CES 2007: What does it mean?

Not deterred by a mile-long queue, journalists, retailers and industry members waited patiently in line to enter a modestly sized exhibition room for CES Unveiled, a preview event held in the Sands Expo Center two days before the opening of CES 2007 in Las Vegas

Between push and pull

Over the past century, institutions have been perfecting highly efficient approaches to mobilizing resources.

These approaches may vary in their details, but they share a common foundation. They are all designed to “push” resources in advance to areas of highest anticipated need. In the past decade, we have seen early signs of a new model for mobilizing resources. Rather than “push”, this new approach focuses on “pull” – creating platforms that help people to reach out, find and access appropriate resources when the need arises. John Hagel blog

Efficient design.

Simplehuman says “Tools for efficient living.”

“We design housewares to make you more efficient at home — from a spoon rest on a utensil holder to a pedal that’ll outlast 50,000 steps, or a paper towel holder that won’t unravel and a dishrack that drains in different directions. We know we’ve done our job when you wonder how it’s possible to love a trash can that much. See below for examples of our design innovations”

Blobism

The Apple iMac. The New Beetle. The Oh Chair. The Guggenheim Bilbao Museum. These are all classic examples of blobism, a futuristic retelling of the curve, resulting in protoplasmic forms designed by computers. A growing number of inventive architects are now embracing this concept, making blobitecture the hottest global trend in the industry.

This is the first book to focus exclusively on the blobitecture phenomenon in detail: how the process works, the geometric and environmental challenges it presents, the sophisticated software that allows artists to bend the lines of traditional architecture, and the stunning work produced by this art form. Featuring curved walls to blob-esque furniture to Greg Lynn’s Embryological House and Koloatan and McDonald’s Title House, this is both a showcase of the best in blobism and a guide to applying it in a designer’s own work.

Be provocative

“The secret is to be more provocative and interesting than anything else in their environment.”

* Be Visual
* Be Different–Break Patterns and Expectations
* Be Daring
* Change Things Regularly
* Inspire Curiosity
* Pose a Challenge
* Be Fun
* Be Controversial and Committed
* Be Stimulating. Be Exciting. Be Seductive

HT @Kathy Sierra for the inspiration from her blog posting, “Creating Passionate Users”

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.

British Bulldog Brand

Take a cue from Winston Churchill,

“The further backward you can look, the further forward you can see.”

Understanding how competing brands position themselves allows us to learn from their mistakes and successes. When I think about brands I’m looking to lead my clients into making design decisions that allow a them to redefine the conversation within an industry. Build a niche for yourself, be unique.

Influence with a whisper.

I think the way to influence is to whisper. Today I forget how powerful a tool it is in diplomacy and influencing change. Where as a shout causes people to get on the defensive, I see that whispering allows decision makers to absorb critical feedback in a non-threatening manner. When you whisper, people are forced to pay attention, to lean forward, to become engaged. To whisper is to exchange valuable, privileged information, to be pulled inside, to communicate emotionally and strategically, and to make yourself heard without beating your chest and yelling yourself hoarse.

75th Year Airstream.

Designer David Winick took the lead in creating an interior space that is both ultra modern and retrospective. Natural linoleum in warm tones brings out the highlights of genuine wood veneers. Upholstery inspired by 1940’s tailoring heightens textural contrasts, reflecting in an array of aluminum surfaces. Porthole windows, round vents and yacht-inspired details further integrate the past and future in this very special travel trailer.

Garmin Navi.

The GPS industry is still in generation 2 – the first generation of GPS units just showed you where you were by giving Lat/Lon coordinates. The second generation added maps. The third generation will integrate some social network functions, like letting locals post corrections or “best routes” somewhere so that other users could download them and use them in their own GPS. The Nuvi is a G2+ model in that it has maps and routing and a bunch of other functions, but nothing clearly different from any other G2 GPS units. Mac OS X RouteBuddy GPS software.

The first IM scandal.

“We knew it was coming, all this personal information zinging back and forth across cyberspace at the speed of write, all this constantly streaming technology being inexorably adapted to the needs of desire. IM-ing is like whispering, perfect for furtive, racy exchanges — or slimy, perverted ones. It’s as if your id had a typewriter. In a world where everything is instant, the delaying and censoring mechanisms that contributed to a civilized life are gone. Blog link, originally from NYTimes Select (Death by Instant Message By MAUREEN DOWD Published: October 7, 2006)

Yahoo goes punk

The company also has its own Web 2.0 guru whose mission is to hack Yahoo “for its own good.” Bradley Horowitz, vice president of Yahoo’s product strategy group, told CNET News.com. Well, I run a group here called “Hack Yahoo”–and by Hack Yahoo, I don’t necessarily mean “hack it down at the root with an axe.” I basically mean help Yahoo break its own rules for its own good…uniting these like-minded people around the spirit of change and this start-up culture. What’s interesting: When I came to Yahoo, I didn’t find an innovation deficit. It’s not as if this company had grown complacent or sleepy or anything like that. But I think it was undercelebrated, both outside the company and inside the company. CNET article

iPod flashmobbers dance

iPod flashmobbers in London

Hundreds of people descended on Liverpool Street station for the biggest ever turnout for the latest internet craze – mobile clubbing. Armed with MP3 players loaded with favourite tracks the “clubbers” arrived on the concourse just after 7pm last night. Students, business people and office workers danced in silence as they listened to their iPods among commuters listening to announcements about late trains.

One commuter said:

“It was entertaining if strange to see all these people gyrating to their own beat. It was the Soul Train arriving at platform one.”

Daily Mail source of original article.

Is satisficing rational?

The word satisficing was coined by Herbert Simon. Simon pointed out that human beings lack the cognitive resources to maximize: we usually do not know the relevant probabilities of outcomes, we can rarely evaluate all outcomes with sufficient precision, and our memories are weak and unreliable. A more realistic approach to rationality takes into account these limitations: This is called bounded rationality.

Billboard Liberation Front

It’s on 7th and Folsom in San Francisco. Showing the now-iconic silhouette of the hooded Abu Graib prisoner, standing on a box with electrodes on his fingers, the billboard is on your left if you exit I-80 at 7th Street and head toward Market Street. Advertising suffuses all corners of our waking lives; it so permeates our consciousness that even our dreams are often indistinguishable from a rapid succession of TV commercials. BLF site

New York Times critic, Herbert Muschamp.

New York Times architecture critic, Herbert Muschamp rhapsodizes about Seattle’s new Central Library calling it, “The Library That Puts on Fishnets and Hits the Disco”. Seattle is a town with a big case of boosterism. Towns with this affliction usually have an inferiority complex derives from their envy of big cities like New York, Los Angeles and even San Francisco. This is precisely the case here. So when a big, bold, beautiful new edifice goes up, the local papers pull out all the stops. And they won’t disappoint with their coverage of Koolhaas’ Central Library. NY Times article