Can the death of design firms be a good thing?

“If design firms choose to continue moving in the same direction they used to over the last two decades, they will be extinct soon.” — Tenny Pinheiro

I recently read Tenny Pinheiro’s ‘The Design Firm Is (Walking) Dead’ article which talks about how small and medium design firms are being lost to huge corporate companies looking to bring this skill in-house. He makes the argument for how this new trend is causing the loss of independent design firms believing that, in effect, design itself will suffer. Continue reading

Have we stopped dreaming?

‘It is hard to say what today’s dreams are, they seem to have been downgraded to hopes’ — Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and Social Dreaming by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby

I agree we need to dream so that design today can have the same impact that it did throughout the twentieth century. Dunne and Raby speak about how imagination needs to flow freely to have the impact in design that can change the world, or at least a part of it. They believe that most designers today operate in what they believe to be probable, reality has a ‘grip on our imagination’ and therefore we are no longer dreaming big. Continue reading

Levi's wearable technology

Levi’s become the latest brand to embrace wearable technology

The latest wave of wearable technology is about to embrace classic American style as Google I/O 2015 announce its exclusive partnership with Levi’s to launch wearable clothing technology next year. Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects team have designed a brand new type of yarn which is”conductive” and so can be woven into fabrics. They are referring to this new material as “Jacquard.” Continue reading

The Cloisters New York

Manhattan’s hidden sanctuary

The Cloisters museum and gardens is like a medieval puzzle. Elements from medieval cloisters—Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa, Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert, Trie-sur-Baïse, Froville, and elements once thought to have come from Bonnefont-en-Comminges—and from other sites in Europe have been brought together and incorporated into the fabric of the building to create one spectacular piece of architecture. Continue reading

High Line

New York’s High Line a top tourist spot

Manhattan’s High Line is a public park like no other. It was once an elevated railroad where New York freight trains would whistle by over the heads of Manhattan pedestrians. Where the trains once ran, from Chelsea to the Meatpacking District, now throngs of joggers, students, tourists and walkers enjoy what has become one of New York’s top visitor attractions. So how did this once dilapidated railroad replace attractions like the Statue of Liberty to become one of the most popular landmarks the city has to offer? Continue reading

Design thinking

What is design thinking?

As part of my Masters degree in Strategic Design and Management at Parsons we constantly use the process of design thinking. When starting classes we heard a lot of buzz words or phrases to explain this process, it uses a range of ‘research methods’, it ‘uses ideation processes’, it ‘uses theoretical frameworks’ and ‘it helps us to identify areas of opportunity’. I needed this explaining in simple English so here is how I’d explain it to my younger self on my first day of university. Continue reading