Design is Everywhere

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At design legend George Lois’s profound CreativeMornings/NewYork talk this November, he ended with some powerful advice for creative types: Be courageous.

Thanks to the wonderful work of Ben Hallman, we put together this quick excerpt for you to enjoy. Check it out, only 1:40 min.

This is our first time doing a short from a CreativeMornings talk. What do you think about this format?

Be Courageous!

(Source: creativemornings)

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Bâtiment administratif du centre bus RATP – Thiais

As described by the designers ECDM Architectes“The result is a dense building, inert, deaf, and enigmatic as “the hull of a Russian submarine in the waters of Murmansk”. The building is deformed by stamping its context – uniformity between the building and its support to a point of confusion. This crust that covers the evolution area of the buses is distorted, modeled to cover the administrative center. The “windows” are cut with a cutter blade : surgical incisions generating volumes in negative which reveal colored mirrors under the thin crust of concrete.”

(via designandarchitecture)

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Selling your company doesn't make you happy


I started my first company eight years ago in 2004 and I’ve been through two acquisitions. The first company I sold was DropSend in 2008 and the second was Carsonified in 2011.

Like most entreprenuers, I believed I needed to sell a company for a pile of cash in order to be successful. I’m not…

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So this past Mother’s Day I not only expressed my love and appreciation for my own mother, I also found myself doing an extra favor for someone else’s mother. As you may know moms are one of the world’s most precious gifts. They give us life, they give us love, provide care and support, and whether you like it or not, life would be a lot more difficult without them. Moms always do thoughtful things for us, so I figured this Mother’s Day I would do something thoughtful for someone else. 

A few days before Mother’s Day a received an email from a guy in San Francisco. He saw photos of my peach pit rings on Flickr. He explained to me that his grandma shared a sad story of losing a peach pit ring when she was younger, and he wanted to purchase one or two for Mother’s Day. He noted, “If you still have them, I’m willing to paypal you for one or two and fast shipping. I looked at your blog and I know that you’re not a retailer, just a really sharp designer, but I’d love to purchase one of your rings.”

I was very delighted to have someone interested in one of my products. And for some reason I wasn’t interested in receiving any money. I honestly didn’t mind. I had fun making the rings and I still had a bunch I made from a long time ago stashed away in a box. So, I emailed him back and said that I wasn’t interested in charging him. He insisted that he could PayPal me money, and again I refused. He was very pleased that I was willing to do him a favor. Determined to pay me back, he asked for my address to send me a gift he knew I would use.

As soon as I shipped the rings, I received an AWESOME stylus (alupen) for my iPad. I love it! and I use it everyday! But, before I received my pen I had sent out three rings and a little letter to his grandma. When I shipped the rings 2-day shipping, it only came out to $6.50 and to me I could care less… I was more determined to, for once, do “the most” for someone. And again I told told him don’t worry bout the charges- he was even more happy. I felt like I was making myself happy by making someone else happy. It felt good - yet the good feelings were still to come. 

His brother, who was also in on the gift, emailed me about a week later and this was what really touched me. 

“Hey Gino,

My brother forwarded me the letter you sent with the peach pit rings. That was really amazing. We had both been looking for rings and I was planning on just trying to make one myself. I wanted to pass on the story she told us, since it’s really touching and I think you’ll have an even better idea of how great it was to find someone so happy to help us make this gift happen.

Our grandmother told us the story of the peach pit ring over Christmas this year. Her family was extremely poor during the Depression. When she was still in elementary school, her mother was sick and her father stole chickens from a nearby farm over the course of a year to feed their family. He eventually got caught and was sentenced to a year in jail as a penalty. At the same time, her mother went into the hospital where she would later pass away before the year sentence was up.

While our grandma’s father was incarcerated, they taught him how to make rings out of peach pits. So, he made one and sent it to her. She thought it was so neat that you could make a ring out of peach pit and took it to school to show it off. She was really proud of it, but another kid knew her dad was in jail and started making fun of the ring. The other kids joined in on teasing and it upset her enough that she never wore it again and lost it.

I expected her to get a bit more emotional about the gift when it arrived, but she was touched in a happier way. She was just really delighted that someone remembered the story and took the time to think it up. Her reaction was almost more impressed by the creativity in the gift. She’s around 86 now and mentally sharp. It’s cool to know that even sad stories aren’t always a lifetime of baggage, but something she finds interesting that she got past.

Anyway, thanks again. I like going out of my way for strangers’ requests as well, but you’ve inspired me to be more active about it. The quick return on the request was very appreciated. If you’re ever in SF, let us know if you need anything.”

I have to say, after I received this email, this is where I really felt accomplished. I managed to do something so big for someone which was so little to me. It just goes to show what an impact you can have and what simple things do. The truth is- the simple things in life are what make people the happiest. I try not to drown myself in pride, but I really am proud of myself, in that, this was one small step to living a better life. Helping others is one of the many things I am trying to do to be a better person. I hope this inspires you to go out and do a little something for someone. I also hope in the future I can used my heart and my designs to make a huge difference in the world.