Is honesty always the best policy in design?

Noted industrial designer Dieter Rams insisted that good design is honest.  He formulated this idea in the sixth of his Ten Principles of good design:

It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept.

What is a gimmick?

Posts in this blog sometimes relate to a some design and pose the question, "Is this a gimmick?"  A recent example concerned a speaker-battery combination pack for electric bikes.

Should a fitness tracker look like a ring?

For our first posting of 2017, consider a new fitness tracking device in the form of a finger ring.  The Motiv Ring tracks sleep patterns, heart rate, steps and other activities, all while looking chic.  It will officially debut at this year's Consumer Electronics Show and is priced at $199 (USD).

The Ring contains some technological innovations, including optical heart rate tracking and impressive miniaturization. 

The dishonest printer

Andy Greenberg at Wired points out an interesting project by one Julian Oliver: A printer that highjacks cell phone traffic.  You may have heard of the StingRay, a device used by police (among others) that intercepts cell phone traffic by spoofing a legitimate cell phone tower.  Well, Mr.

An attractive electrical substation?

The Seattle City Light utility is preparing installation of the Denny Street substation.  Why is this news?  Because the new substation does not look like a substation.  Behold!

(Courtesy NBBJ Architects.)

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