Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 - The Beginning of the Decade of Design Education

2010 marks the beginning of the decade of design education. Until the first decade in the 21st century, there was a systematic, institutional bias against visualization as a component of "serious" education. Visual learning had been ghettoized as a stand-apart "arts" class in schools for over a century. No state education agency or university included "visual communication" in its list of basic skills in general education along with oral, quantitative and written communication.

Despite the growing knowledge that the economic survival of companies, cities, and national economies is now dependent upon strong design, schools and educational institutions have steadfastly ignored over 40% of the intelligences available and necessary for human cognition. 2010 marks the beginning of a new era of education in which images, objects, environments and experiences are recognized as essential to learning as are reading, writing and mathematics.

This is the beginning of a complete transformation of education and the formulation of a third culture - Innovation and Design - to accompany "Science and Technology" and "Arts and Humanities." Until now we have worked mainly to understand our universe and the complexities of the human mind. We are now, for the first time, in a position to not only understand our universe but to change and improve it through design.

Challenges for Design Education in 2010

When the International Design Education Alliance is launched at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. on April 13, 2010 there will be many tasks to perform during the first year and decade of K-12 design education. What can you contribute to the effort to provide design education as part of general education for all students every year?

What can we do to help teachers develop the knowledge and skills needed to teach students design and design processes?
How can we get the word out to students, teachers, parents and administrators about the importance of design education?
How can we change standard school practices to allow design education to be taught to students in schools?
What barriers need to be removed to help improve education and the world through design education?

Setting Design Goals for Schools

As we think about a new year and make our resolutions, here are my hopes for design education for 2010.

Visual Literacy and Design Education will become a part of general education for all students every year.
Teachers will receive the professional development necessary to provide quality design education for students.
Students will learn about information design, product design, environment design, and experience design as part of regular instruction in schools.
Students will know the history of design including influential practitioners like Frank Lloyd Wright, Raymond Loewy, Paul Rand, Zaha Hadid, Jane Jacobs, etc.
Students will recognize influential design icons like the Eames chair (left) and the architecture of Santiago Calatrava (right).
Students will know processes for problem-solving and creating designs such as ideation, visualization, prototyping, presentation, and implementation.
Students will develop design thinking skills to become more aware citizens and help shape the future through design.

2010 is the decade in which visual learning and design will become part of the general education curriculum for all students every year taught by qualified teachers in schools everywhere.

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Holidays are Rich with Design

The holidays are a time when professional and vernacular design is really brought to the forefront. Advertisers bring out their best graphic design, industrial designers present their best product designs, cities and homes are completely redesigned to provide the most stimulating design experiences possible, and the experience of design creates the most emotional and stimulating sensory delight the human imagination can provide.

Haddon Sundblom forever set the standard for Santa Claus with his paintings for Coca-Cola (left) and, ever since, Coke's trademark red and white colors have also been the the colors in which we expect to see Santa dressed. People drag trees inside their homes and decorate them, as well as the whole house (inside and out), with lights and carefully selected ornaments. Music, lighting, the smells of trees and food, the feel of the cold winter air, the colors and textures of new clothing, are just some of the ways we consciously try to stimulate all our senses and really feel "alive" during the holidays.

So, whatever you celebrate at this time of year, take a moment to reflect on how we create our world and make a life worth living through design.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

International Design Education Alliance to Meet in Washington, D.C.

The International Design Education Alliance (IDEA) will have its founding meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 2010. The forum will take place in the National Building Museum (right) in Washington, D.C. from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

The Design Education Alliance is for people who support design education as a part of general education in K-12 schools. The discussion will include participants who also provide design education outside of schools; schools for career development in design; institutions that provide outside resources to schools (like museum educators); University teacher-preparation programs, and others; but the focus of the meeting will be on design education as part of regular instruction by qualified teachers in K-12 schools.

Three areas that will be discussed include:

1. K-12 Design Education Policy - What standards, assessments, curriculum, licenses, regulations, statutes, etc. will need to be in place to ensure that every student in every school gets design education every year?

2. K-12 Teacher Preparation - What training, certification, university courses, degrees, curriculum, resources, etc. will need to be in place to provide teachers qualified to provide design education in K-12 schools?

