Next Big Design

Friday, August 28, 2015

This Week In Design & Brand Strategy: 8/24/15 - 8/28/15

The world of design is expanding into all sorts of different markets while also keeping to the markets it steadily began in. Vehicle and car styling, which might surprise some and might be common knowledge to others, all begins in Southern California. When you see a BMW or Mercedes, odds are it was originally conceptualized in the sunny state of California. In an article from Huffington Post that was published this week, the author discusses the Art Center College of Design schools and how the graduating class is rising to be the thinkers and designers for a new breed of cars. “Students, with backgrounds in everything from illustration to engineering, are drawn here from all corners of the world where they undergo eight accelerated terms, taught by top industry experts. Finally, at the graduation show, they display their vision of the future hoping to send tremors though the industry.” The author describes how these new designers are taught all aspects of the business through internships and corporate sponsored projects at leading car manufactures. Reading through the article just shows you how inspiring and creative these new designers can get. 

We all enjoy finding new music on places like Spotify right? The unfortunate part about this whole experience however is the amount of choices we have to make in order to find the music we like. However, according to recent article on Fast Company this struggle may be fixed now. There is a new sheriff in the town of “music finding” and it goes by the name of “Radio Activity.” The concept and design of this new product is centered on the beats of particular genres. In other words, the device will provide you with musical options as you adjust the beats per minute. “Roper first identified the beats of music genres. Reggae sits at a lazy 60 to 75 beats per minute. Climb further up the scale and you have blues at an average of 60 to 90 BPM. Dubstep is at the upper end at 130 to 150 BPM. Roper slipped the controller over a stick that represents the music's tempo.” In order to change genres, the user simply slides the controller up or down just like you would with a metronome. This unique way to find new music is definitely bound to gain some traction within the musical community with its user-friendly interface and simple concept. I for one, am definitely a little over answering so many questions in order to find the perfect genre for the mood I’m in.

If there’s one thing I like writing about, its television shows. TV shows, I feel, have a very unique opportunity to design something incredible that carries a very artistic weight. Well, this week the folks at CO.Create for Fast Company sat down with Sam Esmail, creator of the popular summer show Mr. Robot. On top of the fact that this show has become one of my slight summer obsessions, this article was super interesting because it discussed Esmail’s process in designing the opening sequences for the credits. He begins by telling us that when designing the opening credits for Mr. Robot, he likes to design it after the common openings done in films. In other words, Esmail treats it like an open canvas to show the viewer the major themes of the episode. “It's a blank canvas that you can do anything with because you have nothing before it to worry about, no context—you're creating the context.” In the interview Esmail also discusses how important the design of the typeface is to the finished product. “Fonts are something I obsess about constantly. People might find that silly, but for me, everything in a film should be deliberate and designed.” Clearly a lot of design and creativity goes into just the small details of the shows we watch every day. I highly encourage anyone to give the show a shot; if not for the content, to see its artistic design. 

Anyone who uses Instagram is as frustrated with “the square” grid as much as anyone annoyed with the Twitter 149 character limit. Well, be frustrated no longer! An article on Fast Company this week announced that Instagram has now allowed users to access multiple layouts in uploading images of all different sizes. In other words, the app now lets you have photos that are wide or tall that wouldn’t usually fit into the normal square frame. Usually when uploading a photo to Instagram you are confined to the square format, but now, if you tap “… a new icon, [it] lets you preserve their original orientation, be it landscape or portrait.” This is an excellent design move for Instagram as it will make the entire user experience more comfortable and friendly. 

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

FUSE 2016 Call for Presenters: Deadline September 4th

Production has begun for FUSE 2016! Iconic AND Inclusive, FUSE unites top design leaders and brand executives to share stories about fusing strategy and design with a focus on Designing Brands with Purpose. 

The 20th annual FUSE is taking place April 4- 6, 2016 in Miami, FL. We are recruiting speakers to bring FUSE to life in 2016. The submission deadline is Friday, September 4, 2015. All speakers will receive complimentary admission to the entire event (a $3,000+ value). 

FUSE celebrates a collaborative approach to building brands - marrying design in all its forms, culture and strategy. We will delve into graphic design, industrial design, service design, digital design & social media, brand strategy, packaging, leadership, trends and culture.

