Tag Archives: Design

There’s A “Method” To Their Madness

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It was just a few short months ago that I graduated from college. During those years I lived in a “college” house (where the floors were sinking), with a “college” budget (Ramen was a dinner staple), and had a “college” cleaning ethic (our vacuum was broken for over a year). Needless to say, this combination didn’t bode well when my landlord demanded we deep clean our house or pay $300 to have it done before we moved out. After discovering that the few cleaning supplies my roommates and I had were expired or empty, off to Target we went. It was there, amongst the Windex and Clorox, that I first saw Method.

With four out of five roommates being design majors and the fifth having impeccable taste, we were all drawn to the beautiful packaging of the method products. Upon closer inspection, I realized that the cleaning supplies were being advertised as environmentally conscious too… This seemed suspicious. But just as I was coming to terms with the fact that these products had outer beauty and inner beauty, the price tag came into my view. I was sold. After using the products, I can say that Method made cleaning fun! Well, not really. But it did make the cleaning go faster since the products worked so well. And now I have some endearing, decorative bottles that I don’t feel the need to hide in my closet.

Even though Method products are technically just cleaning supplies, I found it inspiring that a company had taken the time to redevelop and actually redesign such a commonly used product all for the greater good. Most cleaning products are full of harmful chemicals to both the environment and to us. The founders of Method, Eric and Adam, realized that a simple reevaluation of these products could spark social change, not just in our houses, but in the world one day as well. Here is a summary of their philosophy and the list of principles their products adhere to:

“Eric knew people wanted cleaning products they didn’t have to hide under their sinks. And Adam knew how to make them without any dirty ingredients. Their powers combined, they set out to save the world and create an entire line of home care products that were more powerful than a bottle of sodium hypochlorite. Gentler than a thousand puppy licks. Able to detox tall homes in a single afternoon.”

CLEAN. At method, we’re happy about what we do. Sometimes we’re even a little giddy. But when it comes to the effectiveness of our products, we’re dead serious. They work. How could we be happy if they didn’t? Our cleaners use powerful formulas made with naturally derived surfactants that work by dissolving and removing dirt. Our team of green chefs (aka formulation chemists + product designers), ensure that our products are not only highly innovative, but also highly effective.

SAFE. Cleaning can be a chore. Stinging eyes, burning lungs and headaches aren’t just unfortunate side effects of a well-kept home. They’re warning signs. That’s your body telling you, “Don’t use this. This is bad for you.” Our greenskeeping team rigorously assesses every ingredient we use, so we can be completely sure of its safety. That’s why method’s entire product line is both people- and pet-friendly, specially formulated to put the hurt on dirt without harming a hair on you or your loved ones’ heads.

GREEN. We’re in business to change business. At method, we see our work as an amazing opportunity to redesign how cleaning products are made and used, and how businesses can integrate sustainability. Our challenge is to make sure that every product we send out into the world is a little agent of environmental change, using safe and sustainable materials and manufactured responsibly. Little green soldiers in the battle of doing-well-by-doing-good, if you will. This is why we make our bottles from 100% recycled plastic, why we constantly seek to reduce the carbon emitted by our business (and why we offset the remainder), why we never test on animals, why we design innovative products using natural, renewable ingredients, and why we’re transparent about the ingredients we use, how we make our products, and what our track record is as a green business.

DESIGN. Most companies treat product design like it ain’t no thang. At method, we believe product design is a thang. It’s very much a thang. So when we were figuring out how to package our products, we enlisted world-renowned designer Joshua Handy to sculpt some of the finest pieces of recyclable plastic art this side of MoMA. Form, meet function. Function, form. You two play nice.

FRAGRANCE. Some companies might think that ammonia or bleach is the fragrance of clean. At method, we’re for flowers. Also fruit. Maybe an herb here or there. We’ve noticed that some home products lead to rapid breath-holding and window-opening. But no one holds their breath while slicing a grapefruit. So we’ll stick with that.

