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Creative Research Practice

Oscar Langley Professional Practice RMIT Industrial Design

Task One: Influential Designer Case Study Yves Béhar

“Designers must put the sexy back in green…”

Yves Béhar, a Swiss born Industrial designer based out of San Diego, California has made a name for himself in the design world creating stunning, thought provoking products with practical uses. His designs are all real world concepts with a modern approach. “Through his San Francisco-based design and branding company fuseproject, the Swiss-born Behar has shown that a futuristic, hi-tech approach to design can be deeply humane”. Kevin Kelly, author of Industry Leadership A main reason Béhar chose to start up FuseProject was due to the fact he was unhappy with the approach his previous superior took to the design process. He was unhappy being a ‘stylist’ and preferred a more holistic approach to design. Incorporating not just the aesthetic of the product itself, but the function, the branding and the market approach into the design process. Fuse Project and Béhar also look towards innovation and the incorporation of new technologies and emerging trends to suit their designs to the evolving market and to suit future needs.


Fuse Project also chooses not to limit themselves in terms of their design market. Attracting a wide range of clients and thus incorporating design strategies into a wide range of market sectors. Béhar is quoted as describing design as an integral part of the future business model. Which has been echoed by companies as unlikely as Facebook. Numerous reviews and articles have been written about the Swiss Industrial Designer and few of which could put him in a better light. Yves Béhar as far back as 2004 was regarded as one of the up and coming designers to look out for, someone who was capable of making significant change to the design landscape and the way people view the profession. Carleen Hawn from Fast Company wrote and article back in 2004 entitled Masters of Design, about the Béhar and his company. The standout themes are that of the business model that Béhar has created and hopes to instil in other design practices and businesses alike. Fast Company commends the designer’s approach to this design practice and approach and views is as one that should be mimicked

Béhar’s CV is as a long list of success after success through innovative design practice and a desire for positive change through design. His most recent ongoing achievement includes the $100 XO Laptop (originally designed to cost 100euros but having it’s name changed due to higher interest in the United States). The laptop has been designed and engineered to withstand intense sunlight, dust and dirt, be light and portable enough for a small child to carry to and from school, and have a design that appeals to it’s youthful target market. From the success of the original Jawbone headset (featured below), a long line of sound generating products has been created. The success of the Jawbone Jambox has boosted Fuse Project to even greater success in the audio electronics industry. The product not only features alternative manufacturing methods, it’s design is unique and the sound quality is second to none. Béhar’s works have also been featured in the Museum of Modern Art and both he and Fuse Project together have accumulated over 150 design awards since the company’s humble beginnings in 1999. The XO laptop although widely considered as a revolutionary device has been subject to scrutiny by a wide variety of people from various fields with a variety of views. C|NET UK, from a strictly computer and technological based standpoint have given a somewhat neutral rating. Commending the design and aesthetics of the device, but criticizing the device for it’s lack of graphical power and the lack of certain ‘normal’ features. Daily News Analysis, India, has described the device as revolutionary and will aid thousands of Indian children in gaining a better education. The article goes onto describe how the Indian government has already made plans to purchase a second round of over 24,000 laptops on top of the 10,000 already purchased for distribution nation wide with plans to purchase even more in the near future. It is clear from the comparison of the two articles that different demographics will view the product in different ways due to their underlying


