Posts tagged ‘sharing’

Awesome new housing concept causes serious self reflection.

From a distanced perspective, everything about K’House is phenomenal. The Philadelphia-based coworking community Indy Hall has teamed up with uber-cost efficient and sustainable residential developers Postgreen Homes and with award-winning architecture firm DIGSAU to propose a new brand of co-housing. The project’s values are “community, openness, sustainability, accessibility and collaboration.”

rendering of K’House by Postgreen Homes (especially amazing compared with the before shot)

So what’s not to love? It’s hard for me to admit this, but I’m hesitant enough about living with one other person – despite the obvious benefits (including cost and energy savings, increased safety, opportunities for socializing, and more) – let alone a true, shared, intentional community. That said, I’d love to come around to the idea of living in this type of development/neighborhood. Maybe Indy Hall will consider accepting tenants for trial periods?

March 6’s daily design idea is what is your comfort zone for the scale of your home (and particularly the number of people you share it with)?


March 6, 2012 at 11:27 pm Leave a comment and piece of advice #6.

via Fast Company’s Co.Design (March 7, 2010):

Design and innovation consultancy IDEO “announced today that it would spin off a genuine 501c3 corporation to handle its social innovation practice.” The new “non-profit,, which will officially launch in the fall, will be in a better position to get grants from foundations whose rules make working with for-profit companies difficult.”

While IDEO has a history of doing projects with social impact priorities, “the new organization will aim to work in three different ways: partnering with non-profits to design solutions to problems in the areas of health, agriculture, water and sanitation, financial services, and gender equity; using open innovation platforms and social networking to share insights on best practices; and launching a year-long “future leaders” fellowship program that will pair fellows from the developing world with selected IDEO staffers.”

But will these new approaches be as successful as everyone hopes? IDEO plans to set the bar high for which projects even get picked up, and then be the first to find out if there is a real and positive impact made. “Projects themselves will have to meet a rigorous set of standards: they’ll have to be aimed at low income communities across the globe, be funded by a non-profit enterprise, and deliver tangible results — a real product, service, or system that will directly benefit the community it targets.” In addition, “there will be a huge emphasis on understanding impact,” says the head of IDEO’s Social Innovation domain, Jocelyn Wyatt. “We’ll conduct pre-project baseline surveys, do post-project evaluations, and bring in academics or other third parties for analysis of the results.”

March 10’s daily design idea is professional piece of advice #6: document and analyze your results.

March 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm Leave a 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

I impulse purchased my way into a 28,000 person art project.

Yesterday was the extended deadline to enter The Sketchbook Project, something I found out about a mere 50 minutes before it was too late (thanks to Twitter). Within those 50 minutes, I had read the overview and the rules, become increasingly intrigued and enthusiastic, and signed up.

So what is The Sketchbook Project?

“It’s like a concert tour, but with sketchbooks. Thousands of sketchbooks will be exhibited at galleries and museums as they make their way on tour across the country. After the tour, all sketchbooks will enter into the permanent collection of The Brooklyn Art Library, where they will be barcoded and available for the public to view. 28594 artists from 94 countries around the world are participating. The tour starts February, 2011.”

Which apparently is all I needed to know in order to spend $25 on an plain moleskin and a two-month time commitment… I even bought the shirt.

I really do think that this is a great idea, but I’m also fascinated by how quickly and fully I believed that it was a great idea. What does this experience say about my own behavior? Is running out of time my weak spot in consumer psychology? Is my sketchbooking artist side craving esteem? Has Threadless conditioned me into wanting any American Apparel cotton T-Shirt that comes my way?

In all seriousness, I am a big fan (and also now a participant) of The Sketchbook Project and, overall, of community-building opportunities to share creative work. I hope that if you’re in Portland, Brooklyn, Washington DC, Winter Park, Atlanta, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, or Seattle in the first half of next year, you’ll go check out the tour.

November 16’s daily design idea is seek out creative ways to share your ideas with others. You might just end up with a cool shirt in the process.

November 16, 2010 at 4:25 pm 1 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

Replay: Re-blog Month

October 2010 was quite a busy month, so I relied on many other talented bloggers to provide daily design ideas. Before I say anything else, I want to sincerely thank the 31 fantastic blogs that helped me achieve this:

1. Rent.Food.Broke.
2. Daily Dose of Architecture
3. Desire to Inspire
4. UnBeige
5. Cool Hunting
6. Core77
7. Postgreen Homes Blog
8. Brand New
9. Design Squish
10. Axis Maps
11. dezeen
12. Design*Sponge
13. design work life
14. HOW blog
15. Other Oxford
16. in public space we trust
17. GOOD
18. Swiss Miss
19. Modish
20. Design Blahg
21. Ecohaven Project
22. The Donut Project
23. Steven Can Plan
24. Urban Omnibus
25. Streetsblog
26. anArchitecture
27. Ange Tran
28. Life Without Buildings
29. Eye blog
30. Brooklyn Theory
31. The Best Part

To all of you, thank you!! For the words, the images, and the inspiration. FYI: many of these blogs (along with a few others I’ve discovered along the way) now appear in the blogroll to the right.

image from Flickr user cutiepie company (who also has a great Etsy shop by the same name)

It’s also worth noting that the process of seeking out and curating these 31 posts also taught some things about the blog world (to which I am still fairly new). Namely:

a. Lots of blogs don’t have posts on the weekends. Clearly understandable, as many people have other stuff to do. Also possibly a habit that I might consider in the future…

b. Some blogs have really strict Terms of Use policies, which explicitly prohibit any kind of reproduction or sharing, even with attribution. This has caused me to wonder if I should even be quoting teeny little bits of their posts in the future (and also obviously led me to NOT re-blog their posts this month). Here’s to Creative Commons licensing!

c. Only one blogger out of this whole list was put off by my re-blogging. Luckily, I have not been asked to remove the post (though the offer still stands if you change your mind). Seems like people are generally pretty into their ideas being spread. Three cheers for sharing!

d. Googling “design blog” turns up a lot of specifically interior design-based blogs. Makes me wonder if (1) there are just more interior designers with search engine friendly websites than other types of designers, (2) the word “design” directly translates to “interior design” for a significant portion of the blogging community, or (3) something else all together?

e. Everyone links to each other, constantly. I was pretty amazed by how quickly certain ideas pop up all over the place (i.e. Jenny Odel’s Satellite Collection). It turns out quality work really can go viral.

November 1’s daily design idea is I learn best by doing. While admittedly risky, this method is almost always the most beneficial (in my case). Note that I can’t stress enough how much I support figuring out your own learning style.

smaller image above by Flickr user Temari 09

November 1, 2010 at 1:32 am Leave a comment

Get Published, part 1: Why Blog?

Re-blogged from RentFoodBroke.
Written by Design Bum, also known as Hillel Smith.
Originally posted August 30, 2010.

“You may be finding yourself with some downtime these days if you’re one of the many without steady work. Or if you’re stuck working somewhere you hate, you may need an outlet. A blog could fill this void, give you something to focus on that you enjoy, and bonus — it could even help you get a new and better job. Showing people what you can do is an essential part of the job search process, and a blog can be tailored to do just that. We know this isn’t 2007, the days when “blogging” was the pastime of the hip and the term was used un-ironically. Think about it instead as an activity in discipline, articulation, and marketing. Here are some ways to…

>> lots more after the jump

Continue Reading October 1, 2010 at 8:44 pm Leave a comment

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