Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Systems Design Replaces Product Design

The cutting edge of design today is, rather than designing a product, designing an entire system related to the product. For example, rather than designing a running shoe, design a whole system for runners to have their shoes track their distance, time, pace, calories burned, etc., connect it to their iPod, iPhone, or wrist band and let them compare or compete with other runners around the world.

The Nike + is an example of such a systems design. When you buy a pair of Nike shoes you can become part of a world-wide running community. In 2008, Nike + was launched with the Nike+ Human Race - the World’s Largest Running Event. Nike hosted race events in 25 cities around the world, and by logging into, every city and every road became a race-day course.

By using tools like Nike+ and the Nike+ SportBand, people participated from anywhere: a country road, an urban sidewalk or at one of the 25 designated Nike+ Human Race cities. The Nike+ Human Race took place anywhere a registered runner chose to hit the pavement. Nike organized 25 physical race cities, but the Nike+ Human Race was open to everyone, everywhere. If you don’t live in a race city, you just signed up at to participate and run in your city. Using Nike + iPod or Nike+ SportBand runners tracked their miles on race day and then downloaded miles on to have their results officially counted as part of the race.

The 25 race cities had finish-line parties with major bands performing and included:
Austin, Bogotá. Buenos Aires, Caracas, Chicago, Istanbul, London, Los Angeles, Lima, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, Munich, New York, Paris, Quito, Rome, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo, Warsaw, and Vancouver.

Click on the heading above to see a video about the program.

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