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An ongoing journey of creating tools for better, more informed decisions in a variety of different contexts

Preface

I participated in Design Indaba 2020 as a member of Takram, which coincided with the commemoration of the event’s 25th anniversary. Together with my colleague, Ken Fujiyoshi, we presented recent work at the crossing of data and design, a territory that we’ve been exploring for the past five years and a territory we believe needs more attention and participation as a tool for delivering better, more informed decisions in a variety of different contexts.

This article outlines the presentation I gave at the…


The final installment of Takram’s “Pendulum Thinking” design series tackles how to ask the right questions

This article was originally published as part of a series for Core77.

This series has been an introduction to Takram as a design innovation studio, and Pendulum Thinking, the mental framework within which we leverage the creative methodologies of Prototyping, Storyweaving, and Problem-Reframing to iterate concepts, ideas, and future visions by continually oscillating between the reference points of context, user and product.

We have reached our final instalment in our series, an introduction to the methodology of Problem Reframing and how we approach the ‘problem-solution’ dynamic. Where the nature of a problem is not fully crystalised but an iterative investigation…


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Floriography for ISSEY MIYAKE; a flower corsage made of the brand’s special pleated textile that conveys personal messages and emotions.

Takram’s method rethinks the definition of “concept” to keep product development open and malleable from beginning to end

This article was originally published as part of a series for Core77.

Takram’s series for Core77 is an introduction to our global design innovation studio and the concept of Pendulum Thinking, which is the mental framework in which we deploy our creative methodologies; Prototyping, Storyweaving and Problem-Reframing.

While we may be introducing our methodologies in a linear series, it’s worth mentioning that they are not linear in deployment or process but are, themselves, oscillating within the creative mindset of Pendulum Thinking, working in perpetual unison to relentlessly consider product, service, experience or vision in its wider context.

By regarding our…


As products and services become more complex, prototyping should increasingly be treated as part of the creative process

This article was originally published as part of a series for Core77.

Very much like the action of a Pendulum in its continual motion, the methodologies of “Prototyping”, “Storyweaving” and “Problem-reframing” allow for context to constantly inform product innovation; without context informing product development, true value creation will always remain elusive.

— Kinya Tagawa, Founder of Takram

Oscillating within Takram’s Pendulum Thinking framework, Prototyping is a pendulum that swings between the concrete act of ‘making’ and the abstract of ‘thinking’.

Traditional manufacturing typically relies upon prototyping at the end of the design phase to check for flaws and review the…


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As we shift from analog products driving the global economy to digital experiences, product development requires a new breed of design thinker

This article was originally published as part of a series for Core77.

To put it simply: Pendulum Thinking overcomes the tension between design and engineering, speculative thinking and tangible concepts, future vision and real-world applications to result in robust, efficient, transformative product development.

Over the years, we’ve transitioned through five different ‘generations’ of product design — Hardware, Electronics, Software, Network, and Service — each resulting in effective and efficient development processes that become the benchmark or norm. …


Making of Home Shrine — a project where Swarovski and I together explored alternative relationships between digital assistants and us

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Photography: Mark Cocksedge. Courtesy Swarovski

By Yosuke Ushigome

Earlier this year, I had an honour of being chosen as Designers of the Future 2018, an award programme by Swarovski. Together with the team at Takram, I presented Home Shrine, a piece that investigates an alternative vision of how we can interact with voice-interactive digital assistants during Design Miami/ Basel. I discussed some of the thoughts and challenges I experienced through the making of it in this month’s Takram Cast.

Home Shrine proposes a more spiritual and subjective interaction with digital assistants

Designers of the Future is an…


Small interaction changes are contributing to an unhealthy habit

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By Yosuke Ushigome

I’m scrolling more on the Twitter timeline than I used to.

I felt this in one morning in 2017 when I was browsing the Twitter timeline as usual in the bed, waiting for my brain to wake up (or until I start hating myself for spending so long on Twitter). Though I don’t track how many pixels my finger swipes, this strange feeling of increased scrolling seemed real. It wasn’t like this before. I’m definitely scrolling more on the timeline. I started wondering why. …


This auto-translating headset might pose a new disparity in communication.

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By Yosuke Ushigome

Last week Google has announced various new products — Google Home Max, a home speaker with Google Assistant in; its accompanying device Google Home Mini; Pixelbook, a Chome OS laptop/tablet computer; Pixel 2/XL, the second generation of Google-branded smartphone; Google Clip, an always-on AI-equipped mobile camera that keeps storing best shots of your family (!); and, Google Pixel Buds, their Bluetooth headset with a real-time translation functionality.

Yosuke Ushigome

Creative Technologist in London www.yosukeushigo.me // Director at Takram www.takram.com // Future Visions / Technology Prototypes / New Interactions

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