Why Human-centered Design is the Key to Building Better Robots

October 31, 2016

In a post for Autodesk’s Design Academy, Scott Stropkay posits that “putting humans at the center of technology-driven robot design projects changes the way we define success—and what is expected from the designer.”


Design Thinking for Social Impact

October 11, 2016

Boston + Acumen hosted an evening on Design Thinking and Social Impact with Naz Mirzaie, Service Designer and Design Researcher of Essential. Naz shared techniques that can be used to define problems, identify key stakeholders, and storyboard possible solutions when tackling social innovation challenges.


Design Research with Service Design Mindset

August 30, 2016

At the 20th: DMI Academic Design Management Conference, Service Designer Naz Mirzai presented a compelling paper on changes in the practice of design research.


Essential Awarded for Urban Design Concept

August 4, 2016

Essential took home 2nd place in a 3-day design challenge to activate the underutilized space under the I-93 overpass in Boston.


Building Design in an Age of Disruption: 3 Key Trends to Keep Pace With

June 21, 2016

Richard Watson and Chris Parlato opened the 2016 Alliance Innovation Summit by outlining 3 key trends that the building industry will need to keep pace with in the Age of Disruption.


4 Key Design Thinking Skills You Can Practice with LEGOs

March 3, 2016

I recently found myself at The Berkley Center for Creative Entrepreneurship surrounded by piles of LEGO® bricks. And it was not just for play- it was for “SERIOUS” play.


Self-driving Cars, Virtual Reality, Wearables, and Digital Health; Highlights from CES 2016

January 19, 2016

Overall, CES 2016 was composed of many iterative technology innovations that we have been excited about for years. However, tech is getting smarter, smaller, more ubiquitous and integrated in more meaningful ways.


Learnings from the Service Design Global Conference

September 30, 2015

Service design is the holistic approach to orchestrating customer experiences across all the touchpoints as well as creating value for the service provider. System change, business impact, and quality of life were among the key topics in the conference.


Internet of Things for Social Impact with Chris Parlato

September 22, 2015

The 2015 Design Exchange Boston, a conference hosted by AIGA, featured a talk and workshop led by one of Essential’s design researchers, Chris Parlato. Chris discussed the tendency of connected devices to be superfluous and the challenges of designing connected objects to produce meaningful change in modern society.


Design Museum Mornings with Naz Mirzaie

September 15, 2015

Naz spoke about the importance of design research and explained how her industrial design background has driven her interest in visual information strategies and experience mapping.

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