Interviewing Dan Formosa

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Dan Formosa, founder of Smart Design, is very hospitable. At the beginning, Dan seemed like he did not know why we're here. However, last year we worked together on a special report and he was nice to accept our interview request.

It went well, because Dan spoke to his mind's content and interview took twice as much time as it should've been. But I also felt really sorry, because we were asking too many questions. After the speaking, he brought us to the factory and introduced the design philosophy and products in Smart Design. He even gave us a peek at secret ongoing projects at his desk.

Another project he did with his friends was the Baseball Field Guide which re-introduces the MLB rules by visuals and icons, because he could not stand the baseball guide covered in text.

What an interesting person!


We're the "Project of the day" on Kickstarter today!

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Thanks for all the support! We'll keep going.

We just finished our two interviews with Hub Bay Area and Mission Bicycle.


Creation to Creation #1 Jacob Montague

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This is a series of posts to share music with you -- music of the artists who offered their Creation to "back"/donate our Creation.

Artist: Jacob Montague
Actually, it was Mitchell, Jacob's band mate who contacted us. They play in the band Branches, and this is Jacob the banjo/mandolin player's solo album. For my personal taste, his music struck me right on the spot... just the right amount of imagination, reminiscence, and description.

And, I love the cover art desgined by Mitchell himself.


Before Design & Thinking

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Thought implant?

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Last Wednesday we had a small meeting today for the first time after launching Kickstarter. While making plans for next round of shooting, we shared again what the film means for each of us. They're all a bit different.

The visions kept adjusting, and calm as we seem, finally making it public made us(or just me?) really really nervous. None of us has ever been this public, and suddenly we must be responsible of all the little ideas behind the project.

Design thinking is a really interesting idea to share, especially when we are bringing a cross-cultural perspective.

To many of us here, design thinking is already in the "grow up and move on" phase. But not so to those in different times and regions. Is our Chinese society again being receptive of a western thought movement? Or could the reaction be something that evolves the orignal ideas?

If you could control it, would you rather have the recent design thinking topic never appeared?
If you could cut in, what would you want to say to the people new to design thinking?


How about some quotes from the movie?

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There are lots of great quotes from the interviewees. We really want to share all of them, but don't want to "spoil the movie." Maybe a postcard collection will be a good idea?

Here is the first one:

"Design is a tool. It’s not a luxury. It’s a discipline."
It's a quote from George M. Beylerian, Founder of Material ConneXion.
It's actually in the trailer. Did you catch it when you watch it?

To be continued...


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I'm very lucky. Since my years in the United States, I've have had so many chances to visit different places, talked with a lot of people and understood different characteristics of different cities. Although I write and shoot for the company's blog and magazine, I often wonder if there are other ways I can share with more people what I've seen and heard. But I didn't really push that thought until I met Iris and Mu-ming.

Two days before an important event, I received a self-introducing email offering their video documentary capabilities. I was going to put off the reply until after the event, but then I thought, why not let them help me with the event? We've never had an event video recorded.

And that was our first cooperation. This decision gave the event participants a heart touching video and eyes brimming with tears at the end of the event.

Iris and Mu-ming are quite into design and during our review meeting, they shared their interest in design thinking and said, how about shooting a short film about it? Mu-ming asked me to find two people for him and he'll make a 5 minute film.

I thought, "Are you kidding me?" He added, "For free!" And so we began on our second cooperation. His proposal was so heart stirring, and when I said let's make it 50 minutes instead of 5, now they were the ones who were shocked.

Now, only three weeks until the annual ICFF show in New York which I'd be attending. Am I really going to start shooting in this trip? I have travel budget, but what about Iris and Mu-ming? Could I really convince anyone to accept my interview? Am I really good enough to start making a movie?

I flipped open "Change by Design", a sentence popped out: "Design Thinking is thinking by doing." Alright! I sat down with my best partner Melissa, produced a proposal, and start shooting emails right away. Fortunately, 7 out of 8 accepted my interview request! Thinking by Doing -- that's the spirit!

The NY trip was a tough one. Business traveling with two more people was quite different. When I reported my 9-day itinerary to my company, my boss gave me a call. Why are you in New York for 9 days when the conference is only 4 days? There was no way I could convinced him but I've already booked plane tickets. Well, let's do it anyways.


We ARE on Kickstarter!

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What's to excite things after 4th of July long weekend?
The launch of the movie you've been waiting for someone to make!!!

Well, we're not exactly in theaters (yet), but we DID just launch our trailer and Kickstarter campaign!! Woooo!! 3 months ago I couldn't even imagine launching a project on Kickstarter!

Watch the trailer anyway!!

Watch it bigger, Read it Better, See who's already backing us on Kickstarter!!