The 2022 WantedDesign Schools Workshop, presented with Core77, is Back in Person in May during NYCxDESIGN

The 2022 WantedDesign Schools Workshop (the program started in 2012) will take place once again at Industry City, Brooklyn, in the beautiful Camp David co-working studio space, from May 10 to May 14 during NYCxDESIGN.


Appalachian State University (USA)
Art Center College for Design (USA)
Centro (Mexico)
Monica Herrera (El Salvador)
Pratt Institute (USA)
Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico)

The participating students from the 6 schools will be organized into 7 teams of 4 or 5 students. The workshop is intense by nature, and constrained so participants go from concept to finalized ritual within a five day period. The beauty of the workshop is that students will working in creative, collaborative teams. The students coming from all 6 schools will bring fresh perspectives, unique ideas and varied backgrounds.

Students brainstorm as a team during WantedDesign Schools Workshop 2019

The goal is: Break out of your norms. Listen, engage and develop understandings and insights that push your process and designs to new levels. The teams will work together to create a new artifact-based ritual to help people rebalance, reconnect, revitalize, and refocus.

The final presentation to the Jury, led by Allan Chochinov (School of Visual Arts, Core77) will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2-4pm, at Industry City.

To learn more about this year’s workshop, we chatted with the leaders of the 2022 WantedDesign Schools Workshop, Appalachian State University’s Donald Corey, Professor and Industrial Design Program Director, and Michael Rall, Associate Professor and Assistant Chair of the Department of Applied Design.

David Corey (left) and Michael Rall (right)

The 2022 workshop theme is “NEW RITUALS: Reconnecting, revitalizing, and refocusing through ceremony and artifact”; Can you elaborate on the theme?

For two years [throughout the pandemic], everyone’s lives, schedules, interactions, and daily benchmarks were changed, disappeared, or forever altered. We felt it was important as designers that we look closely and discuss, “how do we readjust to the paradigm of this ‘new’ world?” There is a lot less of the familiar. What used to balance, strengthen, and connect us has in many ways changed, been interrupted or disappeared completely. This workshop asks the students to evaluate what is missing. What do they need, and what is possible for them to envision and create together that will fill those voids, by nurturing, reconnecting, and refocusing them and others. We saw the creation of a ceremony or ritual, something that is tangible and repeatable, as a great vehicle to explore those possibilities and concepts they design.

The WantedDesign Schools Workshop is coming back in person, after the 2 last years being virtual; should we expect a “before” and “after” in terms of the students’ spirit and general outcome?

Humans need each other, and designers (especially) inherently need to be inspired by others, share with others, and grow with each other. The shared design experience, in person, is its purest embodiment. It allows students to be honest, engaged, and notice the idiosyncrasies of each other: their environment, and the underlying energy between all these things that is lost when interactions are conducted between screens. It is our hope that through this amazing dynamic experience, the students recognize and tap into that energy and each other, allowing exponential creative growth and understanding to occur.

The 2019 WantedDesign Schools Workshop cohort share ideas with the entire group in Industry City

What do you think the deliverables will be from the student teams? Is there anything in particular that you are hoping to see?

There is absolutely no way to tell or even guess where these projects will go. The international makeup of the groups, their backgrounds, their differences, their similarities, their shared experiences, the different lenses they will employ, all work to create way too many variables to even guess. But what we hope to see are concepts that really engage the senses, the user(s), and the environment. And at the same time, we want the students to leave the workshop energized, feeling better connected to themselves, others, and happier than when they came.

Anything you would like to add as being the school leading the workshop this year?

Michael and I are honored to lead this workshop. The schools involved are all amazing bastions of creative thought, insight, and expression. Appalachian State is proud to be included and add our lenses to the scope of what we are all looking for: a better world, a more inclusive and sustainable world. We are so glad that WantedDesign allowed us to help start the discussion on how we might all participate in making that vision happen.

If you’re interested in learning more about the 2022 WantedDesign Schools Workshop, click here, and stay tuned for more information about the winners of the workshop in the coming months!

