Category Archives: Hack

"How we prototyped our way to effective light guides using Illustrator and a laser cutter"
Niko Vladimirov

Build Your Own Light Pipe

Light guides are physical tools that transmit light along a path from an illumination source while maintaining constant brightness. They’re often used in products to create a line of light that is consistently bright and dynamic-looking, even when it comes from a single source. Unfortunately, there is no simple how-to guide available for making them. The process […]

"OpenIDEO is a community that encourages taking creative risks, and that leads to powerful solutions to longstanding challenges."
Joanna Spoth, Challenge Manager

High-tech Solutions for Healthier Lives

Attention Labs readers! OpenIDEO has a challenge for tech-savvy problem solvers. They’ve teamed up with NBCUniversal, NBCUniverso, and Telemundo to come up with ideas for new ways to reduce preventable diseases, particularly in the Latino community, where one in five adults suffer from diabetes, more than 75% are overweight or obese, and strokes are the […]

"The border between design and art is really fluid."
Ethan Frier

The IDEOgraph

Ideograph (n): a picture or symbol used in a system of writing to represent a thing or an idea but not a particular word or phrase for it. IDEOgraph (n): a device that creates a physical representation of the spirit of IDEO Chicago by recording the ebb and flow of activity in the most beloved […]

"NOAM is helping achieve new levels of prototyping, both inside IDEO and out."
Tim Brown


Noam is a software-messaging platform created by IDEO to help hardware and software tools communicate with one another. To introduce Noam to the world, we wanted to build a physical manifestation of the platform, something that was—like Noam—fun and exciting but also remarkably simple to use. After a bit of brainstorming, we hit on the […]

"Internet-connected things are set to reshape our lives in ways we can’t even imagine"
Miha Feus

Beachsand and the Talking Bell

The bell that rings in the kitchen at IDEO London sounds rather more sophisticated than the analogue clang you might expect to hear when meals and snacks are ready. Our bell prefers to send articulate email messages, like this recent missive: “I summon you all to the kitchen table for a Beer-n-Nuts with [Arduino co-founder] Massimo […]