One of my favorite sites is Sketch-A-Day.com. Spencer Nugent, one of the creators of IDSketching.com, decided to start this project as a way to motivate himself to keep the skills sharp. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out.
Every designer should do a sketch-a-day, then post it to the world, including myself.
Sometimes Industrial Design is all about the art of entertainment. The function of your design might be entirely focused on bringing a smile to someone’s face. Remember not all entertainment is expensive, highbrow, or opulent… So why should your product?
Sometimes entertainment is just plain awe-inspiring.
Why not shoot for that?
I love this video by the creative geniuses, OK Go. Yesterday it had been watched by 300,000. Today it’s views are over a million.
Maybe awe-inspiring works.
I just read a great article on Core77 about Feng Zhu. If you aren’t familiar with this talented designer I’m sure you’ve seen his work in many movies. Ever since I was in school his work has always been inspirational to me. Now if you’re new to design and looking for a school to attend (with an emphasis on entertainment concept design), you can learn from the master. Feng Zhu has opened his own school in Singapore, check it out.
Photo Courtesy of UC Engineers Without Borders via www.newsrecord.org
I found this story today and wanted to share. It’s about a group of students and faculty from the University of Cincinnati, some engineers and an industrial design student, who have been working on an amazing service for 3 years. Here is a short snippet from University of Cincinnati’s online student newspaper site;
After the sun had finally set, a group of eight friends sat with their mentor under a tree.
“How does all of this make you feel?” asked Dan Oerther, a civil and environmental engineering professor at the University of Cincinnati.
While Jordan Vogt, a fifth-year civil engineering student went on and on about two water tanks he had been working on the entire day, the other students he’d grown close to knew that wasn’t all that was on his mind.
The devastation, the poverty, the overall poor health of 500 villagers in Otho Abwao, Kenya, had struck a nerve.
“He was saying, ‘We’re just students; why isn’t every corporation in the world doing the exact same thing? Why wasn’t our entire project funded by someone who should be doing this?’ ” said Neil Schaner, a fifth-year engineering student, of Vogt’s frustration.
Earlier that same day, working on top of a hill to inspect the two concrete tanks that Vogt designed years earlier while halfway around the world, an elderly man, about 70 years old, walked up to him. He took Vogt’s hand in his own and, using the little English he knew, nearly caused Vogt to break down.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” the man said.
This is a must read, for the complete article click here.
Also if you’re interested here is the link to Engineers Without Borders
There’s probably many of us who are reaching out to help others in need, but I’m sure we could all do little more.
I was impressed to find Autodesk offering free training and software for those designers who have lost their jobs recently. What a great idea. More companies should implement this. They’re helping the economy while building their customer base. Everyone wins.
Anyways, thought I’d share.
If you’re not familiar with TED.com I highly suggest you check it out. This is an amazing site that brings together thought leaders from around the world to discuss ideas and theories about anything. I’m always impressed with each video I watch. If you haven’t seen this particular video, it’s worth the 9 mins. Pattie Maes talks about creating a “6th sense” through enabling easy interactive access to the vast amounts of knowledge streaming through the web. Minority Report was futuristic, but this is beyond… it’s portable!
To me, this brings new light to the ID world by changing our interaction with everyday objects. How does this change the way you see I.D. in the future?
A fellow designer, Paul, inspired this post. He recently left his consulting job, to take a direct position as a designer with one of his clients. He realized that design-leadership is not always the company’s priority. I think most of us can say, at on time or another, that we have seen our company take a path contrary to our vision (wither that’s to cost-save, wrong target customer, or just plain safe).
Now hopefully that moment of disagreement quickly passes and everyone returns to the same page, but that’s not always the case. Some of us might belong to a huge company, or one that simply has an extremely small design team. In most cases this means the I.D. department takes a “back seat” regarding major decisions pertaining to the company’s products. A designer’s first reaction may be frustration. If frustration is allowed to remain, then relationships within the working product development team can turn combative.
Along with practicing patience and persistence, here are a few suggestions for removing and/or working around these barriers:
- Visually explain your side. We’re designers, use it to your advantage. Look for new ways to visually excite team members about your product goals.
- Become the resident expert on your product. Strive to learn all aspects of the business, i.e. engineering, marketing, and finance. The more you know, the better you’ll become at discussing your goals; you’ll possibly help them see your alternate solutions.
- If you are demanding design leadership, then be a design leader. To quote from “Zag,” “people like change, they don’t like to be changed.” Look to build relationships between coworkers. It’s easier to ask your best friend to follow you, then a complete stranger. (Wow, sorry that sounded like a fortune cookie)
- Pump out the work. To search for an innovative solution means you’re not satisfied with the initial result. It may be your best solution, but you can’t know if you don’t explore the alternatives. As you set a high standard work ethic, you’ll influence others to do the same.
The walls we find in our company may be big our small, but there is always a solution to remove and/or work around them. Please, feel free to share with us what has worked for you.