Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Design is acting?

By Hannes Seeberg

As I am a great movie maniac, I have compared a designer with an actor many times. In a way these two professions are very close to each other. They are like a trained chameleons – to get the optimal result, they change their colours according to situation and environment. They are versatile, sensitive and open for changes.

To start with the project, designer gets the design brief, and an actor a script. The first task for the designer would be diving under a target group’s surface, to understand their current life and sense the future changes. Also actor collects information about their role’s life and character, and reacts to it by replacing one´s “skin” with the matching “colour”. A great devotion to the role is born; information is being collected, analysed and translated into suitable media. All the work is rewarded only, when the goal is achieved – products, that the designer created, matches with the target group’s values, and the public was blown away by actor’s believable interpretation of one´s role. The result of their work guaranteed a great experience and satisfaction, the client got the equivalent value to his/her money or even exceeded expectations.

This can be thought forward and ask, how much is design acting? Both acting and designing require a lot of empathy - ability to see yourself in another’s position. If the designer is not able to understand others, one can not create a satisfying product. The product would be like a play in the theatre – it is not interesting for the public, when the roles and the story doesn’t work. The play is like one of the present design philosophies – form and function follows fantasy – it takes people into an emotional state, that leads them away from real world. A designed product would be like a story in a play – the value-attribute, that user needs or expects, flows out from it.

When design is a language, that everyone understands, but no-one talks, the importance of empathic skills in a designer is very high. So to achieve understanding, the story is being expressed to a target group without using any words. A great product does not need any justification – the user group understands it at first sight. This is what empathy in products is all about.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Insight worth spreading?

On 20th November first and long-waited TEDx event was held in Tallinn. Professionals from very different fields gave to public inspiring speech on what are they doing. One presentation from the TED.com matched well with our interest - insight on how brain works (and not).

Link to TEDx Tallinn

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tim Brown urges designers to think big

More excellent talks from TED. Tim Brown talks about Design Thinking and pushes designers to think big. He claims that most designers are preoccupied with creating nifty, fashionable objects - even as pressing questions like clean water access show it has a bigger role to play.

Could not agree more.

What do you think?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Provoke on Finnish TV: Creative Industries?

CEO Mikko Kamarainen was interviewed on Finnish TV1 news about creative industries. According to the news, Provoke is a model student among creative industries - and without doubt, the creative industries have a huge potential. But there are challenges, too - as Kamarainen stated in the interview:
"The category is loosely defined. Also, within the category, most of the companies are too small." Both make it more difficult for the industry to gain credibility among potential corporate users. At the same time, in hard economic times, creating new solutions should be the first priority for corporations - to prepare for the next upturn. And to innovate new business before the old disappears.

Read the full story in Finnish at yle.fi.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Provoke Tallinn - new address

Provoke Tallinn´s office is now closer to our friends - Jõe 9 (map)

Contact information stays same:
Tel. +372 53 333 588

Full address:
Provoke Tallinn OÜ
Jõe 9
10151 Tallinn

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Value up, costs down.

On 6th May Provoke Tallinn together with CadON held a product development seminar on how to create high added value with low manufacturing costs. Seminar was featured on Estonian Year of Innovation´s blog (in Estonian).

See also article (PDF, in Estonian) by Estonian magazine on creative engineering.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Provoke Helsinki - new address

Provoke Helsinki is now located at Keilasatama 3 (map).

Contact information:
Tel. +358 (0)9 2510 7654
Address: Keilasatama 3, 02150 Espoo, Finland

Friday, February 20, 2009

World will be different after the recession?

A lot will have changed; more regulations, old respected companies disappearing, fresh business models booming, marketing and branding changing through co-creation, viral marketing, community/consumer power?

Agile virtual networks of companies and individuals will boom: why buy an office/factory and hire 1,000 people when you can do the same - or more in a flexible network?

Could be that one common nominator will be adaptability? Building new businesses that have a minimum of fixed costs, yet the capability to scale up rapidly. Moving brands instead of fixed ideas? Integrator-role might become dominant, pursuing solution-driven offerings that can be rapidly adjusted to user needs on the fly.

Sustainability will grow in importance; not only ecology, but social and financial aspects as well.

And people will once again try and build models that would never be hit by another recession again. The next recession will eventually hit people by surprise after some years. But in between, there is going to be an interesting phase of growth; will it focus on financial growth alone - or growth of meaning as well?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Product Development Day.

By Hannes Seeberg

Product Development Days are organized by InnoEstonia - a part of InnoEurope innovation centre which offers ideas for product developers to inspire and support them in creating new value. Fourth event took place on February 12th in Tallinn. Theme for the day was "What products and services are expedient to developed in the year 2009?"

We were there to understand what is being told about product development in Estonia. Participants came from food industry, IT, branding, universities and trade unions - manufacturing industry was missing in the list. As the organizer pointed out, the amount of participants for the event had decreased 2-3 times due to bad economical situation of Estonian companies.

The topics:
"Strategics and product development" by Priit Karjus
"What is needed to know about competitors and the market in order to make the right decisions for product development?" by Margus Žuravljov
"How to effectively remove risks in product development?" by Toomas Danneberg
"How to involve users to company´s product development process?" by Alar Kolk

To note, all of the speakers based their presentations to a question "How to do it?", however did not answer to the theme of the day. See their slides (in Estonian).

Previous speakers for InnoEstonia´s Product Development Days include also Steve Chazin, who directed Apple´s comeback-marketing during the end of 90´s. See his videocast (in English).

More info: hannes.seeberg@provoke.ee & InnoEurope