Posts tagged ‘environment’

Expanding the scope of brand impact.

via Co.Exist (January 1, 2012):

What’s the trick to making a brand meaningful? Focus on outcomes, not outputs. The criteria, says Haque [director of the Havas Media Labs and HBR blogger], are simple: “Did this brand make you fitter, wiser, smarter, closer? Did it improve your personal outcomes? Did it improve your community outcomes? Did it pollute the environment? We’re trying to get beyond ‘did this company make a slightly better product’ to the more resonant, meaningful question: ‘Did this brand actually impact your life in a tangible, lasting, and positive way?'”

Haque cites Nike+ as a prime example. “Instead of putting up another campaign of billboards with celebrities saying ‘Buy our shoes, they’ll turn you into a master runner,’ Nike+ actually helps makes you a better runner. That’s a constructive way to build a meaningful brand.”

image by Flickr user Mathieu Thouvenin

March 8’s daily design idea is consumers have long demanded (and received) positive impact from the strongest and most meaningful brands, but the impact that we’re demanding now is extending far beyond ourselves. Exciting!

For even more insight from Co.Exist on consumers’ growing expectations for businesses, check out the article “The Three Ages of Socially Responsible Business.”

March 8, 2012 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

Floating green space?

If the idea of a a park underneath the New York City streets is a bit too intangible for you, not to worry, there’s always the fully realized floating green spaces of Argentinian artist Tomás Saraceno. While the project’s images are similarly mind-blowing, the experience of Saraceno’s ‘Cloud Cities’ installation is a bit easier to grasp as it’s currently on display at Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, Germany.

photograph via bold magazine

While I haven’t been (and, sadly, won’t be) able to wander in and around the pieces myself, I do have a couple friends who were lucky enough to do so – and they say it really was as amazing as it looks.

conceptual drawing via designboom

The designboom article has great photos and sketches of the ‘Cloud Cities’ installation, as well as an interview with Saraceno while climbing in the piece itself. Some great mid-installation shots are also available on inhabitat (as is an article on an unrelated installation of nature-themed bubbles in Paris in 2010, in case you’re digging this kind of art).

February 27’s daily design idea is when your concept alone dazzles, make sure your execution lives up to the hype. Saraceno seems to have succeeded, on both counts.

February 27, 2012 at 11:57 pm Leave a comment

Replay: Sleep No More

Last night I saw “Sleep No More” by the amazing London-based group Punchdrunk. I don’t want to give too much away, because the show is so much about the mystery of the place (and because the version of the show that you will see is undeniably going to be different than the version that I saw)… but as someone who so strongly believes in documenting and measuring even the most subjective experiences, I felt the need to share a few facts with you:

The set took five months to build. It was a professional crew. They worked 6 day weeks, on average. They had to get a building permit from NYC’s Department of Buildings to do what they did.

Each night, it takes three hours to pre-set the show. Even with five stories of set to dress, that’s impressive.

The show starts at 7pm each night. The crew hits “play” on all the pre-programmed spectacular effects at 6:53pm. For any theater junkies that are reading this: they do have stage managers, but those people do not call traditional cues. The team’s first “stage manager” had an events production background and didn’t know the meaning of that title.

The maximum amount of time that a theater-goer can spend at this show is 3 hours, but there is about 15 hours worth of prepared content in that three hour time span.

big thanks to Meagan Miller-McKeever for introducing me to the creative geniuses behind Punchdrunk!

March 17’s daily design idea – while not a proven fact – is definitively my opinion, expectation, and hope: productions like this are the future of theater.

March 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

“Why is the category of humanitarian architecture even necessary?

 

“The two terms should be synonymous.
Because sound building practices
can and should lead to social justice.”

Inspirational words from Michael Murphy of MASS Design Group (a not-for-profit design firm headquartered in Boston), as quoted in the article “Social Design: Straight Out of School” in Metropolis Magazine (posted January 17, 2011).


photograph of MASS’s Butaro Hospital in Rwanda; stone cutting was performed by local masons

Here’s more on the amazing and inspirational MASS, from their website: Appropriate, high quality architecture and planning means that the underserved receive the services they need, as well as meet the goals of governments and aid groups hoping to provide basic civic, social, and environmental benefits. MASS believes that our design process can empower communities, provide better access to critical services, and build civic identity. Our approach brings architects and builders to meet directly with communities most in need and assists with aid and development efforts at a range of scales.


diagram of MASS’s approach

March 11’s daily design idea is the greatest design accomplishments involve leveraging limited resources to create a positive impact, aesthetically, socially, environmentally, and otherwise. Kudos to MASS for demonstrating that in spades.

March 11, 2011 at 9:32 am Leave a comment

Companies that care (employee edition).

Speaking of ideal work environments, what about the non-physical environment that you work in? For me, this is harder to define than its physical counterpart. I do, however, find myself in pretty full agreement with GOOD’s 10 criteria that they used for deciding the 30 places they want to work:

November 30’s daily design idea is what criteria do you use for evaluating the quality of a potential employer? How do you define a company that cares?

November 30, 2010 at 12:34 pm Leave a comment

Artists, environmentalists, and sharing.

The Whitney Museum just kicked off an exciting new exhibit entitled “UNDERCURRENTS: Experimental Ecosystems in Recent Art” that will be occurring in various locations throughout the western shore of Manhattan, including The Kitchen, the High Line, the Little Red Lighthouse, and the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant, from May 27 until June 19.

via the Whitney Museum:

“Ethical cohabitation—how to live together and how to be in the shared environment—is the problem that brings together the sociopolitical, cultural, and ecological within this exhibition. While ostensibly aiming to achieve harmonious balance, such relations are nevertheless inherently antagonistic and always unstable. In this context, how does one choose to act?”


Large Frog and Bee by Tom Otterness is not part of this exhibit, but can be seen at Montefiore Children’s Hospital in the Bronx. Photo by Adam Reich.

June 3’s daily design idea is any design that you execute will have to share resources with its users, you, and the rest of the world. How can you use this awareness to bring a new ethical sensitivity to your design process?

One of UNDERCURRENT’s many upcoming events is This Picnic Stinks! on Saturday from noon-3pm, co-sponsored with my friends at the Design Trust for Public Space. Hope to see you there!

June 3, 2010 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

One million trees.

The Huffington Post recently reported on a man named Gashaw Tahir, who returned to Ethiopia (where he was born) to plant one million trees after he saw the negative effects of deforestation in the place where he grew up. The music behind the video interview is a bit overly-sentimental, but the story is incredibly inspiring. Thanks Quentin for sharing this with me.

March 21’s daily design idea is think about a way that you could help the environment wherever you grew up.

If executing your idea seems daunting, you can still do a small part by participating in Earth Hour on March 27.

March 21, 2010 at 8:39 pm Leave a comment

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