While food trucks are all over NYC, and the cocktail trend continues to spread across the city, we've never seen anyone combine the two and create a Booze Truck. But a select amount of tipplers in the UK just may spot one. It isn't any regular booze truck, and as far as we can tell they ain't charging for the drinks. Which should remain affordable for the proprietors as it can only seat two folks at a time.
With Grey Goose for a client, London-based branding agency Ragged Edge created The World's Most Intimate Martini Bar, as they've nicknamed it, by restoring an old Citröen Type H. In addition to the exterior restoration, they've kitted it out with an interior of leather, marble, bronze, brushed metal, and etched glass to create a "fully functioning luxury bar."
If you're wondering why there are photos of bread on the side for a company hawking vodka, the project is officially called the Boulangerie Francois Camionnette ("French bakery van") as a nod to another branding event RE held last year: In London's Soho they launched a pop-up artisanal bakery, where guests could "sample fresh Grey Goose bread, made using the finest soft winter wheat from the Picardie region in France." (That's the same type of grain Grey Goose is made from.)(more...)
A Brief History of Citröen, Part 3: World's First Food Truck Borrows Production Methods from the Luftwaffe
As the Nazis occupied France and commandeered production at the Citröen factory, Citröen's design team was still secretly working on their own projects. One of those was the iconic 2CV economy car. Another was an equally quirky-looking but very different sort of vehicle called the Type H. And interestingly enough, one of its key design elements was inspired by the aircraft used by the Germans occupying France.
Like the 2CV, the Type H was meant to do more with less. But whereas the 2CV was meant to haul people and their farm goods, The Type H would be its urban counterpart, a proper delivery van. It would be a direct successor to their TUB and TUC delivery vehicles, whose production had been killed for want of raw materials during the war. Here's what that pre-war TUB looked like, by the way:
As you can see, a van requires a lot more surface area than the 2CV. This raised the problem of how to stiffen the van's structure while using materials as economically as possible. The answer was flying above Citröen's heads and landing at airfields in occupied France:(more...)
While studying abroad in Denmark during the fall of 2013, Meg Czaja toured Lego Headquarters and was disappointed with what she saw. For a class at the Kolding School of Design focused on the topic of play, the designer explored the toymaker's facilities, becoming increasingly disillusioned with the company's outlook on children in the United States. "One of the speakers, whom I believe worked in marketing, said that children in the U.S. don't know how to use Legos without instructions, which is why they are now sold in sets," Czaja says. "Rather than trying to challenge the notion, this mentality was driving their current designs—in lieu of a child's capacity to create. I found it to be incredibly troublesome."
That experience stuck with the Pratt MID candidate when she came back to the States, as she actively sought out opportunities to design for children's unrestricted, self-prompted play. The perfect opportunity came last spring in a soft-goods class taught by Rebbecah Pailes-Freedman. Given the task to design a backpack that incorporated an inherent social message, Czaja naturally gravitated to the topic of free play. The result is the PlayPack, which incorporates toys in its construction and can even become a toy itself.
Czaja kicked off the 14-week project with a comprehensive competitive analysis of existing backpacks. Making trips across New York and New Jersey, Czaja visited Target and REI stores to take photos and gather information about the bags they sold. Focusing on the bag construction, she looked at materials and the way zippers and other fasteners were handled, along with other features. "I think I examined over a hundred backpacks," she says. Czaja sketched out potential designs, honing those down to a final ten to present to her class.
In an effort to make the experience similar to that of a client/designer relationship, the professor picked the final direction for PlayPack, and then Czaja had to execute it. Designing and prototyping happened concurrently as the designer spent a few days mocking up the paper backpack from craft paper and masking tape on a child-sized mannequin, while simultaneously figuring out how the pack could be played with as individual pieces. "What if the bag itself became a toy that could be used in conjunction with the objects it held?" Czaja asked herself. "The form came from there. I never wanted the bag to be a toy in typical terms. I wasn't aiming to make a backpack that looked like a rocket ship or an octopus because, overall, that's limiting."(more...)