The Bird-Shaped Canairi Monitor Tracks CO2 Levels at Home

Alluding to the canaries that were taken into coal mines to detect air quality, Canairi is a bird-shaped fresh air monitor that keels over if CO2 levels rise too high inside a home. The whimsical mechanism, funding on Kickstarter now, is the vision of two Copenhagen-based designers and a simple reminder to ventilate. If air quality does initiate the bird’s downward droop, it takes roughly 10 minutes for it to rotate back up after a window is opened—further, if the battery needs to be charged, the canary will drop to 90 degrees. Read more at Fast Company.

Image courtesy of Canairi

This flexible single-material hiking shoe can only be mass-manufactured using 3D printing technology

Designed as a passion project, Daniel Shirkey’s Earth Moc was created as a potential recovery shoe for hikers. Shirley’s prime objective was to figure out how one single material could fulfill every aspect of a shoe’s experience from its flexibility to comfort, while giving your feet the support they need after a tough hike. Shirley’s design even comes with treads on its underside that additionally allow you to do some light hiking in, giving the right amount of traction required on moderately uneven surfaces and dirt paths.

The highlight of the Earth Moc is its design. The entire shoe is made from a single material, sort of like a Croc, except it features interwoven elements that provide the stretch and flexibility of a conventional sandal. While most single-material shoes are made by injection molding of an elastomer, Shirley’s concept goes down a different route. The interwoven elements are practically impossible to mold in a traditional injection mold, which is why Shirley resorted to 3D printing. Prototypes of the shoe were made by Switzerland-based Sintratec, a 3D printing and solutions company. Inspired by intertwining roots and vines, Shirley’s shoe was 3D printed on the Sintratec S2 system with flexible TPE.

Designer: Daniel Shirley

In the video above, Shirley describes his approach to visualizing and modeling the shoe. The Earth Moc’s complex lattice of woven straps was rather difficult to directly visualize on a sketch or in a 3D software, so Shirley went low-tech by covering a plastic shoe-insert with masking tape and directly sketching on top of it (you can see a comparison below).

Once Shirley’s low-tech sketch was ready, he took it into VR-based 3D-modeling software Gravity Sketch to make an actual CAD model of the shoe. After sharing renders on his social media, Shirley teamed up with Sintratec to build a working prototype out of TPE. The Earth MOC, while a working proof of concept, isn’t available for sale at the moment, although things could change in the future.

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How to Continue Your Creative Education After Schooling

Have you ever felt stuck in your current role or place in life? Do you desire to expand your skillset, or take on a new hobby, like creative writing? The good news for creative types is that there are plenty of ways to continue your creative education long after your formal one has ended, regardless of age or experience level. 

No matter the form it takes, from attending industry conferences to hiring a foreign language tutor, furthering your education comes with numerous personal and professional benefits. For starters, learning new things is great for your brain. Research indicates that gaining new knowledge and/or skills can improve brain function, cognition, and memory over time. 

Education has also been shown to boost creativity, which is encouraging news for creative types striving to become lifelong learners. Here’s what you need to know about how to take the leap towards lifelong learning, by widening your scope at work, prioritizing personal enrichment activities, and beyond. 

The Myriad Benefits of Learning New Things

As previously mentioned, learning new things can improve brain health, but the benefits don’t end there. The simple act of learning can also make you happier and more self-confident. Further, the lifelong learning journey helps foster communication with people from all walks of life, expanding your horizons in the process. 

Where your career is concerned, learning new techniques and skills can open doors that were previously shut, allowing you to climb the ranks at a faster pace than your peers. The skills and knowledge you acquire as a lifelong learner makes for impressive features on your resume. Recruiters looking to employ top creative talent typically prefer candidates with a well-rounded skill set that encompasses a variety of interests. During the recruitment and interview process, your passion for learning can take you far, and may even serve you well when pursuing future job opportunities. 