The Crowd:
Each year, hundreds of leaders converge at FUSE to advance their brands, businesses, and careers and to get inspired by our speakers' stories. Attendees have a diverse set of expertise - graphic design, marketing strategy, brand management, package design, structural design, digital design, consumer insights, trend forecasting, and design research. Industries represented include consumer packaged goods, retail, industrial manufacturing, technology, electronics, automotive, financial services and health care and more.

Presentation Options:
• Trends/ Insights & Inspiration
• Culture-Understating People
• Strategy
• Creativity & Inspiration
• Startup Mindset- Disruptors
• Global Design & Branding
• Design & Creative
• Skills & Personal Development
• Brand & Marketing Strategy
• Client & Agency Relationships
• Social Media & Digital Design
• Multi-Dimensional Design: UX, Structural Design & Industrial Design, Product Design, Packaging Design, Service Deigns

FUSE 2016 Experiences:
A huge part of the FUSE event is the off-site experiences. Have an idea for a cool tour/ trip/ experience in the Miami Area? Please send those details to Romina @ .

Speaker Benefits: 
• All speakers will receive complimentary admission to the entire event (a $3,000+ value)
• Advance the purpose and value of using design to tell a brand's story
• Position their company as one that values brand strategy and design
• Reinforce their own position as a leader
• Share results of an exciting project
• Network with industry leaders & participate in high-level discussions

Submission Guidelines & Deadline:
For consideration, please e-mail Romina at with the following information by Friday, September 4, 2015.
• Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
• Contact information including complete mailing address, phone and e-mail
• Title of presentation
• Brief overview of the presentation (1 short paragraph (100 words or less) plus 2 bullets that illustrate audience takeaways – Think of these bullet points as the “So What?” – What is the audience gaining from this presentation- How is this relevant to them )
• *Please note: if your proposal is selected, portions of this description will be printed in the brochure and used online to promote your participation
• Brief speaker biography (3-4 Sentences)
• Tell us why you want to be a part of FUSE 2016

SPECIAL NOTICE TO VENDORS, CONSULTANTS & SOLUTION PROVIDERS: Whether you are looking to build awareness, generate new business or strengthen existing relationships - a presence at FUSE will help you achieve your goals. A limited number of sessions on the program are reserved for our event sponsors. Solution providers who wish to become part of the program MUST contact Elizabeth Hinkis at 646-616-7627 or

Note: (Event producer is unable to place vendors, consultants or solution providers on the program so email Elizabeth. If you have a client you would like to recommend that can be sent directly to Romina at

Thank you for your interest in FUSE. Check back for updates on our website:

The FUSE 2016 Team


Friday, August 21, 2015

This Week In Design & Brand Strategy: 8/17/15 - 8/21/15

Can you build and design a blueprint for innovation? This was the question being asked in an article on Fast Company discussing a groundbreaking new design to build an innovation district in Miami, Florida. The design of this new district is described like so: “a gleaming building wrapped around an expansive tree-filled courtyard. All the walls are glass so you can see what's happening in the ground-level retail and open-plan offices on the upper floors. In lieu of cramped hallways there are wide-open walkways and a snaking ramp that ascends to a rooftop lawn. Apartments are close by and there's a constant hum of activity and interaction throughout.” Sounds like something out of a dream right? Well much like it is in the world of business where everyone is chasing to develop to “next big thing,” developers and cities are starting to build on this idea (no pun intended) and foster innovation within entire neighborhoods. The common themes of this “innovation” district are, transparency, flexible spaces, and multiple different ways and opportunities for people to meet spontaneously. Learn more about the design of this “wonder-world” on

If you’re a cyclist and tired of coming into contact with near-death experiences on the road, now’s your time to celebrate. A recent Fast Company article explores two new headlights built for cars that will be able to spot people or animals on the road a few more seconds in advance. The Ford headlights are rumored to be able to cut accidents by 7-10%. According to a research engineer at the Ford innovation center, “’Both technologies could allow for detecting other road users earlier on unlit roads, in particular all the road users who might not be equipped with illumination such as bicyclists and pedestrians.’” This design move is huge not only for cyclists, but also families who take their pets out for late night walks. I especially applaud this design due to the fact that it takes into account the safety of those outside the car as well.

