Toy Design – UofU Midterm Reviews

A few short weeks ago we had a fun time ideating together. Now returning to help their review progress developing these toy designs, I am greatly impressed by how quickly these students arrived at and creatively communicated some very solid concepts.

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Playful Ideation Workshop at UofU Design

I had a blast running a playful ideation session with some great students and faculty in University of Utah’s Multi-Disciplinary Design program. Thanks for the opportunity to have fun exploring some new toy ideas with you guys!

Great ideation workshop from Collin Smith #hallmark with d1's today. #toydesign Thanks!!

A video posted by UofU Multi-disciplinary Design (@uofu_design) on

10 Habits of People Who Follow Their Dreams

1. They see challenges as opportunities.

2. They see life as a game.

3. Living the life they want is the only option.

4. They always speak their truth.

5. They are not just dreamers; they act on their desires.

6. They expect and know they deserve the best.

7. They have no fear or guilt when asking for what they want.

8. They create their own rules.

9. They’ve learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

10. They have teachers, mentors, and role models.

Innovation for Startups

Every once and a while I read something that really rings true to me. Usually it is because it is similar to something I have experienced or is the exact opposite of what I had hoped to experience. In this case, Jake Knapp from Google Ventures writes for FastCompany about something that I have been thinking about a lot… how to help startups/small businesses innovate.

Jake explains in somewhat of a tutorial fashion how to run what he calls Design Sprints. These are week long condensed versions of the vaguely familiar IDEO, Standford D.School and (where I went to school) Institute of Designs’ innovation process.


As he explains, “Over the next several posts, I’ll be sharing a DIY guide for running your own design sprint.

Before the sprint: Prepare
Get the people and things you need.

Day 1: Understand
Dig into the design problem through research, competitive review, and strategy exercises.

Day 2: Diverge
Rapidly develop as many solutions as possible.

Day 3: Decide
Choose the best ideas and hammer out a user story.

Day 4: Prototype
Build something quick and dirty that can be shown to users.

Day 5: Validate
Show the prototype to real humans (in other words, people outside your company) and learn what works and what doesn’t work.”

Check out the whole series of articles here: Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI

Sounds simple. Sounds fun. Let’s do it!

Sneak Peak at NOWhaus

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The Institute of Design has a rich heritage going back to the original Bauhaus design school in Germany. A place that was full of the most advanced thoughts on design, craft, aesthetics, etc… But they also knew how to have fun. They threw great parties including mascarades, which often ended with the police getting involved.

With that a backdrop, let me invite you to join us for the second year in a row the Institute of Design’s students, faculty, friends, and alumni are gathering to celebrate our design heritage by sharing short 6 minute ‘unique’ presentations of what is going on in our design world today. Come join the fun! (There will probably not be any police although food and drink is involved)

ID’s office calendar event

Here is a sneak peak of what I will be presenting:
(Thank you Moonrise Kingdom for the photo)

I look forward to seeing you there.

Finding Direction

As the end of graduate school nears my mind is naturally seeking to know ‘what will be next?’. Sometimes it is great just to find direction as you are walking down the road.


IPRO – Problem Solving Begins

These three teams made up of undergrad students from various colleges throughout the University are brought together to help solve real world problems and I get to help! This will be a fun semester

Global Economies for Developing Countries

STEM Education for Kids

Technology in the College Classroom

The Scared is scared… Co-creation film making with kids!

the Scared is scared from Bianca Giaever on Vimeo.

Bianca Giaever and a six year old.

“I asked a six year old what my movie should be about, and this is what he told me.”

Inspiring Project on Wheels


“In the summer of 2012, we drove across the country, spreading the fun of hands-on learning and encouraging kids to find their inner maker.”


Check out more about their year long adventure here.

Understanding the Quantified Self

A niche movement that is becoming more mainstream that is focussed on self-knowledge through numbers, made its way into one of our workshops this semester at ID. Kim Erwin guided our class through a collaborative effort, researching, understanding, and visualizing the Quantified Self. It was a difficult task to bring together the many elements from many different sources and people, but in the end we were able to create a helpful map of the ecosystem, which has been our guide as we broke into smaller teams to try and design a more user-centered Quantified Self.

I was part of a team of three that initially focussed on the relationship between personal data, companies, and Quantified Self.