3. K-12 Student Services - What resources, recognition, scholarships, incentives, motivation, classes, lessons, etc. will need to be provided for K-12 students to help them understand and value the importance of design education in their future success?

For further details, the meeting coordinators are Martin Rayala, Ph.D., Rayala@Kutztown.edu
and Robin Vande Zande, Ph.D., rvandeza@kent.edu

The meeting is open to anyone interested in supporting design education in K-12 schools.
Registration is $49 to cover materials, continental breakfast, lunch and other amenities.
Provide your name, affiliation, address, email, phone, etc. with your check for $49 made out to BEIG/DIG c/o Rick Knivsland
and send it to:
Rick Knivsland, Art and Design
Price Laboratory School
19th and Campus
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50613

How to Survive the 21st Century

There are many people in our schools right now who will live to see the 22nd century. For the first time in history we will have people who will have lived part of their lives in three centuries. One of the fastest growing segments of the population today is people who are over 85.

What will it take to survive the 21st century?

Living longer than 100 years will take specific knowledge, skills and dispositions. We currently know everything we need to know to live through the century - we just have to make sure we learn and apply existing knowledge. Most of the problem will be with our dispositions - we have to get ourselves to do the things we know we should do.

Health - Read Ray Kurzweil's books "The Fantastic Voyage" and "The Singularity is Near". These books provided a blueprint for extending your healthy and vital life well into the 22nd century.

Environment - We know what to do to manage global warming, clean water supplies, healthy air and many natural disasters. Very soon, cities will produce more energy than they use and decrease carbon content in the atmosphere rather than add to it.

Technology - Popular fiction and film play on our fear of machines taking over the planet and trying to eliminate people. To keep that from happening we will have to learn as much as we can about machine intelligence. The solution isn't to avoid technological advances. The solution is to have more people who understand how technology works.

War and violence - We know one thing that could imperil our chances of survival is death by the hands of other people. We know what needs to happen to keep that from happening. One thing is for each person to think like a global citizen rather than a nationalist or tribal isolationist. 150 years ago we encountered war from neighboring states. 100 years ago we encountered wars from other nations. 50 years ago we encountered wars from other continents. Today we are the ones waging wars. 50 years from now there will be no wars sanctioned by any state, nation, or continent.

Work - Loss of gainful employment, jobs being taken over by machines, elimination of the skills we trained for, and a myriad of other conditions that cause us not to be able to survive financially, are on the forefronts of our minds today. The 21st century requires new skills that weren't even imagined in the 20th century. Survival will depend on our ability and willingness to learn new skills. Since we will be living to be 120 we should expect to spend 40 of those years learning new skills, 40 working, and 40 in peaceful retirement.

How can we help the fast-growing population who are students today, but will live well over 100, to survive the 21st century?

How Media Literacy Will Transform Education

The new issue of The Journal of Media Literacy explores "School 2.0: Transforming 21st Century Education Through New Media Literacies". How will schools need to change to keep up with the growth of new media? We now have Web 2.0 - what will School 2.0 look like?

The cover (left) features Ken Burns, recognizing the release of his PBS series, "The National Parks: America's Best Idea." With today's technology, students have the ability to produce and distribute their own videos worldwide. Like Ken Burns, their productions will have a point of view, no matter how benign. Media literacy enables viewers to be more aware and responsible in their use of media.

The National Telemedia Council has published The Journal of Media Literacy continuously since 1953. Back then, the "media" included radio and the introduction of television. Today it includes personal mobile devices that enable worldwide personal text, voice, photo and video communication from wherever you are.

Marieli Rowe is the Executive Director of the National Telemedia Council. Karen Ambrosh is the President, and this issue was guest edited by Dr. Martin Rayala.

To order a copy email NTelemedia@aol.com or order online at NationalTelemediaCouncil.org.
Click on the heading above to go to the National Telemedia Council website.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Do Good Design: How Design Can Change the World

Do Good Design: How Design Can Change the World (right) is a book by David Berman (left) (foreword by Erik Spiekermann) with stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in their professional lives to create good. Do Good Design is also a website and a movement with a manifesto - "Don't just do good design, do good!" Canadian communication designer David Berman looks at two choices designers have - working to create deceptions that encourage more consumption or using their profession to change the world.