Lasers, Fire, Robots: Igniting the STEAM Generation - Two Bit Circus to Host Carnival in Los Angeles, October 25-26
Right now the buzz term in education is STEM, which is composed of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Despite the momentum building around STEM careers, students continue to be widely uninterested in these growing fields. Intimidation, fear, real-world disconnect and unequal representation for girls and minorities are all contributing to an overall lack of interest. With STEM related jobs projected to grow by 17% over the next ten years, it is imperative to find a solution that re-inspires and reengages young generations to pursue these STEM disciplines.
Really, STEM has a branding problem.
Two Bit Circus is leading the movement to re-inspire the inventors and designers of the future through STEAM (STEM + Art).
This means harnessing a person's passion for music by exploring how to build a musical robot, or tapping into kids' excitement around fashion and applying that knowledge to designing and constructing wearable technology fashion pieces. By offering these young inventors the opportunity to create their own combinations of interest in STEAM, Two Bit Circus provides the spark needed to ignite not just their curiosity in these disciplines, but most importantly their enthusiastic pursuit of STEAM careers in the future.
To kick off this STEAM movement, Two Bit Circus have created the STEAM Carnival, a unique, high-energy event that will feature tech-infused game attractions and carnival-inspired entertainment to thrill, amuse, and reimagine the way we learn and play through STEAM.
The Los Angeles STEAM Carnival debuts October 25–26, 2014 at CRAFTED at the Port of Los Angeles. Engage in 90,000 square feet of fun, featuring high-tech games, mad science demos, circus performers and fun foods.
Use Promo Code CORE77 for a $5 discount on each ticket!(more...)
The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus roll out today, and uptake will be massive. In addition to the insane sidewalk lines you'll shortly see on the news, Apple has racked up a staggering 4 million pre-orders. iOS app developers who upgrade their offerings will have a ready market, but they "can't just treat screens in the 5.5-inch range simply as a scaled-up version of a smaller phone," writes mobile products developer Scott Hurff, citing basic ergonomics. "[With the larger sizes] grips completely change, and with that, your interface might need to do so, as well."
To help app developers who haven't already made their bones on already-large Android devices, Hurff has released "Thumb Zone" maps on his blog. Research from Steven Hoober, author of Designing Mobile Interfaces, concluded that the majority of users prefer to use smartphones one-handedly, and Hurff used Hoober's data to create visual representations of where your thumb can, can't, and can kind of reach on various models of iPhone:
Then he puts Thumb Zones for the 6 and 6 Plus side-by-side:
This is where you start to see a sharp difference brought about by a much larger screen size. The sheer width of the 6 Plus means the thumb can no longer naturally reach all the way to the left edge, while the different grip required to support the larger device also changes the shape of the "Natural" area.(more...)
"The MP3 player wasn't a new thing when the iPod came out, nor was the iPhone the first smart phone," observes John Maeda, Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and former president of the Rhode Island School of Design. "But they were the ones that made you give a damn."
What Maeda describes in that 2011 Huffington Post article is the First Moment of Truth (FMOT)—that moment when a consumer walks into a store, faced with several comparable products and has to make a decision. They pick up MP3 player one, MP3 player two, hold them in their hands and, in that FMOT, decide which one they will purchase. In a world where many products are relatively similar in terms of technology, price, performance and features, design is that differentiator.
That differentiator is what companies like Karten Design try to create. "How do you get mindshare? How do you stand out? How do you create "sticky" stuff? We use design research," says Stuart Karten, Principal and Founder of Karten Design, a product innovation firm made up of scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, and designers who go out and spend time with the people for whom they are designing products.
"We are trying to understand their habits and ceremonies, so that we can create products that fit in with the way people live their lives, making them easier to adopt," explains Karten. "Most importantly, we are trying to find unmet needs—common needs that are persistent in people's lives, but aren't being satisfied through the current products, or even the product categories that are available on the market. We use unmet needs to drive new ideas."(more...)
When it comes to week long festivals of design, it is often off the beaten track and around the fringes—at a safe distance from the frantic hype and clamouring furniture brands—that you find the most interesting things going on.
