Sunday, April 16, 2006

Isn't that cute?

Just wanna share something I found on the web.

Monday, April 03, 2006 belongs in the street, too! I ran into this guy last week on my way to school. I found it so cool (er.. funny..?) that I just had to take a picture of him.

Few days before, I had just been talking to my biker classmates about what happened to them when it rained (because all bike helmets I've seen have holes in them). So they all told me that they just got wet. When I asked them about why there were no bike helmets with holes in them, they told me that they liked the ventilation coz a bike helmet without it will make their heads feel too hot. So I was thinking.. why not make a bike helmet that has a cover which can be pulled out when it's raining. Much better than a shower cap, no?

Friday, March 17, 2006

Design a bag VS design a brand

I just had my ID2 class yesterday (which was about 4 hours ago) and we had this interesting conversation about Timbuk2 and how their products are not supporting what their brand was all about. For the next two hours we talked about the brand, how it did not stick to the original bike-messenger image (Timbuk2 started out making messenger bags for bike messengers and I think this is a really strong and interesting brand history that they should stick to) and goes off to making every other bags possible to make more profit.

Defining what a brand was, was tough, especially when the client (Timbuk2 guys) themselves do not really know what they really are. But knowing what a brand is all about is a really crucial first step, I would say. This reminds me of Yves Behar's philosophy about products being the true agents of a brand experience. Before I had this conversation, all I wanted to design was a bag I like and somehow have it 'Timkt2'-ed. Now I think more of designing a bag that would help streghten Timbuk2's brand image. This class was definitely an eye-opening experience for me.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Design Philosophy

I've always been interested in design philosophies. How it influences the design of objects. So I recently read a book called the Design For the 21st Century. I like the way it describes designers as people who are aware of the real needs of people and provide the right solutions for them. This reminded me of the talk we had in our ID2 class of how our students in our schools sometimes have very conceptual designs that are not realistic to be produced at all.

I find that design philosophies are like characters. Difefrent designers have philosphies that are difefrent from one another, although they can be put into broad categories, I think. For example, there are designers who care very much about form - there was this pair of designers who think think that their design is about 'giving poetry to form'. And there was another also who thinks that when an object makes a person smile, it is easier to use. I think this is what can be called emotional design? What I feel they are dong is infusing certain emotions to objects by means of form and color.

Then there were also another group of designers who think that a design is about ideas. Like James Dyson whose quote was something about a design is more about the function of an object than its form. Or maybe like green designers who think that a designing an object should begin by designing its life-cycle.

I'm still trying to find what's my design philosophy.. I think it's tough but definitely necessary, though. It's like finding out who you want to be as a designer and how you want to be known as in the design field.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


Last Tuesday in my ID2 class, we were talking about cellphones... and one of the comments that was brought up was that when buying cellphones, consumers care more about a cellphone's features than its appearance. Well, I guess it seems pretty much the situation here in America. But in Asia, cellphones (we call them handphones, FYI) are BIG. They are like must-have accesories. That's why new cellphones are being produced every month or so. I once read about the an article about a survey how long Singaporeans would keep their cellphones before changing them for new ones, and the average time was 6 to 7 months..! I thought that pretty amazing - changing cellphones twice a year.

This kind of behaviour is the reason why there are so many crappy phones being produced in Asia. I think Nokia is the champion of making cool-but-most-of-the-times-really-crappy phones (3 years ago, it was..). I guess Nokia chews out new phones every 6 months or so but most of their phones are crappy but, yeah, some of them are really too good to resist. I once read about an article that hypothesizes that when it comes to consumers buying a product, appearance is a stronger factor than features. And it uses the Nokia as one of its examples - how this particular Nokia cellphone has buttons that were a little harder to press but it was popular anyway in Asia because it looked really cool. And it uses some real-life examples,too, like how good-looking people have better chances at jobs, interviews, etc.

I feel that cellphone design in Asia is much more about skin job than making all-rounded good phones. But hey, maybe the making crappy phone feature is one of the marketing/design requirements, huh? I mean, you have to "encourage" the consumers to buy new ones in the coming 6-7 months, right..? Jeez.. Maybe I'm just thinking too far..

Friday, February 17, 2006

Just an idea : electricity-generating gym

I've been going to the gym lately but hey that's not what I'm gonna talk about. I've just thinking.. won't it be cool if we could have gym equipments that could turn our running, cycling, pulling etc into electricity..? I mean, our body fat is potential energy. Isn't it kinda strange that we are using electricity (that's energy) to help us burn our body fat (another energy). I think it'll be great if we could exercise and our motion could be used to turn turbine or something to generate electricity.

So lately I've been observing my gym.. and I found that the treadmills have no cables to them..? Man.. how do these treadmills get powered up? I was think maybe its batteries but that's kinda impossible I haven't asked the gym people, though.. but hopefully some day I will. Another devices are the bicycles.. they won't turn on unless you pedal for a while and as soon as you stop pedalling they get turned off almost immediately. Maybe these bicycles use our motion energy to power up? But I think the nicest of all is this rowing device where you sit and pull the handle. Your pulling motion will then be used to move the fan in front of you. So you could keep cool whie exercising.

I think this electricity-generating-gym idea is pretty simple and I'm sure I'm not the first person to come up with it. I'm just wondering why this idea is not implemented yet. It'll be interesting to find out, yeah..?

Monday, January 30, 2006

Stanford D. School and CCA

I found this picture while doing research on the internet for one of my projects. I love reading blogs, especially those that talk about new gadgets, inventions and stuff.. By the way, do you guys know that you can go to to look up blogs? Anyway, I forgot to bookmark where I got this from. He wrote that some “secret informant” guy gave him this. I hope he won’t be in trouble when one of the Stanford guys found out about that his napkin was stolen and now is up on the internet. I hope he won’t find out about me posting his napkin on the internet, too..!

Anyway, if we compare it to the school system here in CCA (Cali. College of The Arts), I kind of think that our school was pretty much run by the same standard. In Industrial Design program, we get outside companies to sponsor our projects and stuff. What I haven’t seen in school is a project that involves multidisciplinary collaboration, where students and faculty from different disciplines work as a team on a project that would be realized. If they have a project like that in our school, that would be really awesome..!! Maybe we could go build another campus building or something. =D