Design matters, like never before. Designers create so much of what we see, what we use, and what we experience. In this time of unprecedented environmental, social, and economic crises, designers will choose what their young profession will be about: inventing deceptions that encourage over-consumption.

Berman addresses questions like:
How did design help choose a president?
Why are people buying houses they can't afford?
Why do U.S. car makers now struggle to compete?
Why do we really have an environmental crisis?

Design matters, like never before. Designers create so much of what we see, what we use, and what we experience. In this time of unprecedented environmental, social, and economic crises, designers will choose what their young profession will be about: inventing deceptions that encourage overconsumption -- or helping repair the world.
Today, everyone is a designer. And the future of civilization is our common design project.


David Berman is the founder of David Berman Communications in Ottawa and the Ethics chair of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada,

Click on the heading above to go to Berman's "Do Good" site.

Design USA Exhibit at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum

An exhibit at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City is a virtual catalog of contemporary design in America. It is a great starting point for generating lesson ideas for K-12 design education.

Design USA: Contemporary Innovation commemorates the tenth anniversary of the National Design Awards and showcases the winners recognized during the first decade. In addition to honoring Lifetime Achievement and Design Mind winners, the exhibition is organized according to five themes that are fundamental to the various disciplines: CRAFT, EXPERIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, MATERIALS, and METHOD.

The objects in the exhibition represent an exciting period of American design characterized by major shifts in the design profession with phenomenal advances in digital technology, new materials, and the advent of global partnerships.

Through the five thematic lenses, Design USA demonstrates how these developments are reshaping our definition of design, focusing on American innovation and the directions in which design is headed as we move through the new century. With a multifaceted, interactive exhibition designed by 2006 Communication Design Award winner 2×4, Design USA also marks a new chapter in the Museum’s efforts to enrich the visitors’ experience in the galleries.

In 2000, the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum founded the National Design Awards program to celebrate contemporary American design and to increase national awareness of design through education and promotion of excellence and innovation. The Awards mark important accomplishments in a variety of categories, including architecture, landscape design, interior design, product design, fashion, communication design, and more.

Click on the heading above to go to the website for Design USA.

Monday, December 21, 2009

K-12 Design Education #1 Priority of National Design Policy Initiative

At their second annual summit the U.S. National Design Policy Initiative (NDPI) held in Washington, D.C. in December 2009 the group identified K-12 design education as their #1 priority.

Of three resolutions passed by the group, #1 was Introduce into K-12 educational curriculum learning modules on design creativity and innovation.

This was the top priority proposal from the wider design community gaining 23% of the 324 votes. This proposal supports the work of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, led by Caroline Payson; the Association of Architecture Organizations' A+DEN (Architecture + Design Education Network) which includes AIA, AAF, and Chicago Arch. Foundation; initiatives in AIGA Design Educators Community, and many other K-12 design education initiatives.

The National Design Policy Initiative (NDPI), founded in 2008 by Dori Tunstall, was developed to raise the visibility of design as "paramount to US economic competitiveness...and democratic governance." The NDPI annual Summit gathers designers, government officials, design education accreditation agencies and professional organizations to begin a national conversation about the development of a policy structure that would support and benefit from design's value. The project proposes structural changes that address contemporary shortcomings of American design infrastructure.

Click on the heading above to go to the NDPI site.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas Lighting Display from Holdman Company

Do you enjoy driving around to see the various light displays on houses for the holiday? In some neighborhoods there is a friendly competition to see who can have the best lighting display. Imagine if the house next door was owned by the company that creates lighting displays. What do you think their lighting display would look like? You're not even close.

The Holdman Company creates computerized lighting displays, usually for commercial companies. At this house in Utah they do a special Christmas display with 45,000 lights and 176 channels of computer control. The lights are controlled by computers and synchronized to a variety of holiday songs.

Click on the heading above to see a short video of some really over-the-top lighting design.

Avatar Delivers for Designers

Box Office figures won't tell an accurate story about the opening weekend of Avatar because of the huge storm that hit the Northeast. We had 24 inches of snow in one day in Philadelphia (what we usually get in a whole winter).

Avatar pulled in $27 million on its opening day (before the storm) but the film cost between $225-250 million to produce. I don't think James Cameron has any reason to worry.

Avatar is one film you have to see in the theater and shell out the extra money for the 3-D experience. There are four ways to see the film - the traditional film format; in 3D; in HD Digital 3D; and in Imax Digital HD 3D. See it in the best format available in your town. It will be hard to go back to watching traditional movies after seeing the new digital 3D format.

In the midst of the second worst storm in recorded Philadelphia history, we made it to the theatre to see Avatar. Here are some random thoughts:

What makes digital animation believable? - The expressiveness of the mouths not the eyes (these characters have anime eyes.)
The movie is about the process of making the movie - learning to make avatars move convincingly.
This one isn't about humans against machines - it is about humans against nature.
A common theme - egghead scientists against good old American soldiers and businessmen.
The American story is that our heroes aren't very rational but they have "heart" (Captain Kirk versus Mr. Spock)
The Navi have cat-like features, vocalizations and mannerisms although their culture is Native American.
The fall of the big tree is reminiscent of the fall of the Twin Towers,
Humans used to be people of the earth - now they are the evil "sky-people".
Transitioning back and forth between the people and their avatars - they are more impressive as Navi.
Many of us would like to have a different body if we had the chance.
The lighted plants and forest scenes - I see a theme park in the making.
The audience applauded at the end of the movie.

AIGA-NYC Presents Panel of Top Design Bloggers

AIGA-NYC featured "Design Blogging is Changing Everything" as their Fresh Dialogue 25 December meeting at the Tishman Auditorium in lower Manhattan.

Every day, hour, and minute, design blogs present an unprecedented and ever-expanding diversity of design. AIGA-NY brought together four design blog luminaries (left) followed by a discussion of how design blogs are changing design, investigating the unintended consequences of self-publishing, and what blogging can achieve for its readers, writers, and the design community at large.

The event featured presentations by Khoi Vinh/subtraction.com, Josh Rubin/CoolHunting.com, Tina Roth Eisenberg/swiss-miss.com, Allan Chochinov/Core77.com with a discussion moderated by Alice Twemlow, chair of the SVA design criticism MFA Program and contributing editor at DesignObserver.com

Moderator Alice Twemlow (right) (a non-blogger) is a writer, critic and educator whose work focuses on graphic design. Twemlow earned an MA in design history from a joint program of the Royal College of Art and the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. She has been a guest critic at the Yale University School of Art and at RISD. In 2006 the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York named Twemlow the chair of its new Master of Fine Arts in Design Criticism.

Alice Twemlow writes for Eye, Design Issues, I.D., Print, New York Magazine and The Architect’s Newspaper. Twemlow is also a contributor to the online publication: Voice: AIGA Journal of Design and DesignObserver.com.

Click on the heading above to go to the panel site.

Core77 is Big Business

Some blogs, like Swiss Miss, are small, one-person labors of love but others, like Core77 (left), are big business with large staffs and many writers.

Allan Chochinov (right) is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts. He is the editor-in-chief of Core77.com, the widely read design website, Coroflot.com design job and portfolio site, and DesignDirectory.com design firm database.

He has been named on numerous design and utility patents, and has received awards from I.D. Magazine, Communication Arts, The Art Directors Club and The One Club. He teaches in the graduate departments of Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and writes and lectures widely on the impact of design on contemporary culture.

Click on the heading above to experience Core77.

Swiss Miss is a Site Everyone Loves

The writer of Swiss Miss is one of the nicest people you would ever meet and it comes through in her popular blog. Her readers love her and her personable style. She is it, there is no staff and no cadre of reporters.

Tina Roth Eisenberg grew up in mountainous Switzerland, influenced by renowned Swiss design and a lot of fresh air. Tina is often referred to as swissmiss, her popular design blog and design studio.

