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Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 jul 2024

Generative AI (artifical intelligence) has potential to transform education practices and will bring new challenges to the traditional pedagogy in many fields of learning. Architecture and design education is no exception. The already fast changing world of architecture with climate change, environmental issues, natural disasters, shifting human needs and requirements etc and speedy technological innovations and advancements like AI, makes adapting to the present and predicting the future a humongous task for all those in the field - academics, researchers, educators, professionals, students, policy makes etc. Teaching an architect is a responsible task. Eric J. Cesal, Design Educator and Author, explains how the AI will impact architecture and design education and profession, and what practices in the design teaching and learning process would no longer be needed in the future. He says, 'The conversation about what and how to teach is already contentious, and it must necessarily evolve with technology...However, there's another, easier conversation to have: what not to teach...in my own teaching and conversations with colleagues, there seems to be a consensus among design faculty that certain things should no longer be taught in architecture school. These anachronisms remain fixtures in most schools due to institutional and cultural inertia...AI will change that calculus. It gives us new arguments for purging some of the more ossified practices of design culture.' He further specifies following three things that are inherent to the educational process that AI will assist in getting rid of - (1) Masochism: All-nighters, self-neglect, exhaustion etc are problems that are part of architecture and design schools. Educators want to curb them and it seems difficult to bring a culture change. Ideas need to be executed, they are tested, proven and demonstrated through drawings and models. This requires efforst and hard work with strict deadlines. Mr. Cesal says, 'This may seem reasonable—at least to anyone who's been to architecture school - as long as you ignore the downstream effects. As you stay up for several nights in a row to test and prove that one brilliant idea, your creative faculties steadily decline, compromising what might have been that second or third brilliant idea...Research consistently shows that a well-rested brain is better able to generate novel ideas, solve complex problems, and think critically...As AI rapidly takes over the rote, mechanical aspects of design, humans must focus their efforts on only those things that a human can do...So tell your students to leave the studio at a reasonable hour and go home. Insist on it. Insist that they do their designs, do their best, and then go home, or go out.' (2) Fetishization of the Image: Mass media brought an image-based culture in the architecture profession. Mr. Cesal says, 'This shift can be attributed to the way mass media fragmented different types of professional success: commercial success (making money), professional success (being esteemed by one’s peers), and cultural success (being esteemed by the wider culture)...these three types of success typically follow a sequential path. However, architecture has an alternative route, which I’ll call Path B. This route subverts the conventional sequence...Through Path B, an architect can achieve cultural success by earning the esteem of their peers, even if they have limited commercial success or built projects. With sufficient professional and cultural success, one can then achieve commercial succes...some architects can win the Pritzker Prize...with a very shallow portfolio of built works, principally on the strength of their publications and theoretical work...The existence of Path B in architecture enables and encourages a fetishization of image-making...The rise of AI in architecture fundamentally challenges the viability of pursuing Path B. With AI-powered tools capable of generating stunning, novel renderings based on text prompts, the mere production of impressive architectural images no longer signifies the same level of creativity and innovation that it once did. As a result, achieving early acclaim primarily through image-making will become increasingly difficult...As image-production becomes easier, the true test of an architect’s creativity and skill will likely shift toward her or his ability to navigate the complex realities of bringing designs to life, and to navigate the changing realities of practice...AI has made making images of our ideas simpler. Let's adapt to this change by ending our collective fetishization of image-making and focusing instead on the higher-order problems of the future.' (3) Design School as Rite of Passage: The old English model of education in American universities focused on broad range of subjects and students were not particularly trained in particular field. Medicine and law became first specializations in mid-18th century. Archiecture became an educational specialization about a century later. Mr. Cesal says, 'It wasn't really until the late 19th century that American institutions, influenced by German models, began to adopt the graduate and research models we know today, along with the concept of electives and majors. In contrast to the old English model, it was designed to train individuals for a lifetime of continuous work in a specific field, beginning at the age of 18...Going through a major program does more than just teach you the technical skills necessary to execute a specific type of work: it inducts you into a tribe. You undergo shared experiences that then bond you with others in your eventual profession. However, with the rapid advancements in AI, this model may no longer be suitable for the future. As AI accelerates the pace of technological change, it becomes increasingly challenging to predict the skills and capacities that will be necessary for professional work in the coming decades. The idea of fully training someone for a profession by their early 20s, with the expectation that this education will suffice for a lifetime, seems anachronistic in a world where entire professions may become obsolete within a matter of years. To adapt to this new reality, we must restructure learning to be a continuous, lifelong process rather than a one-time experience...This new paradigm could take many forms, such as having professionals return to school for a semester every few years...The key is to recognize that the current specialization model, which was developed in an era when America still ran on steam power, may no longer be adequate for a future characterized by rapid technological change. In the field of architecture, this means re-evaluating the notion of design school as a singular rite of passage. In the future, design school won’t be something you went through. It will be a process that lasts a lifetime.' Read on...

ArchDaily: How AI Can Help Us End Design Education Anachronisms
Author: Eric J. Cesal


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 jun 2024

Stanford alum Abdul Aleem returned to Bihar (India) during COVID-19 and in 2021 co-founded BuiltX SDC (Sustainable Design & Construction). The startup is bringing an innovative concept in India's architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry by exclusively working with nonprofits to fulfil their infrastructural needs. The organization provides low-cost high-quality sustainable and environmentally-friendly design and construction to nonprofits with focus on healthcare and education sector. Mr. Aleem says, 'BuiltX is more than just a construction organization; it's a movement towards sustainable and equitable infrastructure, Our core values of empathy, integrity, and innovation drive every project we undertake. We are dedicated to building a future where every child has access to quality education and every individual can receive world-class healthcare, regardless of their financial background.' Their partnership model utilizes Integrated Project Delivery mechanism that ensures a streamlined process from start to finish, managing every detail and allowing non-profit partners to focus on their mission and impact. One of their projects is Akhand Jyoti Eye Hospital (Bihar, India), the largest eye hospital in Eastern India. Read on...

Free Press Journal: Sustainable Design & Construction: Pioneering Infrastructure For Non-Profits In India
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 may 2024

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making inroads into many fields and so it is in architecture and related areas like interior design, urban planning, landscape etc. As it is in early stages of adoption there is excetement, experimentation, uncertainty and concerns. A recent survey of 1200 architectural profesionals throws light on what the industry really thinks about AI and asked how it impacts design processes and workflows, and human resources in the industry. HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SURVEY - (1) The Use of AI Is Being Propelled by Experimentation and Self-Driven Learning: 60% of the respondents are using AI without formal training; Integration issues, lack of testing time, and insufficient training resources are challenges faced in adopting AI tools for architectural projects; More than 2/3rd of respondents already use AI or intend to do so soon. (2) The Highest Satisfaction With AI Is When It's Used During the Early Design Stages: More than 67% of respondents feel so; Only about 30% deemed AI renderings suitable for design development and beyond due to concerns regarding precision and control. (3) AI Technology Will Soon Become Standard in Architectural Design but Needs to Evolve: 52% expressed concerns about AI's potential to disrupt job security within the architectural visualization field; 74% agreed that there should be ethical guidelines governing AI's use. Read on...

ArchDaily: What 1,200+ Architects and Designers Really Think About AI in Architecture
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 apr 2024

Combination of design and manufacturing is key for the success of 'Make in India' initiative and its beneficial outcome domestically and globally. Sajjan Jindal, Chairman & MD of JSW Group, says, 'Just as trust in a product hinges on its reliability and innovation, trust in India's manufacturing future also rests on its ability to seamlessly blend world-class engineering with cutting-edge design. Embracing design as a core tenet of 'Make in India' is the cornerstone to achieving this trust, both domestically and on the global stage.' He suggests strategic integration of design into the manufacturing process. He says, 'It's about understanding the capabilities and constraints of resources, including production, materials, and the workforce, and then designing products that are not only desirable, but also manufacturable with efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and high quality.' Inculcating design thinking approach can become a core of India's manufacturing prowess. India has been working on building the development of a robust domestic material sciences and engineering ecosystem to support the manufacturing sector. Design thinking and design engineering can lead to cost efficiency, performance ehnancement and reduced environmental impact. Automotive industry saw growth in development of composite materials leading to manufacturing of lightweight car components. This will help in making eco-friendly vehicles and will position India as sustainable manufacturing hub. India's space industry is another opportunity that will be driven by collaborative design and manufacturing approach. Innovation and collaboration go hand in hand. Bringing together diverse knowledge, expertise and skills leads to innovative solutions. Government can help in providing an enabling environment to encourage industry-academia collaboration in design, engineering and manufacturing. Steel is a material of choice in many industries and it needs to interlock with evolution of design engineering to be future-ready. Mr. Jindal continues, 'Design orientation is not a magic bullet. But it's a powerful tool that can significantly strengthen 'Make in India'. By prioritising design, Indian manufacturers can move up the manufacturing value chain and begin to create truly innovative, globally competitive products. This shift in mindset, from ‘Make in India’ to 'Design and Make in India', is key to unlocking the nation's full manufacturing potential.' Read on...

The Economic Times: Embracing design as a core tenet of 'Make in India' will build trust in Indian manufacturing
Author: Sajjan Jindal


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 apr 2024

Interior design and fashion trends are seeing a convergence. Experts say that these trends are more closely linked to each other then anticipated and there is a trend cycle that works between fashion and interior. Interior designer Marie Flanigan says, 'Fashion often informs interiors by inspiring the choice of silhouettes, color palettes, and materials. Sometimes fashion trends take a few seasons to trickle down to interiors, but always forecast the direction of interior design.' Brady Tolbert, interior designer and Creative Director at Bobby Berk, says, 'Fashion has always been where color trends start, and then they trickle down into multiple other industries.' Designers Kailee Blalock and Taylor Troia of House of Hive explain the similarities of the two industries, 'In our view, the trend cycle bridges interior design and fashion because these two mediums aren't all that different. They both revolve around evoking emotions and creating a particular ambiance. Nowadays, if someone identifies with a particular fashion style, it can easily translate into their interior design preferences.' Social media is also playing an important role in bringing this intermingling of trends especially through personality-led and influencer-led styles. David Samuel Ko, founder of Maison Co, says, 'Fashion is a form of self-expression, and so is interior design. Just as you would tell a story with a new outfit, you can do the same with your home and now more than ever, designers and companies are starting to realize that as they are making pieces that feel very fashion-forward, or creating a space inspired by a runway trend.' Following are 6 interior trends that began in fashion - (1) Quiet Luxury: Interior designer Kathy Kuo says, 'The quiet luxury trend is one of my favorite fashion-to-interiors crossovers as of late because it really speaks to the importance of quality materials and timeless design...Quiet luxury may be billed as a trend, but I think of it as a more enduring lifestyle choice.' Mr. Tolbert says, '...It's all about restraint in color palette and materials, and it focuses on the use of high-quality and luxe materials in dramatic ways rather than having a lot going on in the room.' (2) Layering Patterns and Textiles: Christine Carney, Director of Design at Blackberry Farm Design, says, '...Layering patterns and textures such as florals and stripes with chunky wovens is another example that gives bohemian, effortless vibes.' Ms. Flanigan also observes layering in interior design as a key interior trend for 2024, adding that it can be an effective way to add depth to a room. (3) The Coquette Aesthetic: This style is all about ultra-feminine pieces with a retro feel. Mr. Ko says, 'One trend that was insanely popular during the holidays was this "coquette" and the bow trend.' (4) Eclectic Grandpa: This trend links to to vintage home decor, rich colors, and a general welcoming of an eclectic style and goes hand in hand with the popularity of shopping vintage furniture trends, creating homes that feel full of character. (5) Coastal Grandmother: This interior design style embraces a coastal color palette to create spaces that feel light and airy. (6) Unexpected Red Theory: This trend is based on the idea that adding red in small amounts to any spaces without our homes (or outfits) enhances their visual appeal. Interior designer Natalia Miyar says, 'Red lends itself beautifully to smaller spaces. It creates such an intense and dramatic feel that elevates a small room that can often feel forgotten...' Read on...

Homes & Gardens: 6 interior design trends are also key fashion trends for 2024 - here's what designers say on the shared trend cycle
Author: Emily Moorman


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 mar 2024

Design of new part, component, or assembly requires consideration of fit, form and function and also innovation and aesthetic. Design reuse is an important aspect where existing designs are utilized. Computer aided design (CAD) and product data management (PDM) enabled use of existing similar designs available within the engineering organization, while engineering design search engines enabled finding them in broader internet ecosystem. Moreover, software driven engineering design optimization tools that proved optimal and efficient designs. One such tool was Topology Optimization in which the algorithm reduced the maerial in a design object. These processed and tools evolved into Generative Design that utilizes AI technologies like Deep Generative Models (DGMs) a form of Machine Learning and Neuro-Symbolic AI. The algorithms now create innovative designs with many options and possibilities that satisfy specified fit, form, and functional requirements including manufacturability. AI-Driven Generative Design develops, optimizes, and assesses design possibilities, and reduces repetitive tasks, multiple calculations, optimal design search etc for designers and helps them focus on problem-solving and innovation. Traditional design process includes ideation and conceptualization, creation, redefining and ehhancing the design, validating and building. This process is linear and even the use of CAD and CAE tools are not sufficient and require high level of expertise. AI-driven generative design improves on this process and significantly shortens the product design lifecycle. Generative design enables the designer to set performance and prioritize parameters and the algorithm generates a menu of alternatives to consider. In terms of the product development lifecycle, generative design is a combination of AI, CAD, simulation and test (CAE), and topology optimization, all working in conjunction, Additive manufacturing (AM) is an area where generative design is having an impact. In this process 3D printing is utilized to provide ouput parts that meets very specific functional requirements. The each phase of AM lifecycle process can be driven and enhanced by AI technology. Read on...

ARC Advisory Group: Understanding the Role of AI in Generative Engineering Design
Author: Dick Slansky


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 feb 2024

As the internet and websites expand, so does their environmental impact. According to Web Neutral Project website (webneutralproject.com) - Internet accounts for about 10% of global electricity consumption; Internet produces about 2% of global CO2 emissions annually (equivalent to aviation industry); Average web page produces 1.76 grams CO2 per page view; Data centers alone consume an estimated 200 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy. To tackle internet and website pollution it is essential to design sustainable web solutions and reduce web bloat. Gerry McGovern, founder and CEO of Customer Carewords, interviews Vitaly Friedman (web design expert and co-founder of Smashing Magazine) on the issue of this environment waste and sustainable web design. Mr. Friedman says, 'Sometimes if you see developers or designers thinking about accessibility, thinking about design from the perspective of usability, inclusive design, cleanliness, weight, then you have exceptional results, but that is in itself exceptional and rare. Most of the time we just look at the tools in front of us and we build and we design using the tools without thinking about sustainability, often not thinking about performance and sometimes, and this is still quite common, not even thinking about accessibility. So, we just produce visual output and we put it on a server someplace and that kind of works.' Mr. Friedman suggests the need for more conversations around web's environmental impact and sustainable web design, and rethink digital design to work towards sustanability. Read on...

CMSWire: Sustainable Website Design for a Better Environment
Author: Gerry McGovern


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 14 jan 2024

According to Wikipedia, 'Generative artificial intelligence (generative AI, GAI, or GenAI) is artificial intelligence capable of generating text, images, or other media, using generative models. Generative AI models learn the patterns and structure of their input training data and then generate new data that has similar characteristics.' Positive aspects of generative AI systems include accelerative creativity, egalitarian tech for general public etc, while negative aspects include political propaganda through biased data, human resource displacement challenges etc. Commenting on transformative power of generative AI, Rich Palmer of Launchpad Venture Group, says, 'It's the new electricity.' Jonathan Griffiths, director of Babson College's Weissman Foundry, says, 'Much like a cell phone, AI is going to change how we interact with our computers and with each other in meaningful ways - and, if you don't have an understanding of what generative AI can do and what its limitations are, you're going to be left in the dust.' Joshua Herzig-Marx, a coach for early stage founders, says, 'At this point, if you have a startup and you don’t have a generative AI strategy, your board will be really unhappy with you, because that’s what everybody expects—in the same way that, if you didn't have a social strategy 15 years ago, it was a bad thing.' Prof. Ruth Gilleran and Prof. Clare Gillan of Babson College have designed a compulsory course for all undergraduates, 'Digital Technologies for Entrepreneurs'. Prof. Gillan says, 'We live in a time of tremendous disruption, and the pace of change has only accelerated. I want (students) to land on the right side of that continuous change.' Experts from Babson College provide insights and guidance on generative AI to entrepreneurs - (1) It will enable non-engineers to innovate in new ways: Prof. Gillaran says, 'It further democratizes the entrepreneurial process.' Prof. Thomas Davenport says, 'From an entrepreneurship standpoint, it lowers the barriers for tech expertise to design new products. It's a good thing for entrepreneurs.' (2) It should only be used in certain instances: Mr. Herzig-Marx says, 'Judgment is the big challenge (with generative AI), which is always one of the hardest things for any businessperson. There's no reason to think that whatever pops out of ChatGPT or a text-to-image service is going to be something you would actually want to use.' (3) Knowledge and content management will be transformed: Prof. Davenport says, 'Generative AI will rejuvenate the job of a knowledge manager...I think there are a lot of advantages to doing it for educating your frontline people and customer service applications.' (4) It will generate instant feedback, allowing entrepreneurs to assess viability quickly: Mr. Griffiths says, 'I could see (entrepreneurs) working with generative AI to solve the problems that they may not necessarily have the skills to solve right now.' Prof. Erik Noyes, who teaches Entrepreneurial Opportunities in AI, says, 'Generative AI enables the rapid prototyping of entrepreneurial ideas: literally a visualization and expression of an entrepreneurial idea that you can show to a target customer. You can get feedback on whether you're on a compelling path and creating value, or whether your idea is a dud.' (5) Beware of bias: Prof. Davit Khachatryan, who specializes in machine learning and data science, says, 'Generative AI is merely a means to an end, not an end in itself...Taking the results of generative AI at face value is like the blind following the blind. Today's entrepreneur, or any user of generative AI, needs to have an above-average understanding of how these tools work—and I think that’s where we analytics and data-science educators have a crucial role to play.' Prof. Noyes says, 'If the existing data is biased, there’s a strong likelihood that what’s generated can also be biased. You have to look at anything you’re doing in generative AI through the critical lens of 'How could this just be re-expressing bias?'' (6) Regulatory concerns could constrain creativity: Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT creator OpenAI, has urged international regulation of generative AI. Mr. Palmer says, 'When the front-runner (OpenAI) pushes for regulation, it opens up a question of whether anyone else can swim in the wake or not, and if anybody else can catch up again.' (7) Humans still matter: Prof. Khachatryan says, 'Overly relying on the seeming 'magic' that is provided by generative AI is not going to work. To have your leg up, you still need to put your creative hat on and keep it on at all times...it currently has no mechanism in place to evaluate the quality, meaningfulness, or effectiveness of these responses. I don’t think that one should get overexcited about how human-like the responses are because human-like, at the end of the day, doesn’t translate necessarily into meaningful.' Read on...

Babson Magazine: The Age of AI: Seven Things Entrepreneurs Need to Know
Author: Kara Baskin


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 dec 2023

Fashion industry is dynamic and ever evolving through continuous creativity and innovation, and trends keep changing. In India, due to multi-cultural and diverse communities, fashion and related industries are expanding and need for skilled workers is increasing. Raghav Mittal, Chief Creative Director & Managing Director at House of Surya, provides career options for aspiring students and professionals in different areas of fashion industry - (1) Clothing and garment design for various occasions, age groups and demographics. (2) Accessory design that enhances clothing design trends through creation and design of complementary pieces. (3) Textile design that relates to patterns and art work on fabrics that brings into use India's cultural heritage. (4) Fashion styling that utilizes creativity by bringing together all the different elements of fashion for media platforms. Career options include photo shoots, fashion shows, advertising, movies and films etc. (5) Fashion journalism that combines communication skills and fashion and works towards covering fashion trends, industry events etc. As fashion in India continues to evolve there are trends that are becoming prominent in recent times such as concern for environment through sustainable fashion, embracing diversity and inclusivity, and ditial transformation like designing technologies, online retail, social media influencing etc. Read on...

