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Posted by Sebastian on Nov 16, 2010
Students in Denmark will soon be able to get a FreeBike - a bicycle, free of charge.
The bikes are sponsored by different companies and come with ads on them. When students sign up for a bike, they are asked to submit info about their studies and interests in order for companies to target their ads.
Biking around on a company sponsored-bicycle may not sound that attractive to most Danish students, but by doing so, they will contribute to a good cause. After a year of exposure on Danish streets, the bikes will be donated to students in Senegal and Ghana where long distances and lack of public transportation makes it difficult to attend school.
FreeBikes are set to launch in April 2011. They are currently in search of students as well as sponsors.
IDEO has created an online community called OpenIDEO where people can help create solutions to some of the world's toughest challenges.
Challenges are curated by IDEO and community-members can submit their own ideas as well as help bring other ideas forward by building on them and voting for them.
OpenIDEO’s first challenge - posted by Jamie Oliver - asks the question, "How can we raise kids' awareness of the benefits of fresh food so they can make better choices?". Another challenge simply asks users to help design the new OpenIDEO logo.
According to Tim Brown, the goal of OpenIDEO is to find out whether it is possible to achieve better results by having small internal teams collaborate with the crowd. All challenges posted on OpenIDEO will be for social good but in time, IDEO may use the platform as part of their client work for closed challenges, but those won’t appear on the OpenIDEO site.
Ever since the introduction of the Danish discount supermarket Netto in 80's the color combination of yellow and black has been associated with the slightly negative sense of the word 'cheap'.
So Danish eyebrows were raised when the most conservative bank 'Danske Bank' changed its brand colors overnight - from classic blue/white to discount-colors yellow/black. The cosmetic change was only temporary and the idea was to draw attention to numbers showing that the bank, after all, is not that expensive.
Nice gimmick, but considering the buzz generated by the campaign, it is slightly mysterious that it was not backed up by something that customers could interact with and take action upon, such as a new service or product.
• www.danskebank.dk/billig-bank (campaign site)
Posted by Sebastian on Sep 30, 2010
The car industry is probably one of the most conservative when it comes to design processes, but now Fiat is trying to change that with their new concept car, Fiat Mio.
Fiat Brazil have created an online platform, where users can submit ideas for their own visions of the car of the future. Ideas are rated and discussed by community members and Fiat designers and engineers are trying to translate the best ideas into a new product - the Fiat Mio (My Fiat).
Time will tell whether Fiat Mio is simply a publicity stunt or a serious attempt to involve users as a real source of inspiration. The concept car will be revealed at an auto show in Sao Paulo in October 2010, but already now, you can see sketches and models online.
One of the people involved in the project is head of design Brazil, Peter Fassbender who has previously been involved in the development of iconic Fiat cars Multipla and Barchetta. You can watch him and other members of the Fiat team present the process in the video documentary "Making of", which is available on YouTube.
Related: Volvo YCC ('Your Concept Car') was created in 2004, entirely by women to meet the needs of women drivers. One of the features of the car was a keychain button which automatically opened the nearest door to make it easy for someone holding bags of groceries...
Posted by Sebastian on Sep 13, 2010
The City of Copenhagen has launched a service-based campaign designed to make cyclists use the bike racks around the city's busy Metro stations.
'Illegally parked' bikes are normally just being moved by the City without notice (which is actually illegal in itself), but to make the experience less offensive, the City will now pump the tires and oil the chain after moving a bike. They also leave a friendly note reminding people to use the racks in the future.
This charm-offensive approach is of course much nicer than the usual finger-pointing campaigns but since it will eventually wear off again, perhaps the City should really design the service around those who actually place their bikes where they are supposed to, rather than focusing on those who don't. Anyway, thumbs up.
Slightly related: Bike Saddle Cover Ads
Posted by Sebastian on Aug 24, 2010
"It is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works" - Steve Jobs, Apple.
The quote by Steve Jobs is the essence, and partially the title, of a new book by former BusinesWeek reporter Jay Greene.
In a first-person narrative style Jay Greene tells the story of 8 design-led companies and how they have managed to create successful and iconic products by integrating 'Design Thinking' in their DNA. The book is based on case-studies of giants such as Nike and LEGO as well newish start-ups CLIF bar and Ace Hotel.
The concept of Design Thinking is, roughly, the art of understanding your users/customers and to translate their needs into new meaningful and desirable solutions, be it a product, a service or a system. It is a problem-solving and human-centered approach and two Danish companies Bang & Olufsen and LEGO are used as examples of the trouble established companies can run into if they lose sight of their customers in a constantly changing global market. While LEGO has since managed to re-emerge by reevaluating its design process, Bang & Olufsen have been slow to react and is still struggling. Jay Greene argues that in today's competitive market brand may be 'important' but design is 'crucial'.
If you are already familiar with the basic concepts of 'Design Thinking', DESIGN IS HOW IT WORKS may not offer any new perspectives, but if you think design is a field only concerned with style and form, this book will be an eye opener. For further reading, don't miss Tim Brown's recent book Change by Design
Posted by Sebastian on Aug 24, 2010
Hip fashion designer Henrik Vibskov has introduced a new knitwear brand in his store in central Copenhagen.
The brand is called Kaffeslabberas and it is produced by a group of grannies with a passion for knitting.
The grannies are based at senior activity centre 'Sløjfen' in Copenhagen and all proceeds from the sales are channeled back to the community center.
Kaffeslabberas is produced in collaboration with Susanne Hoffmann, a Vibskov associate. Their focus is on creating as organic-as-possible, unique knitwear, primarily for kids but also grown-ups.
As if to certify the brand's authenticity, the products are labeled with a portrait of the granny who made it.
Posted by Sebastian on Jun 20, 2010
SMK, The National Gallery of Denmark, is participating in this year's music event Roskilde Festival 2010 with a series of action-based art works, under the title PingOut with SMK.
SMK invites festivalgoers to play ping-pong on unique tables decorated by young contemporary artists. Furthermore, the first 1000 players will receive a work of art shaped as a sweatband to help them wipe their sweat and tears.
The sweatbands, embroidered with the mysterious text 'I Miss Sol LeWitt', are produced by SMK in limited numbers in collaboration with the artist Nikolaj Recke.
In case you cannot make it to the festival, you can enter an on-line competition for 50 extra sweatbands by joining the project's Facebook page.
Posted by Sebastian on Jun 20, 2010
Traditionally we don't get to hear or see much about a museum exhibition until it is actually open to the public. However, MoMa is doing things differently with their future exhibition Talk to Me.
Talk to Me - an exhibition on the communication between people and objects - will not be opening before July 24 2011, but already now they've launched an exhibition website, or as they call it, an "online journal".
The idea of the website is to document the curatorial process by sharing findings, considerations, and explorations. At the site, you can see which projects are being evaluated by the curatorial team, and you are also invited to give feedback and even come up with suggestions for the exhibition.
Posted by Sebastian on Apr 17, 2010
NIKE78 is a project that challenge the function of a pair of NIKE shoes.
78 creatives have received a brand new pair of NIKE shoes and have be asked to challenge their function using 'sport' as an inspiration. After the shoes have been collected, an exhibition showcase is planned for the
London Design Festival 2010 but already now you can see some of the in-progress outcomes at the website's news section.
Nike78 is a project of Paul Jenkins, a final year graphic design student at the London College of Communication.