Long-established agency companies face more competition from the worlds of technology (IBM Interactive Experience, ranked by Ad Age as the world’s biggest digital agency) and professional services (PwC Digital, new to the Agency Report). But investors are bullish on the future of agency giants.

We already know that 3D printing and robotic manufacturing technology can overtake centralized production. But the difference here is that a single company might not emerge to capitalize on these technologies the way singular brands like Walmart and Amazon have in the past. Instead, we are now entering the primacy of design.

smartercities:

Future Cities Of Floating Villas And Parks, Made From Ocean Plastic | FastCompany
The Maas river runs through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and empties into the North Sea. It also carries huge amounts of Europe’s trash from its cities into the ocean. Inspired by what’s floating by, Dutch architect Ramon Knoester and his firm WHIM have spent the last four years dreaming up ways to turn one of our greatest environmental ills into built utopias on water. Knoester’s latest vision: Floating parks and villas.

smartercities:

Future Cities Of Floating Villas And Parks, Made From Ocean Plastic | FastCompany

The Maas river runs through France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and empties into the North Sea. It also carries huge amounts of Europe’s trash from its cities into the ocean. Inspired by what’s floating by, Dutch architect Ramon Knoester and his firm WHIM have spent the last four years dreaming up ways to turn one of our greatest environmental ills into built utopias on water. Knoester’s latest vision: Floating parks and villas.

 Collaborative Platforms Empower Citizens To Shape Their Communities [My Ideal City] - PSFK
Participatory online platforms and visual tools are lowering the barriers to participation and empowering citizens to design their communities. These crowd planning systems facilitate an open dialogue between city agencies and the people they serve, establishing a structured process for collaboration and encouraging a higher level of participation at the civic level. By seeking input throughout the development process, these crowd-planned systems help ensure greater transparency and buy-in that ultimately results in an end solution that meets the actual needs of the population.
Winka Dubbeldam, celebrated architect and principal of Archi-Tectonics, has most recently lent her expertise to a crowdsourced plan to revitalize Bogota, Colombia called MyIdealCity. She told PSFK.com that the future of urban planning is in crowd planning:

Initiatives of governing institutions that tap into the local intelligence will greatly enhance the public’s participation, and will help get a much more direct , real-time response that can adjust to the new directions of peoples’ needs. This demands an understanding of the word intelligence in the wider sense and a real commitment of the governing bodies in actually giving immediate feedback, and executing all.

 Collaborative Platforms Empower Citizens To Shape Their Communities [My Ideal City] - PSFK

Participatory online platforms and visual tools are lowering the barriers to participation and empowering citizens to design their communities. These crowd planning systems facilitate an open dialogue between city agencies and the people they serve, establishing a structured process for collaboration and encouraging a higher level of participation at the civic level. By seeking input throughout the development process, these crowd-planned systems help ensure greater transparency and buy-in that ultimately results in an end solution that meets the actual needs of the population.

Winka Dubbeldam, celebrated architect and principal of Archi-Tectonics, has most recently lent her expertise to a crowdsourced plan to revitalize Bogota, Colombia called MyIdealCity. She told PSFK.com that the future of urban planning is in crowd planning:

Initiatives of governing institutions that tap into the local intelligence will greatly enhance the public’s participation, and will help get a much more direct , real-time response that can adjust to the new directions of peoples’ needs. This demands an understanding of the word intelligence in the wider sense and a real commitment of the governing bodies in actually giving immediate feedback, and executing all.

“IBM on Brand” by Jon Iwata (by VSA Partners)

Capturing the character of the IBM brand

In this two-minute tour, the roots of the IBM brand are traced to the company’s management of its character. Narrated by Jon Iwata, IBM Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, “IBM on Brand” draws from VSA’s longstanding collaboration with IBM, which now spans nearly 20 years and encompasses our work as brand agency of record.

“_____ on Brand” is a series of short films created by VSA Partners to capture the current thinking behind leadership brands—specifically, their origins and intent, audiences and ingredients, and business or societal impact.

vsapartners.com/design-agency/capturing-the-character-of-the-ibm-brand/

  Belgian Hackers Let You Build Circuit Boards on the Web | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com
The rise of low-cost, hacker-friendly electronics is fueling a new wave of hardware hobbyists. Using programmable boards like the Arduino and dirt-chip computers like the Raspberry Pi, you can build everything from your very own supercomputers to an internet-connected beer fermentation refrigeration system.
But Belgium startup called Circuits.io wants to take this trend even further. It wants to give you the power to build your own custom circuit boards.
Historically, that’s been expensive and difficult for hobbyists to do, but Circuits.io wants to change that by offering a web-based circuit board design system made especially for hobbyists complete with library of open source component designs. And soon it will also offer a CafePress-style print-on-demand service for circuit boards.

  Belgian Hackers Let You Build Circuit Boards on the Web | Wired Enterprise | Wired.com

The rise of low-cost, hacker-friendly electronics is fueling a new wave of hardware hobbyists. Using programmable boards like the Arduino and dirt-chip computers like the Raspberry Pi, you can build everything from your very own supercomputers to an internet-connected beer fermentation refrigeration system.

But Belgium startup called Circuits.io wants to take this trend even further. It wants to give you the power to build your own custom circuit boards.

Historically, that’s been expensive and difficult for hobbyists to do, but Circuits.io wants to change that by offering a web-based circuit board design system made especially for hobbyists complete with library of open source component designs. And soon it will also offer a CafePress-style print-on-demand service for circuit boards.

Redesigning Highway Signs, To Talk To Your Smartphone | Co.Design
But the most radical components of Manual’s redesign can be found when you’re getting off the highway. The group’s proposal calls for every exit sign to be fitted with a wireless transmitter, connecting it to a smartphone app provided by the Department of Transportation. As drivers zoom down the interstate, the app would update dynamically with information on restaurants, gas stations, and local points of interest found at the exits ahead.

Redesigning Highway Signs, To Talk To Your Smartphone | Co.Design

But the most radical components of Manual’s redesign can be found when you’re getting off the highway. The group’s proposal calls for every exit sign to be fitted with a wireless transmitter, connecting it to a smartphone app provided by the Department of Transportation. As drivers zoom down the interstate, the app would update dynamically with information on restaurants, gas stations, and local points of interest found at the exits ahead.

Of Bears, Bats, and Bees: Making Sense of the Internet of Things | Blog | design mind
The Internet of Things (or IoT) is finally going mainstream. Not only do I read about it frequently online, but I’m now talking about it with clients at frog. Unfortunately, as it has become popular, it has also grown to the point where it can span everything from home Wi-Fi networks to smart cities. Much like the story of the three blind men describing an elephant, the essence of IoT depends on your point of view.
What we need is a simple breakdown, both physically and functionally, so we can discuss the many facets and challenges ahead. The simplest is to start by device category as there is a huge range of devices that can be thought of as being part of the Internet of Things. Fortunately, there are really only three broad physical categories: Bears, Bats, and Bees.

Of Bears, Bats, and Bees: Making Sense of the Internet of Things | Blog | design mind

The Internet of Things (or IoT) is finally going mainstream. Not only do I read about it frequently online, but I’m now talking about it with clients at frog. Unfortunately, as it has become popular, it has also grown to the point where it can span everything from home Wi-Fi networks to smart cities. Much like the story of the three blind men describing an elephant, the essence of IoT depends on your point of view.

What we need is a simple breakdown, both physically and functionally, so we can discuss the many facets and challenges ahead. The simplest is to start by device category as there is a huge range of devices that can be thought of as being part of the Internet of Things. Fortunately, there are really only three broad physical categories: Bears, Bats, and Bees.