Blog  frogs on the road

Project Mwana: Shifting the Health Ecosystem with Mobile Technology

Robert Fabricant, frog's vice president of creative, speaks with the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) about Project Mwana and frog's partnership with UNICEF. Project Mwana was recently recognized by IDSA, receiving two of the organization's International Design Excellence Awards.

Project Mwana is a mobile service that delivers HIV lab results in real time to rural clinics. It is also a messaging platform between clinics and community health workers to ensure that results are communicated directly to mothers. Project Mwana is currently serving as a demonstration project for a new approach to collaborative design to enhance the use of real-time data within UNICEF.

Blog  frogs on the road

The End of an Era

I've just returned from the IDSA conference in Miami, and I'm both convinced that, in ten years, there won't be an IDSA conference to go to - and that isn't a bad thing. I don't mean this in a disparaging sense; I enjoyed the conference, caught up with old friends, made new friends, and learned a bit. But a trend that I've observed at past conferences is only more evident this year, and it's patronizing to continue to skirt what is becoming increasingly obvious: the IDSA has served a valuable role in the evolution of design as a professional discipline, and has helped advance the field to a point where the IDSA is now essentially irrelevant. Design has outgrown “Industrial Design”, and a professional organization cannot exist only in the form of self-maintenance.

Blog  frogs on the road

Come Together: ID and IxD Collaboration

Last week at our Seattle studio, frog hosted the IDSA and IxDA  event “Whole Product Design”  where industrial designers and user interaction designers came together to explain the approach and collaborative process behind the products they designed. The event exposed the holistic design process (from form to function), and gave local designers the opportunity to show and talk about their work, as well as connect with other designers in the two disciplines.

Blog  frogs on the road

Do People Still Make Stuff?

Cooper Woodring has spent an impressive career as an industrial designer, and has played a critical role in the development of the IDSA. Yet his presentation today at the IDSA Mideast District Conference pointed out a major cross-generational problem that seems to plague both the IDSA and the industrial design profession - a left-over emphasis on form, a now dated view of design as stylist, and a rejection of the complexity of design for behavior and culture.

Blog  frogs on the road

A Sense of Optimism at the IDSA 2008 National Conference

The Industrial Design Society of America held its 2008 national conference in Phoenix, Arizona. I’ve always been critical of the content at the conference, usually finding value in the networking and casual discourse but not learning a great deal from the actual conference sessions. This year’s event had a slightly different feel to it; while there was certainly a great deal of chaff, I was able to find a strong amount of wheat in the specific breakout sessions.