Design Job: Studio Red seeks a World-class Designer/Director in Menlo Park, CA

Candidates should have an Industrial Design degree, 7+ years experience, and will be responsible for producing concept sketches/refined concept renderings of a wide variety of tech and non-tech products. They'll be directly responsible for successful aesthetic outcomes of multiple projects and will oversee and guide concepts from research through development.View the full design job here

Two Cooperative Kids Figure Out an Awesome Way to Share One Bike

When I was in Hue, Vietnam, I met four schoolteachers who all lived in a single-room shack. The four women could only afford two bicycles between them, so the way they commuted was two to a bike–with the one sitting on the rear placing her feet on the pedals alongside the driver's feet and pedaling in sync. It seemed they'd been doing this for years. "More faster," one of the teachers cheerfully explained to me, "less tired."I can't tell what country the following video was shot in, though it also looks to be somewhere in Southeast Asia. In any case, these two clever kids have also figured out a way to share a single bike between them:I am dying to know A) How they thought this up, and B) How they get started!

Objects You Can Attach to Your Head

When Google Glass was announced in 2013, I figured we'd all be wearing them on our heads by 2016. Instead they were canned last year. But as you look around, you'll notice there are plenty of other technological items you can wear on your head, either for on-head usage or mere storage.A Single GoPro CameraThis is perhaps the most obvious one, and it's not just for extreme athletes. It's not uncommon now, at least in New York City, to see an otherwise unremarkable-looking cyclist zip past you while wearing one of these. You can opt for center-forehead-mounted, side-mounted, chin-mounted or the all-important selfie-mounted.Two GoPro CamerasFor those who can't make up their mind.Two GoPro Cameras on a Rotating Swivel MountWise manufacturers have discontinued this product, and GoPro not only doesn't produce one, but distances themselves from it. Sure it can capture some cool footage, but it's dangerous. Imagine the leverage this could place on your neck if, say, you slid into a copse of trees while skiing.Seven GoPro Cameras and a Canon 7DAgain, not something you want to be wearing on your head in the event of an impact. An iPhoneAnd the iPhone 4, by the looks of it. I can't think of a single reason why you'd be wearing a helmet and needing to have your phone float in front of your face, but apparently this thing is for sale.An LED HeadlampI was first introduced to these on a camping trip, and I now occasionally use one during sewing machine repairs. As a side bonus, wearing it makes you look like a complete tool.Night Vision Monoculars and GogglesSoldiers have of course been wearing these for years, and nowadays they even have quad-lens panoramic models.Display Night Vision GogglesHelicopter pilots now have access to NVGs like these that also feature a display to relay vehicle information.Night Vision Goggles, a Communications Headset with Batteries and a FlashlightThat's a lot of gear, isn't it? That's why they sell, to prevent your head from getting unbalanced……Helmet CounterweightsAt the end of the day, I'm glad my jobs and hobbies do not require me to wear a helmet.