Change Up Your Workplace

Speaking of work, few things can stifle our creativity as much as an unfulfilling job, making the workplace an ideal starting point on your journey towards lifelong learning. Perhaps it’s time for a career change, or maybe you’re ready to pursue an advanced degree in another industry altogether. In any case, diversifying your job responsibilities can help stave off boredom and keep those creative juices flowing.

You don’t need to switch careers to shake things up at work, however. One actionable way to continue learning while still pursuing your career is by taking on more responsibility. According to Wisconsin Lutheran College, expanding your role at work offers you the opportunity to learn from different people in a wide array of positions, broadening your perspective as you grow your skills. 

Yet as you climb the ladder at work, make sure that you don’t take on more than you can handle. Creative burnout is an unfortunate (and common) side effect of overworking, so it’s important to strike a good balance when taking on additional work-related tasks. Some creative types may opt to skip out on the traditional workplace altogether, at least for a short time anyway, often pursuing more adventurous learning opportunities. 

Seek Out Personal Enrichment Opportunities

For those with a passion for learning, the educational experience can take many forms. It may surprise you to discover that learning doesn’t have to involve seminars or classrooms — indeed, lifelong learners are continuously seeking out new experiences and learning environments, sometimes in faraway locations. Reports indicate that travel can improve your creativity while providing a mental “reset” of sorts, as you experience new places and cultures.  

When you’re traveling for personal enrichment and learning opportunities, make sure to document as much as possible. Consider keeping a trip journal or scrapbook, and take photos of significant places you visit and the inspirational people you meet. No matter if your travels take you to a remote fishing village or a vibrant, bustling city on the other side of the world, traveling has the power to change the way we think. 

In this way, traveling is an exciting option for lifelong learners who want to get out of their comfort zone. For the greatest benefit, creative types should try to live like a local, no matter where they land. Patronize local hotspots, rather than destinations that are popular with tourists, to get a better feel of a particular place, and try to incorporate those feelings into future creative projects.

When traveling, you can also expand your creative horizons by enrolling in a class or seminar with a localized theme, such as winemaking, regional history, or bird watching. Even if travel isn’t in the cards for you, aspiring lifelong learners may be able to find similar opportunities closer to home. 

Key Takeaways

For the lifelong learner, enrichment opportunities can be found all around us, from mundane office cubicles to open-air villas and engaging virtual seminars. Lifelong learning starts by embracing the opportunities that come your way and straying out of your comfort zone.

These mixed reality glasses give a different peek into the Metaverse future

Not all AR glasses need to be stylish or classy. Some actually need to be rugged enough to survive the real world.

Talk around the Metaverse has many of us dreading how the future will have screens literally in our faces even more than ever before. Of course, the ideal future also involves stylish glasses and less conspicuous headsets, perhaps even contact lenses that will let us experience a different reality in the midst of real reality. That might be fine for most people, but the Metaverse is unlikely to make certain industries disappear, especially the ones that work on the infrastructures that will make the Metaverse even possible. For many in those industries, normal smart glasses just won’t do, which is why this mixed reality and AR smart glasses put a more rugged spin on the narrative, even if it does end up looking a bit more like a cyberpunk prop.

Designer: Hatch Duo

In order to make augmented and mixed realities more accessible and more mainstream, the industry first needs to make headsets and glasses for these less cumbersome to use, not to mention less expensive. We haven’t reached a point yet where one can conveniently wear AR gear as easily as a regular pair of specs, but that is the goal of many device makers and platform developers. That said, not all potential users of AR services need fancy glasses, especially those that are often exposed to less favorable working conditions.

Just like industrial workers often need more rugged phones, they also need more rugged AR equipment. Even Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap, two of the very few headsets catering to these users, might actually be less sturdy for comfort. The ThirdEye Gen MR X2, in contrast, is designed exactly for rough environments. It’s thick, rugged, and almost menacing, but it’s also meant to be more comfortable and easier to use.

