Bio Design by Puma & MIT

A breathing sports shoe, that grows its own air passageways to enable personalized ventilation? A learning insole that prevents fatigue and improves athletes’ performance? A t-shirt that responds to environmental factors by changing its appearance to inform the wearer about the air quality? What sounds like future visions are actually research results by Sports company PUMA and the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Design Lab

PUMA and MIT Design Lab have been conducting research in the field of biodesign since June 2017. Biodesign is the practice of using living materials such as algae or bacteria to create products. It makes possible a football jersey made from the silk of a spider or a shoe box grown from mycelium, the root structure of mushrooms. PUMA Biodesign explores the new frontiers of biological design and fabrication to bring advances in science and biotechnologies closer to our daily lives through sport products.

Four initial experiments that derived from that study were exhibited at this year’s Milan Design Week. The four initial projects include a Breathing Shoe, which is a biologically active shoe that enables personalised ventilation by growing its own air passageways to keep the foot cool; Deep Learning Insoles, which collate realtime biofeedback by using organisms to measure chemical phenomena that indicates things like fatigue; Carbon Eaters, which is a microbially-active t-shirt that responds to its environment to change its appearance and inform the wearer about air quality; and Adaptive Packaging, a biologically programmable material that can change its shape and structure to become a new type of alive, biodegradable and adaptive packaging. See the videos here.

Dear Tea Society

Tea packaging designed by Open Studio Stockholm. The inspiration comes from classical tea salons and British member clubs. They created a fictional members club, where all teas have their own personality. And the result is something we haven’t seen in the food shelves before!

 
Designed by Open Studio Stockholm. The mission was to develop a whole new Nordic tea concept that could stand for quality, sustainability, innovation, and traceability – in a playful way. “Our idea was to create a fictional members club, where all teas have their own personality. Every blend/infution is personalized with a portrait and a charming personal description. We wanted the tea to feel as an interesting (and often eccentric!) characters that you’d like to meet over a cup.”

“The inspiration comes from classical tea salons and British member clubs, but at the same time we wanted to create something contemporary that makes tea drinking as urban and modern as the barista culture. The member clubs brought our thoughts to libraries that led us to the book-like design. The tea packages are placed on the shelf with the back outwards for easy reading of the title, sort and flavour.”

In addition to visual identity, naming and packaging design, they have also developed a physical meeting place for tea lovers in the form of a showroom/office/tea shop. On the walls are the actual paintings from the packages hanging.
By Kristina de Verdier on 12 April, 2018 In , ,

Cocofloss making flossing a fun experience

Cocofloss is a California based company making flossing a fun and rewarding experience. Mexico-based Anagrama has used vivid pastel based colors and metallic foil to give a holographic finish that enhances its lively and clean nature.

Cocofloss is a California based company making flossing a fun and rewarding experience. Mexico-based Anagrama has been designing awesome stuff again. This is how they explain their work for Cocofloss: “They offer a great variety of dental floss with a preoccupation for design. The graphic syntax developed for this project displays Cocofloss amusing essence within the interplay created by the various present elements. The pastel based colors alludes to the brand’s main values, diverting from the already age-worn clinical white more common for all things oral care. This was then matched with an elegant logo composition creating a more refined character. The metallic foil gives the whole aesthetic a holographic finish that enhances its lively and clean nature.” Via The Dieline.

By Kristina de Verdier on 3 April, 2018 In , , ,

4 Sustainable Design Principles

Nowadays sustainability is an integral part of most development projects, a filter all new designs should go through. Sustainability is part of what we call “good design” and everyone is responsible – it’s a cross-functional mission. Here are 4 design principles that can help us in these efforts.

Several aspects influence the sustainability of a product or service and it’s not easy to define which development activities to focus on, to create the best possible impact on our planet. What is clear though, is that design based on human needs, is the best starting point for sustainable design. John Thackara, author and one of the most influential voices within sustainability, states that we are filling our world with stuff, but we forget to ask ourselves “What are these things for” “What value do they add to our lives” Sometimes we focus blindly on new technology, while we probably should look into which problems to solve first. A designer’s most important role is to define these needs and make the new offering relevant and intuitive to the user.

