3 posts categorized "Industrial Design / Products"

Help Packaging

By mehera o'brien at 10:17 PM

Categories: Events, Industrial Design / Products

Help_Packaging For years, before 'interaction designer' was a job I knew about, I wanted to be a number of different things. Museum exhibition designer, photographer, marine biologist (I know, strange one, but now I'm an avid scuba diver). And package designer. 

I remember coming across this packaging awhile back and being absolutely enamored with it. It reminded me of the many careers I fantasized about when I was younger. Then I forgot about it. 

My colleague Mariana brought this packaging into the office as inspiration for a project we were doing in the medicine category earlier this year. 

AIGA is hosting one of their ever fabulous Design Thinking events in New York tomorrow night with Richard Fine from Help Remedies. I only signed up today (been a bit snowed under with the new job) so space is probably still available. $26 for non-members. Even cheaper for members. The AKQA Experience Design team and I are having a reunion there tomorrow night, for anyone interested in saying hi. 

More information about the event

Registration for the event


Fuse Project Does It Again

By mehera o'brien at 2:38 PM

Categories: Industrial Design / Products

Picture 1I've been a fan of the XO One Laptop Per Child project for awhile now. Although I found the user interface a bit confusing when I actually used it, the concept spoke to my heart in its combination of smart design and do-gooder-ship. Fuse Project, the design company behind the XO, has taken a similar approach with glasses for children in Mexico. Read all about it here

Sustainability Talk

By mehera o'brien at 10:39 AM

Categories: Events, Industrial Design / Products

Friday night I attended an AIGA New York event in which Chris Hacker, Chief Design Offer of Johnson & Johnson (and prior to that of Aveda), talked to the crowd about sustainable design. Through a few power point blunders, he charmingly worked his way through slide after slide of amazing results. For example, a simple change to a Splenda box, one barely noticeable unless he pointed it out specifically, has saved significant numbers of trees, CO2 emissions and production costs. 

But what I found most interesting in Chris' evening, which was co-hosted by several of his design colleagues, were a few of the key lessons that I think transcend the topic of sustainability. 

First, Chris noted a few challenges in the process of activating change in his organization. The two I found most relevant were (1) inertia is always easier than a new way of doing things and (2) there are often outright obstructionists. He said they can be quietly obstructive, or loudly so. They can be high up in the organization, or within the weeds. But they are there and they can destroy innovation. The way he handled it was perseverance. Making it clear he, and his vision, aren't going anywhere anytime soon. It wears the obstructionists down. 

Chris also said sustainability is a journey, not a a destination. And one of his team members talked us through a beautiful package design case that, from a sustainability standpoint, is considered an utter failure. But to recognize what works and what doesn't work is a brave step, and a point I found well made. 

Finally, the head of J&J's Convergence Lab talked about having "altitudes" of thinking. That is, being able to take a 50,000 ft view and a molecular view, of a particular problem or issue. She talked of inspiration and cultural themes. Of prototyping that includes not only physical models but also stories and scenarios, which of course made the ux designer in me happy. She concluded with an inspiring note about not only the future of our world, but the future of design. She challenged us to use our design DNA to imagine tomorrow. And to visualize it. 

Whether you are interested in sustainability, trying to build innovation into your organization, or just questioning your own job/role/company, I find these points well made. 



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