Using Design and Technology to Produce a Safer Football Helmet

As the devastating effects of football-related concussions become better understood, many are worried that one of America's great sports is in danger. Non-football-fans likely don't care, as it's easy to dismiss football players as knuckleheads; but to the American communities and youths who are bound together and individually shaped by football—read H.G. Bissinger's Friday Night Lights, or see the stunning, 96%-on-Rotten-Tomatoes documentary Undefeated—it's a big deal. Yet American sporting goods companies have not been able to create a helmet that can adequately protect the braincase of a 300-pound man being crashed into by other 300-pound men.The problem may be intractable, but now a Seattle-based startup called Vicis is attempting to tackle (ahem) the issue by integrating better design and technology into their Zero1 helmet. The company reckons that by pulling together a superteam of doctors, designers, engineers and manufacturing experts, they can produce a cutting-edge—and extremely expensive—helmet that better protects the brain. Image courtesy of ArtefactFor the design part, Vicis enlisted Seattle-based consultancy Artefact Group, who "understood the critically important need to merge safety, form and function into the design of our new helmet," says Vicis CEO Dave Marver. "When we review our helmet designs with current and former NFL and NCAA players, they are consistently impressed by the look and the feel of the ZERO1." Here's what they've come up with:The LODE SHELL – Absorbs impact load by locally deforming, like a car bumper. Automotive safety engineers have used local deformation to protect people for decades. We're the first to bring this proven innovation to football helmets.The CORE LAYER – Employs a highly-engineered columnar structure that moves omni-directionally to reduce linear and rotational forces. The columnar geometry used in our CORE Layer is based on principles first described by Leonhard Euler, a Swiss physicist in the 1700s.The LODE Shell and CORE Layer work together to reduce impact forces, leveraging well established engineering principles and materials long-used in stringent aerospace and automotive applications. Tested to withstand multiple seasons of play, the VICIS ZERO1 delivers 21st century innovation built on bedrock scientific principles.Even if Vicis has gotten it right—thus far the testing has been limited to laboratories and simulations, with independently-executed field tests forthcoming—the Zero1 will initially be out of reach for most, as the $1,500 asking price is well beyond what your average high school can afford. (A typical youth helmet starts under $100.) But the price will be a drop in the bucket for the National Football League, for whom each team is worth roughly $2 billion, and Division One colleges will also likely be able to muster up the scratch. And "eventually," Bloomberg reports, "[Vicis] hopes to develop lower-priced models for high school and youth ball."Sorry to hit this point again, but if you are not a football fan and cannot understand the culture, I highly recommend you watch Undefeated. It will change your perspective by introducing you to the little-seen, positive effect on character in young American males.

Germany Building Bicycle-Only Highway That Will Link Ten Cities

The ADFC is Germany's bicycle advocacy group, and they've come up with a funny term: MAMIL, which stands for Middle-Aged Man in Lycra. What they're referring to are studies that show it's typically macho dudes in their 30s and 40s who feel most safe riding a bike, particularly in adverse conditions; the number of bike-riding females, elderly, and well-parented children are kept down due to safety concerns. MAMILs"With MAMILs only, you cannot build a cycling nation," the ADFC states. "[There must be] younger and older people, fathers with children on their way to school, well-dressed women on their way to work, girlie girls in pink, ministers and doctors, teenagers on their way to sports training, musicians with double basses on their backs, elderly ladies on their way to the library [all riding bikes]."If you hit the "studies" link above, you'll find another study reporting that "in European cities with separated bicycle infrastructure, women account for 50% of riders." In other words, bike lanes bring equality. And now there's good news for the ADFC, as well as the residents in the Ruhr region of Germany: The country is launching a 100-kilometer (62-mile) fully-paved roadway dedicated entirely to bikes, no cars allowed.This "bicycle Autobahn," as is calling it, will be located in the densest part of Germany. The Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan area has a population exceeding 12 million people spread over nearly a dozen cities, and thus this super bike lane will connect ten cities and four universities. Almost two million people live within two kilometres of the route and will be able to use sections for their daily commutes, said Martin Toennes of regional development group RVR.Aided by booming demand for electric bikes, which take the sting out of uphill sections, the new track should take 50,000 cars off the roads every day, an RVR study predicts.For now the bikeway has been kicked off with a 5-kilometer stretch that's 4 meters (13 feet) wide, as the rest of the path is projected to be; in order to complete the remaining 95 kilometers, financing is required. At €180 million (USD $197 million) the bikeway isn't cheap, and the question of whom will pay for it must be negotiated. So far the RVR is off to a good start: While they paid for 20% of the initial run, they got the local state government to pay for 30% and the EU to pick up the rest. With any luck, the ADFC will soon get their wish of seeing MAMILs and non-MAMILs alike all pedaling to work.It's not really called the "bicycle Autobahn," by the way; the cycleway's official name is the RS1 or Radschnellweg, which I believe translates to something like "Fast cycleway." (Can any of our German-speaking readers clarify?)

The Soap of the Future: Bubbles!

