Yesterday, the Industrial Designers Society of America announced that littleBits won a Gold IDEA award. To better understand what this means for our company, our lead industrial designer, Jordi Borras explains our design philosophy and commandments:
For me one of the greatest things from the award is that we are being acknowledged beyond the toy industry. This is a tool for everybody and we want them to stay in every household. This is a great recognition for the mission we have.
We follow a design process with strong commandments that we defined early on. These commandments serve to keep us in check and true to ourselves. This is not only a philosophy but a way to keep our focus as we grow. In it’s early days, littleBits was a design prototyping tool. littleBits aimed to take electronics from late stages of the design process to its earliest ones, and from the hands of experts, to those of artists, makers, students and designers. This concept hasn’t changed — our goal remains to make feel people empowered with technology.
Our design commandments:
littleBits is a growing Library and a modular platform. Every time we create a new Bit, we step back to see how it relates to other Bits. Most importantly, we observe how the Bit connects to the rest of the word and the materials around us. This is the end goal because littleBits is not a finished product; it’s a system, a tool, a material, a toolkit. We are always thinking about how the toolkit will grow with the user.
Electronics are beautiful: we are purposefully uncovering all electronics. We present the guts of the Bits in a transparent and open way. The customized white colored Printed Circuit Boards break the preconceived visual of traditionally green electronics encased in plastic. This is always a challenge because most components in circuit boards were meant to be buried in a plastic casing never to be seen, so this does introduce a host of added manufacturing complexity. Our attention to detail is reflected even in the way we lay out the traces and the placement of the components at both sides of the board. Layout and interface design is happening even at the component level. We are creating a visual language in electronics that didn’t exist before.
littleBits is a material. We create a low barrier for entry so that people of all ages can easily integrate electronics into their lives with materials they have. We strive to seamlessly integrate the Bits with the rest of materials, construction systems and techniques that people have come to love. We have always been inspired by the construction kits we grew up with, and we need to understand what makes them so great so we can create a timeless product.
Our goal is to keep connecting the bits with the rest of the materials in the world, so people can put bits everywere. The accessories are a great new category, but we focus on delivering this connecting experience at a bit level as well.
To learn more about Jordi, check out this video: