Welcome to designBytes, the electronic newsletter of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Here's the latest design and design-related news we've collected from around the Web.
· The Mystery of Philippe Starck’s Work with Steve Jobs: You heard this rumor, right? Starck had asserted that he had previously worked on a revolutionary product with Jobs. And then the Internet broke itself anticipating what that could be. Today, Stark’s remarks were clarified to indicate that he was designing the interior of a yacht for Jobs and the Jobs family. So...still no Apple TV set. But there is a boat—one that may even be big enough. http://blogs.wsj.com/tech-europe/2012/04/16/starck-confusion-about-apple/.
· The Next Steve Jobs?: That may be a cheap headline, but folks really love to speculate on it. If there were to be a “next Steve Jobs,” what categories would s/he be focused on? At what level would s/he operate? Jobs, after all, lived quite a few lives during his time on earth. If we were thinking only of the corporate champion of design, you could make a good case that Nike CEO Mark Parker is fit to carry the Jobs legacy forward. Core77 scored a brief Q&A with Parker that illuminates his C-level commitment to (and belief in) design: http://www.core77.com/blog/exclusive/exclusive_ceo_of_nike_inc_mark_parker_on_innovation_and_design_22231.asp.
· The Latest, Greatest Kickstarter Project: Another Kickstarter project has cracked the seven-figure threshold. This one, the Pebble, is a customizable e-watch that connects to your smartphone adding another tool to the quickly evolving ecosystem of app-enabled devices. It’s a remarkable product design that doubles as the latest case study in how to leverage crowdfunding. Since launching on April 11, Pebble has raised more than $3 million in pledges, and it has done so in a way that suggests there’s a huge premium market among Kickstarter backers. It’s long been true that the most common Kickstarter pledge has been $50 or less. The Pebble rewards begin at $99. This isn’t the first project to sell so high, but it may be the best. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/597507018/pebble-e-paper-watch-for-iphone-and-android.
· Is Facebook the New frog design?: On its face, that question might seem absurd. That it could be raised by anyone underscores the growing value design and designers are accumulating in Silicon Valley. In this article, we get a glimpse of how some designers are positioning themselves to seize newish opportunities: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/13/us-designers-startup-idUSBRE83C0QG20120413.
· Autodesk Bets Big on the Cloud: If there was ever any doubt that Autodesk sees the cloud as its future, that was put to rest when the CAD giant unveiled its new product line. It’s no secret that Autodesk has been working to reimagine its offerings to support cloud services while introducing a range of new mobile design tool apps. So how big is this bet? And what could it yield? Beth Stackpole has some analysis: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1394&doc_id=241426.
· Design Is Killing Our Children!: That’s absolutely not true. But now that we have your attention...what is true, says a new report, is that car seat design makes it difficult to properly install child safety seats in a great many passenger vehicles. That’s an odd finding given that the auto industry’s LATCH system was initiated to provide a design context that would make it easier for a child safety seat to interact with a vehicle’s interior. Here’s an overview of the report: http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/la-fi-mo-child-safety-seats-20120411,0,385247.story.
· A Key Victory in the International Patent Wars: A British firm has just won a decision from a Chinese court in a case where it had accused a Chinese company of infringing its patent on a cutting board. The Chinese company had gone so far as to claim it owned the patent instead of the British firm. It’s a good win, but it’s a lone victory. Writing for the Financial Times, Sir James Dyson has weighed in on how the tangle of national IP systems could be better configured: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cbd5c6bc-87ac-11e1-ade2-00144feab49a.html#axzz1sEaobbot .
· The Multi-Directional Innovation Highway: If we’re learning anything from Jan Chipchase’s essays on design imperialism, it’s that design and design research in emerging economies are not a one way-street. There’s plenty to learn from the locals. In some cases, they do things much more cleverly and efficiently than those of us who may be accused of interloping would think to do them. Navi Radjou, a co-author of Jugaad Innovation, is no stranger to innovation from everywhere, and he is quite generous with his insights in this conversation with Reena Jana: http://designmind.frogdesign.com/blog/navi-radjou-what-ceos-can-learn-from-rural-indian-entrepreneurs-and-macgyver-and-the-makers-mov.
· For Us. By Us. Only Us?: Add Rick Poyner to the group of people who have recently reflected on the idea of design education as an unfortunate silo. Writing for Design Observer, Poyner lamented the lack of effort design academia’s biggest names make to engage with and address wider audiences. Is he right? Read this call for action and decide for yourself: http://observatory.designobserver.com/feature/the-closed-shop-of-design-academia/33658/.
· Five Tips for Maintaining Morale Among Your Design Team: Managing designers has never been easy. In today’s business climate where there is increased pressure to do more with less, the task of keeping a team inspired is arguably more challenging than ever. So what is a manager or team lead to do? In this post, HOW lists five common managerial mistakes and suggests remedies for each: http://www.howdesign.com/design-business/design-management/design-team-morale-busters/.
· Five Ideas That Changed Graphic Design: Steven Heller has a new book out that he co-authored with Veronique Vienne. It’s called 100 Ideas That Changed Graphic Design. In this post for The Atlantic, Heller highlights five of those ideas and offers a tidy teaser for the book: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/04/the-object-poster-the-visual-pun-and-3-other-ideas-that-changed-design/255797/.
· Inside the Mind of Eliot Noyes: The Noyes estate is selling two very valuable Alexander Calder mobiles via Christie’s, and the auction house has used the sale as an opportunity to create a video that reveals considerable insight regarding the design icon’s philosophy. It runs about 12 minutes and may be the most inspirational thing you’ll watch today. http://www.christies.com/features/noyes-calders-property-from-the-estate-of-mrs-elio-2288-3.aspx.
· Icsid Issues Video Challenge: As part of World Industrial Design Day 2012, Icsid is facilitating a global conversation regarding the evolving definitions of industrial design. Do you have two cents you’d like to share? Of course you do. Do you have access to a video recording device? If you don’t, get one. If you do, press record and speak your mind on what you think industrial design is today. Here are details on where to upload your videos: http://www.dexigner.com/news/24988.
· Upcoming Events:
- Apr. 16: Talk | Creating Environments that Inspire Desire, Build Brands (NYC)
- Apr. 17-21: RISD Show at Milan (Milan)
- Apr. 20-21: IDSA Design Dialogue Conference | Southern (Atlanta)
- Apr. 20: Ping Pong Tournament (Milwaukee)
- Apr. 21-24: Carleton ID Graduation Exhibiton (Ottawa)
- Apr. 24: Talk | Making Green in the Sharing Economy (NYC)
- Apr. 26: Thirsty Third Thursday (Raleigh, NC)
- May 4-5: IDSA Design Dialogue Conference | Western (Seattle)
© 2012 Industrial Designers Society of America