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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Play with diabetes

Half an year ago, a friend of mine asked me if I am interested in joining her work for a design contest, 2009 DiabetesMine™ Design Challenge. It was the idea competition for diabetic patients. She and I sit down and discussed a huge amount of ideas with another designer friend. It was an amazing opportunity for…

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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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