Industrial Design

Industrial design is an applied art whereby the aesthetics and usability of mass-produced products may be improved for marketability and production. The role of an Industrial Designer is to create and execute design solutions towards problems of form, usability, user ergonomics, engineering, marketing, brand development and sales.

The term "industrial design" is often attributed to the pioneering designer Joseph Claude Sinel in 1919 (although he himself denied it in later interviews) but the discipline predates that by at least a decade. Its origins lay in the industrialization of consumer products.

New Coke bottle design

Although the PROCESS OF DESIGN may be considered 'creative', many analytical processes also take place. In fact, many industrial designers often use various design methodologies in their creative process. Some of the processes that are commonly used are user research, sketching, comparative product research, model making, prototyping and testing. These processes can be chronological, or as best defined by the designers and/or other team members. Industrial Designers often utilize 3D software, Computer-aided industrial design (CAID) and CAD programs to move from concept to production. Product characteristics specified by the industrial designer may include the overall form of the object, the location of details with respect to one another, colors, texture, sounds, and aspects concerning the use of the product ergonomics. Additionally the industrial designer may specify aspects concerning the production process, choice of materials and the way the product is presented to the consumer at the point of sale. The use of industrial designers in a product development process may lead to added values by improved usability, lowered production costs and more appealing products. However, some classic industrial designs are considered as much works of art as works of engineering: the iPod, the Jeep, the Fender Stratocaster, the Coke bottle, and the VW Beetle are frequently-cited examples.

Industrial design also has a focus on technical concepts, products and processes. In addition to considering aesthetics, usability, and ergonomics, it can also encompass the engineering of objects, usefulness as well as usability, market placement, and other concerns such as seduction, psychology, desire, and the emotional attachment of the user to the object. These values and accompanying aspects on which industrial design is based can vary, both between different schools of thought and among practicing designers. [Wikipedia]

Doodles, Drafts and Designs: Industrial Drawings From the Smithsonian
Pattern pieces for pigeon vest
Maidenform Co., New York, New York__1944

During World War II, Maidenform embraced a less buxom market: carrier pigeons. These pattern pieces were used to cut cloth for a pigeon vest, which, when complete, was wrapped and laced around a bird’s body and feet, leaving its head and tail feathers exposed. Attached by a strap to paratroopers parachuting behind enemy lines, the vests protected the birds during their descent from plane to earth. After landing, the birds flew back to home base to deliver word of the paratroopers’ safe arrival.

Maidenform also made a more conventional contribution to the war effort by manufacturing silk parachutes.

Evans Dual-purpose Streamlined Autorailers
Detroit, Michigan__1930s

Farrell-Cheek Steel Co., Finest Steel Circular Products for Industry
Sandusky, Ohio__1940s
Rapid prototyping is the automatic construction of physical objects using additive manufacturing technology. The first techniques for rapid prototyping became available in the late 1980s and were used to produce models and prototype parts. Today, they are used for a much wider range of applications and are even used to manufacture production-quality parts in relatively small numbers. Some sculptors use the technology to produce complex shapes for fine arts exhibitions.

The use of additive manufacturing technology for rapid prototyping takes virtual designs from computer aided design (CAD) or animation modeling software, transforms them into thin, virtual, horizontal cross-sections and then creates successive layers until the model is complete. It is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) process where the virtual model and the physical model are almost identical.

With additive manufacturing, the machine reads in data from a CAD drawing and lays down successive layers of liquid, powder, or sheet material, and in this way builds up the model from a series of cross sections. These layers, which correspond to the virtual cross section from the CAD model, are joined together or fused automatically to create the final shape. The primary advantage to additive fabrication is its ability to create almost any shape or geometric feature.

Rapid prototyping lamp (pic)


INDUSTRIAL DESIGNERS are a cross between an engineer and an artist. They study both function and form, and the connection between product and the user. They do not design the gears or motors that make machines move, or the circuits that control the movement, but they can affect technical aspects through usability design and form relationships. And usually, they partner with engineers and marketers, to identify and fulfill needs, wants and expectations.
Also used to describe a technically competent product designer or industrial designer is the term INDUSTRIAL DESIGN ENGINEER. The Cyclone vacuum cleaner inventor James Dyson for example could be considered to be in this category. [Wikipedia]

Dyson - official site
You know the feeling when some everyday product lets you down. 'I could have designed this better myself', you think. But how many of us turn our thoughts into actions?


He is a man who likes to make things work better. With his research team he has developed products that have achieved sales of over $6 billion worldwide.

Dyson DC14 All Floors Cyclone Upright vacuum cleaner

Night Talk: Interview with James Dyson
Intellectual property is a very difficult thing, and unfortunately things are very much stacked against the small inventor and the small business.

We file a patent a day.

Everybody's lost interest in making things, they think there's something demeaning about it...and people have lost an interest in engineering...

People think engineers repair things and what we want to show is that engineering is about creation...


A Conversation with...James Dyson
James Dyson, design icon, inventor, and advocate, is at the forefront of design innovation and technology. He invented the bagless vacuum cleaner--employing cyclonic technology to spin out dirt at 100,000 G of centrifugal force--and has developed products that have achieved sales of over $10 billion worldwide. He has a long and distinguished career, fighting off copycats, fighting for intellectual property rights of designers, promoting design education, and contributing widely through various philanthropic pursuits.

Core77's Allan Chochinov had the opportunity to sit down with James Dyson at New York City's Terence Conran Shop, on the eve of the launch of Dyson's first U.S. product, the Dyson DC07 Vacuum Cleaner.

C77: Most of your work, including your earlier projects, is charmingly concerned with quotidian acts: vacuuming the home, doing the laundry, moving dirt with a wheelbarrow. And I don't really know what question to ask you here, but I wonder if you've thought about this and have some insight.

JD: Well, it is an interesting point. I have done other things, like the landing craft, which was supplied to the military--and boats are sort of Cinderella products anyway. I've got some great memories and stories, and it was sort of a designer's dream, working on that sort of product. And that was lovely. But after five years of it, I actually longed to do something that I could use, a sort of everyday object. I did an electric wheelchair--putting the wheels on their sides where they form a segment of a much larger wheel--and because the wheels were laid on their side, it didn't look like a wheelchair; it didn't have the stigma of a wheelchair. So it was a great project to work on. But in some sense, it was worse than the boat, because with the boat, at least I could use a boat. And I sort of understood what it would be like for a soldier to wash off the boat, or for a diver to jump off the boat, or someone driving the boat, or what it's like to drive a vehicle onto the boat, or whatever. But the wheelchair, I couldn't understand at all; I was totally dependent on going and talking to people who live in wheelchairs, because they have a completely different view of what they find difficult, and what irritates them, where they get sores. For me then, I just felt separated from it, disaffected.

So I longed to do something that I used every day. And, of course, I'd been really stupid to ignore it, because you know as a designer or engineer, as soon as you see something, whether it's a vase or a cart, it's, "Why did they do that?" And so I was using the wheelbarrow at the house and I realized that it was pretty bad. The narrow wheel was stupid, and so on. I suddenly realized that what I should do then was follow my instincts. I use these products every day. I understand them. So therefore I'm in the position of the consumer, and don't need to do all this research; I'm the researcher.

But the really interesting point, I think, is that in order to change these things you've got to break all the existing rules and take a big risk. And I think if you use the product, and understand it yourself, you know you can do that. You know you're taking a risk and that you believe that you're right because you use it yourself. [...]

C77: I don't know how comfortable you are talking about your experiences with intellectual property, but I know that a lot of industrial designers, and especially design students, are very, very interested in ownership.

JD: Yeah, they're quite right to be.

C77: Well, almost to the point of being paralyzed, to be honest with you.

JD: I can well understand that.

C77: Many design students are so worried, so reticent to show anything to anybody, that it sort of hurts their learning. But looking at your bagless vacuum devices, and the way that they subvert the typical manufacturer's "give 'em the razors and sell 'em the blades" approach, you must have run head-first into intellectual property issues from the get-go. So maybe you can talk to me a little bit about that.

JD: Well, I can talk to you a lot about that. And I think designers are quite right to feel paralyzed by it as well. I think it's a very paralyzing thing. What you've got going on in the world, is that large manufacturers, multinationals, and even some small manufacturers, think it's fair game to copy someone's intellectual property. And in fact, antitrust laws--and to a certain extent, the Treaty of Rome --encourage that. And I think it's very, very rare that a patentee wins a patent lawsuit.

C77: And of course, the patent is only as powerful as the amount of money you have to defend it.

JD: Well, and what we're talking about is words, and descriptions, and it's a very finite thing. And it's very much weakened by what they call "prior art." Remember, the comptroller of the U.S. Patent Office, 1901, said that, "we might as well shut down the U.S. Patent Office because there's nothing left to invent." And actually he was right, in the sense that what happens now, as more and more patents are filed every year--so there's a sort of paradox here--the patents become narrower and narrower. And that's really the problem. Almost any patent nowadays is pretty narrow in its scope, which allows people to get very, very close to it. And of course, the patent defines how close you can get, which is also a lot of people's objections.