India Today: Fashion designing in India: A thriving industry with endless possibilities
Author: Karan Yadav


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 21 nov 2023

In the post-pandemic world, workers in many industries often felt the desire and need to get out of their homes and work from office. But according to the Figma's latest 'State of the Designer' report, 95% of designers are fully or partially working from home and 69% of digital product designers have greater job satisfaction now than they did pre-pandemic. Figma surveyed 470 designers in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region over a three-year period for the report. The report points out, 'Despite many businesses laying off designers in 2022, particularly in high-growth sectors like tech, designers in 2023 are still positive about the job market...Product designers are no longer confined to the sidelines. Instead, they have stepped into pivotal roles within businesses.' Even though there are concerns regarding remote work might lead to isolation effect, but according to the report, 82% of individual design contributors are the most positive about their current roles. Moreover, only 38% felt more distant from their co-workers. The report also finds out thet 53% are using group meetings to design together more often. Read on...

It's Nice That: Remote working seems to be making product designers more job-satisfied, says Figma report
Author: Liz Gorny


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 oct 2023

The digital continues to displace print media but print has not totally lost its relevance. Flipping through well designed pages and content in magazines still brings joy to many. Particularly for graphic designers, print magazine can provide inspiration that is tangible and immersive, and gives a different visual way from digital and an alternative design perspective. Here are select design magazines that can provide value to graphic designers - (1) Eye Magazine: Founded by Rick Poynor in 1990, in addition to showcasing design, it tells the stories behind them, giving designers a comprehensive look at the 'why' and 'how' of standout design work. (2) Communication Arts: Founded by Richard Coyne and Robert Blanchard in 1959, in addition to its meticulously curated content, the magazine itself is a testament to the power of good design, with every page exuding creative brilliance. (3) Idea: Founded by Okumura Yukimasa in 1953 in Tokyo (Japan), is a unique printed product in which the design is a play on colors, layouts and paper types. The magazine examines different creative scenes from local and international designs. (4) Creative Review: Launced in 1981 as a supplement to Marketing Week, is now a stand-alone magazine and considered as the top most magazine of the advertising industry. It is always up-to-date with the latest trends and provides critical insights, making it essential reading for forward-thinking designers. (5) Slanted: Started in 2004, the book-like magazine showcases select graphic design portfolios and discusses major events in the international design and culture scenes. It is known for its innovative and visually striking layouts, typography, and artwork, and its international perspective is invaluable for graphic designers seeking to gain insights into different design trends and cultural influences. (6) TYPEONE: Founded in 2020, it focuses on the evolving interaction between typography and graphic design. It provides designers with new developments in typography that includes news, stories, concepts and new work and presents everything in beautifully physical form. (7) Wallpaper*: Founded in London in 1996 by Canadian journalist Tyler Brülé and Austrian journalist Alexander Geringer, the magazine now covers design, interiors and lifestyle. It's interdisciplinary approach pushes designers to think outside the confines of traditional graphic design, encouraging cross-pollination of ideas. Read on...

Creativce Boom: Print's not dead: the best magazines for graphic design inspiration
Author: Tom May


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 sep 2023

Landscape architecture can be a fruitful career option for those that have interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) and have design and creative abiities. Kona Gray, the president of the American Society of Landscape Architects and a principal at EDSA Incorporated, says, 'A lot of people take our work for granted. But everything around the buildings and between the buildings is designed by landscape architects. There's a landscape you occupy every day. Landscape architects are responsible for the stewardship and design of those spaces. A building occupies a certain space. But the landscape occupies far more.' Roxi Thoren, department head and professor of landscape architecture at Penn State College of Arts and Architecture, says, 'At The Pennsylvania State University, nearly 60 first-year students joined the major this fall...undergraduate programs are generally four to five years...at Penn State, internships aren't required but a study abroad program is. One popular destination to study cutting-edge sustainability work is Bonn, Germany. It's really amazing work with urban renewal, renovation of industrial sites, urban flooding resilience and green roofs...Landscape architecture students might tackle real-world environmental challenges such as designing for fire- or drought-prone areas, or for extreme heat. They also consider design with psychology in mind, such as creating a park where women feel safe after dark or where parents feel comfortable bringing their children.' Haley Blakeman, the associate director at The Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge), says, 'The program has about 130 undergraduate and 20 graduate students. BLA students are either direct admit or can transfer from another program. Travel has been a cornerstone of the LSU program since the 1960's. Upperclassmen are expected to attend a weeklong field trip...Coursework includes classes on design and history of design, and a technology series that focuses in part on materials and landforms. The undergraduate program takes five years and students take a semester-long paid internship during their fourth year. We find it incredibly helpful when they come back to school because they have a new skill set once they return. They understand the context of their academic work...another benefit of internships is job offers they get...I do a lot of work in coastal adaptation...Well-designed spaces bring people together. For students, the major is all about problem solving, learning how to talk to community members, and using the design skills they're trained with to come up with solutions.' U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently designated landscape architecture a STEM degree program and international students with F-1 visas whose degrees are on the STEM-designated list may be able to extend their stays in the U.S. According to the Landscape Architectural Accreditation Board, there are 100 landscape architecture programs offered at 74 universities around the U.S., including 47 undergraduate and 53 graduate programs. According to 2022 data by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for landscape architects is about US$ 73000 per year. Read on...

US News & World Report: Consider a Major in Landscape Architecture
Author: Jennifer Seter Wagner


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 aug 2023

There is visible shift in interior design world as fads and micro-trends are giving way to more lasting and sincere design choices influenced by economic and environmental concerns. Heather Goerzen, the design director of Havenly says, '...we're collectively wising up a bit, and learning to listen to what we really love, versus what just everyone else is buying at that moment. Between economic uncertainties as well as environmental concerns about waste, we're craving investment pieces with soul and story that feel like they have staying style - and won't be on next year's 'out' lists. Leading us back to tradition, with a twist.' Here are five trends for 2023 that designers and experts suggest - (1) BOLD HUES: Ms Goerzen says, '...people are seeking more comfort and coziness at home in the form of painted nooks, moody wallpaper, warm wood tones, and rich, colorful upholstery.' Kara Smith, founder of KES Studios, finds a trend of full rooma painted in strong tones like oxblood and emerald green etc as a way to create depth and mood. (2) STATEMENT STONE: Experts predic a rise in unconventional stones like basalt, taverine, soapstone and more, bringing the outside inside with a particular attraction. Lisa Berman and Melissa Rohani, co-founders of Studio Gutow, say, 'People are leaning toward statement marbles with dramatic veining and unique color patterns. This trend allows for a stunning focal point that captures attention and adds a sense of timeless natural luxury.' (3) ORGANIC CURVES: Angular and straight lines are giving way to curve and soft lines in the furniture and home elements. It would include serpentine sofas, curvaceous accent chairs, and all other forms of furniture, plus an infusion of architectural arches: windows, doors, and hallways. Ms. Berman and Ms. Rohani say, 'This trend brings a sense of serenity and fluidity to interiors, allowing spaces to breathe and feel harmonious.' (4) INNER SANCTUARY: With stress seeping in human livces and people seeking calm at home, interior design is accomodating it into the strategy. Ms. Smith says, 'I've seen rooms fully devoted to meditation, reading, and general relaxation.' Jenni Lauri, the principal and founder of Lauri Design Studio, is observing a rise in warm harmonizing colors and mixes of rich, soft fabrics. Marc Ange, the founder of Studio Ange, points out the changes created by pandemic in human behavior and people seeking peace, happiness and a sense of home and family is adding to this trend. (5) GRANNY CHIC: Ms. Goerzen says, 'Traditional design is staging a slow but mighty comeback in the form of ornate woodwork and moulding, vintage-inspired artwork, romantic silhouettes, saturated colors, and pattern play... the focus is once again on warmth, hospitality, and comfort-like a chic, updated take on your grandmother's sitting room.' Read on...

Harper's BAZAAR: The 5 Best Interior Design Trends to Shop in 2023
Author: Tatjana Freund


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 jul 2023

Machines are designed to perform tasks and solve human problems. Their capabilities range from very large/heavy work to very tiny nano-level mechanisms. French philosopher René Descartes influenced advancements in machine design and development through his ideas on human body and machines. Further progress in physics and mathematics led to the formalization of the study of Mechanical Engineering. Prof. Sudipto Mukherjee of IIT-Delhi provides details on the study of mechanical engineering and the careers that can be pursued in the field. He says, 'It is important to have a good relationship with computers early in your career. But as you seek to enhance human abilities and empower society, the first requirement is to have social skills such as interpersonal abilities and empathy. Mechanical engineering is the right choice if you are passionate about solving physical challenges faced by humans in today’s world. The knowledge needed to provide solutions will come as you progress through a solid mechanical engineering curriculum, starting from identifying needs and ending with delivering the final product.' He further explains what training is provided to those who pursue study in specific fields of mechanical engineering like machine design, industrial engineering etc. Pursuing entrepreneurship, and furthering career in management and business administration are attractive options for mechanical engineers. Prof. Mukherjee points out, 'The world of mechanical engineering is not deterministic, meaning it does not operate based on specific occurrences, It works with expected values, such as statistical means and variance...Mechanical engineering is perhaps the only engineering discipline that sees designing with failure as an integral part of the design process and recognises that it is inevitable...It is worth noting that sometimes mechanical components replace failing human joints and organs...Mechanical engineering is a good playing field for those who have empathy, an outward-looking mindset, resilience, and some mathematical skills.' Read on...

The Indian Express: From entrepreneurship to design, mechanical engineering provides multiple opportunities, writes IIT Delhi professor
Author: Sudipto Mukherjee


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 jul 2023

Educators can inculcate creativity, and develop problem-solving and critical thinking among kids by introducing them to engineering and design at an early stage. This will also help them develop interest in learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects. Following hands-on mini projects that involve engineering design processes can bring desired influence needed in kids to think and approach problems and provide design solutions - (1) Understand the Engineering Design Process (Define the Problem -> Identify Constraints in the Solution -> Brainstorm Multiple Solutions -> Select the Most Promising Solution -> Develop Prototype -> Test and Evaluate the Prototype -> Iterate to Improve -> Communicate the Solution) (2) Do the Marshmallow Challenge (3) Enroll Kids in Engineering Camp (4) Design and Build a Paper Airplane Launcher (5) Create a Homemade Lava Lamp Using Household Items (6) Build a Simple Machine Using Lego Bricks (7) Create a Marble Run Using Cardboard Tubes and Other Materials (8) Popsicle stick Catapult (9) Build a Mini Solar-Powered Car Using a Small Motor and Solar Panel (10) Create a Homemade Musical Instrument Using Recycled Materials (11) Build a Wind-Powered Car 12. Create a Water Filtration System Using a Plastic Bottle and Sand (13) Design and Build a Maze Using Cardboard and Other Materials (14) Build a Simple Electric Circuit Using a Battery and Wires (15) Design and Build a Mini Greenhouse Using Recycled Materials (16) Create a Balloon-Powered Car Using Straws and a Balloon (17) Make a Snack Pulley System (18) Design and Build a Glider Using Balsa Wood and Tissue Paper (19) Create a Simple Motorized Boat Using a Small Motor and Propeller (20) Build a Simple Hovercraft Using a Balloon and a CD (21) Design and Build a Simple Robot Hand Using Straws and a String. Read on...

Teaching Expertise: 21 Engineering Design Process Activities To Engage Critical Thinkers
Author: Mike Dave Ayeni


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 jun 2023

Startups with first-time founders work in tight budgets and may not give required importance to design as they focus to get product to market faster. On the contrary, Nicolas Susco (Designer, Entrepreneur & Investor, and founder of ElipseAgency), suggests that design need to be prioritized from the early stages of the startup and provides following reasons - (1) Design Plays a Significant Role in User Experience: Good design can brings new customers and signals to customers and investors that company cares about its products or brand. (2) Design can Hide Flaws and Buy Time: Even at pre-product stage a good designed initial prototype can have positive impact on clients and investors and keep them engaged with the startups as it keeps on working on the product. (3) Design Helps Communicate Value: Visual communication attracts attention and is more effective. A well designed website and creative video can convey company's values, make them appear refined and unique, and create emotional responses in the viewer. (4) Design is the Foundation of Any Brand: Fine details in design are the key aspect of the brand image. Every step adds to the impact that brand has on customers and investors. Read on...

Fast Company: The powerful synergy of design and entrepreneurship
Author: Nicolas Susco


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 may 2023

Textile industry has become highly globalized, contributes significantly to the global economy and provides employment to millions. The emergence of 'fast fashion' concept has further increased the production level, nearly doubling in the last 15 year period. The present textile industry system works in a linear way - raw material obtained from non-renewable sources, processed and clothes are produced in mechanised factories in large quantities, consumed for a short period and then disposed of in landfil or incinerated. This linear system is negatively impacting humans and environment - Excess of US$ 500 billion of value is lost every year due to clothing underutilisation and the lack of recycling; Total greenhouse gas emissions from textiles production, at 1.2 billion tonnes annually; When washed, some garments release plastic microfibres, of which around half a million tonnes every year contribute to ocean pollution. The project report, 'A NEW TEXTILES ECONOMY: REDESIGNING FASHION'S FUTURE' [Core Project Team: Andrew Morlet, Rob Opsomer, Dr. Sven Herrmann (Lead Author), Laura Balmond, Camille Gillet, Lukas Fuchs], published in 2017, outlines a vision for a system that works, delivering long-term benefits - a new textiles economy based on the principles of a circular economy. It offers a direction of travel on which the industry can agree and focus its efforts. In a new textiles economy, clothes, textiles, and fibres are kept at their highest value during use and re-enter the economy afterwards, never ending up as waste. Circular economy is a systems solution framework that tackles global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution. It is based on three principles, driven by design: eliminate waste and pollution, circulate products and materials (at their highest value), and regenerate nature. HIGHLIGHTS OF THE REPORT - Globally, the US$ 1.3 trillion clothing industry employs more than 300 million people along the value chain. Clothing - the focus of this report – represents more than 60% of the total textiles used and is expected to remain the largest application; The current clothing system is extremely wasteful and polluting. The recent Pulse of the fashion industry report estimated that the overall benefit to the world economy could be about EUR 160 billion (US$ 192 billion) in 2030 if the fashion industry were to address the environmental and societal fallout of the current status quo; Clothing is massively underutilised. Worldwide, clothing utilisation has decreased by 36% compared to 15 years ago. Globally, customers miss out on US$ 460 billion of value each year by throwing away clothes that they could continue to wear; Less than 1% of material used to produce clothing is recycled into new clothing, representing a loss of more than US$ 100 billion worth of materials each year; Today's linear system uses large amounts of resources and has negative impacts on the environment and people. The textiles industry relies mostly on non-renewable resources - 98 million tonnes in total per year - including oil to produce synthetic fibres, fertilisers to grow cotton, and chemicals to produce, dye, and finish fibres and textiles. Textiles production (including cotton farming) also uses around 93 billion cubic metres of water annually; Should growth continue as expected, total clothing sales would reach 160 million tonnes in 2050 - more than three times today's amount; If the industry continues on its current path, by 2050, it could use more than 26% of the carbon budget associated with a 2°C pathway; The Pulse of the fashion industry report projects that, by 2030, fashion brands would see a decline in earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) margins of more than three percentage points, if they were to continue business as usual. This would translate into a profit reduction of approximately EUR 45 billion (USD 52 billion) for the industry; Ambitions For A New Textiles Economy - (1) Phase out substances of concern and microfibre release (Align industry efforts and coordinate innovation to create safe material cycles; Drastically reduce plastic microfibre release). (2) Transform the way clothes are designed, sold, and used to break free from their increasingly disposable nature (Scale up short-term clothing rental; Make durability more attractive; Increase clothing utilisation further through brand commitments and policy). (3) Radically improve recycling by transforming clothing design, collection, and reprocessing (Align clothing design and recycling processes; Pursue technological innovation to improve the economics and quality of recycling; Stimulate demand for recycled materials; Implement clothing collection at scale); Make effective use of resources and move to renewable inputs. Read on...

Ellen Macarthur Foundation: A New Textiles Economy: Redesigning fashion's future
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 apr 2023

Websites are a window to organizations and provide them opportunity to showcase their products and services to their potential customers. Even though different organizations and businesses have different goals and their website design and development projects are unique, but there are some basic and foundational steps that are required successfully implement and complete them. Rahul Varshneya, co-founder of Arkeneo and author of technology articles in reputed magazines, suggests 5 critical steps that are needed to accomplish effective website design and development and provides views on what mistakes that are to be avoided during this process - (1) Define your website's goals: Build a creative brief outlining the website's goals and ask questions related to website's objective, target users, benefits to users etc. Build distinct customer personas, conduct market research and competitor analysis. (2) Plan your website design strategy: Strategic planning with realistic timelines is neccessary for long-term project success. Three promary elements in this are programming language and technology stacks, sitemap and wireframes, content strategy planning. (3) Design and develop the new website: There should be continuity in existing brand elements and new website design. For easy customer recognition incorporate color scheme, fonts, design and company logo. After visual design, coding is the next process. During this development phase from-end and back-end coding will happen to make the website functional. (4) Test your website: Testing and development should happen concurrently. End-to-end website testing includes functionality, user experience (UX), interface, compatibility, performance and website security testing. Some of the primary testing categories include functional testing, usability testing, compatibility testing. (5) Launch and maintain your new website: Strike a balance between form and function. Websites are dynamic and need to be continually updated with content and functionality. Avoid the following design mistakes - poor communication with web developers, making SEO an afterthought, being too generic, not closing the deal, setting and forgetting and not setting up and using analytics. Read on...

Business.com: 5-Step Web Design Process to Create Winning Websites
Author: Rahul Varshneya


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 mar 2023

In the world of graphic design, computers and softwares are essential tools and it is hard to imagine a creative work without them. But a hand-drawn design work by Prof. Nick Mendoza of the Oklahoma State University (OSU, USA) was selected in the 365: AIGA Year in Design competition in December. The 365: AIGA Year in Design competition, started in 1924, serves as a platform for designers, design teams and their clients to share design solutions for business and organizational challenges. Prof. Mendoza's work 'OSU Design Lecture 2021' was a poster that was created to promote visiting designer Mike Daines' guest lecture and included elements of his designs and a visual journey to the event. Prof. Mendoza says, 'As a design educator, I am humbled to know that my work is shown next to big time design studios with big time budgets; I created my design with paper, scissors and a marker.' Prof. Ting Wang-Hedges of OSU says, 'Having your work awarded from AIGA, especially winning the 365: AIGA Year in Design competition, means your work competes with other design works from renowned designers and studios.' Competition juror Clement Mok says, '[It's] an ode to hand-drawn letters. Wonderfully old-school, yet it feels very contemporary and personal. The letter scrawls are meticulously planned for legibility.' Prof. Mendoza teaches typgraphy, an art and study of arranging type to convey a message and make language legible. Prof. Pouya Jahanshahi of OSU says, '...he guides his students to mobilize principles of layout, composition, psychology and communication to produce powerful artifacts of graphic design - whether the outcome is a poster, book cover or comprehensive branding campaign.' Read on...

