Category Archives: Sketching In Hardware

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"It was a good challenge, and that in itself was compelling."
Ethan Klein

How We Did It: Buildings Tell Us Just How Green They Really Are

I’ve always had a layman’s interest in architecture and in LEED, the U.S. Green Building Council’s certification program for sustainable buildings. I’m a software developer, so designing buildings is well outside my area of expertise. But when IDEO worked with the USGBC to come up with a new LEED certification plaque, it became clear that software design […]

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"The more we populate our space with interesting prototypes, the more those prototypes can inspire us."
Tasos Karahalios

IDEO Designed a Kitchen-Leftovers Spy Cam, Here’s How

On a recent recruiting trip to MIT, I took a tour of the Media Lab. There’s no shortage of cool things to see there, but what caught my eye was their Food Cam. The idea is simple: there are leftovers in the kitchen all the time, but people only notice them if they happen to […]

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"Even though it looks effortless, there must be a world of complexity behind it."
Brad Simpson

How We Did It: Project Edison

It’s easy to rely on clichés and buzzwords when describing Silicon Valley, but expressing an authentic sense of place is a much more nuanced task. IDEO began working with Joie de Vivre hotels on their new Silicon Valley location, The Epiphany, before the building was even constructed, figuring out how to communicate the innovation and idealism […]

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"Regardless of the technology we’re using or the problem we’re trying to solve, what has really gotten things done is ingenuity and creative thinking."
Mark Harrison

My Four All-Time Favorite Workarounds

In my 15 years at IDEO, I’ve had a hand in roughly 130 projects. Some of the technologies I’ve worked on have become obsolete, like component research that required dozens of part catalogs (now, we just use the Internet). Many, though, have become the foundation for newer technologies, like discrete components, which were developed into MEMS sensors. And some, like the […]

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"There’s something so delightful about reinventing a classic. People love getting their portrait, and it reminds us that we’re all artists."
Julie Regina

How to Make a Fauxtobooth

There was a lot of work to be done. IDEO’s New York studio was to host an event to celebrate Tom and David Kelley’s new book, Creative Confidence, and whatever we designed had to reflect their ideas. Pressure on, we brainstormed over lunch — tools and sticky notes spread out across the largest room in […]