“Amazon started a company called Lab126 in Mountain View, 2004-ish, to design and manage the contract manufacture of the yet-to-be-named Kindle product (as opposed to partnering with an established mobile electronics manufacturer) because they wanted to keep the Kindle idea under wraps (as much as it is possible to do so, here in the Valley).”

lab126 guys’ main mission right now is to design cost out of the thing like crazy, and get the next version out there so it can be sold cheap, or “given away” as part of a subscription plan.

And Mr. Bezos concludes with some high-level thinking: “Our vision is every book, ever printed, in any language, all available in less than 60 seconds,” he said.

Mechanical Turk

In 1769, Hungarian nobleman Wolfgang von Kempelen astonished Europe by building a mechanical chess-playing automaton that defeated nearly every opponent it faced. A life-sized wooden mannequin, adorned with a fur-trimmed robe and a turban, was seated on a wooden cabinet and toured Europe confounding such brilliant challengers as Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte. To persuade skeptical audiences, Kempelen would slide open the cabinet’s doors to reveal the intricate set of gears, cogs and springs that powered his invention. He convinced them that he had built a machine that made decisions using artificial intelligence. What they did not know was the secret behind the mechanical Turk: a chess master cleverly concealed inside.

Ray and Charles Eames

The legacy of Ray and Charles Eames extends far beyond their classic furniture pieces. Taking a multidisciplinary approach to design long before that was the norm, the Eameses created over 100 short films between 1950 and 1982. Join DWR, in conjunction with Eames Foundation and Herman Miller, as we celebrate their film legacy. We’ll be screening seven films with a total running time of about 60 minutes. Attendees are encouraged to stay for a discussion following the screenings. New York screening details.

RCA Design Interaction shift


The name of the Interaction Design Department at the RCA has now changed to Design Interactions ….

“designing for the complex, troubled people we are, rather than the easily satisfied consumers and users we are supposed to be.”

Design Interactions is a small change, but we think it is significant. It reflects our emphasis on designing interactions of all kinds – not just between people and digital technologies, or even other emerging technologies, but also between people and possible futures, and between design and other fields of art and science.

Dieter Rams

These are a few of the quotes from Dieter Rams. For those of you unaware of his work, put it this way, Jonathan Ive (Head of Industrial Design at Apple) is often mistaken for his work. Which is a nice way of admiring the sensibility of Rams.

Good design is innovative.
Good design makes a product useful.
Good design is aesthetic.
Good design helps us to understand a product.
Good design is unobtrusive.
Good design is honest.
Good design is durable.
Good design is consequent to the last detail.
Good design is concerned with the environment.
Good design is as little design as possible.
Back to purity, back to simplicity.

As head of design at Braun, the German consumer electronics manufacturer, DIETER RAMS emerged as one of the most influential industrial designers of the late 20th century by defining an elegant, legible, yet rigorous visual language for its products.

Stays in the shadows, Jonathan Ive

Jonathan Ive

Apple chief designer, shy from public viewing, says a few rare words in Business Week:

His design process revolves around intense iteration — making and remaking models to visualize new concepts.

“One of the hallmarks of the team I think is this sense of looking to be wrong,” said Ive at Radical Craft. “It’s the inquisitiveness, the sense of exploration. It’s about being excited to be wrong because then you’ve discovered something new.”

Ross Lovegrove on TED Talks

Ross Lovegrove Industrial designer, speaking at TED said,

“I’m captain organic, that’s a philosophical and well as an aesthetic position.”

Speaking about Zaha Hadid, Richard Serra and Gregg Lin, who are preserving and pioneering with fantastic new ideas of how to create 21st century design/architecture/art. The interlocution of elements on a chair. Going on to mention how observation, curiosity and instinct are the ingredients for great work.

“Ross Lovegrove: About my work? You could say its organic, but that’s just a consequence of my private thoughts and feelings towards things.”

designboom interview with him plus his TED 2006 session