OSU News and Media: Graphic design professor's work recognized in international design competition
Authors: Erin Milek, Elizabeth Gosney


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 21 feb 2023

Industrial designers are involved in the creation and development of many products and services that humans see and use in their life. They influence and contribute in shaping the physical and virtual experiences. Dr. Liam Fennessy, associate dean for industrial design at RMIT (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia), says, 'It's not just tangible products or buildings, it's programs, experiences and digital products and digital interfaces too. Some industrial designers specialize for products in a particular industry while others get involved in projects in multiple and diverse areas. Those involved in consultancy services often work in diverse projects and interdisciplinary teams. Tim Phillips, an industrial designer and owner of Tilt Industrial design, utilizes multidisciplinary approach and focuses on built environment. His team of industrial designers design large-scale, site-specific design features for architects, landscape architects or artists. Explaining the approach in designing the operable façade at UTS (University of Technology Sydney) building where industrial design process is used to achieve architectural goals, Mr. Phillips says, 'The façade delivers a specific environmental function and a unique aesthetic. This combination of impacts is at the heart of what Tilt is trying to achieve in the built environment.' Even though an undergraduate degree in industrial design is generally a basic requirement to pursue a career as industrial designer but experts explain that having diverse and broad skills and excellent communication capabilities are necessary to achieve success. Mr. Phillips says, 'A great industrial designer must be able to deliver an amazing end-user experience and an equally successful commercial project outcome.' Read on...

The Sydney Morning Herald: The people who make everything around us
Author: Sue White


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 jan 2023

Landscape design starts with applying the basic principles of design to the new project or renovating the existing one. Basic principles of design mean the standards by which designs are created, measured, discussed and evaluated. Following are the sicx principles of design - (1) Balance: Includes the state of being and seeing. Balance can be symmetrical, asymmetrical or proximal/distal. (2) Focalization of Interest: Good designs have a focal point that attracts viewers attention. (3) Simplicity: Intended to make viewer feel comfortable. It eliminates unnecessary change. Doing too much can create complexity. Less is more. (4) Rhythm and Line: Rhythm is created when something repeats substantially with a standard interval. The most essential lines are the lines and angles of the house. Designers repeat the lines and angles of the house with those of the landscape materials. One of the most common line plantings is the foundation planting. (5) Proportion: Defines the size reletionship between all the features of the landscape. Includes both the vertical and horizontal relationships as well as space relationships (6) Unity: Unity brings all the separate parts of the design together into a total unified design. Read on...

The Lawton Constitution: The principles of landscape design for your yard
Author: Jim Coe


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 dec 2022

Since ancient times art and design has been a part of Indian culture and society and the skill-based learning system existed where the master imparted the skills and shared his experience with his pupil, who often learned by observing and doing. In India there existed communities of design and in most cases the skill got passed as part of the family tradition from generation to generation. There was generally no formal design institutions imparting design education in earlier times. The formal design education in India, in the modern sense, began when the National Institute of Design was established in 1961 in Ahmedabad (Gujarat). Prof. Bhaskar Batt, Director of School of Design at Anant National University, explains what design is all about, how design education is evolving in India and its relevance in modern times. He says, 'Design, as we say, is a creative problem-solving process used to develop innovative solutions and services to make our lives better. Contrary to the expressionist approach of art, design is strongly focused on the identification of the user and market needs, and thus is a process-centric exercise to develop new and innovative solutions.' McKinseys 2018 report emphasises the value of design and found that design-led companies grew twice as compared to non-design ones. Explaining design in Indian context, he says, 'Design in India focused on the social sectors prior to liberalisation of the economy and industry post the millennium. Whilst design embraced the industry, designers retained the philosophical bedrock of trying to make the world a better place. In the following two decades, India has seen a dramatic rise in manufacturing and services, with design as an enabler for product and service creation.' India's education system now have exclusive design schools and design focused departments in universities, both public and private. Many specializations exist similar to design schools in other countries that have advanced design education system. This include industrial and product design, communication design, fashion and textile design, interaction design and many more. Indian design schools have a teaching methodology that is a mix of theory and practicals involving innovative project-based learning. Prof. Bhatt explains, 'Unlike traditional courses which are evaluated through exams, most design schools evaluate through juries, where professional designers from the industry evaluate students' work through rigorous debate...There are three traditional exit pathways in design education - employment in studios and large companies, entrepreneurship or solo consulting, and further education...Design education is strongly influenced by market forces. In the recent past, we have witnessed two meta forces (internet in the 1990s and the smartphone revolution in the 2000s) that have changed the course of human development.' Read on...

India Today: Explained: The growing impact of design education in India
Author: Bhaskar Bhatt


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 nov 2022

Design experts suggest that office design plays a role in employee productivity, creativity and satisfaction. A 2015 research study, 'Does Workplace Design Affect Employee Attraction?' (Authors: Steve Coster of Hassell, Cassie Govan of Empirica), presents unique and compelling evidence that links the physical workplace (i.e. office design) to employer attractiveness and therefore successful staff attraction and retention. Steve Coster, Principal at Hassell, says, 'This study suggests that investing in workplace design and organisational culture can be a more cost effective strategy for talent attraction than offering higher salaries. The way a workplace is designed can impact on the extent to which an employee connects and identifies with their colleagues and the organisation as a whole.' In addition to proper lighting, a flexible layout and biophilic features, better furniture design is an essential requirement for good workspace. Sustainability in furniture design is an important concept to consider (8.5 million tons of office furniture finds its way into US landfills). The C2C certification, based on the concepts derived from the book 'Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things' (Authors: William McDonough and Michael Braungart), is a globally recognized measure for products that are safe, circular and responsibly made. Furniture manufacturers should follow ecodesign principles to incorporate sustainability in all stages of an object's life cycle. Read on...

Arch Daily: Sustainable Office Furniture: Promoting Circular Design in the Workplace
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 oct 2022

Choice of field to pursue education and career is not an easy task for a student who is just out of school. The decision involves many aspects like personal interests, subject skills, level of commitment, qualifying exam performance, financial aspects and so on. Students need to prepare themselves with all requirements that would assist them in pursuing their educational dreams in their field of interest. Architecture is one field of study that requires students to understand as much as possible regarding what they are getting into and what is expected of them to successfully complete the courses to get architecture degree. Nuzhat Shama, a Research Assistant at the Center for Inclusive Architecture and Urbanism, BRAC University (Bangladesh), says, 'Drawing, colours, paint, and art fascinated me from a young age. I studied science during my O and A-levels hoping to pursue a medical degree. However, I have been intrigued by architecture since the sixth grade. Being the perfect amalgamation of art and science, this choice came very naturally to me...The architecture curriculum often consists of courses covering topics like history, art, music, environment and ecosystem, etc. For someone with little to no idea about the curriculum, this may come as a surprise...When you are an architect, you are responsible for creating the environment which shapes human beings including their habits, mindsets, cultures, lives, leisure, memories, and so on...Tunnel vision leads to projects which are bound to fail eventually. Objectivity and critical thinking are of utmost importance. An architect needs to be a well-rounded professional, which is why such courses are so important and contribute so much to the making of an architect...' In addition to classroom learning and courses, architectural students also have to take part in experiential learning, hands-on projects and thesis projects. These require high level of commitment and work hours. Pantha Shahriar, an Associate Architect at Triangle Consultants (Bangladesh), says, 'Building and structure design is the art and science of architecture. The understanding of physics, engineering, and mathematics is needed to produce designs that are both aesthetically beautiful and structurally sound. For developing comprehensive plans for entire cities and regions, many architects also collaborate with landscape architects, interior designers, and urban planners. So, we also need to learn the basics of landscaping, interior designing and urban planning. Thus comes the need for so many courses and therefore, so many credit hours...Project management is also something we must learn about...We also have to learn the basics of electrical connections and plumbing that run inside the structures we design, making the curriculum more extensive...Besides the tuition fees, there are some hidden costs in studying architecture that many are unaware of...Majority of the cost is generated from the materials for the models, but there are other significant investments an architecture student may need to make...' Read on...

The Daily Star: What students can expect from a major in Architecture
Author: Faisal Bin Iqbal


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 12 sep 2022

The U.S. National Science Foundation's (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps™) program established in 2011 is an experiential education and training program designed to facilitate entrepreneurial innovations in universities towards commercialization and expand their economic and social benefits and impact. The program has three aims - (1) Train an entreprenneurial workforce (2) Bring cutting-edge technologies to market (3) Nurturing an innovation ecosystem. According to the NSF website (nsf.gov) article 'NSF expands the National Innovation Network (NIN) with 5 new I-Corps Hubs' dated 08 sep 2022, NSF now has 10 hubs in total spread all across US with each hub funded for up to US$ 3 million per year for five years and comprises a regional alliance of at least eight universities. The I-Corps™ Hubs work collaboratively to build and sustain a diverse and inclusive innovation ecosystem. Erwin Gianchandani, NSF Assistant Director for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, says, 'I am delighted the I-Corps™ Hubs that we are awarding today will expand the footprint of the National Innovation Network, harnessing the innovation potential that exists all across the country by establishing clear pathways for researchers to engage with NSF's Lab-to-Market Platform. Each regional I-Corps™ Hub provides training essential in entrepreneurship and customer discovery, leading to new products, startups and jobs. In this way, the I-Corps™ program will open up new economic opportunities throughout the United States.' Vanderbilt University is the lead institution for the new Mid-South Region Hub and will coordinate the program through the Wond'ry Innovation Center. Daniel Diermeier, Chancellor of Vanderbilt, says, 'This role aligns perfectly with our position as a leading center of research and innovation, and with our efforts to help cultivate a thriving ecosystem supporting invention and entrepreneurship in our region...' Wond'ry's Charleson Bell, director of entrepreneurship, biomedical innovation and I-Corps™, and Deanna Meador, deputy director, in a joint statement say, 'The Mid-South I-Corps™ Hub is for everyone. Led by Vanderbilt with an intentional emphasis on inclusive innovation, this hub will accelerate the translation of groundbreaking university research outcomes into commercialized ventures that seed emergent, prosperous innovation ecosystems across the Midsouth. We are thrilled to extend our local successes with I-Corps™ to the greater Midsouth and help underrepresented innovators bring their ideas to life.' David A. Owens, Evans Family Executive Director, and Mandy Lalrindiki, program manager of innovation and design research, are other members of I-Corps™ team. The effort received broad bipartisan support from politicians including Tennessee's U.S. Sens. Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty, and U.S. Reps. Jim Cooper, Tim Burchett and Chuck Fleischmann. C. Cybele Raver, provost of Vanderbilt, says, '...In keeping with NSF's aims, Vanderbilt drives discovery, harnessing big ideas in ways that dramatically increase their economic and social impact...' Padma Raghavan, vice provost for research and innovation at Vanderbilt, says, 'The spirit of collaborative innovation that defines our Vanderbilt community is key to our success...advance the development of an inclusive innovation corridor.' Read on...

Vanderbilst University Research News: The Wond'ry, Vanderbilt's Innovation Center, named National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Hub lead institution
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 aug 2022

3D printing is a computer-aided design enabled additive manufacturing process that makes products through extruded materials layer-by-layer. 3D printing types that have developed recently include fused deposition modeling, stereolithography, selective laser sintering, selective laser melting, digital light processing, fused filament fabrication etc. Benefits of 3D printing include cost-effectiveness; time, resource, and energy savings; significantly less material waste; enhanced design freedom etc. In addition to various industries like manufacturing, aerospace, transportation etc where 3D printing has found extensive use, it is now finding application in textile industry. 3D printing can bring more efficiencies in the fabric production and make it more sustainable. It has potential to reduce consumption of resources like water and materials, and substantially eliminate the waste produced that would reduct textile industry's large carbon footprint. Moreover, 3D printing provides ability to manufacture 'smart' fabrics with embedded functionalities and, complex and unique structures. Even though there is potential for 3D printing in textile industry, it also has many challenges that need to be overcome to its widespread use. 3D printed fabrics are more stiff, less flexible giving rise to impediments in their wearibility and comfort level. Scientists have proposed many solutions to 3D printed textiles to impart properties like stretchability, softness, and flexibility. Three approaches towards this goal are printing flexible structural units, printing fibers, and printing on textiles. Read on...

AZoM: How is 3D Printing Changing the Textile Industry?
Author: Reginald Davey


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 jul 2022

To provide best digital experience, web design has to continuously evolve with changing human expectations, requirements, culture shifts, technological advancements etc. The latest report 'The Biggest Design Trends of 2022 So Far' by Editor X, provides the 2022 design trends that are influencing online experiences. The trends include - (1) Metaverse Mayhem: As more people shift to metaverse, the virtual world platforms, it is expected that the brands will too and therefore the design creativity will come into play to provide the necessary experiences. The big names like Meta, gaming platform like Roblox etc are betting big for the sector and it is expected to grow to US$ 700 billion by 2030. Benjamin Bertram Goldman, metaverse advisor at Sequin AR, says, 'Businesses and brands will want to future-proof themselves for this new age of immersive technology, and that means they'll begin giving preference to designers who have experience designing for immersive experiences, including AR/VR, games, and other 3D media.' Prof. Janet Murray of Georgia Institute of Technology says, 'A lot of money will be thrown at VR and AR applications over the next few years.' (2) Dopamine Colour Palettes: Fashion trend, 'dopamine dressing', that involves colorful clothes in an array of happiness-inducing rainbow hues, is now getting popular in web design. Use of bright, bold and vivid palettes is visible online. This trend is getting traction as people are trying to overcome Covid-induced depressive environment through joyful colors. (3) Web Kitsch: Clean and less cluttered website design is back. It includes default fonts, patterned backgrounds, old-school browser windows, simple layouts, decorative sticker icons etc. Other trends in the report include digital fashion, 3D interactive elements, 3D lettering and zen energy (calming design aesthetics). Read on...

Creative Boom: Revealed! The three most impactful web design trends of 2022 so far
Author: Tom May


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 jun 2022

Effective visualization brings communication to the next level and graphic design is the creative skill that makes it happen. As per reports by research firms - The Business Research Company: 'Global market size of design services is projected to grow to US$ 249.5 billion by 2022 from the US$ 153 billion that it had touched in 2018'; IBISWorld - Global graphic designers' industry market size, which stands at US$ 43.4 billion, is expected to increase by 3.7% in 2022'. Anu Kiran, a graphic designer and motion graphic artist at One Source, says, 'The very essence of graphic design is the ability to convey ideas and resolve complex problems through a platform - a visual and design message board - which appeal to and communicate through the primal sensory touchpoint of sight.' Most industries utilize graphic design when they communicate visually with their customers. Graphic designers need specific skills to excel in their careers. Mohammed Zeeshan, CEO and co-founder of edtech firm MyCaptain, says, 'Apart from knowing the basics, the theories of design and the concepts, you must also be able to possess an understanding of what the user wants. Being a user-first designer helps not only you but also the businesses.' Job titles in graphic design include apparel graphic designer, logo designer, packaging designer, web designer, multimedia designer, art director, UI/ UX artist etc. As the demand for the trained talent in graphic design grows, India has to fulfil it by focusing on creating quality design institutes and upgrading the existing ones. Read on...

Outlook India: As Visual Appeal Takes Centre Stage, Opportunities Open Up For Graphic Designers
Author: Sanyukt Kulshrestha


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 may 2022

According to the research paper, 'Leveraging Creativity in Charity Marketing: The Impact of Engaging in Creative Activities on Subsequent Donation Behavior' (Authors: Ravi Mehta of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Lidan Xu of the University of North Texas, Darren W. Dahl of the University of British Columbia), published in Journal of Marketing, 'engaging potential donors in creative activities can positively influence their propensity to donate money to a charitable cause.' Prof. Ravi Mehta says, 'Participating in creative activities such as drawing or cookie decoration in support of a charitable cause induces a sense of autonomy in participants, which leads to a positive affective state, resulting in 'enhanced donation behaviors' - that is, a greater likelihood of donating to the cause and a greater monetary amount donated.' Prof. Mehta further explains, 'Charities are constantly looking for new and more effective ways to engage potential donors in order to secure the resources needed to deliver their services. This paper demonstrates that creative activities are one way for marketers to meet this challenge. We think that this research will have substantive implications for understanding how creativity can affect subsequent behavior, and how marketers and advertisers can incorporate creative activities into fundraising efforts, charity events and social media campaigns as a viable fundraising strategy.' Read on...

Illinois News Bureau: Paper: Engaging donors in creative acts can boost charitable fundraising
Author: Phil Ciciora


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 may 2022

As mentioned on the sciencedirect.com website, 'Tribology is the study of the science and engineering of interacting surfaces in relative motion and includes the study and application of the principles of friction, lubrication and wear.' The word was coined by Prof. Peter Jost in 1966 and is derived from the Greek word 'tribos' which means 'rubbing'. Vern Wedeven, founder and president of Wedeven Associates Inc., explains how the challenge of friction and wear in mechanical and electromechanical systems, specifically in the fields of nanotechnology, aerospace and biotechnology, can be overcome by incorporating 'Tribology-by-Design (T/D)' as it will facilitate building of enduring products by including friction, wear and lubrication in the design process. Tribology is often not applied in design process due to its complexity. There are many mechanisms at play that would include variety of small contact points, enormous loads, variable motion and speed, high stresses, heat generation, unfamiliar interface materials and so on. The challenge is enormous to design for life and durability under these complex situations. The new approach, 'Tribology-by-Design (T/D)', reduces the risk and help engineers better understand tribology challenges and more competently design for them. T/D combines a theory, a set of test and analysis tools, and a methodology. It was developed to get powerful tribology mechanisms into engineering design. Mr. Wedeven suggests, 'Using T/D theory, test and analysis tools, and methods to discover and apply new technologies will open the door to a much more rapid response to tribology challenges, faster innovation, reduced costs and mitigating risk.' MIT's (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Professional Education course, 'Tribology: Friction, Wear and Lubrication', teaches T/D to engineers around the globe. In one of the session Mr. Wedeven is an instructor and explores how T/D connects and differs from axiomatic design (AxD), a widely adopted design methodology developed by the course's lead instructor, Dr. Nam Pyo Suh, Cross Professor Emeritus at MIT. Read on...

Machine Design: Tribology by Design: A Revolution in Tribology
Author: Vern Wedeven


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 apr 2022

Collaboration at University of Minnesota Twin Cities between Dr. Amr El-Bokl and Dr. Gurumurthy Hiremath of Department of Pediatrics at the Medical School, and Prof. Carlye Lauff and undergraduate student Levi Skelton of Product Design Program at the College of Design, is leading to create a knowledge product to teach children and their families about congenital heart disease (CHD). CHD is a birth defect in the heart of children. CHD leads to varied abnormalities in the heart as the child grows, making it difficult for children and their families to understand and manage it. Dr. El-Bokl says, 'There is a tendency to try and protect children from information...Slow and early introduction is one of the best ways to become familiar with the medical information, but we don’t have many child-friendly tools.' Design process was initiated with a collaborative effort. Skelton says, 'I started by researching what CHD is, how it can manifest, be managed, and sometimes corrected. Dr. El-Bokl was both my client and mentor. While he was teaching me about CHD, he was also telling me what he wanted out of the product.' Learning and understanding about CHD involved interactions with childrens that have the condition. After research, a companion toy product was decided to be designed. Skelton adds, 'Having children simulate a doctor/patient interaction with themselves and a toy has been proven to help children feel more comfortable as a patient during a visit to the doctor. Once I decided on creating a toy, I researched animals with unique hearts and chose the octopus because it has three of them.' The prototype is termed as 'Octo'. It is designed with a removable 3D-printed heart and has an accompanying digital app for kids to administer checkups and learn about cardiovascular functions.' Read on...

University of Minnesota News: Demystifying congenital heart disease through product design
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 19 mar 2022

The outdoor space of the house is an important part of the home design and should seamlessly gel with the interior. It should be a space that provides the best experience to the residents and the guests. The furniture that should be incorporated in the outdoor space should be intended to provide feeling of freshness and compatibility with the surrounding environment. Moreover, it should be durable and made of long lasting materials that are resistant to varied weather conditions. Rebecca Breslin, Wayfair Professional's Senior Design Manager, says, 'As you're planning your outdoor space for the warmer months, start with pieces that define the area you'll be using - think mosaic floor tiles, a pergola, or outdoor rugs. For the continuity of your home, carry the design aesthetic of the interior into your outdoor space.' Experts suggest following ideas for outdoor space - (1) Look for grounding and space-defining pieces. (2) Continue your indoor aesthetic to the outdoors. (3) Maximize the space for end-use. (4) Durability is key while selecting furniture and weather-proof materials should be preferred. (5) Elevate the space. Brynna Lee, Wayfair's Professional Stylist, says, 'The newest product of the ’70s revival, mesh accents are back with a twist. Metal cutouts and finely woven rattan add texture to sleek silhouettes, giving this retro design element a modern feel...Floral motifs remain relevant in outdoor design. This time around, we're seeing a more stylized approach–a vibrant and striking homage to nature.' Hayley Drew, Wayfair's Professional Stylist, says, 'This year, we're welcoming in a more elevated take on classic coastal style. Organic materials pair with crisp whites and tranquil sea-glass hues for an effortless ocean-inspired look...From floral-draped pergolas to rustic mosaic tiles, this relaxed yet refined look borrows the best that wine country has to offer.' Cojo Barnes, Wayfair's Professional Stylist, says, 'From classic navy blue to sunny yellow, cabana stripes are brightening up furniture, drapes, tiles, and more.' Read on...

House Beautiful: The Top Outdoor Furniture Trends You'll See Everywhere in 2022 According to Experts
Author: Medgina Saint-Elien


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 feb 2022

Climate change and environmental issues are prompting landscape architects to consider carbon as an important aspect in their planning and designing. Landscape practitioners and experts came together at ASLA (American Society of Landscape Architects) 2021 to discuss various approaches and tools that can help in creating a positive impact on environment and reduce carbon footprint of building and construction projects. Pamela Conrad, founder of Climate Positive Design and principal at CMG Landscape Architecture, says, 'Approximately 75% of all emissions are from the urban built environment, with 40% from buildings and 35% from transportation and landscapes. We need to keep warming to 1.5°C. We can only add 300 gigatons of additional carbon to the atmosphere and need to work within this remaining carbon budget. We need to reduce emissions by 65% by 2030 and hit zero by 2040.' Climate Positive Design, ASLA, IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects) and Architecture 2030 are collectively committed to attain these targets through the development of Climate Action Commitment and Architecture 2030's 1.5°C COP26 Communiqué. Climate Positive Design's Pathfinder App helps landscape architects find ways to reduce space for carbon-intensive hardscapes and increase carbon-sequestering trees, shrubs, and grasses. Chris Ng-Hardy of Sasaki says, 'We realized we need to consider carbon from the beginning, before the project even starts. Measuring embodied carbon is about 10-15 years behind the curve in terms of measuring operational carbon.' Team at Sasaki developed Carbon Conscience App to help with the preliminary planning decisions that determine a project's long-range carbon footprint. The research at Sasaki led to following conclusions for landscape architects - don't destroy ecosystems; add wetlands, prairies, and forests; minimize hardscapes and concrete; and reduce the use of plastics and metals. Deanna Lynn, landscape designer with Wild Land Workshop, says, 'Soil carbon sequestration is hard to study. But generally, the more life there is in ecosystems, the more carbon is stored in soils.' Underground there is a complex web, made up of tree roots, organic matter, microbes, earthworms, mycorrhizal fungi, and insects. In the book, 'The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate? Discoveries from A Secret World, the author Peter Wohlleben, describes one aspect of this underground world - mycorrhizal fungi - which form a subterranean 'world wood web' that enables trees to share carbon, nutrients, and information across their roots. Soils are complex adaptive systems, and while designing for carbon sequestrian the goal should be to support the self-organizing systems of soil life. Ms. Lynn says that more carbon can be stored naturally in ecosystems and soils if species diversity is increased and suggests that andscape architects can introduce more woody plants; warm season grasses; deciduous trees, which are denser; and nitrogen-fixing plants, which enable the productivity of the entire plant communities. She also advocates the use of native plants, which have deeper roots, are more productive and resilient and therefore will store more carbon over time. She suggests that while designing new forested landscapes it is important to mimick the arrangement of treas and plants that exists in surrounding ecosystem and also planting an understory of plants that tolerate leaf litter, as it helps build carbon in soil. Read on...

The Dirt: Designing with Carbon
Author: Jared Green


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 jan 2022

Design thinking is a concept that has found acceptance in many organizations and industries to develop a framework for creativity and innovation. The concept challenges the status quo and its application intends to bring distruptive change. The term 'design thinking' was first mentioned in the book 'Creative Engineering' by John E. Arnold that was published in 1959 and explained that the approach has 'the ability to resolve existent problems or propose an entirely new way of using a product, decrease production costs, and increase sales.' Many academics during 1960's started working to 'scienticize' design by understanding its characteristics, influences, processes, and methodologies. In the next decade 'design thinking' became popularized in various fields and the concept utilized 'creativity' as a means of addressing the accelerating need for innovation. Later on 'design thinking' evolved as a human-centered problem solving approach which utilizes the way consumers interact with a product as a basis to further develop it, instead of only relying on theoretical research, assumptions, and hypotheses. The approach involves various steps that include context analysis, observation, problem finding, brainstorming, ideation, creative thinking, sketching, prototyping, testing, and evaluating. It is a continuous improvement process and the steps may not be always in the same order. Design thinking is not specific to field of design and is utilized in variety of fields, disciplines, industries, markets etc. The early period of architectural study involves learning about the creative process of design, with an emphasis on individualistic expression, experimentation, and critical analysis, along with the basics of the technical and theoretical aspects of the profession. This provides the learner of architecture to look beyond the build space and explore and understand it as a response to the urban, communal, and environmental needs. Here the architect is thinking in a similar way as any other designer like graphic, web, interface, industrial etc, with just a different medium of implementation. Those architects that considered architecture discipline as too structured and traditional pursued careers in fields like UX design, design consultants, product and business innovation specialists etc. There they implemented their creative and innovative thinking and justified the shift. Many architects utilized design thinking approach within their profession to develop new systems for cities, buildings, and communities that are designed to fulfil the needs of the consumers instead of implementing the standard and traditional architectural approach. Even though many architects find it challenging to involve users in their creative process, a pre-requisite for design thinking process, but there is an overall scope to change and evolve the traditional architectural practice through design thinking approach. Read on...

ArchDaily: The Rise of the Design Thinking Movement and its Relation to Architecture
Author: Dima Stouhi


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 dec 2021

India's handicraft sector is an important part of the economy, both from local consumption and export point of view. According to ibef.org (India Brand Equity Forum) website India has around 7 million artisans as per official estimates, but unofficial figures consider this figure to be huge 200 million. Moreover, there are more than 3000 art forms in which these artisans are engaged in. The website (ibef.org) further provides the following statistics related to Indian handicraft and handloom export (FY21): Woodwares at US$ 845.51 million; Embroidered and crocheted goods at US$ 604.38 million; Art metal wares at US$ 468.66 million; Handprinted textiles and scarves at US$ 339.03 million; Imitation jewellery at US$ 186.65 million; Miscellaneous handicrafts at US$ 826.68 million. Indian government is also providing special push to this sector through various schemes, as described on the handicrafts.nic.in (Development Commissioner Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India) website - NATIONAL HANDICRAFTS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME - NHDP (Includes Marketing Support and Services; Skill Development in Handicraft Sector; Ambedkar Hastshilp Vikas Yojana [AHVY]; Direct Benefit to Artisans (Welfare); Infrastructure and Technology Support; Research and Development ). COMPERHENSIVE HANDICRAFTS CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT SCHEME (CHCDS) that aims to enhance the insfratructural and production chain at handicraft clusters in India and bring them to global standards. According to Prof. Syed Khalid Hashmi of Millennium Institute of Management, Aurangabad (Market for Indian Handicrafts, Excel Journal of Engineering Technology and Management Science, Dec-Jan 2012), 'The handicrafts sector plays a significant and important role in the country's economy. It provides employment to a vast segment of craft persons in rural and semi urban areas and generates substantial foreign exchange for the country. The handicraft sector has, however, suffered due to its being unorganized, with the additional constraints of lack of education, low capital, and poor exposure to new technologies, absence of market intelligence, and a poor institutional framework...Indian handicraft has great growth potential in the changing scenario with its basic strength being the abundant and cheap availability of manpower and being a traditional profession of millions still requires very low investment compared with other countries barring China.' A new book, 'Crafting a Future: Stories of Indian Textiles and Sustainable Practices' by Archana Shah, explores the contribution of artisans, designers, NGOs etc to handcrafted textiles sector by focusing on the skills and processes of the creators, and weaves the stories of their accomplishment and success. Ms. Shah is worried about the competition that handcrafted textiles face with tech-powered textile manufacturing and has been working to revive and rejuvenate several craft skills. She is the founder of Ahmedabad's Bandhej (a handcrafted textile fashion brand founded in 1981), and has been collaborating with artisans around the country for the last 40 years to create textiles for urban markets. The book is the result of her interactions with artisans over her long career. She says, 'It is broadly divided into three sections of natural fibres: cotton, a plant-based fibre; silk produced by insects; and wool, obtained from animals. It resonates with Gandhiji's concept of developing khadi and village industries to rejuvenate the rural economy and stimulate development through a bottoms-up approach.' The book addresses two major challenges - unemployment and climate change. Ms. Shah says, 'By making productive use of their time and skills, women and marginalised communities involved in this sector will be empowered, and enjoy a sense of self-worth and dignity. Families will benefit from sustainable livelihoods in their own locations, protecting them from the misery of forced economic migration to urban centres where regular work is difficult to find. The challenge is how to bridge the gap, connect the producers with the markets, create products that are 'Handmade in India' for the local, national and global markets and in the process, make the world a better place for future generations.' Read on...

Deccan Chronicle: Handmade in India
Author: Swati Sharma


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 nov 2021

Environment influenced by pandemic, enhanced use of mobile devices, considerations for privacy and safety etc are some issues that would have an impact on the website trends in addition to the normal evolution of technology and design concepts. Paul DeLeeuw, Director of Interactive at ddm marketing + communications, provides trends that will shape web design in 2022 - (1) Sharing Not Telling: Enhanced visitor engagement with website with visuals and interactions. Micro-interactions and micro-animations are lively add-ons on the website. Integrating them effectively with overall look and feel of the website without overdoing them brings energy to the website. (2) Simplicity: Customer engagement needs to be seamless with less roadblocks and impediments. Precise information, soft colors, vivid imagery and clarity in calls to action will be effective. (3) Safety First: Websites are adapting design to the new normal. They are trying to give people space, reduce anxiety, and feel comfortable and safe. Emphasis is on aesthetics and feelings. Designs that feel spacious, inviting, and accommodating will speak to the visitors' sense of security and safety. (4) Customisation and Accessibility: Accessibility needs to be integrated in the design process from the beginning. More website are integrating theme and font customisations. They are supporting operating systems, and accessibility features like font scaling and contrast adjustments. Sites with these features stand out as they signal that they are caring for their customers. (5) Positive Mindset: Prevalence of negativity and information overload is the reality of modern internet. Better websites in 2022 will reduce this and try to create experiences that help and assist the user, and generate positive thinking and goodwill. Read on...

Creative Bloq: 5 exciting web design trends for 2022
Author: Paul DeLeeuw


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 oct 2021

Communication is the key to propagate ideas and concepts. Graphic design is one such communication tool that can send a message across effectively and create an impact through visuals. Dr. Rebecca Green, graphic design lecturer and researcher in the School of Art & Design at the University of New South Wales (UNSW Syndney, Australia), says, 'Understanding graphic design principles is an untapped opportunity in the fight against climate change. Graphic designers have a critical role in helping to address the most crucial problem of our time - by communicating climate change messages through powerful and compelling visuals that resonate. Climate change is also a social problem. It’s caused by humans and can be solved by humans. Communication is how we socialise; it’s how we find the groups we identify with, and graphic design provides the symbols and signs that help us identify these groups or ideas. Dr. Green's research focuses on graphic design and its influence on humans. She tests how graphic design impacts reception, trust, and belief across climate change, as well as other complex issues. Critical components of visual communication, such as colour, imagery, logos and style - all work together to convey meaning, lead to trust (or mistrust) and ultimately influence the uptake of strategic climate messaging. Dr. Green says, 'Using the right combination of elements in the graphic design of climate change communication can not only help boost understanding and engagement with the issue but also build communities. Graphic design language really has the power to unite or divide. So, graphic design needs to be careful to make sure it fosters communities based around the global good, using the right symbols, the right authority, and the right logos.' Read on...

UNSW Newsroom: Graphic design can build trust and community in climate conversation
Author: Ben Knight


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 sep 2021

According to Investopedia, Augmented reality (AR) is an enhanced version of the real physical world that is achieved through the use of digital visual elements, sound, or other sensory stimuli delivered via technology. It is now a pervasive digital technology trend and has become particularly ubiquitous in consumer products like smarphones, with advancements in camera technologies, computer vision techniques, AR software development kits, digital content availability etc. But, its utilization in industrial and manufacturing setting is a bit restricted even though early adopters there have demonstrated its importance. Boeing has tested AR in factory setting. Brian Laughlin, IT Tech Fellow at Boeing, says, 'By using augmented reality technology, technicians can easily see where the electrical wiring goes in the aircraft fuselage. They can roam around the airplane and see the wiring renderings in full depth within their surroundings and access instructions hands-free.' Paul Davies, Boeing Research & Technology Associate Technical Fellow, says, 'Our theory studies have shown a 90% improvement in first-time quality when compared to using two-dimensional information on the airplane, along with a 30% reduction in time spent doing a job.' Volvo Group has also found AR valuable in attracting and retaining employees. Bertrand Felix from Volvo Group says, 'Using visuals and AR is definitely attractive in a manufacturing industry universe. It certainly helps to recruit younger generations, as well as creating new jobs along the value chain who can generate the new digital visual instructions. Many can be created by experienced employees and, in that way, their knowledge is passed on carefully to the younger generation.' Volvo also employs AR to make training more efficient for its operatives. There are many examples like these where AR is finding value. IDC projects a 78.5% global spending increase on AR/VR in 2021. But, what is holding the proliferation of Industrial AR to the depths of manufacturing supply chains, including small-sized contractors is the issue of 'Interoperability'. For many years there have been interoperability challenges between engineering design and manufacturing. Standards Development Organisations (SDOs) have continued to focus on holistic and persistent descriptions of design and fabrication requirements to bridge the gap. Engineering software tools have also made progress in addressing interoperability issues but as manufacturing is moving more towards distributed operations new interoperability challenges crop up for developers. Moreover, for industrial AR the interoperability challenge is further compounded as AR authoring suites often force developers into a silo, which can lock the customer into a particular platform and framework. The lack of suitable interoperability for AR in Industry 4.0, and manufacturing in particular, is costly. Although one-off AR installations have demonstrated value but they are fragile and if the reference data and models change and the use of AR is to continue, the assets of the AR experience must also be modified. In industrial AR installations, automated and persistent data linking, oftern termed as 'digital thread', has not yet been realized. Efforts are being made to bring engineering practice, manufacturing and AR together. Workshop held at IEEE ISMAR 2020 with participants from diverse expertise, including geospatial information scientists, AR software architects, and manufacturing engineers suggests that much of what's needed to realise an AR-capable digital thread is already underway across a number of SDOs. To move forward, manufacturing industry stakeholders and standards working groups must plan for adoption of emerging technologies, such as Industrial AR and address the issues of interoperability between domain-specific models. Without interoperability, manufacturers will continue to struggle with improving the maintainability, reproducibility, and scalability of Industrial AR installations. Read on...

The Manufacturer: Closing the gap between engineering practice and augmented reality
Author: William Bernstein, Christine Perey


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 aug 2021

Diversity is an important issue in industrial design industry. Research finds that women account for 85% of consumer purchases but most products are not designed by women. Another research suggests that 85% designers are males in industrial design industry. So industrial firms that are women-led are rare and need a special mention. Women can provide different perspectives and approaches to products. Here is the list of 20 design and innovation firms with women in leadership positions - (1) Rinat Aruh, founder and CEO of Aruliden (2) Jo Barnard, founder of Morrama (3) Cheresse Thornhil, design director at S.E.E.D. at Adidas, the School for Experiential Education in design (4) Merle Hall, CEO of Kinneir Dufort (5) Jeanette Numbers, co-founder of Loft (6) Alyssa Coletti, founder of NonFiction Creative (7) Angela Medlin, founder and director of FAAS (pronounced 'faze', stands for Functional Apparel & Accessories Studio) Design Collab (8) Natalie Nixon, PhD, founder of Figure 8 Thinking (9) Nichole Rouillac, founder of Level (10) Maaike Evers, co-founder of Mike&Maaike (11) Liz Daily, founder of Liz Daily (12) Jessica Nebel, managing partner at Neongrey (13) Antionette Carroll, founder, president, and CEO of Creative Reaction Lab (14) Ayse Birsel, co-founder and creative director of Birsel + Seck (15) Stephanie Howard, founder of HOW AND WHY (16) Phnam Bagley, co-founder of Nonfiction (17) Kelly Custer, design director of Knack (18) Isis Shiffer, founder of Spitfire Industry (19) Wonhee Arndt, co-founder of Studio Gorm (20) Betsy Goodrich, co-founder of Manta. Read on...

Core77: 20 Woman-led Industrial Design & Innovation Firms
Authors: Kristi Bartlett, Ti Chang


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 jul 2021

Fashion industry is one of the most polluting industry in the world. The World Economic Forum article 'These facts show how unsustainable the fashion industry is' (Author - Morgan McFall-Johnsen; 31 jan 2020) provides data to emphasize the fashion industry's polluting aspects. Here are the few of these facts - (1) In total, up to 85% of textiles go into landfills each year. That's enough to fill the Sydney harbor annually. (2) Washing clothes releases 500000 tons of microfibers into the ocean each year - the equivalent of 50 billion plastic bottles. (3) A 2017 report from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimated that 35% of all microplastics - very small pieces of plastic that never biodegrade - in the ocean came from the laundering of synthetic textiles like polyester. (4) The fashion industry is responsible for 10% of humanity's carbon emissions. (5) The fashion industry is the second-largest consumer of water worldwide. (6) Textile dyeing is the world's second-largest polluter of water, since the water leftover from the dyeing process is often dumped into ditches, streams, or rivers. (7) Fashion industry is responsible for 20% of all industrial water pollution worldwide. Fast fashion is one of the main reasons behind the negative impact of fashion industry. According to Wikipedia article 'Environmental impact of fashion', fast fashion is 'an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.' The idea is that speedy mass production combined with cheap labor will make clothes cheaper for those buying them, thus allowing these fast fashion trends to maintain economic success. The main concern with fast fashion is the clothes waste it produces. According to the Environmental Protection Agency 15.1 million tons of textile clothing waste was produced in 2013 alone. Recently a webinar was organized by Department of Design and Crafts at BBKDAV College for Women with experts in the field discussing the sustainability concepts in fashion and design industry. Prof. Raghuraman Iyer, a master of Design in Product Designing from IIT (Mumbai) and Head of Punyaa Education and Research Foundation, said, 'The need to move towards sustainable practices in designing and crafting of the products is more than ever now. Sustainable and sensible crafting will lead to less textile waste, less harm to animals, fairer wages and working conditions and a better tomorrow for the future.' Prof. Prabhjot Kaur, Department of design at BBKDAV, said, 'Even while investing in furniture of the house, one needs to be cautious as the chemical polish used on it releases toxic fumes. We can overcome such issues by keeping high oxygen generating indoor plants or having good ventilation system.' Dr. Pushpinder Walia, Principal of BBKDAV College for Women, said that after experiencing the pandemic, our generation must become more responsible. Read on...

