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How Reframing A Problem Unlocks Innovation

How Reframing A Problem Unlocks Innovation
Editors’ note: The following is an adapted excerpt of InGenius (Harper One) by Tina Seelig. What is the sum of 5 plus 5?" "What two numbers add up to 10?" The first question has only one right answer, and the second question has an infinite number of solutions, including negative numbers and fractions. Mastering the ability to reframe problems is an important tool for increasing your imagination because it unlocks a vast array of solutions. A classic example of this type of reframing comes from the stunning 1968 documentary film Powers of Ten, written and directed by Ray and Charles Eames. Starting at a picnic by the lakeside in Chicago, this famous film transports us to the outer edges of the universe. This magnificent example reinforces the fact that you can look at every situation in the world from different angles, from close up, from far away, from upside down, and from behind. You can open the frame even farther by asking why I want to get to the other side of the river.

The secrets of body language: why you should never cross your arms again 7K Flares 7K Flares × Body language is older and more innate for us as humans than even language or facial expressions. That’s why people born blind can perform the same body language expressions as people who can see. They come pre-programmed with our brains. I’ve always been incredibly fascinated with body language and how it helps us achieve our goals in life better. “Our nonverbals govern how other people think and feel about us.” If you are anything like me, then you’ve had a healthy obsession with body language for some time. Here is an insight of the latest studies and how we can use body language to our advantage in every day life. Your body expresses emotion better than your face We all grow up learning about how to deal with each other based on facial expressions. Researchers from Princeton performed a very simple experiment. Have a go yourself at the following picture and try to say whether the tennis player’s faces on the right enjoy victory or loss: 1.) 2.) 3.) 4.)

A Design Revolution That Could Lift Humanity Editors’ note: The following is an excerpt from The Shape of Green: Aesthetics, Ecology, and Design (Island Press). In iconic nature scenes, one shape is ubiquitous: the tree. Based on evolutionary biology’s findings about innate human preferences for savanna-like environments, Judith Heerwagen and other psychologists have focused on tree images as signals of refuge that offer the potential for shelter, shade, and nourishment. Trees and other vegetation have inspired the art and architecture of every culture throughout history, which suggests their universal appeal. One species in particular, the Acacia tortilis, dominates the African savannah, where its silhouette emblazoned on the human retina for thousands of millennia, and research verifies that people are drawn to its shape--broad, spreading canopies and branches close to the ground. The appeal of the acacia in truth may have nothing to do with its being recognized as a tree. And not just in nature. Consider the strange attractor.

8 | Can Bud's New Beer Can Become An Icon Like The Coke Bottle? Fifteen years ago, Dean launched the “chug” bottle, a plastic reimagining of the traditional milk carton. They spent millions on its advertising, but the gamble paid off. Sales jumped ~65% in a year. And Dean milk became differentiated from any plain old milk on the shelf. Structural branding, or identity by shape alone, is one of the brass rings of consumer product design. “Honestly, our brand needs more design to it. It’s quite an opportunity at quite an expense. The can itself has been in development since 2010, driven by a manufacturing breakthrough by Belvac. "I think, like every invention and innovation, we had a lot of trials and tribulations. Which just goes to show, Anheuser-Busch anticipates big, long-term gains out of differentiating Budweiser packaging. Look for the new cans starting May 6. Read more here. [Hat tip: Core77]

How an accountant created an entire RPG inside an Excel spreadsheet It's not always easy (or possible) to install your favorite games on your work computer. Sometimes a bit of Solitaire or some collaborative Bomberman might be all you can manage—and it had better look like work to any nearby screen snoopers. Over this past winter, Cary Walkin created the perfect solution to this problem: an entire RPG made of a spreadsheet and many macros. While the game isn't a beauty to look at—the hero is represented by a smiley face and all enemies are all bracket-parenthesis pairs—it's fairly complex for, well, a spreadsheet. The game also engages in some light borrowing of characters and elements from other fictional universes. The whole game is driven by an anachronistic story involving the hero's battle through an emperor's arena of monsters. In a Reddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) session with Walkin, he said that he decided to use Excel due to his extensive knowledge of the program (Walkin is an accountant by trade).

What's The Secret To Design Innovation? Extreme Immersion Editors’ note: The following is an excerpt from Hidden in Plain Sight: How to Create Extraordinary Products for Tomorrow’s Customers by Jan Chipchase with Simon Steinhardt (Harper Business). There’s a particular type of traveler that many of us know: the tourist who never strays from the well-worn path of landmarks and tourist traps, who only sees the side of another culture that has been handpicked for people like him, and returns home with a very predictable--and incomplete--experience. Then there are those who like to explore, to get lost on purpose and let the unexpected find them. Unlike the first form of travel, those who allow themselves to get lost in the new environment have fewer guarantees and a greater risk of disappointment (and mugging), but there is also an infinitely greater chance of new and unique experiences that will prompt new ideas and points of view. But there’s a better way to do it. Buy Hidden in Plain Sight for $17 here. Jan Chipchase with Simon Steinhardt.

s April 2013 Trend Briefing covering the consumer trend "CLEAN SLATE BRANDS" There's a profound shift in power taking place in the business arena. With a whole new breed of exceptional new brands living by the rules of Business 3.0, consumers are now attracted to unproven and unknown brands the way they were attracted to established brands in the past. In fact, 'established' is now often just another word for tired if not tainted. The future belongs to CLEAN SLATE BRANDS. CLEAN SLATE BRANDS: Newer, better, faster, cleaner, more open and responsive; consumers are rushing to CLEAN SLATE BRANDS and are now lavishing love, attention and trust on brands without heritage and history. Driving this trend: Why for consumers, ‘new’ now truly means ‘better’ As we highlighted in NEWISM, the consumer arena has never been more fixated on the ‘new’. So from being something that was pushed to consumers by businesses (‘new and improved’), the ‘new’ is now subject to an increasingly strong pull from consumers. CLEAN SLATE BRANDS better reflect the zeitgeist.

