Redesigning Business at the 2014 AIGA Gain Conference

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Following the pre-conference workshops on Wednesday, this year's GAIN Conference was in full swing in NYC today, bringing together a great lineup of thinkers and doers to address the idea of redesigning business from a wide range of perspectives (hence the "Design and Business" moniker). Chaired by Nathan Shedroff with moderation help from Jeanne Liedtka, the speakers explored new ways of defining the value and role of design across organizations, continually referencing the human element and how design serves to connect people, and improve lives. The conference website has interviews with several of the speakers, and will be publishing videos of the presentations in the coming weeks.

Below are some of our favorite tweets covering the day's activities:

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Working with Your Hands, Full-Scale: Hank Butitta’s Bus-to-Tiny-House Conversion

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Like the vlogger in "Why I Quit Studying Industrial Design," Hank Butitta found himself dissatisfied with his chosen course of study. "In architecture school I was tired of drawing buildings that would never exist, for clients that were imaginary, and with details I didn't fully understand," he writes. "I prefer to work with my hands, exploring details thoroughly, and enjoy working/prototyping at full scale." So rather than quit, Hank figured he'd gain his Masters with a kick-ass final project: Convert a schoolbus into a living space.

Now forget for a second that this is a bus, and look at this as a pure design problem. You've got a 225-square-foot space with existing elements, and you want to convert it into something livable, flexible, and most importantly do-able; you've got to build this thing with your own hands with nine grand that you scraped together, and three grand of that went into buying the bus on Craigslist. How would you tackle it?

Here's Butitta's approach, as we understand it:

Work With Existing Elements

Butitta looked at the fixed elements in the bus: The windows. There were twelve to a side, aft of the driver's compartment and entry stairwell. Despite their inconsistent size (three of the windows towards the rear are wider), he looked at the windows as modules or units, each of which would have something built in front of it. A certain amount of units would comprise each of the four living areas he wanted to create: a place to sleep, a place to lounge/work/eat, a kitchen and a bathroom.

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Designing for an Organized Garage, Part 2: Using the Walls

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Garages protect our cars, serve as our workspaces—and often store an amazing amount of stuff. Making the most of garage space, for yourself or for an end-user, might mean using the ceiling, but it might also mean using the walls.

One way to use the walls is to install shelves. Monkey Bars has a clever design that involves layered storage, so you can fit more into any given wall space. And the shelves are built to take the load; every four feet of shelving holds 1,000 pounds. And with nine different types of hooks, there should be one to hold almost anything.

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Elfa systems, long beloved for organizing closets and other interior spaces, can also be used in the garage. The ease of installation is a key factor in end-user satisfaction, as is the array of components: shelves, baskets, hooks and more. Like the Monkey Bars, they'll appeal to those who want everything out and visible.

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Slatwall designs also work in garages; the one above is called storeWALL. While many slatwall systems are made from MDF, these panels are manufactured as a solid core, foamed PVC extrusion [PDF]. Again, the accessories are a big part of what make these systems work; the storage totes and brackets especially caught my eye. The panels are also compatible with conventional slatwall accessories, which gives end-users even more flexibility.

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Throwback Thursday: Childhood

In this week’s throwback journey, let’s explore photography of childhood moments, featuring scenes from the 1920s to 1969 and more offered in the photographic archives from The Commons.

Pageant Performers, New Capitol Day (MSA)

Children dressed in costume as corn pose before the pageant celebrating the dedication of the new Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri. October 6, 1924.

[Photograph of twelve children of Kate and Ernest Lee]

Twelve children of Kate and Ernest Lee. Taken around 1920.

Little boy bottle feeding piglet, 1920

Photographer: Reuben R. Sallows (1855 – 1937). Taken in February 1920.

Children's Party, Dublin, 1920s

A note on the back of this photo reads: “Party given by gentlemen to children.” Taken circa 1924.

Child driving a toy car

Two Children of the Mochida Family, with Their Parents, Awaiting Evacuation Bus

Hayward, California. Two children of the Mochida family who, with their parents, are awaiting evacuation bus. The youngster on the right holds a sandwich given her by one of a group of women who were present from a local church. The family unit is kept intact during evacuation and at War Relocation Authority centers where evacuees of Japanese ancestry will be housed for the duration. Taken on May 8, 1942.

