Summary of “What Are Natural Foods?”

An Aristotelian account comes to this: foods similar to the foods that our ancestors ate in their natural environments are the foods that we are designed to flourish on.
Gradually, selection designed bodies to make good use of the natural foods available.
Critics of natural living sometimes stress that all this focus on our ancestral, natural environment is only sentimental yearning for a past paradise that never was.
A related objection goes, we humans and all we do have always been part of our own natural surroundings; we can’t understand our natural environment as something isolated from ourselves and our creations.
One reason is today’s lifestyle, which might throw off our natural reception of foods for which we’re designed.
Perhaps natural is superfluous? Can’t we just say ‘whole foods’? No. Skim milk is not a whole food: the cream, which rises to the top of natural milk, has been skimmed off.
Not all foods natural to cows or birds are natural to us.
These foods and foods like them, which now make up a significant part of US consumers’ caloric intake, often ‘resemble natural foods, but actually represent a radically new creation’, as the US physician David Ludwig writes – tacitly presupposing, by the way, the sort of context we’re looking for.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Air Jordan III: The Shocking Story of the Greatest Shoe Jordan Never Wanted”

The pair were hoping to lure Jordan to their upstart competitor, Sports Inc., where they wanted to give him his own shoe and apparel line.
Nike had just one shot to salvage its deal with Michael Jordan: The Air Jordan III, which was now in Hatfield’s hands.
Both the Air Jordan and Air Jordan II were high-tops.
Chatting with Hatfield, Jordan threw out an idea for a shoe that was less restrictive.
The Air Jordan III hit shelves in February 1988, retailing for $100. They were the shoes Michael Jordan wore while famously winning the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest-flying from the free throw line to the rim.
Jordan, of course, remained with Nike and has since collaborated with Hatfield on 19 iterations of Air Jordans, which have remained the most popular basketball shoe line in the history of the market and the most coveted sneakers in the known universe.
As for the original Air Jordan III, it’s been galvanized in rap and pop songs and is regularly ranked by sneakerhead publications as the greatest Air Jordan of all time.
In 2001, the Air Jordan III became the first Jordan to be rereleased and sell out in full.

The orginal article.

Summary of “This McKinsey Study of 300 Companies Reveals What Every Business Needs to Know About Design”

For years, the design community has been working to build the case that its work has significant business value.
A groundbreaking study by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company can put a number on the impact design has on business.
After analyzing 2 million pieces of financial data and 100,000 design “Actions”-deliberate attempts to make design a more prominent part of business-for 300 public companies over a five-year period, McKinsey found that those with the strongest commitment to design and the most adept execution of design principles had 32 percent more revenue and 56 percent more total returns to shareholders.
“We’ve just seen over the last five years, this explosion of senior business leaders saying, ‘Help, we need to up our game in terms of product and service design,'” says Benedict Sheppard, a partner at McKinsey who leads product development and design practices in the U.K. “It’s getting harder and harder to make products and services stand out from the crowd.”
Sheppard and the study’s other authors used regression analysis to assess how different design actions, such as putting a design leader in the C-suite, or linking executives’ bonuses to usability scores impacted financial performance across 300 companies, which joined the study voluntarily with the goal of learning where they stood against industry competitors when it came to design.
In other words, for design to work its magic, a business has to really commit and excel across all four areas that McKinsey identified.
The team anticipated that every dollar spent on design would improve the bottom line, but instead, it has a disproportionate financial impact for companies that are really good at design.
“With no clear way to link design to business health, senior leaders are often reluctant to divert scarce resources to design functions. That is problematic because many of the key drivers of the strong and consistent design environment identified in our research call for company-level decisions and investments. While many designers are acutely aware of some or all of the four MDI themes, these typically can’t be tackled by designers alone and often take years of leadership commitment to establish.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “How IBM’s ThinkPad Became A Design Icon”

