More posts by Karten Design Staff:


“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

Cliff Kuang, Editor, Co.Design

“What do people want? What does society need? Design answers those questions – and asks them in more interesting ways.”

Creating Healthy Habits

In this special to Orange Juice, graphic designer Erin Williams shares her experience with a new digital health technology in her quest for fitness.

For five years, bicycling was my primary mode of transportation. I rarely felt the need to hit the gym, because I logged 16 miles a day with my daily commute. But while cycling was great for my legs and my heart, the last year of this journey grew increasingly stressful as tensions with L.A. drivers escalated, landing me in the hospital with a head injury last summer. When I finally gave in and bought a car, my family and coworkers were relieved not to have to worry, but I found new things that I need to worry about. In my first month of driving, I gained five pounds. Five! In one month! I realized that I could no longer count on my heart rate and blood pressure being excellent every time I went to the doctor, could no longer eat a plate of pasta just because I went for a long ride.

I had been getting all of my exercise without ever having to think about it; getting on my bike in the morning was simply habitual.

At the office, I’ve been learning about how new technologies are changing the way people approach healthcare—changing the conversation from disease management to preventative care and healthy lifestyles, and getting patients more engaged and invested in their own outcomes.

I decided to test some of the Connected Health tools I was learning about at the office. CONTINUE »

Changing the Face of Men’s Health

Necessary Ingredients for Creativity

The desire for innovation is not limited to the world of product design. Culinary innovation takes the spotlight with Food Network’s new show Sweet Genius. Now, you might have your “fill” (pun intended) of food challenge/elimination shows on TV today, but Sweet Genius stands out for its unique combination of constraints, inspirational elements and the unexpected.

Master chef Ron Ben-Israel, the ultimate sweet genius, critiques the 4 chefs in each episode based on their ability to handle constraints and unexpected curveballs such as additional necessary ingredients which are presented halfway through the challenge. A true “sweet genius” would be someone who can embrace the constraints and tweak their creative process to merge any combination of ingredients – and end up with an innovative and delicious result.
As a Food Network aficionado, I am interested in this show for several reasons: for Ron Ben-Israel’s addictively dramatic one-word critiques (“Disaster!”), for the surprisingly random inspirational elements (ex. “cat”) that contestants must express in their meals, and for the odd necessary ingredients (ex. squid ink). Most of all, I am interested in this show because it touches on something I’ve experienced firsthand: constraints as an opportunity to breed creativity.



Spotlight: The Evolving Workplace

The modern workplace is in a state of transformation. Companies realize that talented, engaged employees are key to success. For their part, employees have work and home responsibilities, as well as personal passions vying for their attention. Many progressive companies are physically and philosophically structuring their businesses to produce greater levels of transparency, collaboration, independence and personal fulfillment. Innovations to the workplace experience are taking many forms, from sleeping pods to new business structures.



“Since its beginnings in 1996, all the staff at Britain’s top-rated ad agency, Mother, worked around a table. As the company grew, the table grew. For their new offices in a 42,000SF warehouse in Shoreditch, Clive Wilkinson Architects proposed constructing a table with a capacity of 200 people.” More here.






Gone, at least for the fortunate, are the organizational silos and Dilbert-style cubicles. Now the emphasis is on casual, spontaneous exchanges — the kinds of interactions that might usually happen at the water cooler or over a cubicle wall. Called Gather, the 11-piece line, which won Silver at this year’s NeoCon, accommodates a range of working styles and body postures, with the majority performing dual functions. Via Co Design.




More after the jump!


Designers In The Attention Economy (Podcast)


In June, Karten Design hosted the second installment of this year’s Conversations series. Johanna Blakley, researcher at USC’s Norman Lear Center and TED speaker, discussed the increasingly important role that designers play in the current media ecosystem. Listen to the podcast of her presentation here:


Social Media and the End of Gender

Johanna Blakley is the deputy director of the Norman Lear Center at USC, a research and public policy institute that explores the convergence of entertainment, commerce and society. Her TED talk “Social Media and the End of Gender” sparked our interest at Karten Design:

Media and advertising companies still use the same old demographics to understand audiences, but they’re becoming increasingly harder to track online. As social media outgrows traditional media, and women users outnumber men, Blakley explains what changes are in store for the future of media.

To hear more from Johanna, join us for Conversations: Designers in the Attention Economy this Thursday!


Thomas H. Davenport and John C. Beck

“The scarcest resource for today’s business leaders is no longer just land, capital or human labor, and it certainly isn’t information. Attention is what’s in short supply..”

Spotlight: The Attention Economy

Today our attention is a precious resource. In a world where 5 exabytes (1 Exabyte = 1 million terabytes) of data gets collected every two days, people are forced to filter what is important and/or worthy of our time. Treating human attention as a commodity might have seemed like an outrageous idea just a decade ago, but the availability of information has skyrocketed in the past ten years. Some writers have even speculated that “attention transactions” will replace financial transactions as an economic system. Choosing how to focus our attention, discovering what holds our attention, and learning how to manage information overload are new found challenges.

In preparation for our upcoming Conversations event “Designers in the Attention Economy” we decided to round-up some more information on this timely topic. Jump in for our picks: