The average, postage stamp-sized urban kitchen is a very inefficient use of space, as most New Yorkers will tell you. Sitting on the counter, in all their oversized glory, are any number of machines that grind, puree, juice, cook, brew and occupy valuable kitchen real estate. Each of these machines has its own motor, power supply and controls, and each is doing its own thing independently of the other. “It’s a very fractured environment, a redundant combination of one-off systems that don’t talk to each other,” says Jonas Damon, frog creative director.
When French philosopher and writer Gilles Ménage commented on the humanist translations of Nicolas Perrot d’Ablancourt some four hundred years ago, he was criticizing the re-interpreted dimension of beauty that the translator had added to the original work.
“Translations, like women, can be either faithful or beautiful, but not both” wrote Ménage referring to a brief romance he had once had in the past, and went on to describe the lost connection between the original piece and the translators’ repurposed sibling.
In 2007 frog opened its Shanghai studio in response to China’s growing economy. Today it serves as the company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters, servicing clients in markets including China, Singapore, Japan, South Korea and Thailand.
The studio’s co-founder, Executive Creative Director Brandon Edwards was recently featured in the book Design Transitions, where he shares the changes frog has experienced in order to meet the wide-ranging needs of the Asia-Pacific market.
The use of digital banking and electronic payments is expanding in many countries, as consumers embrace technology that facilitates financial services. Yet in Russia, people still cling to cash for most of their financial needs. In fact, more than 90 percent of all commodity purchases are in cash, according to the Bank of Russia, and the country loses over one percent of its annual GDP due to the huge amount of cash circulating and its maintenance costs. This poses a challenge to financial institutions, like Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, which is eager to transition customers to digital services. Sberbank asked frog to design product and service concepts that could effectively support that transition.
The electric energy at SOCAP 2013 was palpable. This conference is dedicated to talking about ideas that could increase the flow of capital toward social good. The SOCAP platform connects leading global innovators, investors, foundations, institutions, and social entrepreneurs that build this market at the intersection of money and meaning.
In the second part of our three-part series exploring the evolving Internet of Things (IoT), Annie Hsu, Associate Strategy Director in frog’s San Francisco studio, examines what standards and platforms are needed to enable its expansion.
Throughout my recent ten-month research project in China, I sought to study examples of resource-constrained creativity across western China – particularly those related to mobility and transportation. Having spent previous time living and researching in Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar, I had come to recognize the importance of the Chinese-engine powered walking-tractor-turned-vehicle (and the many modifications to it) to rural life in these countries. From logistics to transportation to power generation and beyond, I hoped to catalogue and understand modifications to these vehicles in their country of origin before the machines became obsolete. I believed that by understanding various modifications and the forces that drove (or prevented) their widespread adoption that the pace of creative modification could be accelerated in other developing contexts, where the vehicle was still a pivotal rural workhorse.
“Dream me. Build me. Make me real.” This was the mantra for the national TEDCity2.0 event held globally on September 20th, 2013.
In their new book, Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Ecology, Mickey McManus and his co-authors, Peter Lucas and Joe Ballay, coin the term “Age of Trillions”—our near-future in which trillions of inter-connected computers will saturate us with information as never before. In this age of massive connectivity we will literally coexist with information in real time.
I interviewed McManus prior to his October 9, 2013 talk at the Design Research Conference presented at Chicago’s Field Museum by students at the IIT Institute of Design. The below text is adapted from our conversation.
The Internet of Things (IoT) must move beyond hype and buzz and embrace viable value creation models, according to frog strategists Timothy Morey and Theo Forbath.