10 Scientific Insights That Could Make You A Better Designer

INSIGHTS FROM FIELDS SUCH AS BEHAVIORAL ECONOMICS AND COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGY CAN HELP DESIGNERS BUILD BETTER PRODUCTS.

WRITTEN BY Nikki Pfarr

In the design world, the term “persuasive design” tends to be met with a mix of intrigue, skepticism, and occasionally repugnance. (Doesn’t persuasion imply that we’re forcing people to do things they typically wouldn’t want to do?) And yes, it’s true that persuasive design, like many tools, can be used for good or for evil.

But the reality is, regardless of whether we label a piece of work as “persuasive design” or not, most of the things we design–from toothbrushes to tablets to road signs–are influencing people’s decisions and behaviors in some way. We may not intend it to happen, and we may not be aware of it, but it’s happening.

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Tower To Rise At MoMA PS1, With Self-Assembling Bricks

THE WINNER OF THE 2014 YOUNG ARCHITECTS PROGRAM FEATURES SELF-ASSEMBLING BRICKS MADE OF CORN HUSKS AND A KIND OF MUSHROOM ROOT

Shaunacy Ferro, February , 2014

MoMA PS1 has selected the winner of its annual Young Architects Program, a temporary outdoor installation that will open in late June. Hy-Fi, the winning project from David Benjamin of The Living, features self-assembling bricks made of organic material, and will be nearly carbon neutral in its construction.

Benjamin’s bio-design concept will consist of two kinds of brick: some made out of live organic material, and some reflective bricks. For the organic bricks, chopped up corn husks are recycled to combine with mycelium, a kind of mushroom root material. The mixture is then packed into a mold. The reflective bricks, placed at the top of the tubular structure, bounce light off a daylight mirror film coating onto the organic material below, helping them self-assemble into a brick shape and solidify. The shape of the structure pushes hot air out the top, drawing in cool air below.

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