Swissmiss broadcasts with an European viewpoint and a love for clear, Swiss functional design. She has worked at several prominent NYC design firms, including Thinkmap, Inc., where she helped design the award-winning Visual Thesaurus. Tina is the founder and creative director of swissmiss studio, located in DUMBO, Brooklyn.

Click on the heading above to check out Swiss Miss.

Cool Hunting is a Catalog of Interesting Things

Josh Rubin scours the internet and other sources looking for interesting stuff to put on his blog, Cool Hunting.

Rubin believes that there are no new ideas, just great executions. As an interaction designer he's always looking for both creative inspiration and an understanding of the way people do things. In 2003 he decided to start a catalog of what he found and haphazardly named it Cool Hunting.

Outside of being a ruggedly handsome editor, Josh also consults on strategy, content and design for select clients including Apple, Adobe, Vodafone, Nike, Microsoft and MTV. Josh helped to found the digital consultancy Bond Art + Science, was a Lead User Interface Designer at Motorola, a Design Director at Razorfish, in charge of product development at Upoc Networks and an intern at IDEO. He has a BA in Communications and Cognitive Science from Hampshire College and a Master's in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU.

Click on the heading above to check out Cool Hunting.

Subtraction.com is a Website for Insiders

Khoi Vinh (left) is the design director for NYTimes.com, where he leads the in-house design team in user experience innovation. He is also the author of the popular design weblog Subtraction.com (right), where he writes extensively on design, technology and user experience matters of all kinds.

Subtraction.com is full of information and ideas but Vinh is not a fan of focusing much on himself. Vinh is not as personally visible in his writing as some bloggers like to be. His focus is on lots of interesting content and meaningful ideas.

Previously, Vinh was the co-founder of the award-winning New York design studio Behavior, LLC. He studied communication design at Otis School of Art and Design in Los Angeles and practiced branding and graphic design in print for several years in Washington, D.C., before moving to New York.

Click on the heading above to go to Subtraction.com.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Debbie Millman Tapes TV Version of "Design Matters"

Debbie Millman, celebrating her impressive 100th online blog interview with influential designers, also launched the first set of video interviews for the pilot of her television version of "Design Matters" with a taping before a live audience at the School of Visual Arts Theatre in lower Manhattan.

Her first two guests for the TV version of "Design Matters" were, appropriately, her first two guests for the online audio interviews several years ago - Milton Glaser and Stephan Sagmeister. You can't get much bigger guests than that.

Millman understands television. She is herself an attractive blonde and chose for her first two guests, not only world-class designers, but tall charismatic men. It fits a television formula, but it works.

The Design Matters TV show is not a "Wayne's World" community access program. This is real TV along the lines of "Inside the Actor's Studio". There is a large crew - producer (Hillman Curtis), director, stage manager, two teleprompters, audio technicians, lighting, projection, key grip, 4 cameras, a rotary track for the 2 cameras on stage (visible in the photo on left), a makeup artist, etc.

The design world waits to find out whether the pilot will get picked up.

Click on the heading above to follow Millman's blog.

Milton Glaser is One of the World's Greatest Living Designers

Any history of graphic design would have to include the long and influential career of Milton Glaser (right). He is most popularly known for his iconic Bob Dylan poster (left) and the ubiquitous "I (heart) NY" logo.

Appropriately, Glaser was Debbie Millman's first guest at the pilot taping for her "Design Matters" TV show. At 80 years of age, Glaser still has the magnetism and charm of a superstar designer. He makes good TV and had great chemistry with host Debbie Millman.

Glaser told the TV audience about the second version of his famous "I (heart) NY" logo that he did after the 9/11 tragedy. The heart, in the new version, has a smudge at the lower left side (symbolizing the location where the twin towers of the World Trade Center had been.)

After the taping of his interview, audience members gathered around Glaser for autographs and photos (right) until he finally had to escape into the cold New York night outside the School of the Visual Arts Theater in lower Manhattan. Interestingly, the theater exterior itself was designed by Glaser.

Click on the heading above to go to Glaser's website.