-Paige

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5 Reasons We Love Pinterest

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  1. Let’s you be creative. Create and name your own boards. Organize them in away that shows people who you are.
  2. Yummy eye-candy everywhere! Since it’s image-based, there are so many pretty and inspiring things to pin up; the possibilities are endless.
  3. You get to curate. Just like an art curator, you choose what’s relevant, worth showing, and how to present it. People can see your pinning taste and decide to follow you or not.
  4. It’s very easy to use. If you don’t have the mobile version, I highly recommend it. Finding stuff you love and pinning is as simple as 1-2-3.
  5. Great design, from visual to user experience. The Pinterest team has really mastered the art of delightful and easy pinning.
If you haven’t already, check us out on Pinterest
Happy pinning!
-Maria

The Place Where Design Can Save the World: Thoughts from women in design

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I’m working on a new project. I’d like to call it “Design Sponge.” But…that name is already taken. Really, though, the moniker perfectly encompasses my goal of reaching out to women in design and learning just what motivates them to become movers and shakers – not only in the design world, but in the world world. I am a sponge. Soaking it up…

“Start small,” Maria, my fellow Anchal contributor advised me. “Approach some women and just ask for a couple words of wisdom. Just one question, for example.”

I took Maria’s words to heart. Last week I got in touch with four inspiring women who have embraced social change as an integral part of their designs and I asked them one simple thing:

In two sentences or less, please paint a picture of what these words mean to you: Design + Social Change.

The responses I got were incredible! Give a designer constrictions (like a two sentence limit) and she’ll blow you out of the water. “Take that!” she’ll say as she whips up something amazing out of nothing.

I’m so glad to share the work of these four women with you. Here’s hoping you find inspiration in their words.

Cori Magee is a designer of graphics and interiors who shares her creative inspiration on her blog Pretty Haute Mess. Optimism spills onto the page of this lovely collection. As she puts it, she is “living a dream” – as in the kind that “we can wake up from and continue to experience in real life.”

When I asked her about design and social change, she said:

“I think social change happens when people are honest in expressing their beliefs. Design helps all of us learn how to express ourselves, unleashing creativity and progress.”

 

Christine Dinsmore is the owner and artiste-extraordinaire at Plumed,an online collection of adorable hand-stitched pillows.

I was immediately attracted to her blog, The Plumed Nest, because of the connection of hand-stitched textiles to our artisans’ work. When I wrote to Christine, I got a response that made hearing from her even more meaningful.

“Before I became a designer I was a director at a domestic violence shelter,” she replied. “We had a lot of immigrants in our shelter and I learned not only the dynamics of domestic and social violence in America, but around the world as well. Needless to say it is a cause close to my heart.”

Here are her thoughts on Design and Social Change:

“I think anytime we partake in the process of design, whether that be figuratively: redesigning ourselves, our lives or our way of thinking, or literally: designing organizations, products or art, we are partaking in social change. As with everything that we do, what we put into the world can have an impact on others. I find design has historically been, and continues to be, one of the most inspiring and creative ways to effect social change.”

Next up, a word from Kara Eschbach, Co-Founder, Editor in Chief, and Publisher of Verily Magazine. Kara comes from a business background, having worked for Credit Suisse’s secondary private equity fund and accruing experience in corporate finance, accounting, consulting, and investment banking before launching Verily Magazine.

Verily responds to the social narrative that would “manufacture” a certain cookie-cutter image of the modern woman. The magazine’s writers seek to “start a new conversation” especially for women who are looking for a “fresh take on life” – one that is “uplifting, affirming, and true.”

Be sure to check out the Verily blog, where you can learn more about the writers’ goals and subscribe to the print magazine. There is a full teaser issue online, with an article I found especially poignant for Anchal readers called Between Two Worlds, by Areej Hassan. Read it here.

Here’s Kara’s take on design and social change:

“Good design is elevating: from a simple but elegant engineering solution to breathtaking works of art, good design just makes life better and has the ability to reach people’s hearts. When that ability to communicate is harnessed, it can be a great catalyst for change: changes as big as providing jobs that allow women to leave exploitative work to something as small as making someone a little happier because the world is more beautiful.”

Finally, I spoke with Jeanette Nyberg, founder of Artchoo, a site dedicated to compiling resources for parents to find “wonderfully-designed products for their kids, art supplies and lesson plan ideas, and inspiration to make life with kids super-creative.”

In response to my email, she enthusiastically remarked that “I’ve never thought about design and social change in such depth before, so I am doubly fascinated by the whole concept now.”

She believes:
“Where design and social change intersect is where simply buying a lovely item for your home turns into helping to effect a positive shift in how people live and think. This is the place where design can save the world.”

Amen, sisters!

–Emily