D A Y # 5

DESIGNOPHY – Articles & Interviews

When Ideas Have Sex
What Cross-Fertilisation Teaches Us About Innovation
Matt Ridley, 11 Nov 2010

Designophy is a design website featuring a number of interesting articles and interviews. One particularly captivating article was one titled ‘When Ideas Have Sex’, initially comparing the similarities and great differences between an ancient hand axe and a modern computer mouse.

Ancient hand axe & a modern wireless mouse

The example conveyed two different stories: the hand axe representing a technology that did not change for millions of years, and the wireless mouse representing technological advancement and modernity. The article explained that it is our ability as human beings to exchange ideas, trade and trust foreigners which sets us apart from any other living creature. We have been able to conquer the earth and fuel prosperity and progress over the past 100,000 years by moving away from self-sufficiency and towards the greater exchange of information and knowledge.

I found this concept really interesting and agree that the global exchange of information has indeed triggered innovation and development. Countries that open their borders to the free exchange of goods, services and ideas flourish – and it is this approach which I think we should be adopting in our Business Innovation Tasks. The lectures, the discussions and my own personal research is already helping me to grasp a better understanding of the subject and will hopefully enable me to cultivate innovative and creative ideas.

With the world growing ever more connected as the internet and information technology advances at an alarmingly fast rate, it is inevitable that the global exchange of ideas will become instant and second-nature in the future. I see the future world relying on technology even more than we do now, our interconnectedness perhaps eliminating physical interaction yet speeding up the exchange of information and innovation.


D A Y # 4


Flat Pack Design Proposal

Designer: Benjamin Denzinger
Music: Spencer Slayton

The Denzinger Design blog had some interesting concepts and ideas in their portfolio. One that particularly interested me was the concept of flat packaging, and the ability to incorporate that idea into all different types of products. Examples include furniture, chairs, lighting, wine racks, coffee tables, lamps, bikes, speakers, clocks, etc. They propose that laser cutting technology and smart design allows products to be made from a single piece of material, therefore lowering material waste and making it cheap and easy to ship. These flat packed products are great for the country’s economy as they can be manufactured domestically, and it also allows the user to interact with the product during assembly.

Flat Pack Design Proposal

The general idea of flat packed product design is that single and elegant shapes can be created with one single piece of material, emphasising the product’s details and raw materials, and placing an emphasis on recycling the entire item. Recycled aluminium, corrugated cardboard, bamboo wood, cork, hardboard, vaneer core, MDF, vaneer MDF and bio plastics are some of the materials that can be sourced locally. Existing materials from recycled items can be used to make something new and exciting, such as bicycle parts, record players, computer parts, etc.

The company proposes two main flat packed designs – a flat packed clock and a flat packed notepad holder both in variations of wood, metal and plastic.

Flat Pack Wood Clock

The company is aiming to meet the demand for more environmentally conscious and sustainable designs. They criticise the use of disingenuous green marketing or ‘greenwashing’ where companies disingenuously spin their products and policies as environmentally friendly in a deceptive way, focusing on increased profit rather than ethical values. The lack of genuine concern for the environment from some companies has become a concern among consumers who are becoming increasingly aware of this marketing technique.

Denzinger Design aims to overcome consumer concern for ‘greenwashing’ by showing customers exactly where the product comes from and its sustainability. It reinforces the idea that for a product to become successful, it not only has to be innovative and cost effective, but there needs to be a greater desire to address a future driver of change. Financial profit or gain is simply not enough to ensure that a product is successful in the long term. Denzinger Design desires to address environmental concerns such as global warming, resource depletion and pollution, and is taking advantage of the social/cultural aspect of green culture becoming mainstream.

In my own design process, I need to thoroughly investigate to search for a future driver of change – one that will likely impact the future world and one that has not been thought of before. I think that the idea of flat packed design not only addresses environmental concerns, but would also help to maximise the use of space in an increasingly growing world population. Perhaps there will be a huge need for compact design as population growth and urban density gets out of hand, reducing the world to a place of skyscrapers and apartments. Could clothing, shoes, furniture, cutlery, stationary, mobiles, computers and other everyday goods potentially be flat packed, transported around the world and then assembled within the consumer’s own home?