needs. The product is made to be a children’s computer and is in no way meant to handle the strain that a fully functional office grade laptop is mean to. OLPC (One Laptop Per Child), the company that commissioned FuseProject to undertake the design project is currently distributing worldwide to countries in both developed and developed nations. Rwanda’s OLPC country manager, Sam Dusengiyumva is quoted in All Africa online newspaper in saying “Not only is it providing a fun and interactive environment for the children during their holidays, it is teaching advanced concepts of tangible skills that the pupils will remain with long after the camp”. Another example of personal and cultural standpoint going against that of CNET UK’s view. The beneficiaries of Fuse Project and Béhar’s products are almost as wide ranging as the number of products themselves. The company has spread across various disciplines of design, across multiple cultural and economic demographics, and over various industries. With the introduction of the XO laptop, Fuse Project has begun an extensive and in depth look into benefiting the lives of those in poorer nations through innovative and thought provoking design. Fuse Project and Béhar’s projects focus heavily on branding and product/company image, adding meaning to the product through aesthetics. An example of such product is a project commissioned by New York Department of Health to create a new brand and image around a line of 36 million free condoms, appropriately named NYC Condom. Through this project, Fuse Project was able to the nonpaying consumer. The beneficiaries of these products weren’t necessarily purchasing the product for it’s quality, but for the image and identity that encompassed it. Making the condom not only a safety item, and an necessity, but a product that people wanted to have for aesthetic and identity reasons.

“Vivamus et metus.”

Another area of Béhar’s expertise involves exhibition and functional sculptural pieces. One of the most notable of these is the Swarovski Morpheus. A chandelier that has the capacity to change shape using a simple touch interface mounted to a wall or a table. The piece is currently displayed at Swarovski’s Crystal Palace and is on display for all to see and interact with. The interface is made so simple that someone with no technological experience or background could learn to use it within seconds due to it’s simple feed forward and


feedback controlling system. Despite the actual infacstallation piece being out of reach, one is able to interact with it on a personal level, changing it to suit their desire. Béhar and Fuse Project alike both stay true to their holistic approach to design, be it both in the products they design and the people they design for, they never limit themselves or their target demographic.

Task Two: Glossary of Terms

Adaptive Interfaces Definition: An adaptive user interface is a software artifact that improves its ability to interact with a user by constructing a user model based on partial experience with that user. Pat Langley. “User Modeling in Adaptive Interfaces”. DaimlerChrysler Research and Technology Center. 1998. 14/04/12. m99.pdf Additive Manufacturing aka. Rapid Prototyping, 3D Printing Definition: The Process of producing parts by successive melting of layers of material rather than removing, as is the case with conventional machining. Arcam. “Additive Manufacturing (AM)”. 2009. 14/04/12 Affordance Definition: a situation where an object’s sensory characteristics intuitively imply its functionality and use. Usability First. “Interactive Design Glossary”. Usability First. 2012. 14/04/12. tion-design/ Ambient Media Definition: Devices that monitor information states and display the information in a continuous format without needing supervision. An intuitive


system that runs free of human interference. Wei, Sha Xin. “ Demonstrations of Expressive Softwear and Ambient Media”. School of Literature, Communication, and Culture. 2003. 14/04/12 Auditory Feedback Definition: Sounds in response to user activity, such as a click after a key press, a sound when a computer program opens, or a ‘bang’ when a door is closed. Usability First. “Interactive Design Glossary”. Usability First. 2012. 14/04/12. tion-design/ Augmented Reality Definition: A live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are amplified by computer-generated sensory input. This can be in the form of a sound, video, graphic, light or GPS date Mashable. “Augmented Reality”. Mashable. 2012. 15/04/12. d-reality Breakdown Analysis Definition: A technique for analyzing user interaction sequences which looks at times when users are focused on figuring out how to use the system (a “breakdown”) versus times when users are performing their intended tasks.

Usability First. “Interactive Design Glossary”. Usability First. 2012. 14/04/12. ction-design/ Biodegradability Definition: A product’s ability to break apart and decompose with the aid of soil microorganisms and natural weathering. Newton Department. “Biodegradability”. U.S Department of Energy. 1999. 14/04/12 Chording Definition: An action performed due to the combination of several triggers simultaneously. Eg. The ‘copy’ command on a computer is triggered by the pressing down of the Command key pressed with the ‘C’ key. Usability First. “Interactive Design Glossary”. Usability First. 2012. 14/04/12. ction-design/ Collaboration Cosmesis Definition: A study of materials and production methods for improved performance. Connolly, K. “Artificial Limb Cosmesis”. Surrey University, Guildford UK. 1990. 13/04/12. /585200 Creative commons Definition: A communication system/interface that works in increase sharing, collaboration and innovation through participatory file and information distribution. Creative Commons Australia. “What is a creative commons”. Creative Commons Australia. 2012. 14/04/12. Creative Economy Crowd-sourcing Definition: A process that involves outsourcing tasks to a distributed group of people. In recent years this process has been utilized with the aid of the internet and other information distribution systems.