C77: Lawyers are always very ambitious in terms of trying to grab as much as they can with that first application, fighting to the death for it. And as you say, after that it's a matter of picking it apart piece by piece.

JD: But then, the worst thing is that the patent means nothing, because when you go to court, it's as though the patent didn't exist. The whole thing starts all over again and you have to prove your inventiveness. So it's a pretty depressing scene for an inventor. You've got a culture, almost a world culture, that encourages plagiarism, you've got courts that don't always support the patentee, and you've got this extraordinary situation where when someone copies you, you're going to court--not to say, "here's my patent, this person copied it"--you're going to court to start all over again, as though the patent didn't exist! And the onus is on you, as the owner of the patent, to prove inventiveness. And to prove that it was indeed you that did it.

C77: And for Dyson, you're in a global arena at this point. It's one thing to talk about the U.S. and Europe, but you sell all over the world. So the issue really is a moving target.

JD: Exactly. And then there's the other part of it, which is expense--and this is, I think, where the really anti-competitive point exists. A designer, or a design company, or even a small manufacturing business can't afford patents, because they're very expensive to apply for. And then they're very expensive to renew, so it's the renewal fees which I think are actually illegal. I think they're an infringement of the human right, because if you're an artist or an author, you own the copyright to your work of art. And as an inventor, your invention is a work of art, it's prior art. But if you don't pay, you lose it. I've taken two cases to the European Court of Human Rights to point this out, but it's been thrown out because they adjudged that patent renewal fees were reasonable, that it was reasonable to charge $3,000 per country per patent to renew your patents every year. I would like to charge enormous design fees to cover the cost of those cases!

C77: You've spent a lot of your career defending your intellectual property then?

JD: Well, no, and I don't think I could really claim to be an expert at it, I mean, we fought a case here, we just fought a long case in England and we have one or two other smaller cases going.

C77: And you prevailed in both?

JD: Yes. I got what I wanted, yes. But one more point I wanted to make about intellectual property concerns the amount its costs to pursue someone who's infringed...I mean, you're talking multimillion dollar lawsuits.

C77: Fighting armies of lawyers.

JD: Yes, and time. Often the infringing company can carry on infringing, hoping that they can wear you down, so that in the end you accept very little if there's a settlement. And in the meantime, they've taken huge commercial advantage of your invention. But that's one bitch I have about the patent system. The other point, which is, I think, a far more fundamental point, is this cultural, or political, issue we have: that it's okay to copy something, because that's competition, that's the marketplace. And I think it's theft, and I think that it's time it was regarded as theft and actually became a criminal matter. So I have huge sympathies for students and young designers--I've been through it. [...]

Dyson DC14 Animal Cyclone Upright
Amazon.com Reviews - excerpts
I think Dyson needs a little more "Quality Control" on their clutch. I might add there is a good example why some items might be better purchased from a local store. Much less hassle if you do experience a problem. [...]

I've only owned this $500 vacuum for 2 years and now the clutch has gone out on it. I talked to a vacuum repair specialist and he informed me that oh yes this is a common problem with this vacuum. He added insult to injury when he said it will cost around $200 to fix it. If this is a common problem then Dyson should provide extended warranty for this issue or they should quit selling a very flawed product. I for one will never own another Dyson product in my life and I'll will post as many reviews as I can to warn other potential buyers.

I use mine almost daily and it is still going strong. I love it. I do have ten dogs and sometimes more when friends go on vacation and vacuum the dog beds as well as the house and this is the only vacuum (and I have had the "best")that does that well.This is an absolute necessity for me.

Below is a laundry-list of design flaws:
1. Vacuum is cumbersome - I am a fairly strong person, but this machine is heavy...
2. Beater-bar is too high/vertical shaft is too thick - it will not fit under anything including my coffee table which sits 22" off the ground!
3. Attachments are awkward...
4. The beater bar unit has this odd crevices just above the wheel...
5. Power cord is not retractable. Usually, I would not be so picky about this, but the badly designed cord manager is flimsy. The cord usually becomes unraveled when hauling this heavy beast up and down stairs.
6. The hose results in more scuffs on walls and furniture.
7. Canister is difficult to clean...
8. Transitioning between beater-bar and attachments is time consuming...

...They told me that this Dyson does not seal the brush bar motor area properly, and lots of things get tangled in and around that pin and ruin the motor. They had another Dyson, like mine, in for the same thing!! I now have to clean out the bottom brush bar and motor pin on a regular basis or this will happen again! I am disappointed that there is such a stupid flaw in the $500+ vacuum that i purchased and I KNOW that this problem will be happening again! Thank goodness for the 5yr warranty! But come on Dyson needs to fix that!

Coke's New Design Direction
WHEN DAVID BUTLER joined Coca-Cola almost five years ago, he was given, as he tells it, "the Post-it Note mandate: We need to do more with design. Go figure it out." Butler, who had come from a gig as director of brand strategy at the interactive marketing and consulting firm Sapient, had soon written up a 30-page manifesto laying out a design strategy for the company. But if Butler, who's now vice-president for design, has made an impact at the beverage giant, it's not because of some heady proclamation. Instead it's because he has learned the most effective way to implement design strategy at a company as large and complex as Coca-Cola: avoid the word "design" as much as possible.

"If I'm at a meeting with manufacturing people, I'll say: 'How can we make the can feel colder, longer?'," he says as an example. "Or, 'How can we make the cup easier to hold?'" In other words, he talks about the benefits of smart design in a language to which those he's talking to can relate. Based on several recent brand redesigns—including the new Coke identity work that won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions awards program in June—and innovations such as an aluminum bottle and a new family of coolers, this surreptitious approach seems to be working. Butler leads a team of 60 designers—a mix of graphic and industrial designers, some poached from companies such as Apple, Nike, MTV, Target, and Electrolux—at four centers around the world. All are focused on what Butler describes as a "fix the basics" strategy. [...]
The cooler project also illustrates the ways in which Butler has learned to work within the constraints of Coca-Cola's complex partner relationships. Coca-Cola doesn't own the coolers—they are bought by the various retail stores. While Coca-Cola would prefer to have the new coolers installed in all stores so as to have a consistent brand presence, the company can't force its retail partners to upgrade. For those stores not wanting to invest in all-new coolers, Butler's team designed a set of panels that can be attached to an older cooler to give it the modern look. [...]

World of Coca-Cola__Atlanta, GA

Masters of Design: David Butler
IF BUTLER likes his systems big, he has come to the right place. With 450 brands operating in 200 countries, and 20,000 retailers selling 1.6 billion servings of Coke products per day -- that's 18,000 servings per second -- it would be hard to find a bigger canvas on which to explore design as an enterprise function. Butler oversees a team of 50 designers within Coke and works with some 300 agencies worldwide. In a company as colossal as this one, no single designer can pretend to control every permutation of every product in every far-flung fast-food joint. Instead, Butler's job has been to build a central design apparatus that is at once specific and flexible, one that can roll out across the globe without losing focus -- or customers. And that's exactly what he's done, from the brand identity at the center of Coke's corporate id to the advertising machine that projects that identity around the world to the very machines that dispense the company's myriad products into your cup. [...]

Tall and soft-spoken, Butler is holding forth from the cozy confines of a conference room at the World of Coca-Cola, the three-story, $15 million shrine to the world's best-selling soft drink; outside, a spectacular thunderstorm roils the Atlanta skies. Wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with Coke messaging in Thai, longish sideburns, and hair just shaggy enough to signal that he's not one of the suits, the native Floridian could pass for the bassist in an indie band or a surf-shop owner in Cocoa Beach. Butler, 43, is ambitious but self-effacing, passionate but strategic, relentless but patient as a monk.

"He's an old soul," says Keith Yamashita, cofounder of Stone Yamashita, who has worked as a management consultant to the company for four years. "Most people are attracted to Coke because of ego," Yamashita says. "You need that to think you can change a billion-dollar brand. David is the opposite. He doesn't feel like he has to grandstand or dominate you, because it's not about him; it's about success." [...]

Selling "more stuff" has proven to be a pretty effective strategy, even in a downturn. Case volume was up 4% for the second quarter and profits were better than expected, based on strong sales in China and India. And in 2008, the Coca-Cola company's market share was 42.7%, compared to PepsiCo's 30.8%, according to Beverage Digest. On the brand level, Coke's share rose to 17.3% from 17.2% in the carbonated soft-drink category in 2008, while Pepsi's fell to 10.3% from 10.7% a year earlier.