Stephan Sagmeister Says He's Not Nostalgic


Stephan Sagmeister (right) is one of the top graphic designers in the world. He enjoys the mobility that comes with fame and the ability to travel around the world to speak, consult and design. He gets to pick and choose projects that interest him.

Sagmeister was one of the guests on Debbie Millman's pilot TV show "Design Matters" taped in New York in December. He talked about making the notorious AIGA poster in which he had the information for the event scratched into his skin (left). (Yes, that's not Photoshopped - they are actual scars that have since faded away.) His latest book is "Things I Have Learned" (left).

During the taping of the TV pilot, Sagmeister said he is not a very nostalgic person. Printed magazines, for example, are on the way out, but even though he is a graphic designer, he finds no reason to mourn their loss. His attitude is things change - new visual forms are developed - get over it and move on.

He tried an experiment with his design firm in the past where they tried to be a "style-less" design firm that, rather than having an identifiable style, would create a new style for each new project. He said it wasn't a successful strategy. He found that, as eclectic and unique his style is, they do have a style and it is better to go with that rather than adapt completely for each client.

Sagmeister was also one of Debbie's first guests on her popular online blog version of Design Matters so, while we wait to see the outcome of the TV version of the show, you can hear their earlier audio interview online.

Click on the heading above to go to Sagmeister's website.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Isn't Television a Visual Medium?

It has always been curious to me that more art teachers don't recognize television as a visual medium. Many schools now have their own television studios right in the school but art teachers are seldom involved with any productions they do.

I can see that setting up a television studio is an expensive proposition that might keep an art teacher from including TV production in their program but what about schools that already have the equipment available in a dedicated studio?

Even without a studio to do actual productions there is a great deal students can learn about television. Composing an image, lighting, chiaroscuro, color, foreground, middle ground, background, costuming, makeup, set design and many other aspects of television are directly applicable to an art and design curriculum.

Watching real television being made shows how carefully every visual detail is considered. Shots are meticulously composed with extreme attention to elements that are too bright or too dark. Backgrounds are carefully examined for stray shadows, distracting lights or disruptive lines. Framing of images is exactingly controlled within the aspect ratio demanded by the medium for a headshot, a two-shot or a 3-shot (right). Lighting is carefully controlled to separate people from the background and provide modeling to the face with backlights and side lights. Makeup is applied to cut down shiny spots on the nose and forehead.

Television producers are applying design learning in complex and exacting ways. Design educators can help improve the quality of the visual design of school television productions by applying what we know about composition, light, color, perspective, etc.

Visioneer Design Challenge Receives Grant

The Wisconsin Art Education Association (WAEA) has been conducting a statewide design competition for middle and high school students called "Visioneer Design Challenge" for four years. In this program, professional designers and community design-related companies and leaders partner to help art teachers and students learn design strategies. Professional designers create and judge the events. Teachers and students learn together. Students take charge of their learning and preparation.

WAEA recently received a Gifted And Talented grant from the Wisconisn Department of Public Instruction to further prepare art teachers to identify and provide opportunities in art and design for students. The grant will allow WAEA to provide three in-service sessions in which substitute pay, food and transportation will be provided for 20 participating art teachers.

a. January 11 at Edgewood College, Madison, the initial in-service will focus on identifying students who are gifted and talented, creating a profile of these students, and how to work with them in the Art and Design areas once they are identified.

b. April 23 is the Visioneer Design Challenge program at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Peck School of Art (left), where art teachers will observe and document what students are doing, how they are solving problems, and their energies and attitudes concerning learning new methods in art.

c. In May a follow-up session will be held at CESA's in each region. At this meeting teachers will assess what they have learned about students and their learning- what worked, what didn't and how to improve this process.

To learn more about the Visioneer Design Challenge program and its offerings, go to www.wiarted.org or click on the heading above. You can create a Visioneer Design Challenge for your city or state.

"Designing Interactions" is a Good Online Resource

I've reported about Bill Moggridge's book "Interaction Design" before but, if you haven't checked it out, you can learn quite a bit from a great website that has been created about the book. There are interviews with the designers featured in the book and much of the book is right there on line for free. Click on the heading above to see the informative and well-designed site.