Tribune India: 'Killing' it with fast fashion
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 21 jun 2021

According to the 2019 Reuter's report based on a study by Center for American Progress titled 'How Much Nature Should America Keep', the US needs to set a goal to protect 30% of land and oceans by 2030 to stem the rapid decline of natural areas, which will protect the country from the worst impacts of climate change and wildlife extinction. The report mentioned that the US has lost 24 million acres (9712455.41 hectares) of natural area, between 2001 and 2017 due to agriculture, energy development, housing sprawl and other human factors. This phenomenon is happening worldwide and many countries and cities are working to create open spaces and 'rewild' their communities to combat the global loss of nature. Rewilding restores an area to its original, uncultivated state, shifting away from the centuries-long practice of controlling and managing nature for human need. It incorporates both the old and the new, allowing wildness to reclaim an area and/or incorporating new elements of architectural or landscape design, like growing greenery on the facades of buildings. Rewilding is generally carried out in wild areas that have gone through deforestation. Many rewilding projects aim to restore biodiversity in an ecosystem. But now many cities are trying to rewild. Rewilding in urban areas might include reintroducing native plant species, building parks on empty lots, incorporating more biophilic design when building new structures, or simply allowing nature to reclaim space. A major draw to rewilding in urban areas is the proven positive impact of nature on human health - particularly for city-dwellers with less access to outdoor spaces. Following are the select 8 cities that are significantly embarking upon rewilding - (1) Singapore: The Gardens by the Bay have transformed Singapore from a 'Garden city' to a 'City in a Garden'. 18 'Supertrees' are dispersed throughout the landscape. They are not living things themselves, but these trees are home to over 158000 plants and mimic the functions of regular trees by providing shade, filtering rainwater, and absorbing heat. Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is also an example of rewilding in Singapore, incorporating elements of water-sensitive urban design and reducing the urban heat island effect in the city. Beyond parks, Singapore maintains more than 90 miles of Nature Ways - canopied corridors that connect green spaces, facilitating the movement of animals and butterflies from one natural area to another throughout the city. Singapore has also developed a City Biodiversity Index to examine and track the progress of biodiversity and conservation projects. (2) Nottingham, United Kingdom: The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has proposed a new vision for the empty Broadmarsh shopping center in the city - an urban oasis of wetlands, woodlands, and wildflowers. Replacing these 6 acres of development could set a precedent for how such spaces are redeveloped in the future. (3) Haerbin, China: The city of Haerbin which is the capital of China's northernmost province and which sees 60-70% of its annual precipitation from June-August, has taken a creative approach to address flooding by fostering a wetland in the middle of the city. The Qunli National Urban Wetland provides invaluable ecosystem services - collecting and filtering stormwater into the aquifer, recovering a native habitat vital to the surrounding ecosystem, and supplying a place for recreation in the city with a network of raised paths and viewing towers for visitors. (4) Dublin, Ireland: One-third of bee populations in Ireland are threatened with extinction, so the country has begun retiring their lawnmowers and letting grasses grow high. Dublin created a 2015-2020 Biodiversity Action Plan, aimed at reducing mowing and herbicide use in parks, roadsides, and other green spaces. By letting native plants grow instead of maintaining monocropped, chemical-laden lawns, native insect, bird, and bee populations thrive. 80% of the city's green spaces are now 'pollinator-friendly'. (5) Sydney and Melbourne, Australia: Australia has caught on to the biophilic cities movement - a different design approach that brings nature and urbanites together, welcomes back native species, and makes even the densest cities more 'natureful'. The biophilic One Central Park in Chippendale – a suburb of Sydney – is known for its vertical hanging gardens, which incorporate 35200 plants of 383 different species more than 1120 square meters of the building's surface. Melbourne has also taken similar action with the Green Our City strategic action plan, which outlines how nature can be brought back into the city through green walls and roofs. (6) Hanover, Frankfurt, and Dessau, Germany: As a part of the Städte Wagen Wildnis ('Cities Venturing into Wilderness', or 'Cities Dare Wilderness') Project, Hanover, Frankfurt, and Dessau, Germany have agreed to set aside plots in cities – such as the sites of former buildings, parks, vacant lots, etc. – where nature will be allowed to take over. The resulting wildflower gardens and untamed nature will create new habitats for plant and animal species, and thus will increase the overall biodiversity of these cities. (7) New York City, United States: On the site of a former elevated railroad, the High Line gardens have become a staple attraction of Manhattan. The High Line gardeners work to facilitate the natural processes occurring in this landscape, allowing plants to compete, spread out, and grow/change as they would in nature. a valuable habitat for native butterflies, birds, and insects – and, of course, the hundreds of plant species covering its surface. (8) Barcelona, Spain: After the six-week coronavirus-induced lockdown in April'2020, the population of Barcelona found that the city was bursting with growth. With parks closed, nature had begun to reclaim spaces. In May and June of 2020, the Urban Butterfly Monitor Scheme found significant increases in biodiversity - 28% more species per park overall, 74% more butterflies, and an explosion of plant growth during the spring rains that supplied more insects for birds to feed on. Inspired by these changes, the city is now working to create 49000 square meters of 'greened' streets and 783300 of green open space. Furthermore, beehives and insect hotels have been dispersed throughout the city, as well as 200 bird- and bat-nesting towers to encourage even more biodiversity. Read on...

EcoWatch: 8 Cities Rewilding Their Urban Spaces
Author: Linnea Harris


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 may 2021

Architecture is a continuously evolving field, and with technology it is re-inventing itself. Innovation is at the core of architectural design. To stay competitive, architects have to keep on learning new technologies and processes, and innovate. Start-up and entrepreneurship culture is now getting into architecture. Architects are finding innovative solutions and experimenting with new ideas and aiming to develop entrepreneurial ventures. Here are few examples of architects that have pursued entrepreneurship - (1) Eric Reinholdt: Owns a YouTube channel '30 x 40 Design Workshop' with 800k subscribers provides general insight into the world of architecture. He also experiments with alternative modes of practice like selling floor plans by the bundle or selling AUTOCAD and SketchUp drawing templates on his website. He has also written a book 'Architect + Entrepreneur' that provides insights into starting a design business. (2) Safia Qureshi: An architect, designer, and environmentalist, founded CupClub in 2015. CupClub is a tailored, end-to-end returnable packaging service that helps to reduce single-use plastic packaging. CupClub's cups can by used 132 times before they are recycled. Her architectural training has been a catalyst in creating this socially responsible business. (3) Clifton Harness (Architect) and Ryan Griege (Software Developer): Founded TestFit, a software tool that streamlines the design process of projects. The software is capable of providing site and urban configurations based on real-world variables, solving geometry based on constraints such as building codes. competing variables and constraints such as building codes. TestFit is an example of collaborative entrepreneurship between an architect and technologist. Providing entrepreneurship education to architects and designers, and cross-disciplinary collaborations will pave the way for creating innovative solutions and developing entrepreneurial ventures. Read on...

ArchDaily: The Potential of Architects in Entrepreneurship
Author: Matthew Maganga


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 apr 2021

COVID-19 pandemic has brought numerous changes in how businesses go about their processes to create and deliver products and services to their customers. New trends are emerging in digital marketing too. While experts suggest to better what already exists in terms of digital marketing but they also hint at technology enabled shifts particularly with advancements in artificial intelligence. Having elaborate content strategy combined with data will remain a major trend along with focus on omni-channel marketing. Digital customer strategy will continue to be a must in the post-pandemic scenario. Here is what digital marketing experts recommend - (1) Martin Luenendonk (Co-Founder of FounderJar): Companies need to be everywhere. More businesses are focusing on omnichannel marketing and becoming less dependent on one single traffic and revenue driver. (2) Denise Langenegger (Outreach Strategist at Instasize): Focus on stories. Make use of all features of stories options on various social media platforms. The stories format allows brands and marketers to be more candid and post as much as they want. (3) Sandra Chung (Sr. Content Marketing and Partnerships Manager at PlayPlay): Repurpose existing video content for social media. Empower internal teams to create video content. Customer case studies and product tutorials can be transformed into engaging video stories. (4) Olena Zherebetska (Content Manager at Pics.io): Invest in digital asset management software. This will help you access, organize, and distribute assets easily. Some features include meta-tagging, AI-powered technology, advanced search capabilities, shareable public websites etc. (5) Lukas Mehnert (CMO at Smartlook): Focus on your own unique data for content marketing. Choose the unique content produced by the company or hire specialists who will help master this process. Make it properly distributed in the appropriate channels. Utilize industry influencers to spread the content through win-win relationships. (6) David Cacik (Head of Marketing at CloudTalk): High quality content enriched with structure data will rule search engines. Follow Google's guidelines for creating a website structure and creating content. Google assesses content according to the E-A-T methodology (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness). (7) Kristina Ziauke (Content Manager at sixads): Voice search, AI and personalization will be key. Optimize written content for voice searches, implement more and more AI features on the websites like chatbots, product and content recommendations, e-commerce transactions etc. (8) George Mathews (Founder at Kamayobloggers): Artificial Intelligence will change digital marketing forever in 2021. Communication, product recommendations and personalization are all going to be more targeted thanks to AI. (9) Raul Galera (Partner Manager at CandyBar): Focus on retention. Three main risks that online merchants will have to face in 2021 are - (i) the continued growth of online marketplaces (ii) the rise of ad costs (iii) the massive competition in the ecommerce space. Explore areas like subscription options and loyalty points to keep your clients engaged with your brand. Create an omnichannel approach to connect with customers who have found about brand in marketplace. (10) Andrzej Bieda (CMO at Landingi): Continue to nurture and educate your customers. Develop well-functioning marketing funnels, lead magnets, webinars, and sales processes. (11) Maciej Biegajewski (Digital Marketing Specialist at LiveWebinar): Predefined personalization in all digital engagement. Create various patterns (they can be service patterns, advertisements, messages, or even the appearance of the entire online store) that seem to suit this one customer, but have been defined earlier, and now only substitute the collected data and present the recipient. (12) Olga Petrik (CMO at NetHunt CRM): Trust and credibility are more important than ever. Pay more attention to loyalty and retention by developing customer success program. Utilize influencers. Create offers and run campaigns for micro-segments. Address highly-targeted pain points to trigger more responses. Neal Schaffer, founder of the digital marketing consultancy PDCA Social and teaches executives digital marketing at Rutgers Business School and the Irish Management Institute, says, 'Use social media for customer and influencer collaboration, not promotion...reimagine your digital relationships with your customers and celebrate them in social media...over time companies should try their best to source the type of user-generated content from their fans and nano influencers that generates trust and credibility with the public.' Read on...

ClickZ: 2021 digital marketing trends you need to know from 13 marketing experts
Author: Neal Schaffer


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 18 mar 2021

Web design continuously evolves with latest technologies and consumer tastes and behaviors. This results in new trends keep coming up. Most recently cool futuristic design has been prevalent, but now at the beginning of the new decade the trend is shifting to more minimalist and realistic design. Increasing web access on mobile is popularizing this trend. Following are top 10 trends for 2021 - (1) Minimalism: Involves using only essential elements – simple text and typefaces, plenty of space, monochrome or duo-chrome color palettes, and simple graphics. Simple designs are easy to read and functional. (2) Subtle yet intentional parallax scrolling: In this the background moves at a slower pace than the foreground. This adds depth and movement to the browsing experience. It creates an immersive experience for website visitors. (3) Non-traditional scrolling: It can grab attention creatively and quickly. It allows the website to have a fresh new feel. Helps website to stand out from competition. (4) Interactive landing pages: Landing pages help turn visitors into customers. Custom-designed attractive, creative, and interactive questionnaire and unique landing pages will be an important trend in 2021. (5) Dark mode option: Dark mode features light text and images on a dark background. It offers less eye-strain in low-light conditions and improved battery usage than its light-themed counterpart. (6) 3D visuals all around: Higher quality screen resolutions offer the ability to show hyper-realistic or high quality rendered designs that perfectly compliment website content. (7) Custom illustrated graphics: These graphics are welcoming, enticing, and elevate viewers' experience. They provide a more personable experience and a more welcoming feeling. (8) Gradients: Gradients add depth, eye-catching backgrounds, or texture behind an illustration. They are a simple and effective solution to elevate boring and old-school designs. It makes content pop and graphics stand out. (9) Exciting multimedia: Multimedia elements like photos or videos help a visitor learn without reading and can also create an immersive environment to keep a person engaged while browsing website content. Multimedia will be incorporated in new and exciting ways - voice-enabled interfaces; animations with sound effects; immersive and interactive videos. (10) A focus on functionality, usability, and accessibility. Read on...

Crowdspring: 10 biggest web design trends for 2021
Author: Ross Kimbarovsky


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 feb 2021

Personalized, mindful and attractively designed interiors are essential components of good living spaces. The design should be harmoniously aligned to facilitate better living and growth of occupants. Nandita Manwani, founder of The Studio by Nandita Manwani (Bangalore, India), suggests 5 key design elements to make home interiors well-balanced and with a warm and nice feel - (1) Furniture: Includes the shape, material, colour, theme, placement and size. (2) Lighting: Requires layering of ambient lighting, task lighting and accent lighting. (3) Painting/ Wall Finishes/ Floor Finishes: Includes well thought out selection of materials, textures and finishes for good overall outcome. (4) Furnishing (5) Décor. Furnishing and décor should be part of the financial planning from the start. Any budgetary compromise at the end on furnishing and décor will adversely affect the overall outcome of the interior design. All these 5 elements should be blended together in balance to provide quality design. Moreover, Ms. Manwani adds another important 6th element to the interior design essentials - the people for whom the design is done. Their life-stage, lifestyle and aspirations. This personalization component is one of the most valuable part, as all other 5 elements will revolve around this and make home design truly different and unique. Read on...

The Times of India: Interior design - The sixth element
Author: Nandita Manwani


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 jan 2021

More and more educators and experts are advocating inclusion of design and creativity focused subjects in the mainstream school level curriculum. In a webinar titled, 'Why Design Education is Important for Odisha', educators and policymakers discussed the value of design education in India and specifically for the state of Odisha. Prof. Pradyumna Vyas, Senior Advisor of Design and Innovation at Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and former Director of National Institute of Design (NID) at Ahmedabad, says, 'We are in the fourth industrial revolution. Everything is merging with the other and as such design education can't be thought of in isolation. While the dependence on technology has been rapidly increasing, we have been losing touch on a human level. But the focus has to be on people. It should be remembered that technology is just an enabler, humanising that tech is design. If the pandemic has shown anything, it is that human beings can't be ignored.' Dr. Amar Patnaik, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha), says, 'There is a need to mainstream design education and for that, it should be started at the school level. A curriculum should be built to incorporate design education as well. Design should be approached holistically and therefore it needs to be taught at the grassroot level and not during adulthood when it needs to be applied.' Prof. G. V. Sreekumar, former Head of the Industrial Design Centre (IDC) at IIT Bombay, says, 'There is a need to merge design with science, technology and art and looked at as a whole...More than a mere design school, the need is to build a design research center.' Prof. Paresh Choudhury, Founder of Odisha Design Council and former Head of National Institute of Design (NID) in Andhra Pradesh (AP), proposed the need to set up a design school in Odisha. Odisha Design Council (ODC) is a social nonprofit enterprise that intends to spread education, research and development and innovation in the field of design. Read on...

edexlive.com: Design education must be taught at the grassroot level: Rajya Sabha MP Dr. Amar Patnaik
Author: Bidushi Das


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 dec 2020

Logos are a brief visual representaion of the organizational identity and help differentiate them from each other. They assist to instantly recognize brands and over a period of time can become one of the most important component of their identity. Traditionally, organizations utilize the services of graphic designers to get their logos and the process has artistic and creative orientation. But now powered with technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), there are online logo design software tools that can design logos instantly once some specifications are submitted. These tools also provide editing and customization features. Technology is transforming the creative field of logo design into a more scientific one. Research paper, 'Letting Logos Speak: Leveraging Multiview Representation Learning for Data-Driven Logo Design' (SSRN, 25 nov 2019) (Authors: Ryan Dew of Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Asim M. Ansari of Columbia Business School at the Columbia University, Olivier Toubia of Columbia Business School at the Columbia University), proposes a more data-driven approach to logo design in which the authors developed a 'logo feature extraction algorithm' that uses modern image processing tools to break a company's logo into many visual constituent parts like font, color scheme, and many other meaningful features, and a multiview representation learning framework that links the visual components to text that describes the company like industry, value propositions etc. Researchers then applied this framework to a large amount of data available on companies to predict their logo features. Prof. Ryan Dew explains, 'There are things that data and models can say about the design process that can help firms develop brand identities - visual brand identities that are doing the right things for them...we looked at hundreds of different logos, and we also looked at a bunch of textual data describing these firms - taken mostly from the firms' websites. And we also got consumers to react to these logos and the textual descriptions by rating these firms according to what's called a 'brand personality scale'...we developed an algorithm that lets us work with logos as a source of data. We call this our 'logo feature extraction algorithm'...and then we also have all this text, which can be anything...It conveys what the firm does and what their brand is...The idea is, we want to link these two domains to try to get the words to describe what the logo is trying to say. Let the logo speak. Conversely, this is actually how the design process works. You start with a textual blurb describing - 'This is what my brand is. This is what my firm does'. And then you go from that to a logo — to a logo template. This is where the concept of data-driven design comes in. We both, in the first sense, are able to use text to understand logos, but in the second sense, we're able to go from text to new logo templates that will let firms develop logos that are consistent with their brand identities...a more fundamental thing that the current paper can address is this idea of coming up with the 'right template' to convey what you want to convey visually. That is, in some sense, firms should be a little cautious when they're designing logos...understanding these templates and having this model of data-driven design can help with the creative process, to come up with new redesigns or new logos that will excel.' Read on...

Knowledge@Wharton: Why a Data-driven Approach Can Enhance the Art of Logo Design
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 22 dec 2020

Access and affordability, along with innovation and sound regulatory mechanism and government policies, are the essential components of developed and modern healthcare system. India has to pursue consolidated strategies to become a better healthcare system and leverage its R&D human resources to become a design hub for medical devices with a focus on global markets. Pavan Choudary, Chairman and Director General of Medical Technology Association of India (MTaI), in conversation with Viveka Roychowdhury, Editor of Express Pharma and Express Healthcare, explains his views on India's healthcare sector, medical devices and medtech industry, COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic challenges, government policies, investments in the sector and the way forward. EXCERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW - (1) ON HEALTHCARE SYSTEM: • 'Value-based healthcare will bring together all modalities of care delivery to create a well-coordinated 'continuum of care'. It is important for government to devise incentive systems to work for patients by encouraging companies and healthcare systems to deliver quality and better outcomes.' • 'India can take learning from countries like Philippines and Turkey who have over the time strengthened their health care infrastructure, but this has been done by making a conscious effort to increase their healthcare spend. At 1.29% of GDP spent on healthcare, India needs to considerably increase its healthcare budget to at least four per cent of the total GDP; by doing so, we will have started our journey towards last mile healthcare delivery.' • 'Telemedicine is another avenue that the government can facilitate to improve access to healthcare. The sheer size of India's 1.3 billion demographic means that the applications for telemedicine are immense. Telemedicine will also enable India to address its poor doctor-patient ratio of 0.85 which means barely one physician per 1000 people as compared to four physicians per 1000 people in Europe. A 2019 report by McKinsey Global Institute, 'Digital India: Technology to Transform a Connected Nation', states that India can save up to US$ 10 billion by 2025 if telemedicine services could replace 30 to 40% of in-person consultations.' (2) ON MEDTECH, MEDICAL DEVICES, INVESTMENTS & COVID-19: • 'Instead of implementing price caps on medtech products, the government should adopt a mechanism to rationalise trade margins which will achieve the objective of reducing high MRPs as well as allow medtech industry to continue bringing the latest technology in healthcare to India, increase affordable access to quality care and support skilling and training of health care workers.' • 'India also reduced custom duties on a few essential medical devices used in the treatment of COVID-19, however for the rest of the products it did not lighten the load of the 5% cess ad valorem imposed in April earlier this year. This, coupled with the INR depreciating by almost 7-8% in March 2020 against the EUR and the USD, meant a very significant hit for the medical technology industry where more than 80% of the products are imported.' • 'To be ATMANIRBHAR (self-reliant) in medtech, we should also be able to design in India medical devices for the world by utilising India's rich talent in R&D. India is the third largest medtech R&D employer of the world, next to only US and Germany.' • 'We must also be cognizant of the financial challenges that the pandemic has brought. There are some other aspects which the government needs to closely evaluate and consider to reassure the industry, these aspects include creating policies which provide a level playing field to all players, agnostic of their country of origin and a stable regulatory climate for the industry. Addressing these will move the make in India needle, steadily forward. The global companies hope to be eventually and once again, the main movers of this needle.' ATMANIRBHAR BHARAT is the Prime Minister's vision to make India a self-reliant nation. Read on...