Nobody's saying these results can be credited solely to Butler. Coke's latest advertising campaign, Open Happiness, by Wieden+Kennedy, has bumped brand-preference scores globally by 6% versus 2007. And strong performance by Fuze and the recently acquired VitaminWater have boosted sales in the increasingly important noncarbonated-beverage segment. But, as Joe Tripodi (global marketing chief) notes, "Butler happens to be one of the most visible and biggest facilitators of how we will win in the marketplace."

That's no small tribute, given the volatile and competitive corporate ecosystem in which Butler operates. "There have been three CMOs and three CEOs in David's time," Yamashita says. "Who would have thought that the quietest guy in the room would thrive in a place that's so complex and cutthroat? David is like your best secretary of state. His job is to bring multiple people to the table and set a new high bar. That's what his work did." [...]

Coca-Cola had never had an in-house vice president of design until Butler. In fact, his original title, vice president of visual identity, described a limited sphere of influence. In his first few weeks, folks would routinely show up at his door asking for help in designing banners for volleyball tournaments and graphics for off-sites, assignments he diplomatically deflected. Six months in, Butler still wasn't getting much traction. The problem, he realized, was that nobody really understood the word "design." So he had what he describes as his "Jerry Maguire moment." He wrote a three-page manifesto, short and simple, called "Designing on Purpose" and sent it out to everyone he knew in the company.

The idea was to show his colleagues that even though they didn't recognize it as such, Coca-Cola is one of the world's largest design companies. And to point out that a more deliberate focus on design could sell more stuff. "The word 'design' is not so important to the top echelons of the company, but winning at the point of sale is fundamental," Butler says. "I wanted to show how you could create value for the business through design. I had no organization, no influence, nothing to point to, but now we had that statement out there -- a flag in the ground."

It worked. "I wasn't trying to create a magic phrase," he says, "but after that, every time I stood up, people would say, 'This is the guy who's about designing on purpose.' " [...]
In the past, he says, design had been focused on straightforward problems: Come up with a drinking vessel, say. But now it was being asked to solve multipronged problems: How do we get clean drinking water? "We're moving from linear problems to wicked problems," he says, and the old default solution -- hire a rock-star designer -- no longer works. "The model of a master of design creating that magical object that is going to change the business is an old way of thinking. I can't use it to work on wicked problems. I need to have capability internally." [...]

In league with Todd Brooks, group design director for global brands whom Butler had recruited from Sapient, he set out to pare the flagship brand down to its core assets -- the color red, the script, the ribbon, and the contour bottle. In search of an identity scheme that could be replicated across the Coke universe, Brooks and Butler established four core principles. Each design, whether it was packaging, point of sale, equipment, or any other touch point, would need to reflect bold simplicity, real authenticity, the power of red, and be "familiar yet surprising."

The two tapped the U.K.-based design firm Attik to create a global brand-identity system using those principles. The brief, says Attik's cofounder James Sommerville, was basically about decluttering through design. "It was about bringing a simplicity to the language, about the bold use of the iconic bottle, a flat red, and a flat script... . Core brands need a timeless quality." [...]

"As life gets visually noisier, brands that dial back to their core essence stand out by contrast," Pio Schunker says, pointing to Apple, Google, and Nike as examples. But for Coke, the stakes are even higher. Unlike, say, a consumer-electronics company that can make news through its latest innovation, Coke's product doesn't change. Indeed, heaven help it if it does (see New Coke). That places an even heavier burden on design, to keep the product looking fresh, appealing, and relevant. [...]
In 2005, Butler and his team introduced sexy aluminum versions of the classic contour bottle for all three brands at clubs and entertainment venues. He also invited five design studios, from Brazil, Japan, South Africa, the U.K., and the U.S., to produce limited-edition versions (printed with iridescent inks, which react to black light), and launched them with accompanying music and videos. In 2008, he invited eight up-and-coming Chinese artists to design bottles for the Beijing Olympics, causing a run on the Games' gift shops. Later this year, Attik will introduce a new design system for next year's World Cup in South Africa featuring modular elements that can be adapted to each competing country's needs. "It's a good design system when groups feel like they can add their own personality, but it doesn't deviate from the map," says Attik's Sommerville. "Coke has managed to achieve a foot in both camps." [...]

As we're walking back to headquarters, Butler ticks off the countries he is planning to visit on a grueling march through Asia and South America. But there's one more thing he wants to say before we part. "This is not a design story," he tells me yet again. "I understand there are some people who would like to hear the words 'design-driven' come out of our CEO's mouth. Honestly, I don't care. We're leveraging design to drive innovation and to win at the point of sale, which is fundamental to our business. Full stop."

What is great about quality marketing design for a product that only harms?

DAVID BUTLER has always been a good friend of Portfolio Center, but it was still quite the honor to have him visit recently for a seminar. He continues to move further into the upper echelons of the communications industry, now as the Vice President of Design for the 67 billion dollar brand, Coca-Cola. And even as the years bring more responsibility and demands on his energy, it seems he never ages or loses his youthful idealism and ability to connect with students. He was as generous with his time and wisdom as always.

These days, David is responsible for setting the global standard for Coke's design, building their global design function, and strengthening their internal design culture and reputation. He understands the vast opportunities designers have to effect change and how employing good design in the service of positive change can give a business a competitive advantage.

In his talk, "Redesigning Design," David discussed the new role of design in today's market and the ways design has become central to a company's profitability and success. He highlighted four essentials, in particular, that design contributes:

First, he says, is Authenticity:

"Designers can partner with marketing/brand experts to create clarity around a brand's true assets--it's core equities. We can then work with those equities to maintain the purity and honesty which made them unique in the first place. If you look at what we did recently with brand Coke for instance, this was a very design-led process in that we actually designed a greater sense of authenticity back into the brand's identity."

The second thing he mentioned was Desire:

"Creating desire is where we really feel the effect of balancing form and function. From a form perspective, we can design things to evoke beauty, simplicity, and cultural meaning. But we can also design things to be very functional, usable and useful. By balancing these, we can create sustainable desire."

Next was Reputation:

"Design can help build a company or brand's reputation around innovation, sustainability, etc. And I'm assuming the design is good. Bad design can build reputation in the opposite direction as well.

And, finally, Efficiency:

"This is really around scale. Designing using a modular approach can create great efficiencies and scale for a brand. This is part of our approach at Coke. Coke operates in 200 countries with 400 brands. We depend on our scale to drive the business forward. Design can play a big role in that.

David stressed that a designer working inside a corporation can add value only if he or she truly understands the business. A designer working within the company must be a synthesizer, an integrator; he must be able to connect his design expertise to the broader picture:

"The goal is for the designer to understand the business problems at hand in order to design business solutions. If the designer is not a 'thinking' designer and reduces solutions down to conversations and logic that only designers understand (or care about), their value goes way down. We, at Coke, focus on the business first and then use our skills as designers to integrate solutions rather than focus our time on 'selling in,' etc." END

A FORMER artistic director for fellow French designer Philippe Starck, PATRICK JOUIN opened his own studio in Paris in 1998. His firm, which has designed a range of products from lighting and furnishings to electronics, is known for their experience with the latest industrial design techniques including rapid prototyping and gas injection.

In addition to product design, Jouin’s other work includes designs for manufacturer exhibition spaces and hospitality interiors, including the Chlösterli restaurant in Gstaad, Switzerland and the Mix Las Vegas restaurant. [archrecord.construction.com]

SOLID C2 chair

SOLID S1 stool

PATRICK JOUIN “discovered” the Rapid Prototyping techniques Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) and Stereolithography.

This encounter led to SOLID, an amazing collection of self-produced furniture designs, which are the result of Patrick Jouin’s research into the possibilities and qualities of these stunning techniques.

Up till now, the RP techniques had only been used for small-scaled models in plastic.
Patrick Jouin is now taking the entire process to another level, previously unheard of. This collection shows the endless possibilities and the great potential that lies in these remarkable manufacturing techniques as they have been developed by Materialise NV. Pieces and forms that were previously impossible to build by any mould, can now be produced on a large scale. [...]

One Shot is a folding stool. It’s also a smart trick: no axle, no screw, no spring or visible hinge. Only by virtue of gravity, a vertical bundle of polyamide rods fluidly unfolds to become a seat. The miracle lies in the technique of Selective Laser Sintering that allows the fabrication in just one shot of the seating surface, the legs and the hidden and integral articulations. OneShot is manufactured in the folded position, which thereby enables the creation of 15 pieces simultaneously in a machine whose size would normally barely contain 2 unfolded ones. [YankoDesign.com]

by Michael Hsu [May 07] [men.style.com]

BEFORE I walk you through the newest designs that Kartell introduced at the Milan furniture fair this year, I want you to understand something about the company's approach to design and manufacture.