North from the thriving creative district of Shoreditch, photographer Dan Tobin Smith—famous for his work with everyday objects, perhaps most recognizably as the cover artwork of Jay-Z's Blueprint 3—has opened up his studio in Haggerston (a recently established haunt for the creative classes, with a few notable IDers amongst them) exhibiting a spectacular installation that is perhaps the most critical contemplation of consumer culture we're likely to see all week."No one can win against kipple, he said, except temporarily and maybe in one spot."
Entitled 'The First Law of Kipple' in reference to Phillip K Dick's 1968 novel 'Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep'—that later went on to inspire Blade Runner—the installation features thousands upon thousands of objects swamping the studio on every flat surface, arranged (with great appeal to the OCD-inclined) in a stunning spectrum of colours. Much like the fictional post-apocalyptic world that is haunted by plastic 'kipple,' the objects swarm all throughout the exhibition space—following viewers up stairs and into the toilet cubicle.
Apparently the accumulation of months upon months of collecting in thrift shops and carboot sales, the objects collected were first used for a series of photographps of spectral seas of objects. Tobin Smith and his team report then spending around a month to lay out the objects perfectly for this week's incredible installation.(more...)
Design students face the same challenge as many other students and professionals: how to best carry the materials and tools needed on a day-to-day basis. Two students have created designs to meet that need.
Nitesh Baviskar decided to design a bag specifically for industrial designers.
While some of the bags Baviskar looked at during his research were backpacks, his design is a shoulder bag.
The bag is designed to hold the things designers need: a laptop, a sketchbook, drawing implements and a few tools.
We previously covered industrial designer Robb Godshaw's work here and here, and now the self-described "interactive artist, tinkerer and designer" has created something blogworthy yet again. Masquerading as a health-promoting piece of work furniture, Godshaw's latest creation is a commentary on our working lives: It's a standing-desk treadmill—except the treadmill has been turned inside out to place the user on the inside. Like a hamster wheel.
Godshaw created it as part of his artist-in-residence term over at Autodesk's Pier 9 fabrication facility, teaming up with a fellow tinkerer going by the handle wrdwise. With assistance from Vanessa Sigurdson, Gabe Patin, Oliver Kreitman, and Bilal Ghalib, the duo designed and built the thing and posted an Instructable on it for like-minded hamsterfolk.Rise up, sedentary sentients, and unleash that untapped potential within by marching endlessly towards a brilliant future of focused work. Step forward into a world of infinite potential, bounded only by the smooth arcs of a wheel. Step forward into the Hamster Wheel Standing Desk that will usher in a new era of unprecedented productivity.
Here it is in action:(more...)
The Un-School of Disruptive Design Kicks Off Their Fall Program with a Bash at the AIGA National Design Center
It's always interesting to revisit past Core77 Design Awards honorees and learn what they've been up to since then—while we'd certainly be flattered if a C77DA honor was a designer's greatest accomplishment, we hope that they continue to grow and explore. Leyla Acaroglu took home a trophy in 2013 for her hand in the Design Play Cards: Designing for Sustainability, and has since made her mark as a disruptive designer, sustainability provocateur and educator. The jury team recognized the project as an award-worthy attempt to teach a much-debated skill: design thinking. Now, her latest project takes a less obvious—yet just as intriguing—stab at doing the same thing, in a more social atmosphere.
Acaroglu has launched the Un-School of Disruptive Design with social entrepreneur Heidi Sloane and artist Yvette King. While the actual space won't open its doors until 2015, the school is off the ground and running with a series of events to take place this fall in New York City.
The Un-school recently hosted a launch party at the AIGA National Design Center where they introduced teasers to their fall activities. The school seems to have launched very recently, making their event planning and party success quite impressive; here's the group's mission statement, to give you a better idea of what they're all about:Design is the silent social influencer that shapes and scripts the way we live in the world—at the Un-School, we are disrupting the way in which design is viewed and used. We work with designers, artists and innovators on provocative and fun activations and events for positive social and environmental change. We invite you to come un-learn and un-do at the un-school.(more...)
