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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  22 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Charles Edward Stuart, colloquially referred to as Bonnie Prince Charlie, fomented the Jacobite uprising of 1745 in an effort to seize the British throne. Charlie's Scottish troops were defeated in battle a year later and he fled to France. In the brutal English crackdown that ensued, Scottish households found to contain a portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie were in for trouble, so former supporters interested in surviving got rid of them.

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But not all of them. One artist used a clever technique to secretly hide a portrait of BPC in plain sight. A seemingly abstract circular pattern was painted on a tray...

0anamorphiccylinders-003.jpgImage by Kate Furr-Danner]

...and once a mirrored cylinder was placed in the center, boom, you had Bonnie Prince Charlie staring back at you.

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Posted by erika rae  |  22 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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The fact that Soug Wen uses that adorable little shrugging smiley in his tagline for Gothscreenshots might be my favorite thing of the month—the actual apparel collection coming in as a close second. What's so special about this series of graphic tees and accessories? Well, their patterns are based solely on those hated icons we unfortunately see way too often on our computers. In fact, I think I've seen at least three of them in the time it's taken me to write this post.

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For those of you who don't scour the Internet for tech-y humor blogs on a daily basis (guilty), Gothscreenshots was originally a Tumblog focused on capturing the frustrating—and notably depressing—nature of our digital error screens. They've just recently expanded into the world of punny fashion with their line of totes, tees, swimsuits and shift dresses. Insofar as graphic garb comes and goes, GSS captures the way we live now by immortalizing (or at least sartorializing) the blood-pressure-raising iconography of our times. No longer bound to a screen, Gothscreenshots' apparel conjures these digital touchstones when you're flipping through your closet, doing your laundry, or doffing your jacket at the bar.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  22 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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One of the first things you learn in the ID shop at design school: Wood glue is for joining wood, welding is great for joining metal, acetone is the thing for fusing plastics together. But when you need to attach one of these materials to another, you've got to switch over to hard fasteners or something more clever, since wood glue won't stick to plastics, et cetera.

While that's occasionally a hassle for building multimaterial objects, record lovers have figured out that wood glue not sticking to plastic provides a huge benefit: You can use wood glue to clean LPs. Because Titebond won't stick to vinyl, but will stick to all the microscopic specks of dust hanging out in the grooves, a layer of wood glue will become like a Biore strip for records. Observe, and be sure to listen to the before and after—the amount of snaps, crackles and pops the glue removes from the audio is astonishing:

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  22 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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I love seeing this kind of nuts-and-bolts industrial design. Seattle-based designer Eric Brunt observed that what makes snowshoes work is their increased surface area, which enables the wearer to "float" atop the surface. But that increased surface area also means that the wearer has to walk like s/he's in a Monty Python sketch.

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What if, Brunt reasoned, the footprint could shrink when lifted, enabling a more natural gait, then grow again when placed back onto the surface?

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Brunt mocked up a bunch of "kinematic folding mechanisms" in cardboard to see what was possible:

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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  22 Jul 2014  |  Comments (1)

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A backgrounder for those of you who don't live in Berkeley: Spirulina is a superfood. A superfood, for those who aren't obsessed with nutritional fads, is a food that is off-the-charts rich in vitamins, minerals and other stuff that is obviously yet mysteriously Good For You. Despite their grandiose title, it is a great idea to eat these uncommon comestibles; however, spirulina in particular can be a bit of work to get your hands on. It's traditionally grown in small ponds—historically in a lake system in Chad of all places—and it looks, to those without deep enthusiasm for biology, like pond scum. This is not a sexy or garden-variety foodstuff, but once harvested and dried it's easily added to other foods or taken as a supplement... at a pretty high cost. But what if it wasn't hard to harvest?

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Tom Vered of Grow Spirulina has adapted (and sells) a method of home growing spirulina, and he's upped his own ante with a new standalone design, ostensibly to be sold online soon. This 10-liter machine would combine the precise biochemical and mechanical needs of a growing zone with the user-friendliness of an at-home yogurt maker. Besides the thrill of owning a unique appliance, you'd get the added benefits of taking your spirulina fresh and getting way more oomph per scoop. The literature varies on the specific difference, but even as a superfood, spirulina loses a lot of nutritional value when dried.

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Posted by core jr  |  22 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Published at the beginning of the summer—just in time for freshly minted design grads to take note but relevant for just about any designer these days—Breaking In: Product Design (Tuk Tuk Press, 2014) by Amina Horozic offers dozens of insights into today's highly competitive job market. Featuring interviews with over 100 designers from across the industry and around the globe, the book is a valuable resource for anyone looking to get their foot in the door at design-led companies big and small (see the full list of interviewees and companies here). We turned the tables on Horozic, who revealed a bit of her own background and process in a Q&A

Core77: This the second book in the 'Breaking In' series; how did it come about? Were you familiar with the first book in the series Breaking In: Advertising by William Burks Spencer, or had you been working on this project independently?

No, I was not familiar with the first book at all. I had just wrapped up my MBA in Design Strategy at California College of the Arts, and was working as an industrial designer at frog when my colleague Catherine Sun sent me an e-mail, saying, "You'd be perfect for this." Essentially, she forwarded me the publisher's e-mail asking if anyone knew of any industrial designers interested in writing a similar book about how to break into the field. Recalling firsthand the amount of time it took me to craft a portfolio and cater it to appropriate employer and industry—I'm a classically trained car designer who "jumped ship" into consulting world—I jumped at the chance to discover what everyone is looking for.