Child of a migratory farm laborer in the field during the harvest of the community center's cabbage crop, FSA labor camp, Tex.  (LOC)

Child of a migratory farm laborer in the field during the harvest of the community center’s cabbage crop, FSA labor camp, Tex. 1942 Jan.

Three children on a horse at Lake Conjola

Lake Conjola, New South Wales, Australia. Taken circa 1930.

Pinkeens

Two little guys with their father/grandfather at the pond in Herbert Park, Dublin. One has his net for catching pinkeens, but thought the other might have been controlling a model boat? Summer 1969.

To join this series, tweet @flickr with your favorite photos, and include the hashtag #ThrowbackThursday. And if you’d rather not tweet, simply include the same hashtag in your Flickr photo title, or tag it with ThrowbackThursday. We can’t wait to see what time period and subjects show up next in pictures. From old scans to new photos of throwback memories, we like them all. In the meantime, you can also find inspiration in The Commons on Flickr.

Last Thursday: Throwback Thursday: Performances


A Look Inside The New Hand-Eye Supply

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Hand-Eye Supply has leveled up! After realizing we were rapidly outgrowing our small Chinatown space, we had a choice: find a bigger rental, or walk our DIY talk with an ambitious project of our own. Just six months after making the bolder choice, we opened the doors of the brand new Hand-Eye Supply, our custom designed and team-built home at 427 NW Broadway, where we're ratcheting up our role as an inspiring resource for creative minds.

So not only do we have our very own digs, we did a real doozy customizing the place. The interior architecture was designed by long time C77/HES collaborator Laurence Sarrazin, who has helped mastermind numerous exhibits, fixtures, pop-ups and events, and whose previous work has taken her through architectural artworks, Portland Arch & Design Fest, and work for Herman Miller under Ayse Birsel.

The new space features interesting skylighting, airy modular storage and custom sculpture, while allowing the building's unique structural elements to peek through. To honor our focus on making new skills and design accessible, exposed process and raw materials are themes throughout the space. Our own process was uniquely DIY too: the retail build-out was completed in just four weeks, by a small crew of Hand-Eye Supply employees and trusted pros. Here are some of our favorite parts.

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Always a Hand-Eye staple, aprons now have a large interactive display, much like a big, tactile poster wall. Modular storage keeps things neat and accessible below. At the left you can see a little bit of the original exposed brick poking out behind the register.

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Outdoor gear and kitchen supplies get similar shelving sections, while knives and axes perch in cases built in-house and modeled after Japanese benches. The book area got extra elbow room and a cheery table inspired by Enzo Mari.

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HP Inc.’s Sprout Computer to Feature a New Type of Interaction Design

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HP making magic?

Earlier this month it was reported that Hewlett-Packard was breaking up into two companies. While one half, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, will focus on boring stuff like corporate computing, the other half, HP Inc., sounds a little sexier with its emphasis on 3D printing and "new computing experiences."

Since that announcement, it didn't take long for HP Inc. to arrange an event to show what that new experience might be. The new organization plans to hold a press event next week, where they'll pull the sheets off of a new type of computer called Sprout. The all-in-one PC will reportedly feature not only a flatscreen, but a touch-sensitive flat horizontal area over which will be mounted both a projector and a 3D scanner.

No one knows what the thing looks like (in case our visual atop this entry didn't tip you off) or how the interaction will work, but it seems likely that it's similar to the Fujitsu FingerLink Interaction System we showed you last year, which features components similar to what the Sprout is described as having:

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Łód&#378 Design Festival 2014: Zieta ‘Hot Pin’ demonstration

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You're likely familiar with Polish designer Oskar Zieta—if only for his 2010 'Chippensteel' chair and other inflated steel furniture, often spotted in glistening chrome or copper. Zieta was back in the limelight at Łódź Design Festival in Poland last week with pyrotechnical demonstrations of some new steel products inflated by the application of heat.

The 'Hot Pin'—a repacking of Zieta's old techniques as a consumer product—is a wall-mounted coat hook sold flatpack in an admittedly quite charming mini pizza box. The intention seems to be to give us at home a chance to see the wonders of baking steel—the discs springing to life with inflating spontaneously when heated to temperatures above 200°C, cooling into a surprisingly solid object to be fitted to the wall.

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Linked: OS X Yosemite Icons

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A side by side comparison of old and new Apple system app icons. Sayonara skeuomorphs! Many thanks to our ADVx3 Partners

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