#1 LESS IS FUTURE

We live in a world where we are constantly occupied; stores, web-sites, homes are filled with options – people are over-whelmed! A crucial task is therefore to simplify. Simplifying a product or service may sound easy, but achieving it in a meaningful way, is complex. “Less-ness” can as well be to create products with better quality, which creates less hustle for consumers as well as for the environment! Let’s ask ourselves how we can simplify the right way through the entire value chain. How can we use less material, or rather how can we minimise the amount of material that needs to be wasted?

Example: A team of MIT Media Lab researchers has developed inflated origami. A network of air channels in geometric patterns on sheets of paper, plastic, or textile.

#2 FOCUS ON THE EXPERIENCE

People do not think of a product, brand or communication separately – People buy an experience. Which means we must design for the holistic experiences. If we focus on the needs that should be solved, instead of how products look today, it results in a better user experience and increases the potential of more sustainable products. Perhaps parts of the need can be solved digitally with less footprint? When we focus on the holistic experience we have the opportunity to integrate more and eliminate useless fuzz that might just be there as a heritage from the past.

Example: IKEA’s iconic bags are famous for being reused for the most fantastic purposes, in people’s everyday lives. Now re-designed by Hay and even more desired.

#3 CIRCULAR CHOICES

Material choice is often a big question in development activities. Again, there are no simple answers regarding sustainability and material choice. But there are some basic guidelines to follow. How can we minimize the amount of different materials? How can we increase the proportion of materials made from renewable sources? How can we think circularly, think along the whole value chain, consider recycling, change the view of waste? A circular economy aims to maintain products, components and materials to its highest benefit and value all the time. Last but not least, how can we help consumers to understand what material it is, which increases the chances that it’s handled and recycled correctly.

Example: Lego’s botanical elements such as leaves, bushes and trees will be made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane in the future and will appear in LEGO boxes already in 2018

#4 SHARING & CARING

It’s getting more and more accepted for consumers to have access to things instead of owning them, especially for the younger generation. The big difference companies make when creating a product as part of the sharing economy, is that instead of asking “what should we create” the question is “how can we deliver on this need”. The sharing economy is about being in a broader context than just “my company”. My products should not only cater to my own needs, but they will contribute / be part of a much larger system.

Example: Care by Volvo is a new alternative to owning or leasing a Volvo car. Volvo calls it the future of the car experience, where a simple monthly subscription is all you need and you can easily share the car through a digital key.

Inné – A Tactile Fragrance Concept

“As you awaken to your divine nature, you’ll begin to appreciate beauty in everything you see, touch and experience.” Wayne Dyer. 

The INNÉ’s fragrance concept, designed by Thitipol Chaimattayompol. A concept which ties nicely to our earlier post about Touching Realities. Touch is one of the most important sensory modality in driving consumer behavior. The increasing lack of texture in people’s lives makes experiences become one-dimensional. So now, smart brands have be focusing more on how their products feel! By elevating the details and integrating elements of tactility, companies will consequently need to have a clear strategy on the tactile components of their brand.

“The INNÉ brand conveys a simple daylight lifestyle, while the bottle has the more complex design that links to sophisticated personality. The outer character looks simple as an ordinary individual, after touching and experiencing with the fragrance scent will evoke the inner personality to become more sensitive. The beauty is in detail of senses. The intricate texture on the bottle evokes the new personality which more complicated. The design has incorporated the touch sensation on the bottle’s surface.”

By Kristina de Verdier on 21 March, 2018 In , ,

LEGO BRICKS WITH PLANT-BASED PLASTICS

LEGO botanical elements such as leaves, bushes and trees will be made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugarcane in the future and will appear in LEGO boxes already in 2018.

