Tuesday, December 21, 2010

christmas tree

One has to move closer to this tree to find out what it is made of!!
Great work Schmitt!!

via - http://shoppingcarttree.com/

Monday, December 20, 2010

multipurpose interiors

Interesting setting for developing multipurpose interiors. This will be very useful in shared accommodation and office where space constraints limit the interior designers creativity.

One disadvantage that can be seen from the sample implementation is the limitation on modifying the design in the future. For example, rearrangement of interiors, relocation etc.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Heated up !!!

The arrival of the multicore family of processors has taken computing power to whole new level. It has also taken the heating issues along with it.

Excessive Heating issues have become a point of concern for many laptop users. Some of the issues include, frequent restarts, uncomfortable usage (due to the laptop surface getting heated) etc. Apart from this is the health issue keeps lingering around.

The laptop service centers are frequently asked what the solution is. The only answer they have is, don't place the laptop above pillows or check for dust in the air vent etc. The (engineering and product) designers are many more solutions to this issue like active heat sink, heat pipes, water cooling, better body design etc.

The solution that is presented in this link takes things to a whole new level, http://www.recyclart.org/2010/11/mac-oven/. The user has built a platform to direct the heat from the laptop to cook up the pizza!!!

The condition of user who consumed the pizza and used the laptop can only be determined over a period of timeJ. Until then we have rely on the heat sinks designed by the laptop manufacturer.


via: http://www.recyclart.org/2010/11/mac-oven/

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


It's been just a few weeks since the new Laptop was procured. Soon the left hand side buttons lost their matte finish and started to gloss.

This actually highlighted the fact that the thousands of English words can be spelled using only the left hand, while only a couple of hundred words can be typed using only the right hand1.

So if you are left-handed and are participating in a typing competition, it is assured that your chance are winning the round is higherJ.

Btw the QWERTY keyboard was initially introduced in the early 1870s and was designed by Christopher Sholes. There is a reason why this design has been standardized and is still prevalent. More about the design aspect of the keyboard will be discussed in the subsequent blogs.

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QWERTY#Properties

Monday, December 6, 2010

感性 - kansei

"A cool, swanky house that can comfortably accommodate a family of 4 is all I want", says a customer to an architect/interior designer.

One solution is to layout, an out of the box, 3-4BHK plan. Then furnish the house such that the (visual) taste of the customer is satisfied.

But does this cater to all the requirements of the customer? Will the growing children be kept in mind while designing? How will the design imbibe the influences of the neighborhood on the styling and outlook of the house? Lot more questions will pop out for sure when the customer's actual needs are analyzed.

Kansei Engineering is one such field where the customer's feeling and needs (also referred to as the customers Kansei) are recognized and implemented in the design. It heavily justifies the need to survey the customer feeling and needs.

According to Nagamachi, In the case of urban planning, if the people in the community want to design in terms of kansei ergonomics, the kansei included are the district's culture and history which should be implemented in the urban redesign1.

Ofcourse, the application of Kansei is not limited to building and planning. It can and has been put to use by companies like Mitsubishi, Toyota, Canon, Fuji, Ford, Honda for designing their products 2.

So next time you are getting a house built or decorated do checkout if your needs and feelings are translated* into the end product. Because at the end of the day you will be living with it and am sure you would not like to crib about things in the days to come.

  1. Introduction of Kansei Engineering. Japan Standard Association, Tokyo.
  2. Kansei engineering as a powerful consumer-oriented technology for product development, 2002, Applied Ergonomics.
* The translation part involves a whole lot of surveys and statistical analysis. More on that in the subsequent blogs.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Design of Everyday things (Volume 1, Issue 8)

Hi DMark Readers,

DMark is back after a hiatus. During this time period it was in search of a deeper understanding of factors that differentiate between good and bad design. DMark would now like to delve deeper to present to its readers a better understanding of the "Design of everyday things". 

This weeks issue is based on the book "Design of Everyday things" written by Donald Norman.
Don's approach to design is quite different. He argues why the Human cognition, psychology  has to be factored while designing everyday things.

You might ask what these "Everyday things" are. They might be anything as simple as the switchboard (which has similar looking switches for lights/fans etc.)  or the doors (that need explicit "Push/Pull" instructions to operate).

There are tons and tons of articles and objects, around us, that needs to be used for our everyday tasks. Yet our brains subconsciously hides the complexity and helps us consciously work on the important tasks.

One example that Don quotes is that of a computer keyboard. There are tens of buttons on it, and yet we are able to subconsciously use it without consciously remembering position of every character on it .

As quoted by the author, in this example we present precise behavior based on imprecise knowledge.
Now you might ask where does design come into picture. Here is the answer. The keyboard has been designed to encode the information in the environment, so that the brain is offloaded from the task of remembering position( of the characters) and concentrate on the task of generating the content (to type).

Hence, design need not always have to do with aesthetics and plain functionality. The human emotion, cognition, psychology has to be catered to. 

So the next time you are confronted by a door and look for specific instructions to push or pull then you can blame the designer for not considering the end user :)

For more information on Donald Norman do follow the link:http://www.ted.com/speakers/don_norman.html


PS: Your views and comments will be  greatly appreciated.