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Posts Tagged ‘good design

Inhabitat is one of my favorite places to discover new and inspiring design ideas. Just a minute ago, I saw the Facebook Inhabitat group has announced that they’ve been nominated for a Cooper Hewitt People’s Design Award. This award was founded by the prestigious Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and the competition gives people a chance to vote for their favorite examples of good design.

Inhabitat says “We’re honored to be nominated and we think it’s important to spread the word that good design is green design.”

Vote here and see all nominees here.

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Would love to attend this – 6th Design & Emotion Conference: Dare to Desire. (It’s in Hong Kong, too far for my wallet.)

via future perfect

This solar-powered streetlight would be perfect for lighting in city parks, plazas, and sidewalks. The leaf-shaped lights, designed to be interwoven among tree branches, gives off light during the night from the energy it has stored during the day time. Not only is this concept sustainable, its design works with the tree, the ‘faux’ lamp stand.

The Seoul, South Korean designer of the light, Jongho Lee, says, “I’d like to make something naturally from our daily life and the way we respond to the world.” Like a lot of designers do, Lee finds inspiration from observing people. What really caught my eye in her bio was her further explanation of inspiration: “In their [people] life where joy and despair coexist, design is my way of conversing with them. I wonder where, in this lighting project, she found an element of despair. Was she thinking of the ugliness of typical street lamps clashing with the beauty of a park? Or did she consider the every-day ‘despair’ of energy-wasting technology?

I would love to see these lights illuminating Minnesota’s many parks and lake paths, but they would probably get more usage in a state that sees more yearly sunlight 🙂

via Inhabitat

“Meaningful design experience”. I had a good one the other day.

Do you ever have those? You’re going about your business and bam!–you encounter something (product or service) that you find works so well for you and you instantly feel happy? Maybe you even think to yourself, ‘Wow, why didn’t someone think of this a long time ago?’

The other day I decided to use one of the many bar soaps I have stocked in my linen closet. (Sometimes I use body wash, as bar soaps tend to dry my skin out. And as a side-note, I’m not necessarily a hoarder; I just like having options. Who doesn’t?) As I peered into my closet, I decided to break open the organic (and a bit expensive) Pangea Organics soap I had purchased a few months ago from World Market. (If you haven’t been to World Market yet, I recommend a visit. It is one of the best places in Minneapolis to explore ethnic snacks, furniture, homeware, jewelry, body care goodies, and more.)

The soap I chose, Malagasy Cinnamon Cassia with Cloves, is meant to ‘invigorate the mind and warm the body’. The packaging also told me that cinnamon acts as an astringent & antioxidant, and aphrodisiac. Cloves are supposedly antimicrobial & detoxifying and stimulating. Not automatically impressive as so many soaps claim to be these things. One of the main reasons I bought the soap was due to its aesthetics (simple, egg-carton-like packaging) and scent. The small circle cut-out on the top of the carton allows you to get a good whiff of the soap. The Malagasy must have yanked me out of my Sunday-shopping reverie because I recall it was fairly strong smelling and uplifting…

For some reason I did not read the label thoroughly before or immediately after purchasing. Usually I do this. So, it was only until the other day that I sat down and read the whole label. Now getting to the design ‘aha! moment’: The label told me that I can actually plant it. 

Is this a fairly new packaging effort by sustainable-minded companies? I’d never heard of this and was delighted — This company encourages consumers to be mindful of waste and actually gives us a small tool with which to take action versus giving us a top 10 ways to save the earth. Pangea Organics says “All of our product boxes are made using a new Zero Waste process with 100% post-consumer paper and organic seeds like sweet basil and amaranth. Simply slip off the label, soak the box in water for a minute and plant it in the earth. Ecocentric Bodycare: Always Beneficial, Never Artificial.”

I’m not sure what the general ecological benefits are associated with herbs or planting them, but it can’t be a bad thing. Maybe this would be trickier to produce and get consumers to act upon, but what if Pangea Organics (or others) made product packaging with vegetable seeds? Growing your own food is a small way to reduce your carbon footprint (think less driving time to buy veggies = less harmful emissions). 

Yesterday I told my parents about the soap and handed the package to my mom. Hopefully I’ll see some amaranth soon…

 

 

Lately I’ve been tempted to start posting links, as so many throw up ‘Links of the Day’ posts…but before I get addicted to that (as I’ve heard it is), let me today post a link to a new site I came across a few minutes ago:

growmodern.

A quick click through told me it’s a design site (online store with lots of goodies) geared for parents who wish to pass down values of sustainability to their children. Using organic fabrics, sustainable materials, and producing their creations in Earth-friendly ways, they aim to be “the starting point for parents to share the joys of good design with their children”.

Aside from offering cribs, strollers, lamps (adorable, in animal shapes and various colors), they also offer albums, featuring lullaby renditions of The Beatles, U2 and Coldplay most dreamy and gentle tunes. The albums’ descriptions sound so sweet, you may want to purchase some for yourself if you need help relaxing after a long day at work.

The Beatles lullaby renditionsColdplay lullaby renditions

MyPetLamp-AngoraMyPetLamp-HoweePup

For a run-down on what’s cool for the new year, per The Washington Post, take a look at this lengthy yet highly informative list.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


I can’t believe summer is (for the most part) over. October is here already, and soon enough, Turkey Day (aka Thanksgiving). And we all know what this means. Holiday shopping season begins. The fun, the madness, the joy of holiday (can I say Christmas?). For the past few years, I just haven’t been able to come up with any sweet gift ideas when I am asked “What’s on your list?” I admit, I enjoy getting gifts, but I’ve come to realize that I have so much junk around here, and I don’t truly need anything.

I was looking at the One Laptop Per Child/XO Laptop site and my eye fell upon: “Give 1 Get 1 starting November 12”. I immediately thought how perfect this would be for a Christmas gift – either for your child/niece/nephew, etc. but more importantly, how meaningful it would be for that child millions of miles away. What if instead of exchanging gifts in your family this year, you pledged to purchase a few of the laptops? It would almost be like feeding the hungry a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving, but probably better. (not that this isn’t a generous or necessary cause)

Designed by fuseproject, the laptop represents ambitious and inspiring ideas that I hope people come to believe in and support. Education and the opportunities it affords should be a part of every child’s life.



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