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Posted by Core77 Design Awards  |  28 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Although the perennial buzz around 3D printing has yet to materialize into a proper industrial revolution, the increasingly powerful technology has gained some traction in the medical world, where customizability and on-site availability trump the constraints of cost and scale. It may come as no surprise, then, that one of the 2014 Core77 Design Awards honorees that caught our eye was developed by a previous winner, whose work we'd covered as far back as 2010, before the the inaugural awards program.

This time around, Scott Summit took Professional Runner Up in the Social Impact category with the EKSO personal exoskeleton, a mecha-like medical device at the intersection of robotics, rehabilitation and digital fabrication. As a replacement for a wheelchair, the device has the potential to revolutionize mobility for paraplegic individuals.

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Summit shares credit with Gustavo Fricke, 3D Systems and Ekso Bionics, all of whom worked together to print parts that connect a person to their robot as naturally and respectively as possible. "This is an unusual design effort on every front," designer Scott Summit says. "We had challenges with the technical details, since these are massive files, and almost entirely organic, but very precise. It's also very tricky to scan a paralyzed person, and expect the data to be exactly as desired. We found that even the slightest detail could lead to dangerous bruising." All of that considered, the prototypes have been met with a great response. The test pilot loves it so much, she wants to use it all of the time. But like many of these things go, the team has to wait until the design is FDA certified to be worn daily.

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Posted by core jr  |  28 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Today saw the unveiling of the collaborative bicycle designs that are going head to head in the third edition of the Oregon Manifest, in which five teams in as many cities set out to create and craft the best urban utility bike. As of this morning's launch, the public is invited to vote on their favorite one, which may well be produced by Fuji Bikes in the near future. We are pleased to present exclusive Q&As with each team so they have a chance to explain why their bicycle is the best before the voting period closes this Sunday, August 3.

First up, Brooklyn's own Pensa × Horse Cycles, representing New York City.

Core77: Did you and Thomas know (or know of) each other before the collaboration? What was the matchmaking process like?

Mark Prommel (Pensa): We had seen Horse Cycles on various design and local maker blogs, and were already really into his work. When we were invited to participate as the NYC representative for The Bike Design Project, Thomas Callahan was definitely at the top of the list of bike craftsmen we were interested in talking to. After meeting a few builders, the choice was easy.

By its very nature, the design-fabrication relationship for this collaboration is far more intimate than your average designer's relationship with a contractor or manufacturer. To what degree did you educate each other on your respective areas of expertise? Has the collaboration yielded broader lessons?

One of the things that really made this relationship work well was the fact that Thomas is an established designer in his own right, and we at Pensa are also accomplished makers and fabricators. So it wasn't just a "we design it / you build it" relationship—it was a fully collaborative from the first day. All of our concepts were born out of our first few weeks of open collaboration workshops. Thomas was very open to our approach of establishing the big picture story of the bike first, ensuring it was unique, compelling, and based on real insight about the New York City urban rider. We had to make sure that we were looking at the full range of possibilities for the bike and that the foundation of our concept would have enough layers to make the end result truly special. In developing our early concepts together, Thomas lent a wealth of experience and expertise that prevented us from going down paths that would have been wrought with insurmountable challenges.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  28 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Vacheron Constantin timepieces have been worn by the likes of Harry Truman, the Duke of Windsor and even Napoleon Bonaparte. So when the luxury watch manufacturer needed a special case built to house a one-of-a-kind watch (a "tourbillon minute repeater," buyer unknown), they couldn't exactly buy off-the-rack. Instead they turned to UK-based Method Studio, a highly specialized manufacturer of one-off furniture and cases, to create something truly unique.

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Method Studio, which is comprised of the husband-and-wife, cabinetmaker-and-architect team of Callum Robinson and Marisa Giannasi, along with the input of Callum's master-cabinetmaker/woodcarver/designer/builder father David Robinson, is located on the east coast of Scotland. But they were able to source some "rare old-growth brown oak" from a woodlands in Northampton as their starting point.