To start: Don't think of Kartell as that hip Italian company that hires big-name designers to make cool objects out of plastic. Yes, Kartell does do that—and they're damn good at it—but that's a shallow reason to be interested in their work, and if that is your approach, all you will be able to say when you look at their latest products is, "Wow, that's really cool!"

I know you can do better.

Instead, I suggest you think of Kartell as that hip Italian company that hires big-name designers to explore the process of industrialization. The question they keep asking (and answering in interesting and novel ways) is this: How can we make great furniture entirely with machines? For Kartell, plastic is simply an end to a means. "We use plastic because it's the only way to be industrial," explains Claudio Luti, Kartell's president. "It's the only reason."

What does it mean to be industrial? Consider, for example, that many Kartell chairs are made using a single mold: Molten plastic is poured into a large and expensive machine and, a bit later, a fully-formed chair emerges. That's it. Nothing more needs to be done. After the chair sets, it's ready to ship to the store. (In fact, Kartell created the first plastic chair to be manufactured this way: Philippe Starck's La Marie.)

What you'll usually find in a new Kartell product is not simply a novel shape, but also a novel process of manufacture.

This year, for example, Kartell introduced the Thayla chair, which was designed by the very dapper-looking Patrick Jouin. The chairs he's showing me here were literally manufactured the day before we spoke.
Jouin's goal with Thayla was to create a plastic chair without any ribbing. Almost all plastic chairs, Jouin explained, require some sort of ribbing to make them structurally sound. "All of the design of a plastic chair is about the ribs," he says. "You play with the ribs and you try to make them elegant."

But Thayla, as you can see, has no ribbing. To make this possible without the chair collapsing when you sit in it, Jouin suggested gas-injecting the chair's legs and frame. With this process, gas is literally blown into the plastic to hollow it out, creating tubes.

These hollow tubes, counter-intuitively, make the chair strong enough that it doesn't need any ribbing, an approach that has never been done before.

"It was very difficult," says Jouin, "but what is really incredible about a manufacturer like Kartell is that you present something like this and they don't say no. They like to take risks. They say, "Okay, maybe it will not work and maybe we'll throw away the mold, but let's try. Because if we do it, nobody would try to be as crazy as us!'"

With Thayla, Jouin's intention was to link the high-tech with the past. The pattern on the seat and back, for example, was derived from the lines created by his CAD program, but is meant to evoke the cannage of a traditional chair. "The graphic is a play of something which is virtual and something which is old," says Jouin. The chair's other contradiction: "It's transparent, but it's not transparent. You can see through it, but what you see is diffracted."

Two new Philippe Starck chairs also took advantage of new processes of manufacture. The Mr. Impossible chair, for example, is made from two plastic shells (opaque for the inside of the seat, clear for the base and legs) that are welded together with a laser. The connection is seamless:
Starck's other chair, Dr. Yes, also plays with contrast between the seat and the rest of the chair. In this case, it's texture: The seat is matte and a bit rough, while the back and legs are glossy and smooth. The technical innovation here is that Kartell managed to pull this off using a single mold.
Dr. Yes chair
Trendsetters of Industrial Design - slideshow
From the curve of a chair to the twist of a doorknob, product design is ever-present in our lives. With the help of our expert panel, which includes curators, designers and critics, Forbes determined today's industrial design trendsetters.

Creator of the Bluetooth Jawbone headset for Aliph and the Leaf Lamp for Herman Miller, YVES BEHAR runs design and branding firm Fuseproject. He also designed the XO laptop, a $100 computer created for nonprofit One Laptop Per Child. Swiss-born Behar's latest project is the packaging for Y Water, a low-sugar, high-nutrient beverage for kids.

Aliph Bluetooth Jawbone
Jawbone - official site
CNET Review
The bottom line:
The Aliph Jawbone Bluetooth headset is one of the best-looking headsets we've ever seen. Despite its quirky buttons, it delivers superior sound quality with a comfortable fit.

Here's a Trick to Make Jawbone Fit & Stay in Your Ear Better!
Ok, for those of you that have the Jawbone or are looking to purchase it, let's face it, it's the best on the market period! The noise cancelling it can do is simply phenomenal! I know since I have had them all from Jabra, Motorolla, Plantronics, etc. We have all been there, if you are in your car, airport, or outside the background noise makes it very difficult for the other person to hear you. If you want to solve that, get the Jawbone!

Now for the problem. The biggest complaint is that it is hard to get the Jawbone to stay in your ear, get on your ear, or feel comfortable in your ear.

Now for the fix. Buy some spare Jabra EarGels from the Jabra website under "Accessories" at $7 for a packet of 6! Jabra EarGels are designed to channel sound directly into the ear for perfect reception, so conversations sound clear and natural at both ends of the call. They are made of a translucent soft material shaped to sit snugly in your ear for a comfortable and secure fit. Jabra EarGels are hygienic and washable and come six in a pack - three sizes for left and right ears. [...]

British-born JONATHAN IVE led the Apple design team on such projects as iMac (introduced in 1998), PowerBook G4 (2001), iPod (2001) and iPhone (2007). Highly influenced by Dieter Rams, former head of design for Braun A.G. and considered "the godfather of modern industrial design" by much of the industry, Ive's contributions have made Apple one of the most influential brands of the decade.

Apple iPod Nano 4G
CNET Review
The bottom line:
THE fourth-generation iPod Nano is easy on the eyes and the wallet, and you can't beat its hardware and user interface design. Just be sure to give iTunes 8 a spin before committing.

iPod Nano 4G - slideshow
Oblong is the new squircle
LOOKING at the 4G iPod Nano from the bottom edge reminds us of the cross-section of an airplane wing. Apple's one-piece metal construction lends the Nano extra structural resilience.

Barely there
FROM the side, the fourth-generation iPod Nano looks like a section of a samurai blade: thin, metal, and aerodynamic. A single piece of aluminum wraps seamlessly around the Nano, leaving its ports and switches on the top and bottom of the player.

The New iPod Nano - official site
Apple's iPod Nano 5G Gets a Camera

red dot award: Best of the Best 2009
The iPod nano is a trendsetter – its design merges the understatement of advanced technology with very user-friendly operability.

Nokia Could Seek Up to $1 Billion for iPhones
HELSINKI (Reuters) - Apple faces the possibility of having to pay Nokia up to $1 billion for the technologies used in iPhones sold so far if it loses a lawsuit brought by Nokia, analysts said.

The world's top cellphone maker Nokia filed the suit in the United States on Thursday, saying Apple had infringed 10 patents in technologies like wireless data transfer, a key factor in the success of iPhone, and accusing Apple of trying to hitch a "free ride" on Nokia's technology investment. [...]

The Cars You'll Drive in 2014
Everybody knows the auto world has shifted. The trick is divining which brands have got the gumption to last.

Now, with President Obama's new efficiency standards requiring a fleet-wide fuel economy average of 35.5 miles per gallon, automakers have their work cut out for them. [...]

Cadillac Converj
Highlights: This "grand touring coupe" was created to show GM's electric technology (called Voltec) inside a sporty body style. It has a 40-mile electric-only range and can charge in eight hours on a regular, 120-volt outlet. Top speed is 100 miles per hour; top power is 120kW.

Why we care: If Cadillac can bring the Converj (or a similar production-ready car) to market, it will show GM can make electric technology both luxurious and practical for daily drives.

Hyundai HED-5 i-Mode
Highlights: A six-seat monocab that uses "advanced eco-dynamics" with a small displacement engine and "futuristic" communications and entertainment systems, Hyundai says.

Why we care: Hyundai has dramatically changed its reputation in the past year, thanks in part to winning Car of the Year for its Genesis sedan and to creative marketing like its Assurance program, which promises to accept back a new vehicle if the owner loses his or her job. It will be interesting to see how its rise to prominence continues in the face of pressure from new competitors.

Alfa Romeo Milano
Highlights: Set to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September, the Milano is expected to boast a 120-horsepower 4-cylinder or 265-hp V6 engine. It sold briefly in North America (and was called the 75 elsewhere) in the late 1980s and early 1990s but disappeared when Alfa left the continent.

Why we care: Experts are speculating that the five-door Milano will form the basis for a new Chrysler sedan. It'll go on sale in Europe first, then likely come to the U.S. a few years later.

Bloom Fresco Fiamma

Bloom's Fresco Fiamma - Ferrari Red, Funky & Fabulous
[Gizmag.com - Sep.09]
The design team that brought us the Alma crib has taken their Fresco baby chair to the furniture equivalent of an auto-mechanic shop, lacquering it in new-car-quality high-gloss red and adding an extra design function. The limited edition Fresco Fiamma was rolled out by the four designer dads behind Bloom to celebrate the company’s third birthday. The global production has been limited to 1,100 units that come individually inscribed with a unique model number.

The Fresco has a new lockable swivel shaft and its leatherette seat pads come in three contemporary colors - rock red, coconut white and lunar silver. This innovative baby chair is designed to cater for newborns to toddlers (up to 79 pounds/36 kilograms). It easily configures from the cradle position (for newborns) to a highchair and to a toddler chair.

Fresco has a handy 360 degree swivel, a five-point safety harness and pneumatic-assist for ease when adjusting the height. The large multi-position feeding tray and play tray are made from FDA food-grade plastic and stainless steel, are dishwasher-safe and can be removed for breakfast bar or table dining. The enclosed castor wheels allow you to ‘lift and glide’ the chair and the footrest is adjustable and removable.

You might gasp at the price - Fresco Fiamma retails at USD $600 – but if your décor screams designer, this chair could be perfect for you.

Image gallery

BraunPrize 2009
2009 BraunPrize Shines a Light on Young Design Talent
The BraunPrize Forum and Ceremony 2009
YOUNG GERMAN designer JOHANNA SCHOEMAKER was last night awarded the prestigious International BraunPrize during a ceremony at the company's headquarters in Kronberg. Schoemaker's elegant Clam OLED Lamp was among four worthy designs shortlisted by the jury from a field of more than 1000 entries from 54 countries.

The 2009 event marks the 17th time the BraunPrize has been awarded since its inception in 1968 by Erwin Braun, the son of company founder Max. The Award's esteem is influenced by the key role the German company played in redefining consumer product design throughout the 50s and 60s. The strong, minimalist, "Less, but better" design language pioneered by Braun - and in particular Dieter Rams - is still clearly evident today in modern icons like Apple's iPod.

Entries are assessed on criteria of design, technology and usability, with reference to a central theme which this year was "Envision conscious design".

The BraunPrize for young designers is unique in terms of the judging process. The huge task of shortlisting the four finalists falls to a jury of five design specialists, three of whom are from outside the company.

No other design competition for young professionals requires so much effort to select a winner - three rounds of judging by two different juries must be passed. In 2009, a record number of 1074 projects from 54 different countries were submitted... In the first two rounds, 22 projects were chosen for the BraunPrize exhibition, which debuted during the ceremony and will tour internationally. The 2009 catalogue of all awarded projects, including the winners of the BraunPrize Mexico and China, is also available.

From these 22, the BraunPrize jury chose four finalists to present their projects to the final jury, an assembly of design experts, including academics, designers and journalists, at the BraunPrize Forum on September 16th, 2009.

Johanna Schoemaker presented her Clam OLED lamp, a highly functional family of lights based on the latest OLED technology. Schoemaker's design brings together technological innovation and aesthetic value in an extraordinary way, a point that had already convinced the jury of the Lucky Strike Junior Designer Award 2009. There her OLED lamp was awarded a special recognition.

Interior lighting is by no means a new field and although the Clam OLED - as the jury noted in its findings - "has neither changed the general idea nor the function of the lamp", its integration of new technology, emphasis on function and versatility, undeniably strong aesthetic appeal and the added bonus of energy efficiency saw Johanna Schoemaker's clean, slender design emerge as the winner of the 2009 BraunPrize. [...]

Image gallery

IDEA 2009 Gold Award Winners
Over 30 products were given the top award in the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) 2009, organized by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). These ranged from innovative heavy-duty equipment to complex medical systems. The emphasis was on creating an appropriately user-friendly experience, whether that user is a veteran warehousing professional or a seasoned clinician. The Best in Show title was awarded to a company that is working hard to exorcise its past demons: Nike won for its Trash Talk basketball shoe, made entirely from recycled materials.

Better Place Charge Spot
[U.S. & Israel]
This dual-outlet compact charging station for electric vehicles connects to the electrical grid, providing a much-needed infrastructure for these alternative-fuel vehicles. In addition, the compact connector makes for an approachable experience for all users.

Apple LED Cinema Display
Apple's LED Cinema Display features a 24-inch LED-backlit wide-screen display with built-in iSight video camera, microphone, and speakers in an elegant, thin, aluminum-and-glass enclosure. The display is suspended by an aluminum stand with an adjustable hinge that makes tilting the display almost effortless.

At only 0.95-inches tall and weighing just 4.5 pounds, the 13-inch, full-featured, aluminum MacBook is a compact and durable notebook. Featuring the new NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor, MacBook delivers outstanding 3D game play on a consumer notebook, with up to five times faster graphics performance than the previous generation.

Nike Trash Talk
This performance basketball shoe is made from manufacturing waste. It incorporates leftover materials—leather and synthetic leather, foam, and rubber—into new shoes without sacrificing any of the performance aspects that come from shoes made from virgin materials.

BD-P4600 Blu-ray Disc Player
[South Korea]
The BD-P4600 looks like an artwork made of glass. Its color and appearance change in different lighting.

NAVE building
This campus (in Brazil) is a public high school and digital media technology factory. A suspended and transparent classroom acts as a continuous connection between people and the venue's spaces. The building's facade is modified every three months through a public art project while the interior features a rich multimedia environment with screens displaying work produced by the school's 600 students.

BTS1 Dual-Cooking Oven
[South Korea]
The BTS1 electric oven provides the functionality of two ovens in the space of one. The divider, composed of two steel plates with a layer of air in between, means that users can cook one large dish and a small dish in a small space or two dishes with different cooking requirements at the same time. The divider plate blocks the flow of heat and smells between the two cooking spaces.

Energy Seed
[South Korea]
Energy Seed is a collection bin for batteries that uses leftover power to light the attached LED street lamps. The design's aesthetic takes its cue from a flowering plant. When people deposit their batteries, it is like planting a seed that later, when it's dark, turns into a flower. It also encourages people to discard their batteries in a responsible manner.

ICON A5 Amphibious Sport Aircraft
The ICON A5 amphibious sport plane was developed in response to the establishment of the Sport Pilot License and Light Sport Aircraft category. Pilots and non-pilots can appreciate the aircraft's features, which emphasize the user experience, accessibility, safety, and fun. The A5 can fly from both land and water and has folding wings, enabling it to be towed on a trailer and compactly stored.

Seoul is the world's seventh largest urban area. [Wikipedia]

The Seoul of Design
When looking at the urban grit of Seoul neighborhoods, you’re forgiven if the words “good design” don’t come to mind. But seeing how quickly South Korea rebuilt after a devastating civil war, it’s not surprising that design just wasn’t a priority.

However, observing traditional Korean architecture and culture, it’s obvious that in times of peace and prosperity, pre-modern Korea honed a highly sophisticated design aesthetic. Which is why today, as a world economic power, it makes sense that South Korea is eager to recover its design legacy. In fact, Seoul’s mayor, Oh Se-hoon, has made it one of his top priorities. [...]

South Korea’s Rising in Industrial Design World
by Steve Toloken [Sep.08] [PlasticNews.com]
JAPAN HAS long been considered the capital of Asian industrial design, or at least its most influential face to the world. But that's changing, as South Korean companies and designers are getting the world's attention.
The country's capital, Seoul, for example, has been named the 2010 World Design Capital by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID) — only the second city recognized with the award, after Torino, Italy, this year.
Korean firms are picking up recognition in design circles. LG Electronics Inc. became the first non-Japanese firm in Asia to win the industrial design industry's coveted Radius Award in 2006, joining past winners that include Apple, Sony, Adidas and Mercedes-Benz.

In selecting Seoul as its second design "capital", ICSID said it is recognizing the role that industrial design has played in the success of South Korean consumer goods and auto companies in world markets, including firms like LG, Samsung, Hyundai, Daewoo, Helio and Kia. LG and Samsung, for example, are two of the world's top five cell phone makers.

"Seoul's remarkable achievements in design-led development, particularly in the past decade, exemplify the spirit of the WDC designation," said ICSID President Peter Zec. The city will host design-related events and exhibitions in 2010, and is hosting a Seoul Design Olympiad in October.

While picking a world capital of design is arguably pretty subjective — akin to picking just one top album or movie of the year — ICSID said Seoul's government has shown a strong interest in fostering design.

Some in South Korea's industrial design community say Korean companies focused on design by necessity, because the nation of 49 million people has lacked a sizable domestic market and needed design to reach world markets.
"Without design, how can you export your product to the global market?" said Young Kil Cho, chairman of the 300-member Korea Design Firms Association and president of Seoul-based industrial design firm DesignMall.

Part of the importance of design for South Korea stems from the challenge from China and other low-cost manufacturing spots, he said.

"We know we are no longer low-cost. That is history, China captured that," Cho said. "We have to look for technology and creativity, for high-technology industries."

Another leader in South Korea's industrial design community, Seoul Design Center director Soon-In Lee, said the country's design community is making big strides.

But he said that outside of a few big players like LG and Samsung, overall Korean industrial design is not at the level of the world's best in, for example, Germany and the United Kingdom.

"These days in Korea we have not achieved that," said Lee, a former ICSID board member and former designer for LG. "We know how much of a gap there is. That is why we are very much invested … to be at that world standard."

