Ziba Design - Company Profile

Post from 2011

"A Design and Innovation Company""We exist to design beautiful experiences."

Featured Speaker

"Presenting the Sunshine Generation: China’s answer to Gen-Y Jeremy Kaye, Creative Director, Ziba Design Karen Reuther, Director of Consumer Insights and Trends, ZIBA Design

Jeremy and Elizabeth will relate some surprising insights about young Chinese consumers gleaned over 350 person-days of in-country research: Their unique attributes and their expectations for design and consumer experience. Broader implications are also presented for effectively serving this diverse and nuanced market.

Jeremy Kaye

Jeremy’s deep knowledge of business and design enables him to identify how design can solve complex business problems for organizations and industries on the brink of change. His clients at Ziba have spanned numerous industries, including health insurance, retail, finance, and hospitality.

Prior to Ziba, Jeremy worked with consumer-experience driven brands—J.Crew, Patagonia, and Nike—to lead brand, design, and marketing efforts in support of new business opportunities. Jeremy has a Bachelor of Science in Clinical Psychology from University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Science in Product Development and Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. He has lectured at Parsons the New School for Design, and contributed to BusinessWeek.

Karen Reuther

At Ziba, Karen leads our team tasked with surfacing innovative, relevant and compelling insights that define and deliver consumer experience innovations. Karen is a master connector—ensuring that insights translate to real design solutions. Prior to Ziba, she worked at Nike as Global Creative Director – Color, Graphics and Materials. There she led the creative vision and implementation of design strategies from product creation to merchandising across footwear, apparel and equipment. Karen has a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Design from Purdue University and a Master of Science in Business from Lesley University.


Ziba is a design and innovation consultancy based in Portland, Oregon. For more than 25 years, Ziba has provided companies large and small with award-winning design and innovation solutions."


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Modern Manufacture and Design

Modern Manufacture and Design "And you must remember always that your business, as manufacturers, is to form the market, as much as to supply it. If, in short-sighted and reckless eagerness for wealth, you catch at every humor of the opulence as it shapes itself into momentary demand - if, in jealous rivalry with neighboring States, or with other producers, you try to attract attention by singularities, novelties, and gaudiness - to make every design an advertisement, and pilfer every idea of a successful neighbor's, that you may insidiously imitate it, or pompously eclipse - no good design will ever be possible to you or perceived by you. you may, by accident, snatch the market; or, by energy, command it; you may obtain the confidence of the public, and cause the ruin of opponent houses; or you may, with equal justice of fortune, be ruined by them. But whatever happens to you, this, at least, is certain, that the whole of your life will have been spent in corrupting public taste and encouraging public extravagance. Every preference you have won by gaudiness must have been based on the purchaser's vanity; every demand you have created by novelty has fostered in the consumer a habit of discontent; and when you retire into inactive life; you may, as a subject of consolation for your declining years, reflect that precisely according to the extent of your past operations, your life has been successful in retarding the arts, tarnishing the virtues, and confusing the manners of your country."

pg 288 The Genius of John Ruskin.

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1st annual Contact Summit : The Evolution Will Be Social

The 1st annual Contact Summit is a working festival of innovation where the net's leading mindsand entrepreneurs can connect with the people who are building the social technologies of tomorrow. The net of the future will not be fueled by ads, but by people solving real problems through distributed, peer-to-peer solutions. This is the dormant promise of the Internet, finally coming to fruition.

Contact brings together recognized social technology companies like Foursquare,, Kickstarter, and Etsy, together with technologists, academics, artists, students and entrepreneurs. Participants include Dennis Crowley, Douglas Rushkoff, Al Orensanz, Steven Johnson, Clay Shirky, Dave Winer, Daniella Jaeger, Joanne McNeil, Venessa Miemis, Richard Metzger, and many others.

The day consists of a morning of "provocations," an afternoon of participant-led discussions, and a 2 hour long Bazaar and exhibitor space. Budding entrepreneurs can pitch their ideas and demo their projects with the chance of winning one of three $10K Innovation Awards to support and accelerate their mission.

copy via October 20, 2011. New York, NY

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Joby / Stathis Venture

A lot of buzz about the Joby and Peter Stathis collaboration.It's a strategic move for Joby to apply their technology, team and knowledge to a different type of product and target market.

[singlepic id=1059] [singlepic id=1060] They have received good reception online at blogs like Co.Design and there was a good reception at CITE showroom in SoHo. [singlepic id=1071] [singlepic id=1062]

[singlepic id=1058] George from CITE with some Parsons students.

There was another reception for Stathis the next Monday at Phaidon.

[singlepic id=1063] While the light given off isn't harsh like most LEDs, other parts of the design could use some critiquing. Many people thought the power button was a dial to tone up or tone down. If they just had holes (no LEDs) in a circle and then one LED in the center of that circle, that would make more sense - as in the single button signifying "Press me." Versus the circle of buttons signifying "Touch or swipe us."

CITE's manager George with one of his creations [singlepic id=1051] [slideshow id=77 w=695 h=462] See more of George's work at le mouton noir and co. Event info via Core77 Experience light and embrace movement as CITE presents the global launch of the JOBY | Peter Stathis Venture Collaboration. The California-infused lighting line invites you to delight your senses and engage with deceptively simple, surprising and futuristic approaches to the modern interior. Join us to celebrate this dynamic approach to entrepreneurialism and design while rediscovering your youthful sense of wonderment and play.

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ICFF - Int'l Contemporary Furniture Fair

At ICFF even though there was carbon fiber and metals of different alloys, the two most impressive materials were the use of tin and the use of clay. One Japanese company Koyo Ibushi uses clay that can be used for tiles, counter tops, pottery, or created into sculpture. [singlepic id=990] [singlepic id=991]

It's a chic and dark aesthetic, like carbon fiber but changes with the presence of water. They bake the clay for four days to achieve that look. [singlepic id=992] I inquired about it's durability and they said that if it wears away or chips, it still keeps that dark look because it's not a finish, but more of a cure.

Nagae, also from Japan [singlepic id=1000]

This is a case where the chef can use the tableware to inform how the food is created. [singlepic id=998] [singlepic id=999] You only really need a small collection of this tableware and can have sets pre-adjusted to each course. It's not just modular (in that you could create custom cuts and combine them) but they are malleable. Then I imagine all the restaurant patrons playing with the tableware.

[singlepic id=1020] Art Center's work was very skillfully designed and crafted to the point where it's ready for the showroom. Upon asking an Art Center student if a collection of chairs was his piece he replied "Yes, it's a school project."

I like how these chairs are separate but allow you to interact with the person sitting next to you. Almost as social as a couch, but independent like a chair. That's something important to note. People adjust chairs when they sit down, one of the main reasons is for a feeling of independence. Few airports, parks or other public places take note of this.

Parson's school project for Metropolitan's booth uses yarn. To create the booth out of the shape and color of Metropolitan's 30th anniversary logo. [singlepic id=1026] I feel a heavier use of yarn in some spots could give the contour booth more of a presence so the viewer feels like they are looking at something not just between the space of the yarn. But, it's still much better than one of the booths that felt like a prison. We walked in and didn't know there was more than one exit.

Germany's design booth was quite poorly put together. They showcased a bench that you could not yet sit on. It was a bench created for transportation hubs like airports and bus stations. As one research documentary phrased it, benches are best use to "accent architecture photographs."

Weirdly enough, the catalog for the bench was sealed in an envelope. Not surprisingly, the catalog only featured four photos of people - the owners and probably the designers. Only one of the photos features people sitting in the benches.

Germany did show a myoelectrically controlled hand prosthesis, which intrigued me. But I don't know why the part where the prosthesis joins the elbow is blue. It's as if to say "this is where manufactured ends and skin begins," as if we wouldn't know that. Some hand prosthesis models are made of carbon fiber, black metal or red metal. I agree that having a fake skin tone is might not be the way to go, but why show where there is there difference instead of just showing what is?

