With Easter right around the corner, it's the perfect time to introduce a quirky gadget made just for eggs. With a name like Golden Goose, you would expect to find it among the pages of a children's fable or scenes of "Game of Thrones" (and really, it is pretty magical), but this appliance is destined for the kitchen.
The Golden Goose, created by Chicago firm Y Line Product Design, is a surprisingly low tech method to making your own Golden Eggs—which are 1.) actual things, and 2.) scrambled eggs that are made in-shell. Golden Eggs are considered delicacies due to a gap in the "in-shell scrambled egg" appliance market, according to the gadget's Kickstarter campaign.
By using centrifugal force and a carefully designed egg chamber, the Golden Goose shakes everything up without breaking the egg's shell. After your egg has been sufficiently rattled, you're free to eat them any way you'd like—soft boiled, fried, hard boiled, deviled, pickled; wherever your taste buds take you.
Check out the campaign video to see how it works:(more...)
3D-print-happy designer Michiel Cornelissen is at it again. To create his clever ZooM lampshade, Cornelissen has adopted the trick we first saw Sklyar Tibbits messing around with, where you print something small and made out of interlocking pieces that can then be stretched out to occupy a greater volume. In this case, gravity does the work for you.Created as a programmable object in generative design software, ZooM has a structure created from hundreds of repeating elements that together form a series of interlocking spirals. 3-d printing allows this pentagonal lampshade to be manufactured flat and completely assembled; folded out, it's flexible like a textile, while maintaining its form like a rigid product. The semi-transparent structure shields the bulb's glare, while transmitting light efficiently.
Cornelissen is selling them in two sizes, a 20-cm and 28-cm version. And as cool as it looks in blue, at press time it was only available in black or white.(more...)
While the Layers Cloud Chair might feel (and look) like you're sitting on a cloud, the bulbous lounge is anything but weightless. It's made from 550 pounds of solid wool—and its construction was a woolly beast of its own. Designed by Richard Hutten, the chair made its debut in Milan last week as part of an exhibit by the Danish textile manufacturer Kvadrat, which enlisted 22 international designers to explore the diverse capabilities of its Divina fabric.
"For me, designing is in the first place a thinking and research process," the Rotterdam-based Hutten says. "So I looked into the material. What makes it special? How does it look, feel, smell? How can I use it in an exceptional way?" Divina is a durable wool blend, and Hutten chose to focus on what he considered the main qualities of the material—its soft tactility and its availability in a range of vibrant hues.
As an added challenge, the designer resolved to use Divina as the structure for the object itself. "I wanted to use the Divina material as the sole material for the piece, not only as a cover, which is the normal way it's being used," he says. "These I called 'the rules of the game.' From there, the playing started."(more...)
We thought the PermaFLOW transparent sink trap was a pretty brilliant innovation, allowing you to see and clear those pesky under-basin clogs. But from Philippe Starck by way of Hansgrohe comes the Axor Starck V, which brings transparency up where we can see it. Starck calls it "a mixer that represents the absolute minimum: totally transparent, almost invisible, and enclosing a miracle that is the vortex."
While the impetus for the design—reportedly five years in the making—is poetic...With the beauty and dynamism of its vortex, the mixer bridges the gap between the functional and emotional aspects of water at the washbasin, transforming it from a basic commodity to a valuable resource. ...Besides serving the technical function of making water visible, transparency aesthetically fuses the mixer body with its surroundings, thus, in essence de- materializing it. The openly designed spout contributes to the natural water experience: before the eyes of the user, the upward, swirling motion of water through the mixer's body and its "free-fall" into the washbasin trigger a feeling of joy and happiness. (more...)
C77 Design Daily - Submit Your Questions to Ayse Birsel for a Chance to Have Her Answer in Print next Month!
Although NYCxDesign is still three weeks away, we've been lining up some of the content for the C77 Design Daily—after all, it's our very first effort at publishing our content in print and it's not going to write itself.
In the interest of verisimilitude, the Daily will feature an advice column from renowned designer Ayse Birsel. With some twenty years of experience working with leading brands and Fortune 500 companies, Ayse is the co-founder of Birsel + Seck, a New York City-based design studio, and the creator of the acclaimed Design the Life You Love workshop series.
