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Youthful and Sustainable, This Innovation Links Technology to Art

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Alamy
Alamy

In his freshman year, Stanford engineering student Daniel Haarburger launched a successful project on Kickstarter. He asked for $9,500 and raised $60,000 in 30 days. With a simple, low-cost thumb-size device, he found a way to turn any handheld device into a desktop computer by linking it to a wireless keyboard. I wrote about its success in a previous blog. Over the past year, the Wingstand caught the "wave," and is now in 60 markets around the world.

This year, San Francisco Academy of Arts student entrepreneur Seth Olsen has collaborated with Haarburger to create a youthful, sustainable product that links technology to art. In the process, they have created an almost perfect layout for a Kickstarter campaign. Whether one supports the project or not, the campaign layout itself is worth noting.

Olsen calls his classic, high fashion bag, the Aurora. The problem Olsen set out to solve? Weight reduction. Most carrying cases for computers, he says, are far too heavy for today's razor thin laptops and iPads.

So technology and design savvy Olson and Haarburger collaborated via Skype to develop the project. The result, an ultra-light, high fashion "sleeve" or bag for an iPad or lightweight laptop.

If almost 90 percent of the purchases we make are emotional purchases, then this youthful design team should expect success. It also explains why, after I pre-ordered the Aurora, I immediately invested a small amount of money in another wireless project that I know nothing about, in another state.

Coming off the "emotional high" of buying something innovative and elegantly designed, my response was an immediate "yes," when someone sent me a link to a project in Kansas posted on the Civic Crowdfunding Platform called Neighbor.ly .

I bought into the Juniper Gardens: Free In-Home Wireless Project in Kansas City because it was easy to do and because I could see the immediate benefit to the recipients. It also aligns with a personal value as it reminds me: We can create local jobs when we invest in places, people, and civic projects we care about.