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Idealog year in review: RUSH design director Steve Horner

RUSH design director Steve Horner shares his views on the year that was, and the years that could be.

What was the most interesting New Zealand company that caught your eye?

Again Again, a cup circulation system to eliminate single-use waste. I find it fascinating how the cloud and subscription models popularised of web software are now being bent to applications in the real world. Your next coffee can save the world!

What about internationally?

Skewed Productions, a consultancy founded by IKEA’s ex-head of design Marcus Engman focused on helping brands create authentic marketing moments through memorable product design.

I see a parallel in some of the work we do at RUSH. By designing and building innovative experiences enabled by the latest technology, we help create brand stories worthy of customer attention, and get to deliver more value to customers as a result.

What was the most interesting launch/trend/idea/building/product of the year?

Lime for it’s sheer speed of adoption – it popped into view and became a verb in the space of a fortnight. It’s founded on the simple idea that all communities deserve access to smart, affordable mobility which digital urbanites bought into immediately.

The more we can move away from personal vehicle ownership in the urban transportation context, with cleaner and greener personal transport options available to all, the more enjoyable our cities will be to live in.

What public event that impacted on or affected you the most?

The loss of the inspiration and intellect that was Stephen Hawking.

“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose, and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.”

What was your favourite book/TV show/podcast/album/website/ magazine/story/performance enhancing of 2018?

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. It’s breaks down in detail how greatness isn’t born, but grown.

Looking forward into 2019, I’m excited to apply the principles to the way we grow our team at RUSH to realise their full potential – I’m also going to be a Dad in April so I’m sure it will be helpful there too!

Heroes?

Sir David Attenborough for his life’s work documenting life on Earth, and his moving words at COP24 this year.

Villains?

Cambridge Analytica.

Your own personal highlight?

There’s been so many this year. Personally, when my wife told me we are going to be parents in 2019.

Professionally, recognition of our design and technology team’s incredible work for the Starship Animal Checkups and Magical Forest experience. To be acknowledged with a Purple Pin at the Designers Institute’s Best Awards and Best Collaboration at Idealog’s Innovation Awards is a huge honour.

A big thank you to ASB and the Starship Foundation for making such a project possible. It aligns perfectly with our studio’s mission to design technology to better serve humankind.

Biggest learning for you?

Sustained acceleration is more important than present velocity.

Going into 2019, what’s the change you want to see in the world?

Let’s stop putting walls up. Instead, let’s get busy tearing them down and building playgrounds out of them.

What should be invented and/or un-invented in the next year?

Personalised medicine should be invented, manufactured on demand, and made available to everyone.

Is it the robots we should be worried about, or the humans?

Humans. Robots interpret what they’re told.

How long before we have:  

DNA modification?

Is already here, rightly or wrongly. See the research of He Jiankui.

Immortality?

The University of California Berkeley is close...

Cities that all look like Venice?

Never if we get busy innovating to solve the climate problem right now.

No animals farmed or eaten?

I like the Impossible Foods milestone of 2035. The sooner the better for us, animals, and our planet.

Non-human, AI lovers?

Ah… around the same time AR goes mainstream?

Chips implanted in our brains?

Elon hasn’t shared the Neuralink product roadmap yet so I really couldn’t say.

Colonies on Mars?

SpaceX infrastructure on the surface by 2030, humans by 2050.

Secure bunkers to protect us from the zombie apocalypse?

Hopefully we’ll have evacuated to Mars before this happens.

The future is already here — it's just not evenly distributed.
– William Gibson

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