Please submit your questions to mail[at]core77.com with the subject line "Ask Ayse" by Thursday, April 24, for a chance to have Ayse answer your questions in print when we publish the Core77 Design Daily from May 16–19.
And don't forget to submit your events ASAP to ensure that they make it into our event guide!(more...)
Winter might be coming to Westeros, but here in NYC it's the impending arrival of summer that has me worried. Your correspondent has relocated to new, poorly-insulated digs with a bank of drafty south-facing windows, and I can't afford the BTUs it'll take to keep this place cool.
While seeking inexpensive desk fans I came across this USB LED Fan Clock. Yes, I know most everything that plugs into USB that isn't a thumb drive is total junk, but it caught my eye because it actually delivers two useful functions, even if the time delivery is a bit garish.(more...)
This week in nouveau-Cold War news: MIT researchers will present plans for floating nuclear reactors, adapting existing technologies towards a goal put to rest during the Ford Administration. Floating reactors might sound futuristic—or dystopian—but they're not a new idea, having been proposed first in 1971 by Offshore Power Systems (a joint venture by Westinghouse Corporation and Tenneco). That original plan combined several of the features the new MIT design hopes to capitalize on: mass producibility, increased distance from populations and use of the sea as a buffer against damage.
This new design combines modern oil rig sensibilities with light water nuclear reactors in a package that can be mass produced and towed into position five miles offshore. A crucial benefit of oceanic operation is the protection from tsunami and earthquake damage. Deep water insulates well against both seismic waves and the destructive end of tsunami swells, making it an obvious boon for growing, catastrophe-prone energy markets like Japan.
This kind of mass-produced floating reactor fleet was originally scuttled due to economic instability and raging environmental concerns. The 1979 Three Mile Island accident led to over 300,000 people evacuating their homes, and left the public with a powerfully bad taste for the energy source. Subsequent catastrophic failures and willful breaches of safety (see: Chernobyl, Hanford, Fukushima Daiichi) have perpetuated nuclear power's troubled reputation, but nuclear power development is still on the rise.(more...)
The Dutch made a strong showing throughout Milan this year, including in Zona Tortona where a loose collective headed up by Frederik Roijé is returning alongside Tuttobene and Moooi to represent of a range of Dutch design from independent studios to major brands. The factually titled "Dutch at Savona 33" features four brands that fall somewhere in between: Roijé's eponymous studio; New Duivendrecht, the brand he co-founded with Victor Le Noble; DUM, returning this year; and Quodes, whom they've added to their ranks this year.
More on New Duivendrecht below
Along with the "Smokestack," which debuted last year and has reportedly been selling briskly (or at least as well as a COR-TEN steel chimney might sell), Roijé launched several new products, including the "Texture Tray," which was inspired by hatching/crosshatching, and the "Treasure Table" (below).
Meanwhile, the "Cloud Cabinet" is intended to complement the "Storylines" and "Guidelines" series of book shelves and magazine racks.
While some may call a clear, blue sky art enough, French artist Thomas Lamadieu might say otherwise. In fact, he might call it a blank canvas. His ongoing series, Skyart, takes the blank spaces between buildings and turns them into illustrated wonderlands filled with bearded inhabitants and imaginary animals.
His illustrations started out as line drawings lacking any intense detail (see below) and have grown more cartoonish with his recent pieces. It would (almost) be easy to mistake some of his earlier work for messes of telephone lines or flocks of birds in abnormal formations.(more...)
Timers might not sound like an organizing product—but as a professional organizer, I recommend them to my clients all the time. They're great for overcoming procrastination; end-users can set the timer for 15 minutes and do some dreaded task for just that amount of time. Or they might set the timer for 20 minutes and make sure, when it goes off, that they are still on task. And, of course, timers are useful when cooking and baking, or performing any task where keeping track of time is critical.
Yes, many of us carry timers around with us on our smartphones—but not all end-users have smart phones. And for some, the timer on a smartphone is harder to use than a physical timer. And do we want our smartphones exposed to liquids, grease and chemicals?