Express Healthcare: To be Atmanirbhar in medtech, we should also be able to design in India medical devices for the world: Pavan Choudary
Author: Viveka Roychowdhury


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 nov 2020

Industrial designers earlier carved foam, machined wood, and molded clay to test ideas, refine designs, and get product concepts to clients. This process was slow and labor-intensive. Now 3D printing is preferred for this as it is simpler and faster. Nathan Pollock, founder of Katapult Design (Byron Bay, Australia), says, 'In my career, I've seen 3D printers go from being a bit of a novelty, to an expensive tool, to more of an essential part of design services. Greater reliability, better UX, and much better quality have all had a big impact on acceptance.' David Block, principal of Studio Redeye (New York, US), says, 'At this time, in product design, 3D printing has become a tool of the trade.' Jonathan Thai, co-founder and partner of HatchDuo (San Francisco, US), says, 'If you do not have a 3D printer, and you are in the product development space, you are behind.' 3D printing accelerates the product design process. Mr. Pollock says, 'The top advantage is primarily the speed. We can get quick, concept-level evaluations and adjust or refine our thinking immediately. Not just proofs of concepts, 3D printers can deliver functional mechanical parts and intricate multi-component prototypes. Oscar Daws, director of Tone Product Design (London, UK), says, 'We print everything from quick block models to test the form and proportions of a design, through to high-fidelity working prototypes that allow us to perfect a detail or a mechanism. 3D printing allows us to rapidly iterate complex shapes and accurate details, which means we don’t have to compromise on the design of a prototype in order to physically test it.' Lucas Lappe, partner at Doris Dev (New York, US), says, 'In-house 3D printers enable us to show clients physical representations of their future products and the design engineering work we have completed to date. 3D printers have kept us ahead of the competition, and without 3D printed prototypes, clients often do not understand where their products are in development.' Sanandan 'Sandy' Sudhir, CEO of Inventindia Innovations (India), 'We use 3D printed parts very early in our design process to make some quick proof of concept models, and, at a later stage, for more refined parts to assemble the first-level functional prototypes.' Industrial design firms don't have to own 3D printers and can outsource 3D printing services. Ian Peterman, CEO of Peterman Design (Los Angeles, US), says, 'In the longer term, in-house printing should save you some in print costs, and really save you shipping costs for all those parts, and lead times.' Designers may still outsource 3D printing due to complexity, but some experts believe it is no longer an issue. Mr. Lappe says, 'Every engineer at the company is trained to manage the 3D printers. This gives everyone who designs and is working with 3D printed prototypes and understanding of the process.' There are various 3D printing technologies and printer brands that offer different advantages and disadvantages in terms of available materials, the quality of the final printed parts, ease of use, printing speed, and cost. Mr. Daws says, 'Carefully consider what you will be using it for, as this will have a big impact on the technology you choose. For industrial designers, I'd suggest starting with a high quality FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) printer, which will allow you to do most things quickly and relatively cheaply.' Mr. Sudhir says, 'We prefer to use normal FDM printers for preliminary proof of concept models so that we can do quick and dirty prints and test our ideas.' Mr. Lappe says, 'Buy something that everyone on your team can use. Something that is easy and does not require a dedicated technician. That allows more people to use the printer and makes it a part of everyone's workflow.' SLA (Stereolithography), a raisin printer, is another type of printer popular with industrial designers. These produce finer details and smoother surfaces than FDM. Mr. Sudhir says, 'SLA printers are good for using transparent materials to understand fit and finish related issues as well as mechanical interference with the internal parts. But generally SLA parts are brittle, so they are not appropriate for simulating the exact material properties of plastic parts.' Experts expect further improvements in 3D printing technologies to suit the needs of industrial designers. Read on...

All3DP: How Industrial Designers Embrace 3D Printing
Author: Carolyn Schwaar


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 oct 2020

According to the new research by doctoral student Sweta Iyer at University of Borås (Sweden), luminescent textiles can be created by using a bioluminescent reaction system. The study was conducted using enzyme immobilization and eco-technology methods such as plasma treatment. The luminescent materials have wide range of applications in areas like biomedicine, biosensors, and safety to architecture and aesthetics. These materials have multifunctional properties such as UV protection and antibacterial properties. Ms. Iyer's doctoral thesis is titled 'Luminescent Textiles Using Biobased Products - A Bioinspired Approach'. Ms. Iyer says, 'Bioluminescence phenomena in nature and their reaction mechanisms have been extensively studied in biology and biochemistry, but previously not applied to textiles. The important research question was to understand the bioluminescent reaction mechanism that exists in different living organisms and the selection of the reaction system. This was important in order to make it possible to use the luminescent effects in textile.' Read on...

University of Borås News: Biobased products can create luminescent textiles
Author: Lena Carlsson


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 sep 2020

COVID-19 lockdowns, with stay at home norm and confinement, has brought about more emphasis on gardens, balconies, backyards etc, as they became refreshing and relaxing spaces. The pandemic will impact the future of garden design and following are some ways to consider while designing outdoor spaces in future - (1) More Emphasis On Optimizing Outdoor Spaces: Before outdoor space has often been considered a luxury but the pandemic brought about its essentiality to the home. In future it will become an integral part of the home design. Landscape designers have to make use of every inch of space and make it more usable. (2) Gardens As A Fifth Room: As open spaces become essential more importance will be given to their design. They will be updated more often and will be reorganized to adapt to different usages throughout the day. 'Transterior' (term used by Jamie Durie and Nadine Bush in their book 'Living Design' to describe the space where the interior and exterior of a home merge) spaces will be more in demand in the future. (3) Bigger Focus On Sustainability And Self-Sufficiency: Urban farming saw a boom during lockdowns as more people took to growing their own fruits and vegetables. The trend has been around, but now it will continue with more urban produce growing spaces. The greater focus on sustainability will also influence building materials used in landscaping. More emphasis will be on durable, natural materials like reclaimed wood, hard-wearing garden tiles and natural stone. (4) A need for mindful outdoor areas: Health benefits of green open spaces is well known - reducing stress and anxiety, and also promoting mindfulness. Use of homes to create a sense of security and wellness will continue and open green spaces are an important part of it. Garden design in the 'new normal' will be about using outdoor areas to evoke a sense of calm and serenity through thoughtful design. Read on...

Total Landscape Design: The world's 'new norm' and what it means for garden design
Author: Suhayl Laher


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 aug 2020

COVID-19 pandemic has affected art and culture sector, and significantly impacted talent associated with it. Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO in her message on World Art Day (15 April 2020), celebrated on the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci, said, 'Bringing people together, inspiring, soothing and sharing: these are the powers of art, the importance of which has been made emphatically obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic.' The art community is adapting to the new challenges and finding innovative solutions to keep the spirit alive. The program, 'Arts and Culture Education Change-Up', a collaboration between South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Korea Culture and Arts Education Service and the Seokyeong University Arts Education Center, has come up with something positive during the pandemic. The program teaches and supports creative people who are interested in social entrepreneurial projects in the field of arts and culture education. Han Jeong-seop, professor and dean of the Seokyeong University Arts Education Center, says, 'If it were not for COVID-19, we might not have brought those international guest speakers or have participants from Jeju Island due to geographical factors...We wanted to showcase how overseas cultural social enterprises play a role in resolving social problems between the public and private sector.' The participants in the online interaction included representatives from STEPS (Canada-based charitable public art organization that develops one-of-a-kind public art plans, installations and engagement strategies that foster vibrant communities), and Starcatchers (Scotland-based art organization specializing in creating performances and exploring creative activities for babies, toddlers and young children up to the age of five and the adults who care for them). Anjuli Solanki, program director of the STEPS Initiative, says, 'Applying our multidisciplinary expertise, we strive to develop a strong contextual understanding of the neighborhoods and sites we are working in for all our projects. Our goal is to create iconic public works that attract widespread attention by transforming underutilized public spaces.' Bebhinn Jennings, program manager at STEPS, says, 'The pandemic has highlighted our need to connect, to be inspired and to contribute to our communities. As such, art and public art in particular are increasingly important as they offer numerous entry points for engagement. Public art can both beautify a space, and ignite dialogues around important issues such has climate change, public health and systemic inequalities - all conversations that have been active throughout the pandemic.' Rhona Matheson, chief executive of Starcatchers, says, 'We know we are not going to be able to tour any of our productions until at least spring 2021 so our focus is on providing a range of activities that parents or childcare settings can share with very young children. Retaining a connection with audiences has been very important and making the offers through our online activities has been essential. Similarly, being able to retain connection with the families who participate in our community engagement programs has been very important - this has been a means to offer support to young families who experience social and rural isolation and have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.' Lee In-kyung, an art instructor at an alternative school on Jeju Island, says, 'If it were not operated online, it would be very difficult and time-consuming for me to participate in a training program held in Seoul. Now I can communicate with other social entrepreneurs while on Jeju...We made environmental picture books and tried junk art, campaigning for environment. I realized that students could learn better through empirical art education.' She developed such experiences into an idea for a social enterprise, aiming to support teenagers to cultivate creativity, problem-solving skills and empathic abilities. Kim Soo-jung, CEO of Open Your Arts and in the second year of Change-Up program, says, 'I wanted to provide sustainable art education for socially disadvantaged children, but it was impossible to solve the problem as a volunteer. So I came up with this art educational kit developed in collaboration with artists...Their (Starcatchers and STEPS) business model is not based nor suitable for online, but it was interesting to see the possibility of online platforms, transcending physical or regional limitations.' Read on...

The Korea Times: Social enterprise bridges art, community amid pandemic
Author: Kwon Mee-yoo


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 aug 2020

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around in its various forms for many years. But now it is reaching a level of disruption in many industries and has potential to influence many more. There are major investments in AI with tech giants leading the pack. Businesses are seeing value in AI to make process improvements, enhance efficiencies etc to improve bottom line and at the same time there are concerns related to job losses. Even creative industries like graphic design, that require exceptional human skills to thrive are being significantly influenced by AI. Graphic design softwares are now AI-powered and can mimic human designers by understanding client requirements effectively. These may not not be emotion-powered like humans, but can provide outputs that are fast, affordable and customizable. Moreover, these softwares have their own limitations at this time and the role of designers is not becoming obsolete. In fact, on one side these tools are designed and developed by incorporating inputs from designers and on the other they are complementing and enhancing the capabilities of designers and assisting them to achieve even better outcomes. Following are some limitations of AI in graphic design - Understanding nuances that come naturally to humans; Originality of humans that is derived from being highly imaginative; Human touch that is needed as part of a personalized interactive experience. Read on...

ClickZ: The rise of AI in graphics design
Author: Carl Dean


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 29 jul 2020

India has developed expertise in chip design and microchip design related services and its R&D centers are world renowned. On the contrary, it lacks sunbstantially in chip fabrication and manufacturing facilities. Over the years not much investment has been made in this regard and India lags far behind countries like Taiwan, China and the US. Experts suggest that building chip fabrication facilities and ecosystem require huge investments and takes time along with conducive government policies. Moreover, manufacturing is expensive unless it can achieve economies of scale like in Taiwan and China. To reduce its dependancy on China and finding an opportunity to become an alternative destination for chip manufacturing, Indian policy makers and businesses have to consider long-term strategic planning in this regard. Aditya Narayan Mishra, Director and CEO of CIEL HR Services, says, 'Chip design and manufacturing is a highly capital-intensive business...We need access to capital, favourable policies and investment on the ecosystem from design to application engineering...The government has to decide if this is an industry which needs to be promoted.' Dr. Satya Gupta, Chairman of India Electronics and Semiconductor Association (IESA), says, 'A fabrication facility for chip manufacturing requires on an average US$ 8-to-10 billion of investment...Most chip designers outsource to third-party manufacturers who have the expertise and scale in developing such chips.' Ganesh Suryanarayanan, CTO of Myelin Foundry Pvt. Ltd., says, 'Companies in China and Taiwan have had a lot of government support over the last couple of decades to foster such an ecosystem, which consists of materials, machinery, manufacturing, testing, packaging, and sales...Indian government tried one initiative called the Hindustan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (HSMC)...which did not take off-based on the need for heavy initial investment and delayed return on investment.' Read on...

THE WEEK: Why India is good at designing chips, but not at manufacturing them
Author: Abhinav Singh


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 jul 2020

Downtime for workforce is a reality that needs to be managed well. Experts provide suggestions to web designers to effectively utilize downtime, whether it is normal as in between projects or unusual circumstances like COVID-19 pandemic - (1) Support Your Juniors: Priscilla Coates, managing director at Magma Digital, says, 'Our developers focus on continuous learning as a principle...they engage in targeted supervision opportunities to support more junior developers more closely...we embrace the notion of working on the business as well as in the business.' (2) Test Your Skills With A Side Project: Melin Edomwonyi, director of product for Illustrate Digital, says, 'Downtime is a great opportunity to work on something you've been needing or wanting to do for a while...If the downtime is short, i.e. less than a day, then we'll use this time to explore new UX trends or tidy up our code library to make future projects more efficient.' (3) Read A Good Book: Bryony Sutton, UX and UI designer at Banc, says, 'When a project ends, I take the opportunity to meditate my mind and desktop...To help draw a line under a project, I like to read. I find that completing a book separates one project from the next and puts my mind in a different space.' (4) Host A Hackathon: Paul Ferry, director and co-founder of ShopTalk, says, 'At ShopTalk, we have an internal initiative...a quarterly design-hackathon where the team get to apply their creative skills to their own ideas, and ShopTalk invest in helping to make these happen.' (5) Learn A New Skill: Benoit Soucaret, creative director of experience design at LiveArea, says, 'Downtime can present an opportunity to upskill...So while disruption can see many projects shorten, downtime can still be used productively. There are more opportunities to learn than ever before, designers and developers simply have to open to them.' (6) Improve Your Processes: Arrann Diamond, digital director at Greenwich Design, says, 'I use downtime to improve our processes...I also like learning about new ways to make projects run more smoothly...As digital director, really understanding a developer’s point of view and having a good knowledge of technologies and build processes is essential...Understanding information, rather than just relaying it, is very different, but it’s the key to conveying trust with both clients and developers.' Read on...

Creative Bloq: The web designer's guide to dealing with downtime
Author: Tom May


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 jun 2020

COVID-19 has brought to the fore the issue of medical textiles as masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE) are necessary for safeguarding healthcare workers against virus infections. The use of mask specifically became more widespread among general public and the debate centered around the type of material of the fabric that can minimize spread of the virus from person to person and also be affordable. As the demand for PPEs rose the challenge for the scientific and manufacturing community has been to find a way to provide better protection while allowing for the safe reuse of these items. Team of researchers from University of Pittsburgh - Anthony J. Galante, Sajad Haghanifar, Eric G. Romanowski, Robert M. Q. Shanks, Paul W. Leu - has created a textile coating that can not only repel liquids like blood and saliva but can also prevent viruses from adhering to the surface. Their research titled, 'Superhemophobic and Antivirofouling Coating for Mechanically Durable and Wash-Stable Medical Textiles', was recently published in the journal ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. Lead author of the paper, Mr. Galante, who is the Ph.D. student in industrial engineering at Pitt, says, 'Recently there's been focus on blood-repellent surfaces, and we were interested in achieving this with mechanical durability.' The coating is unique as it is able to withstand ultrasonic washing, scrubbing and scraping. Prof. Leu, co-author and associate professor of industrial engineering, says, 'The durability is very important because there are other surface treatments out there, but they’re limited to disposable textiles. You can only use a gown or mask once before disposing of it. Given the PPE shortage, there is a need for coatings that can be applied to reusable medical textiles that can be properly washed and sanitized.' Prof. Romanowski, Research Director at Charles T. Campbell Microbiology Laboratory, says, 'As this fabric was already shown to repel blood, protein and bacteria, the logical next step was to determine whether it repels viruses. We chose human adenovirus types 4 and 7, as these are causes of acute respiratory disease as well as conjunctivitis (pink eye)...As it turned out, the adenoviruses were repelled in a similar way as proteins.' Prof. Shanks, Director of Basic Research in the Department of Ophthalmology at Pitt, says, 'Adenovirus can be inadvertently picked up in hospital waiting rooms and from contaminated surfaces in general. It is rapidly spread in schools and homes and has an enormous impact on quality of life - keeping kids out of school and parents out of work. This coating on waiting room furniture, for example, could be a major step towards reducing this problem.' The next step for the researchers will be to test the effectiveness against betacoronaviruses, like the one that causes COVID-19. Read on...

University of Pittsburgh News: Pitt Researchers Create Durable, Washable Textile Coating That Can Repel Viruses
Author: Maggie Pavlick


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 may 2020

A group of researchers led by Prof. Raul Gonzalez Lima and Prof. Marcelo Knorich Zuffo at the University of São Paulo's Engineering School (POLI-USP) in Brazil have developed a mechanical ventilator that costs only approximately 7% as much as a conventional ventilator. Prof. Lima says, 'Our ventilator is designed to be used in emergencies where there's a shortage of ICU (Intensive Care Unit) ventilators, which are more monitored, but it has all the functionality required by a severe patient. It also has the advantage of not depending on a compressed air line, as conventional ventilators do. It only needs an electric power outlet and piped oxygen from the hospital or even bottled O2.' In developing the ventilator, the researchers needed to analyze the range of oxygen flow rates and levels it could offer patients. For this purpose, they simulated the various breathing frequencies of human lungs using a gas analyzer and gas flow meter in a lab headed by Prof. Guenther Carlos Krieger Filho, also a professor at POLI-USP. Animal tests were conducted under the coordination of Denise Tabacchi Fantoni and Aline Ambrósio, both of whom are professors at School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science (FMVZ-USP). The tests were performed at Medical School's (FM-USP) anesthesiology laboratory (LIM08) under the supervision of Professor José Otávio Costa Auler Junior, in collaboration with Denise Aya Otsuki, a researcher in the lab. The first human trials involved four patients undergoing treatment at FM-USP's Heart Institute (INCOR). They were led by Auler Junior, with the collaboration of Filomena Regina Barbosa Gomes Galas, the supervisor at INCOR's surgical ICU, nurse Suely Pereira Zeferino, and physical therapist Alcino Costa Leme. The researchers are now preparing a clinical trial with a larger number of patients. This will be one of the last steps before production of the ventilator is approved by ANVISA, Brazil's national health surveillance authority. Read on...

