I grew up treasuring the days my dad would head out to refill the propane tank for the cumbersome grill we bought him for some birthday or Father's Day long past. The ghastly Wisconsin winters we continuously weathered were met with late-April BBQ celebrations out on the deck in shorts. And while that unsightly grill—complete with its fire-singed hood and well-worn trays—holds a soft spot in my heart, there's no denying that there are better designed options out there. Enter the Grillo Portable by formAxiom.
Grillo was designed with mobility in mind—and certainly won't send you out on any propane tank trips. The grill can be set up with a single handle (much like and umbrella) and doesn't require any extra accessories or "frippery," in the designer's words.
"Remember, folks—I gave you the internet, and I can take it away." Those were the words David Letterman jokingly put in Al Gore's mouth during an appearance from the latter on Late Night. And while no one is really going to take your internet away, an ongoing battle in U.S. courts may influence the way it is delivered to you.
To date the internet has been operating under the principle of net neutrality, whereby all content providers are treated equally; this means that Core77's homepage is delivered to you as quickly as Netflix's, as we and them are viewed as equal. (We may not have House of Cards, but hey, we have "True I.D. Stories.") But yesterday the Federal Communications Commission put forth a proposal that would allow ISPs to charge providers more to deliver their content faster, essentially providing "fast lanes" to whomever's got the money.
On its face that might not sound so outrageous, as it seems akin to a motorist paying more to use the Midtown Tunnel instead of sitting in traffic on the Queensboro Bridge; but it's got folks up in arms, as a closer examination of the proposal raises some troubling questions. One sticking point in particular is the wording of the proposal, which states that service providers dole out these new charges "in a commercially reasonable manner." While this sounds like it is intended to promote some level of fairness—i.e. Core77 can't afford to pay what Google can, so howzabout cutting Core77 a break on the fast-lane price?—even a little scrutiny raises thorny issues. For example, internet service provider Comcast happens to own NBCUniversal; couldn't their lawyers argue that it's "commercially reasonable" for Comcast to charge Disney-ABC more, in order to protect their subsidiary's interests and gain a competitive advantage?
We've looked at desks designed to cut cable clutter, desks with storage and desks with gutters. But this deceptively-simple-looking desk by Artifox may be one of the most efficient designs we've seen yet for modern-day usage. Designed for pure functionality, if not flexibility, Artifox's Desk 01 is the type of object that an archaeologist could dig up 1,000 years in the future and study to deduce how we worked in the year 2014.
My biggest gripe with modern-day desks is that there's no allowance for the bags we all carry. Artifox has taken care of that with a simple knob on the front that provides easy bag access. Make that two knobs, with the second providing a handy spot to stow headphones for your Skype session.
An angled groove in the desk surface provides a handy (if static) spot to place a tablet and smartphone, or just a tablet if in landscape orientation.
Zebco Brands is on the search for an experienced industrial designer to join their team who won't mind taking the occasional workday to do some research (read: fishing). As a senior industrial designer, you will be working on projects that vary from youth recreational products to reels designed for the most avid offshore angler. The brand's product lines include such well-known names as Zebco, Quantum, Van Staal and Fin-Nor.
If you have had at least five years of experience as an industrial designer; know your way around Creo, ISDX, Illustrator or Freehand and Photoshop software; can juggle multiple projects and meet aggressive timelines; and have a working knowledge of prototyping equipment and methodologies, then this might be the job for you—Apply Now! (Knowledge and/or interest in the fishing industry is a bonus.)
Swiss artist Zimoun has put thousands of packing peanuts (or, "chips," as he refers to them) to work in a mesmerizing installation that's sure to put you in a trance. His newest installation, "36 Ventilators, 4.7m3 Packing Chips," lives inside of the Museo d'Arte di Lugano in Switzerland and depends on 36 fans (which are, of course, continuously blowing) to keep the cycle going.
