A Pay Phone That Saves Lives And Google Searches – thnxz @FastCoDesign


Beacon… that’s the name.

Sometime in 2014, New York City’s agreement with its payphone vendor will expire–the final death rattle for a technology long eclipsed by mobile devices. As we noted earlier this month, a design competition called Reinvent Payphones is helping the city generate ideas about what should be done with the 11,412 archaic hookups once the contract is up. It’s a tidy way for the city to drum up attention for its tech industry while involving local designers in a debate about public infrastructure.

Tuesday night at Quirky’s Manhattan office, the 12 semi-finalist teams of architects, programmers, and other design professionals gathered to present their concepts. The winning proposals will, theoretically, inform an RFP that the city will unveil within the next few months. After a half-hour deliberation, the jury announced the five winners, each deemed champion of a different genre like “community impact” and “functionality” (a popular vote winner is forthcoming).

Full article? read here 🙂

Full article? read here 🙂

One of the more interesting proposals came from Frog, which won the “visual design and user experience” category for a column of four screens called Beacon. Unlike many of the other proposals, Beacon’s interface is gestural, meaning you’d speak to activate the displays and communicate using hand motions, eye movement, and facial expressions. It’s built upon a 3-D sensor called Capri (designed by PrimeSense, the original developers of Kinect), which senses motion directly in front of it, while a set of microphones and speakers drown out nearby car horns and chatter with white noise. “Recognition technologies and algorithms have become sophisticated enough to recognize a very broad set of gestures, gesture combinations, and normal speech voice commands and can respond very accurately to the user’s intent,” Jonas Damon, Frog’s creative director, tells Co.Design. “In other words, it won’t be annoying to stand next to when you have no intention of using it!”

How to Apply Eames’s Legendary “Powers of 10” to Real-life Problems

Since our technical systems are wholly mixed up with our natural systems, that creates additional levels of complexity. In order to design within these confounding contexts, we need to be able to scale up and scale down as we design: to consider both the granularity of the things we are designing as well as the much larger contexts within which they exist.

Here’s what I mean. A designer considering urban mobility may start at the level of 10^1and consider only the automobile. But zoom out a bit, and you realize that it’s essential to think not just of the automobile, but also of other competing modes of transportation — buses, bicycles, pedestrians, skateboards — that may determine the speed and feasibility of movement. Zoom out to 10^3, and you must understand the dynamics of the neighborhood, and the impact that automobile traffic has on livability, public health, or retail viability.


Full Article:
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1662461/how-to-apply-eamess-legendary-powers-of-10-to-real-life-problems

This October 10, 2010 is Powers of Ten day — 10/10/10, a milestone on the design thinking calendar. It’s named for the film Powers of Ten, made by Charles and Ray Eames in 1968. And for designers, it’s an opportunity to both celebrate the Eames Office’s groundbreaking film as well as a chance to recognize the power of scale in shaping our understanding of the world around us. There will be festivities around the world. Check out the Powers of Ten website, as well as the powersof10 blog that lists some events.

If you haven’t yet seen the film, take a moment to watch it.

Powers of Ten is arguably more relevant now than it was the year it was released. The simple idea executed in the film has become a powerful construct for thinking through design problems today. In it, Charles and Ray Eames guide us through a deceptively straightforward exercise — zooming out to 10^24 and then back in to 10^-16 — re-framing a simple scene by showing it within ever-larger and then smaller contexts. Leer más “How to Apply Eames’s Legendary “Powers of 10” to Real-life Problems”

7 Trends to Watch, In An Age of Info Overload | Co.Design


Graham Button on how to deal with a world offering constant media stimulation.

Real wealth is owning your time.

Life is sweet, but short. Time is all we’ve got, and there are only three things you can do with it. Surrender it to vital functions like eating and sleeping. Sell it as work. And give it to the people and things you choose. Real wealth is owning your time. And ambition for that ownership lifts people out of poverty, creates a middle class, and drives innovation. Information is the currency, and with good information you can eat better, sleep better, seek fulfillment, prosper, pursue your passions and live longer.

One thing’s for sure — there’s a lot of information ahead. The question is, will it make us any smarter?