D A Y # 3


– All natural disasters
– Resource depletion
– Increased volcanic activity – ash clouds
– Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, rising sea levels
– Diminishing stocks of animals – leads to legislation
– Decreased water – increased in recycled water and acceptance of recycled water – increase in search for solutions
– We’ve always had these problems, but now it’s more of an issue because of increased population density
– Environmental refugees
– Air, water and soil quality
– Decreased natural resources
– Pressure on arable land
– Movement towards non-ownership (land, property and space) being acceptable
– Oil depletion and increased prices – alternative energy systems and the demand for them (solar, wind, tidal)

– Green culture becomes mainstream
– Internet, Facebook, My Space
– Increased communication
– Power structures – less control of communications and political ideology

– Increased radicalisation – increased differences between religions due to increased exchange of information and scientific advancements
– Muslim, Hindu law

– Internet proliferation
– Internet backlash to privacy
– High frequency devices – link to cancer – Charlie Vincent
– Increase in cyber terrorism
– Internet continues to grow
– Robots – increase in robotic activity in our daily lives

– Resources pressures increase conflict

– Safety versus freedom debates increase
– Increased protection leads to decreased freedom

– Carbon economy becomes a part of personal consumption patterns
– Resources costs hit personal level consumption
– Manufacturing costs increased due to high cost of retooling to accomodate new materials and eco-products
– Trend towards small bizs and localised distribution systems increases

D A Y # 3 : L E C T U R E

Prof. Lawrence Wallen


Co-designing with users (participatory design)
The audience is not given the object, the consumers interact with and infuence the way in which they experience the media. User as partner.

Co-design or individual design?
Currently it is quite difficult to be the heroic designer due to ways of production and development.

Probes in design
A method for providing design inspiration rather than a tool.

Elizabeth Sanders – probes and primes

D A Y # 2


Design Futures – How to Build a World
Stuart Candy – the sceptical futuryst

What is it to build a world?

world-building professions: novelists, game designers, architects, engineers, industrial designers, craftsmen, tv and film writers, directors, advertisers, story-tellers who provide narratives to live by (historians, politicians, clergymen, shamans, psycho-analysts)

We’re all ‘world-building’ all the time – it’s a fundamental human activity. Is that what our thinking and speaking is about? Negotiating, creating, renewing, generating worlds for ourselves – worlds which we can comprehend, and worlds that we want to envision and move towards?

distributive cognition: the mind is not confined to the boundaries of the soul, but our thinking processes happen within the environment

We are  all constructing a version of the world we physically inhabit, moment by moment, inside our heads.

“the only understanding of the universe that does you any good, is your own”
Alan Watts (populariser of Eastern philosophy)

We’re all ‘native world-builders’, but we’re not all trained to think about ‘future worlds’.

D A Y # 2 : L E C T U R E

Guest Lecturer: Darrall Thompson

STAY FLUID – at the edge to innovate

Content: symbolic vs real
Process: analytic vs synthetic

Science and technology: What won the nobel prize in physics last year? Who won it?

Andre Geim & Konstantin Novoselov
Graphene – the revolution that is 10x stronger than steel; a single layer of graphite
… a new material that will impact Industrial Design, Visual Communication & Fashion!

How can new technologies be used for design innovation?

– 3D multi-viewpoint fog projection display
– 3D measurement system for food processing – extremely efficient 3D scanner which characterises food in according to size, type and quality
– a robot that balances on a ball
– EVERLEDS one-core LED downlight with clean shadows

Product Design <> Service Design

Doing different things + doing things differently = design interventions – business innovation

D A Y # 1

REFLECTION: Initial Expectations of the Project

I expect this subject to challenge our ways of thinking as design students, in a business context.

The subject will “explore the fields of design management, management theory, innovation and leadership to give students contexts for designing entrepreneurially”.

I think this means that the subject aims to prepare us for the business world – to encourage us to become innovative by seeking and identifying new market potential.

Innovation means to create something new, exciting, unseen and creative. Something that has never been thought of or executed before, and something which people (consumers/market) will respond to largely in a positive way due to the idea’s exclusivity and usefulness.

Business Innovation will hopefully encourage us to research and explore different information sources, media, images, articles and case studies to widen our minds to potential areas for innovative design.

With everyone coming from a design background, as a class we will form a collaborative view on what business and design is all about. However, from our different disciplinary design backgrounds – fashion design, industrial design and visual communication – we will each form our own unique and individual ideas due to our life experiences, ways of thinking and areas of study.

I expect that there will be a lot of analytical exercises throughout this subject to encourage us to engage with different sources in a detailed and thorough way. Instead of just designing for the sake of design, we will hopefully learn to design things that will be successful and make a significant impact on the future.

Impressions from the first class are that we will need to do a lot of research in our own time, keeping this blog updated daily. The blog is part of Task 1 where progress will be monitored and where we will work on our literature review. It will be a diary of our thoughts and academic developments, and also proof of our research and analysis.

I hope to gain a new outlook on design and widen my potential to become an innovator for the future.

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