Articles on Design

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Tiny Paley Park, surrounded by skyscrapers in New York City, introduced the concept of a ‘pocket park’ in dense urban centers. Aleksandr Zykov/Flickr

Parks help cities – but only if people use them

Research shows that access to urban green space makes people and neighborhoods healthier. But parks can't work their magic if their design ignores the needs of nearby communities.
Design is now being lauded as a much-needed mindset for business leaders – those seeking a customer-centred approach to innovation, reimagining operations and rethinking supply chains and financial models. (Shutterstock)

Why designers have arrived in corporate boardrooms

New design executives are making the case that integrating design across an entire company will have a positive impact on employees, customers and the bottom line.
Some believe the color pink can calm unruly inmates. Others say it’s a form of humiliation. Mohd KhairilX/Shutterstock.com

Can pink really pacify?

Famously feminized by the Nazis – and later used in prison cells to limit aggression in inmates – the color pink toes a shaky line between social psychology and gender stereotyping.
The on-paper designs for furniture belong to the designer, just like any other artists. But things get more complicated when designs become physical objects. Shutterstock

Explainer: can you copyright furniture?

How are furniture designers protected by law, and what is an 'original design' when aesthetics meets functionality?
The basic principle of ecodesign is the concept of life cycle, which aims to take into account end-of-life considerations. paulaphoto/Shutterstock

How eco-design earned its place in the corporate world

To reduce the impact of its activity on the environment, a company must take into account not only the effects generated by its production, but also the end of life of its products.
Murri sculptures (2012) by Reko Rennie (Kamilaroi) at Melbourne’s LaTrobe University. LaTrobe University

Ten classics of Indigenous design

From the Budj Bim acquaculture system to the Aboriginal flag, Australia has a long history of Indigenous design excellence. Here is our pick of 10 contemporary design classics.
Peter Thomas of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (left), Marcel Dionne of Roarockit (centre) and Jaimie Isaac, curator for Indigenous/Contemporary at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (right), are seen building a skateboard using a do-it-yourself kit in this 2017 photo. Art and design schools should reward those who actually build and create more than they do design theorists. (Author provided)

Art and design schools must cultivate creators, not theorists

Even as our world goes digital, there will always be an appetite for craftsmanship, for art and for the work only human hands can truly bring to life. Art and design schools should celebrate creators.
The author, second from left, is seen in this photo in a designed leadership dialogue session. The techniques of designers can help make us better leaders. (UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs)

How the mindset of designers can make us better leaders

The mindset, tools and techniques of designers can make us better leaders. Here's how.
Jakarta’s traffic system is one of many facets of the city that could be improved by smart cities technologies, but at what cost? Vasenka Photography/Flickr

Three scenarios show we have to think carefully about ethics in designing smart cities

Governments are using Big Data to design improvements and upgrades of cities. But ethical questions need to be considered, lest we end up jeopardising citizens' privacy or deepen social inequalities.
‘Biomusic’ technology collects autonomic nervous system signals, such as heart rate, through a wearable sensor and maps them to sound. (Shutterstock)

How we can design the music of our emotions

Imagine a collaboratively-designed smartphone app that could provide cues to an autistic individual -- about the emotional state of people they are communicating with.

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