Full article:
7 Trends to Watch, In An Age of Info Overload | Co.Design.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Street Art Aims to Mend a Torn Neighborhood [Updated With Video]

Though the final painted words seem like whimsy, they’re actually inspired by an exhaustive research effort, involving hundreds of the neighborhood’s 5,000 residents. Powers and a team from the Near Westside Initiative talked with upwards of 400 people in the neighborhood, in five community meetings and three days of street interviews. “When we asked people what their favorite thing about Syracuse was, the most common answer was ‘nothing,'” Powers tells Co.Design, during a break from the final painting. “And there was a seventy year old man that said he only ended up here because his car broke down on the way to New York.”


[Full article http://www.fastcodesign.com/1662238/street-art-aims-to-unite-a-torn-neighborhood ]

An exclusive look at graffiti legend ESPO’s “A Love Letter to Syracuse.”

We just got word that Samuel Macon and Faythe Levine have uploaded a beautiful video documenting the process of creating this piece. Check it out below. — Ed.

In Syracuse, New York, a hulking steel bridge divides some of city’s richest residents from some of the country‘s poorest, in the infamous Near Westside. It symbolizes everything that’s gone wrong with the city, from socioeconomic segregation to crime. “The intersection is both the major gateway in and out of the city, and the biggest barrier between the wealthiest part of the city and the poorest part,” says Maarten Jacobs, director of the Near Westside Initiative.

So Jacobs’s group, working with Syracuse University’s COLAB — a program that focuses on design collaboration — hired legendary street artist Steve Powers to repaint it. In just a couple more days, A Love Letter to Syracuse will be finished; on one side, the bridge will read “Nothing to do is everything with you,” and on the other, “I paid the light bill just to see your face,” along with “Spring Comes Summer Waits” and “Fall Leaves Winter Longs.” Leer más “Street Art Aims to Mend a Torn Neighborhood [Updated With Video]”

How Do You Reinvent Something as Common as the Padlock?

Talking with Master Lock’s Lea Plato, lead designer of the ingenious Speed Dial combination lock.

Introduced in 2009, Master Lock’s Speed Dial is the first “directional” combination lock. It replaces a series of numbers with a sequence of up-down and left-right movements (like a video-game cheat). We talked to Lea Plato, one of the designers who worked on the lock, about how the lock came to be and why it’s easier to use than what we’re all used to.

Co.Design: The Speed Dial lock does away with numerical combinations and replaces them with left-to-right and up-and-down movements. What inspired the change?

Lea Plato: The combination lock for lockers has been around for so long, so Master Lock is trying to push different ideas. The Speed Dial is a very different and unexpected design. That’s what attracted us to the idea.

The face of the lock—just four arrows—is clean and straightforward. How did that design come about?

We were trying to play off of simplicity. We wanted the appearance of the lock to match that simplicity. It’s really basic—up, down, left, and right—and easy to remember. So nothing too fancy.

The center button has a nice accent ring around it to show that this is what you push on to make the movements. And the arrows are really simple triangles to suggest which direction you should be moving it in. A lot of the design of the actual body of the lock is driven by the interior mechanism. But we also wanted to give it a nice round shape so it fits well in your hand and it’s easy to move that button up and down.

Another thing we focused on is how everyone could use it. A lot of the numbers are too small for people to see. If you’re visually impaired, you don’t have to see anything to be able to open this lock. Or if your dexterity isn’t very good, the lock is still easy to use. We wanted the lock to be something that everyone can use without making it look like it was designed for just one person in particular.


Talking with Master Lock‘s Lea Plato, lead designer of the ingenious Speed Dial combination lock.

Introduced in 2009, Master Lock’s Speed Dial is the first “directional” combination lock. It replaces a series of numbers with a sequence of up-down and left-right movements (like a video-game cheat). We talked to Lea Plato, one of the designers who worked on the lock, about how the lock came to be and why it’s easier to use than what we’re all used to.

Co.Design: The Speed Dial lock does away with numerical combinations and replaces them with left-to-right and up-and-down movements. What inspired the change?

Lea Plato: The combination lock for lockers has been around for so long, so Master Lock is trying to push different ideas. The Speed Dial is a very different and unexpected design. That’s what attracted us to the idea.

