less by design

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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SlackPro – extreme product design

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By Andrew Fanning.

As a highliner and industrial designer, my interests align when it comes to sophisticated, heavy duty gear and equipment. Especially when the designers of the gear have been led by a desire to optimise the product and improve on previous iterations, even if they are already the market leaders. Such is the case with Slackpro, whose latest product, the Linecoil, minimises weight whilst improving function, is designed for disassembly and further streamlines their manufacturing process.

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decafé – grinding a halt to ground coffee waste

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By Lorrin Windahl.

It’s no secret that Melbourne is (well ok, maybe we just think we are) the coffee capital of the world. So we certainly have lots of ground coffee waste. And you can only put so much in your compost bin, right? Well, a young Brazilian designer has developed another sustainable way of using ground coffee waste. He mixes it with a natural binding agent and produces an earthy, tactile material that can be formed into different shapes.

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Olduvai Gorge Stone: 2 million year old product design

Sir David Attenborough holding the Olduvai Gorge cutting stone.

By Steve Martinuzzo.

It’s hard to fathom that our early ancestors date back millions of years. And even harder to comprehend the rudimentary nature of their existence. But these facts are highlighted when we discover primitive artefacts. Artefacts, that although quite crude, are great examples of early product design.

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