The rest is history. I simply couldn't pass on the opportunity to try and talk to all of these industrial design gurus; a lot of them were my personal heroes.

How did you find the interviewees? What was the criteria for them? Did you know some of them before you took on the book? I imagine the project picked up its own momentum through word of mouth as well...

The only criteria from the publisher was that they had to be management level or up, essentially designers who are making hiring decisions—which eliminated about 90% of my personal network at the time as we were all in our mid-to-late 20s, and still in the trenches. For context, I started this book back in 2011, so my background as it stands today was not that wide or rich. And I had to interview a minimum of 100 designers.

Of course, I leveraged people I had known at Chrysler and at frog, alongside Career Services at my alma mater College for Creative Studies—but honestly, a lot of it was my own legwork. I wrote down all of the car companies, all of the consulting agencies, all of the revered products that came out—essentially, people and places one would want to work for or with—and then I searched for the contacts online and through my network. I was actually quite surprised by how many replied back with interest, they loved the idea of the book!

Basically, I was determined to cover all of the branches of our field: automotive design, product design, furniture design, soft goods, consultancies and solo practices. As Kickstarter was getting traction, I made sure to include at least one success story from there. I also wanted to include some young guns, who started their own firms straight out of college. I wanted to show aspiring designers that there are many ways to "break in." I was also adamant to have a global representation, to show that opportunities abound everywhere. The book literally has a designer from each continent, aside from Antarctica. I also included educators to get an academic perspective for comparison. Finally, as a woman, I was adamant to include women in industrial design leadership positions, as well—something that was sadly notoriously difficult to find.

Somehow the big question is always: so what "big names" are in the book? The thing is, for every Yves and Ralph and Jony, there are tons of design leaders (and designers) out there whose work has revolutionized our everyday lives, but who remain relatively anonymous. I truly hope that with this book—and the accompanying Breaking In blog where we feature their work and bios—the design community learns more about who is behind the products we use, and admire, every day.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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If design school served you well, the sketches you were cranking out senior year should've been a damn sight better than your freshman scribbles. As your skills continue to develop, is there anything more painful for a creative than to look back at your early work? Do you save your lame renderings from 2004 for posterity, or junk them because they're no longer representative of your current skillset?

Dutch artist Telmo Pieper saved his drawings from childhood—and, amusingly, updated them using the modern-day digital painting skills he presumably did not possess at four years of age. The resultant works are called his "kiddie arts series" and they're pretty awesome.

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Posted by erika rae  |  21 Jul 2014  |  Comments (2)

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As if we don't have enough meal sharing on social media as it is. It seems that you can't go more than five seconds on Instagram without scrolling upon some carefully composed food porn, whether it's a homemade dessert or a food truck delicacy. Now, the oPhone Duo promises to add another smelly layer to oversharing in the form of a scent-based system that allows people to send along a customized whiff with their snapshots. With over 300,000 different scents to mix and play with, it's a bit more labor-intensive than choosing between Mayfair and Valencia for that snapshot. (For the record, you can also attach your aromas to emails and mobile messages.) I don't think I'd be the only one who would spend a ridiculous amount of time obsessively wafting and whiffing the object at hand in order to send the perfect scent-agram.

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You might remember Google's molecule-aligning prank from a couple of years ago—you know, the one that asked the important questions such as "What does the inside of an Egyptian tomb smell like?" (Their answer, in case you were wondering, is "dust, sand, bandages and gold atop mummified royalty.") The oPhone is a step toward this previously joked about tech, but from the looks of the Indiegogo video, Le Laboratoire is more about connecting people who live miles apart than helping the masses explore an olfactory encyclopedia of the world. Check out the video, which features cinematography and music worthy of Wes Anderson:

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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I hate shaving, and have always viewed it as a bothersome to-do item rather than a pleasurable manscaping ritual. To some extent this is probably because of the shaving objects I use. Gilette's Mach3 Turbo blades produce a good shave but cost an obscene three-dollars-plus per cartridge, and the Dollar Shave Club two-blade cartridges I recently switched to are affordable, but totally suck. I have half a mind to switch to a straight razor.

That would probably be more time-consuming, maintenance-heavy and bloody than I'd like, but if I were to do it, I'd go totally old school and also buy a badger brush and lathering bowl. Most of the ones I've seen are ugly, needlessly elaborate or just plain chintzy looking, but recent ID grad Flyn O'Brien has designed a pretty sweet, minimalist set called the Lathr.

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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  21 Jul 2014  |  Comments (1)

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There's nothing I love more than cocky, clickbait-y, ham-fisted, virally-aimed campaigns and content-free content marketing. Well, it's my lucky day, because since last week the pablum hose has been backing up with a flutter of buzz for this plucky start-up campaign. Jordan Bishop wants you to buy his unknown $4.50 products before you know what they are. They are physical objects, there are 24 colors and variants on this theme, and he even worked with two whole designers for a couple of months to make this wacky dream a reality. But beyond that? Nada. He's not telling!

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