Posts tagged ‘inspiration’

Underground green space?

Large areas of available space are certainly few and far between in New York City, particularly in Manhattan. So PopTech’s Dan Barasch and RAAD’s James Ramsey are proposing to create a public green space underneath the street, complete with natural light carried down through fiber optic cables. In theory, this light would maintain photosynthesizing abilities, so common plants would be able to grow in the underground space.

The proposed project would be an adaptive reuse of the abandoned Williamsburg Trolley Terminal underneath Delancey Street in the Lower East Side. The project is being called the Delancey Underground or, in contrast to Chelsea’s elevated park, the Low Line.

renderings of Ramsey and Barasch’s proposed Low Line

This idea is fairly mind-blowing to me, and I find myself to be simultaneously skeptical, intrigued, and very inspired. Luckily it seems like there’s an awful lot of supporters out there; the Low Line’s Kickstarter campaign earned a third of its target amount in three days (and has 437 backers at the time of writing). I’m sure that the really well done video has helped, too.

Want to learn more? In addition to visiting the project’s website and Kickstarter page, you can check out the unbelievable amount of press coverage including Inhabitat, Architizer, Treehugger, the Wall Street Journal, the Huffington Post, and Co.Design among others.

Feb 24’s daily design idea is: Co.Design notes that this is “the kind of space that childhood daydreams are made of.” Can a realized version of the Low Line live up to the daydream? And even if so, should some creative proposals be intentionally unrealized to preserve the awe that they inspire?


February 24, 2012 at 9:31 pm 1 comment

Advice for (young) designers.

Advice courtesy of John C Jay, Doug Bartow, and Mitch Goldstein. Synthesized and condensed by me, since I found the words of these three to be super inspirational. Here we go:

John C Jay’s second bit of advice (out of of ten) is “Work harder than anyone else and you will always benefit from the effort.” This includes everything from proofreading your resume to making your content as compelling as the eye-catching packaging in which you put it. Jay even concludes his top ten by saying that “[working harder than anyone else] is the greatest competitive advantage of any career.”

Do research on: yourself (potential employers and clients are already doing it); the people you want to work for and with; the audience you want to have for your work; your competitors (to figure out how and why they’re doing better than you); and the history of your industry (so that you know, among other important things, how to advance it). Yes, this is a lot of hard work (#1). Yes, you will definitely see a return on the investment.

Doing your research (#2), will provide the context and the confidence for moving forward independently. Doug Bartow offers that we should “observe trends (then avoid them),” i.e. get a strong understanding of existing work in order to inspire new work not simply inspire clones. A unique gut instinct (grounded in research) is an incredibly competitive asset. Or in Jay’s words, “instinct and intuition are all-powerful. Learn to trust them.”

Some of the best research (#2) and self-discovery (#3) happens when you’re outside of your comfort zone. Whether it’s traveling somewhere you’ve never been, actively seeking out critical feedback, or simply having a willingness to make mistakes, the state of being open to the unknown will help you learn and grow. In Mitch Goldstein’s words, “Truly great, interesting, inspiring design comes not from comfort but from discomfort.”

“Try not to work for stupid people or you’ll soon become one of them” warns Jay. “Learn to say ‘No’… [and] know when to walk away from an impending train wreck” writes Bartow. And “once you find a good client, never let them go” advises Michael Bierut. Enough said.

It’s always good to give back to the world that you’ve benefited from, whether it’s helping specific people or sharing your ideas abstract audiences. Examples include writing a blog (Bartow’s #8 thing is Be a Design Author – woot!) and teaching or mentoring a colleague. “The Golden Rule actually works,” writes Jay.

March 9’s daily design idea is what’s the best professionally-related advice you’ve ever received?

March 9, 2011 at 10:46 pm 3 comments

Why we get up in the morning.

February 16’s daily design idea is another quote from Ben Hammersley’s talk at Lift 11, because I really enjoyed it that much:


“Our primary problem isn’t to encourage innovation,
because people are going to innovate anyway.

Because it’s fun.

It’s why you get up in the morning.”

