Friday, August 1, 2008

Getting Design Right!

Melissa is a hot Brazilian designer who seems to get most everything right from the products she produces, the processes she uses, down to a stylish web site.

Melissa makes eco-friendly shoes that are 100% recyclable. The production process is fair and sustainable and the "plastic" shoes are made via injection molds, of a special material, melflex, a mono-material which can be dissassembled and recycled. The factory has almost zero-waste (99%), recycling its factory water and waste, and the employees are well-paid. The company supports many social and environmental programs in Brazil.

She also teams up with very hip designers such as Vivienne Westwood and the Campana Brothers (above right). And now she got Zaha Hadid, famous international architect, to design a pair of rubber shoes (above left). Hadid is controversial both from a design point of view (love her or hate her) and construction-wise--her swimming pool proposal for the 2012 London Olympics is already 3 times over budget and it hasn't been built yet. (Check out an earlier article about Hadid being one of the few women to win the Pritzker Prize.) As for the shoes--they look great. She says "The fluidity of our design combined perfectly with the technology of Melissa's plastic, injecting pieces without closures or seals."

Look at a great example of interface design by clicking on the heading above to see Melissa's website. Check out how the icons at the bottom gently hover, enticing you to click on them. When you move toward one the rest politely move out of the way. When you click on one it opens like a shoe box. Check the whole site to see charming animations that introduce each line and other nifty features. I love Melissa.

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