Even though you may not have the time (or funds) to make it over to Switzerland to see this one for yourself, an excerpt from the exhibition's catalog does a pretty good job of putting you in the moment:
Even though the swirling of the polystyrene in the depth of each of the windows is actually limited to that space, we have the impression that the movement is propagating to the whole length of the Limonaia. To the visual effect adds the ticking of chips on the window panes, which could remind a thin but insistent rain. If, instead, we cross the threshold and get inside the space, the perception produced by the ebb and flow of the chips changes radically becoming more abstract; the movement appears mechanical rather than natural, the buzzing of the ventilators covers up the ticking of the polystyrene on the windows and thus reveals the artificial origin of the motion.
The newest video from Polish knifemaker Trollskyy couldn't have come at a better time, considering Earth Day has barely passed us by. "I love to make something out of nothing," he mentions on his YouTube page—well said considering his designs feature abandoned metal scraps. Trollskyy's most recent YouTube upload follows the process of a knife he made from the leaf spring off of an old Jeep. The end result is a dangerous-looking blade that bears no resemblance to its past life. Take a look:
The Lord of the Rings-esque music just adds to the oh-so-epic transformation (Let your nerd flag fly high and feel free to imagine Trollsky standing at the edge of Mordor, knife in hand—I did.) From railroad spike to old bearings, Trollskyy spotlights rejected metal in a whole new functional way. Check out more of his video documentations:
I'm definitely among those who have been waiting for Minority Report-like gesturing to become a reality. While light beams on desks and walls seems close, it's not our hands manipulating objects in thin air. But now researchers at the University of Bristol have developed the starting point, called MisTable. And they're doing it with mist.
Words will only fail to properly describe the look of this thing, but a tabletop computer system projects images onto a thick blanket of fog. They appear as ghostly apparitions, much like R2D2's projected Princess Leia.
We can interact with the 3D images by sticking our hands into the 'objects' and moving them—maybe to the person sitting next to us. At this time it's simple stuff, but still it means moving something as if it were actually something tangible. Check out the video:
Lately, I've felt that most products, from cars to headphones, have employed the marketing tactic of releasing limited or special editions. The crazy fact of the matter is that people buy it because they like knowing they are part of a small circle who are privileged enough to own it. I am no stranger to the envy of walking into class with my new shoes, only to have my victory walk ruined my seeing someone else with the same pair. Exclusivity is a powerful tool to sell a pair of Air Yeezy 2's or evoke the urge to wait in line at your favorite meatpacking district club in the hopes of "getting on the list."
What I'm preaching is for a product that speaks to greater lengths of who you are, your favorite color, even the way you tie your shoe. The people at Hickies, who brought out the Jeff Spicoli in all of us by developing a new lacing system that turned any shoe into a slip on, have released their new Kickstarter project.
It was just a few years ago that Lytro released their Light Field Camera, meant to usher in an era of "computational photography." Users capture the ambient light field rather than a bunch of static pixels, and this radical technological approach allows one to re-focus shots after the fact.
But the LFC never really took off, whether because of its alien, boxy form factor or the educational hurdle the company faces in explaining this new generation of product. So now Lytro is releasing a new model, the Illum, featuring both improved internals and an entirely new form factor. What most caught our eye is that it echoes an SLR in shape, but is clearly an entirely new class of object—not an easy design line to tread.
The Roomba has made all of our lives easier from cleaning up after us to serving up some much-needed laughs moonlighting as "DJ Roomba." Someday soon you may be seeing a similar looking robot make an appearance in the world of architecture. Designer Han Seok Nam is looking to cut down on labor costs and up efficiency with his design, Archibot. The mobile printer works with in-room sensors to print uploaded CAD files that signify different construction points and plans right onto the floor of a work area.
The recently patented Archibot has been designed to recognize where building elements such as doors and walls need to be built. The printed plans can be compared to larger print-outs, making them easy to interpret and cross-check for both architects and contractors. Check out the video to see how it all comes together: