Apple logo-shaped fried rice

I ordered a fried rice after having BBQ at a local restaurant in Korea. Interestingly, She first shaped the fried rice like an apple and then placed a small fried cake on top to make it look like the Apple logo. (What if I am a fan of MicroSoft? :)) Strong brands such as Harley-Davidson and Nike…

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Traffic light labels on wine

People often do things while drunk that they regret when they sober up. Opening expensive wines is one of them. In order to solve this problem and, more academically speaking, to overcome the hot-cold empathy gap (proposed by George Loewenstein), I adopted traffic light system. I place red sticky notes on the definitely expensive wines…

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Container shipping company’s sponsorship for art project

MMCA (national Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art) is a representative museum located in the center of Seoul, Korea. In the museum stood an eye-popping art piece. It is “Home within Home within Home within Home within Home” and sponsored by Hanjin Shipping, the 8th biggest shipping company following Maersk, MSC, and CMA-CGM. Probably, it will take ages for a shipping…

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Studying materials for design

Materials matter. Designers use biological materials to solve trade-off problems (e.g., strong and light-weighted chair). Consumers buy transparent products. When students join the Master of Product Design and Development program in the Segal Design Institute, Northwestern University, they should take Materials Selection course in the beginning before learning about accounting, negotiation, strategy, decision making, and…

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DDP, a controversial architecture

DDP (Dongdaemun Design Park plaza), designed by Zaha Hadid, is an extremely controversial architecture in Seoul, Korea. Some argue that it is neither functional inside nor goes well with neighbors; they view it as a dead space next to a naturally dynamic communities. Others, however, argue that this building cannot be judged by the contemporary…

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Design library at Seoul

Hyundai Card is an usual financial company. It has introduced interesting design projects for over ten years. For instance, it started its own bottled water business (it water), introduced daily kitchen products called (oyster), proposed a new taxi service called (my taxi), and collaborates with Pantech for new mobile phones. Most notably, it runs a…

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Better User Experience of TV

SK Telecom/Broadband introduced a setup box called B Box. It was co-developed by a design consulting agency, Plus-ex, and recently received a red-dot design award. It not only looks way different from other ugly, bulky setup boxes, but it also provides several interesting services with TV viewers through immensely improved User Interface (UI). For instance, viewers…

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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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Please help us recycle easily

We want to voluntarily participate in recycling but do so only when it is easy. Recently, I met two bin boxes next to each other at a university in Seoul. Unfortunately, their colors and names made me confused: the left one had a blue cover and a green panel saying “recycled” and the right one had…

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Going Outside the Frame

There is an OOH (Out-Of-Home) advertising at one subway in Toronto. Benylin is a medicine available at the Shoppers Drug mart. Advertisers intentionally drew its figure outside the frame to communicate that the pill is strong. Although this is less shocking than VolksWagen in the ski resort or AIA in Bangkok, going outside the frame will successfully attract attention by…

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Bridging the Chasm between Design and Marketing

Although integrating design and marketing is critical for successful new product development (NPD), there has been a limited attention to the potential problems that arise during the NPD process and their possible solutions in academic literature. In order to narrow this gap, our study conducted a series of surveys of an interdisciplinary class project between…

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Behavior Change in University Education

Historically, a professor distributed its course outline with a textbook (e.g., Principles of Marketing) and students bought it at a convenient place (e.g., book store in the campus). This pattern is now dramatically changing. First, students change their book purchasing behavior. The book store in the campus are now facing the price war with online…

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Two Different Ways to Play with Words

University of Toronto has two interesting institutes: Martin Prosperity Institute and Best Institute. The former is an academic place for the global-scale prosperity and inequality. Its research papers discuss the creative classes and cities (Richard Florida), the integrative thinking and strategies (Roger Martin), and the global crowdsourcing for problem solving (Don Tapscott). The latter is a relatively…

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Expert Products, Novice Consumers

Crate and Barrel, one of my favorite stores following Pottery Barn and Williams and Sonoma, has a section called “Everything You Never Knew You Needed.” It introduces highly specialized kitchen utensils including jar spatula, melon baller, strawberry huller, avocado slicer, dual citrus squeezer, egg timer, and herb scissors. At first, they look useless for many who…

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