Back in my ambulance days, we were taught to wash our hands after each shift in warm soapy water—while mentally humming a segment of "Yankee Doodle Dandy." This would take us, they reckoned, to the 30 seconds required for the soap to kill whatever germs might have got past the gloves. To this day, I still hear that silly song in my head when I'm washing up in my kitchen after handling raw meat. Now researchers at the UK's University of Southampton have come up with a faster way to disinfect, and it's chemical-free. The method is also theorized to get us out of the medically-problematic situation we've created, where we take so many antibiotics that the bugs are forced to evolve, creating ever-hardier strains. Amazingly, this new cleaning system is…bubbles!It's fascinating that they can turn bubbles into something that cleans mechanically just via ultrasound. (Perhaps less fascinating to jewelers, as ultrasonic jewelry cleaners have been on the market for some time.) Being able to clean something that ordinarily takes 20 seconds in just six means less water is wasted. Also, not mentioned in the video is that the water needn't be warmed in order to clean, which reduces energy expenditure.If the team can get this Starstream device successfully commercialized, and integrated into kitchen taps, I'd happily pay for one if I never had to buy soap again. It would be less chemicals, not to mention money, water and energy, down the drain.

Bring Candy! 5 Transformative Lessons from the 2015 Core77 Conference

Hosted in downtown Los Angeles, the second annual Core77 Conference celebrated many facets of design with the theme, Designing Here/Now. An exploration of the spaces between design disciplines where today's most impactful work is taking place, this year's speakers are changing the very definition of designer. Organized around four central ideas—collaboration now, making now, business now and the future now—the conference was a deep dive into what it means to be creating impactful work in today's competitive landscape. The speakers presented groundbreaking projects and incredible ideas over the course of the day (check our #Core77Con15) in the dramatic setting of the Vibiana, a former catholic cathedral in the heart of downtown LA. Even if you weren't able to join us for this year's event, here are five transformative lessons designers can put into practice today. Storytelling 101: Bring Candy!Storytelling will become even more critical in the age of co-creation and interdisciplinary practice. Jessie Kawata of NASA JPL working on prototypes for mission design.In Jessie Kawata's presentation about design thinking for space exploration, the creative strategist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory shared how fundamental tools of design like asking the "what and why" can help engineers and scientists connect ideas and problem solve. In one example, Kawata led a workshop with NASA scientists asking them to prototype ideas for space missions using materials from the 99 cent store. Besides the wonders of pasta propulsion and coffee filter parachutes, the biggest learning from the exercise was that these storytelling opportunities provided a venue for new ideas to be born. Prototyping with mundane objects meant that the scientists weren't as attached to their ideas spurring a brainstorm of far out ideas that could just lead to the next mission innovation. (How did she get these rocket scientists to participate? "Candy helps.")[Editors Note: For more on design thinking and science, read Jessie Kawata's post, "Is Design Thinking Rocket Science?"]Sly Lee, a marine scientist, shared the value of the world's coral reefs as well as the challenges facing ocean ecologies. Communicating the urgency of these challenges continues to be a huge hurdle for the scientific community. The Hydrous was founded to, "Make scientific data sexy!" Lee declares. Through 3D imaging tools, The Hydrous is now able to map and 3D print models of coral reef, creating better data sets for scientists to chart growth and development while providing better storytelling tools for the public. By engaging technology, citizen scientists and the scientific community, The Hydrous is working to create open access oceans and storytelling is a key component in accomplishing this mission.Sly Lee's full presentation for Designing Here/NowPeople FirstWhether through a community-driven design practice or working on your most important design project (yourself), putting people first in the age of technology can sound pretty radical. Attendees sketching their heroes as part of Ayse Birsel's first exercise for designing the life you love.The award-winning product designer Ayse Birsel introduced her newest work, a book and workshop that applies her human-centered design practice to life's biggest project—the Self. Design the Life You Love is about creating meaning and purpose through a series of exercises that form the basis of Birsel's client work. Birsel's book and workshop shift the familiar tenets of human-centered design to a self-centered design practice which can be both empowering and