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.
· Nintendo’s Wii U Team Speaks: Can you believe six years have passed since Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata began hosting deep-diving conversations with assorted members of various Nintendo teams? Well, they have. The years, that is. Recently, he talked with the Wii U team. It’s a typically lengthy post that is also typically dense with insights. It’s a good read when you have the time. http://iwataasks.nintendo.com/interviews/#/wiiu/console/0/0.
· Apple Hires Samsung Chip Designer: From a Wall Street Journal report: “Samsung recently raised eyebrows by beefing up its team of Texas-based chip designers, including those whose backgrounds pointed to an interest in chips for server systems. Now one of the most prominent of those recruits has left the South Korean company for Apple.” An interesting turn of events to be sure. http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/10/11/chip-design-luminary-leaves-samsung-for-apple/.
· A Couple of Things About Cars: Did you know that carmakers are leveraging expertise of headphone makers to develop noise-cancelling technology to offset noise generated by more fuel-efficient systems? Wired explains. Also, have you noticed that car lights have been undergoing a radical transformation in both form and function? Alice Rawsthorn did, and she wrote something about it for The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/arts/design/technology-is-changing-designs-of-automobile-lights.html?_r=0.
· Lasers and the Invention of the LED: In case you missed it, the 50th anniversary of the invention of the Light Emitting Diode (LED) passed earlier this month. On the occasion, a video popped up featuring Nick Holonyak Jr., who led the team that delivered the LED innovation. Additionally, this interview with quietly iconic inventor appeared: http://www.wired.com/design/2012/10/holonyak-laser-led-inventor/.
· How Retail Is Getting More Real: In recent weeks, we’ve seen at least two posts about the influence online retailers and online retail practices are having on retail practices in the real world where brick-and-mortars struggle to remain relevant. The first lists a few companies as examples of the trend while the second extrapolates aspects of the trend from a couple of reports and a couple of real-time examples: http://econsultancy.com/us/blog/10646-how-retailers-are-taking-online-innovation-to-bricks-and-mortar.
· Two Takeaways from Maker Faire: Clearly, there were more than two takeaways from World Maker Faire 2012 that wrapped earlier this month. There were at least 10 examples of awesomeness, according to one source, and a list that had no number, according to another. In this space, we want to zoom in on two takeaways supplied by Pensa and Teague, respectively. Pensa showed us that bending wires could be the next big thing in desktop fabrication. Meanwhile, Teague gave us a case study in using a prototype as the product: http://labs.teague.com/?p=1490.
· The Design Expert’s Design Expert: Where matters of design patents are concerned, there are few people on earth more authoritative than Cooper Woodring, FIDSA. He’s a past president of IDSA, of course. And he’s been very giving of his knowledge as an expert design witness to help train other designers to serve as expert witnesses in design patent litigation. In this Fast Company Q&A, we get great insights on the history of design patents and a rare look at the Woodring Strategy: http://www.fastcompany.com/3001762/cooper-woodring-design-defender.
· What Johnny Depp Can Teach Us About User Experience: All Johnny Depp movies are not created equally. That’s a fair statement, no? Setting aside our feelings for any one of his works, there are—according to UX Magazine—five sound lessons to be gleaned from five of his films. What’s suggested here reads like a pretty helpful UX 101 that addresses a good variety of design contexts and possible audiences: http://uxmag.com/articles/five-user-experience-lessons-from-johnny-depp.
· How to Act Like a Startup: The bigness of big companies causes them to be thought of in unflattering terms when it comes to innovation. They’re stodgy, slow, bureaucratic—giant hairballs to be survived gracefully. But there’s a quiet revolution happening in corporate America. Big companies are applying startup strategies and tools to jump-start innovation. How? They’re using four strategies that you can write into your playbook: http://www.fastcodesign.com/1670960/4-innovation-strategies-from-big-companies-that-act-like-startups.
· Lessons in Anthropomorphism—A Book Excerpt: Nathan Shedroff and Christopher Noessel have a new book coming out, Make It So: Interaction Design Lessons from Science Fiction. In an excerpt published by the Huffington Post, we get four interaction design lessons relating to anthropomorphic design, or the practice of making technology and designed experiences more humane. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nathan-shedroff/anthropomorphism-science-fiction_b_1959603.html.
· How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Deliverable: How familiar does this sound? “Hearing or saying deliverable reminded me that my work depended on other people. That instead of holding the fate of my ideas in my own hands, I had to give up control to other people. That my personal visions were just technical specifications. The word deliverable symbolized what I saw as the standardization of creativity into prosaic routines. It just seemed so...industrial.” A lot? A little? In any case, this confessional is a good read: http://interactions.acm.org/archive/view/september-october-2012/how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-deliverable.
· Designing Solutions to Two US Housing Challenges: There are a variety of housing challenges Americans can consider, but only two are considered in the post that follows: the cost and crime rates associated with public housing and the potential for creating sustainable off-grid housing options. There is an idea or two in here that may tweak your political sensibilities, but there are also some interesting applications of materials and urban design theory. http://hyperallergic.com/58544/will-design-save-the-world/.
· Why Can’t You Vote Online?: Simple question, no? We know the technology exists to make it possible. But here’s the thing: new voting technologies face a ton of scrutiny. At least that’s true in the United State of America. Regardless of your party affiliation or your level of bivalency, you should read this piece from The Verge on the tangle of constraints any voting technology would face: http://www.theverge.com/2012/10/11/3479170/why-cant-you-vote-online-elections-us.
· Celebrating National Design Week: National Design Week (#NDW2012) kicked off officially last Saturday and runs through this coming Sunday. To borrow a phrase, it’s kind of a big deal. There are events scheduled all across these United States during the week. Among the #NDW2012 epicenters, there are tons of really cool things happening around New York City—many of them at Cooper-Hewitt facilities. Get more info here: http://www.cooperhewitt.org/national-design-awards/ndw/events.
· Upcoming Events:
- Through Oct. 21: National Design Week (NYC)
- Through Nov. 11: Moving LA: People Powered Design (Los Angeles)
- Oct. 18: Delight 2012 (Portland)
- Oct. 23: Talk | What Apple v. Samsung Means to Software Development and UX Design (NYC)
- Oct. 24: Teague Academy | Chris Hackett (Seattle)
- Oct. 26: LUNAR Halloween Party (Atlanta)
- Oct. 26-28: Thought at Work Industrial Design Student Conference (Rochester, NY)
- Nov. 3: Design Odyssey @ University of Houston (Houston)
© 2012 Industrial Designers Society of America