By Serena Fox – Imagine wearing the same shoes every day of your life. “For my sister, her wheelchair is an extension of her body,” says designer Ailbhe Keane. “Dressing her wheels is like putting on a new pair of boots.”
That’s the idea behind Izzy Wheels, an Irish company that aims to transform the wheelchair from a medical device into a form of artistic self-expression. Founded by Ailbhe and her sister Isabel Keane, the online shop sells colorful, easily interchanged wheelchair spoke guards that feature designs by illustrators and artists from around the world.
Their tagline, “If you can’t stand up, stand out!” was inspired by Isabel, who was born with spina bifida and is paralyzed from her waist down. Growing up, she was frustrated by how little was available to personalize her chair. “I don’t want my chair to look like it was made in a hospital, I want it to look like a piece of fashion,” says Isabel, who today serves as brand ambassador and spokesperson (no pun intended) for the company that bears her name. more> https://goo.gl/URbUKg
The Better Angels of Our Nature, Author: Steven Pinker. To Forgive Design, Author: Henry Petroski. Cranioklepty, Author: Colin Dickey. Afterlives of the Saints, Author: Colin Dickey.
By Colin Dickey – A National Research Council report in 2008 estimated that another Carrington Event (1859) [2, 3] could lead to a disruption of US infrastructure that could take between four and 10 years – and trillions of dollars – to recover from. Particularly vulnerable are the massive transformers on which our entire power system relies. Massive fluxes in magnetic energy can easily overload a transformer’s magnetic core, leading to overheating and melting of their copper cores.
A misunderstanding of the proper use of anti-bacterial, and their subsequent overuse has bred a new generation of drug-resistant bacteria that could wreak havoc on human populations in the coming decades.
Despite our progress and achievements, human civilization doesn’t necessarily progress in the way we expect. If technology moves along a linear axis, it is complemented by a cyclical resurgence of human forgetting, folly and failure.
We might not be in danger of lapsing into the Dark Ages, but we do find ourselves relearning the same life-or-death lessons each generation. more> https://goo.gl/vFHH4L
By John Brownlee – There was a time when tech companies didn’t have to worry about design, because their audiences were techies, just like them.
Not only is that no longer true, but the ubiquity of tech has made user interface and experience design more important than ever before.
Back in the ’80s and ’90s, you might only interact with a bad user interface a couple of times a day — John Maeda calls these “pain points” — but now that we check our smartphones hundreds of times a day, the number of possible “ouch points” that can alienate a user have increased tenfold.
The Micro Kitchen from the Microfactory Could Go Big
GE – The online design community FirstBuild recently launched a design challenge to develop a “micro kitchen,” the culinary equivalent of the Swiss Army knife that holds everything required to prepare a late night snack as well as a Thanksgiving feast. Today, it cut the ribbon on an open-design “microfactory” to produce it.
The microfactory will tap FirstBuild’s global, collaborative group of designers, fabricators and enthusiasts to crack engineering and design challenges. The plant’s small size will allow it to customize appliances through small-batch production and fast-track them to market. “FirstBuild will able to create, design, build and sell new innovations for the home faster than ever before,” says Venkat Venkatakrishnan, R&D director at GE Appliances. more> http://tinyurl.com/lgqsnea
By Adele Peters – Like some other electric bikes, the INgSOC gives a choice of modes.
A removable battery pack behind the seat runs an electric motor.
The rider can choose to sit back and let the bike do all the work, or switch to a mode that just helps make pedaling easier. Or–if someone wants to actually get some exercise–they can switch to pedal-only mode. As they ride, some of that energy will be captured to go back into the battery pack and power lights and a smartphone dock. more> http://tinyurl.com/kq576rh
By Cabe Atwell – There are few inevitabilities in life — death, bills, taxes — and problematic designs should be added to that list. That said, Design for Testability (DFT) is essential in these days of system on a chip (SoC) and components that are smaller than the point of a needle.
The requirements stage of any design is the most critical. An error in this stage will snowball complications and cost more to fix later. Let us assume this stage is done thoroughly and correctly. The next important stage of the Product Life Cycle (PLC) is the design phase. This is where the true inception of the product/design, the true initial error, is created. It’s unavoidable. After which, that error could snowball throughout manufacturing/assembly and become extremely costly by the test/integrations phase. more> http://tinyurl.com/momnfq4
By Braden Kelley – The world is changing and needs Social Business Architects. Gone is the epoch of the passive consumer, now customers want a say. At the same time, the quest for survival and growth is causing companies to stop looking at suppliers as someone to squeeze on price and instead as partners in innovation.
“I was given a military textbook on basic electricity by my 7th grade teacher,” says Robert Seay. “Up to then I had rewired a few defective light fixtures… but I knew nothing about electricity…” more> http://is.gd/BiuPXc