transformative.Process video for manufacturing Brendan Ravenhill's Grain lamp shade in Los Angeles.Brendan Ravenhill gave the audience a glimpse at what it means to be a designer-manufacturer in Los Angeles. The lighting and furniture designer often works with local manufacturers to produce his work and he argues that the link between the two is more important than a passing trend. "The new designer-maker movement is helping to fill the void of manufacturing jobs going overseas," Ravenhill explains. By putting people first, designers working with local manufacturing in turn supports local economies and allows for a type of co-creation that is beneficial for both parties. Ravenhill's Grain pendant is a prime example of how manufacturing locally can allow for a complexity that wouldn't be able to be achieved by working remotely.[Editor's Note: Read the Core77 Questionnaire with Brendan Ravenhill on switching from boat building to industrial design, working in Los Angeles and how his bottle opener jump-started his business.]Whereas Ravenhill's community is driven by production and economics, the fiber artist and designer Tanya Aguiñiga defines community in a broader sense, placing it at the center of her work. Whether its in her woven installations and the relationship with a viewing public (see "Crossing the Line" where she transforms a gallery space into a loom) or in the physical interactions of her felting interventions, Aguiñiga's work explores her own identity and a connection to a broader community—mothers, outsiders, multinationals, women. Designers of all disciplines can learn much from her "craft-centered, local problem solving," approach and the ways that it has not only transformed her work but also the people around her.[Editor's Note: Read the Core77 Questionnaire with Tanya Aguiñiga on designing outside your own reality and using craft as a way to diversify conversations in society.]Models of Impact workshop led by Matthew Manos and verynice."What if everyone in the world lived to create a model of impact?" Matthew Manos of the global design consultancy verynice, asks the audience. "What if the $8 billion nonprofits spend on design services could be spent on serving the cause?" Manos has inspired a movement with #GiveHalf, his business case for giving away half your work away for free by taking on probono nonprofit clients. By building in a probono strategy into a consultancy's workflow, "your capacity for projects can grow while your fixed costs stay low," Manos explains. If the success of verynice is any indication, putting people first can be transformative not only for the client, but for the consultancy as well. [Editor's Note: Read the Core77 Questionnaire with Matthew Manos on Giving Away Half Your Work for Free.] Mickey McManus rang the alarm in his first book, Trillions, where he described a state of, "unbounded, often malignant, complexity." In his talk, he argued for a "people first" approach as we design the future. Instead of designing an Internet of Things, McManus argues for a "community of things" that can be agile in a rapidly shifting environment. "How does design need to change?" in an age where the intersection of machine learning, digital manufacturing and feedback loops from the Internet of Things demands new and dynamic systems.Design ecosystems, not products.As technology and design merge to create complex, more connected and adaptive products, it is more critical to design ecosystems that enable users to create new interactions. The market is flooded with smart, connected devices that rely on what Mickey McManus, also an Autodesk fellow, identifies as a sea of information. "We'll have to try to create symbiosis between [products]…this will be more like growing a garden or raising children rather than like building products, houses and factories." Being a designer will mean co-creating ecosystems where machine intelligence, data and connectivity must be harnessed.Google's Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group and Levi's are a great example of the potential for co-creation. The two American companies have partnered to develop Project Jacquard, a system for weaving connected, touch-sensitive textiles, into a commercially-viable denim garment. "Project Jacquard creates a new ecosystem of open source garments," Paul Dillinger, Vice President of Global Product Innovation at Levi's underlined in his talk. "It is not a gadget, it is a platform that adds value in a world of fast fashion."NewDealDesign's Project Underskin.Gadi Amit's presentation on technology design took a more concrete approach to designing ecosystems. In his work with wearables, Amit is already creating customized technologies that draw from complex systems of information. Project Underskin, is a new kind of "wearable"—a sensor embedded under the skin that is designed to interface between the body and external cues from the environment or other people.