Enhancing aesthetic appeal by sacrificing practical utility

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…

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Design 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.…

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Yido, a successfully modernised traditional Korean pottery

Yido is one of the most widely-known premium pottery brands in Korea. It was found by Yi, Yoonshin, a ceramic artist. As introduced in her website, her work “reinterprets traditional Korean ceramics in refined contemporary design.” However, visiting Yido’s flagship store taught me a few “marketing” lessons how she has successfully established herself in the market. First, she listens to…

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Two different ways to design a better fire extinguisher

Since we spend most of our time in buildings, we are literally surrounded by fire extinguishers. It consists of a hand-held cylindrical pressure vessel containing an agent which can be discharged to extinguish a fire (Wikipedia). In general, we do not pay attention to them until needed. For me, I have never used any fire extinguisher…

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Paper product by Minimalist designer

People have their own favorite designers. My favorite “product” designer is Naoto Fukasawa. He is well known for the designer of the fan-shaped CD player by Muji. I love his minimalist design so much that I flew for his Tokyo studio, Plus Minus Zero, to consider buying a humidifier for the stimulus of my experimental…

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Toy made by wine corks

Although many people simply throw wine corks out, some reuse them creatively; they make art pieces, cork wreaths, bulletin board and gardening tools with used wine corks. For me, I bought a series of “corkers” to change them into toys. Simple and fun. 🙂

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Empathy support system

Empathy matters in design and new  product development (e.g., Dev Patnaik’s Wired to Care). In order to deeply dive into target customers’ thoughts and feelings, marketers have used some combination of observation and interview (i.e., market-oriented ethnography in Rosenthal and Capper 2006) and even pictures (e.g., Zaltman Metaphor Elicitation Technique). Academic researchers in the marketing area…

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PhD thesis: paper vs. book

Marketing PhD candidates write papers. However, some design PhD candidates publish books. I have received book-format theses from two people who obtained their design PhDs from European universities. I also know of some other design PhD candidate in US  who are presently writing books for their PhD degrees. Why do marketers and designers require different…

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Helping People Make Color/Material Choice at Tesla

Choosing the right color and material is difficult for car buyers. Tesla store in Toronto helps visitors make decisions by allowing them to see/touch/smell a few samples. In the store, two working vehicles stand in the middle and they are surrounded by a wide variety of small components of the vehicle such as color samples…

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Interface between design and marketing

Petersen, Soren and Jaewoo Joo (2011, October 31), “How Marketing Researchers See Design,” Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soren-petersen/design-consious-marketing_b_1064343.html. Designers don’t just put cosmetics on the skin of a product!” During my interview with a graduate student at Ontario College of Art and Design in 2009, he argued that designers play a key role in developing a new…

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