Lee, who is closely involved in planning the 2010 event, said he wants it to be a place where materials suppliers like Bayer MaterialScience AG and DuPont Co. showcase their latest developments, and designers and others come together to trade ideas and help make Seoul into a city like Milan, Italy, where he said good design flourishes.

Seoul's political leaders have similar hopes: Mayor Oh Se-hoon, in accepting the 2010 designation, said he hopes it will let Seoul "reinvent itself into a globally recognized city of design."
South Korea's economy has reinvented itself before, becoming one of the world's major economies in a fairly short time.

In the early 1980s, for example, the country was relatively poor, with per capita income of about US$1,600, or 15 percent of the U.S. figure at the time. But fast forward through three decades of rapid industrial development, and the country now has the 13th-largest economy in the world, with a per capita income of about US$24,000, more than half that of the United States and on a par with Spain or Greece.

While some credit South Korea's system of interlocked mega-industrial firms, known as chaebol, as a major driver of that growth, the industrial design community argues that solid product design deserves some credit for the popularity of Korean information technology and consumer products.

Whatever the reasons for past growth, Lee argues that to keep growing, South Korea needs to foster creativity by helping its smaller industrial design companies develop new business models, particularly to sell and develop their own designs.

The government's attention to design has focused on public design, such as parks and cityscapes, but it also needs to pay attention to industrial design, Lee said.

Like manufacturers, South Korea's industrial designers are under pricing pressure from the rise of China's designers, he said.

"The small and medium-sized manufacturers [in Korea] moved to China … because the labor cost is very low," said Lee. "I really hope that good design companies stay in Seoul."

But it's not all competition with China. Korean designers are doing more work for Chinese firms.

Cho said about 30 percent of his 21-person firm's business is with Chinese firms, up from about 5 percent five years ago, and he said he spends 25 percent of his time in China. His firm works for Chinese companies such as telecom equipment maker Huawei Technology Co. Ltd. and appliance maker Haier Group.

While Chinese product design is developing and could be quite strong in 10 years, South Korean firms still have advantages in design skills, Cho said, and he sees the economies of Korea, China and Japan developing together.

One advantage for Korean firms, he said, is the so-called "Korean Wave," the influence of pop singers, drama and pop culture that emanates from his country and is very popular in China and Japan.

That popularity stems from what Cho calls the "emotionalism" of Korean culture, which he said has helped South Korean products win broader appeal in Asia. END

The Seoul of World Design
"Design is everything," declares (Seoul's mayor) Oh Se-hoon.
[Dongdaemun Design Park]
The hyperbole isn't pure talk. Since taking office in July, 2006, Oh has set about turning Seoul into a global design hub with a slew of initiatives. He quickly established a new design division headed by a vice-mayor and initiated design competitions aimed at improving the city's looks. He has also begun offering training and seminar courses for young designers. The effort will kick into high gear in October when the city hosts the first Seoul Design Olympiad. It has also commissioned international "starchitect" Zaha Hadid to design the $98 million Dongdaemun Design Park. [...]
[NGEV Concept Car]
Korea also has a remarkably large number of wannabe designers. In Seoul alone about 11,000 students are majoring in design at 18 universities, while another 2,600 students in 51 graduate schools attended design programs in 2007. Recognizing this potential talent, Japanese auto companies, including Nissan, have begun hiring young Korean designers. "When I first saw the sketches that Korean students were drawing, I was utterly shocked. Their design is very emotional and powerful," Shiro Nakamura, Nissan's chief creative officer, said last year.
[Seoul Desk and Table]
For Seoul mayor Oh, though, the highlight of the design drive will be the Design Olympiad in October. Oh plans to invite top designers from fashion, graphics, and other different design fields. He's counting on attracting 2 million people to the 21-day event featuring competitions, exhibitions, live performances, and light shows. If that doesn't whet the world's appetite for Korean design, perhaps nothing will. "I want people around the globe to say, 'If you want to check out the latest in design trends, go to Seoul,'" says Oh. END

It's a real Cinderella story...

CNET Review (vid)
"The most obvious thing about the Scarlet is the design..."

First LCD TV Review: LG Scarlet 60 Vs. Samsung Series 6
THE TV FORUMS are buzzing over who has the best new Scarlet red LCD TV: LG or Samsung. On one hand Samsung has gone out of their way to facilitate a review of their new Series 6 TV while LG has chosen to deny us access on the basis that their noses were out of joint because we revealed that the so called Scarlet TV series being plugged by the Korean Company was nothing more than a big elaborate con to entice consumers into stores to view their new bright red LCD TV which they have named Scarlet. [...]

So at the end of the day who has the best new LCD TV offering between the Samsung Series 6 and the LG Scarlet LG60?

The answer is simple Samsung. The look and feel of their Series 6 TV oozes sophistication and the colour and design is not brutally intrusive like the LG Scarlet offering.

While the LG model has great sound and good front end looks over time I believe consumers will get fed up of the bright red back which is going to stand out in any home for a very long time.

Another big benefit that the Samsung series 6 has is that its performance is not compromised by tricky gimmicky design. It is more evolutiionary than revolutionary. END

IT'S INCREASINGLY starting to look as if the battle for TV sales in 2008 is going to be fought around design. We've got ultra slim TVs, TVs with a hint of colour, TVs with practically non-existent bezels, TVs with see-through panels… Really, it seems as if anything goes - so long as it's not the usual simple black rectangle.

But even by the standards of today's "stylemeisters" LG's new 42LG6000 is a bit special - not least because its entire rear panel is adorned unapologetically in a bright, rich, uncompromising red. Or rather, ‘Scarlet'. [...]

From everything we've seen so far, it's no great surprise that the LG Scarlet sets won an Innovations award at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. [...]
LG Scarlet Gets Reviewed
[EngadgetHD.com - May 08]
Now that LG's Scarlet secret is out, we can all move forward and focus on what really matters: picture quality. Shortly after being announced, CNET managed to get a hold of the 47-inch 47LG60 and give it the critical eye. In sum, reviewers thoroughly enjoyed the comprehensive picture adjustments, accurate color (after calibration), effective 120Hz judder-removing technology and the non-reflective matte screen. Additionally, the unique design was certainly admired, and while you're likely thinking this one's a winner already, we'll caution you that it's not. Critics found the actual image quality to be subpar, and noted that it "couldn't produce nearly the same depth of black we've come to expect from high-end LCD and plasma HDTVs in this price range." Yet again, it seems we've a case of charging too much for style alone, but hacking a few hundies from the price tag could make this thing entirely more attractive. END

LG Electronics Releases 2nd Prada Phone Model
[Korea IT Times - Jne.09]
LG ELECTRONICS releases its second model Prada Phone (LG-SU130) to the domestic market early in the week of June 15.

The newest Prada Phone model is a mere 15.1mm thick, compared to the average thickness of 16.7mm of foreign models. Additionally, it has access to the latest cutting-edge technology such as T-DMB, WVGA LCD, an 8GB memory chip, and a 3D user interface.

The new phone is also available with a Prada Bluetooth link watch (PRADA Link, LG-LBA-T950).

The Prada Phone features a side slide design featuring a full 7.62cm touch screen QWERTY keyboard, which is convenient for users to edit documents or use the Internet, as well as 5 million-pixel digital camera with an automatic focusing system. Its multi-touch screen makes it possible for users to easily adjust the size of photos, web pages, and documents.

Cho Sung-ha, vice president of the Korea Business Division of the Mobile Communications Company at LG Electronics, pledged to make the Prada Phone a designer brand item in the market through a variety of services and marketing activities, saying, “The second model Prada Phone is developed for premium customers who crave top-notch designs and functions.”

Stuff.tv review (vid)
"The touchscreen has been improved a helluva lot..."

Mobile Phones UK review
IN A NUTSHELL: The LG KF900 (aka Prada II) retains the minimalist chic of the original Prada phone, but adds a slide-out keyboard and a whole load of upgraded features including 3G, a 5 megapixel camera, video calling and WiFi. This is a high-spec touchscreen phone with good looks, but is rather larger and heavier than the original Prada phone. [...]

LG Teases Next-Generation Chocolate for August Unveiling
[EngadgetMobile.com - Jul.09]
To say that the Chocolate was a hit for LG would be similar to saying the PlayStation 2 went over well for Sony. Indeed, the outfit's best selling handset ever (21 million units worldwide) holds a special place in the hearts of suits and shareholders alike, so it's hardly a shock to see the company issuing a next-generation version of the device. Slated to fall into LG's Black Label series, the phone -- which is simply dubbed the 'second generation LG Chocolate' for now -- will be fully unveiled in August, with bits and pieces to be strategically dropped during the run-up. [...]

There's some concern already about the phone being too big...

