Monday, February 20, 2012

Design as process, not product

Here's an accessible, high-level synopsis on the role of design. Benjamin Winter addresses the challenge designers face in explaining what design can do and how it's much more than material outcomes. Take a look at Shareable for the full article.

"Design is often characterized by its products rather than its processes. Tell someone you’re a designer, and the first question they’re likely to ask is: 'What kind? A graphic designer? A fashion designer? Maybe an architect?' But the artifacts produced by these specialists are not what define design. Design is about problem-solving and opportunity-seeking, not predefined material outcomes. It’s about seeing problems as opportunities for innovation rather than obstacles to progress, and simply creating more products isn’t the solution to all problems.

Design is capable of much more. In addition to products, communications, and environments, designers today are creating whole new services, systems, and experiences. The field is expanding: taking on new challenges, bridging new disciplines, and inviting new practitioners. As a sharer, you might be a designer yourself. By developing new collaborative consumption strategies and cooperative business models, you are practicing design, whether you know it or not. The goal-oriented creativity that goes into these projects can be largely intuitive, so it often goes unrecognized or simply uncharacterized as design. However, with some simple design strategies, you can be more deliberate about what you do intuitively and better direct your creativity to meet your goals.

Whether you’re planning a small charrette or a larger project, there are some basic elements, common to most design processes, that you may want to incorporate. By no means do these elements constitute the definitive design process. Like all design processes, the one below is a variation, an adaptation, a hybrid methodology. It’s also not as linear as it might seem in writing. One should expect to cycle through and repeat some stages of the process as new insights and information emerge. Use what works for you, experiment, and integrate your own techniques. Your process is yours to design. Hopefully, the following suggestions will simply provide some guidance through the challenging work of creating something new."

Thursday, February 16, 2012

FoodHub: Public platform for direct food exchange

This is an important time for food and for its makers and consumers. The local food renaissance, which some small pockets of the country are enjoying, have been constrained by lack of connection. A peach farmer needs a buyer at the precise time his peaches are ripe. A caterer gets a last-minute request for duck: Who’s got some today for an event tomorrow? Restaurants open, restaurants close; it’s hard to keep track of who might want your fresh creams and fruit jams, and how you can get those products on the right truck. FoodHub is addressing these issues by positioning itself as a matchmaker. FoodHub aims to create an environment of relevant discovery that addresses a farmer’s needs as different from (but equally as important as) those of a caterer, dairyman, or distributor. It offers its members the opportunity to develop long-term relationships as well as one-time-only single connections.

FoodHub defines itself as a dynamic marketplace and online directory that makes it easy and efficient for professional food buyers and sellers to research, connect, and do business. FoodHub gathers food producers, professional food buyers, and the associations and suppliers that serve them both, in one platform.

The service is scale-neutral meaning they support anyone from a box to exchange to a semi-truck filled to the brim. They also handle a number of distribution models ranging from self-deliver, meet-ups and formal delivery services i.e. UPS. Once a connection is made via FoodHub, buyer and seller negotiate pricing and order details, execute the transaction and coordinate the exchange of goods independently. There are no transaction fees associated with making connections on FoodHub. If based in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska or California and fit one of the following descriptions, this might be a good service to check out.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Shaping Traditional Oral Knowledge

Sweet Mary. What beauty thoughtful design offers. This in from Jihyun Ryou who is thinking about traditional oral knowledge and how it accumulates from experience and passed not only through words but through our senses. Exploring the issues of waste and preservation, Ryou takes a critical and provocative approach to addressing food and tradition through the design of everyday objects. Why default to refrigeration and high-tech solutions when we can tap into our personal histories to find viable and delightful approaches to navigating our daily lives and needs. Enjoy!

Keeping roots in a vertical position allows the organism to save energy and remain fresh for a longer time. This shelf gives a place for them to stand easily, using sand. At the same time, sand helps to keep the proper humidity.

An egg has millions of holes in its shell. It absorbs the odour and substance around itself very easily. This creates a bad taste if it’s kept in the fridge with other food ingredients. This shelf provides a place for eggs outside of the fridge. Also the freshness of eggs can be tested in the water. The fresher they are, the further they sink.

We tend to think zucchini, aubergine, cucumber, etc. as vegetables.But they are biologically fruits. This shelf gives them a space to be outside the fridge. Also through the ritual to water them everyday, they will stay fresh.