How to Bring Crypto Collectibles to Life

This summer, our team of IDEO CoLab fellows (myself, Trip Vest, and Indigo Hansen) explored crypto collectibles and how we might allow owners to display them in a clear and meaningful way. This unearthed insights about the future of digital ownership and the relationship between humans and objects — both analog and digital.

What can collections of personal cards and vintage chairs (image credit @localstrange) teach us about crypto collectibles?

Think about something you collect. You may not even consider yourself a collector per se. Perhaps you don’t have shelves of curated items, boxes of Beanie Babies, or binders of cards, but maybe you have a box at the back of your closet, as I do, with…


On being vulnerable and sharing unfinished work in public

If you had to send a representation of yourself out to an unknown audience, what would you say? What would you want them to see? What story would you tell? That’s what Carl Sagan had to figure out when NASA asked him to assemble images, greetings, and music to be shared with an alien audience and would be sent out with the Voyager spacecraft in 1977.

The Golden Record was the result, a literally golden disc encased in protective aluminum with painstakingly arranged and chosen pieces of music, greetings in 55…


From the articulated straw to the potato peeler —the genesis of joy in the design of “ordinary” experiences.

It was late morning, I had slept in (truly an event worthy of celebration these days) and I was in the living room, taking a cherished break with bagel, TV, and my beloved iced coffee. I had sat myself squarely in my favorite chair and popped open the wrapper for the straw to my iced coffee and, low and behold, it was a bendy straw — joy!

I have no idea if anyone else on earth experiences joy at discovering a bendy…

Rachel Balma

Design @ Google | Prior: MFA IxD, IDEO CoLab, Studio Rodrigo

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