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Design Job: See the light as a Senior Designer at Ramus in Melbourne, Australia

Ramus works with light, producing large-scale light and digital art installations in architecture, entertainment, commercial precincts and civic spaces. Based in Melbourne, we produce works globally. We are now seeking an experienced senior designer to work closely with our Artistic Director and lead the design team in bringing extraordinary visions to life. You will ensure artistic integrity is maintained from conception through to integration, directing a number of technical, creative elements

See the full job details or check out all design jobs at Coroflot.

The Weekly Design Roast, #14

This can only be ordered out of the back of Lamborghini Driver magazine.

This is for when you want to fall asleep in an airport lounge and wake up in an interrogation room.

What I want to say to the designer of this motorized lift for the disabled: “Yeah, looks real cool. Where the fuck is the rest of it?”

“I’m calling it ‘Active Seating.’ The idea is that you have to pick the chair up off of the floor, carefully transfer your weight into it, then concentrate on not tipping over. So you’re not just sitting, you’re having an experience.”

“I’m calling this one ‘Active Seating 2.’ Getting in and out of it is still tricky, but with this one you have a flat piece of metal pressing down on the top of your knees to help you balance.”

“This was a tough one–I wanted the shape of the tables to not make sense whether they were separate or joined together. So I managed to make it work on both levels.”

“If you’re afraid of indoor snakes, we’ve got the bed for you!”

“It’s called the Oreo Dipper, but it also works with Hydrox cookies. As a designer solving important problems, you have to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes, and our research showed that not everyone goes Oreo.”

“Our 3D wallpaper designs add a calming, spacious feel to any room. This pattern is called Collapsing Mineshaft.”

“The client loves our Ceiling-Suspended Fixed-Height Cell Phone Privacy Cylinders. They allow the user to express themselves with how they enter it; you can crouch, squat, duck or even limbo!”

3 Power Plays for the Future of Design Education

During the past two decades, technological advances have expanded the importance of design, as well as the demand for designers, at an unprecedented pace. Look at your collection of old cell phones if you need a quick reminder. As president of SCAD, where the digital revolution is in full effect, I feel the speed of progress powerfully.

The sophistication of today’s ever-evolving tools has made design pervasive. Employers are expecting graduates to start work with advanced technical skills. And some commenters note that products are increasingly digital — less physically tangible, less of this world — and, in some cases, further removed from humanity. Some look at these challenges and wonder if a university design education is still relevant; I see opportunities to revolutionize how we prepare students for meaningful careers and fulfilling lives. Here are three assets SCAD offers to help our students create the future.

Rev Up the Power Skills

Power skills such as persuasive speaking and empathy are already hot commodities for employers and promote socially conscious, results-oriented design. And the more technical design becomes, the more important it is that designers inspire, persuade, and explain. They also need to be able to listen and hang out!

Tomorrow’s designers need to be able to pound the pavement, go to the source, and bring back the goods. Here’s an example: During a recent design competition, a student team worked with partners from IBM and Google to develop a portable, solar charger for outdoorsy and military types. The team discovered that users prized ruggedness, so the device would have to withstand the elements and long exposure to sunlight. The mentors intuited that the charger needed to be mountable to a hat or tent to catch the most sun. The end result: a reworked prototype that offered precise user customization and increased marketability, developed by an interdisciplinary design team.

By many accounts, design teams will grow larger and increasingly diverse, which means students will need to both articulate their ideas and get along with each other. Universities should employ communication specialists to work with students, faculty, and university partners across the curriculum, and communication initiatives should feature prominently in strategic plans. And socializing should be frequent, baked into the creative process.

Image courtesy of SCAD

Reclaim the Power Tools

Gen Z has arrived, and they have a deep yearning to be makers and doers and effect social change. And though the incoming classes have boundless potential as designers, our professors have noticed that many of them haven’t had the opportunity to use a bandsaw or a table saw or a drill. (Medical schools are noticing a similar trend, which might explain their students’ — tomorrow’s surgeons’ — decreasing dexterity.) The solution? Put them in an actual workshop and ensure they master the basics.

When students work their hands, they think on new planes and get a much-needed respite from screens. As a recent article proclaims, “In the era of ever-vibrating smartphones and increasingly demanding apps, there is no better user experience than peace of mind.” That might explain why one study showed that 84 percent of a sample of Millennials and Gen Z’ers said “technology tools” could distract them from work.