It’s a striking black laptop called the IBM ThinkPad. More precisely, it’s the first ThinkPad laptop, the 700C, which was announced over 25 years ago, on October 5, 1992.
PC Magazine’s Matthew J. Ross called it “Superb” as well as “Bold and a great success” and concluded his review by proclaiming that “After years of designing undistinguished portables, IBM has finally gotten it right.” Magazines such as BusinessWeek and PC Computing gave the 700C awards; IBM claimed that the ThinkPad racked up more than 300 honors in its first few months.
Any citizen of late 1992 who encountered a modern ThinkPad such as the X1 Carbon would likely be blown away by the machine’s thin-and-light form factor-less than a third the thickness and weight of the 700C-and high-resolution screen, and would certainly be confused by it carrying a Lenovo nameplate rather than that of IBM. But if that person was familiar with the ThinkPad 700C, identifying the X1 Carbon as a ThinkPad would be easy.
2016’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon, both thoroughly modern and clearly a ThinkPad. If you’re looking for parallels to the longevity of the ThinkPad brand and signature design elements, you’re more likely to find them in the automotive industry than the PC business.
The ThinkPad design aesthetic has been so familiar for so long that it’s easy to lose track of the fact that it was originally a departure from the norm, not just for IBM but the entire PC industry.
The ThinkPad soon became enough of a status symbol that the very fact it was a ThinkPad helped it command a price premium over garden-variety rivals.
“The second we moved to Lenovo, the first thing we needed to do was convince people that it was the same people, the same team,” says Peter Hortensius, who first contributed to the ThinkPad as an IBM engineer and ended up managing the business at both IBM and Lenovo.
The Yamato lab working on ThinkPad engineering, still led by Naitoh, currently has more than 400 employees, 44 percent of whom are former IBMers who were part of the ThinkPad team when Lenovo took over almost 13 years ago.

The orginal article.

Summary of “These Architects Are Using Video Games to Rethink Modern Living”

Tasked with designing something without precedent, principal landscape architect David Fletcher, 50, approached the design like he does most projects now: by using video-game development software.
Fletcher’s preference for designing in a game engine, as the software is called, was cultivated two years ago when he worked on “The Witness,” an “Open world” role-playing video game.
The opportunity to design the landscape for “The Witness” was a dream come true for Fletcher, who’s played video games since childhood.
The video game “The Witness” takes place on this island, which was designed over the course of several years by a team of architects, including David Fletcher.
The architects were able to experience the park from their office computers by walking through their virtual designs and judging from the ground whether they worked or not.
“We don’t design two-dimensionally; we always design three-dimensionally,” he says.
Fletcher made a rare choice, but how rare is hard to say; neither video game companies nor professional organizations like the American Institute of Architects keep records of how many architects have similar experiences to Fletcher.
“It’s more of a design tool.” Similar to the blank slate Fletcher faced as he began designing “The Witness,” Minecraft gives players a blank slate every time they decide to build something new, which works for Delaney, who has always loved building things.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Curse of an Open Floor Plan”

What is wrong with having just one kitchen? Well, people cook in kitchens, and when they cook in kitchens, they make messes, and then, to make matters worse, if their kitchen is in full view from the rest of the house-as many today are-their mess is out in the open visible as they eat their meals, hang out with their families, entertain their guests, and go about their lives.
That is why one company, Schumacher Homes of Akron, Ohio, has a fresh new design on offer: a house with an open floor plan, with its kitchen, dining area, and living room all flowing into one another.
Describing one late-1950s home by the California-modernist architect Pierre Koenig, the design historian Pat Kirkham characterizes a kitchen opened up to the dining/living area as a “Material expression of the informality of social intercourse.” The ability to chat with family and guests was a clear benefit, but it also created double-duty for the kitchen “Worker,” who was assumed to be a housewife.
While Weninger-Ramirez tries to hide plugs and appliances, a modest remedy, Schumacher Homes’ “Messy kitchen” opts for a more extreme approach: to hide one kitchen behind another.
An open kitchen island faces a large, vaulted great room with second-floor gallery and flanks an open-plan dining area.
The public kitchen boasts a range top, oven, microwave, and sink, but the rest of the kitchen, at first, appears to be missing.
The idea is that the pre-meal food prep and post-meal food waste can be stowed out of sight in the “Messy kitchen,” leaving the public kitchen for the cooking, eating, and visiting.
Even if the messy kitchen’s usage proves more equitable along gender lines thanks to intervening cultural changes, the design seems to require a negotiation of the loneliness of prep and cleanup that, despite its downsides, an open design might have helped avoid.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Untold Story of the Vegetable Peeler That Changed the World”