The visor, for example, has two layers, one providing the actual HUD (heads-up display) while the other acts as a protective shield for both the eyes and the display. The rather bulky frame includes all the hardware necessary to run MR and AR experiences, so you won’t have a cable precariously dangling from your body. And instead of joysticks or even gloves that tie up the wearer’s hands, the glasses has buttons on its frame for some important actions while also relying on gestures to control the software running on the device.

The ThirdEye X2 looks like a mix of the bulkiness of current-gen headsets and the sleek, smart glasses of the future. Its form, however, is designed not just for comfort but also for safety, with possible expansions for attaching safety helmets. At the same time, there’s almost a geeky appeal to the black and orange smart eyewear, like a mix of retro design and futuristic cyberpunk. It’s an interesting design hybrid, one that might actually become more common as we trek the road towards that AR future everyone loves to talk about.

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Kóboykex: Midnight Gale

With an alt-country atmosphere and a gentle electronic undercurrent, “Midnight Gale” is the debut single of duo Kóboykex (tenured Faroese recording artists Sigmund Zachariassen and Heiðrik á Heygum). A lyrical look at lonely fisherman, the track upends traditional country music narratives. á Heygum directed and edited the music video, which furthers their subversive twist to the popular genre.

Dodo Van is a tiny home on wheels with wooden interior and functional areas

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

There is no stopping architects María José Váscones and Juan Alberto Andrade as they continue to develop designs ideal for living. The pair introduced to us the Domestico, a tiny and compact living space that promises more storage and function. The design is mainly for modern living in urban spaces. It doesn’t disappoint with the ample space and the warm aesthetics of the wood. The same natural element is used on the interior of the Dodo Van, which is mainly a house on wheels. It’s a Chevrolet Van (Chevy Van) that has been transformed into a small mobile home.

Designers: Juan Alberto Andrade and María José Váscones

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

The Dodo Van has been designed for a young couple who wants to live in a smaller place. The 1993 Chevy van was actually purchased for work and travel. Inside the van, you can see a full-sized mattress and a kitchenette with a fold-up dining table, and more.

The Dodo Van is a design exercise that challenges transformation, limitations, and spatiality. The designers considered the needs of the young pair working with local communities. They are also frequent travelers who love to explore new places. They only take with them their essentials, so a small mobile home is just right.

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

The Dodo Van can seat four to six people in five square meters (5 m2). Of course, that is a small area but the designers were able to make it a flexible environment just for the basic needs of living. The Dodo Van is small but it can comfortably accommodate a group of people. Of course, we can’t expect all of them to live there together, but it’s probably suitable for entertaining or outdoor travels. The first part holds the kitchen while the second one functions as storage. The third acts as a living space where you can chill during the day or sleep at night.

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

There’s wood all over, which reminds us of the Domestico. The designers used 6mm plywood boards for the lining. The floor and the modules use 12mm and 15mm boards. For thermo-acoustic proper insulation, rock wool was actually used on the ceiling, walls, and the floor. There is an independent battery connected to the vehicle’s alternator for electricity. There is also a 110v transformer plus several lighting and outlets. There’s even proper drainage and a water system with tanks. Compared to other tiny homes on wheels we’ve seen, this one is simply a vehicle transformed into a living quarter.

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

Juan Alberto Andrade and Maria Jose Váscones Dodo Van

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In Us We Trust

It’s fair to say democracy is struggling. The lofty ideal of governance for the people by the people has suffered against the shifting reality of modern society. What was once hailed as an innovative approach to policy-making reflective of citizens’ needs and wishes has failed to keep up with contemporary expectations of informed, responsive consensus. But it doesn’t have to be this way — technology can help.

We are already familiar with ways in which products and brands respond to our individual needs and preferences, which some may argue is exploitative in nature. But what if we could reclaim this technology of data collection not to be sold to, and instead strengthen individual voices within politics? How might we modernize Congress to meet the expectations of today’s electorate and rise to the challenges this generation faces? While bringing politics up to speed with our current tech landscape may sound like a science fiction fever dream, the pieces are very nearly there to realize an innovative new form of governance.