Speaking of tools, the pencil is one of the most powerful tools we have. As most architects will tell you, hand-drawing helps students “see” — appreciate and replicate detail — for the first time, meaning they can later render more authentic creations with software. Students who master drawing are also more effective communicators. One of our professors tells a story about a designer in an international meeting in which the conversation got lost in translation. Because the designer had mastered foundational skills — drawing, in this instance — she was able to take out a sketchpad and communicate through pictures when words failed.

Recruit Power Partners

“In a world full of AI and robots, humanity is what will most be in demand” — that’s a prescient quote from an organic conversation between several designers in a Slack channel. My takeaway: Forward-thinking design education should emphasize human interaction at every juncture, from problem exploration to prototyping, and powerful partnerships make this happen.

Corporate partners who come to campus bring with them the latest consumer and market insights. They help universities keep pace with industry and ensure students are exposed to real-word, high-stakes design challenges. In return, industry experts get access to built-in, long-term focus groups of college-aged consumers (the drivers of tomorrow’s markets) and, through teaching, challenge and refresh their own perspectives on design.

Image courtesy of SCAD

These types of partnerships actualize student learning and solve problems with teams that are increasingly large and diverse — in terms of discipline, background, nationality, and myriad other ways. (Google recently used such an approach to develop apps that address environmental concerns, pedestrian safety, and parent-teacher communication.)

However the industry evolves, tomorrow’s designers must strive for authenticity, empathy, and humanity in their creations. This is only possible if our students learn to be present — a state of being that transcends design. Products are inherently reflective of their creators, and educators should strive to develop students who are engaged in their relationships, invested in their communities, and accessible to the stakeholders they hope to serve.

Design Student Proposes a Simple, Hook-Based System to Make Refugee Bunkers More Livable

During the Cold War, Switzerland built a complex network of underground nuclear fallout shelters. The bunkers are sometimes used to temporarily house people in need, like homeless populations during the winter. Between 2014 and 2016, Switzerland received a huge influx of asylum-seeking refugees and turned to the bunkers to provide much-needed additional shelter. When they were built, the underground spaces were only intended for extremely short stays in dire emergency situations, but at the height of the refugee crisis, migrants were often housed there for six months to a year, while they awaited more permanent placement.

Even though asylum applications in Switzerland have drastically reduced in number since then, designer Iskander Guetta was inspired to think of a simple, but powerful design solution that could make those spaces more habitable, should the situation arise again. “Everybody knows the living conditions in these bunkers are rough, but no serious conversations are held about potential solutions because nobody thinks it’s worth investing in finding a solution for a ‘temporary’ case,” Guetta explained in an interview.

During his third year of design studies at the Lausanne University of Art and Design, Guetta had an opportunity to tour the bunkers and better understand the living conditions within them. “Everything had the same color, the same tables, chairs, walls,” he found. “It made me think of a prison.” He noticed that residents were finding ad-hoc ways of creating a bit more privacy for themselves—using bedsheets as curtains, for examples—and was inspired to make more durable, practical solutions for these types of problems.

“Every single piece of furniture, from the shower curtain to the cushion, is standardized and has to fit within the federal norms for these fallout bunkers,” he said. “As a designer, this was an interesting starting point, because it meant that I could produce a standard object that would again fit within these Swiss norms, which meant it could be used in any bunker in the country.”

As part of his graduation project, Guetta designed a series of accessories to give residents “a little more intimacy and privacy, using the only space they have for themselves: their spot in one of those bunk beds.”

Development process of the hook

The award-winning Abri+ collection is comprised of an individual curtain system, a magnetic reading lamp, and a pouch for storing personal objects. It all stems from a simple hook that serves as the core of the collection and allows for further extensions of the system. “As I was trying to find a way to hang the curtain and the pocket, I realized that having just one piece to install all the elements would be cheaper and more efficient,” he explains. “So the same element can be used to stretch the curtain, to hang the pocket, and also simply as a hook. From that, I was able to develop the whole set.”

Guetta’s project is deeply rooted in the specific context he was designing for, but ultimately he wanted to have a more universal appeal. Looking at the project images, “if you don’t know the original context of the project, you would think it’s just objects made for [any] bunk bed,” Guetta notes. “That kind of neutrality was very important to me…had I designed or framed the objects with too much of a visual reference to the original political context, I would have further stigmatized the people affected by it as ‘migrants,’ as something ‘other,’ while they should be considered as simply part of ‘everyone.'” After all, everyone deserves basic human comforts and a sense of privacy and safety—that’s exactly what Guetta’s project underscores.

