Bruce Nussbaum

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.

    Notes taken on a mobile device. Pardon any auto-corrections or incorrection.

    Acumen Fund - Moral Leadership for a more Inclusive Future - Design At The Edge

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    Moral Leadership for a more Inclusive FutureJacqueline Novogratz, CEO, Acumen Fund

    Opening Points I. Dignity is more important to the human spirit than wealth. Think more broadly about what poverty means.

    II. Charity and aid alone will not solve the problem of poverty.

    Charities "create dependency rather than dignity."

    Jacqueline Novogratz describes Acumen Fund as a "non-profit Venture Capital fund for the poor investing in companies, leaders and ideas."

    "Investing philanthropic funds." "Think much more seriously about our systems" "At Acumen it always starts with the people." "Can take five to fifteen years for the [financial] returns to come back"

    Acumen Portfolio Examples Ex 1: Husk Power Systems - Bihar in India Many of the people have been profiled as "economically impossible to reach economical means" "gasifiy the rice husks" "via minigrids that can reach 10,000 people" made with bamboo sticks and "strings" as electric lines. currently reaching about 170,000 people with Husk Power [singlepic id=874]

    Ex 2: In India 90% of people in ambulances are dead. Taxis are used more often for ambulances Ambulances are not regulated, It took private initiative an private capital to build it.

    brand image differentiation - yellow color, unique phone number 1298 avoid corruption - not taking bribes. ethos - service for all - patients are taken to free clinic marking - subsidizing their costs, they display advertisements on the side invested - started with 9 ambulances in 2007, a year before the Mumbai terrorist attacks, and will soon reach 1,500 ambulances [singlepic id=875]

    "create systemic change" "We're already seeing it replicated in other countries"

    Ex 3: d.light consumer product instead of Kerosene lamps [singlepic id=876] "in the 80's and 90's it was top down." "you'd come in and" say "here's this solar plant" [hard to diffuse]

    Ex 4: Housing - Jawad Aslam blank land outside of Lahore Pakistan Javat - a year to register the land because of the corruption [diffusion problem] - no one trusted that there would be jobs around [meta-system problem] -it's connected to status, wealth, beauty [the opposite of Tata car]

    Ex: 5 Western Seeds sells hybrid seeds in Africa [singlepic id=877]

    Acumen in Kenya -fortified porridge -public toilets - previous attempts at innovation here have not diffused

    Future "The Road of Fear" -"evident in terrorism, business" The other road...

    "Road of Justice of Love" -"the only road that takes us where we need to go." -takes us into a "single tribe"

    This is a time of "great instability and great opportunity"

    "Using the power of the markets and smart design"

    Investing Model: "Scale - we don't want to invest in anything that will reach 1M people" "typical capital commitments range from $300,000 to $2,500,000 in equity or debt with a payback or exit in roughly eight to fifteen years." (

    Even though their investment period is about eight to fifteen years, Acumen Fund considers their investing to be venture capital because they invest in early stage companies. Their exit may consist of: the management of the company they invested in buying back shares, or selling to a strategic investor, or continuing to earn dividends.

    They also engage in what they call "Lab Investments," which "are smaller-scale, high-risk experimental investments, where funding can be disbursed rapidly and lessons can be learned in the short-term."

    Primary Investment Criteria: Potential for Significant Social ImpactCompanies need to make a product or deliver a service that addresses a critical need at the BoP in the areas of our strategic and geographic focus. Delivery of the products or services should generate social outputs that compares favorably with products or services either currently available on the market or through charitable distribution channels. Potential for Financial SustainabilityA clear business model that shows potential for financial sustainability within a five to seven year period, including the ability to cover operating expenses with operating revenues. This period corresponds to the tenor of most commercial loans, and positions entrepreneurs to access commercial finance in the future. Potential to Achieve ScaleAn objective of reaching approximately one million end users within a five year period with the benefits of the product or service. If the entrepreneur's business model does not aim to reach one million consumers, does it have:

    * The potential to grow by an order of magnitude (i.e., 10x) within five years? * Potential for material impact on the social problem it is trying to solve? * A position as one of the leading service providers in the market in which it operates? * A strong and experienced management team with the skills and will to grow a sustainable enterprise at the BoP? * The presence of a strong management team that has the requisite skills to execute the business plan and a clear and compelling vision? * A management team with the will to work with the market to achieve the goal of serving the BoP? * A management team with positive ethics? (via

    Insurance Models -does not work if when everyone gets sick.

    Working at the macro-mezzo and micro level -to set up a much more robust system.

    Speaking about the current insurance model in the US. "in some ways, we'd have to burn down the health insurance system"

    Resources and people mentioned: Innocent Anthropologist Buckminster Fuller

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

    Notes taken on a mobile device. Pardon any auto-corrections or incorrection.