Jeff Howe. “The Rise of Crowd-sourcing”. Wired Magazine. 2006. 13/04/12. owds.html Design for manufacture Definition: The process of design in which the final outcome is known to be manufactured in a factory or automated setting. This design process takes into consideration CAD design strategies for a more autonomous and rapid time frame. David Reieve. “Engineering and Design Tools”. 02/10/03. 13/04/12. man1.htm Down-cycling Definition: The process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of lesser quality and reduced functionality than the original. William, McDonough; Michael Braungart (2002). North Point Press. ed. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. North Point Pr.. pp. 56–57. ISBN 9780865475878. Environmental profile Definition: An in depth analysis of a product’s life cycle, focusing on sourcing material, manufacturing process, usage and disposal. BRE Group. “Environmental Profiles”. BRE Group. 2012. 14/04/12. Ergonomics Definition: The study of designing equipment, products, and devices that fit the human body, it’s movements, and it’s cognitive abilities. Chris Adams. “What is Ergonomics”. About. 2012. 14/04/12 asics/a/ergo101.htm Ethnography Definition: A quantitative and in depth research method gathering information where the intention is to provide a detailed, analytical description of everyday life and practices. Brian A. Hoey, Ph.D, “What is Ethnography”. Brian Hoey. 2011. 14/04/12. eneral_defnethnography.htm Embodied interaction Definition: Interaction Design concept that provides one with perspective on computational representation that takes action as a primary constituent. Paul Dourish. “Embodied Interaction: Exploring the Foundations of a New Approach to HCI”. Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. 1999. 15/04/12. d99.pdf Flash Form Function Field testing Definition: A test of the performance of some new product under the conditions in which it will be used. Usability First. “Interactive Design Glossary”. Usability First. 2012. 14/04/12. ion-design/ Frogger framework Definition: A design framework to couple action and funtion through feedback and feedforward. S. A. G. Wensceen. “Interaction Frogger” Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Eindhoven, Netherlands. 2004. 14/04/12. GUI Definition: A.k.a Graphic User Interface. A type of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices. Eg. Computer Screen. Win Development. “GUI (graphical user interface)”. TechTarget. 08/2000. 14/04/12. definition/GUI Human factors Definition: The field that studies the role of humans in human-machine systems and how systems can be designed to work well with people, particularly with regard to safety and

efficiency. Usability First. “Interactive Design Glossary”. Usability First. 2012. 14/04/12. action-design/ Haptic interface Definition: A user interface based on touch, using the movements of the user as input and the sense of touch as output (both tactile and kinesthetic feedback). Usability First. “Interactive Design Glossary”. Usability First. 2012. 14/04/12. action-design/ Immersive interfaces Definition: An interface in which the subjective impression that one is participating in a comprehensive, realistic experience. Science Mag. “ Immersive Interfaces for Engagement and Learning”. AAAS. 2/01/2006. 14/04/12. 910/66.full.pdf IDEO Method Interactive design Interaction design Definition: Design revolving around the way people act with computer interfaces and intuitive products. Interaction Designers. “What is Interaction Design”, 2012. 15/04/12 Lead time Lab Testing Mnemonic devices Definition: A product/object/design tool that promotes memory and specialized cognitive thinking. Book Rags. “Mnemonic Devices”. Book Rags. 2012. 14/04/12.