The face of the lock—just four arrows—is clean and straightforward. How did that design come about?

We were trying to play off of simplicity. We wanted the appearance of the lock to match that simplicity. It’s really basic—up, down, left, and right—and easy to remember. So nothing too fancy.

The center button has a nice accent ring around it to show that this is what you push on to make the movements. And the arrows are really simple triangles to suggest which direction you should be moving it in. A lot of the design of the actual body of the lock is driven by the interior mechanism. But we also wanted to give it a nice round shape so it fits well in your hand and it’s easy to move that button up and down.

Another thing we focused on is how everyone could use it. A lot of the numbers are too small for people to see. If you’re visually impaired, you don’t have to see anything to be able to open this lock. Or if your dexterity isn’t very good, the lock is still easy to use. We wanted the lock to be something that everyone can use without making it look like it was designed for just one person in particular. Leer más “How Do You Reinvent Something as Common as the Padlock?”

Infographic of the Day: Even Poor Countries Can Excel in Education

Sitting comfortable in our first-world lives, it’s easy to assume that we’ve got the best of everything. And it’s easy to assume that problems of infant mortality, hunger and education are simply a matter of having a roaring GDP. But that’s not true at all, as these remarkable interactive graphs show.

Produced by The Guardian and the Gates Foundation, the charts are draw from the Millennium Development Report Card. Basically, it shows how well countries are performing on key development metrics, relative to their GDP.

The size of the outer ring shows performance on a Millennium Development Goal, such as primary-school enrollment. The inner ring shows GDP per capita. Thus, if both are high (as they are in the U.S., for example), you get two rings, brown and blue, without much space between. But if a country is overperforming — getting kids in school despite a relatively modest GDP — you get a big space between the two. For example, look at Trinidad & Tobago (often cited as a model of good governance in the Caribbean) or Guyana:


http://www.fastcodesign.com

Sitting comfortable in our first-world lives, it’s easy to assume that we’ve got the best of everything. And it’s easy to assume that problems of infant mortality, hunger and education are simply a matter of having a roaring GDP. But that’s not true at all, as these remarkable interactive graphs show.

Produced by The Guardian and the Gates Foundation, the charts are draw from the Millennium Development Report Card. Basically, it shows how well countries are performing on key development metrics, relative to their GDP.

The size of the outer ring shows performance on a Millennium Development Goal, such as primary-school enrollment. The inner ring shows GDP per capita. Thus, if both are high (as they are in the U.S., for example), you get two rings, brown and blue, without much space between. But if a country is overperforming — getting kids in school despite a relatively modest GDP — you get a big space between the two. For example, look at Trinidad & Tobago (often cited as a model of good governance in the Caribbean) or Guyana:

Leer más “Infographic of the Day: Even Poor Countries Can Excel in Education”

Blockbuster Bankruptcy: A Decade of Decline

Months ago, the mere mention of bankruptcy in an article about Blockbuster would provoke seething responses from company reps. On more than one occasion, I received fuming messages from Blockbuster about how bankruptcy was a “worst-case scenario” that was nothing more than “a last resort.”

Now the worst case scenario has arrived. Rumors of Chapter 11 began to bubble in August, and Bloomberg reports that Blockbuster will file for bankruptcy Thursday.

We’ve already presented the best of Blockbuster’s bad metaphors. Here, we present a timeline of how the video rental giant fell.

1985: First Blockbuster store opens in Dallas.

1994: Viacom acquires Blockbuster for $8.4 billion.


BY Austin Carr | //fastcompany.com

Months ago, the mere mention of bankruptcy in an article about Blockbuster would provoke seething responses from company reps. On more than one occasion, I received fuming messages from Blockbuster about how bankruptcy was a “worst-case scenario” that was nothing more than “a last resort.”

Now the worst case scenario has arrived. Rumors of Chapter 11 began to bubble in August, and Bloomberg reports that Blockbuster will file for bankruptcy Thursday.

We’ve already presented the best of Blockbuster’s bad metaphors. Here, we present a timeline of how the video rental giant fell.

1985: First Blockbuster store opens in Dallas.

1994: Viacom acquires Blockbuster for $8.4 billion. Leer más “Blockbuster Bankruptcy: A Decade of Decline”