Both this timer and the one above come from Zone Denmark. The spinning top timers catch your eye, but the other timer has the advantage of being magnetic, so you can stick it on a refrigerator door (unless the fridge is stainless steel). However, the websites for these timers leave me wondering about many crucial design issues, such as these: How long can the timer be set for? What does the timer sound like when it goes off? Does it tick as it counts down?
This basic egg timer comes from Kuchenprofi, and a number of other companies have products that look similar. This one's an hour-long timer, which is pretty common. The company says it has a long, loud ring, which is important. With the simple design, wiping it clean would be a snap. And it uses a mechanical movement, so no batteries are required.
Here's another mechanical timer with a simple design: the minitimer, designed by Richard Sapper for Terraillon. You'll find this one in MoMA's collection; it's at the Brooklyn Museum, too. With this design, the remaining time is visible both from the side and the top.
Matthaeus Krenn had a red one, and he explained how to set the timer: "Twist the two red halves in oposite directions to load a spring on the inside. Then twist back to set the timer to the desired duration." Sounds easy, right? But I wondered how this would work for someone with arthritis.(more...)
Can a single jacket be all things to all people? Of course not, but perhaps a single jacket design could be all things to all fisherman. A Japanese company called Mountain Research has developed this "Phishing Hoody," which at its core is simply a hooded vest:
But by adding removeable sleeves and a variety of extensions, the user can make the jacket longer or shorter, and choose pocket styles based on the gear they'll be carrying that day.(more...)
Had the Industrial Revolution never happened, there'd still be doctors, lawyers, farmers and merchants—but there darn sure wouldn't be any industrial designers. It's a bit of a shame that the event that enabled our very profession caused such widespread pollution, but we didn't understand the environmental effects back then, and even if we did it wouldn't have stopped men like Carnegie and Loewy.
Now that we are grasping the environmental effects of pollution, what we're learning is staggering. A new study published this week posits that pollution from Asia's industrial boom is affecting the weather in North America. The study, performed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and reported by Live Science, finds that "Pollution from China's coal-burning power plants is pumping up winter storms over the northwest Pacific Ocean and changing North America's weather.""The increasing pollution in Asian countries is not just a local problem, it can affect other parts of the world," [lead study author and atmospheric scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Yuan] Wang told Live Science. ...Wang and his co-authors examined how the tiny pollution particles in Asia play a role in cloud formation and the storms that spin up each winter east of Japan, in a cyclone breeding ground north of 30 degrees latitude. Monsoon winds carry aerosols from Asia to this storm nursery in the winter. ...The new study finds that sulfate aerosols are among the most important drivers of Pacific storms, by encouraging more moisture to condense in clouds, Wang said.(more...)
Hosted by Don Lehman, Core77's podcast series is designed for all those times you're sketching, working in the shop, or just looking for inspiration from inspiring people. We'll have conversations with interesting creatives and regular guests. The viewpoint of Afterschool will come from industrial design, but the focus will be on all types of creativity: graphic design, storytelling, architecture, cooking, illustration, branding, materials, business, research... anything that could enrich your thought process, we'll talk about.
You've probably seen Craighton's work around before. He's the guy who did that lamp made of an orange extension cord, or that pencil sharpener built into a mason jar to help quantify how creative you've been, or countless sketchnotes from design conferences and events.
Craighton is in the middle of a pretty formidable transition with his work. He's combining most of it under a new brand which he is calling Manual as well as launching a new product called the Manual Coffeemaker or MCM. If you haven't seen it before, it's this beautiful glass terrarium-like, pour over coffee maker, that is more of a kitchen appliance than a tool. The MCM is in the middle of it's Kickstarter funding right now, which is scheduled to end this Friday, April 18. As of this recording it's not yet fully funded, but it's inching closer and closer. So I thought it would be the perfect time to talk to Craighton about what this experience is like. What goes on in the head of a designer who puts their passion project out their for public approval?
Get the Afterschool Podcast, Episode #19 – Craighton Berman, Founder of Manual: Available at the iTunes store or direct download via Soundcloud below.(more...)