Do you think it was harder, or easier to design cars when your main competition was horses and carriages? Whichever you believe, imagine you're a car designer or engineer and this is the brief you receive:
We need you to design something that's going to remain in production for over four decades.
- It has to be cheap.
- It has to be easy-to-maintain.
- It has to be easy to manufacture.
- It has to get good mileage, let's say 78 miles per gallon.
Maybe you'd stall by asking who the target buyer is and what the car's performance needs are. So they come back to you with
It needs to be able to carry four farmers and over 100 pounds of their goods and harvested crops to market over unpaved roads. And they might be carrying eggs. Yeah, so make sure the car can drive across a ploughed field while it's loaded up with eggs, and that the eggs won't break. Also, sometimes they might need to carry big stuff like furniture, so make sure you design in a solution for that.
As impossible as all that sounds, that was what the development team at Citröen was facing in the mid-1930s, when France was still largely rural farmland. It didn't take long to figure out the car would have to be small to meet the first set of criteria, and the project was dubbed TPV for Toute Petite Voiture, or "very small car."
It took 47 prototypes, but by 1939 the TPV was deemed ready. To achieve the light weight the car was made using a lot of aluminum (which back then was so cheap that over in America Singer had begun building their Featherweight sewing machines out of the stuff). The car's seats were even lighter--they were pieces of fabric slung from the roof by wires, like a hammock. The roof was canvas and could be rolled back like the top of a sardine can, from the front windshield almost all the way down the back to the rear bumper. It only had one headlight and one taillight. But it worked, and it satisfied the brief, so the company came up with a snazzier name—the 2CV, for Deux Chevaux-Vapeur or "two steam horses," and prepared to try a first production batch of 250 cars.
Then World War II broke out.
As the Nazis invaded France, Citröen probably realized that their factory would soon be building Wehrmacht trucks. So under the direction of company president Pierre-Jules Boulanger a/k/a PJB, they started hiding the 2CV plans and destroying all of the prototypes. A few prototypes needed to be saved, however, presumably because they contained some winning formula of engineering that would be difficult to recall, so those were buried underground or hidden in barns. And one prototype was modified to look like a pickup truck so it could hide in plain sight.
Amazingly, in 1995, three of the original TPV prototypes, the ones that PJB had ordered hidden during World War II, were found in a French barn.(more...)
Lee Broom opened doors at his Shoreditch studio last night to launch an opulent new collection of lighting and objects under the tongue in cheek title, 'Nouveau Rebel.' Recognized on the design scene for his contemporary twists on classics and high-end finishes (see his Crystal Bulbs from 2012) Broom's collection this year shows some creative and incredibly crafted use of marble—thin tubes of the stuff, for example, making even strip lighting look swanky.
Moving away from generic studio opening format or indeed the mock shop of previous LDF's, last night's dramatic exhibition ushered visitors down monochromatic corridors of curtains with only the collection to dramatically lighting the corners and crevices.(more...)
Tomorrow Scotland will hold a historic vote on whether to break away from the United Kingdom or not. Never mind the social, political, economic ramifications of secession—if the Scots bail out, there will be a bit of a graphic design problem to address.
That's because the Union Jack, the flag of the United Kingdom, is in fact a 19th-Century mashup of three different flags: The English's St. George's Cross blazon...
...Northern Ireland's Saint Patrick's Saltire (a "saltire" being a diagonal cross)...
...and Scotland's Saint Andrew's Cross, which is technically a saltire.
Put them all together, and you've got three great tastes that (perhaps used to) taste great together:(more...)
If you are a fresh industrial design student, you'll most likely have your first try at 3D printing this semester or this year. And while a lot of focus has been on the printers themselves, it's equally important and fascinating to look at the materials we can use.
There are surprisingly few limitations placed on the kinds of materials used to print 3D objects. As additive manufacturing develops into a widespread practice it's important to focus on the potential of the ingredients used. Here's a rundown of the popular and the strange.