Preview: LG Black Label Chocolate BL40. Big is Beautiful
[Gaj-IT.com - Aug.09]
If you’ve developed some serious wrinkles around your eyes from squinting at your phone to watch Ghostbusters on your train ride home from work, we may have found a handset that will be a better investment more than all the anti-aging cream you could get your hands on. The LG Black Label Chocolate BL40 comes with a large 4 inch display, meaning you don’t need to hold it right up to your face to keep up to date with the latest YouTube uploads. Does this sexy but sizey phone sacrifice practicality for wide screen entertainment though? Let’s find out.

The new LG Chocolate is the fourth handset in LG’s Black Label Series, and joins the LG Chocolate KG800, LG Shine and LG Secret. We’ve already mentioned that the big selling point of this latest addition to the Black Label family is its monster 4 inch wide screen, but what is size without substance?

LG has thought of this, and has gone all out with an HD LCD display that supports resolutions of up to 800×345 pixels, in an effort to keep your web viewing experience as squint-free as possible.

If action-based films are your thing, the 21:9 aspect ratio makes for some panoramic viewing, so you don’t miss out on all the things that Paramount Pictures has made blow-up.

A wide screen isn’t just a selling point for movie buffs though, as LG has included the function of dividing the display into two independent desktops so that you can work on multiple tasks at the same time (unless you’re a man…).
Another reason that this handset may end up appealing to those with a handbag over those with a couple of pockets already filled with keys and a wallet, is the size of the phone.

A wide screen means a long phone, which isn’t always jeans-pocket-friendly. LG has taken note of this concern and compared the Chocolate BL40 to the company’s other recent releases in this video.

Feature-wise, the handset comes packed with a 5 megapixel flash camera and comes with auto focus and digital zoom.

It’s all about the multimedia with this phone though, which supports MP3 and MP4 and also offers an FM radio which, granted, doesn’t make use of the amazing screen, but is a nice addition none the less.

One obvious point that I’ve not yet mentioned is the overall look of the BL40: it’s stunning. The phone is overlaid with curved tempered glass and is seamlessly encased in a glossy black finish. In essence it looks… like a smooth bar of chocolate.

If you’re still concerned about actually carrying this thing around town, the Chocolate BL40 may be long but it’s thin so that’s supposed to make up for any impracticality concerns raised. We’ll see how far this logic carries out once the phone hits shops in coming months.

Design: 8/10
Usability: 9/10
Features: 8/10
Value: TBA

LG is counting on sex selling with this phone, and we think it’s on to a winner. The LG Chocolate BL40 is a stunning handset that makes watching a full-length film on its 4 inch screen a pleasure instead of a cricked-neck nightmare. The phone will hit the high street in early Q3 this year. END

Coroflot directory: Industrial Designers - Seoul
Bungae electric car__Sung uk Kim

Bicycle Mobile Holder__Sung uk Kim

Braille Tape__Nathan Kwak

Pebbles Stone Grill__Nathan Kwak

Legato__JinSeok Song

Mobile Fragrance pour Homme (Vonin)__Sun-J Vang

Seoul Design Essence celebrates South Korea's diversity and primarily focuses on the aesthetic principles and technological achievements epitomized in contemporary Korean art, architecture and design.

Korea IT Times
All the news on Korea's intelligent technologies.

The red dot design award is a large and coveted international product design prize awarded by the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany. The aim of the prize is to honor outstanding design quality and trendsetters. Since 1955, designers and producers can apply for the prizes with the winners being presented in an annual ceremony. Winning products are presented in the red dot design museum on the premises of the Zollverein World Cultural Heritage site in Essen.

With more than 11,000 submissions from 61 countries, the international red dot design award is the largest and most renowned design competition in the world. [...]

About red dot design award (vid)
"Products which have received the red dot become the focus of international interest."

red dot Winners: Product Design
Apoll fireplace

Lomme bed

Lomme - official site
Retail: 42,000.00 EUR = 66,688.22 USD

Escargot vacuum cleaner

Tencha ice teas

The iF Product Design Award was introduced in 1954 and is annually conferred by the iF International Forum Design. Along with the red dot design award it is the most important international product design award. Every year it attracts more than 2,000 product entries from around 37 nations, which are judged by renowned experts, with the best of them receiving an iF seal of outstanding design quality. The best of the best are awarded with an iF gold award, known as the "Design Oscar". [...]

THE iF LOGO, awarded by international experts, is trusted the world over and denotes proven design quality. Companies and design studios use it as a visible symbol in their communication. For potential clients, the iF logo is a guideline for finding the best products and creative services within the marketplace. [iF - International Forum Design]

Philips Leads the Way With 22 iF Design Awards
Advanced studies
The idea of generating food, energy and clean water in your own living room led to the Biosphere Home Farming concept winning an award in the advanced studies category. This ingenious combination of aquatic and plant-based ecosystems supplements a family's nutritional needs while producing heat, gas and filtered water.

Philips’ Biosphere Home Farming Concept Makes You Eat Trash in a Refined Way
[Ecofriend.org - Mar.09]
PHILIPS has developed a stunning new concept home farming system that not only provides you with the food you eat, but also delivers fresh hydrogen, heat and gas which can be further used to nourish plants, illuminate your house or even power your fuel-cell car in the future. The Biosphere Home Farming Concept, as the folks at Philips call this new system is a completely interdependent system in which processes rely on one another rather than depending on any external aid.

The structure houses fishes, root vegetables, grasses, herbs, plants and algae under a common roof. The only external aid that the system depends on is nothing more than kitchen trash. Trash is used to nourish the farm, while the methane digester, which the system is equipped with, produces the much desired heat and gas to power lights. Similarly algae produce hydrogen which can be used as a fuel for fuel-cell systems or to produce more electricity. Plants produce oxygen, which is fed into the fish tank thereby feeding fish, which can further feed you. Getting confused? Don’t worry it’s just a concept! [...]

Robotics for Climatology: Design Students Receive iF Awards
STUDENTS received a second iF Product Design Award 2009 in the category "Advanced Studies" for their study TubeBot: a maintenance robot to be used in urban drinking water pipelines. It's a known fact that in London approx. 20 percent of the drinking water get lost because of leakage in pipelines. "TubeBot" performs without additional energy supply due to its intelligent design, which uses the pressure continuously available in the pipelines for power generation. The robot is constructed in a way that it can work when the pipeline system is being operated at full capacity. It will signal the place of leakage and tears exactly. Thereby repairs can be implemented without interrupting the water supply in a cost- and time-saving manner. [...]

Cyber-shot DSC-T700

Sony Wins 17 Prestigious iF Product Design Awards
THREE of only 50 gold awards were given to the Cyber-shot™ DSC-T700 and DSC-T77 digital still cameras, and Active Style Headphones Series...Designed to be thin, the Cyber-shot™ T700 has a clean brushed metal appearance which is elegant and minimal. It includes a photo album feature that recognises when photographs are taken and indexes them into folders automatically, making sorting through all those pictures far quicker.

The credit-card sized Cyber-shot™ T77 is covered with stainless steel plates and is only 13.9mm thick. Benefitting from "Intelligent Scene Recognition", it automatically adjusts picture settings from portrait, to landscape as well as macro mode, depending on the type of photo you are attempting to take. [...]

Sony Cyber-shot T77 reviews
WE FOUND its necessarily smaller controls made for fiddly operation, despite the rear touch screen’s relative huge-ness at 3-inches wide. We’re not entirely convinced that use of a touch screen is in practical terms any better than having the rear of the camera festooned with dedicated buttons. Certainly the heavy reliance on the screen appears to eat up batteries. [PhotographyBlog.com]

THE SMALL icons which can be a little bit difficult to tap on accurately and minor details such as restrictions on setting ISO and Smile Shutter irritated us slightly. Other than that, the camera performed well and delivered good image quality. [CNET Australia]

THIS camera has a lot of features that will impress, but battery performance isn’t one of them. [PCMag]

THERE are a few other issues that I want to mention before I wrap things up. If you shoot under artificial light (like I do for my photo tests), then you might want to steer clear of the T77, whose white balance system performed poorly in those situations. [DCResource]

THIS camera has a lot going for it. It is super slim and looks great. You are also likely to be impressed by the touch controlled LCD screen. Picture quality does not quite live up to the style and design, but you should still be able to take a decent snapshot with this camera. [Cameras.co.uk]

Core77 is an online magazine dedicated to the practice and produce of the field of industrial design. The site began as two student's graduate school project at Brooklyn, New York's Pratt Institute. It serves as a practical resource for students, practitioners and fans of the field, as well as a venue for essays and reports on the topic of design in general. Historically, most of the magazine's content has been produced by volunteer contributors.

Launched in March 1995, and updated on a monthly basis since, Core77 is possibly the oldest online magazine in existence today. It was first hosted at Interport, an early ISP in New York City, later it moved to its own domain.