Friendly Architecture, a Climbing-Gym-Turned-Coworking-Space and Young Talent: Our Favorite Moments from PSFK 2014
All photos by Catalina Kulczar-Marin
Like with any other conference aimed at sparking innovation and creativity, you're going to leave the event with too much information to process. (Moan and groan about buzzwords all you want, but at the end of the day "inspired" is the only way to describe it.) Which, of course, were my feelings concerning PSFK 2014, a one-day conference titled "Connecting the Unexpected." On April 11, the staff of PSFK hosted an auditorium full of marketers, designers, entrepreneurs and other creative types at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York. For the sake of Internet brevity and my own sanity, I'll break up a few of my favorite take-aways in accordance with the three speaker categories: Keynote, Spotlight and Refresh. I hope that you might find some of it—yup—inspiring.
Marc Kushner of Architizer
The day got off to a great start. The first presenter—and possibly the most interesting to me—was Marc Kushner, CEO and co-founder of Architizer. While his message was strong on its own, it might have been the easy delivery and candid approach he took to presenting it. Nothing seemed over-rehearsed and instead of cramming a career's worth of work into 20 minutes (speakers were allotted 10- and 20-minute presentation times), he walked us all through one design his firm HWKN took on: "Wendy," the 2012 winner of the MoMA PS1 Young Architects Program. He addressed the topic of creating things with personality and pushed his message even further through presenting the thought process behind one of his own successful designs. (His words: "They tweeted at her. They added her on Facebook.")
By taking us through the design process by means of various sketches and photographs of the finished product, Kushner successfully (at least in my instance) reminded us all that architecture is an interactive part of society. My favorite words from the entire event came from Kushner: "Math is intimidating. Architecture shouldn't be intimidating."
Keith Yamashita also served up a noteworthy performance and controlled his presentation (which you can view here) from his phone, which was pretty nifty. His focus was the importance of teamwork in discovering with a successful solution—design-specific or not—and took us through a few steps, or lessons: "Start from a pure place—with equal parts empathy and aspiration," "never delegate understanding," "virtually all acts of greatness are the work of an ensemble" and "greatness is a choice," to name a few.
Brooklyn Boulders's "Cultural Chameleon" Jesse Levin shared his stories of volunteering in disaster areas and drew similarities with the atmosphere and team he has built in Brooklyn. Hiring music acts and housing graffiti artists in exchange for wall decorations are only a few things he has utilized to create a collaborative space—not to mention he's created a co-working space inside of the Brooklyn Boulders gym, complete with standing desks and pull-up bars (no joke). While he wasn't speaking about design per se, the notion that taking creative leaps keeps ideas fresh applies to any domain.(more...)
It's never a perfect analogy, but it can be interesting when it comes close enough: Attempting to translate one creative discipline into another is, to mutilate the metaphors, more difficult than turning water into wine—rather, the old saying regarding "dancing about architecture" comes to mind. For Milan Design Week 2014, the Centrum Designu Gdynia ambitiously sought to distill a dozen products by Polish Pomeranian designers into culinary delights. Although the concept itself was executed to varying degrees of success, "Taste of an Object" offered a nice twist on the tried-and-true local design showcase.
Taking inspiration from Richard E. Cytowic's The Man Who Tasted Shapes (MIT Press 2003), the Gdynia Design Centre worked with razy2 design group to develop an exhibition in which "an object goes beyond the limits of how it's typically perceived.""Flavors have shape," he started, frowning into the depths of the roasting pan. "I wanted the taste of this chicken to be pointed shape, but it came out all round." He looked up at me, still blushing. "Well I mean it's nearly spherical," he emphasized, trying to keep the volume down. "I can't serve this if it doesn't have points." ..."When I taste something with intense flavor, the feeling sweeps down to my arm into my fingertips. I feel it—its weight, its texture, whether it's warm or cold, everything. I feel it like I'm actually grasping something." He held his palms up. "Of course, there's nothing really there," he said, staring at his hands. "But it's not illusion because I feel it."
So goes the excerpt of Cytowic's book, a seed of source material that is planted in the geopolitical context of the Pomerania region of northern Poland, across the Baltic Sea from Sweden. Described as "a region of a turbulent history linked with and age-long fight for independence," Pomerania is also an incubator, "a base for brave yet developing, unique projects."