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Posted by Core77 Design Awards  |  28 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Perennially the most popular—and competitive—category of the Core77 Design Awards, Consumer Products encompasses everything from health and wellness to comfort and convenience. If you didn't catch the announcement of the Consumer Products winners back in June (live from our first annual Core77 Conference, no less), here's a closer look at the honorees, along with comments from the jury team led by Johan Liden.

As always, this year's honorees represent a full range of forward-thinking and noteworthy products released in 2013, for which mass market appeal is as much a criteria as the incremental innovations behind these objects. In fact, each of these products represents an upgrade from the average, unremarkable things that you might use everyday to the rarefied canon of products that you actually enjoy using.


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Professional Winner: SOMA Water Filter and Carafe, by Moreless & Radius Product Development

It's a simple yet powerful premise: That a humble water carafe might serve as a centerpiece for a kitchen or dining room. Moreless and Radius Product Development rose to the challenge and developed the SOMA Water Filter and Carafe for that very purpose. Here's what the jury had to say: "SOMA is just as much about presentation as it is about purification. While other filtration pitchers may be intended to live on the dinner table, SOMA is the first one that belongs there... When you see it you ask yourself 'Why hasn't anyone done this before?', which we felt is at the heart of great design."

» Learn more about the SOMA Water Filter and Carafe


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Student Winner: Stack, by Mugi Yamamoto

It's easy to see why Mugi Yamamoto's compact inkjet printer earned the praise of designers, including the jury team. Stack sits atop a column of paper and works its way down. The jury appreciated the transparency behind the work: "We loved the deconstruction and reductive thinking of an otherwise clunky, dated device and it's ability to solve for some real world pain points—imagine always knowing if the printer has paper in it!"

» Learn more about Stack


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Posted by Deena DeNaro  |  28 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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On Friday, July 25, the Scottish Ecological Design Association launched the latest issue of their magazine, which is published two to three times a year, at Greek Thomson's Caledonia Road Church in Glasgow. Local leaders in sustainable design presented their work, from MakLab (a turbo-charged version of your neighborhood fab lab) to the Glasgow Wooden Bike Project and GalGael Trust's covetable reclaimed lumber, among other noteworthy projects.

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First up was Oliver Gooddard's "Let it Bee." His beehive and integrated apiary made of sustainable timber ensures that honey stores are kept in sanitary condition by segregating the queen's chambers from those of the worker bees. Based on years of beekeeping experience, Goddard abides by sustainable cultivation practices: Rather than selling all the honey from the bees and feeding them sugar during the winter, they harvest only what they might use and allow the bees to keep the nectar they've worked so hard to create for the long winter months.

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Another stunning installation was the dining set "Sexy Legs," a walnut and sycamore ensemble by cabinetmaker David Watson. Each piece is finished with an alternate set of burr walnut or fiddleback sycamore "stockings." From his Clyde-side workshop in central Glasgow, David and his team of skilled craftsmen manufacture high-quality furniture sourced from only certified sustainable forests.

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Posted by core jr  |  28 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

Those are the cities, but not the bikes; the big reveal is below...

Now in its third edition, the Oregon Manifest Bike Design Project set out a challenge for five teams in five cycling-heavy cities: pairing design firms and bike builders, who can make the most innovative utility bike? Once partnered, these designers and builders dug deep into what they thought a utilitarian bike should provide and hustled to bring their ideas off the page and onto the street. Last Friday, the teams from New York (Pensa × Horse Cycles), Portland (Industry × Ti Cycles), San Francisco (HUGE × 4130 Cycle Works), Seattle (Teague × Sizemore Bicycle) and Chicago (MNML × Method) unveiled their creations to local audiences. Public voting opens today, and cycling enthusiasts are invited to determine which design is the most visionary and best suited for the everyday rider; once the votes are tallied following the August 2 deadline, the winner will earn a chance at being put into production by Fuji Bikes.

Details from MNML and Pensa; full bikes below

Check out the teams and what they made and stay tuned for our exclusive designer Q&As throughout the week.

