Tag Archives: environment

Edible Containers

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Last month, there was a piece that caught my eye because of its implications for user experience. They highlight the great convenience of the packaging on this delicious looking meal of spaghetti with basil and buffalo mozzarella. We have spoken before about why convenience is such a powerful feature. It is amazing how much we will give up in product functionality and efficiency for a little bit of convenience. Face it, we are lazy.

To hold up to the hustle and bustle of New York streets, owner Emanuele Attala and his partners developed a sturdy, no-spill carrier with a lid. The curved sides help guide the strands of spaghetti around the fork, facilitating twirling and lessening the risk of losing even a single caper on the ground, Attala says.

retro kitchen

IKEA’s Kitchen of the Future

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Here is another great piece on innovation in one of the most important rooms in the house – the kitchen. And as with many of the other innovations in this area that we have shared here on EID it comes from Northern Europe. In this case from a partnership between IKEA, Lund University, and Eindhoven University – with an assist from that fantastic source of design thinking – IDEO.

The design students spent months researching people’s attitudes about cooking and eating and how the world of food might change over the next decade. After the students came up with more than 20 visions for future kitchens—from a shared community kitchen for city neighborhoods to an interactive chef’s hat that teaches kids to cook through games—Ideo built a working prototype.


Park & Pedal

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The idea behind this design is quite clever. There are some people who are hardcore cyclists and will ride no matter what. There are even more people who will not bike no matter what. But there are millions of people in the middle who are among the “convertibles”. They are willing to consider it, at least some of the time. But it depends on the weather, the traffic, the convenience, and other factors. It is a simple case of motivational psychology. Perceived coherence of the context, perceived value of the benefits, perceived social status and norms, and so on.

Park & Pedal aims to ease traffic congestion into the city each morning as commuters clamber to make it to their jobs on time.It’s also meant to inspire more people to get out and exercise.

yellow hazard sign

Fun with Words: Part II

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I had so much fun making fun of our government’s approach to word meanings that I decided to write a follow-up. And sure enough, it did not take long for the courts to get bogged down in another argument over what a pair of words mean. In this case, it is the words “appropriate” and “necessary.”

The Clean Air Act obligates the EPA to determine if regulating power plant emissions of “hazardous air pollutants,” a specific class of dangerous compounds, is “appropriate and necessary.” But the agency didn’t consider costs when it decided whether to submit power plants to hazardous air pollution regulation; it got around to conducting a cost-benefit analysis only after it decided to regulate, while it figured out how strong regulations should be. How could the agency have reasonably determined that regulation is “appropriate” without considering costs?

a hospital room

Environment Design for Health Care

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I have seen so many stories like this one lately that I almost can’t believe we find it surprising any more.

Equipment was installed, possible situations rehearsed. Then real patients were moved in from the surgical unit to compare old and new rooms.

The general finding (from The University Medical Center of Princeton) is that when you design hospital rooms using principles of affective cognition, industrial engineering, and social psychology, the benefits go beyond these three domains…