5 Crazy Nights of Design

Last week was full of design related events in Pittsburgh. Monday through Saturday…Bright Innovation attended them all.


Monday, October 26
Breaking the Rules: Creativity and Sustainability at the Intersection of Art + Business
a talk by Nathan Martin from DeepLocal
Pittsburgh is a hotbed of new artists and new and developing technologies. Nathan discussed the importance of collaborations between art and technology. These collaborations enable both artists and designers to learn new things, stay passionate, and finish something that they can share with the world. Currently DeepLocal and Encyclopedia Destructica have establish Old and New Media Residency which allows artists work with a team of designers and programmers. The current artist in resident, T. Foley, has created a project called Locally Toned where she has recorded and documented sounds used for ring tones.

Tuesday, October 27
The Future of Making Stuff
: IDSA Young Professionals Meeting
Bill Bernstein, a Pittburgh industrial designer has observed a change happening in industrial design (ID). In the past ID has focused on designing products that would be mass produced. Currently with new and innovative materials and faster processes, the gap between the idea and finished product is getting smaller allowing new products to hit the market faster. Bill is asking the question, ” How does a new generation of designers who are known for their concern of environmental and social impacts approach the making of stuff?” He along with several other young industrial design professionals are pulling together discussion topics that address: Materials, Lifecycle, Fabrication, Service Design, and Design entrepreneurship, to figure out where the future of making stuff is heading. This will either be a conference or a series of discussions that will be happening this November through the IDSA.

Wednesday, October 28
Making Sparks! a brainstorming event hosted the Sprout Fund
The Sprout Fund, has a new initiative Spark that supports projects that engage children through the creative use of technology and media. Making Sparks! was a community event that brought together teachers, parents, and professionals to brainstorm ideas of what the next Spark award could be. To come up with innovative play ideas for children we collaborated with a diverse group of professional including Carnegie Mellon robotics designers and physical therapists. Groups presented their final ideas at the end of the evening and showed the audience what fantastic ideas that can come out of short diverse brainstorming sessions.

Thursday, October 29
AIGA [X]posed Studio Tour
The Bright Innovation design studio was featured as part of AIGA’s [X]posed Studio. We opened our doors to design students and professionals and shared our experiences working at a Pittsburgh product design firm. We showcased the design and building of our studio that was built using reused and re-purposed building supplies that were either found or purchased from Construction Junction. The tour also featured other design firms all located in the Terminal Buildings on the Southside. The other studios on the list were Third Planet and Springboard.

Saturday October 31
CMU Design School 75th Anniversary
The Carnegie Mellon University school of design’s industrial design program celebrated its 75th anniversary this past weekend. While preparing the event it was discovered that Carnegie Mellon Universities’ industrial design program is the oldest in the United States. The event showcased some of the earliest student projects to current students work. It was refreshing to see that the philosophy of creating thoughtful user-centered products with a purpose has rippled through the years even as technologies have changed. This philosophy of creating user-centered design may sound obvious to design professionals today, however I think the mass appeal of this thought is an indication of the great impact Carnegie Mellon’s design graduates has had on our built environment and product design over the past seventy-five years.

It was a busy week here in the Pittsburgh design community. We look forward to continuing to stay involved in taking action, volunteering and helping spread the word about the fun, educational and exciting things happening here.

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