According to the old English adage, “necessity is the mother of invention”. This roughly means that some problems are so big and apparent that people will inevitably create solutions for them – the need to communicate resulted in phones, the desire to stay dry led to umbrellas, place prevented feet from acquiring sore.
But what about those everyday problems that don’t have clear solutions? How do you see over tall people at a concert? How do you know when to add more suntan lotion during those summer trips to the beach? How do you stop bumping into people in a busy street?
With the brightest minds in the world apparently stumped, Microsoft distinct to take up the challenge and try to solve these everyday issues for the benefit of people everywhere.
The company enlisted the help of Dominic Wilcox, an discoverer, creative person and designer, and five creative experts, who were each given a Surface Book 2 and asked to create solutions to common problems.
Hattie Newman, a paper creative person, wanted to help people spend time away from their mobile phones. She designed a small dog house for your phone that would block its signal, departure the owner free to enjoy other hobbies without being disturbed by text messages, phone calls or social media updates.
Twin sisters Eva and Marta Yarza, who run The Yarza Twins design studio, wanted to help people know when to apply more suntan lotion. The answer? Sun cream that changes colour – when it turns blue, it’s time to add more.
Tom O’Meara, an animator, tackled a problem that most people have baby-faced – foracquiring to water your plants. His idea was a plant pot with stamina, which would run to find water when the plant was thirsty.
Finally, artist Gaurab Thakali thought of a unique way of block out background noise in the office and portion people to focus – a small privacy pod that sits on your table and covers you and your laptop.
Speaking from his London workshop, Wilcox, who has been inventing property since he was a adolescent and created the world’s first pair of GPS place, aforesaid having technology at the core of the designing and building stages can be the key to creating thing that will change people’s lives.
“Technology is contemporary magic,” he aforesaid. “It can transform the everyday into thing that can contain a world power. The GPS place can tell you where you are and where to go. I see that as like giving person a world power.
“I like to use technology in a subtle way, so it’s hidden in the background. The magic of technology is what it can change you to do but you don’t necessarily need to see it.
“It’s nice to see the creators exploitation technology to tackle real problems. putt your phone in a box when you get home is a nice idea, it would be a moment of peace; piece memory to water my plants is decidedly a problem for me as I regularly forget.”
As well as guiding and mentoring the five designers, Wilcox besides used his Surface Book 2 device piece “looking around for the little problems that we all have”. The two-in-one device became his sketchpad, and on with his pen and dial, he shaped his ideas for a coat that contained indicators and a pair of optical instrument glasses.
“When you’re walking on the pavement and person’s walking towards you, you often don’t know which side to go to avoid them; and they don’t know which side to go, either. So, you some end up doing this little dance,” aforesaid Wilcox, who has a degree in graphic design and studied at the Royal College of Art. “I’ve made a jacket that has left and right indicators built into it, so you can press a button to make an arrow flash. It offers a bit more clarity without having to speak.
“I got some other idea after going to a gig. I was standing and observation the music, and when I looked behind me I detected a very small lady who couldn’t see thing on stage. I went home and created a wearable optical instrument that uses mirrors to help people see over property. It’s very lightweight and easy to use.”
All the solutions were showcased on the Microsoft stand at the D&AD Festival, one of the leading design events in the world, which was held in London recently. Celebrating the best in craft, creativeness and culture, speakers enclosed director Danny Boyle, musician prof Green and presenter Lauren Laverne, piece attendees took part in workshops and masterclasses from the world of advertising, art, design, fashion, film and more.
The Xbox adaptative Controller, which makes it easier for people with limited quality to play videogames, was awarded the prestigious Black Pencil in the Product Design category on the final night of the festival.
The groundbreaking controller has been recognised for its ease of use and simple design – the aim of most discoverers. Wilcox added that his Surface Book 2 was a great example of this, as well as a immense help during his work over the past few months, as it allowed him to make connection between the words and drawings that he placed on the screen.
“Anything that shortens the time from having an idea to visualizing it is better for any creative person,” he aforesaid. “I do a lot of drawing, and the fact that you can just draw straight onto the screen is very quick and handy. It means I can keep the flow of creativeness going rather than it being stopped-up and started. The Surface Book is very natural, it’s an all-in-one package, which is useful when you just having a quick, convenient idea. You can type thing, then draw thing, then adjust that. You can get your ideas out of your mind and turn them into thing visual very quickly.
“You can besides take the Book with you wherever you go, and the screen is clastic, which is nice if you don’t want to take the whole thing with you. It’s besides handy that the pen magnetises to the side on the Book, because I’m always losing pens.”
As the three-day D&AD Festival Drew to a close for some other year, Wilcox pondered the future of design, and how technology will play a major part in creativeness. After all, the next generation is growing up encircled by gadgets and digital information.
“One of my projects is working with young discoverers,” he aforesaid. “When I look through their drawings, there is a lot of technology in there; probably more so than when I was growing up.
“However, I think world will always want to sense the human touch in thing, so I think there’s value in technology and craft coming together. You can see that today with 3D printers. There is this coming together of the two sides in order to help creative people make their ideas become reality.
“That will lead to an increase in the demand for bespoken and custom-made items. I think technology is going to change us to have our own versions of property, thing unique, and to be able to adapt and customise items in the way that we want to.
“For example, I designed a stained-glass driverless car. That was a combination of a very old tradition and new technology. The idea was that technology will change us to be very safe, so there will be no vehicle collisions. If that’s the case, then cars can be made from any material; they could even be handcrafted.”
While the reality of wooden cars remains a way off yet, there are other, littler problems that today’s technology is portion to solve. Wilcox, Newman, O’Meara, Thakali and the Yarza sisters may have just used Surface Book 2 to make galore people’s lives a lot easier. Mobile phone dog house, anyone?