What is a Digital Congress?

To imagine how this might work, picture your digital twin, or what I like to call your “Meta-Me” — an exact replica of you that lives in cyberspace. This version of you shares your thoughts (and ways of thinking), habits, preferences, behaviors, and most importantly, your values and interests. Using this data, your twin can act on your behalf, researching a new car, making reservations, organizing gatherings, or writing summary reports. In fact, you can have a multitude of twins, each one assigned to a specific task or area of your life. Unbounded by the physical world, your digital replica has near-infinite access to information and capacity for learning and doing — effectively multiplying your productivity and impact in the world. It’s the ultimate personal assistant. Together, you and your twins represent a powerful multidimensional entity.

Why not devote at least one of those twins to represent your opinions and beliefs to shape the course of society? Rather than 500 human representatives, U.S. policies can be designed by 350 million Meta-Reps, working together continuously in a virtual legislature. This Meta-Us would by definition more accurately reflect the makeup and mentality of the country than any elected group could hope to match. And finally, everyone would have a direct, inalienable, and unavoidable voice in each and every decision, unhindered by the constraints of time, access, interest, and understanding.

But is it doable?

While a Digital Congress is a far cry from our current reality, bringing a concept like the Meta-Me to life may be more attainable than you think.

Unsurprisingly, a key enabler for the Meta-Rep was pioneered by ad-tech. At its core, your digital twin is simply a sophisticated manifestation of your online profile, which advertisers have been mining, compiling, and perfecting for decades. The internet never forgets, and digital surveillance has never been more prevalent. Even more, we increasingly embrace this invasion of privacy by leading increasingly digital lives, documenting each and every moment of our existence on social media. Every link you click, post you like, and comment you make is collected and analyzed by brands to drive engagement and user behavior. And even this analysis is improving, delivering progressively more sophisticated hyper-personalized experiences on each platform we touch. While advertisers use your data for their selfish benefit, this concept envisions a world where information collected is instead employed in your favor.

This is all compounded by ubiquitous computing and the power of a digitally connected world. Not only do each of us have a digital twin, every place we visit, event we experience, and product we use also has an online replica. This means that access and depth of information about our daily lives has never been more complete. Our Meta-Rep could devote its existence to educating itself on governance, understanding legislative proposals and possibilities, researching current events and implications, and speculating on potential solutions before voting on the best path forward — from your point-of-view, if you also possessed infinite wisdom and energy. Sources are scored not only on individual preference, but also on collective credibility; if the Meta-Rep personifies the best version of ourselves, the Meta-Us represents the most informed opinion on how we progress as a society.

The true difference between a digital twin and a digital profile is decisive action, so for this to truly work, we turn to innovations in artificial intelligence. Web crawlers are ancient tech by this point, but can serve as a useful way to monitor relevant topics for updates and new information. Machine learning provides a programmatic foundation for the Meta-Rep to learn and grow as new resources become available, and bots and agents provide the twin with directives to act on that information through advocating, negotiating, and voting. Together these technologies bring to life an individual’s ideals as actionable policy.

The last essential piece is traceability. To create a transparent platform that citizens can trust, we take inspiration from blockchain. As Meta-Reps collaborate and perform their legislative duties, individual actions are recorded securely and anonymously in a public ledger powered by this technology. Individuals can personally review their Meta-Rep’s decisions and make adjustments to its algorithm to ensure their values are accurately represented. And anyone in society can audit the legislative log to validate that decisions are appropriately made free of undue influence.