Created by Smart Design, in conjunction with OXO International’s launch in 1990, it raised the bar for accessible consumer products, and changed the way kitchen tools were designed forever.
Nearly three decades after its release, it maintains 4.8 stars out of 5 on Amazon yet still costs under $10. How many consumer products are truly that lasting? It’s why the peeler won our inaugural Timeless Design award as part of Innovation by Design 2018.
Over the years, abridged versions of the peeler’s origin story have been shared in design museums and even business schools.
We couldn’t design something for people just with special needs, because it would have to be in a special catalog, and no one is able to have access to those products.
We had to design a handle that would work for various uses.
Manufacturing the Peeler The design was on the right track, but it was extremely difficult to be made.
We’ve been living this for so long-but the OXO line was universal design, or inclusive design, long before either had a name.
We put the endorsement onto the package, but we took that off later because we realized, one of the things that’s really important for inclusive design is that the product isn’t stigmatizing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Children’s Village Forever”

The thirty-year-old had been responsible for Ontario Place’s most successful exhibition that year, a multimedia tour through the province’s history called “Explosions,” but he’d never built anything for children.
The first one in North America was a simple pile of sand in Boston’s north end, installed in 1885 by female philanthropists who wanted to give poor immigrant children a place to play and, crucially, a means to assimilate to American society.
The modern theme park seems to apportion its share of imagination in a perverse way, offering boundless creativity to its designers while leaving little scope for the children themselves.
In 1980, McMillan was teamed up with Jim Henson’s Children’s Television Workshop to create “Sesame Place,” the first of a planned series of tactile amusement parks to be built across America with the aim of helping children “Learn through play.”
Watching the way children used his equipment, often in ways he could never have anticipated, made him more and more certain: play wasn’t a frivolous distraction from learning, but something essential to childhood and indeed humanity.
If the design for children in the 60s and 70s had been full of possibility and experimentation, the prevailing mood in the 1980s was of caution.
With its bright colours and unruly design, Children’s Village became a relic on the lakeshore-a vision of the future from the near past.
“We understand that children’s play environment has been impoverished. And so looking back at those times when it wasn’t so impoverished feels really important.” Today, as the kids who grew up getting bloody noses in the punching bag forest are having children of their own, it’s impossible not to think that Children’s Village represented a brief moment when a different style of mass play was possible.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Pantone Comes Up With New Colors for Its Authoritative Guide”

Pantone 2453 joined the company’s famous color standards system in March 2016, one of the 112 new colors added that month.
Whatever its inspiration, every one of the colors in Pantone’s iconic guide can be traced back to the same place: forecast meetings with Pantone color experts that happen years before the colors even make it to the company’s factory floor.
How the experts at the Pantone Color Institute decide which new colors should be added to the guide-a process that can take up to two years-involves somewhat abstract inspiration.
Because most people can’t detect a difference in colors with less than a 1.0 Delta E difference, new colors have to deviate from the closest colors in the current catalog by at least that amount.
Pantone still had space in its catalog for the new color because, unlike Pantone 2453, Sheer Lilac was designed for fabric.
There’s a reason why Pantone makes separate color guides for fashion and graphic design: Though the colors designed for paper and packaging go through a similar design process, dyes and inks don’t transfer perfectly alike across different materials, so a color printed on uncoated paper ends up looking different when it dries than it would on cotton.
It can take color standards technicians six months to come up with an exact formula for a new color like Pantone 2453.
They’re a failsafe in case the final color that comes out isn’t an accurate replica of the version in the Pantone guide.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Virtual home makeover: testing Modsy, Havenly, Ikea on my NYC apartment”

Actually want to style your real-life home and implement the design.
I was first introduced to e-interior design startup Havenly a few years ago at SXSW. The service promises to create a mood board, layout, and a shopping list to help make implementing the design easy – all under a flat rate instead of an hourly bill you might get with an in-person designer.
Havenly has a modest group of designers it works with, which means if your aesthetic best matches someone who’s currently working on several projects, you might end up waiting a while until they can start yours.
Modsy starts similarly to Havenly, where you fill out a style quiz by picking photos of rooms you’re more drawn to, like or dislike pieces of furniture in the example designs you chose, and explain the goals of your project.
I particularly liked that Modsy imagined the second half of the room as a cafe-inspired dining area, as it could functionally turn into a workspace when I am working from home.
In comparison with Havenly, Modsy starts at a higher price point at $69 for a slower turnaround time and $149 for the base package for one room.
Still it is clear that Modsy makes most of its money from referral purchases you make through its designs, and often you’ll get renders with a bunch of little pieces you might not want or need.
The catalog of items that you can swap in and out of your design also made it easy to try out a bunch of options in case the pieces Modsy picked didn’t work for you.

The orginal article.