Lego green plastics sustainable design 1

The new LEGO elements are made from polyethylene, produced from sugar-cane instead of oil. Just to clarify, the end-product is  still plastic – but the source is renewable. Polyethylene elements are 1-2% of the total amount of plastic elements produced by the LEGO Group; The sustainable product range covers LEGO botanical elements such as leaves, bushes and trees made entirely from plant-based plastic.

It’s not easy to get a clear answer which material choices are the ultimate ones for the planet. Several aspects influence the sustainability of a material. It is to a high degree determined by its source, chemical composition, its use (in a product) and management (at end-of-life), and the impact it can have in both environmental and social areas.

Though “sustainable material” can be a loose term, Lego notes that it believes the new material must “have an ever-lighter footprint than the material it replaces.” This is considered across impact areas like fossil fuel use, human rights, and climate change. Lego also has investments in wind power and has introduced paper pulp trays for its Lego advent calendars, which reduces plastic waste in landfills. These moves are part of the LEGO Group’s commitment to use sustainable materials in core products and packaging by 2030.

Milkadamia – plant-based future of food

The food industry is being re-shaped as we speak, driven by startups that are responding to consumer demand of healthy and responsible products. Australian Milkadamia makes plant-based milk pressed from raw macadamia nuts.

We welcome a new friend to the world of dairy alternatives! Milkadamia, a plant milk made from macadamia nuts. CEO of Milkdamia Jim Richards told Food Navigator that he thinks clever packaging and relatable branding will be their way to stand out from almond, soy, oat et al in the fridge. The milk is pressed from raw nuts grown on a family farm in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, Australia, the macadamia’s native habitat. The farm cultivates the trees in a manner said to promote healthy soil. Macadamias boast a variety of health benefits. The nuts are thought to promote brain health, bone health and heart health as well as being completely cholesterol-free and packed full of protein. Milkadamia offers four different products: Original, Unsweetened, Unsweetened Vanilla and Latte de Barista. In 2018 it will be available in the refrigerated section of Walmart as well.

Good reads: One Green Planet writes about the future of food and the new conscious food economy which is rising. Bon Appetite rates The 4 Best Non-Dairy Milks Besides Almond.

By Kristina de Verdier on 20 February, 2018

Health Wearables by L’Oreal & Fuseproject

Beauty Tech is a huge space that hasn’t been explored much. L’Oréal’s Technology Incubator has teamed up with Fuseproject to develop two UV wearable sensors, aiming to make sunbathing healthier for people.

A ‘UV wearable’ is a stick-on sensor that tracks sun exposure, lowering the risk of skin cancer by raising personal awareness around how much sun is too much. L’Oreal’s technology incubator teamed up with Fuseproject to create the first product, My UV Patch launched in 2016. Now the next product is being launched, called UV Sense. UV Sense is the world’s first battery-free UV wearable, connecting to an app where personalised information and advice on sun exposure can be easily accessed.

My UV Patch is comprised of a series of tiles with photoreactive dyes that respond to UV rays, set against neutral reference points. Fuseproject was challenged to design a patch that followed these technical constrains, while designing new styles as body ornaments. By challenging the technical elements and shrinking them, we developed an aesthetic that could be directed into any number of stylistic collections. Working around the hand, arm, and wrist, we established a core collection that truly marries fashion with function; the My UV Patch redesign is sophisticated and discreet, a take on modern jewelry, with bold architecture and tonality.

UV Sense is an even smaller, dome-based sensor, that fits directly on a thumbnail, or an accessory like sunglasses. Subtle patterns laid directly over the outer shell create playful and iconic expressions similar to nail-art, with clear versions for those who prefer simplicity. A miniscule window in the shell allows for light to enter; data collected and stored is then transferred directly to the mobile app through an NFC chip

Electric off-road motorcycle

The Swedish company CAKE’s new invention Kalk, is a new kind of electric off-road motorbike, a combination of motorcycle and bicycle with electric drive.

The Swedish company CAKE’s new invention Kalk, is a new kind of electric off-road motorbike, a combination of motorcycle and bicycle with electric drive. CAKE’s mission is to speed up the journey towards a zero emission society, while enhancing excitement and fun. All components are made from scratch to optimize the riding performance in this new category. Every little detail is elaborated for perfection, while considering the perspectives of sustainability. The motorbikes are light and silent with a range of 50 miles.

 

Nike React

When Nike asked runners what they wanted out of their running shoes, they got very specific answers: They said they wanted better cushioning. They also said they wanted better energy return. And they needed their shoes to be lightweight, of course.

Nike React Technology, now available for runners too! When Nike asked runners what they wanted out of their running shoes, they got very specific answers: They said they wanted better cushioning. They also said they wanted better energy return. And they needed their shoes to be lightweight, of course. Oh, and they had to last too. In a way, they wanted everything. The tricky thing is that these four qualities are incredibly difficult to deliver in one material because they’re opposites.

“Nike React foam cushioning” launched in June 2017 in basketball — a sport that requires players to shift direction and speed in seamless motion and to lift off at the blink of an eye. With the basketball shoes, designers encased the Nike React foam in order to provide durability and stability for traction control the players needed, but with running, engineers uncaged Nike React technology to showcase its full potential for the road.

To get there, Nike’s in-house chemists and mechanical engineers came together to test ingredients to see which composition would yield the perfect outcome. It was a process that demonstrated Nike’s in-house manufacturing ingenuity. After more than 400 hundred combinations of chemistry and processing, and using scientific methods to dial in on materials with certain amenable attributes, they landed the unique composition of Nike React foam.

By Kristina de Verdier on 24 January, 2018

Wearable Memo

WEMO (Wearable Memo) gets inspiration from the fact that nurses frequently take notes directly on their hands. It’s a silicon band designed to be written on with a permanent marker for use in the medical and manufacturing fields.

Designed by Tokyo based Kenma. During their research, they found that the need for wearable memos isn’t only within the medical field but also in the wide range of front line sites, such as disaster sites, agricultural and fishery production sites, manufacturing and construction sites. “We have designed this silicon band to wear on the arm which aims to fulfill the motto, “anytime, anywhere, writable, rememberable”, to ensure hard work at these work sites. This product can be written on with a permanent marker and can be erased by rubbing with a finger or using an eraser. It can be used as many times as you like, and it will not disappear even if it gets wet. You can even wash your hands or work underwater while wearing it.”

By Kristina de Verdier on 23 January, 2018

Garbage Popsicles

These popsicles are made by three design students for the Polluted Water Popsicles project, which aims to raise awareness about rising water pollution due to rapid economic growth and urbanization.

These popsicles are made of polluted water. Three Taiwanese art students froze samples of their city’s water in order to call attention to their nation’s pollution problem. The students are from the National Taiwan University of the Arts. The water comes from 100 different polluted water sources in Taiwan, ranging from rivers to ports to ditches. Along with suspiciously colorful waters (due mostly to industrial dye), the popsicles contain bugs, dirt, dead fish, cigarette butts, nets, oil and plastic waste in various forms, such as wrappers, bottle caps and miscellaneous packaging.

By Kristina de Verdier on 13 January, 2018

Touching Realities

Touch is one of the most important sensory modality in driving consumer behavior. The increasing lack of texture in people’s lives makes experiences become one-dimensional.

Studio Ilse Touch Consumer Design 3

We have five senses for a reason, together they help us understand and fully experience our surroundings. In the last few decades, the visual experiences have been explored in all possible directions (e.g. VR, AR). At the same time, cognitive neuroscience has made big progresses in the study of the human mind and of the principles that concur to determine our behavior. Touch is one of the most important sensory modality in driving consumer behavior. The increasing lack of texture in people’s lives makes experiences become one-dimensional. So now, smart brands have be focusing more on how their products feel! By elevating the details and integrating elements of tactility, companies will consequently need to have a clear strategy on the tactile components of their brand.