    Creative Intelligence

    Bruce Nussbaum's lecture on Design at The Edge is one of my favorite.I'm not enrolled in it, but still feel obligated to sit in every Monday. Last week, Bruce mentioned to me that he is writing a book on what he calls CQ, or Creative Intelligence.

    At Columbia Business School's China Business Conference, I introduced myself as someone in Service Design. A professor from Columbia respond with "Oh look at my tie."

    I may have felt somewhat like IDEO's David Kelly when at a restaurant he introduced himself as a designer and his hostess asked "So what do you think of my curtains?" (1)

    The Columbia professor did zone in on what I mean by design when he said "I'm sure there were many processes involved in creating the tie from Chinese silk, French pattern to be made in America."

    This shows the gap between D-School to B-School that I traverse and that Bruce is helping bridge.

    Bruce notes that the framework of Design Thinking, that "collection of behaviors is the heart and sole of creativity. It includes being attuned to the people and culture you are immersed in and having the experience, wisdom, and knowledge to frame the real problem and--most important of all perhaps--the ability to create and enact solutions" (2) But he poses the question in his new blog post on Fast Co Design about what creativity is and how can we measure it.

    If CEO's have used Design Thinking as a process trick, how can we help develop the ability to convey creativity without making it a process trick? Why would we put creativity on a linear scale alongside IQ and SAT scores?

    I agree that Design Thinking has opened the doors for creativity to wider application, but since it was "packaged as a process" it has begun to "actually do harm."(2) If we take creativity and boil it down to not just a package, but something on a linear scale, how do we keep it's veracity?

    IQ stands for Intellingece Quotient and therefore CQ, Creative Quotient. As quotients are the result of division, why abstract Creativity into dividable dimension? It would be a very efficient way to rate and process individuals. But since "creativity emerges from group activity," how do we effectively measure the capability of an individual's ability to interact in a group and frame problems?

    CQ will need to contain multiple dimensions.

    How do we frame the and show an individual's "experience, wisdom," and ability to frame?

    One thing for sure is that the model of a psychologist asking pre-defined questions and timing a subject's arrangement of colored blocks won't serve as the way for measuring creativity.

    Howard Gardner said that when in China, students tell him "Now we have 8 things to be good at," referring to his theory of Multiple Intelligence. (3)

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    Bruce's dream is that when his godchild applies to"Stanford, Cambridge, and Tsinghua universities. The admissions offices in each of these top schools asks for proof of literacies in math, literature, and creativity. They check her SAT scores, her essays, her IQ, and her CQ." I envision the admissions office will spend more time viewing the CQ than the other deliverables. Not just because it is the most engaging, but that because it is the most complex measurement and deepest deliverable. It might be like a portfolio with statistics, visuals and maps. Everyone's CQ will be as unique, if not more than an admissions essay.

    I'm in the process of developing a deliverable to show my Creative Intelligence after a course with Carlos Teixeira and Robert Rabinovitz.

    I appreciate if we could measure degrees of creativity and am excited to see how the concept of CQ forms.

    Bruce at his Design At The Edge lecture series.

    2. Bruce Nussbaum - "Beyond Design Thinking" Fast Company

    1. IDEO's David Kelley on "Design Thinking" Fast Company

    3. Howard Gardner. Presentation, 2010.

    Notes taken on a mobile device. Pardon any auto-corrections or incorrection.

    Ziba - Sunshine Generation - Design At The Edge

    Sunshine GenerationBruce Nussbaum brought Ziba's Karen Reuther and founder Sohrab Vossoughi to Parsons on Monday the 7th. They open the presentation with "The revolution is underway." The presentation was based around the "Sunshine Generation" in China, young urbanites that grew up not knowing Tian'anmen's square and have only seen economy growth. [singlepic id=519] Karen Reuther of Ziba says "They call themselves sunshine because they are smiling" Some of what was presented can be related to the article "Oh, to Be a Millennial in China," by AdAge in 2010.

    Ziba developed a few findings from their ethnographic research.

    1 the youth are comited, their weapon is optimism

    2 the shift is radical, and it is happening from the inside out they see china influenceing the world.

    3. the scale is unprecedented w 340M 'revolutionaries' participating

    One of their main insights was They are more similar than different (with us) Unbridled Optimism - "I don't just want to follow what others are doing. I want to do it myself" they like to "look different together." Anticipating Greatness - "My generation likes challenges. We want something unexpected."

    I will post more on this later, including my views in relation to my experiences in China.

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    More about Ziba here:

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

    Notes taken on a mobile device. Pardon any auto-corrections or incorrection.