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Radical Business: Steelcase, IDEO, Tide, Milk and Bananas

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Day three of the Art Center’s Radical Craft conference: craft gets entrepreneurial.

Jim Hackett of Steelcase showed us the workspace of the future, You_Be (a play on ubiquitous computing, which we now know a lot about). This collaboration with IDEO was a challenge because they were designing for spaces that are inherently not fun, yet we’d happily sit in a three-hour meeting in this place. Check out their extensive research about designing for people in groups.

Claudia Kotchka is design director for the largest consumer product company in the world, the same company that touches the lives of people worldwide three billion times a day. Yes, Procter & Gamble, the company responsible for thrusting 40 different kinds of Tide upon us. She says she had a hard time explaining good design to the P&G team: “It was like describing love.” She showed them the OXO measuring cup (pictured above). They got it. After years of packaging being cluttered with Shrek images and 33% MORE!, she promised us that “we hope that everything you see and touch, you love.”

Jeff Goodby, the silver ponytailed wonder, showcased his achievements within the 30-second form, which he calls “necessary art.” It reminded us that he’s the reason we love advertising, although we’re sad almost every day about the six million “Got ____?” ripoffs that poured forth in the wake of milk. Did you know that the Michel Gondry video of the Gary Jules song from “Donnie Darko” (an incredible cover of the Tears for Fears song “Mad World”), was adapted into a Banana Republic ad by Goodby? That makes us a little sad, too.

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