Articles on Design

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Footpaths in Japan are built with bumpy guide-strips so vision impaired pedestrians can get around with ease.

The archaeology of polite society

From high chairs in public bathrooms to handbag baskets in cafes, Japan is a considerate place. Australia can learn from a society where material culture acts as a reminder to be aware of the needs of others.
The old Toblerone chocolate design (top) and new, gappier design (below). Darren Staples/Reuters

Mind the gap: Toblerone and other redesign disasters

In striving to reduce costs and boost profits, firms must be wary of stripping intangible assets – such as iconic design.
Let’s see how this works. Cockrell School of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

How to involve more women and girls in engineering

Most people have a very limited understanding of what engineers do – and we engineers don't do a good job of expanding that view. But if we did, the benefits could be impressive.
The 1972 Panasonic Toot-a-Loop portable radio was inspired by rotary phones and designed to be worn around the wrist.

Briefcase phones, bracelet radios and other obsolete design gems

Here's to the Kodak camera, the transistor TV, the portable typewriter and other casualties of a throwaway age. They may be old hat but they are objects of beauty, as a new exhibition shows.
Iris van Herpen’s exhibition featuring 3D-printing technology, computer modeling, and engraving constructed in collaboration with architects, engineers and digital design specialists. EPA/ERIK S. LESSER

Why STEM subjects and fashion design go hand in hand

The fashion industry attracts creative young minds. But to succeed as a designer in a time of rapid technological change, knowledge of maths and science is invaluable.
Better office design is not just about shaping space around tasks we do. www.shutterstock.com

Business Briefing: a better way to design an office

Business Briefing: a better to design an office. The Conversation13.9 MB (download)
Research shows that many building codes don't designate the maximum number of people that should fit in an office, but that's not the only problem with standard office design.
A dress by designer Iris van Herpen, who, with her runway designs, challenges common fashion norms and beliefs. Zach Balbino/flickr

Can technology help fashion clean up its act?

Fast fashion is the second most wasteful industry on Earth. But with the creation of dresses that charge cellphones and clothes made from recycled bottles, we could be on the verge of a green fashion revolution.
In response to the surge of crime in the mid-1990s, suburban dwellers in South Africa began to fortress their houses. Shutterstock

Beyond the unthinkable? City dwellings without security walls

In response to high levels of crime, South Africans have turned their homes into fortresses, seeking security behind high walls. But doing so might be counter-productive.

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