Archive for September, 2010

Shanghai World Expo: Better City, Better Life

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Last week we were in Shanghai for the World Expo where the theme was based on building towards a better tomorrow, a philosophy that has always informed our work. It was an unforgettable experience to immerse ourselves in what designers and architects around the world have created, bringing together great design and sustainable functionality. The result was awe-inspiring architecture filled with each country’s specialties from technology to cuisine to art.

Poll: Getting Social

Friday, September 17th, 2010

In the realm of social media giants, Facebook is the champ with over 500 million users. Foursquare and Twitter are neck to neck with about 200 million each. Foursquare, upon realizing virtual badges and titles would only interest users for so long, has boosted user engagement by partnering up with big players like Domino’s and Jimmy Choo to offer tangible incentives. Although the increase of user growth in social media channels is steady, there are still arguments on whether some applications are here to stay or temporary trends.

Which social media channel do you spend the most time updating?

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All in Real-time

Monday, September 13th, 2010

trend cloud

Real-time search is one of the hottest new tools in the digital space, further cemented by Facebook’s jump onto the social search bandwagon with real-time search engine company, Wowd and Google’s new destination for real-time search. Although real-time web is an exciting new movement that has redefined the landscape of search, it doesn’t come without its flaws.

Twitter has had to implement “trend curation” to keep an influx of buzz tweets on topics like Justin Bieber or the Jonas Brothers off their trending list by changing their trends algorithm. Trending’s purpose is to deliver the latest news on the most talked about topics, not topics of teenage obsession.

Facebook’s new search collaboration with Wowd gives users the option to construct custom feeds, game spam blocking, one-click summaries, favorite friends, and social search. Categorization is an important feature that could prove to be the success of Wowd + Facebook search; however, it is meant to be a specific search on the friends you care about. Twitter, on the other hand, pulls topics from all across the Twitterverse making the power of trending topics much greater, given that they monitor and curate the feed with relevant information. In removing topics that show up just because of constant mention in tweets, such as LAX or train stations, new hot spots could be revealed such as restaurants or a new gallery. If Twitter implements more categorizations as well, trends could become the number one go-to guide for a live feed of the hottest people, places, and news in a city furthering evolving the landscape of real-time search.

Design for You

Thursday, September 9th, 2010


We just launched Design for You from Herman Miller, a tiered contest unlike any other – powered by collective participation. Each prize requires a certain number of people to unlock it. The more friends you share the contest with, the more prizes get unlocked. On top of that, the person who gets the most people to enter the contest also wins the iconic office chair, the Aeron. We concepted and created the contest to engage people to celebrate great design. The prizes get better each week, including the Yves Béhar Leaf Light, Embody Chair, or an original Eames molded plywood splint.

For the grand prize giveaway, we collaborated with some of our favorite artists – Josh Cochran, Philip Lumbang, Mark Giglio, Chris Lee, and Andrew Holder to hand-paint five Eames rockers to bring to life “For a Better World Around You.” And thanks to Mnemonic Sounds for providing the music to these videos.

Here’s your chance to become the owner of a one-of-a-kind Eames rocker. So go sign up now and good luck!

Breaking Down the Fence

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Technology is taking the saying, “What’s mine is yours,” to a whole new level with many startups whose business model is based on people sharing and lending anything from skills to gadgets to extra space. SnapGoods and Airbnb are among some of many sites that allow people to share and exchange goods. The book, “What’s Mine is Yours” coming out this month illustrates the rise in collaborative consumption.

These services rely heavily on technology and social media in order to operate successfully. Since trust plays a huge role in these exchanges, social media comes into play where users are screened through their online presence to determine if they are reliable. There’s been an interesting shift in how technology is a main driver initiating interactivity between people, and encouraging peer-to-peer communication in an otherwise fast-paced world.

As designers who are constantly trying to create a better experience both digitally and in real life, we’ve recognized that the days when consumers were led to one static website to engage with a brand have long gone. People are now connecting with their peers, finding new places, and meeting new people digitally, which is why social media and geolocation are here to stay. We are thinking up ideas on how to use these tools to connect consumers with our clients’ brand, and bring that experience to life. Stay tuned for an upcoming project we’re launching next week that does just that.

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