Core77's popularity as a general design destination for the public has grown in recent years, leading to references of the site in mainstream publications such as New York Times and PC Magazine. [Wikipedia]

Design is the Problem: An Interview with Nathan Shedroff
NATHAN SHEDROFF, chair of the MBA in Design Strategy program at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, has just released his latest book, Design is the Problem: The Future of Design Must Be Sustainable. Published by Rosenfeld Media, it is likely to become one of the most important books for designers on the subject of design, design practice, and sustainability...Filled with insanely pragmatic advice, persuasive argument, and impassioned calls for action, Nathan's book is essential reading for all designers, design students, business people, business students, innovation specialists, and advocates of all stripes. In celebration of its launch, Core77's Editor-in-chief Allan Chochinov chatted with Nathan about the book, the challenges ahead, the culture of business, and the amazing opportunities for designers right now. [...]
FOR SURE, the book discusses sustainability—what it is, why it's important, how to approach it, and how to design for it. For those already on this path, this book can help with that journey; we'll get them with the subtitle (The Future of Design Must be Sustainable).

But, I didn't want to only attract designers already interested in sustainability. Design is the Problem is a provocation to the designers (and engineers and managers, etc.) who aren't yet ready to talk about sustainability and I want to draw them into a discussion about the contribution design has had in promoting consumption and the potential role Design can have in creating a more sustainable world. It's a discussion the Design world needs to have because sustainability isn't merely a few more things to add to the design checklist. If some are a little put-off or challenged by the title, they should jump into the conversation. Designers need to take a larger, systems-perspective to their work and to the world and a book (title) like, Sustainable Design for Dummies, isn't going to challenge them enough to change their mindsets. [...]
YOU'RE RIGHT that as a society—if not a species—we have a staggering amount of stuff. And, there's a huge percentage of this stuff that we don't use. I've seen families who have two-car garages filled wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling with boxes of stuff that they can't bear to part with—much of which they just can't find, so they buy more. It's a sickness. However, there are lots of options for sharing and redistributing, and online technologies are making this ever easier. In Europe, toy libraries are becoming common so parents can simple bring in toys their children are tired of and bring them back something new (well, used, but new to them). Many parents redistribute within their own homes—at least with smaller children. They'll periodically cull toys and put them in a closet, only to bring them out weeks or months later as "new" toys for their kids! It's awesome. My god-daughter lost most of her toys one weekend after misbehaving. She would get them back one at a time as she improved her behavior. However, after a week or so, she didn't care about the rest of her toys. They were already forgotten as she realized she didn't need them.
It's not difficult to set-up a tool lending service (I've seen several groups of grad systems develop these). I had a team last year do something similar for kitchen appliances (how many times have you used that bread maker, ice cream maker, or Hot Dogger?). There are a lot of possibilities for optimizing the use of products with services (rental cars and, now, car share services have been doing this for decades). We just need to get used to thinking differently about what we need to own and what we just need periodically. [...]
IT'S AN important message and one we should approach humbly. We need to say to the rest of the world, essentially, "Look, we did a lot of this wrong. Try to take the best of what we've accomplished without the worst. Yes, we have a lot of nice things but even we realize that we're no happier overall than anyone else—in fact, we're a lot less happy than most who have less." We need to point-out that we've got incredible problems to overcome, many of which are due to a lifestyle of over-consumption. If they can learn from the best of what we've learned (perhaps, valuing education, personal freedom, optimism, tolerance, etc.) without taking the problems (highly polarized disparities on all of these traits, plus poverty, blaming victims, arrogance, geocentrism, a war between inquiry and dogma, a separation between ourselves and nature, a lust for objects, glorification of excess in all its forms... and a host of other things) then they could "develop" in a much more sustainable, healthy way than we have. It would also be a model for us to follow in order to be more sustainable and healthy ourselves. [...]
WHEN politicians talk about business, they mean "big business"—that is big corporations and especially multinationals. When the "conservatives" talked about business for the last few decades, this is who they were talking about. Forgotten were the small and medium-sized businesses that are actually the back-bone of our economy—of any economy. Over 50% of our GDP in the USA is from small businesses alone. Because of this warped perspective on "big business," we've targeted all of our legislation toward making their lives easier—at the expense of the bulk of "business"—small business—as well as at the expense of people, the environment, justice, culture, etc. So, unfortunately, we always need to have a little language interlude before we can talk about business. I am very pro-business but I'm a much bigger supporter of small and medium-sized businesses than big corporations. I don't have a problem with them, per se, but they wield way too much influence over governments at all levels and this allows them to play by rules unfairly stacked in their favor and to everyone else's detriment. The idea that the Founding Fathers wanted it this way is a myth. They were incredibly wary and distrustful of corporations. They built legislation to specific limit their power and we've spent the last 200 years undoing it. That said, no one is better positioned to make more change than the biggest multinationals—if they change their goals and behavior and if they make these a priority. [...]
Chochinov: Okay. What should business be doing to change the world for the better and what can designers do to encourage this to happen?
FIRST, businesses need to care about more than just money. Many already care a lot about their employees, so that's a start, but they measure their performance in financial terms almost exclusively. We need a new set of metrics for both non-profit and for-profit businesses that use an Integrated Bottom Line as described by Bob Willard in his various books. But we need tools even better than his current spreadsheets so businesses can immediately lead by measuring performance in environmental and social sectors and not merely financial ones. Of course, we also need new legislation to level the playing field for businesses to do this and create clear standards and criteria for all to play by—that goes for international business as well. Second, businesses need to adopt the perspective of sustainability and make it a mandate in their companies. This can start anywhere but, eventually, the mandate has to be supported from the top. It's worked at Interface, Nike, and Apple, and now even at Dell. Once it's a mandate inside these businesses, all employees, from engineers and managers to designers should read, understand, and begin practicing design strategies, like those outlined in my book, in order to make more sustainable products, services, and events. We can't make perfect things overnight but we need to start making things radically better as soon as we can. [...]
AT THE RISK of starting an entirely new conversation, I'll say that Meaning is the most significant and powerful element of whatever people create for others. Just like how our faces show emotion universally, core meanings are universal throughout all of humanity. This means that every person, in every culture, knows what these core meanings are and why they are significant. Of course, we all prioritize and express meanings differently, which is how they form our values and how they tie into our emotions. Meanings, values, and emotions sit at a deeper level in our lives than price and performance. So, they're more powerful (which is why they can be so motivating and effective when triggered correctly) but they're much more difficult to detect, understand, and design for. However, as humans, we do this everyday, just more intuitively or accidentally than deliberately.

For most people, the word "sustainability" doesn't connect with much in their lives—it doesn't trigger many emotions, values, or meanings. Of course, there are minorities for whom it does—strongly, both positively and negatively. This being the case, we must understand our customers at these deeper levels (and smart ethnographic and other qualitative methods are the approach to doing this successfully), in order to connect with their values and meanings through more sustainable solutions. For some, the best connections are health and safety (rather than tout how sustainable something is, talking about how it's better for people or promotes a safer home or nation, is often more successful). This is particularly true for parents of babies and young children, who often spend a lot of time and money on products, services, and food that they wouldn't use otherwise because of they're perceived health benefits. For example, parents routinely, now, purchase organic baby food when they don't regularly eat organic foods themselves. For others, the triggers might be around efficiency and money-saving. For still others, it might be around the enjoyment of certain activities, like hunting and fishing (which aren't, typically, connected to environmentalism yet are already endangered activities by overfishing and overhunting as well as overtaxing ecosystems).

Connecting to people's values and meanings is going to be critical in order to change behaviors and choices and reach more sustainable goals. There's nothing inherently off-putting about sustainability at all. I challenge you to find someone who is in favor of purposely ruining the future. The problem is in helping people become aware of their impacts and connecting their perfectly adequate values to the effects their activities have. Most of the issues and imperatives around sustainability are simply invisible to people and if we can make them visible, in their languages, we can get more people on board. It's more than merely design but design thinking and processes can contribute tremendously to making this happen quickly. END


What I think is great about you guys is you didn't tell us what our identity was, you didn't try and say, "I think you guys are this," but you facilitated and helped us come about that ourselves through our own discussions.

Design Kompany - official site

1. Industrial Design Served
2. The Venus Project
3. Design Handbook: Concepts, Materials, Styles
4. Industrial Design (vid)
5. Fruit Juice Packaging by Naoto Fukasawa
6. Process: 50 Product Designs from Concept to Manufacture
7. IDSA - The Industrial Designers Society of America
8. Industrial Design A-Z
9. Web Design Industry Jargon: Glossary and Resources
10. Business Card Design: Better Than a Plain Ol' Business Card
11. ICSID - International Council of Societies of Industrial Design
12. Mobile World Congress
The biggest mobile trade show on Earth.
13. MoMA - search: Industrial Design