It was recently announced that the Starwood Hotel chain was moving both its luxury and design team to new headquarters at Varick Street in New York City. They're bringing the two creative teams together. The two teams will both be moved to this central location.

The Starwood executive says the team merger plan for a creative hub is ideal because Bliss and Remede Spa brands employees "work closely with our hotel brands to develop signature spas and bath amenities in our hotels around the globe."

Do you think it's a good idea to move creative teams like two mentioned above into the same location? Do you think this will increase activity?
Atlanta, GA will soon have a new "green" memorial commemoriating the Civil Rights Movement. According to Catherine Fox at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

The Center for Civil and Human Rights will make an iconic statement when it opens in 2012 in downtown Atlanta.

A design by the Freelon Group and HOK Atlanta was announced Thursday as the winning entry in the architectural competition for the city’s newest cultural institution.

It features a pair of interlocking structures that suggest the linked arms of civil rights marchers. The form of the $125 million downtown facility also symbolizes solidarity among individuals that advances all human rights struggles.

Clad in terra cotta sunscreens, the building aims to balance the dignity and drama that befit an important attraction that could cement Atlanta’s growing reputation as a destination for cultural tourism and serious civil rights study.

What other "green" memorials are going up around the nation?

This latest post on The Design Blog shows us an interesting design for temporary accommodation for the business traveler. The Triscele House concept can be easily transported from one area to another making it ideal for those who do not stay in one place for too long. Basic amenities like gas, water, and electricity are provided through the base of the house. The interior and exterior design provides flexible space, but no information on how this will all be put together has been provided. What do you think of the design?
Reports have surface today that many of Facebook's users have spoke up again. This time, they've forced the company to modify several things. The new design was focusing on sharing information quickly, but users complained they couldn't find the information they wanted. Facebook is struggling to find a balance between information that has immediate appeal and information that is appealing over longer periods of time. Find out more at Ghana Business and APC.

Are you a part of the 94% of users who don't like the redesign? What do you think about the users uniting to say they don't like it?
Struggling to get insipired with that newest design you're working on? Check out ColourLovers, a great design site that offers inspiration, news and networking for design professionals. Today's Sea Urchin post is enough to make us start something new and exciting. Check it out. As always, send us great design blogs--we love to share!
It's crazy enough that the last iPod shuffle was about the size of a quarter, but now according to this article on the NY Times Apple has unveiled a new iPod shuffle which will be half the size of the original shuffle, which will make it look like a sleek aluminum tie clip. It is incredible that something so small can hold about 1,000 songs. It is so tiny that the remote control is on the earbud cord and has 3 clickable spots on it - 2 spots for volume control and a center button that serves as a play/pause button. I'm excited to see how small the iPod after this one will be!
California Senator Barbara Boxer is opening up the designing of her campaign poster to voters. This means all posters will be public, but the Senator is excited to give voters the opportunity to participate in her campaign. Will you be contributing your design?

Community 2.0 East Coast Meet-up
Thursday, April 16, 2009
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

We'd like to invite you to our first Community 2.0 event of the season! On Thursday, April 16, we're hosting a free meet-up in New York City. Bring a friend and join us in midtown for the opportunity to network with your social media peers and meet the Community 2.0 team.

Legends New York
6 W 33rd Street (at 5th Avenue)
New York, NY 10079

This is free! It is an opportunity to meet and network with other social media peers in the New York area. Bring your friends and colleagues. There will be happy hour specials from 5-7. See you there!

RSVP Here:

This post on DesignReviver highlights several web usability issues that designers should take note of when creating a website. Here are some usability issues that are usually overlooked, and what companies are doing it right.

1. Say what it does -twitter
2. Keep homepages clutter free - ning
3. Be consistent and use conventions -
4. Navigation -
5. Response and load times -
6. Let your users search -
7. Test early and often

I am fortunate to live in a century old arts and crafts style home 15 miles north of Manhattan. The trouble is, the heating system is a hundred years old and the insulation is sparse making the rooms drafty and optimal for the type of arthritis only experienced in medieval times. Needless to say it gets cold in the winter, and no matter how high I crank up the thermostat and suffer the expensive heating bills, the higher temperature seldom takes the edge off the chill in my bones. 

Recently a friend of mine, who is much handier then I, and more knowledgeable about the construction of homes, suggested that I use radiant heat.  Radiant heat is heat energy that is emitted from a warm element (floor, wall, overhead panel) and warms people and other objects in the room rather then directly heating the air. He explained it simply by likening it to the type of energy that is emitted by the sun and how that on a blistery cold day, we feel better and warmer if the sun is shinning directly upon us. His explanation made complete sense to me. My friend's description of the sun's radiant qualities helped me to understand  the same sensations that I feel when I have a spark of an idea or feel as if I am on to something great and perhaps even revolutionary. I radiate with excitement and feel more energy when my creative juices are flowing and something has stimulated my mind. 

Like radiant heat, our creative minds start heating up when our consciousness shifts, we feel the warming sensation of a possible breakthrough and we start to convert these experiences into fresh, new and potentially bold ideas. 

So with that in mind, how do you heat up your creativity? And what do you so when you are feeling stuck in a rut and unable to produce fresh and hot new designs or concepts? What turns your creative energy source on and helps you turn up the heat? 

- Andrew Pek (co-author of Stimulated! Habits to Spark Your Creative Genius at Work) has a fantastic post today on the Top Five Web Design Tools. For those in the industry looking to pick up a few extra programs, this can be particularly useful. Their number one is Firebug, which is an open source html editor. Have you used it? Is it the best of the best? We'd like to hear whats in your design arsenal.
Citizens of Minnesota will have four new license plate designs to choose from. Eight images are in contention right now, and you can see and vote on them here. Fox 12 in Mankato , Minnesota, has more on the story.

The Design Studies Forum and the Master's Program in the History of Decorative Arts and Design at Parsons The New School for Design announced its publication of Design and Culture which, according to their press release will be, "encompassing the numerous professional, quasi-professional, and amateur fields of design, the journal identifies and explores cultures of design and designs of culture, investigating the tensions often encountered between critical, analytical, and intellectual activity and traditional studio-based endeavors." Preceding the mag's publication will be a day long symposium on Design & Film held in NYC on March 21, 2009. For more information on the symposium, click here.

Scheduled for October 2009 in Australia, the World Solar Challenge is a competition of both speed and sustainability. Teams of designers from around the world will join together to create new modes of transportation that rely on solar energy--where better than across Australia? To apply for participation in the event, click here. Check out the press release here. If you're planning to participate, let us know--we'd love to root for you!
Seth Godin recently posted on his blog about what he believes are the four steps of design. With all of the hard work that is put into packaging and design, many companies need to know what they expect to get out of their designs.

The four steps are:
1. Negative return
2. No impact
3. Positive return
4. The whole thing
Check out's sneak peak at what the new Facebook homepage will look like. Here are some highlights:

  • Filters: A box on the left-hand side will let you remove updates from less interesting friends and prioritise news from your college or work networks, for example, or from applications including photos.
  • Stream: The newsfeed has been given a higher profile in the new design.
  • Publisher: You'll still be able to post updates quickly through the 'publisher' box, which stays at the top of the main Facebook page.
  • Highlights: Birthdays, new photos and video will be picked out from your friends' profiles and displayed on the 'highlights' box on the right-hand side.

Take a look at the screenshot from the new Facebook on the original post here.

I came across this design from Nicolas Stone on The Design Blog of the new iconic Honda Indy Race Car that is set to be released in 2011. The car is able to move by harnessing wind energy to generate electricity. The top speed is 230mph! Who knew hybrids could move this fast!

The new brand that will accompany all of the projects aided by the new stimulus will bear this logo. Stars, leaves, and machine clogs all play a prominent role in the image, representing what the stimulus hopes to accomplish. The web page is also a bold eye-catcher in the logo. What do you think?

The LATimes travel blog reports on the innovative new design center right along with Seine in Paris. Cite de la Mode et du Design, home of the prestigious Institut Francais de la Mode (IMF) was designed by Jakob Macfarlane, perhaps the hottest architectural firm in France today, and decorated with the help of the contemporary furniture company Vitra, it lines the river with a web of futuristic green glass tunnels where visitors can promenade, shop, dine and visit galleries. IMF also hopes to open a museum there. Almost makes us want to book some cheap flights to Paris just to check out the space!

Are you in still recovering from the deaths of Blueprint and Domino? Fear not novice designers--a great new design blog has emerged: Design *Sponge. Not only do they give tours of actual people who you could likely know (no celebrities or old money here) just great tips for the budget-minded novice designer. Check out their videos, podcasts and apartment tours on their very friendly website. Have another great design blog to pass along? Let us know here or on our Twitter.

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