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Innovation Goes Beyond Sleek Packaging April 17, 2009

Posted by mirnafarika in Uncategorized.
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Jakarta, 2003. It was an afternoon Physics lab that every 12th grade science student had to participate. We were just dying to wait till the lab ended. As I was bored waiting for my turn to try the pendulum, I hold my Pentel pen and told my friend that I wanted to design pens for a living! I liked to hand written my notes and I was very particular with my pen so I thought I could contribute something.

She laughed at me and politely commented that I had way too many interests. This poor girl had happened to hear many of my answers to “what do you want to be in the future” question and now…a pen designer?

Fast forward to yesterday’s visit to IDEO.

Apple mouse and Palm are no doubt sleek and innovative. It won’t be surprising if they came from the most celebrated industrial design firm. But Pangea? Alli? vaccine patch? business process?  I was surprised that innovation indeed goes beyond sleek packaging and machine shop. Pangea and the vaccine patch were the most interesting ones as I was a bioengineer in my previous life. How science and creativity can be combined to increase patient compliance, ease of use or to create elegant-but-earth-friendly skincare is just beautiful!

Going back to my high school story, my friend and I grew up with color book professions; there are fireman, doctor, teacher and engineer. Choose one of these. It was only later on my college years that I realized: it’s possible (or even encouraged) to have an interdisciplinary education.

Those ‘playful and extraordinary’ professions do indeed exist, such as designing organic beauty products line with the whole customer experience: story, name, packaging with spruce tree seeds embedded on the biodegradable egg-carton-like material.

All of this whiles the next project, ‘playing’ with surgical handheld device or vaccine patch are waiting to be started. There are places where unconventional ideas on how to improve cup lid design after coffee leak stained a new crisp white shirt, are valued more than just one’s day dreaming thought or a drawing on the back of a napkin.

(Pictures are stolen from here)

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