DesignX is a new, evidence-based approach for addressing many of the complex and serious problems facing the world today. It adds to and augments today’s design methods, reformulating the role that design can play.
DesignX is particularly suited to and specifically aimed at problems involving a mix of human and societal needs where solutions involve technology. Most of these problems involve networked systems of people, groups and artifacts, including intelligent systems, partially or fully automated, with different levels of communication among components. DesignX focuses on the resulting complex mix of networked natural and artificial systems.
Joinery is a centuries old woodworking technique designed to remedy the problem of joint separation. Many joint styles rely on the addition of fasteners, bindings, or adhesives for structure, but fitted joints can also be designed in such a way that they connect exclusively by the force of friction. We can learn a great deal by studying the features of this historic craft, and — if we apply this thinking to digital design — can drastically improve the results of assembling multi-part models.
The great advantage of digitally designed and fabricated joints is that special layouts, tooling, and woodworking fixtures aren’t required to create successful mating features. If configured properly, a 3D printer, laser cutter, water jet, or CNC will produce repeatable features that press together with remarkable consistency.
Enjoy the industrial design tips from Reid Schlegel, a Virginia Tech ID Alumni and NYC-based industrial designer for Frog Design. With his fresh sketching style, you’ll see how he sketches a concept and renders it with Copic markers.
That’s industrial designer Mugi Yamamoto’s compact inkjet printer concept, Stack. Placed atop a pile of paper, the printer works its way down, sheet by sheet. In addition to providing a wonderful visual cue of whether or not the printer needs to be restocked—or is that re-stacked—there is a practical inspiration behind the design: To get rid of the paper tray, “the bulkiest element in common printers.”
Yamamoto, a freshly-minted ID grad from the Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne, has generated a good bit of blogosphere buzz for Stack. But the rest of his book is worth a gander as well, demonstrating some brilliant materials experimentation. Check out his Inversilight, which takes advantage of silicone’s flexibility to create a lampshade that the user can “pop” into one of two positions, focusing or scattering the light as needed.
Something designed minimally doesn’t necessarily mean it is well-designed. As Apple design guru Jonathan Ive aptly notes, “simplicity is not the absence of clutter…simplicity is somehow essentially describing the purpose and place of an object and product.” Following along this train of thought, Core77 reader constellation23 recently brought up a brilliantly simple question with a variety of points to consider. Our reader asks,
“How do you know when something is overdesigned?”
As expected, our Core77 readers and moderators tackled the question with particular thoughtfulness and poise.