From NY Times: Finding new ways of making our lives more efficient or enjoyable, ideally both, has been one of design’s roles throughout history. Often designers do so by translating leaps in technology into things we find useful or appealing. Sometimes they achieve the same result simply by thinking of new — and better — ways of solving problems. Here are four examples of these everyday innovations. Three of them show how designers have interpreted new technologies to help us to plan journeys more efficiently, to improve our health, and to save energy. The fourth is an ingenious example of old-fashioned design thinking that has produced something special.