IDEO Prototypes the Future


My second IDEO-centric post in as many weeks!  My, how I’m violating the self-imposed house rules here at metacool!

If you’re going to be in or near Palo Alto before September 10, and if you’re at all interested in innovation, design, and business, I encourage you to check out a nice new exhibition at the Palo Alto Art Center called IDEO Prototypes the Future.  It’s a great retrospective of IDEO’s work over the years, and more importantly, I think the exhibition does a marvelous job of showing our design process in action.  Innovation need not be a mysterious thing; it’s mostly the result of hard work and persistence and optimism coupled with a deep-rooted sense of optimism.  And it doesn’t hurt to have a happy group of people who love working together, either.

If I were to attend, I’d download this podcast by IDEO CEO Tim Brown to my iPod, and listen to his personal gallery walkthrough while I meandered through all the stuff on display.  The coolest part of the exhibit for me was seeing the shopping cart we did for Nightline (shown above) with the Nightline show playing behind it.  There’s a (slightly) younger Diego there building prototypes and uttering something about a "SUV shopping cart", among other things… I used to think my biggest impact on modern culture would be the bazillions of parts made off of my designs for HP inkjet printers over the years, but now I think it’s probably going to be the Nightline video, which has taught lots of people about the human-centric design process in the years since its debut.

So please check it out.  And don’t just trust my word for it (I love IDEO, so I am biased, after all) — see my friend (and fellow We Know member) Ross Mayfield’s blog for another review of the show.

July 18 update:  Robert Scoble attended the opening night on behalf of his new company PodTech (which is why I’m on this podcast) and says that the exhibit "… is freaking awesome.  If you’re a design nut, you need to see this."