Multi-modal (interaction) Definition: Interacting with a computer using more than one input or output channel at a time, usually suggesting drastically different input channels being used simultaneously, such as voice input combined with a mouse. Usability First. “Interactive Design Glossary”. Usability First. 2012. 14/04/12. action-design/ Methodology Multi-jet modeling Definition: (MJM) 3d Printing involving the extrusion of two or more materials at once. The two materials are usually a main building material with temporary support material that is able to easily be removed. GWP.AG Manufacturing Services. “Multijet modeling (MJM). GWP. AG. 2012. 14/04/12 Modularity Definition: A products ability to be manipulated and altered without a great deal of difficulty. Ali K., Salhieh. “Product Design for Modularity”. Springer. 2001. 15/04/12 anagement/production/boo k/978-0-79238554-7 Object Redesign Definition: The process of taking an original design an upgrading it, typically to suit current needs and technological advancements. Open Source Definition: In production and development, open source is a philosophy, or pragmatic methodology that promotes free redistribution and access to an end product's design “Open Source”. 2012. 15/04/2012. OOUI (Object Oriented User Interface)


Definition: a type of user interface based on an object-oriented programming metaphor. In an OOUI, the user interacts explicitly with objects that represent entities in the domain that the application is concerned with. Dave Collins“Object-oriented user interfaces”. AMC Digital Library. 02/04/1993. 14/04/2012 Progressive Disclosure Prototyping Definition: A design principal and process that promotes one to show overviews and hide details until the user requests more detail. Then provide only the most necessary of details to fulfill the client/user’s requirement. Usability First. “Interactive Design Glossary”. Usability First. 2012. 14/04/12. ction-design/ Press Release Definition: A press release or a news release is a written announcement directed at members of the news media about something claimed as having news value. PRLOG. “What is a Press Release” PRLOG. 2010. 14/04/12. release.html Rapid Prototyping Rapid Tooling Rapid Manufacturing Ribbing Storyboard Definition: A series of photos/images depicting a proposed sequence of events. Used as a design tool to map out a product in both manufacturing and use cycle. ACCAD. “Storyboards”. ACCAD. 14/04/2012 ard%20Resource/ Subtractive Manufacturing Definition: A manufacturing process involving

the extrusion or subtraction of material to create the desired form. Eg. CNC Milling/Machining. Make-Parts. “Subtractive Manufacturing – When Additive Manufacturing Just Won’t Work”. 2012. 13/04/12 Synthetics Sustainability Touch Capacitive Definition: Capacitive sensing is a technology base don capacitive coupling that is used in many different types of sensors, including those to detect and measure proximity, position or displacement, humidity, fluid level, and acceleration. Eg. An iPhone screen is touch capacitive. Mark Lee. “The Art of Capacitive Touch Sensing”. EE Times. 3/1/2006. 13/04/12. User Centered Design Definition: An approach to design that grounds the process in information about the people who will use the product. UCD processes focus on users through the planning, design and development of the product. UPA. “What is User-Centered Design”. Usability Processionals’ Association. 14/04/2012 s/about_usability/what_is_uc d.html Up-cycling Definition: Taking waste and making it into something that is equal or greater or value (different to recycling as it doesn’t involve the breakdown of the existing product). Cara Smusiak. “What is Upcycling”. Naturally Savvy. 2010. 14/04/12 Undercut


Works Cited/Bibliography

Works Cited: Fuse Project. “Yves Béhar CV” Fuse Project, 2012. 04/04/2012. Fast Company. “Masters of Design”, Carleen Hawn, 2004. 04/04/2012. _behar.html C|Net UK. “OLPC XO-1 Review”. Mark Harris, 2008. 08/04/2012. DNA, India. “As Sibal’s Aakash falters, Congressled states embrace XO”. 04/06/2012. 08/04/2012. One Laptop Per Child. “XO Laptop”, OLPC. 2012. 08/04/2012. All Africa. “Rwanda: OLPC Reaches Out to Students on Holiday” 2010. 04/04/2012. Design Boom. “Yves Béhar”. 2005. 04/04/2012. har.html


FastcoDesign. “How Facebook Finds the Best Talent and Keeps Them Happy”. E.B. Boyd. 04/04/2012. 06/04/2012.

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