Here at Canal Mercer Designs, we like apply systematic designs to the white space. What’s the white space? It’s that gap we see when >something< doesn’t really meet usability. It could be design, it could be pricing, it could be supply chain management. On the consumer level, it’s frequently technology. It’s a fun thing to identify and design for because usually people will hack solutions together, generally look really physically or emotionally uncomfortable in certain situations, or be “spaced out” while doing something. Technology is often so commoditised that we take certain obfuscations for granted.
As an example, when was the last time that you really thought about what happens when you pay for something with your credit card at the till?
I’m a little biased when it comes to thinking about what happens to transactions at the till. I’d cut my teeth in tech by coding payment processing systems for many of the big banks and working on biometric payment POS (Point of Sale) and kiosk systems. Unfortunately, I was also a victim of ID theft.
In September 2011, we started some product development research around RFID technology and identity fraud. This led to a series of talks and workshops locally and internationally around the dangers of RFID enabled identity theft. In 2010, identity theft was a $54 billion problem in the US alone. Since we love the tactile, and we wanted an excuse to play with materials, this research resulted in a few prototypes of RFID shielded wallets. These wallets are not fool proof, nothing ever is. However, they do redirect attempts at reading the RFID signals in credit cards and passports during the time that the credit cards and passports are in the wallets.
Fast forward 4 or so months and we’ve just heard that we were selected as a vendor at the Design Boom Mart at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in Sweden! We’re super honored (and truth be told, each of us is rallying to go to represent ). This is pretty exciting stuff as only 35 designers are chosen for this mart. Interested in finding out more?
Here’s coverage of last year’s Mart with an interesting video from another designer from Brunel (my Alma Mater ).