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Posted by Coroflot  |  28 Jul 2014

Work for Wrigley!

If creating dynamic holistic user experiences for industry leading brands is your passion you will fit right in at Wrigley. They create in a high energy, hands on, collaborative environment utilizing state of the art tools and processes you would expect to have as part of thirty billion dollar organization. At Wrigley, they are committed to differentiating our products and experiences through thoughtful design. This is your chance to join their team as their next Senior Industrial Designer.

As a part of the team you will need to excel at the practice of conceptualization, focusing 3D modeling, iterative prototyping, verbal and non verbal presentations. You will participate in research activities and the translation of that data into user insights. If you possess a passion for design, a creative and entrepreneurial mindset and the ability to holistically address brand challenges, Apply Now.

Posted by erika rae  |  25 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

Hitchbot-Lead.jpgAn artist's rendition of Hitchbot on the road

Seeing as self-driving cars won't be a reality any time soon, robots need to find an alternate means of travel for the time being. Case in point, the HitchBOT, a tiny, rainboot-wearing robot who is by (you guessed it) hitchhiking the time-honored tradition of hitchhiking. Even so, he's probably less eccentric than your average itinerant: With bright yellow Wellies strapped to his feet and a cake-saver helmet, HitchBOT has a bucket for a body and pool noodles for limbs and looks something like a child's storybook or TV show... which is kind of the point.

The brainchild of Dr. Frauke Zeller of Ryerson University and Dr. David Harris Smith of McMaster University, the HitchBOT was designed to travel some 6,000+ km from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design to Victoria, British Columbia, by means of friendly strangers. He comes fully equipped with 3G, GPS, WiFi and solar panels, so the hitchBOT team can track and receive texts/photos highlighting the droid's progress and deliver the updates to his quickly growing circle of fans. The robot will depend on the goodwill of travelers when he runs out of juice—once the energy from the solar panels is used up, all it takes is a simple connection to a car's cigarette lighter to reboot.

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The droid is pretty limited when it comes to mobility—his only moving part is his arm—but can sit thanks to a retractable tripod. A car seat is attached to his torso for easy buckling. HitchBOT can also speak English (along with a few sentences of French) and has access to Wikipedia for small talk topics. You could do worse when it comes to a road-trip buddy.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  25 Jul 2014  |  Comments (2)

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You really have to feel sorry for rich kids living in cities. Because even if their parents own an incredibly rare Ferrari 250GT, it will be parked in the underground garage beneath their luxury building, and their children will never achieve spiritual growth by sending the car over a precipice like Cameron did in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. The car would have to be parked somewhere on an upper story, preferably on the same level as their tony apartment, in order for the kids to experience this kind of gravity-based emotional catharsis.

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Posted by Carly Ayres  |  25 Jul 2014  |  Comments (1)

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On any given day, many Marines carry more than 15 pounds of batteries along with all their other rations and gear. Add that to the fact that they're mostly on their feet, constantly moving, and you have a recipe for fatigue. But what if you could harness the energy from their movements and the weight of that gear while also decreasing the amount of poundage these Marines have to heft? That was the idea that brought together Lockheed Martin and STC Footwear to design and develop a pair of boots that capture the energy from all those footsteps and turn it into usable power.

The Kinetic Boots were announced early last May at the Marine Corps' Experimental Forward Operating Base (ExFOB) event, where Marines demonstrated their ability to generate around three watts of power after an hourlong walk, enough to charge an iPhone 5 three times. This just a start—Lockheed Martin and STC anticipate that the boots' have the potential to generate nearly twice as much power after further development.

"There were two or three key challenges that we identified on day one," says Michel Bisson, CEO and Chairman of the Canada-based STC Footwear. "The main one was that we wanted to use only the wasted energy generated when the person walks or runs. It was very critical for us that no additional work be required by any part of the body (i.e. joint) other than carrying the two to three ounces that the system weighed." Lockheed had previously explored solar-power chest panels and helmets, but those devices added significant weight, and STC was determined to avoid that trap.

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