A great way to make better stuff is to find new uses for existing stuff. SVA’s Products of Design Program is finding a new use for their studio. For the second year in a row, they’re renting desk space for the summer. It’s great for the program as a way to generate revenue and its great for creatives who don’t want or need a permanent presence in Manhattan but would benefit from being there a few months in summer. Most of all, it’s great for both parties in that they expand their creative networks.
Interested in renting a desk? Find out more here
Over 300 workers die in factory collapse.
This is one of those sad posts that I mention on the about page. Over 300 new reasons to make better stuff.
update: Worker rescued 17 days after collapse. Over 1000 dead. here
I love the work of Ottawa-based illustrator Helen Dardik and how she’s been able to translate it into 3D objects. The little bag above is an example of a “simple” transfer from 2D to 3D. For a more complex transfer, check out her toys right here
Art and design students are trained in formal design elements that include color, value, texture, pattern, proportion, scale, and so on. The elements are guidelines for making stuff that is cohesive. This artist photographs mundane objects in tiny architectural models that he builds. He’s manipulating scale and the result is fantastic.
Check out more work from Peter Chrisostomou here
I’m doing a zoeptrope project with some kids later today. Many of the projects I do with kids require battery power but I’m looking to add more and more projects with alternate sources of energy. A zoetrope is man-powered. Build your own using the instructable here
I haven’t tried this but would love to. These rugs are made from roving which is combed wool. It’s the stuff you use to make yarn on a spindle. It’s a luscious material and you can find it in huge bolts for reasonable prices if you look around (ask a sheep farmer if you know one). This rug is way better than the cheap ones that, I admit, I have in my home at present!
Full post here
I heard a great expression this past weekend: “Pioneers lead with arrows in their backs.” This is relevant to making better stuff because when we make better stuff, we make new and different stuff. And different stuff is met with a lot of resistance, some of it in the form of arrows.
For an interesting take on pioneers by entrepreneur and educator Steve Blank, click here
If you’ve never seen Annie Leonard’s short film The Story of Stuff, then check it out. She defines the problems along the value chain of consumer products clearly then proposes steps to take action, mostly for consumers and voters.
A good way to learn to make better stuff is to take existing stuff apart to figure out how it works. Great example here on taking apart a wind up toy. Then follow up with a lesson on how gears work.
There are a lot of differences between scientific processes like Mr. Sagan’s and design processes like the ones I use. But there are similarities too and gems in all.
Carl Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit here