Archive for the ‘design news’ Category

Scott Wilson on Form & Function

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 by Kristina

Kudos, Scott!

Scott Wilson spoke eloquently about the the chick-and-egg question of form and function in his follow-up TIME magazine interview following up his well-deserved National Design Award for Product Design from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Scott Wilson new

Scott Wilson, now with Motorola

Asked, “How much of design for you is function, and how much is form? Do you find it hard to satisfy them both in some projects?”, he said:

“It’s almost all function. The form part is easy once you’ve defined the problem and designed the solution. If you have good research or good insights, the thing kind of designs itself. Putting a form around it is the easy part, really. Finding the insights and finding the connections and the right puzzle piece that may be missing, that’s the hard part.”

I’ve worked with designers for a long time, and few have expressed it so well! See more at

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Bill Moggridge, Pioneer

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012 by Kristina

Bill Moggridge, Interaction and Experience Design Pioneer, Leaves an Indelible Mark on Human Experience of Technology

September 8, 2012, Bill Moggridge passed away and with him the design profession lost one of its most influential voices and significant leaders of the past 40 years.

Bill Moggridge, June 25, 1943 – September 8, 2012 (Photo my Mayo Nissen, taken at the Copenhagen Institute for Interaction Design, 2010)
Bill pioneered ideas that shaped the scope of design. His work was itself a demonstration project of what design should be and how designers should approach their work.

Bill advocated for Big D Design, whereby he meant that design is far greater than a particular discipline and that as a process it integrates whatever insight will lead to a more comprehensively satisfying solution.

Having expanded to Silicon Valley with a new branch of his firm, ID Two, in 1979, Bill’s first big splash on the U.S. design stage came in 1982 when he accepted that year’s only Industrial Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Designers Society of America.

So comprehensively innovative was his team’s winning Grid Compass Computer that the jury had been unable to find anything else at its level. Already they could see the profound impact it would have on the yet-undefined field of laptop computing.

That’s when I met Bill and first heard of how the computer that was to define laptops had been developed in close collaboration with engineers. One or two other design firms had been applying an interdisciplinary model since the late ‘70s, most notably GVO, Inc.. But Bill was to take the concept much, much further.

Ultimately, Bill flung his Big D net to include psychologists, anthropologists, and anyone else likely to open doors on a better understanding of the human experience.

Experience Design’s Pater Familias

And therein lay his greatest contribution to the world of design, big or little “d”: The concept of experience design. Bill proposed that the purpose of design was to create an experience, not a product.

In fact, he was quoted as saying, “If there is a simple, easy principle that binds everything I have done together, it is my interest in people and their relationship to things.” (Wikipedia does not give its source.)

Today, our experiences are shaped by our interfaces with software and web sites, an escalation Bill foresaw in the mid-‘80s. He understood how a technology intended to make life easier could, in fact, make it full of aggravation if not dangerous error*.

Bill framed for us the disconnect between average people and technology, with its new languages and capabilities. He presented us with a petri dish of DNA, demonstrating the very long string of knowledge sources required to successfully mediate the experience.

Not only is Bill’s leadership indelibly written in his works, his teachings, his texts and, above all, in his personal proof-by-doing, his ideas have penetrated deeply and spread broadly. Collaborations are occurring that were not possible before he came on the scene. The design of our interactions with “products” (be they software, hardware, or environments) is not accidental or left to the perspective of one discipline, be it programmer, artiste, or engineer.

Needless to say, to truly design a satisfying experience, you need Big D. And for Big D you need a respect for the expertise of others and the ability to play the integrator. It’s a Big job, but someone has to do it. Why not Design?

*Unfortunately, not everyone paid attention to Bill regarding user interface challenges. Or perhaps the possibility of a perfect interaction is simply an oxymoron, as my experiences this morning attest. But I won’t whine.



Tribute to Bill Moggridge as director of the Cooper Hewitt:

Designing Interactions, by Bill Moggridge, published in 2007 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,;qid=1348163533&sr=1-1

Designing Media, published in 2010 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,;qid=1348163533&sr=1-2

Amazon has dedicated a page to him:;sr=8-2-ent

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PR 101: Grab Every Chance to Speak

Monday, January 25th, 2010 by admin

PR doesn’t stand for press relations but public relations. Who is your public? One way to build your career is to stand up in front of your public, your audience. But those opportunities are rare.

It takes effort. You start at the bottom and work up. So check out this invitation:

What: 7th International Conference on Design & Emotion

Where: Chicago

Deadline for Submission: February 15

When: October 4-7


Design & Emotion is a forum held every other year — so it’s not a chance that will come around again in ‘11.

The conference will offer workshops, research paper presentations, design case presentations, and poster presentations.

So don’t sit there in the audience, biting your nails in frustration. See if you can get on the program.

And if it works, then you practice and practice and practice. And practice some more.

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