All together now

In the near-term, your digital twin acts as an advisor, helping you follow and understand those policy issues most important to you, and informing your civic engagement — the TLDR of legislative movements locally, nationally, and globally. At this critical stage, your twin learns and evolves by observing your direct responses to its suggestions. As adoption grows and technology matures, the twin is elevated to advocate — virtually campaigning on your behalf policy positions to amplify your voice in the halls of government. This role augments direct election, polling, and public support to ensure citizens have a greater influence on legislative decision-making. Digital advocates can edit, comment, and promote bills alongside human counterparts to promote balance and fairness. In the ideal state, your digital twin replaces existing human representatives completely, forming a virtual Congress — writing & enacting policies that perfectly match the values of its population.

So what’s next?

Technology is certainly not our only challenge. Even with a working product, there are many institutional and systemic hurdles we might undoubtedly face to implement such a solution. But it’s clear to pundits and politicians alike that our current approach is untenable, and incapable of meeting the uncertainties we face in the coming decade. The only way we can progress as a global society is by rethinking representation and cooperation to give everyone a voice. Let’s work together as designers, technologists, thinkers, and philosophers to create a more inclusive democracy that shifts power away from the select few toward the citizens themselves — artificially represented by 350 million algorithms always connected, immune to influence, and perfectly aligned to the values and beliefs of each and every individual.

Share your thoughts!

– How can this concept be improved and executed?

– What steps should we take immediately to get started?

– What additional ways might we preserve and improve our democracy using technology?

3D Print Flexible, Full-Color Models with New Stratasys Resins

Stratasys has announced their new, rubber-like Agilus30 Colors resins for 3D-printing. The new flavors–Agilus30™ Cyan, Agilus30 Magenta and Agilus30 Yellow—allow the user to create 3D prints of virtually any color, with an extremely flexible finished consistency:

“With using these new materials our customers can achieve a superior level of design – from color to texture to flexibility, further extending their 3D printing capabilities and allowing them to design without limits.”

“We have seen amazing prints from our customers; models so realistic that it is hard to differentiate between those that were 3D printed to those that were real. These new materials open up countless possibilities, especially with our customers in the entertainment and consumer goods industries.”

Agilus30 Colors are compatible with Stratasys’ J7 and J8 series of printers. Learn more here.

Tadashi Side Table comes with a stomach for extra storage

Tadashi Side Table

There is no stopping creative designers from coming up with new side tables. There are plenty of choices now compared to before as the design world is moving towards innovative and aesthetically pleasing furniture items.

There seems to be a theme among Deniz Aktay’s designs. He has already designed a slew of side tables with some bending action on the tabletops. This time around, the tabletop bends on one side, turning into a transport handle. Like his other designs, the Wavelet and the Rool, the Tadashi shows corners that bend. There is no curve, but the lines and edges offer different surfaces.

Designer: Deniz Aktay

Tadashi Side Table

The side table appears to be two hallow cubes intersecting. The effect is a space underneath for storage. The area can be used for your books or other knickknacks. It can also be a space for your pet cat or dog where they can just lounge or sleep. It can also be used to store cushions, pillows, and blankets.

The space is like a stomach which can be used to store anything. You can leave it empty for a truly decluttered look. The wood finish offers a natural warmth, so it can fit most interiors.

Tadashi Side Table

Tadashi Side Table

In some ways, this Tadashi Side Table, reminds us of the Plot Twist Bookshelf. You can place it anywhere—the living room, the doorway, or the children’s bedroom. It can work as a side table or a stool where you can tie your shoelace before going out. It can be a toy storage, but the edges may not be safe for younger children.

The side table’s form makes it appear like a sculpture or art piece that can be another conversation starter. You see, the side table doesn’t have to be boring. It’s a furniture piece that can bring life to any room. It can serve as both a table and as a decor. The more unique the design is, the more attractive a table can be.

Tadashi Side Table

The German furniture designer Deniz Aktay is really serious about design. He doesn’t just show off something that looks nice or unique. He makes things that are really useful and innovative. He creates timeless pieces that people of different ages will love.

Aktay is becoming a recent favorite here as his works are really interesting. We’ve seen the Plot Twist Bookshelf and the Pet Table. The Triforce side cabinet is exquisite and we also can’t forget The Levels Table.

Tadashi Side Table

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