China Needs a National Design Policy. But More So, Needs Entrepreneurs That Think Big and Long-Term

China's design industry experts are calling for greater government support in order to help the their manufacturers raise the competitiveness with design innovation. Zhu Tao, president of China Industrial Design Association, said the Chinese economy suffered heavily from the global economic crisis, with factory closures and layoffs. "Without our own design, we won't have our own brands. Without our own brands, we won't be independent in the world. Being an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) is no way out," he said. China does have a design policy. Not even the US has one.

Continue Reading

Good Design Is Still about Doing Good Work

Joe Duffy’s “Demystifying Design: An Argument for Simplicity” is a great little piece that calls out Design like it should be. Here is my favorite bit:

What is design? It begins with ideas–ideas based in purpose. It requires a plan or a process. It yields innovation, invention or creation. It is successful if it elicits response–attention, desire, interaction or purchase.

Continue Reading

Customer or Consumer, Who Are You Really Designing for?

Many of us have been taught in design school to be very user focused when seeking design solutions. However if you have been in the industry as long as I have, there is this insidious sickness that tends to influence this fundamental approach we have with design.

Continue Reading

All Nippon Latest Innovation - Pre-Boarding Toilet Monitors

Can design change the world? Or at least let’s try to change healthcare. Or shall we start with our education system? There are plenty to change and no shortage of ideas. Do we need more new and cool products? Or we just need products that last? Or products that are cheap to repair and not throwaways that are costing our environment?

Continue Reading

When Designers Do Not Understand What They Are Communicating

I usually write posts like this over at (The Design of Everyday Things), but this one I though to share it here instead as it requires a more in depth discussion.

My colleague brought this to my attention at the local hotel loo. This fairly handsome vertical hand dryer by ToTo was filled with discarded paper towers. A vertical hand dryer uses high speed air, directed downwards, to blow excess water off your hand after washing it.

Continue Reading

Is Six Sigma an Enemy of Design?

A while ago I worked with a colleague that was a huge fan of Six Sigma. Six Sigma is a set of statistical and analytical tools use to measure and track the efficiency of a business or operations. My colleague was fanatical in improving the quality control of the organization and introduced all kinds of Six Sigma control points, or “gates” into the development process. He succeeded in creating a firmer structure in the process, but unfortunately, this new system created a lot of drag in the small organization.

Continue Reading

Why We Love Swedish Designs? Three Simple Reasons: Function, Aesthetics, and Affordability

What is so special about Swedish designs? Designers love Swedish designs. Swedish design scene is now more vibrant than ever despite the size of the economy. Take a look at the success of IKEA and H&M. Sweden's penchant for practical innovation stems in part from its geography; I imagine it is kind of a necessity when resources and materials are limited. There is one more thing in common: design for affordability.

Continue Reading

Design Is Cool. From Co-Creation to Design for Social Change. The Question Remains What Makes Design Strategic?

This is a week of design for me, meeting with two talented design practitioners in Boston who are running a very successful company, talked to the folks running two of the top design schools and interviewed 4 designers respectively from London, Brazil, LA and Toronto. And catching with my design reading on the weekend. UK has been a big believer that design can solve many problems and forget the role of economics in many of these issues.

Continue Reading

Good Design Is the New Mediocre

David Sherwin on his very cool ChangeOrder blog writes that:

Good design is the enemy of great design.

Continue Reading

Truths about Creativity

This article was originally written for Yanko Design (YD). As I know that there are some Design Sojourn readers don’t really frequent YD, I thought it would make sense to republished a record of the article here. I do hope you enjoy reading it, and I’m looking forward to all your comments.

Continue Reading
Subscribe to RSS - design