How many concussions occur in the NFL every year? Numbers vary every year but the consensus is A LOT. However, there is now a new design for helmets that monitors player safety. Coming out of the University of Pennsylvania, researchers have developed a new material for helmets that changes color under intense impact. “The technology has implications for any industry where seeing an impact could be beneficial, but the lead researcher, Shu Yang, tells that its effective ranges falls in the sweet spot zone of blast radiuses and concussions.” The new helmet, although not necessarily preventing concussions, will enable researchers to target the vulnerable spots for football players and hopefully decrease each instance. On the down side, the technology for this new helmet is not yet cost effective for mass production, which means this season’s NFL may see the same amount of concussions. 

Are you a gamer? Or even someone who enjoys design and its unique forms? Well this week, Fast Company wrote a piece on a new company called Titanium Falcon and their ambitions to create a “Wii-like motion controller small enough to wear as a ring.” This new little gadget goes by the name “Talon” and is a non-axis motion sensor that you wear on your ring finger with playing games. “You could steer in a racing game by twisting an invisible wheel in front of you, or return a serve in tennis by making an invisible backstroke.” The ring includes two action buttons on the side that can also be pressed in order to allow you to perform “in-game jumps.” The “smart ring” is the first of its kind within the technology sphere, however it will be very interesting to see where innovators take this idea from here.

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at 

Friday, August 14, 2015

This Week In Design & Brand Strategy: 8/10/15 - 8/14/15

Showers are great right? We all enjoy them, but we also know how much water is wasted with them and how much we pay for water as a result. But what if we could have a shower that is just as efficient as it was delightful? Well worry no longer friends! According to an article posted on Fast Company’s website this week, there is a shower head by the name of “Nebia” that accomplishes this task. “…most shower heads push water from the pipe out of tiny holes that create pulses of water or diffuse mists. By "atomizing”…the stream of water through six nozzles arranged in a halo, the Nebia creates a steady stream of pressured "cozy mist" that still gets the conditioner out of your hair but uses a claimed 70% less water than a traditional, low-flow shower head.” The new showerhead is selling at a price of $400, which we all know isn’t cheap, but the tradeoff being argued is that after purchasing the showerhead, the individual will save in water costs. Plus, according to the article, the Nebia is the “best showering experience ever designed.”

Intel, the tech giant in its field has decided to take after the strategies of most startups in their early stages: radical transparency. The rationale behind this goes, if the organization is more transparent and opens its books up the public they will further their efforts to diversify. “On Wednesday, the company published a 15-page statistical analysis…of the progress it has made since CEO Brian Krzanich announced a…five-year plan to bring the company’s workforce to "full representation" by 2020.” According to the article released on Fast Company, at the time Intel made this statement in January of 2015, the company’s diversity numbers were status quo for the industry. Now the organization has exceeded its diversity goal (to draw 40% of its new hires from underrepresented groups) within the first three months. Intel will be joining companies like Pinterest who are in the minority with putting forward detailed metrics.

Ever wondered what a 3-D printed violin would sound like? Well you aren’t alone. According to an article by Fast Company this week, a 3-D printer just gave birth to the first ever printed violin. Apparently the violin, being the first of its kind, sounds immaculate. The name of the violin is the “3Dvarius,” bearing a name after the Stradivarius violin. “Designed with the help of violinist and music artist Laurent Bernadac, the 3Dvarius is a fully playable electric violin designed to emulate the acoustic qualities of the Stradivarius.” The look of the 3Dvarius is translucent and appearing more like a sea creature than a violin. The new instrument is designed to feel as light as possible “as well as to feel great in a musician’s hand.” Videos of this instrument being played are also included within the article.

“The Tube,” “The Underground,” or whatever name you fancy calling it, London’s underground metro system is by far the most iconic of its kind. Recently the services for the tube have been extended to 24-hour night hours for select lines on Fridays and Saturdays. With this new development, a new map needed to be designed for these select hours and trains. In an article on Fast Company that discusses the iconic nature of the original tube map, the author also explains how this new map was designed. Referring to the original map the author claims, “It is also one of the most well-known and recognizable public transport systems in the world–even to those who have never stepped foot in the capital, thanks to one thing: the design of its map.” The new night map, designed in about 9 months, still carries similar characteristics from the original with slight alterations made on the number of trains running and the color scheme. According to one of the designers, “’… we knew the map should be very familiar to the user but it should be differentiated enough that there will be no confusion.’” The new map, from what I can see, accomplishes this goal and more by changing up the background and also branding the map with multiple “Night tube” indicators.

Nichole Dicharry, is a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Marketing and Finance Divisions, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at