The most commonly used materials today are the thermoplastics (polymers.) Typically the polymers are in the form of filament made from resins.- Acrylonitile butadiene styrene (ABS) also known as lego plastic, is perhaps one of the most commonly used plastics in 3D printing.
- Polylactic acid (PLA) has the flexibility to be hard or soft and is starting to gain popularity. There is also a soft form of PLA that is rubbery and flexible.
- Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) is a dissolvable material that is used as a support, that then gets washed away once the object is created.
- Polycarbonate requires high-temperature nozzle design and is in the proof-of-concept stage.
Plastics can be mixed with carbon fiber to make them stronger without adding weight.
There are also several metals that can be used for additive manufacturing:- Steel
- Stainless steel
Several types of processes work with metals and metal alloys. These are direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), electron-beam melting, selective laser melting (SLM). SLM can worth with plastics, ceramics abut also metal powders, and can produce metal objects that have strikingly similar properties as those of traditionally manufactured metals. (We previously posted videos of each of the methods listed above.)(more...)
A Brief History of Citröen, Part 1: Ignoring War and Sabotaging Nazis on Their Way to Producing Funky, Iconic Cars
The key characteristic of a Military-Industrial Complex is that armaments manufacturers want wars to keep going, so that they can keep making profits. Thankfully for the human race, not all industrialists are willing to propagate this system. France's Andre Citröen, an engineer by training, was one such enlightened individual.
See, Citröen was responsible for mass-producing armaments for France during World War I. But he realized the war wouldn't last forever, and knew that the factory he was running was going to be shut down unless there was something else to mass produce afterwards. With six years of pre-war experience working for the early French automobile manufacturer Mors, Citröen decided he'd produce a car—and he started working on it as early as 1916, two years before the war even ended.
That's why, when Allied victory came in late 1918, Citröen was ready to roll out a car just four months later. The lightweight, relatively affordable 18-horsepower Citröen Type A was a success, and by 1920 the Parisian factory was producing 100 per day.
They cranked out some 24,000 units before Citröen succeeded the Type A with the Type B2.(more...)
With festivities now in full swing, first stop for many (us included) on the London Design Festival trail is a whiz 'round the various goings-on at the illustrious Victoria & Albert Museum in the city's Brompton district. As the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design (housing an estimated 4.5 million objects in the permanent collection), the grand Victorian edifice has become a fitting hub for the design festival in recent years. As in previous years, the V&A hosts a number of LDF exhibits dotted around the maze-like galleries and corridors of the museum, as well as an impressive program of talks and debates.
Amongst the highlights, new trio Felix de Pass (product and interior designer), Michael Montgomery (graphic designer) and Ian McIntyre (ceramist) have taken over the dimly lit climate controlled tapestry galleries with a spellbinding installation entitled "Candela.' A large rotating disc floating above the gallery floor rotates to display evolving glowing partterns—a light fixture at the bottom of the piece effectively 'printing' light onto the discs phosphorescent surface (similar, apparently, to that used by the sponsoring watch brand). As the disc turns and the printed pattern evolves, a pleasing depth is created as previous rotations slowly fade.(more...)
Peering Into the Future of Design Education (and Design in General): Five Key Insights From Our ID-Centric 11-Part Interview Series
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Photos by Kyle Oldfield, winner of our design school photo contest
Yesterday we published the last installment of our D-School Futures series, in which we interviewed the chairs of 11 leading industrial design programs about the evolution of ID education. Along the way, we gleaned quite a few insights into what it's like to be an ID student today, how schools are reacting to rapid changes in the industry, and what all of this means for incoming students and recent graduates. For those of you who haven't had time to read the full series—or who just love a good listicle—here's our shortlist of five essential takeaways.
1. Now Is a Really Good Time to Launch a Design Career
OK, so you would expect the chairs of design programs to be bullish about the profession; they couldn't very well tell us that now is a crummy time to get a degree from one of their programs. Even so, our interviewees gave us the distinct impression that now actually is a really good time to be getting into industrial design, or any design field for that matter. With the economy looking increasingly healthy, design firms are hiring new graduates at a steady clip—and, more importantly, businesses of all stripes are continuing to recognize the importance of design to their bottom lines.
