Category Archives: Design

Make

Anyone that’s been around me for any length of time in the past year or so has probably heard me rattle on about “Make“. Either the Blog, that I spend a great deal of time reading, the Magazine,  the long anticipated Make:TV, or the Maker Faire that I had an incredible time at last year.

“Make” is an idea that’s been around forever but has found some new momentum. It used to be that skills were handed down from generation to generation, then learning was institutionalized in the guilds, schools and colleges, now it has been globalized with the Internet. Anything you want to know, or want to know how to do, is within your grasp. Even better, if something you dream of isn’t available to buy, the means of production are available to you so that you can create it yourself. Given that you have enough drive to see it through…

Make is creativity, resourcefulness and the desire to create. Make is DIY with a hacker ethos.

As I have become a part of all this I am inspired daily by how people are rethinking, reimagining, and redesigning the world around them. In an effort to further this idea a few friends and I have been working together to launch a local Chapter of the Make: groups that have been popping up around the country.

And with that effort I give you Make:PDX

Portland, Oregon is a magnet for creative people and has a social scene second to none. There is a group of people getting together somewhere for nearly every interest you might have. Make:PDX has the lofty goal of bringing together groups of focused interest to trade ideas. To act as a community builder, not to replace any of the individual passionate groups of people chasing ideas but hopefully bring more people into their ranks by raising awareness. This extends from rockets to robots, cooking to crochet, electronics, woodworking, writing, roasting coffee, brewing beer, etc…

If there is one thing I have learned in this life, it is that the more skills you have and the more you understand, the more beautiful and full of possibility the world around you is.

If you’re in Portland this weekend, we’ll be having our first get-together. If for no other reason than to watch me squirm as I attempt public speaking after a long hiatus it should be interesting. Oh, and also for the cupcakes and cookies Summer and I have been busily making. :)

makepdx_april_flyer_sm

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Filed under Culture Jamming, Design, Hack, hobby, Make, Personal, trends

Jay Leno will lead the 3D printer revolution

Via: MAKE: Blog: Jay Leno will lead the 3D printer revolution

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Filed under Design, Fun, Hack, hobby, Make

FLOTspotting: Trick Tactics by Sherwood Forlee – Core77


Anti-Theft Lunch Bags

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Filed under Design, Random

Failure – The Secret To Success

I stumbled across this Honda Advertisement, which is actually much more than an advertisement.

Check out thier “Dream the Impossible” series here: http://dreams.honda.com

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Filed under Design, Random, Video

Invention, Innovation, Portland.

I’d thought about starting something like this, but now that TechShop is making its Portland debut I will happily use their tools and facilities to learn more about the process of making things. I’m very excited about this development and will be one of the first to support an East Side Annex!

From Molly Purnell @ Core77:

On the bus I get to know Dave, a self-proclaimed inventor and maker who’s excited about TechShop’s CNC router. Dave builds Fretted Dulcimers which are apparently coming back into fashion in the Japanese hand-made instrument market, and he needs access to the shop in order to build prototypes.

Dave seems to be the typical clientelle of TechShop; a maker with big dreams, little space, and no equipment. TechShop’s goal is to remedy this situation for the 300 or so potential members that came to the opening event. TechShop plans to have milling machines, lathes, welders, a laser cutter, an electronics shop, blacksmithing tools, a finishing room, workstations, a 3D printer, and of course the coveted CNC router. Along with all of this equipment there will be a tool and materials shop, a small library and a communal kitchen.

The greatest benefit of Techshop will be the probable development of community. The owner of TechShop, Jim Newton and the Portland shop manager, Denney Cole, claim that the community is one of the greatest drawing powers for continued membership. Most builders know that another’s experience and knowledge is the best tool available.

In addition to the tools and community, TechShop will offer offices for rent so that businesses may be based out of the shop. This will include access to the machines and tools as well. The monthly cost for a membership is $125 while a yearly membership is $1000. There may be a special rate if you get in now, which I would recommend since there are only 500 available memberships. The anticipated opening date for TechShop Portland is December 15, 2008 and the hours will be 10am-9pm, 7 days a week. Eventually Denney would like to have the shop open 24 hrs a day. Jim and Denney hope to open an annex on the East Side as soon as possible, sparing us more long bus rides.

More about TechShop @ GeekDad, LA Times, Forbes

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Filed under Design, DigiBoom, Education, Fun, Hack, Make, Portland, trends

Thinking about Design Thinking

I never took any art classes and I don’t know how to draw, paint, sculpt, etc… but I have been spending a large amount of time over the past several months getting more and more into my obsession with design. Trying to take apart what I consider “good design” into the process components that might have been involved in bringing those wonderful ideas, or reimaginations, to reality.

During my reading I came across some keywords that have opened my design education. Keywords are the keys to the kingdom when it comes to internet research. You find the right set and they will guide you to all the others. This time it was “Design Thinking”.

I came across the term when reading about Stanford’s d.School and how they were applying the Design Thinking process in a collaborative effort with their business school. One link led to another and I was hooked.

This is good stuff.

This is creative, analytical, visual problem solving.

From Wikipedia:

Design thinking is a process for practical, creative resolution of problems or issues that looks for an improved future result.[1] Unlike analytical thinking, design thinking is a creative process based around the “building up” of ideas. There are no judgments in design thinking. This eliminates the fear of failure and encourages maximum input and participation. Outside the box thinking is encouraged in this process since this can often lead to creative solutions.

Everywhere I’ve looked I have found applications for this type of problem solving. I like “what if” scenarios (to a point) and I like applying them in open problem solving arenas. I always try to see hurdles as opportunities. More often to run around than jump over.

I’d like to say I’ve been using this type of problem solving for a long time but there is a lot I can learn here. Maybe you can too, in your business, in your personal/social life, wherever.

Tim Brown of IDEO (one of the most successful design firms in the world) is largely credited with coining the term and is it’s lead evangelist. Check out his blog at http://designthinking.ideo.com for some thoughtful musings on the process. Also check out http://www.core77.com for some really hot designs.

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