Watch Guetta talk about the project in greater detail here:

(H/t Metropolis Magazine)

Reader Submitted: RichRach – Reinventing zippers

The zipper has been in our lives for over a hundred years, but when was the last time we stopped and examine it? Taking a closer look at its qualities gives a chance to explore the mechanism and how it can be manipulated and controlled.

From Helix to 90 degree zipper : RichRach aims to challenge the known zipper and create a catalog of new Forms and shapes that are no longer flat, linear and symmetrical.

Spiral zipper
Spiral functional zipper
Credit: photographer Anatoliy Arinitskiy

Angular zipper
90 degree angular zipper can have a structural benefit and enables closures that the flat zippers can’t.
Credit: photographer Anatoliy Arinitskiy

Circular zipper
Full circle zipper : can take any radius or size and combined with other characteristic.
Credit: photographer Anatoliy Arinitskiy

Printed functional zipper
Printed using SLA printing with nylon material gives strong but flexible qualities and allows delicate details.
Credit: photographer Anatoliy Arinitskiy

zippers catalog
Angular zippers : 120, 90 and 60 degrees angle and even spiral
Credit: photographer Anatoliy Arinitskiy

Zippers catalog
catalog : quarter half and full circle
Credit: photographer Anatoliy Arinitskiy

Zippers catalog
catalog : from the regular zipper to an asymmetrical zipper, anyone can play with the parameters and create a variety.
Credit: photographer Anatoliy Arinitskiy

Zippers catalog
Catalog : complex shapes of curved zipper and helix
Credit: photographer Anatoliy Arinitskiy

printed circular flat zipper
A fully functional circular zipper
Credit: photographer Anatoliy Arinitskiy

Printed objects with zippers
Rounded object can have a functional zipper : circular zippers can be flat, angular or tilted.
Credit: photographer Anatoliy Arinitskiy

View the full project here

The Augmented Designer

This article responds to The Augmented Designer panel discussion, which took place during NYCxDESIGN 2019, and which was sponsored by Augmented Review, ID8TRS, the IDSA, Hardware Massive and Superventures.

Special thanks to panelists Ori Inbar, Founder, Super Ventures and Co-Founder of Augmented World Expo; Marcel Botha, Founder & CEO of 10XBeta; and Leonidas Trampoukis, Founding Partner of LOT and Objects of Common Interest.

The opening remarks were delivered by moderator Stephan Clambaneva

The Inflection Point: Design and AR/VR

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have revolutionized product design. Because of capabilities like high-end visualization, infinite capacity for computing, limitless connectivity, affordability, and characteristics like remote collaboration, both the design process and high-level product development are on the verge of significant advancement.

And with mobile-augmented AR/VR, the technology has been made widely, publicly accessible, denoting a turning point the industry has been anticipating for years. As the efficiency of AR and VR surges forward, yet another inflection point is upon us – one whose significance feels as momentous as the internet boom.

Ori Inbar, Founder of Super Ventures and Co-Founder of Augmented World Expo, recognizes why finally, in 2019, these technologies are on the verge of exponential growth. He points to four distinct market indicators:

Tech giants’ investment: Billions of dollars of investment from the likes of Google, Apple, Lenovo, and Microsoft have removed previous barriers to usage.

Corporate trend: 70% of enterprises have either implemented AR/VR or plan to do so. Interestingly, they’re using it regardless of whether or not they have complete faith in its ROI, because they’re recognizing that their competitors use it, and it’s become a necessary asset to keep pace with them.

Critical mass: There’s an extraordinary base of consumers and usage through mobile-AR. As of today, the grand total of AR-compatible devices is estimated at about 1.05 billion, with just as many users. Even if some interaction is only through low-level platforms such as Pokémon Go or Snapchat Lenses, the education and familiarization is wide-reaching.

Further foreseeable growth: Additional powerful investment has occurred at an all-time record high in new AR/VR technologies. (The sector received $7 billion in investment last year alone.) Analysts only predict the industry’s expansion from here, including influence beyond experiential and into real use cases.

Implications and Implementations

AR/VR as a tool and new medium for designers is not only about better, faster, cheaper design; For Product Designers it will mean an opportunity for more empathy – a connective tissue between design, its practitioners, and its community of user-consumers (that is, clients and non-designers). The technology also signals opportunity for more design in context and, last but not least, it will enable non-designers to step in during the course of the design process to engage with it – to even complete it.