Mouthwatering though they may be, chef Rafal Walesa's gastronomic concoctions are only obliquely related to the products—but that's precisely the point. After all, one can only imagine that literal interpretations of, say, a radiator (there are actually three heating-related products in the show) or an urn might not be nearly as appetizing as the photogenic treats that were on view. (Note: The captioned images below alternate between food and product, with the dishes followed by the design that inspired them.)
Chocolate sponge cake is perhaps the ultimate comfort food
"Welna & Powietrze" armchair by Malafor (Agata Kulik-Pomorska & Pawel Pomorski)
Hard candy is intended to symbolize cast aluminum, while its lemon tea flavor conjures the contrast of heat on a cold winter day
Red wine jelly offers a twist on a drink for a solemn occasion
"Tear Drop" by Aeon Form (Aleksander Bielawski, Robert Kowalczyk & Dominik Sedzicki)(more...)
You may not see much of your well-worn childhood flip books past the age of 10—or maybe even younger thanks to the intrigue of more developed, tech-savvy toys. Juan Fontanive has something to say about that. His series of motorized flip books feature lifted images from Audubon guides that loop through colorful images of birds and illustrations of butterflies. The tiny sculptures-gone-film-art are made up of mixture of miniature gears, sprockets, clips, nuts, bolts and wormwheels. The result is an oddly soothing, page-flipping loop. Check out his newest compilations in action:
A group of MIT scientists have created a new material that can be both a mirror and a window, and no it's not a one-way mirror.
This new material can filter light depending on the direction of the light beams. In the image above light that hits from one angle goes straight through (white beam) but light that hits the material at different angle is reflected back (red beam). For designers it might make for interesting new tricks for walls or new forms of windows.
To filter light one must alter either it's frequency or polarization. In terms of frequency, stained glass windows are a good example, where the glass lets specific wavelengths pass through.
Polarized glasses, like the 3D glasses you wear at the movies, are able to let light through that oscillates in a specific way. But the idea of filtering light based on the direction it comes from has always been tough.(more...)
A Core77 reader wrote in to ask about the provenance of this enormous horse made from wood cut-offs, which we spotted at Holz-Handwerk.
Called the "Workhorse of Peace and Hope," it was made by Italian furniture outfit Riva to symbolize the dedication and perseverance of Italian craftsmanship.
And speaking of wooden animals, here's something I never expected to see being sold by Restoration Hardware: A line of Hand-Carved Game Trophies made out of basswood.
Photography accessory company Photojojo might consist of "a small and passionate team" of designers (who are hiring, by the way), but despite their dimunitive size, the SF-based outfit distributes a staggering array of product. And what they've got in the pipeline is bound to draw some attention: "We're working on some stuff to make drone photography easier for anyone to get into," the company writes. Specifically, they may be helping to usher in a new category of photography: The drone selfie.
What's a drone selfie? Well jeez, whaddaya think it is?
That one was shot by Amit Gupta, the SF-based entrepreneur who runs Photojojo. No word yet on what the physical products they'll be releasing are.(more...)
Four Design Approaches to the Modern-Day Toolbox: Part 4 - Parat Goes for Every Form Factor Imaginable
In this four-part look at different toolbox designs, finally we come to Parat, which has one of the larger tool storage catalogs of any company we've seen. Like Tanos, the company's desire is to produce storage for every single thing any tradesperson could possibly carry; but unlike Tanos, Parat has foregone any notion of connectivity and modularity--perhaps due to legacy issues--and instead produces a bewildering array of form factors, giving the end user a wide variety of options.
Their Paratool line is a unique-looking sort of wheeled briefcase, which can be rolled or carried depending on the load and terrain. The interesting design feature is that it's meant to serve as a mobile tool platform; with the telescoping handles extended, the box can be opened and set at a particular height to allow access to the tools.
Their Parapro line will be familiar to anyone who's used Pelican cases, often the mobile storage unit of choice for photographers and military outfits. Like the Pelicans, the Parapros are 100% waterproof, dustproof and airtight, and molded from nearly indestructible polypropylene.
Their Evolution line looks something like a wall-mounted cabinet that has been adapted to ride on wheels.(more...)