News-Medical.Net: Brazilian researchers design low-cost mechanical ventilators
Author: Emily Henderson


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 14 may 2020

Covid-19 pandemic is affecting all aspects of human life, and even when the immediate severity of the crisis has subsided and nations start to ease lockdowns in hope of bringing their economies and people's lives back on track, the world will continue to see the after effects for a long time ahead. Experts share their views on pandemic's impact on future of design and how it will change the built environment in healthcare, hospitality, residential living etc - (1) Impact on Healthcare (Rahul Kadri, partner and principal Architect, IMK Architects): New generation of hospitals will be designed; Integrate tech-driven solutions; Better natural ventilation to minimize cross-infection; Segregation of general, semi-sterile and sterile zones; Net zero designing; Demarcation and separation of service and maintenance areas from the procedure areas; Rapid time to build and construct; Medical hub model. (2) Impact on Hospitality (Amit Khanna, design principal, Amit Khanna Design Associates): Screenings will become a part of entrance design in hotels; Use of automation to avoid human contact; Automated sliding or revolving glass door; Rethink on facilities like swimming pools, salons and health clubs; Top-end hospitality projects may prefer to redesign their communal facilities. (3) Impact on Urban Design (Mitu Mathur, director, GPM Architects and Planners): Towns need to be designed for all classes of society; Ensure housing-for-all; Promote affordable housing; Special design focus on migrant workers. (4) Using AI for Construction (Anand Sharma, founder partner, Design Forum International): Architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry will have more use of artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing etc; Building Information Management (BIM) Development promotes workers of industry to be collaborative, connected and transparent; Future of construction will innovate like utilising the Internet of Things and leveraging 3D imaging to replicate the experience of a site. (5) Impact on Housing Design (L. C. Mittal, director, Motia Group): Adoption of advanced technology in elevators and entrances, like voice-enabled elevators and key card entry systems respectively, to eliminate human contact; Sanitisation of common areas would become a mandatory exercise for societies; Daily needs shopping store will become an integral part of housing societies. Read on...

India Today: A post-pandemic design revolution
Author: Ridhi Kale


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 apr 2020

Diversity and inclusion at workplace brings creativity and enhances culture of innovation. There is inclination towards bridging the gender gap and promoting gender parity in organizations. According to McKinsey's 'Women in the Workplace 2019' report, since 2015 the number of women in senior leadership has grown and in the C-suite the representation of women has increased from 17% to 21%. Moreover, in 2019 44% of companies have three or more women in their C-suite, up from 29% of companies in 2015. The 2017 study 'What Women Want - And Why You Want Women - In the Workplace' by Center for Creative Leadership (ccl.org) found that having more women in the workplace actually makes an organization a better place to work. Moreover, having a higher percentage of female talent in an organization predicted - More job satisfaction; More organizational dedication; More meaningful work; Less burnout. The study also found that having more women in the workplace was also positively related to employee engagement and retention. Top architectural and design schools in US are setting the examples in academia by bringing women at leadership positions. The following five thought leaders are now molding the next generation of talent and reshaping the design field for the 21st century - (1) J. Meejin Yoon (Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning): 'I'm optimistic about architectural education going forward and the role of the academy as a leader around critical social and environmental issues, as well as emerging technologies and their impact on the built environment. It feels significant to be a part of this group of women academic leaders, all of whom are deeply committed to both education and practice...Diversity means better research, better education, better design.' (2) Sarah Whiting (Harvard University Graduate School of Design): 'Our mandate is to identify questions that are relevant and urgent, questions like ethics, climate change, and housing. It's important to make sure the world knows that design is not a frivolous add-on to our lives but rather at the root of how we live.' (3) Mónica Ponce de León (Princeton University School of Architecture): 'Architecture materializes culture. We have the capacity to put on the table alternatives to the status quo. But if architecture is going to impact culture, it has to represent and argue for a broad cohort of communities. Diversity is key.' (4) Deborah Berke (Yale School of Architecture): 'One of the ways that we can make the profession more inclusive is to reduce the enormous burden of student debt...I am a strong believer in what I call built environment social justice. Those most vulnerable are those being most hurt...Everyone is entitled to beauty in their everyday life. The built environment can, at its very finest, bring joy.' (5) Amale Andraos (Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation): 'Architecture got cut up into all these different disciplines, leaving us with a very small, cosmetic part, limiting what the field can mean and what practice can do. Unless we integrate and collaborate, we cannot engage with the scale of issues such as climate change...Academia can change the profession.' Read on...

Architectural Digest: These Trailblazing Women are the New Deans of American Design
Author: Sam Cochran


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 mar 2020

Designers are utilizing their creative expertise to find innovative solutions to fight against COVID-19 pandemic. Italian architects Carlo Ratti and Italo Rota designed a series of interconnected intensive care unit (ICU) pods from shipping containers. A prototype of the pods is now being built and is called Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments (CURA). Industrial design brand Dyson also announced that it has developed a CoVent ventilator after UK PM Boris Johnson requested the company to fulfil the hike in demand. Danish startup Stykka has created a design for a simple flat-pack workstation that can be easily assembled from three pieces of folded cardboard. Architectural designers Ivo Tedbury and Freddie Hong have developed a 3D-printed device that can be attached to door handles to enable hands-free opening. Ukranian architect Sergey Makhno forecasted the changes in living spaces in the aftermath of the pandemic that include people preferring houses over apartments, wanting to become self-sufficient with their own water supply and heating, and more attention placed on creating a workplace at home. Dezeen's editor Tom Ravenscroft predicted that the huge amount of people being forced to work-from-home will have long-term impacts on how companies approach remote working. Graphic designer Jure Tovrljan recreates iconic brand logos to highlight current situation. Cartoonist Toby Morris and microbiologist Siouxsie Wiles created playful animated illustrations and graphs to depict social distancing necessity. Read on...

Dezeen: This week, designers created objects and structures to help fight coronavirus
Author: Natashah Hitti


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 25 mar 2020

Landscape architects can utilize sustainability and environmental design while providing beautiful landscapes. This showcases sensitivity towards the larger ecosystem. Cheryl Brown and Holley Owings, landscape architects at Earth Design, share a landscape design process for better outcomes - (1) Determine your Goals: Create a list of likes and dislikes. Get photo example, property's sitemap or survey for planning. (2) Define your Style: Ms. Owings says, 'We look at a landscape from an environmental and ecological standpoint which supports a range of styles.' She suggests natural, low maintenance landscapes. Outdoor elements include moss gardens, permeable hardscapes, raised beds for vegetable gardens and cut flowers, and she-shed garden cottages. (3) Seek Professional Guidance: Ms. Brown says, 'Many times, we have to think outside the box to meet a homeowner's specific goals and budget.' Landscape architects have the skills to provide creative solutions for difficult landscape challenges. (4) Landscape Assessment: Assessing the present condition of the property is the start of the design process. Ms. Brown says, 'We're taking into account sun, shade, location, and water and looking at what the landscape wants to be. We don't want to go against nature.' An assessment reveals design challenges, as well as identify some of the most common problems. (5) Selecting Plants: Good design is about form, texture and layering, and good landscape design hinges on choosing and grouping the right plants in the right place. Ms. Owings says, 'Your outdoor space should be a sanctuary. It should attract the things that bring you joy, such as birds and butterflies, so plant choices are important.' (6) The Master Plan: Ms. Brown says, 'A landscape project should be looked at as a whole...a master plan is such an important investment. It includes everything in one place, even if it's installed in stages.' Read on...

Greenville News: Building Your Dream Landscape
Author: Renata Parker


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 23 feb 2020

Shrinking living spaces in cities along with small and tiny house movement is bringing new ideas in space utilization and maximization in interior design. According to Rakhee Bedi and Shobhit Kumar of RSDA, 'Scale and proportion should be carefully strategised to craft the sense of space in design. One of the most important aspects of 'making space' is by decluttering.' Following are some ways to do so - (1) Consider an Open Floor Plan: Remove walls and doors. Open floor plan should be between the living room, dining and kitchen. Vivek Singh Rathore of Salient, 'Dividing spaces by functionality, rather than solid partitions is essential to augment the volume.' (2) Choose a Light Colour Palette: Subdued colors reflect light and make the space seem large and breezy. Also for a pop of hue, go in for bright accessories or plants. Pankaj Poddar of Hipcouch, 'Light colours on walls blur the boundaries between the wall and ceiling, essentially making the ceiling seem higher. This is valid for flooring as well. Use light tiles or wood to maximise the effect.' (3) Bring in Sunlight: Natural light is a space enhancer. Use simple blinds or sheer curtains. Moreover, avoid dim lights, dark corners and low-level lighting. Ensure that the light is focused on the central areas of the space. Ms. Bedi and Mr. Kumar suggest, 'Wall sconces help by evenly spreading light and saving floor space while adding to the aesthetics.' (4) Use the Magic of Mirrors: A large mirror in front of the entrance reflects natural and artificial light and creates an illusion of space. Mirrors with artistic, vintage frames or even plain wood frames create an elegant look. Mr. Rathore explains, 'Using mirror-panelled walls also curates a sense of a larger space by adding volume.' (5) Opt for Multipurpose Furniture Pieces: Use furniture pieces that serve more than one purpose. Match the colour of the furniture with the scheme of the walls to create more depth and a feeling of space. (6) Furnish With Light Upholstery: Choose light and breezy fabrics for decoration. Avoid heavy rugs and drapes. Full length curtains or even sheers can be used to make the space look airy and light. Half-length window curtains inadvertently make your space look smaller. Mr. Poddar says, 'Full length curtains or even sheers can be used to make the space look airy and light. Half-length window curtains inadvertently make your space look smaller.' (7) Keep it Simple: Avoid anything over-the-top or grandiose. Opt for simple art pieces rather than elaborate pieces. Avoid complicated colour palettes, patterns and prints. Declutter and organise on a regular basis. Minimalistic approach is the key to make small space look big.Read on...

Architectural Digest: Living Room Interior Design: 7 ways to make more space
Author: Rashmi Gopal Rao


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 jan 2020

Earlier web development was in silos with front-end and back-end design, development and management requiring different set of skills. But now full stack application development approach is more integrated and involves end-to-end development. This requires front-end developers to have broader set of skills and working knowledge of multiple technologies. Tarun Nagar, founder and CEO of Dev Technosys, suggests must-have skills for front-end developers in 2020 - (1) HTML, a language that communicates with the browser, and CSS, which is responsible for the styling of the page and the betterment of the user interface. Together they are essential component of front-end development. (2) Javascript, a client-side programming language, makes the webpage elements functional. For audio, video, animation and hat features, Javascript library and jQuery extensions are used for faster functions widely used by full-stack web development services. (3) JavaScript frameworks like Angular Js, ReactJS and Vue.js, make the JS code easier to use and make development faster. (4) CSS preprocessing is the advanced CSS version. It is a better version of the primary CSS classes, which enhances the website features. (5) Version Control Software or Git is the most popular software used for the large team of developers. The version control system helps in collaborating with the changes and making a better software development process. (6) Testing and debugging is an integral part of the development process. (7) Automated building software makes the front-end development easier. The performance is usually measured at the loading time. Functional User Interface, collective term for HTML, CSS and Javascript, is used wisely as best web development company practices. (8) Browser tools are the browser component, which helps in developing the browser-friendly pages. This helps the developers in increasing the UI quality give optimum website development services. (9) Responsive design ensures that web page UI is compatible with every screen size. (10) Command-Line Interface (CLI) is used to give functionality, unlike Graphical User Interface (GUI) which is used to build the page and perform the tasks in the front-end. (11) Good problem solving skills make the developer work effectively in a team and efficiently handle large projects. Read on...

Customer Think: 11 skills to become a Front-End developer in 2020
Author: Tarun Nagar


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 dec 2019

Graphic design continuously evolves and experts spot the trends and also make predictions. Here are graphic desing professionals predicting trends for 2020 - (1) Intensifying minimalism: Brian Dixon, creative director at Grady Britton; Paul Levy, designer; Adam Murdoch, senior art director. (2) Abstract 3D and vibrant colours: Tamryn Kerr, associate creative director at VMLY&R; Consuela Onighi, UX designer at Illustrate Digital; Alex Halfpenny, design director at Elmwood. (3) Type-only approaches: Emily Benwell, digital design and marketing specialist at Liberty Marketing; Davide Baratta, design director at Impero; Nazar Begen, head of project at Crello; Steve Sharp, director of Fat Cow Media; Chris Willis, head of design at VMLY&R; Katie Larosa, designer at Grady Britton. (4) Super-maximalist and ultra-minimalist: Justin Au, designer at Gretel. (5) Taking GIFs to the next level: Steve Sharp, director of Fat Cow Media; Mark Chatelier, executive creative director at StormBrands. (6) Multisensoral moving content: Davide Baratta, design director at Impero; Iain Acton, head of motion design at DixonBaxi; Emma Newnes of B&B Studio. (7) Motion with intent: Kelli Miller, creative director and partner at And/Or; Dan Healy, image and motion director at Bulletproof. (8) Ingrigue overtakes legibility: Alex Halfpenny, design director for Elmwood; Emily Benwell, digital design and marketing specialist for Liberty Marketing; Dave Gee, co-founder of Jam_. (9) Graphical disruption: Sarah Sanders, head of strategic insight at Precipice Design; Kelli Miller, creative director and partner at And/Or. (10) Backlash against Insta-perfection: Jennie Potts, design director at B&B Studio. (11) Focus on Gen Alpha: Lee Hoddy, creative partner at Conran Design Group. (12) Organic look and feel: Andy Capper, creative director at Echo Brand Design. (13) Action on sustainability: Charlie Smith, creative director at Charlie Smith Design; Steve Austen-Brown, creative director at Avantgarde London; Alex Halfpenny, design director at Elmwood. (14) New perspectives on gender and sexuality: Lee Hoddy, creative partner at Conran Design Group; Davide Baratta, design director at Impero. (15) A spirit of rebellion: Maisie Benson, designer at B&B Studio; Curro de la Villa, creative director at 72andSunny Amsterdam. (16) Device dependent design: Harry East, co-founder and creative director at Equals Collective. (17) Cause-based branding: Adam Murdoch, senior art director at Grady Britton. (18) Immersive experiences: Dave Gee, co-founder of Jam_; Mark Davis, creative director at me&dave; (19) Making brand stories more believable: Andy Askren, partner and creative director at Grady Britton. (20) Uncertainty: Alex Halfpenny, design director at Elmwood. Read on...

Creative Bloq: 20 top graphic design trends for 2020
Author: Tom May


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 28 nov 2019

Team of researchers from Poland's Łódź University of Technology (ŁUT) led by Prof. Katarzyna Grabowska, the dean of the Faculty of Material Technologies and Textile Design, have developed a textile charger, which allows to charge phones, tablets, and other portable electronic devices using the power generated by their users' physical activity. Monika Malinowska-Olszowy, the vice dean of the faculty and member of the research team, says, 'The textile charger for mobile electronic devices is an inseparable part of the fabric or knitwear from which it is made, such as clothing...This invention replaces heavy, large batteries and power banks that often contain toxic substances. It is shock resistant and weatherproof. The main purpose of this technology is to ensure its users with uninterrupted access to electricity to sustain the operations of their mobile devices. As a result, this will exclude various problematic processes related to frequent charging of mobile phones or tablets.' ŁUT research has focused on the development of innovative textile inventions. Some of the latest examples include textile clothing for premature infants that is to protect them against dehydration and ensure thermal stability through special layered textile systems, and a prototype textronics solution that allows the integration of muscle-stimulating electrodes within various types of clothing, such as underwear, wristbands and socks, and use it to treat patients with various diseases that require such stimulation, among others. Read on...

Innovation In Textiles: Polish researchers develop textile mobile device charger
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 oct 2019

Concrete is a preferred material, second-most used (about 22 billion ton annually), in the building and construction industry. But, it is also second-largest emitter of Carbon dioxide, as cement manufacturing accounts for 5-7% of annual emissions. According to Lucy Rodgers of BBC News, 'If the cement industry were a country, it would be the third-largest emitter in the world - behind China and the US.' In order to meet the requirements of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, annual cement emissions must fall by 16% by 2030. This situation brings concrete at the cusp of innovation, encouraging architects and scientists to experiment with concrete and help evolve its greener variants. Most innovations in this regard focus on reduction of cement in the concrete mix. MIT researchers developed an experimental method of manufacturing cement while eliminating CO2 emissions. Researchers at Lancaster University in the UK unveiled a novel approach of using nanoplatelets extracted from carrots and root vegetables to enhance concrete mixes. Dr. Sandra Manso-Blanco's approach of 'bioreceptive concrete' has structural concrete layered with materials to encourage the growth of CO2-absorbing moss and lichen. Another alternative mixture becoming mainstream in construction is GFRC (Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete). The material consists of a mortar made of concrete, sand, alkali-resistant glass fiber and water. Plasticity is one of the main qualities of GFRC, enabling the molding of thinner and thus lighter façade pieces. Another novel approach to concrete used by Zaha Hadid Architects is 3D-knitted shell. Termed as KnitCandela, it is inspired by Spanish-Mexican architect and engineer Felix Candela's inventive concrete shell structures. The knitted fabric for KnitCandela was developed at ETH Zurich. ETH Zurich has been at the forefront of a number of innovations concerning concrete. With the intention of maximizing available space and avoiding steep construction costs, researchers from ETH Zurich's Department of Architecture have devised a concrete floor slab that with a thickness of a mere 2 cm, remains load-bearing and simultaneously sustainable. The institute also showcased the potential of robotically 3D printed concrete. Read on...

ArchDaily: What is the Future of Concrete in Architecture?
Author: Niall Patrick Walsh


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 24 oct 2019

Christopher Charles Benninger, India-based US architect and author of the book 'Letters to a Young Architect', while speaking at a World Habitat Day event in Kochi (Kerala, India) advocates that Indian students should not go to US to study architecture citing higher cost incurred and subsequent settling there, but instead, they should spend 8-9 months travelling across India to see the country's traditional architectural marvels and the materials used for their construction. He suggests that architects should make use of the local climate, materials and labour force. V. Sunil Kumar, founder and MD of Asset Homes, says, 'Among the economically-backward people of India, there is a dearth of 2.5 crore homes while lower income group also lacks 3 crore houses.' Read on...

