I blamed our hyper-connected technologies, but are they really the cause?

Gateway Bubble. Illustration by Leona Hu Hudelson

The steam infused with the scent of coffee wafted from the warm ceramic mug next to me. I inhaled deeply, then laid my fingers on the keyboard. Staring at the empty screen, my fingers stroke the keys rhythmically as my thoughts poured out.

The blinking text cursor began to spit out letters that formed words into paragraphs. To keep myself focused, I turned off all notification alerts remotely connected to the internet. These popping message bubbles are devils. They are ready to emerge without notice to interrupt my steady stream of thought.

By blocking my notifications, I was able to…

Understanding our fantasies with emotional machines

The Ultimate Love. Illustration by Leona Hu Hudelson

Growing up as an only child, I didn’t have siblings to play with at home. I couldn’t retain long term friendships with my school friends because I often moved around the world with my family. Technology filled the void of my loneliness.

The popular Tamagotchi egg was the first piece of technology that I considered my “friend.” The tiny egg shaped toy, which contained a digital chick named Huey inside, had a monochromatic LED display and I could feed and play with the virtual pet anytime. Huey flapped her wings to show her excitement when I played puzzle games with…

Illustration: Leona Hu Hudelson

Today marks the tenth month since I left my comfortable job at a large technology company to enter the scrappy startup world and start my own company, Airgora. We launched our platform last month aiming to build a marketplace that empowers designers and emerging companies to easily promote their conceptual work and physical products to people who care about good design.

Building a company is by far the most difficult and rewarding experiences I have had as a designer. I want to offer some thoughts on how my entrepreneurial journey has actually made me a better designer.

Using Financial Stress to Become More Creative

I didn’t need…

(In an age where digital media is king)

SHOWCASE Magazine. Get your copy at airgora.com/magazine

We just published our own design magazine SHOWCASE this week at Airgora. SHOWCASE is a 120-page bi-annual print magazine that embodies months of hard work telling stories about some of the world’s most respected designers, telling the stories behind their creative work.

In 2009, I.D. — the most respected Industrial and Product Design magazine — shut down their printers. With the rise of the online sharing economy and social media, today’s designers of physical products have primarily been relying on digital media to seek inspiration and recognition. …

Starting UX Design

After years of favoring pragmatic, banal solutions over more avant garde ones, the tech industry has started to hold design as a preeminent focus. Smartphones have redefined mobility design, and HTML5 and CSS3 have enabled designers to get increasingly more creative with web design. Quality designers are in demand more than ever. As employment opportunities and salaries increase, designers are coming from a range disciplines are trying their hand at User Experience design. Additionally, as a younger generation has increasing power in the workplace, they bring new skills to rethink the clunky products of past decades.

Some key questions emerge…

Leona Hu Hudelson

Designing bits for atoms, playing with code and words. Product Design @Netflix. Founder of Airgora.com

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