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.
· Alleged Copy Gets Pasted: HP held a press conference in Shanghai last week so VP of Industrial Design Stacy Wolff could talk about the company’s Chinese design operations. The event turned into a critique on the Envy Spectre XT and its alleged similarities to the MacBook Air. Did HP copy Apple? Wolff said, “No.” And he provided some logic to support his answer. Do you buy it? Engadget has more on Wolff’s position: http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/09/hp-apple-laptop-design-similarity/.
· The iPad You Can Drive (Or Drive With): We trust you heard that GM announced its plan to sell a pre-loaded iPad with the 2013 Cadillac XTS. The device is meant to provide an extra touch point for helping users understand the new Cadillac User Experience (CUE) interface. Also, it’s a nice marketing trick for a luxury brand. Could it mean anything for car design? Hard to say. One observer believes GM will soon trickle down some of the CUE to its cars representing its other brands. Stay tuned. http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1075939_cadillacs-cue-likely-to-migrate-to-other-gm-products.
· Business Does Good: Don’t expect to see business or business leaders teaming up with Iron Man, Black Widow and Captain America for the Avengers sequel. But don’t be surprised to see more and more stories where the power of business is used to end poverty and perform other heroic acts. IDEO.org is certainly leading the charge on this one. Additionally, a recent poll of UK business leaders revealed 91 percent believe their companies can be more effective in advancing social change by building it into their core operations—as opposed to donating to charity. Here’s some insight on how social impact is becoming part of the business mainstream: http://www.fastcoexist.com/1679783/can-businesses-actually-make-the-world-better-while-making-money.
· Redesigning Designed in the USA Logo: An old saying goes, “Ask 10 designers for their opinions and you’ll get 20 answers.” So you can imagine the response when the Designed in the USA initiative unveiled its logomark earlier this year. Consequently, there’s a new campaign to redesign the logo—and it’s open for public submissions. It ends June 3. So get to sketching! http://www.core77.com/blog/competition/redesign_challenge_designed_in_usa_logomark__22386.asp.
· The Future of Making Things: If you’re looking for models of what it will be like to make things in the future, start on Boston’s Route 128, also known as the Product Lifecycle Management Highway. You should probably also visit Cincinnati’s Over-The-Rhine where a number of design entrepreneurs are setting up shop. And, if you can get across the pond, spend time with a German furniture maker who could be both your collaborator and your competitor. One small business owner did the last one and here’s what he reported back: http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/10/i-have-seen-the-future-of-manufacturing/.
· iDo and weDo, Too: In a world full of acronyms, STEM education models could rise quite naturally from SEED thinking. How would that work in practice? We’d look to Marty Linder’s long-running iDo program that pairs San Francisco State University students with Bay Area high school students to imbue the latter school’s curriculum with healthy doses of design thinking and design practice. Here’s video of some of Marty’s students in action: http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/7199296-jefferson-award-winner-martin-linder/.
· PARC: 10 Years Later: A decade has passed since Xerox spun off its famed Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). How is business at the venture that was once thought to be profit-averse? Not bad actually. The company did 41 commercial deals in 2011 and is said to have turned a profit on $60 million in sales for 2010. Forbes checks in with a story on the Xerox company that is known simply as PARC: http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2012/05/14/parc-10-years-after-xerox-spin-off-says-its-all-about-innovation/.
· I Want My ___ TV: What separates the experience of using today’s TV sets from using TV sets of the 1960s? Apart from the natural evolution of the form factor to accommodate new technology, the experience is still kinda turn on-tune in-drop out. The promises of modularity, ambience and highly interactive models have not yet been realized. According to new research presented last week from Israel’s NDS, that should change—and soon. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-05-11/want-to-reinvent-tv-dont-forget-the-tv.
· On the Efficacy of Pens: If the late Steve Jobs predicted the extinction of the pen as an input method in 2010, why does so much new computing still require a stylus to achieve maximum impact? For one, digital pens have evolved. So has digital ink. Should one get more credit than the other? There’s a thoughtful post on Laptop magazine exploring these and other questions. http://blog.laptopmag.com/was-steve-jobs-wrong-why-the-pen-won%E2%80%99t-die.
· How to Build and Ship World Class Products: That’s such a great title for a talk that we’d probably want to sit in on that session 99 times out of 100—as long as the right person was speaking. If Tony Fadell—creator of the iPod and design leader behind the Nest thermostat—were delivering it, he’d be a good example of the right kind of person. That’s pretty much what happened at a recent Behance conference. One attendee shared these takeways from Tony’s talk: http://www.businessinsider.com/tony-fadells-advice-on-prototyping-leadership-and-innovation-2012-5.
· The Value of Design Disruptions: What could the Vietnam War possibly have in common with the Before I Die interactive public art project and peeing on a fly in Amsterdam? All three provide good examples of design disruptions if you let Andrew Shea tell it. If nothing else, you kinda have to read this one to learn how he manages to connect all three of those things. http://changeobserver.designobserver.com/feature/flies-in-urinals-the-value-of-design-disruptions/33108/.
· Pros and Cons of Being a Freelance Designer: It may be an exaggeration to assert that everyone has considered the freelance route at some point, but a whole lot of us have chewed on that thought. And a number of us have actually done it. The cons mostly concern the lack of guarantees that could come with steady employment with a company (as if being employed is itself a guarantee). And the pros mostly concern choice. This Design Juices list won’t surprise, but it is quite helpful: http://www.designjuices.co.uk/2012/05/freelancing-pros-and-cons/.
· When Dieter Rams Worked at Vitsoe: There aren’t too many phrases that could be combined to create a greater sens of design iconography than “Dieter Rams” and “Vitsoe.” Sure, “Dieter Rams” and “Braun” come to mind. The key to both combos being “Dieter Rams.” The design legend gave an epic speech in 1976 articulating the design philosophy he employed while collaborating with Vitsoe. Co.Design re-published that speech last week. If you want some timeless inspiration, make some time to read it (Ed note: Obvious apologies for not being able to import the correct character here): http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669725/dieter-rams-on-good-design-as-a-key-business-advantage.
· Guides for NY Design Week: If you’re in the 212 (or 718 or 347 or 929) this week for NY Design Week, you have your choices of guides for what to do and where to go. There’s at least two: Core77’s guide, which is mobile this year, and there’s Metropolis’ guide. You can’t go wrong with either one. Good luck and have fun! http://core77.com/nydesignweek/.
· Upcoming Events:
- May 16: Mass Art Spring Show (Boston)
- May 18: Kansas City’s Unmeritable Awards (Kansas City)
- May 22: Peep the Technique | Janke Glass Studio Tour (Atlanta)
- May 22: SJSU End of Year Show | Made in California II (San Jose State)
- May 24: Bill’s Design Talks | Scott Wilson (NYC)
- May 31: Talk | Design Means Business (Philly)
For more info, visit the Events Page at http://www.idsa.org/events. To include your upcoming event, please email it to designBytes@idsa.org.
NOTE: designBytes will not publish on 5.21 or 5.28. We’ll be back on 6.4. Please enjoy your holidays!
© 2012 Industrial Designers Society of America