And just for kicks: here’s a great illustration, Innovation Nation, by playful graphic designer Alberto Antoniazzi (created for the Threadless Loves Innovation contest).

February 16, 2011 at 11:31 pm Leave a comment

Creative Boom’s 50 Best.

Yesterday Creative Boom, “an online magazine and network community that aims to celebrate, inspire and support the creative industries throughout the UK,” posted “50 of the best websites for daily inspiration.” The list includes a variety of creative topics “from print and web design to interiors, handmade/crafts, illustration and arts.” As an aspirational best-website-for-daily-inspiration, I obviously sat up and took notice.

I won’t repost the full 50 here, but I do want to make a shout-out to my blog roll sites that made the cut:
HOW Design (I particularly love the HOW Blog)
Desire to Inspire

And I also want to share a handful of sites from Creative Boom’s list that I’ll be checking out more in the future (a few of which were already creeping towards blog roll status):
Design Boom
Design Milk
Design Observer
Share Some Candy
and, of course, Creative Boom

December 19’s daily design idea is inspiration is best when shared, especially since “everyone needs a daily dose of inspiration to get their creative juices flowing.”

December 19, 2010 at 9:36 pm Leave a comment

Making a living and a difference, simultaneously.

In 2008, Dev Aujla started research on a free e-book based on the following fantastic and critical questions: “How can people my age, in their twenties and thirties, find a balance between the lifestyle they desire, the career they want and the change they want to invoke in this world? And why hasn’t anyone figured this out?” The resulting e-book (“Occupation: Change the World“) has been so popular that the project is being expanded to include a full-length book with even more stories, strategies, and trends.

In the e-book, one of my favorite trends is the non-linear career path: “No one currently making money and changing the world has a linear career path,” writes Aujla. “Understanding what a non-linear career path looks like and how to embrace the non-linearity leads to the understanding that you can gain both stability and earn a good living without following a traditional path.” Want more proof? Check out the entrepreneurial stunners in GOOD’s “Eight Successful People Doing Exactly What They Want” article.

Project H Design (founded by Emily Pilloton) builds a Learning Landscape

A related trend, highlighted by TrendWatching, identifies the demographic seeking out these career paths and living these non-linear lives: Generation G. As consumers, Generation G “captures the growing importance of ‘generosity’ as a leading societal and business mindset… the need for more generosity beautifully coincides with the ongoing (and pre-recession) emergence of an online-fueled culture of individuals who share, give, engage, create and collaborate in large numbers.” It’s no shocker, then, that “Occupation: Change the World” is available for download for free with a Creative Commons License.

November 5’s daily design idea is let’s make a living and change the world for the better, and let’s do it at all the same time.

non-linearity graphic via GOOD

November 5, 2010 at 9:53 pm 5 comments

Working Better: How to Take On a Passion Project When You Have a Job

Re-blogged from GOOD.
Originally posted October 17, 2010.
Copyright © GOOD Worldwide LLC

Every three months, GOOD releases our quarterly magazine, which examines a given theme through our unique lens. Recent editions have covered topics like the impending global water crisis, the future of transportation, and the amazing rebuilding of New Orleans. This quarter’s issue is about work, and we’ll be rolling out a variety of stories all month.

Yeah, it would be awesome if you could quit your job and dedicate yourself full time to that online museum you’ve been talking about for years, but realistically, you tell yourself, you need a steady paycheck. True, but that’s not a good reason not to do something you absolutely love and believe in. Whether it’s writing a book, starting a web site, building a shed, or growing that herb garden, you take on a passion project because you want to, for your own enjoyment—and that’s why it’s the first thing to go when time feels tight. We’re wired to train our gaze on our obligations to others. The key to finally doing the thing you always said you wanted to do is committing to it (and committing to yourself) in very practical ways.

>> learn how after the jump

Continue Reading October 17, 2010 at 8:24 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts

Recent Posts

Idea Updates

Creative Commons License
Content on Daily Design Idea is by Gisela Garrett and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License, unless specifically noted otherwise.

Daily Design Idea's visual identity is designed by Quentin Regos. All components copyright © 2010 Quentin Regos. All rights reserved.