2. Designing Physical Stuff Is Not Becoming Less Important—If Anything, the Opposite Is True
Worried that designers of actual, physical stuff are going to become obsolete in the coming decades, as more and more of our daily tasks are handled by digital tools? Don't be. As several of our interviewees noted, physical objects are not going away anytime soon—and, besides, as digital tools become more advanced, people will expect richer and more nuanced experiences in ye olde three-dimensional world. "While our tools and experiences are moving toward digital interactions, there will always be physical, visual or multi-sensorial manifestations that are part of the input and output of those interactions," Art Center's Karen Hofmann told us. "Design will be the differentiator in how successful or meaningful those product experiences will be."
How Can Adding Bike Lanes Actually Improve the Flow of Car Traffic, While Increasing Overall Safety? In Two Words, Clever Design
As someone recently introduced to regular bicycling by Citi Bike, New York's bicycle share program, I love bike lanes. I just wish there were more of them; their relative Manhattan scarcity, and my unwillingness to brave the laneless streets with the battle-hardened bike pros, mean I must often choose circuitous routes in order to safely remain a wussy.
I assumed NYC won't add more bike lanes because of the added cost and the resultant auto traffic congestion (more room for bikes means less room for cars). So I was very surprised to read a NYC Department of Transportation study [PDF] released this month that found that adding bike lanes actually increased the flow of auto traffic.
How is this possible? In two words, clever design. But before we get into the details, for those of you not familiar with the style of NYC's newest bike lanes, let's have a look at the old system:
As you can see, placing the bike lane there leaves the cyclist in danger of getting "doored" by someone getting out of a parked car without bothering to look first. And the painted buffer between the cyclist and moving traffic offers zero protection from a car that veers out of control. So in 2007 they started shuffling things around like this:
With this improved design, the cyclist now rides adjacent to the sidewalk. The painted five-foot buffer prevents the cyclist from getting doored by a parked car, which now resides in a parking lane that provides a solid physical barrier protecting a cyclist from colliding with a moving auto. And if you look at the dimensions listed, you'll see the buffer can now safely be reduced by two feet in width, while the bike lane got wider by the same amount.
So right off the bat this second design is smarter than the first, and the numbers bear that out: In 2001, the old-style lanes were in effect. In 2013, the new-style lanes were in existence. And there has been a "75% decrease in average risk of a serious injury to cyclists" in that time period.(more...)
The Rockport Company is seeking a Men's Footwear Designer with a global perspective on fashion, performance and lifestyle trends who will be responsible for the ideation of new concepts and the creation of compelling footwear designs that reflect Rockport's unique heritage of product innovation, style and comfort. The Rockport Design Team in Canton, MA carries on the Rockport tradition of improving their customer's lives by introducing advanced technologies into casual shoes.
Working at Rockport will require you to stay current with relevant trends, and apply this understanding into designs to ensure products are contemporary, on trend and market relevant. You'll also need to be able to present designs to the Head of Design, VP and other team members, as needed, in addition to providing product conceptualization, illustration and technical detailing of product, graphics, technical specifications. Apply Now.
, a high-speed optical Internet service provider in Japan, has created what may be the best commercial I've ever seen.
I've always been a fan of Rube Goldberg machines—I was even in a club in elementary school whose sole purpose was to create one to compete against other schools in the state. Now, we've covered plenty of Goldbergian machines that are purportedly the best of the best—all awesome machines that are worth revisiting—but au Hikari has a new twist on the contraption. A commercial for the Japanese high-speed optical ISP features a Rube Goldberg machine that is 'powered' by a single beam of light as it is reflected, refracted and magnified by various lenses and glasses throughout the two-minute sequence.
In keeping with the solemn, tenebrist ambiance of the mechanism, the commercial features naturalistic sound; an American company would probably have opted for non-diegetic audio—listen to OK Go in the background if you must. Check it out for yourself:(more...)