I've discovered that the notion of "fun" is an interesting concept in relation to design. Again, who has the fun...the designer or the client? Does the fun come when the designer is paid or is the design process fun? When researching fun and the environment, one company came to mind, IDEO. IDEO, as many of you already know, is a design and innovation consultancy based in Palo Alto, California. The company helps design products, services, environments, and digital experiences.
When looking at the environment, I believe the fun comes when the designer can brainstorm ideas on how to design environmentally friendly products. In Lucy's previous post, she talked about Pangea Organics and how IDEO created eco-friendly packaging for their products. The packaging was 100% compostable and biodegradable. That's awesome however there is no evidence that the process of creating the project was fun.
I'd like to look at a different project of IDEO's. For the many of you who were in Richelle's Factors of Human Perception class, you may remember this project. IDEO created a shopping cart for an episode of ABC's late-night news show Nightline. According to ideo.com, "IDEO created a new shopping cart concept, considering issues such as maneuverability, shopping behavior, child safety, and maintenance cost" (1). This project, among many of IDEO's, has taken the environment into consideration. The design of their shopping cart, comparatively speaking, is sleek and uses much less material than the current cart we use today.
Although the overall design of the finished product is sleek, flexible, and unique, let's take a look at the process of creating this product. Again, I'd like to believe the fun comes during the brainstorming, trouble-shooting portion of creating the product. If you'd like, please take a look at the video showing the process of these carts being created. It's incredibly entertaining! The show concentrates on IDEO's creative process, recording as a multidisciplinary team brainstormed, prototyped, and gathered user feedback on a design that went from idea to a working appearance model in FOUR DAYS.
After viewing this, it opened my eyes to a whole new world of design...the process of designing a product can be fun! Wow, what a concept! The workers at IDEO were incredibly enthusiastic about creating this product and the results showed.
Describing the product:
"The nestable steel frame lacks sides and a bottom to deter theft (and is environmentally friendly!), and holds removable plastic baskets to increase shopper flexibility, help protect goods and provide a method to promote brand awareness. A dual child seat uses a swing-up tray for a play surface, and a hole provides a secure spot for a cup of coffee or a bunch of carnations" (1).
I may have steered away from environmentally friendly design concepts, but this project and process is amazing and worth talking about! The shopping cart was never used however Whole Foods has taken some suggestions into the consideration and has changed their shopping carts accordingly. Overall, this project was slightly environmentally friendly and the process was fun and innovative.
1.) "Shopping Cart Concept." ideo.com. IDEO, n.a. Web. 27 Apr. 2010.
2.) "Ideo Shopping Cart." dustinkirk.com. Kirk, n.a. Web. 28 Apr. 2010.