Nice Facade, and Sustainable Technology Too  
Tuesday, August 12, 2008, 11:07 PM - Business Innovation, Design - (UX), Brands, Cross Channel Marketing, Technology,


Metropolis mag had this post on the new GreenPix digital media wall, in Beijing.
The possibility for interesting media content is huge. And a great way to make some bad architecture look good.

It is the largest color LED display in the world, with 2,292 of the energy-efficient lights spanning a 24,000-square-foot glass surface.

In the evenings, as traffic passes by the busy road it faces, the wall plays massive low-resolution video installa­tions by Chinese, Japanese, European, and Amer ican artists.

But GreenPix is also a fairly radical example of sustainable technology. Simone Giostra and Partners, working with Arup and German manufacturers Schüco and Sunways, laminated photovoltaic (PV) cells inside the glass curtain wall. In itself this is not new, but the level of integration and the scale of GreenPix are unique. The 6,000 square feet of PV cells are arranged with varying density: where natural light is needed inside the building, there are few or no cells; in other places, dense as sort ments of cells block the sunlight, reducing interior heat gain while generating enough electricity each day to power the display at night.


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American Apparel, Enter New Retail Dimension 
Sunday, June 18, 2006, 08:13 PM - Mobile, Mobile Banking, Business Innovation, Channel Management, Design - (UX), Brands, , , Retail Experience



American Apparel are opening a new store in Second Life, a virtual retail space.
Springwise report that the store, set on a private island within Second Life, was designed by Aimee Weber, a Second Life resident and designer, in conjunction with American Apparel's own architect. The store will sell 20 familiar American Apparel items for avatars, including the women's jersey polo dress. The company will charge a token sum of about USD 1 per item. It's (surprisingly!) the first 'real world' retailer to set up shop in Second Life.


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Toyota Massed Produced Houses 
Friday, June 16, 2006, 08:09 PM - Mobile, Service Design, Design - (UX), Technology, ,



Toyota production lines churning out houses? Well they have since 1975 but it is growing steadily. An article in the Toronto Star reports that Toyota is doing homes that are mass produced like Toyota cars. About 85 per cent of the work on the metal-frame cubicles is finished at the plant. The prefabricated cubicles, made to order for the customer, are stacked like toy blocks with a huge crane in just six hours.

Toyota is using technogy and production know-how gained from car making and applying it to houses. A 'smart key' similar to the car key you don't need to take out of your pocket to unlock your Toyota opens and closes the front door. A mechanism for reducing engine noise and tremors is installed under the floor to quiet upstairs shakes. Car paint-job skills deliver even scratch-resistant coating on walls. Imagine how they could apply the Prius technology.

I think they could do with some focus on the design, see Toyota Housing


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Banking on 'better customer experience'  
Saturday, June 10, 2006, 07:13 PM - Mobile, Mobile Banking, Business Innovation, Customer Experience, Design - (UX), Brands, , , Cross Channel Marketing, Retail Experience, Technology,


David Polinchock, in his blog The Experience Economist on a story run by NBC station in New York on how banks are changing to create a better in branch experience. The article points out that the driver behind these kinder, gentler banks is fierce competition. Radical new design of branches and services create new levels of experience and relationship with the banks customers. Amenities like childrenís play areas, cafÈís, more open spaces, and free standing tables for interacting with bank staff etc. They appear to be proving some value, the manager gave a compelling argument for the need to create better experiences:

An average bank in the suburbs will do about $1.5 million a month is deposits. In the first 25 weeks with our new branch, we've done $1 million a week. This roughtly translates to, the traditional branch doing about $9.4 million over 25 weeks, versus the $25 million they've done in the new branch.

See the whole article here

Also see an article in BAI , by the Bank of Smithtowns Executive Vice President and Chief Retail Officer John Romanoextract: ìYou have to find a way to differentiate yourself, and for us, that was through branch design.î



ALSO SEE DEUTSCHE BANKS 'QIIO'; BANK OF THE FUTURE



CScouts reports on Deutsche Banks new pilot branch, named Q110. Finally somebody thought about banking of the future and how to present financial services in a more innovative and customer friendly way. In addition to regular bank operations, this distinctive complex houses an exhibition space, a trend shop, a reading corner, childrens play area, and a cafe.

For full details click here and link through to images



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Ambient Technology, a shift from information worlds to experience worlds 
Thursday, May 11, 2006, 06:31 PM - Business Innovation, Customer Experience, Design - (UX), Cross Channel Marketing, Retail Experience, Technology, Consumer Insights



A lot of consumer experiences are mediated through ambient technologies. This article (link below) from UIGarden.net covers some interesting information on the development processes required for the shift from information worlds to experience worlds.
link to article

This raises some interesting questions about the importance of the psychology of space when information technology is involved. Design approaches to need to consider the activities of the space, and create clear context for the use of the space inorder to create a complete user experience. see earlier weblog on ideo.

see the IDEO article.
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Giant Touch Screen at Chicago Airport adds a new dimension to traveler's experience 
Thursday, May 4, 2006, 06:07 PM - Business Innovation, Channel Management, Service Design, Design - (UX), , Smart Space, , Cross Channel Marketing, Retail Experience, Technology, Consumer Insights



Dwell time, or experience information on the run. Giant digital touchscreen technolgy taking off at Chicago's O'Hare Airport. Revolutionary for out-of-home advertising and also for inter-office collaboration.

For more info - link here, to Accenture media release

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IDEOs Smart Space group - effective processes for creating tangible consumer experiences 
Sunday, April 23, 2006, 05:56 PM - Mobile, Mobile Banking, Business Innovation, Design - (UX), Cross Channel Marketing,
link to PDF of NY Times article

The New York Times Sunday Business reports on IDEO's approach to spacial and enviromental design and the 'Smart Space' group. They take on projects ranging from hotels, office space to redevelopment of urban space and take an innovative approach.

They start with a 'deep dive'; a process involving Smart Space designers, anthroplogists and researchers to build understanding of what users really think and what really underlies their motivations and actions.

They design for activity as much as for space. This is the really valuable angle that IDEO are bringing. There processes are drawing out insights to create informed strategy and concepts that can be prototyped and tested. They can then take the most appropriate design direction for the projects and work with architects and designers to get it implemented.

It's a good process and current reports indicate the results speak for themselves - see the article.

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