less by design

Why aren’t product designers as valued as other creatives?

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By Steve Martinuzzo.

This is the face of one of IKEA’s most experienced designers, Ehlén Johansson. IKEA proudly credits their designers; throughout their business, in store, on the product packaging and even moulded into the products themselves. Their designers help make IKEA the huge success that it continues to be. So why do some companies erase their designers out of the picture?

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Growing Green Guide. Greening the planet one building at a time.

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By Julie Francis.

Designing a building to stand out from the crowd is a real challenge. But green roofs and walls may just be the answer. Sometimes called ‘living architecture’ the design of gardens on hard surfaces is taking off across Australia. And developments in vertical gardens and green roofs has certainly made it a more viable option.

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The grubby truth – insects hold the key to our future.

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By Joe Ladelfa.

9 billion people by 2050. A significant statistic such as this raises some questions, a fundamental one being, “what will we eat?”  The answer is food, right? Well as you have probably heard before, factors such as population, overfishing, agricultural land scarcity and climate change are not only going to change demand for food, but change the definition of “food” itself.  We’re talking about entomophogy, using insects as a source of food. Unfortunately the word itself has too many syllables to fit into a certain song by Simply Red, but insects are eaten in 80% of nations by choice and not just when money’s to tight to mention. They are often considered a delicacy! So I’ll ask you to put your initial reactions aside for a moment, as we take a look at the rational reasons behind the phenomenon that is taking the world by swarm.

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Homelessfonts – type with street cred

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By Lorrin Windahl.

According to Homelessness Australia, the second highest cause of homelessness is financial difficulties. So, it is great to hear of an organisation working with the homeless to help them generate an income. And even better for this blog, that it involves design. The project is Homelessfonts. Put simply, fonts created from the handwriting of homeless people.

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Does empathy lead to a better design?

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By Brett Capron.

Design Thinking is a process used by product designers to develop innovative products that are engaging to use, feasible to manufacture, profitable to sell and, perhaps most importantly, beneficial for broader community stakeholders. A crucial stage in the Design Thinking process is the Empathy stage, where designers seek (funnily enough) to empathise with the product’s end user. Done correctly, empathy lays the foundations for break-through idea generation and concept development that meets (often latent) user needs.

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F1 racing leads the charge for greener cars

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By Nat Hunt.

Motorsport in general is seen by most as a gratuitous waste of petrol, rubber, and more money than anyone would care to think about. Therefore, it’s a fair question as to why it’s featuring on a blog about socially responsible design…

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Tesla: Open sourcing sustainability

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The ‘Patent Wall’ at Tesla headquarters, June 11th and 12th. (Images courtesy of Tesla)

By Nat Hunt.

On June 12th 2014 Tesla Motors released all of their patents claiming that they would not sue anyone for using their technology in ‘good will’. But why?

I was once privileged to ride along in a prototype E.V. Engineering Commodore, and on that drive I learned the following:

  • Driving along at 60kph in a silent car is eerie, but very cool.
  • This silence has led to many humorous, but nonetheless prevalent safety problems (many people use hearing before sight to determine when a car is approaching).
  • And, from talking to one of their engineers, the electric car industry is (or was until recently) fatally flawed.

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