Bleeding edge companies are starting to explore even further how their businesses could be disrupted using AR/VR, and have been researching how human-centered design and design thinking can enable the technology to solve problems.

With AR/VR, technology is no longer a middleman, interpreting our intent; there are no longer the limitations of the X-Y movements of a mouse, or those of CAD tools. Your natural hand gestures and the way you interact in the real world become the UI.

These mediums allow for full immersion, enabling designers to operate in augmented contexts that can maintain the nuances of behavior, action, and intent. And crucially, they open up a world of possibility for designers to design, create, innovate and problem solve directly in 3D. What you see in your mind’s eye can now take form right in front of you.

A few recognizable usage trends among adopters of the technology are identified as follows:

Augmented communication of business cases: This capability allows companies to support a complex business case by enhancing it with the appropriate contextual information through more realistic visual and other communications systems.

Powerful multisensory experiences: Allowing companies to engage consumers and clients on an emotional level in turn paves the way for deepened relationship and connectivity.

Contextually supported case studies: Similar to augmented business cases, this allows for more robust systems of communication to support disparate stakeholders in their collective decision-making.

For Marcel Botha, Founder and CEO of 10XBeta, the increased possibility for workflow optimization strongly supports another reason for AR/VR implementation in the design process. He provides the example of collaborative design validation apps (such as Augmented Review, listed below), which are easy-to-use workflow tools for customers who are not necessarily tech savvy, thus removing the challenge to train the client to use a new platform.

Echoing a similar point of view, Leonidas Trampoukis, Founding Partner of LOT and Objects of Common Interest, states that the tech’s most exciting attributes relate to user efficiency, remote work, and cross-disciplinary versus traditional ways of working. He suggests that in these senses, AR/VR may be a particularly impactful tool for boutique design studios.

For Botha, AR/VR also enables him to put concept into play very early on in the design workflow. He points out that at the preliminary design stage, the technology is highly effective in communicating a vision; a working concept that customers can play with and latch onto may be more efficient and effective, at this stage, than hyper-realistic renderings.

Overall, it’s all about which level of precision designers need for each stage of their process. Because although, as we’ve acknowledged, the tools and technology exist, the next challenge is figuring out which ones work most effectively for each project touchpoint.

The Augmented Designer: Our Role in the AR/VR Evolution

As advanced as these technologies are, they are no doubt in the early stages of their evolution. Anticipating where that evolution will take us, Inbar sees mobile AR as a stepping stone toward the true future of design. It’s at its most powerful, he predicts, when it can be experienced hands-free (though that technology is not quite yet widely accessible). A smartphone, then, offers us a window into the AR/VR world, where it’s going, and how it can service us.

Additionally, Botha shared that to keep up with the evolution of the technologies and their capabilities, 10Xbeta adjusted its office infrastructure to accommodate experimentation with AR/VR. Also informing that adjustment was the inching of AR/VR into the mainstream. Soon, their usage will be the norm, so the earlier adopters will be advantaged with having become more familiar with them.

Designers – boutique and large studios alike – owe it to themselves to invest moderately and continuously into exploring new apps, software, and hardware, in order to figure out which solutions and services are most beneficial to their operations. After all, this new tech, like most tools for creativity, is not one-size-fits-all, nor are it or its implications completely predictable.

In closing, a key takeaway from the panel was the collective belief that this is the time for designers and content creators to shine. The challenge, then, is to define what “good” design is, and how these new tools can get us there; and to designate what amounts to the best and most just form of interaction in a world which surpasses the keyboard and the mouse. Because the frontier will continue to expand. New AR/VR techniques will continue to emerge, forging paths for new methods of design. With this expansion in mind, the panelists’ urgent call to action was for designers to take the lead on this progress. The Augmented Designer is most certainly already here, and it is their – our – time to act.

What tech are the panelists using?

As AR/VR technology continues to evolve, its accessibility ever increases. For now, here are some vertical apps that the panelists have flagged as incredibly productive for designers and product developers, to name only a few of the many available:


Gravity Sketch is a platform for ideating, visualizing, and communicating concepts in real-time through VR.

Design reviews

MindeskVR allows for 3D model reviews in VR, operating natively from CAD systems.

Instant collaboration

Augmented Review, a collaborative platform, streamlines the design process using AR.

Feasibility investigations offers a real-time web-VR service for assembly and disassembly.

You can watch the full recording of the panel discussion published on YouTube: