I read a very interesting article in The New York Times Magazine recently, about redesigning for the 21st century.
The article mentioned several names, one being Tim Brown, CEO of IDEO. In Brown’s view, “Everything from systems of education and health care to the design of cities and modes of transportation, he says, all trace their roots to a drastically different era and ought to be fundamentally rethought for the one we live in now.”
And it’s true.
How many of the products we use every day are designed for this time period?
It’s a pretty eye-opening thought. However, the more interesting part of this discovery, is what people are actually doing about it.
Bike Share Programs
One of my personal favorites is bike share programs.
Transportation is a huge problem in many parts of the world, with little being done to cure it. Subways and trains are a great option, but are costly and require a long amount of time to complete.
Well, that’s where bike sharing comes in.
Bike sharing stations can be set up in many places throughout a city, are low maintenance, and are highly accessible.
I’m not the only one who thinks so. In the U.S. alone there are now 2,655 bike share stations in 65 cities. That’s isn’t even counting the number in Europe and other parts of the world.
Smart Home Security
The smart home.
This is one of those ideas that fundamentally changes an industry.
In its mission statement, Nest claims it is “focused on making simple, human, delightful things. That’s how we’re creating the thoughtful home: A home that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it.”
Gone is the traditional security system requiring outside help and purpose. A smart home system not only protects your home from fires, burglars and solicitors, it also allows you to make your home more eco-friendly and gives you the power to control your home from afar.
Shopping by Box
Last but certainly not least are subscription boxes. Created by a variety of industries, there is now a box for everything.
Wrapped up like presents, these sweet little boxes are exactly that. Whether you’re interested in food, clothes, makeup, or art, subscriptions services now allow you to send yourself a gift each month for one low price.
This business model is perhaps the most clever of the three I discussed. Where the bike share program is focused on solving an issue you face, and the smart home ties into the safety aspects of your life, subscription boxes reward you for just being you.
They’re a relatively guilt-free way to buy products you like, as a gift to yourself.
Because you deserve it.
What innovations have you seen recently that change everyday life? Comment below.
Cover photo courtesy of flickr.com