[Editor's Note: Read the Core77 Questionnaire with Gadi Amit on assimilating technology into society, being 'a very actionable guy,' and his favorite productivity trick.]Sochi Olympic fountain designed by WET Nadine Schelbert, director of design and branding at WET Design gave a powerhouse presentation that shared how their consultancy own every aspect of designing and manufacturing water features for their clients. From precision engineering, custom built simulation software, manufacturing custom designed hardware, Schelbert explained that designing a water feature means designing space, form and performance. "Owning the design, systems, hardware and software development and build give us creative freedom and pushes boundaries," Schelbert told the audience. The workings of WET's interdisciplinary design practice is a great case study for developing robust ecosystems of the near future.MAYA: Most Advanced Yet AcceptableRaymond Loewy's principle of "Most advanced yet acceptable," continues to be a guiding touchstone for designers. In our current age of rapidly shifting paradigms and new technologies, the concept of MAYA can help navigate some of the more thorny ethical and business questions posed to designers today. Can collaboration be competitive? Core77 contributor and vice president of design at Sonos, Tad Toulis, made the case for creating an internal culture that encourages designers to "challenge assumptions and push people" in order to deliver something truly good. In a 2011 essay for Core77, Toulis made, "The Case for Competitive Competition," and at this year's Core77 Conference he revisited the idea and reminded the attendees of the power of deep engagement, prototyping ideas, embracing ambiguity, pushing people and most of all, humility. "Explain, explain, explain," Toulis encourages. "Maybe you'll find what the project is REALLY about instead of what you thought it was about."Tesla Model S, 2013In Javier Verdura's talk with CARLAB's Eric Noble, the Tesla director of product design reiterated the importance of balancing advanced technologies with the demands of business and consumer expectations. Unique to the industry, Tesla positions itself as both an automotive manufacturer and an energy storage company. The responsibility of the designer is delivering on the brand promise of a luxury, forward-thinking vehicle while also honoring the vision of its founder, Elon Musk. "When people hear the Tesla brand," Verdura explains, "they already think, 'That is so cool.' My goal is for them not to be let down by anything else they touch."Teddy Ruxpin designed by RKSBelkin Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone by Pip Tompkin StudioPip Tompkin (Pip Tompkin Studio) and Ravi Sawhney (RKS Design) discussed the business of running an ID consultancy with Core77 contributing writer Rebecca Veit. In their wide-ranging conversation, the two industry veterans discussed the delicate dance between clients and consultancy. On one hand, the business world, "understand the value of design," Sawhney told the audience. "They know they need design, they just don't know how to get there." On the other hand, "design encourages risk," Tompkin cautioned. Oftentimes risk-adverse business can be "truly frightened by design." Savvy consultancies must balance the demands of the client, hire balanced interdisciplinary teams and stay ahead of the market to thrive in this environment. Loewy's axiom seems especially prescient in today's competitive landscape.Think WrongUnconventional ways of thinking and problem solving are extremely valuable (and can be taught) in a fast-moving and agile market.John Bielenberg is a pioneer in social impact design. Since founding Project M, a program to engage young designers in social impact work, Bielenberg has gone on to form COMMON, the world's first collaborative brand, with Alex Bogusky and more recently the Silicon Valley innovation firm Future Partners. In his years of experience working with young designers and entrepreneurs, he's come to the conclusion that "thinking wrong" is the fastest track to finding ideas that matter and Future Partners is on a mission to share and teach the thinking wrong methodologies. The six tenants of the process include:• Be Bold• Get Out• Let Go• Make Stuff• Bet Small• Move FastWebsite for Kenzo x Blue Marine Foundation by OKFocusNJ(LA)If Bielenberg's success isn't convincing, the conversation between Ryder Ripps (OKFocus) and Nicole Jacek (NJ(L.A.)) offered a glimpse into the unconventional methodologies their consultancies use for creating powerful work for companies like Nike, Red Bull, Kenzo, Good Magazine and Adobe. "There is a lot of room to divert from the template," Ripps responds when asked about the work being labelled weird. "Being 'weird' is survival." Jacek's work relaunching GOOD magazine has helped reposition the beloved publication and online community for a new print audience that is fluent in the language of digital culture. She notes that a number of corporations are taking cues from agencies like hers by establishing internal departments dedicated to trying new things. Thanks to everyone who made Designing Here/Now a huge success! For more information and scenes from the conference, check out the full Core77 Conference 2015 photo gallery!

