firms is largely inductive – proving…

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Ten principles for good design by Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams listed 10 principles of good design. He is a legendary product designer who has developed a list of the Braun products and is still influencing our life through Jonathan Ive’s Apple devices. The above image comes from a  Guardian article and the below image comes from Vitsoe.com. You could find his 10 principles for…

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Context for good design

Many design awards have their own answers about what makes a product well designed; it must be original, it must be aesthetically appealing, and it must be useful. Similarly, marketing researchers have also studied that newness, beauty, and usefulness contributes to the evaluation of a product. However, whether product usage context or the outer space…

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Space @ Jump Associates

Last summer, I visited two design consulting firms in California: IDEO and Jump Associates. Visiting them raised several interesting research questions. In the Jump Associates, I was impressed by its space. It occupies two floors in one building and the two floors are connected by a steel stair “inside the building,” so that employees can freely…

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Prototype @ IDEO

Prototypes have different forms. According to an article written by two apple computer employees, Houde and Hill (1997), prototypes prototype the “role” of a product, its “look and feel,” or its “implementation.” Therefore, designers should choose a right type of a prototype. One step further, prototypes serve different roles. When I visited IDEO last summer, I found…

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Samsung 3-dimensional TV

On March 25, 2010, Samsung Electronics Canada introduced its 3D TV to bloggers, celebrities, and press at the Andrew Richard Designs, Toronto. Many Canadians showed great interest in watching dynamic programs such as car racing or footballs in a 3D way. The picture quality of the swimming fish in a virtual aquarium amazed me as well.

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Food shaped product

We often meet a product with a unique form and find it difficult to guess how it works. Examples include a donut-looking tape by 3M, a burger/fries/coke-looking USB key by Burger King, or a chocolate-looking mirror by Meiji, a Japanese chocolate manufacturer. One of my Japanese friends even pointed me a website in which a designer keeps posting…

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Designer vs. Consumer

Consumers find it difficult to evaluate an object when it consists of many components. For instance, they cannot evaluate whether the designer’s interior with furniture, clock, wall, and window is good or bad. In this case, according to decision research, consumers should break down an object into detailed components in order to evaluate it better.…

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Design Thinking by Jeanne Liedtka

Jeanne Liedtka, a professor at the University of Virginia’s Darden Graduate School of Business, visited University of Toronto and presented her work on growth. [Summary] She argues that “catalysts” succeed against odds because they have a broad repertoire (e.g., cross-functionally trained) and have a learning mindset with empathy. In particular, she compared between growth mindset people…

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Minmalist product for consumer

  One of the most distinctive current design trends is minimalism. Examples are ranging from electronics such as Apple’s iPod, LG’s chocolate phone, and B&O’s BeoSound system to interior accessories such as Muji’s fan and the humidifier at Plus Minus Zero (by Naoto Fukasawa). Since some of those minimally designed products made a huge commercial success,…

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