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Why Can’t My Car Drive While I Take a Nap?

With a dual-city marriage, I spend a lot of time shuttling up and down the East Coast. Trust me: if you’ve seen the Hartford skyline once, you don’t have to stay awake anymore. So why can’t my car do more of the driving so I can …

drivingfrog

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With a dual-city marriage, I spend a lot of time shuttling up and down the East Coast. Trust me: if you’ve seen the Hartford skyline once, you don’t have to stay awake anymore. So why can’t my car do more of the driving so I can devote my attention to my ipod playlist or take a much-needed nap?

These issues trouble me, so I was intrigued by a piece was called Driver Experience Design in the latest issue of frog design’s ambitious proprietary magazine, designmind. It mapped out the advances we’re likely to see that will help us as we try to drive while listening to music, talking on a cellphone (not that I would ever do that!), or putting on mascara at a red light. Think: a sensor that tells you when a car is coming up behind you in your blindspot or chip sensors that alert you to when your lead foot is wreaking havoc on your fuel efficiency.

This is just a one of the issues getting ink (and cool pictures and graphics) in the design consultancy’s tri-annual publication. Others include good ideas take so long to get traction, and whether people with ADHD are better equipped than the rest of us to do well in creative fields.

While some of the features feel like retreads (the buggy whip/automotive industry example that leads off the story on “Slow Innovation” may be apt, but sure feels stale), others offer fresh and engaging perspectives.

Frog president Doreen Lorenzo’s candid discussion of her son’s ADHD will resonate with any parent whose kid falls outside the mainstream.

And the story “In the Flow” updates the idea promulgated seven odd years ago by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi about “optimal consciousness” with the work of British sociologist Richard Sennett, the guy behind the ’10,000 hours’ rule that Malcolm Gladwell uses as one of the touchstones of his latest book, Outliers. Essentially, the story argues that getting bogged down in the details can make you miss the bigger picture – and that sometimes draconian deadlines are actually helpful in preventing this. Remind me of this when I’m whining that I need more time.

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Fittingly, the issue’s design is first rate, with some gorgeous photography of choreographer Alonzo King and his company, and crazy images of Parisians falling down by French photographer Denis Darzacq.

It’s available in hard copy at select bookstores in San Francisco, Austin, New York and Shanghai, and online at designmind.frogdesign.com. the latest issue will be up online soon.

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About the author

Linda Tischler writes about the intersection of design and business for Fast Company.

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