The Hindu: 'Architecture should be rooted to local culture'
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 17 sep 2019

According to Learning Enterprise Institute (lean.org), the book, 'Designing the Future' by James M. Morgan and Jeffrey K. Liker, describes the robust new Lean Product and Process Development (LPPD) framework and shares real-world examples from a diverse set of industries. The book explains how the leading companies are using LPPD to create better futures for themselves and all their stakeholders. Authors go beyond broad generalizations on how to 'be innovative' and dig deeper into the theoretical bedrock and concrete development practices that are generating exceptional results at pioneering LPPD companies. Examples in the book show specifically how companies are redesigning product development systems to consistently design and deliver a progression of market-leading products and services. The book explains how LPPD is different from traditional ways of thinking and doing product development. The book helps in learning how to - (1) Avoid the 'extremes' that turn milestones into a 'coercive bureaucracy' and instead turn them into the foundation of a lean development process. (2) Drive out fear, but not accountability. (3) Develop high-performance teams and team members. (4) Cultivate chief architects with complete product and business responsibility. (5) Create flow and reduce rework in the development process. (6) Apply leadership lessons from Alan Mulally and other senior development leaders, as well as the critical elements of a powerful management system. (7) Use the Obeya (big room, war room) system to increase transparency, collaboration, focus, and speed while engaging the entire enterprise. (8) Improve the scientific thinking skills of engineers and developers. (9) Apply the seemingly contradictory concept of 'fixed and flexible' - Yin and Yang - of lean product development as an opportunity, not a conflict. (10) Hire the right people using different approaches, including extreme interviewing events. (11) Use a Commodity Development Plan to develop components in parallel that are on time, functional, and fit together. (12) Improve development problem solving through effective use of A3s and employ a simple but effective 'trick' to check the quality of an A3 report. EXCERPTS FROM INTERVIEW WITH AUTHORS - James M. Morgan: 'The book is for all serious practitioners who are working to find a better way to develop products, processes and services. Especially for those who are in leadership positions who want to improve organizational development capabilities in order to create great products and a great place to work.'; 'Deep immersion at the gemba (the actual place) during the study period to truly understand your customer and their context. To truly study and listen deeply to your customer in a very intentional way. To look broadly across your industry to understand the current state and conduct detailed product or service dissections where called for. Creating an active learning plan and experimentation to test ideas and close knowledge gaps. To create a concept paper to clarify your thinking and engage and enroll others.'; 'Milestones are the key to orchestrating development across functions. They are the primary mechanism for integrating work and for understanding normal from abnormal conditions so that the development team may act accordingly.'; 'The obeya space needs to become the center and the heartbeat of the project. Whether the team is collocated or not, it is the place where they come together to share and collaborate. It is the primary source of project information.'; 'I believe that it (to build aligned and focused teams) is impacted by hiring/selection of people, development of people, manager selection and promotion and of course leadership behaviors. One key is to develop an effective management system. In my view a management system is comprised of two key elements: leadership behaviors and an operating system.'; 'The best leaders have the grit to keep going - and to keep their team moving forward. One key is to look at problems as gems, as opportunities to improve your product, your process, your team - yourself.'; 'Make it okay to experiment, make mistakes, question things and raise issues. Create time and resources for learning - both capturing and applying learning. Design reviews are an excellent mechanism for learning. Then make knowledge available in user-friendly way.'; 'Apply the LPPD principles and practices in your transformation. Start by deeply understanding your current state, develop a compelling vision, learn through pilot experimentation, create an aligned plan, and focus on relentless executing leveraging tools like obeya, milestones, reflection events and design reviews.' Jeffrey K. Liker: 'We also talk about the role of the chief engineer - an overall architect for the product who assimilates all the data and spends time with customers and integrates many perspectives into a vision. These are specially developed people who become the chief architects.'; 'The main failure mode of milestones is viewing them as checkpoints. In LPPD there is feedback and adjustment happening all of the time. The checkpoint is a major opportunity to reflect and learn. It should not feel like passing a test.'; 'The obeya paces the work of many functional specialists so they are checking the status of their work products in short intervals, seeing how they can help each other, seeing gaps between plan versus actual and taking corrective action. It should focus on deviation management.'; 'A big part of the management system is the target setting process. The chief engineer sets the product targets and each function develops appropriate targets to support the chief engineer.'; 'It is also critical to have knowledge gatekeepers for each function who are the keepers of the know-how database for their specialty to avoid lots of information that never gets used.'; 'An exciting culture leads to an exciting product. We also talk about the importance of strong functional groups that are teaching the deep knowledge of their engineering discipline.' Read on...

InfoQ: Q&A on the Book 'Designing the Future'
Authors: Ben Linders, James Morgan, Jeffrey Liker


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 30 aug 2019

Considering increase in online population and also number of websites, it becomes imperative for those with websites to give special emphasis on latest web design and technologies to differentiate. Peter Boyd, attorney and founder of PaperStreet, suggests latest web design, development, content, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay Per Click) trends to increase traffic and improve engagement to the website - (1) Design Trends: Bigger is better and embrace wide designs to give more space to visual images; Consistent branding across all media; Mobile friendly design is a must; Incorporate compelling videos before the fold to increase conversion rates; Include reviews feed on website; Declutter website with minimalist design approach; Have detailed information on the leadership team for better connect and personal touch; Give opportunities to audience to interact through drop-down menus, hover states, unique pages leads, chatbots etc. (2) Development Trends: Mobile optimization; Chatbot technology; Americans with Disability Act (ADA) compliance; Push notifications; Fast website loading speed. (3) Content Trends: Long-form content; Include knowledge and education resources; Use storytelling approach to connect at a personal level with audience. (4) SEO & PPC Trends: Cross-channel marketing including paid search, organic search and social media ad campaigns; Use organic link building and naturally used keywords and keyword phrases; Niche marketing to the specific practice area and demographic; Facebook targeted advertising. Read on...

Forbes: The Hottest Website Trends Of 2019
Author: Peter Boyd


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 27 aug 2019

Researchers from IIT-Madras (Tamil Nadu, India), Prof. Asokan Thondiyath and research scholar Nagamanikandan Govindan, have designed and developed a multimodal robotic system, termed as 'Grasp Man', that has good grasping, manipulation and locomotion abilities. Their research, 'Design and Analysis of a Multimodal Grasper Having Shape Conformity and Within-Hand Manipulation With Adjustable Contact Forces', is recently published in ASME Journal of Mechanisms and Robotics. The robot is fitted with a pair of graspers that provide morphological adaptation, enabling it to conform to the geometry of the object being grasped, and allowing it to hold objects securely and manipulate them much like the human hand. The two graspers are equipped with a robotic platform that provides behavioural adaptation. The robot will have various industrial applications such as pipe inspection, search-and-rescue operations, and others that involve climbing, holding, and assembling. Prof. Asokan says, 'The motivation behind this research is to realise a robot with a minimalistic design that can overcome the need for task-specific robots that are capable of navigating and manipulating across different environments without increasing the system complexity.' Read on...

YourStory: IIT-Madras researchers design robot with graspers that function like the human hand
Author: Teja Lele Desai


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 aug 2019

Research study, 'Onboard Evolution of Understandable Swarm Behaviors', published in Advanced Intelligent Systems by researchers from University of Bristol (Simon Jones, Sabine Hauert) and University of the West of England (Alan F. Winfield, Matthew Studley), brings development of a new generation of swarming robots which can independently learn and evolve new behaviours in the wild a step closer. Researchers used artificial evolution to enable the robots to automatically learn swarm behaviours which are understandable to humans. This could create new robotic possibilities for environmental monitoring, disaster recovery, infrastructure maintenance, logistics and agriculture. This new approach uses a custom-made swarm of robots with high-processing power embedded within the swarm. In most recent approaches, artificial evolution has typically been run on a computer which is external to the swarm, with the best strategy then copied to the robots. Prof. Jones says, 'Human-understandable controllers allow us to analyse and verify automatic designs, to ensure safety for deployment in real-world applications.' Researchers took advantage of the recent advances in high-performance mobile computing, to build a swarm of robots inspired by those in nature. Their 'Teraflop Swarm' has the ability to run the computationally intensive automatic design process entirely within the swarm, freeing it from the constraint of off-line resources. Prof. Hauert says, 'This is the first step towards robot swarms that automatically discover suitable swarm strategies in the wild. The next step will be to get these robot swarms out of the lab and demonstrate our proposed approach in real-world applications.' Prof. Winfield says, 'In many modern AI systems, especially those that employ Deep Learning, it is almost impossible to understand why the system made a particular decision...An important advantage of the system described in this paper is that it is transparent: its decision making process is understandable by humans.' Read on...

Engineering.com: Robots Learn Swarm Behaviors, Aim to Escape the Lab
Author: NA


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 05 aug 2019

People with the twin passion of design and development of new products can transform into design entrepreneurs. They are able to control both the design and business processes. Vijayant Bansal, founder of World University of Design (India), explains what it takes to be a design entrepreneur and explores the shifting landscape of design entrepreneurship in India. He says, 'We are in the midst of a design revolution and increasingly design is gaining a lot of focus...But it's not easy starting from ground zero and working yourself towards achieving credibility, recognition and last but not the least, generating demand. This involves having to create a balance between what we want to create with what the customer wants; what is possible technically and how much of a resource pull will it involve.' Contemporary design entrepreneurship includes new product development, restoring crafts, innovating existing products and providing design services based on new & emerging technologies. Explaining the design revolution, he says, 'Designing is undergoing a metamorphosis, aided by new technologies and digital transformation of today. New and disruptive technologies like Artificial intelligence, IoT, Machine learning etc., are the biggest enablers, disrupting traditional processes and systems, enabling out of the box thinking and new ideas, which in turn reshape the entire user experience.' Universities can play an important role in guiding and mentoring students to pursue design entrepreneurship. Industry experts can also play a role in this and enable students to participate in hands-on training. Virtual products have also expanded the scope of design entrepreneurship with designers engaged in designing and developing games and apps. Design entrepreneurship is the new career paradigm. Mr. Bansal suggests, 'Today the scenario has undergone a sea change, with almost every industry, be it apparel, automobiles, film making, animation, product design or gaming, with design playing an intrinsic role in the entire process from an idea to the end product. It's worth the challenge if financial security and stability are not foremost on your mind and you have the patience and inclination to see through the entire process of making the design-centric idea into a successful venture.' Read on...

Entrepreneur: The Rise of the Contemporary Indian Design Entrepreneur
Author: Vijayant Bansal


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 09 jul 2019

Landscape design needs to be both functional and artistic. Landscape professional should work towards embodying these elements for beautiful gardens and lawn creations. Here are few ideas to bring art and aesthetics in landscape design - Irrespective of the size of landscaping, massing serves an artistic purpose. Massing is basically grouping of one kind plant species in one big section. It provides good visual impact and also brings balance and proportion to the landscape. Massing plants together helps create texture, form, larger pops of color and it can reduce maintenance in some situations. Incorporating vertical and horizontal layers can provide unique look to massing. Proportioning is also a critical component of garden design if the space has a pool, patio, outdoor kitchen or other similar structure, as their size must fit accordingly with the size of the house; While working with smaller spaces accentuate long views across the garden, as this will help add a greater sense of depth to the area. Instead of creating paths that haphazardly wind around, consider keeping the pathways in one continuous, straight line, as this will help emphasize the garden's length and create more dramatic focal points at each end; Experts suggest use of native or indegenous plants as they would be more resistant to pests and more durable; Landscape lighting also plays an important role as gardens can be utilized in evening. Eliminate hot spots as these will make the lighting look unnatural. Utilize lighting to highlight features in the landscape that should be accentuated, which will also let less important aspects fade into the background; For tiny garden area go vertical. Smaller gardens will feel larger if eyes can be drawn up and over the neighboring fence. Take advantage of vertical gardens along the fence line, running up an arbor or trellis or stretching upward on a brick wall/side of the house. Read on...

Total Landscape Care: More than meets the eye: The artistry behind landscape designs
Author: Beth Hyatt


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 26 jun 2019

Creativity is at the core of art and design. They both are visual and material culmination of varied degrees of human expression. Vibhor Sogani, fusing the lines between design and art, between being a product designer and public installation artist, says, 'At the end of the day, it is all about creativity. People may deem art superior to design but designing is serious business and a very responsible job.' He explains the value of public art for the growth-oriented country like India, 'Since India has so many people and so many public spaces, it is an ideal ground for engaging with them through art. The all-important ingredient of public art is engagement with people.' On balancing creativity and guidelines in commissioned projects, he says, 'We all need a sense of direction. After all, you need to align yourself with something. I think the brief given to me by my client is only a starting point. Thereafter, I am free to follow my vision.' An alumnus of National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad, India) and having worked in the field of industrial design, he is well-versed in the craft of materials as well as technology. He follows both reactive and proactive approaches to pursue his creative work. He suggests that while thinking of an idea is instant, putting it into a tangible shape of art is slow and time consuming. His public art works include Joy in Dubai, Sprouts in New Delhi and Kalpavriksha in Ahmedabad. Read on...

The Tribune: Blurring the line between art and design
Author: Nonika Singh


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 21 may 2019

Graphic design enhances the value of the brands and creates their visual memory in the audience's mind. Check out the latest trends in graphic design and keep evolving - 3D design and Typography (Brings life and depth to flat designs); Mid-century Modern Elements (Give both a mid-age and modern touch to any design); Custom Illustrations (Heavily influenced by natural and botanical elements, with softer lines and less bold text); Buxom Serifs (Serifs are smarter, better, and make content stand out); Open Compositions (Make the elements appear to be floating off of the screen); Isometric Design (Creates an entire universe in the tiniest of spaces and gives depth to any design and object); Pops of Vivid Color (Provides attention grabbing graphics); Strong Typographic Focal Points (Make content visually strong and readable, a function much needed for small devices and social media feeds); Light and Dark Color Schemes (Create a visually stunning impact); Futuristic Influences into the Mainstream (Make the brand stand out and be influencer in the marketplace); Complex Gradients and Duotones (Look great on mobile devices. Add depth and create a timeless look); Colorful Minimalism (Combining design with necessary components using minimalist approach. Limited color use); Art Deco (Add glamour quotient); Bookman and Old-style Serifs (High legibility and contrast of the traditional serifs make them a great choice to highlight the brand's value); Subtle Motion (Enhances user experience and engages users with the interface. Adds seamless transformations and transitions); Abstract Geometry and Shapes (Fits in any design that demands a modern and expressive look. Makes visuals stand out); Asymmetrical Layouts (Create visual tension. Elements have a more complex pattern); Variable Fonts (Are flexible within the multidimensional space. Consume less bandwidth and load websites or web pages faster). Read on...

G2 Crowd: 18 Innovative Graphic Design Trends for 2019
Author: Prateeksha Mathur


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 11 apr 2019

HGTV (Home & Garden Television) provides exposure to applicable interior design ideas. Here are a few: (1) Shiplap, a type of siding, is the best thing you can add to a wall to add dimension. (2) Placing an oversized mirror will make any room appear much larger than it actually is. (3) Another way to conserve space is to make sure everything in your home has a function. (4) If you have the patience, DIY (Do It Yourself) is possible for almost everything. (5) Open shelving is a cool way to show off your fancy dinnerware, and will motivate you to keep it organized. (6) 'Open Concept' floor-plans where entire space is one big open room are essential component of interior design. (7) Painting everything white might seem scary, but it's a great way to add more color via furniture and accent pieces. Read on...

INSIDER: 7 of the biggest home decor lessons I've learned from HGTV
Author: Gabbi Shaw


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 20 mar 2019

Financial crisis of 2008 in US became a catalyst for the 'Tiny House' movement. Environmental considerations are also reasons for the popularity of the concept. Tiny house is typically 100 and 400 ft². Modular housing is also gaining ground in the construction world driven by lower costs, more predictability, and a shortage of construction workers. Italian architect Beatrice Bonzanigo is preparing to showcase her miniature house 'Casa Ojalá' in April. Casa Ojalá is a self-contained modular home design, measuring only 27 m² (290 ft²). The circular home can be arranged in 20 different ways by adjusting wooden partitions and fabric walls with built-in ropes, pulleys and cranks. Ms. Bonzanigo says, 'It’s designed to have a minimal impact on the environment around it, and the woods and fabrics used in its manufacture can vary depending on where it is built, for maximum sustainability. Explaining her design she says, 'Ojalá is a word that summarizes the concept of infinite possibilities, hopes related to emptiness and absence, intuition, a key of a door not yet open, a new field of existence, a telescope that brings together and moves horizons, a space of different possibilities and, therefore, a wish that comes true.' Read on...

Engineering.com: Self-Sufficient "Micro-Home" Will Join Milan Design Week
Author: Emily Pollock


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 08 feb 2019

India's 'Development Agenda' as outlined by current government includes development of 100 smart cities, 40 million dwelling units, 20 million affordable homes, better infrastructure facilities through the AMRUT scheme, focus on urban development and transformation, slum rehabilitation, and 'Housing for All' by 2022. It is estimated that to fulfil this agenda there is requirement of 75 million skilled people in real estate and infrastructure. Moreover, according to reports there is need of 4 million core professionals (architects, engineers, planners). Shubika Bilkha, Business Head at The Real Estate Management Institute (REMI), explains the key aspects that architectural graduates and planners should keep in while building their skill set in evolving environment - (1) Be Multifaceted: Take advantage of a number of roles- from design architecture, structural or liaisoning architects, to urban planning, property development, sustainable development, teaching or getting involved with disaster relief/re-building communities. Require skills such as engineering, design, supervisory skills, managing people/teams/vendors/client expectations, an understanding of key building/designing/construction/smart technology, strong communication and persuasion skills to communicate their vision. Have much larger role and bigger scope getting involved from pre-design services, to cost analysis and land-use studies, feasibility reports, environment studies to developing the final construction plans etc. (2) Be Business Minded: Understand key real estate and planning concepts and calculations, municipal and local development regulations, legal limitations, the social and urban infrastructure, fundraising/financing and the evolving policy framework. (3) Be Responsible: Consider social and environmental impact of the recommendations. Understand sustainability and implement it effectively. Read on...

India Today: Architecture career trend in India: 3 things to keep in mind to be a skilled architect
Author: Shubika Bilkha


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 14 jan 2019

Autonomous shopping concept intends to bring brick-and-mortar and internet shopping into a unified and integrated retail experience. The grab-and-go smart shopping carts promote cashier-free automatic check-out eliminating wait in lines. TechSpot's contributing writer, Cohen Coberly, says, 'While it seemed like brick-and-mortar retail would be all but killed off following the explosive rise of online shopping, what we're instead seeing throughout the US is not death, but evolution.' According to a 2018 survey by RIS News, 'The leading new shopping option wanted by consumers was "grab-and-go" technology (in which customers can self-checkout using their smartphones). 59% said they'd like to use this, and 9% had used it.' In a global survey of 2250 internet users conducted by iVend Retail and AYTM Market Research, 'Roughly 1/3rd of respondents said they would like to make automatic payments using digital shopping carts.' Caper is a smart shopping cart startup. Josh Constine, technology journalist and editor-at-large for TechCrunch, reports, 'The startup makes a shopping cart with a built-in barcode scanner and credit card swiper, but it's finalizing the technology to automatically scan items you drop in thanks to three image recognition cameras and a weight sensor. The company claims people already buy 18% more per visit after stores are equipped with its carts.' Linden Gao, co-founder and CEO of Caper, says, 'It doesn't make sense that you can order a cab with your phone or go book a hotel with your phone, but you can't use your phone to make a payment and leave the store. You still have to stand in line.' The current Caper cart involves scanning an item's barcode and then throwing it into the cart. Brittany Roston, senior editor and contributor at SlashGear, reports, 'The smarter version will eliminate the barcode part, making it possible to simply put the items in the cart while the built-in tech recognizes what they are.' Chris Albrecht, managing editor at The Spoon, also reports, 'The future iterations, already in the works, will remove the barcode and will use a combination of computer vision and built-in weight scales to determine purchases. The customer completes shopping, and pays on the built-in screen.' The concept of scanless carts involves deep learning and machine vision. Cameras are mounted in the cart. The screen on the cart gives the shopper different kinds of information - store map, item locator, promotions, deals etc. It recommends items based on contents already in the basket. Read on...

Tech Xplore: Next-level autonomous shopping carts are even smarter
Author: Nancy Cohen


Mohammad Anas Wahaj | 13 jan 2019

Team of researchers from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor (Prof. Timothy F. Scott, Prof. Mark A. Burns, Martin P. De Beer, Harry L. Van Der Laan, Megan A. Cole, Riley J. Whelan) have developed a new approach to 3D printing that lifts complex shapes from a vat of liquid at up to 100 times faster than conventional 3D printing processes. 3D printing could by highly beneficial for small manufacturing jobs without the need for a costly mold. But the usual 3D printing approach of building up plastic filaments layer by layer hasn't been usable in that aspect. Prof. Scott says, 'Using conventional approaches, that's not really attainable unless you have hundreds of machines.' The U. of Michigan innovative 3D printing method solidifies the liquid resin using two lights to control where the resin hardens - and where it stays fluid. This enables solidification of the resin in more sophisticated patterns. The process can make a 3D bas-relief in a single shot rather than in a series of 1D lines or 2D cross-sections. The printing demonstrations from this approach include a lattice, a toy boat and a block M. Prof. Burns says, 'It's one of the first true 3D printers ever made.' By creating a relatively large region where no solidification occurs, thicker resins - potentially with strengthening powder additives - can be used to produce more durable objects. The method also bests the structural integrity of filament 3D printing, as those objects have weak points at the interfaces between layers. Prof. Scott adds, 'You can get much tougher, much more wear-resistant materials.' The research paper, 'Rapid, continuous additive manufacturing by volumetric polymerization inhibition patterning', is to be published in Science Advances. Read on...

University of Michigan News: 3D printing 100 times faster with light
Authors: Timothy Scott, Mark Burns, Nicole Casal Moore, Kate McAlpine



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