Welcome to designBytes, the electronic newsletter of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Here's the latest design news, sneak peeks of features on the IDSA Web site, links to interesting articles elsewhere and upcoming articles in Design Perspectives (DP), the IDSA newsletter.
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- The $100 Laptop—Affordable and Secure?: The $100 Laptops—7 million of which will be distributed to children in Thailand, Brazil, Nigeria and Argentina early next year—might turn out to be as revolutionary for their security measures as for their low-cost economics. While the machines have garnered the most attention, as well as some skepticism, for the design elements helping to keep their price low, programmers also have been taking advantage of the start-from-scratch nature of the project to design security protocols that they hope will greatly surpass those found in mass-market computers today. For more information, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/06/AR2006100600901.html.
- Redesigning the Shopping Experience with Studio Red: Tucker Viemeister, FIDSA may be best known for his work at some of the world's most innovative design firms. He co-founded Smart Design in 1985, launched frog design's New York studio in 1997 and led Razorfish's R&D staff from 1999-2001. Now at Studio Red, founded in 2003 by Rockwell Group and Coca-Cola as a design lab, he and his colleagues are tackling how to come up with truly imaginative experiences for consumers. In an interview with BusinessWeek Online, Viemeister said the key is to blur entertainment and commerce. To read more, visit http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/oct2006/id20061003_971154.htm?chan=innovation_innovation+%2B+design_innovation+and+design+lead.
- Pondering the Innovation Equation: What are the newest innovative approaches to integrating design into a business plan? How are companies sustaining innovation, and demonstrating the return? These questions and more will be answered at "ROI: The Innovation Equation," IDSA's new business conference sponsored by Symbol Technologies. This conference targeted to non-design executives will be held December 7-8 at New York City's Museum of the City of New York. You'll hear from the experts, including: Jim Wicks, IDSA, vice president and director of Motorola's consumer experience design team; Charles "Chuck" Jones, FIDSA, corporate vice-president, global product design, consumer understanding and planning, Whirlpool Corporation; and Steve Kaneko, FIDSA, design director of Windows hardware innovation, Microsoft Corporation. The winners of the IDSA/BusinessWeek Design and Business Catalyst Awards will also be featured. Registration and accommodation information will be available later this week; visit /?q=node/709 for details.
- Philips Goes Fabulous: Royal Philips Electronics is transforming itself from a high-volume electronics manufacturer to a design-led company focusing on health and lifestyle. Forget light-emitting diodes and LCDs. The new Philips aims to give consumers what they really want: intuitive, easy-to-use products that better meet their needs. To read more about the changes at Philips, visit http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/oct2006/id20061005_239339.htm?chan=tc&campaign_id=rss_tech.
- The Madness of Method: When Eric Ryan and Andrew Lowry left profitable jobs to start Method Products six years ago, their friends laughed at them. But Inc. magazine recently named Method the seventh fastest-growing private company in America, and with its minimalist design and trendy-looking soap bottles shaped like teardrops and bowling pins, Method is a familiar name to shoppers at Target, Safeway and Office Depot. And while its revenue of about $45 million is just a drop in the bucket compared with long-standing industry giants like Clorox, the young company's determination to shake things up is changing practices within the industry, as well as turning heads in the design world. To read more, visit http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/10/08/BUG2QLIDE61.DTL.
- Zec Appointed IDA Lead Chair: The executive boards of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid) and the International Council of Graphic Design Associations (Icograda) recently appointed Dr. Peter Zec as new Lead Chair of the joint international design alliance IDA. Zec is current Icsid President, head of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen, and initiator of the red dot design award. The IDA is a strategic association created by Icsid and Icograda in 2005 in order to realize joint initiatives and strengthen the role of the design associations as influential non-government organizations (NGOs). For more information, visit http://www.dexigner.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=7770.
- How About a Do-It-Yourself Ferrari?: In recent years, especially since the introduction of the 612 Scaglietti in 2004, complaints about Ferrari design seem to have increased among owners and fans. Many of the barbs are aimed at Pininfarina, the Italian firm that has been the primary designer of Ferraris for more than half a century. While the grumbling may be business as usual, what is new, however, is that Pininfarina is responding, building one-of-a-kind Ferraris and even establishing a special projects division to let owners custom design their cars. If you don’t like the Ferraris we design, the company seems to be saying, why don’t you do your own? The price tag for such creativity, however, is not for the faint of heart or light of banking account. To read more, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/08/automobiles/08PININ.html.
- Design Costs Weigh Down US Carmakers: A recent study by Detroit-based industry consulting firm Harbour-Felax paints a grave picture for General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group versus their Japanese automakers. According to the study, domestic automakers make an average of $2,400 less per vehicle than their Japanese rivals because of high labor benefit costs, less-efficient purchasing and manufacturing procedures. The key to making more money is common components and car underpinnings used on multiple models, similar to what Toyota, Honda and Nissan already are doing—by using common platforms, body architectures and components, Toyota has saved approximately $1,000 per vehicle over the last five years. For more information, visit http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2006/10/02/america/NA_FIN_US_Autos_Profit_Gap.php.
- Getting a Grip on the NBA's New Ball: The NBA's new basketball isn't quite ready to go the way of New Coke, but Commissioner David Stern recently said that if Spalding's new synthetic ball doesn't hold up through further tests, the league will consider returning to its traditional leather ball. The microfiber composite ball has been greeted with criticism from several players—especially Miami Heat center Shaquille O'Neal—who complain that it is too sticky when dry and that it gets too slippery when wet. The change in game balls is the first in the NBA in 35 years. For more information, visit http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/09/AR2006100901031.html.
- Design With India: India is fast emerging as an important player in the global economy. While the world has already taken notice of India as one of the major destinations for outsourcing, it is now becoming clear that Indian entrepreneurs, engineers and professionals are also preparing to participate and compete in the world economy by focusing on design and innovation. This is the idea behind Design with India, the 6th CII-NID Design Summit, which will be held December 4-5 in New Delhi. (Follow-up activities are planned for New York in February.) There have been many design conferences in the past where designers have discussed opportunities for design, but there have not been any where people from diverse fields are invited to define the challenges and opportunities for designing and innovating for India. For more information, visit http://www.ciionline.org/designwithindia/.
- Yeah, It's the Bank's Fault: From the "You'll Never Believe This" file: A Washington Mutual client in Palmdale, CA recently blamed the bank's new open interior design for his $20,805 mugging. Real estate agent and landlord Jaime Quiroz Sanchez said the bank`s new design, which features tellers in kiosks arranged in a circle rather than the traditional bank counter, allowed the mugger and several others to witness the teller inspecting the money. Sanchez filed suit against Washington Mutual, saying the bank`s alleged negligence and reckless misconduct led to him being robbed at knifepoint outside the building. To read more, visit http://news.monstersandcritics.com/northamerica/article_1207471.php/Man_blames_bank_design_for_mugging.
- Relive "Elements of Change": IDSA's National Conference and Education Symposium in Austin last month, "Elements of Change," was, by all accounts, a rocking success. If you weren't among the more than 700 attendees learning, connecting and partying, check out what you missed in the conference photo gallery, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/idsa_photos/. And for those intrepid photographers who made it to Austin, if you'd like to share your photos, please send them to Tim Adkins at email@example.com.
- POLL: Visit the buzz at /buzz.htm and answer today's question: "Does your shopping experience need to be entertaining as well?"
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