Worst of all the hand was displayed on the wall being held up by a plastic cable. A sort of insensitive way represent something that is supposed to take place of what a human lost. There was light in terms of design for healthcare. [singlepic id=1019] [singlepic id=1018]

Futrus, the booth with what I find to be the most impressive offering doesn't have a unique point featuring carbon fiber or laser cut patterns but just solid top. Well solid top and knocked-out corners. With a non-porous top they can create patient rooms that are resistant to virus, bacteria, mold, stains and scratches. [singlepic id=1037] There are more curves instead of corners as to not trap dirt. I asked about the seams on the handles and between panels, they said they seal the corners to also be anti-microbial.

Futrus said that there aren't other companies offering this service. Some companies offer a bespoke sink or countertop, but not full rooms.

Since Futrus can panels with color or faux-wood finish.

Another reason they are impressive is because they explicitly target both the healthcare industry for institutional contracts as well as a retail distribution for their consumer line of furniture.

Molo environments are intriguing in that they can be packed flat and then expanded for create micro-environments. My friend said they were used in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake to create networked hospital rooms. I can envision Molo and Futrus working together. Molo exteriors with Futrus tabletops and equipment. Then burning the Molo tents afterwards to be super safe. [singlepic id=1048]

Other cool things: Human form - corrugated cardboard [singlepic id=986] Moleskine brand extensions - [singlepic id=976] Moleskine rep said the brand-name is of unspecified origin so it can be pronounced anyway.

Foldable chair-

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The Future Of Asian Art Symposium

[singlepic id=973]See notes in moleskine

Why did Jason Wing go back to China? Well Xu Bing finds it to be a massive laboratory for testing.

A/P/A Institute at NYU

Keynote: “Between the Diasporic and the Transnational” Dean Chan — Edith Cowan University, Perth, Australia This symposium investigates the increasingly transnational nature of Asian art and the circulation of artists and art production in multiple global markets. The focus on Asian diasporic visual culture will include panels with scholars from the International Network for Diasporic Asian Art Research and the Diasporic Asian Art Network. About the Keynote: Dean Chan is a professor in the postgraduate programmes at the School of Communications and Arts, Edith Cowan University, in Perth, Australia. He is the founding convenor of the International Network for Diasporic Asian Art Research (INDAAR), and an executive member of the Asian Australian Studies Research Network and convenor of its Visual Arts and New Media cluster. Chan is a chief investigator in an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project entitled "Being Asian in Australia and the United States" and a guest editor of a special issue of Amerasia Journal (2010) titled "Asian Australia and Asian America: Making Transnational Connections." He has most recently been appointed as Editor of the Diasporic Asia section in Asian Studies Review, a scholarly journal published by Routledge. Response and discussion with Melissa Chiu Museum Director and Vice President of Global Art Programs, Asia Society

Panel I: Organized by the International Network for Diasporic Asian Art Research "Locating Globalism: The Diasporic Contexts of Asian Art" Alice Ming Wai Jim, Concordia University at Montreal — “The Paradox of Diasporic Asian Art from a Global Perspective” Yu Yeon Kim, Independent Curator Jacqueline Lo, Australian National University — “The Limit of Professional Foreignness: Memory, Migrancy and the Asian Diasporic Artist” Chair: Dean Chan, Edith Cowan University

Panel II: Organized by the Diasporic Asian Art Network “Asian American Art and Global Flows” Midori Yoshimoto, New Jersey City University and Galleries — “What Does It Mean to be a Diasporic Japanese Woman Artist Today? The Case Study of Chiharu Shiota” Laura Kina, DePaul University — “Field work and sewing signs” Chair: Alexandra Chang, A/P/A Institute at NYU — “The Art of Cosmopolitanism — A Translocal Positionality” Discussants: Margo Machida, University of Connecticut at Storrs Tom Looser, NYU East Asian Studies

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Dream:in NY

At Parsons the New School for Design, the Assistant Professor and co-director of the DREAM:IN Project Carlos Teixeira and its collaborators shared the latest development on the project, as well as invited participants to engage the movement of transforming DREAMS into tangible realities in India.