TO CONSIDER

-What are the tactile elements of your product/brand?

-How can you create brand recognition across senses?

-How can you further elevate the details?

GOOD EXAMPLE

Ilse Crawford has collaborated with Bosnian craftspeople to create furniture using a UNESCO-nominated traditional carving technique. The Zanat Touch collection features stippled surfaces created by hand-carving small scoops out of the wood using custom-made metal tools. With its hand-carved surfaces The Touch Collection engages our instinctive impulse to feel something. The collection adds value and contributes both to the sustainable socio-economic development and the preservation of Bosnian cultural heritage in an area devastated by war.

 

By Kristina de Verdier on 9 January, 2018 In , , , ,

Bolt Threads x Stella Mc Cartney

Stella McCartney continues the brand’s dedication to fashion eco innovation with the announcement of a new partnership with Bolt Threads, a San Fransisco-based biotechnology company creating the next generation of advanced materials.

This new collaboration will push boundaries in fabric innovation and usher in the next generation of cutting-edge textiles. Bolt Threads engineers fibers from scratch based on proteins found in nature, and then develops cleaner, closed-loop processes for manufacturing, using green chemistry practices.  Exemplified in the collaboration with Stella McCartney, Bolt Threads is able to create silk using yeast, making the textile vegan-friendly; staying true to the designer’s vegetarian philosophy. Solution oriented, this process reduces pollution, creates long-term sustainability, and always remains cruelty-free.

The material is the result of seven years of research and design in a lab. At the molecular level it is spider silk made by human hands. A big team of scientists, engineers, technicians and designers, have developed a way to closely mimic silk created in nature by producing a fiber from corn syrup that was fed to a yeast fermentation. Once the protein is harvested and purified into a powder, it is wet spun into fibres and twisted into yarns.

The first piece from the partnership will be a one-off gold dress made from Bolt Threads’ signature “spider silk”. It will feature in an upcoming exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art called Items: Is Fashion Modern?

The Circle of Every Little Thing

Consumers begin to see responsible products not only as a good move for the future, but as a paradigm shift that needs to happen now. The circular economy suggests that our products will no longer just support our own needs, they will participate in a much bigger system.

We live in a world full of alarms; conflicts, terror and environmental disasters. It makes consumers increasingly worried and aware. As a reaction to this, consumers begin to see responsible products not only as a good move for the future, but as a paradigm shift that needs to happen now. The circular economy suggests that our products will no longer just support our own needs, they will participate in a much bigger system. We will need to continue pushing the boundaries of the circular economy and rethink products in terms of the entire value chain. In this movement, we need to see many more companies and organizations working together, across silos, towards better consumer behavior, encouraging responsible consumption. Consumers realize that their current consumption patterns need to be changed. To make this happen they are turning to the companies who respond and make action of their promises.

TO CONSIDER

-Think circularity, think across value chain, rethink waste

-How can you start with small actions (instead of the big words)?

-How can your products/services be participants in a bigger system?

-How can you work more across silos, companies and organisations?

GOOD EXAMPLES

Parley for the Oceans addresses major threats towards the oceans, the most important ecosystem of our planet. Parley believes the power for change lies in the hands of the consumer – given he has a choice – and the power to shape this new consumer mindset lies in the hands of the creative industries. Artists, musicians, actors, filmmakers, fashion designers, journalists, architects, product inventors, and scientists have the tools to mold the reality we live in and to develop alternative business models and ecologically sensible products to give us earthlings an alternative choice, an everyday option to change something.

Stella McCartney has woven sustainability into her company. She is open about the challenge/paradox of being both sustainable and fashionable at the same time. McCartney says that building environmentally sustainable practices into her own business has been a long-term commitment. Stella has made the brand highly visible in sustainable discussions globally, making her an opinion leader within the area. “We believe that the future of fashion is circular – it will be restorative and regenerative by design and the clothes we love never end up as waste.”