Replace Your iPhone Interface With A Dieter Rams Classic Dieter Rams’s 1973 T3 Pocket Radio is one of the most sought-after objects in postwar industrial design. The unassuming plastic radios--which many argue inspired the first iPod--regularly go for thousands of dollars online, when they’re being sold at all. “Original T3's are extremely hard to come across,” says Bryn Bodayle, the developer behind an iOS app that replicates Rams’s gadget. “I believe we’ve put this piece of history back into people’s pockets.” The T3 Player App, which goes for 99 cents on iTunes, is the brainchild of Bodayle’s partner, Peruvian designer Eder Rengifo. Open up T3, and you’ll see a vertically oriented screen that looks quite a lot like the face of Rams’s original. There’s something hilariously meta about using the T3 app. Check it out for yourself on iTunes.

First Look: How The Google Glass UI Really Works Google Glass has arrived like a piece of sci-fi memorabilia sent from the future. But with all the talk about wearing the Internet on your face and whether or not these glasses can ever be fashionable, the most obvious and important story has gone untold: What is Google Glass actually like to use? In a 50-minute presentation at SXSW, Google’s Timothy Jordan walked developers through what the Google Glass "Mirror" API and interface looks like today. And if we were to sum it up in just a few words, it’s a multimedia twitter feed for your eyeballs. Here’s how that actually plays out: The Basic Controls The Glass screen sits out of view, and it’s usually off, just like your cellphone screen. To start things off, tap the frame with a finger (or nod your head), and you end up at Glass’s home screen. Swipe your finger down on the frame to dismiss the screen and go about your day--it’s basically the same thing as the Android’s back button. Some Cards Are Really Bundles More Options Lost?

CollabFinder Wants To Make Hackathons A Part Of College Life After he graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy, Sahadeva Hammari emailed one of his heroes, the tech entreprenuer Seth Godin, about working together. It was a shot in the dark--but it worked. A few weeks later, Hammari was on a plane heading to New York to work on Godin’s then-new project, Squidoo. That was seven years ago, but as Hammari explains, "the idea of reaching out to a complete stranger to do something cool stuck with me." Hammari has spent the past few years building CollabFinder, a website that helps others connect with potential collaborators. He describes the site as “a serendipity engine.” Networking, Optimized Right now, there are plenty of services that let you connect with people within your profession: There’s Dribble for designers, say, or GitHub for developers. CollabFinder doesn’t silo users by profession. A Model For Schools Though CollabFinder began as a way to increase professional connections, the model has potential applications in education, too.

How Serious Play Leads To Breakthrough Innovation The following is an excerpt from Creative Intelligence by Bruce Nussbaum (HarperBusiness), out March 5th. It took several hours, but Harry West and his team eventually reached a conclusion about their current challenge: Drinking was weird. West, the CEO of the Boston-based consultancy Continuum, had brought together a diverse group of his top people--collectively, they had degrees in packaging, design, business, engineering, human factors, and technology policy--to help redesign one of the greatest innovations in Swedish commercial history: the tetrahedron-shaped Tetra Paks now so common in Europe, Asia, and much of the world. Dr. After years of trying to fix the problem on their own, Tetra Pak’s executives contacted West for help. So West gathered together a team that had worked together before and trusted one another to be, well, a little nutty. The original Tetra Pak design from the 1950s. Play That Doesn’t Work When we play, we try things on and try things out. Planning For Play

An Ingenious Cookbook Uses Infographics Instead Of Words How do you make lasagna? Even though it’s not that complex of a dish, to spell out the methodology--the specific ingredients and the many small, easy steps of prep work--it would take me half a page of type or more. But for designer/illustrator Katie Shelly, writer of Picture Cook: See. Make. Eat., the recipe for lasagna looks a lot different. It’s a simple sketch that deconstructs lasagna into its discrete components. Of course, illustration isn’t a new idea in cookbooks--drawings that show finder details of technique like dicing onions are mainstays in classic food tomes. “She started by saying ‘well first you get out three bowls …’ and so it was natural to just draw the three bowls in that moment, and then I stuck with drawing the rest of the recipe on this little scrap of paper,” Shelly tells Co.Design. From there, she pushed the idea further, drawing on a background in UX testing to create recipes and spot where her testers (friends) may may potentially go wrong. Buy it here.

Frog Predicts: Flexible Displays Will Soon Change The World I’m talking to Frog’s Chief Creative Officer, Mark Rolston, about the iWatch. He’s riffing on the future of wearable technology and user interface, and there’s plenty of heady philosophy flying on the untapped potential of calendars, and the clash of unitary app models with HUDs. Curved displays will drive the next five years of landmark inventions. For a moment I’m skeptical. The Problem Of Squares As of today, every display is a sharp rectangle squeezing its way into a round world. “Curved LCDs [and OLEDs] give us the opportunity to put a computing service not just on our bodies, but on furniture and more household objects,” Rolston says. In the era of the curved screen, every single object you know and love has the potential to be reborn without losing its ergonomics. The Appeal Of Curves It makes you realize that the flexible-screened iWatches of the future have the potential to do so much more than current wearables like the Pebble, a sad rectangle tied to a strap by comparison. Mr.