The Opportunity: designing for billions/Bruce Nussbaum a model for growth that is incredibly inclusive [singlepic id=930] Pt. 1 helps reframe issues from problem solving to aspiration enabling

Pt .2 creates a database of dreams pooling those dreams pool of aspirations is a different start up model a different devel model than i've ever seen before [it aggregates dreams from all socio-economic levels - that can "scale" beyond a global scale]"

multi-vectorial - influence in lots of different areas they tend to be systemic on multiple levels

Dream:in is concise but has it's impact on different aspects of society. I hope we see it applied all around the world.

The Vision: what Indians are dreaming about/Sonia Manchanda (Video)

The Vision: what Indians are dreaming about/Sonia Manchanda everyone has the right to dream. the ability to look beyond tomorrow - that's what makes us human

a new stream of collective consciousness and the best reality check ever. dreams to measure for prosperity and progress

The Project: a crossroad for large scale innovation / Carlos Teixeira [singlepic id=898] One of the biggest challenges of that model is going to be scale

people say the brazil you grew up in is not the brazil that exists now.

the middle east is hungry for change.

while GNI is high and growth rate is high, they operate and live on very

when Mubarak came to power there wer apprx 40M people, and when he was overthrown, it was we have to calculate by the bilions

put everything into terms of scale and speed.

we never had in human kind a growth of this speed and this scale everything we know is going to be too small and too late we have to rethink how we innovate it's not enough for us to innovate

we need to bring global expertise in large scale to local needs, local expectations and local aspirations

talent + capacity to fulfill the local aspirations in the end we need to travel, it's not enough for us to just do communication.

there usually aren't people investing in what he calls "phase zero:" ex: not the next iteration of a project but how do we start from a brand new slate designing before people identify a need blueprints for how the future is going to look like,

for implementation: using crow sourcing and crowd funding

how do we work with investors? how do designers work with venture capitalists on phase zero for social good. do that large scale and very fast.

DBR Dream Believe Realise Network (of organizations) Design - Spread Support - idiom Collaborators - vivarta, nodes Design Knowledge Network, Parsons School of Design Strategies, Partners - Kishore Biyani, Manipal University, Dr. Ranjan Pai

The Journey: 101 dreamcatchers, 25,000 km, 3,000 dreams/ Video + Rahul JVK and Natalie Wang [singlepic id=923] local translation - partnering with students from local areas that can speak the local languages

Security - all towns were had their army informed that the students were coming. [singlepic id=900] Natalie showed tools to foster data gathering and dream catching as well as other artefacts for design research.

The Conclave: 51 Investment Opportunities, Video + Bruce Nussbaum, Ken Stevens, Heico Wesselus, Olivia Jezler, and Margarita [singlepic id=927] 18 dreams, 38 dreamleaders, 12 dreamcatalysts, 40 dreamscholars, 21dreamrealisers, 38 dreamventures.

Heico: [singlepic id=901] [innovation comes from previous experience]

[singlepic id=904] example dream: Humara Worlds large population and high density a how can you develop a mechanism to connect the village with the city?

no just personas, but actual people.

Ken Stevens: use of digital devices as an escape - a common event in many cultures when in a project with time and resource demands - you don't have time to ask or force them to change their behavior. we just by passed him. [singlepic id=927] people naturally gravitated towards those with better listening skills, better at idea combination and better synthesizers

there was no hierarchy as there shouldn't be in a flash team.

we have a lot of latitude for behavior

The Mission: dream realization, Carlos Teixeira [singlepic id=924] Some people could dream but did not have the infrastructure or conditions to realize those dreams.

Bruce was going to present on the ideas, but we have millions of dollars of intellectual property here. ex: WEB- women empowerment bank ex: Citizen Training Institute ex: Assurance company - creating a network where one of the focuses for example could be mentoring. ex: Edu Cafe - an internet cafe cum education cafe. dream catalyst - Bruce Nussbaum leverages existing infrasturuce such as internet cafes and creates a sustainable ecosystem that benefits all its stakeholders - business owners, corporation, customers and end-users. ex: Ticket to Parliament

Some of the main themes were - waste, food, sports, nation building, education

Open Innovation @ Parsons: the NY hub, Carlos Teixeira and Rahul JVK Call for action:

Now we are inviting you to: meet the experts and thought-leaders world wide learn to identify and adapt local insight for opportunities start-up new ventures raise funds co-design organizations and become a leader.

Dream:In is ready to mentor 3 teams of 5 volunteers (young global entrepreneurs) to start up one of the following ventures in India...

Seven potential ventures:

1. WEB: Women Empowerment Bank 2. APNA SAPNA (Assurance) 3. Ticket to Parliament 4. India Sports Portal 5. Pop-up Fun School 6. Sports Army 7. Health Phone

Perfect for anyone who wants to start crafting their skills as a leader.

Dream:in will provide... global expertise to local challenges mutli-disciplinary mentorship on demand online training access to experts, leaders scholars, and investor visibility through our communication and events and the opportunity to become a leader.

Send an email with the subject "start-ups" to They will contact you back with guidelines to participate in the selection process.

Design is never in phase zero so we want to relocate finance to the right point.

Start ups of start ups Funding - crowd funding, larger investors, an endowment etc.

Collecting New York's aspirations as a canvas for creative thinking.

Follow on twitter: Find out more about Dreamin NY Find out more about Dream:In central project:


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Iteration of VC "Industry"

As VC is stressed in the recession and struggling as a model in the United States we're seeing new players move into that arena.Since large ad agencies owned by holding groups also have to adjust their model, some of them are developing VC capability. (These are the firms that were not the pioneers in "digital" (AKQA), or "interactive" (Barbarian) even if they now have an arm that offers that).

There were some agencies that developed brands in-house, incubated and launched them (Berlin Cameron, Fuse). But that takes human resources away from their consulting and forces them to become product managers as well as an array of other B2C responsibilities.

This seems like a good next step, excited to see how it turns out.

Having VC capabilities allows them to transfer their consulting abilities to advisory abilities.

In addition to injecting funding, they can also provide "the creative capital that can't be found elsewhere." That is more than the support a traditional VC will provide.

"Most early startups can't afford to go to agencies, they're too expensive. And many startups don't have leadership with business acumen that agency execs do."

Another view from founder and CEO of Loopt, Sam Altman, is to get investors that have "a ton of experience building companies and understands what it takes to scale."

The difference between a small business and a start-up is scale, start-ups can scale exponentially.

So finding those that can help you move quickly on the right track to scale.

We are seeing an iteration, or iterations, of organizations that fund ventures. Like Bjarke Ingels equated the design process to mapped evolutionary trees, some of these organizations that fund ventures will succeed and be iterated further. Some will go extinct.

Iterations upon this can feature investors also being developers that have understanding of marketing but core competencies in helping "build" the "products" the venture sells.  Adage outlines how "VC" can move from just investing and advising their venture to placing the venture in the complex markets.  That can be furthered by having different types of consultancies also getting into VC.

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Learning By Doing - Tucker Viemeister - Design At The Edge

Learning By Doing - Tucker Viemeister, FIDSA, Lab Chief, Rockwell Group Recap A good presentation on an industrial's stating his work history and view of environment design and interaction design and where design may be headed. He relates play to learning and design.

Opinion & Questions: Design should be validated via feedback loops as should education. How does Tucker validate his design decisions, are there specific times when rockwell will revisit a client to gain insight on an intervention's performance?

How can we break flow down? Play and design are processes, not bulk "states" If flow is not a bulk state, how do we access it? What does that process consist of ? Five years ago at the Design+Management Lecture Series Tucker faced the question, "Is it ethical to do work for Coca-cola when the drink is so unhealthy."

His answer back then was slightly better.

It was along the lines of, "I think it's ok for people to have as a treat everyone in a while, but not something they have all the time." This time he also noted that it is up to the individual's self restraint. With in five years I thought he would have a better answer. Maybe a long the lines of: 1. I made it taste 43% better without adjusting the ingredients. We made it sweeter without adding any sugar. 2. In many countries water isn't sanitary to drink. So coca-cola is a safe and clean alternative. In these countries the formula for the syrup is different and can contain less sugar. 3. It's a treat that can serve as an introduction to something healthier. Coca-cola can introduce the consumers the product line of healthier drinks like Minute Maid, a brand Coca-cola owned long before the recent trend of CPG companies like Nestle and Lays trying to reposition themselves as a "health brand."

Question & Answer from the audience.

See below for work history and chunked notes. Thesis: play=learning=design

Topics: Progress molecules - when complexity really started iterated into plants and animals

  • "if we don't have progress we're going to go backwards" "Entropy"
  • "That's the basic idea of life"
  • evolution process - "learning by doing" Bjarke Ingles - design process' iterations evolutionary tree

    Me(about Tucker & his influences)

  • His father graduated from Pratt and worked at Lippincott
  • His father and friend designed everything from logos, to houses, one of the first cases of using Helvetica in a logo
  • "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity." -Horace Mann, address at Antioch College, 1859

    "If you can't make it more beautiful, what's the point." Rowena Reed Kostellow of Pratt

    started Smart Design with David Koll

  • most famous product - OXO Good Grips
  • (addressing the users on the polarities can created something "universal")
  • opened frog design New York Harmut Esslinger

  • "Forms Follows Emotion"
  • combined new media (see photo)
  • went to work with Razorfish

  • "Everything that can be digital will be"
  • worked at Spring Time (with Dutch industrial designers)

    started Studio Red -multidisciplinary design studio

  • example work - club med:
  • [evolution of clientele from singles to parents with young kids, to parents with teens]
  • ex: hangout space.
  • example: coke cruiser.
  • 43% of those that got the cola from the mobile cart thought it tasted better.
  • working more with Rockwell - Set for the Academy Awards

    -jetblue JFK marketplace

    -Sheraton - Lobby Project (2007)

  • "how to liven their lobbies to make it a better experience"
  • activities, food cart, green wall, interactive wallpaper, game tables with glowing lights,
  • -Venice Biennale - Hall of Fragments

  • interactive mesh mockup showing pieces of the film
  • "create this open ended experience."
  • -The Cosmopolitan - casino in Las Vegas

  • used million crystal beads
  • Imagination Playground

  • playgrounds in a box
  • [singlepic id=886] Play The pedagogy of play "I'm talking about learning, not education."

    history of kindergarten

  • Friedrich Fröbel
  • Horace Mann
  • Patty Smith Hill
  • concept of "gifts" or tasks for children to complete, activities, etc.

  • John Dewey
  • "child centered, diverse, people learn by doing"
  • Montessori
  • "Montessori schools - learn what kids like to to, help them do that."
  • Johan Huizinga
  • Free-form, unprogrammed play

    "Play is like a system - it has rules" "Play is valuable" "Playing is one of the ultimate things we can do" "That kind of jamming is what's known as flow." [singlepic id=890] "Flow is like play and design, that is towards progress" [singlepic id=891] Relation of Science to Design We're not just a bunch of scientists, we're artistic too, w'er trying to make stuff that's beautiful and feedback with customers and users democratic, political, iterative [singlepic id=893] "By doing that we get products, places and services and create this solar system of things. It's a network of facets that are complex and contradictory."

    Business "Business is really easy, it's just like making candy, and candy is like money" Business men have really dropped the ball.

  • "We've moved from the industrial age to the post industrial age, where info is more valuable than objects."
  • "We're not mass producing stuff anymore.
  • "robots are doing all the work and having all the fun"
  • "80% of the people working are doing service jobs or creating hot air."
  • Design For Business

  • ex: origional Apple iMacs - when the colors were named flavors
  • "So the future is in teaching/learning or security."
  • Design is the fuel for the business not design for business, but biz for design, because we make real stuff."
  • [but all his examples are where the design is present - in security, design is often not visible,]

    “There are professions more harmful than industrial design, but only a few of them.” -Victor Papanek

    Kindness what's "better " anyways? kindness and happiness are good ways to measure design

    user centered

    Mentioned erector sets, tinker toys, lincoln logs, unit blocks - longy, bricky, buttery, squary,

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    More about Rockwell Group on their website.

    This lecture is part of Bruce Nussbaum's Design At the Edge lecture series.

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