The book is big and looks intimidating. Don't let that scare you off. Moggridge himself (right) is one of the leading experts on interaction design in the world. He was one of the founders of IDEO, perhaps the top design firm in the world. He will be one of the keynote speakers at the IxDA conference in Atlanta in February.

You probably don't include interaction design in your curriculum yet but that shouldn't keep you from exposing your students to interaction design. It is one of the leading design fields in the world right now. They need to know what it is and who some of the key players are, even if you aren't geared up to have students do an interaction design project yet.

Chapters in Designing Interactions include:
1 The Mouse and the Desktop Interviews with Doug Engelbart, Stu Card, Tim Mott and Larry Tesler
2 My PC Interviews with Bill Atkinson, Paul Bradley, Bill Verplank and Cordell Ratzlaff
3 From the Desk to the Palm Interviews with John Ellenby, Jeff Hawkins, Bert Keely, Rob Haitani and Dennis Boyle
4 Adopting Technology Interviews with David Liddle, Mat Hunter, Rikako Sakai, David Kelley and Paul Mercer
5 Play Interviews with Bing Gordon, Brendan Boyle, Brenda Laurel and Will Wright
6 Services Interviews with Live|Work, Fran Samalionis and Takeshi Natsuno
7 The Internet Interviews with Terry Winograd, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Steve Rogers and Mark Podlaseck
8 Multisensory and Multimedia Interviews with Hiroshi Ishii, Durrell Bishop, Joy Mountford and Bill Gaver
9 Futures and Alternative Nows Interviews with Dunne and Raby, John Maeda and Jun Rekimoto
10 People and Prototypes The author’s view of designing interactions, with help from Jane Fulton Suri and Duane Bray

Students Compete in Interaction Design Challenge

The Interaction Design Association (IxDA) supports those practicing interaction design (IxD). As the discipline of IxD matures, the need for closer ties to design education programs that include the discipline of IxD intensifies.

IxDA puts on an Interaction conference every year that is hosted by an educational institution with a commitment to creating tomorrow’s designers with a strong base in IxD. This year they are extending their link with education by running the first Global Student Competition. Students can be in a program for HCI, Industrial Design, Information Architecture, Computer Science, Interactive Design, Graphic Design, Experience Design, Communication Design, Instructional Design, Fashion Design, Interior Design, Exhibition Design, Architecture, Jewelry, or IxD.

The competition is open to any current students or recent graduates who have completed a project they feel exemplifies interaction design excellence. Both individual work and group work will be accepted. This year’s theme is “Excellence in Interaction Design.”

Five finalists will be announced December 15, 2009. Each finalist will win a scholarship to Interaction10 | Savannah hosted by the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). While in Savannah, finalists will compete through 3 more stages of the competition (poster review, 24-hour challenge, and final presentation) to find a winner.

Designing Starts With Thinking

New designs that work often require designers to re-think an old idea and approach it from a different direction.

Dyson (one of the world's best design innovators) has come up with a new take on the blow-dryers used in public bathrooms. I actually got to use one last night and, after the first bit of confusion and unfamiliarity, I found it functionally effective and aesthetically satisfying.

While I like the idea of hand dryers for environmental and health reasons, blow dryers have not done the job as easily as just grabbing a paper towel (when available). I like the idea of not having wasteful, over-flowing paper all over the floor so I wanted blow-dryers to work.

I was pleased when they came out with those super-powerful dryers that are so powerful they distort your skin like an astronaut's face in a wind-tunnel. It's actually sort of fun to watch your skin ripple and flow like water and they dry your hands in significantly less time. I still found myself finishing the job by wiping my hands on my pants.

The Dyson Airblade (left) is the world’s first touch-free hand dryer that actually works. The pressurized air is released through very thin apertures in a sheet of air that "wipes" water from hands in about 12 seconds.

The Airblade has two hand-sized apertures that blow room-temperature air by using a digital motor that has no heating element (thus being more cost effective as well). The hot air from conventional hand dryers not only dries out your skin but also sends bacteria-laden air into the immediate vicinity. The Dyson uses an anti-microbial coating and a Hepa filter, so the expelled air is clean and the dryer surface is germ-free.