Bird-Biology-Inspired Bionic Boots

In your opinion, which of these animals is more majestic?To an American the choice is obvious, and there's a reason Don Henley didn't co-found The Ostriches. But as far as which animal we humans have more in common with, it's the latter bird.That's because ostriches run on two legs, like we do. Unlike us, however, ostriches can reach speeds of over 40 miles per hour. Take a look at the gams on this thing:Pretty impressive quads, considering they don't do CrossFit. But an ostrich's speed also has much to do with their tendon structure. After studying this, obsessive inventor Keahi Seymour has spent nearly two decades tweaking prototypes of his Bionic Boots, which are based on ostrich anatomy:Pretty impressive. And from a biomimetic design perspective, it seems that in contrast, eagles simply don't have much to offer us.

Classic Workwear with Contemporary Appeal

The new Fall/Winter collection is in! With it comes high-quality textiles, cozy layers, and classic cuts. These distinctive pieces hail from England, Germany, France, the U.S., and more, and are all made for the long haul. There are tough new chambrays and brushed cotton button downs, wool skirts, outerwear, raw denim, and tons more. To test it all out we spent a day exploring with two Portland creatives, musician Mike Rich and ceramicist Ashley Rose Hardy. From the studio to the streets, these Fall-friendly pieces keep pace with an active life and do it with comfortable style. Check out the lookbook with Ashley and Mike, and see the full collection here!

Impressive Demonstration of the “Incremental Launching Method” of Bridge Building

Commenting on the efficacy of levers, Archimedes reportedly said "If I had a place to stand, I could move the Earth." That "place to stand" is a key consideration in the building of bridges and elevated roadways. In modern construction, pylons are created at ground level, each a fixed distance apart from the rest. Pre-fab spans are then trucked in and lifted into place by a crane. But this assumes that the crane has a place to stand, a staging area. When spans must traverse deep valleys, water crossings, unfirm soil or roadways incapable of supporting the load, a crane alternative is needed.In 1907 the Canadian Pacific Railway solved this problem by devising the Incremental Launching Method: They created a 415-foot steel span on the north embankment of a river crossing in Ontario, and "launched" the entire thing from one side to the other between two massive pulley blocks, using steel cable and a pretty darn powerful hoisting machine. By the 1960s Venezuela had pulled it off with a concrete span, and in the 1970s we Americans developed a way of launching half-spans from both sides at once and getting them to meet up in the middle.I'd love to see YouTube video of these erections (yeah, I said it), particularly of the 1907 feat, but surprisingly they do not exist. We do have, however, footage of a modern-day Chinese construction company using the 21st-Century version of ILM. It is an incredible feat of engineering:Here's an animation that lets you more clearly see how the process works, and also reveals the pick-up phase back at the staging yard:Today the ILM is used around the world, from Scandinavia to Europe, Russia to India, Australia to Asia, with more than 1,000 bridges worldwide constructed via the technique. But it doesn't seem to be prevalent in the U.S., which prompted the National Cooperative Highway Research Program to launch a 2007 study [PDF] to find out why. Alas, it seems the study's answers are terribly American, related to everything from the obfuscation of financial details, a lack of education on the part of construction firms, and a difficulty with securing required permits for this type of construction. Being an American, I suspect it's more to do with money than anything else. "As is often the case in the highly-competitive construction industry," the report states, "the cost of these specialized bridge construction bid items are not widely published and are not available without considerable research into each specific project. Therefore, the projects presented in the following case studies do not present this information." It's no wonder we don't use the method much when we can't even figure out how much it will cost. Who'd have thought bridge-building would be like healthcare?