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Posted by core jr  |  23 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Founded in 1987 by three engineers, SRAM became known in the cycling world for Grip Shift road bike shifters, the first ergonomic, indexing shift levers that easily allowed a rider to change gears without removing their hands from the handlebars. Easy-to-use and ultra-simple (they were made of just three parts where a typical shifter from Shimano was composed of nearly 30 pieces), Grip Shift established SRAM as a company that could innovate unique solutions to complex engineering design problems. Acquiring 100 year-old German manufacturer Sachs in 1990s allowed SRAM to broaden its immediate offerings to chains, derailleurs and ultra-complex internal hubs. It also gave SRAM the ability to develop and iterate new drivetrain products at a level that was not previously possible.

The Problem

Multi-gear bicycle drivetrains have been around for over 125 years and, while there have been a steady stream of incremental improvements, there hadn't been major steps forward in decades. With gearing systems becoming more complicated as riders searched for more gears to tackle varied terrain, a simpler solution was needed.

SRAM's acquisition of Sachs and their massive development center in Schweinfurt, Germany, set the stage for drivetrain innovation, with Sachs' history of making simple and intuitive drivetrains for urban consumers. In fact, Sachs had some existing products that would prove instrumental in the development of a mountain bike drivetrain with just one ring. In 2010, working out of the old Sachs factory in Schweinfurt, Germany, a team of engineers led by American Chris Hilton began to develop the 1X system, inspired by modifications made by top professional cross-country racers.

SRAM-XX1-team2.jpgChris Hilton, External Drivetrain Product Manager

SRAM-XX1-mountedDetail1.jpgAn integral part of the 1x system, the 11-speed X-DOME™ 10-42 tooth cassette delivers an incredibly wide gear range while maintaining even, optimized steps

The Inspiration

SRAM's two-chainring system (2X10) was becoming wildly popular by 2010, replacing the established three-ring set up. Most component companies were offering a 10-speed rear cassette instead of a 9-speed which allowed a comparable gear range to the three-ring set up. However, elite cross-country professionals, always in search of the lightest solution possible, took things further by using only one ring in front. SRAM quickly took notice and set out to design a mountain bike component system like nothing the market had seen before. By assessing the needs of the athlete and building the new system from the ground up, the German engineering team wanted to design a dedicated 1X system that made vast improvements to what existed at the time.

SRAM-XX1-teamCOMP.jpgSRAM-XX1-teamCOMP2.jpgClockwise from top left: Frank Schmidt, Design engineering manager; Markus Klier, Test engineering manager; Andreas Benz, engineering team leader for rear derailleurs; Robert Boehm, senior design engineer for rear derailleurs; Thorsten Hamisch, senior industrial design engineer; Henrik Braedt, advanced development engineer, who realizes prototype ideas and designs before they become actual projects

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  23 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Design fair designjunction once again took over 120,000 sq. ft. of old warehouse space in central London, displaying all that is hot in furniture and object design with international brands, smaller cutting-edge labels and pop-up shops all getting in on the action.

With an unexpected twist on last year's format in MINI x Dezeen's take over of the entrance space, there was also of course plenty of the usual eye candy we've come to expect from this jewel in the London Design Festival crown across the three vast stories.

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Fitting quite perfectly with the old industrial interior of the venue, design duo Soderlund Davidson took over a large portion of the ground floor with a clever never ending conveyor belt display for their ceramic creations.

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

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Tom Hanks is a noted vintage typewriter fanatic who often bangs out thank-you notes on one of the machines in his collection. When he released the Hanx Writer—an iPad app that simulates old-school typing with sound and visuals, includes one free "model" and allows the user to purchase additional virtual models and ribbon colors—last month, many probably scoffed... but in four days it had shot to the top of the App Store with effusive reviews.

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"Hanx Writer is beautiful, aesthetically pleasing app that fulfills its mission of bringing a certain level of pleasure back to the writing experience," wrote one reviewer. "I've been sitting here typing in the new Hanx app wondering why I find this so delightful," wrote another. "I can't help it, I just do."

It may sound silly, until you see it in action and understand the allure:


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

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Weird Crap On Kickstarter can be a pretty depressing beat, but sometimes the odd and terrible offerings can give us opportunities to reflect, to learn, and to better ourselves. Today I present the case of Seatylock: yet another bike lock/bike seat hybrid. This thing addresses a few common complaints about riding in urban areas, namely that it's important to use a strong lock yet irritating to have to bring a strong lock around with you. Additionally, seats are easy to steal with nothing but a crescent or allen wrench. And so, in the age-old tradition of trying to solve too many problems with too little innovation, we get Seatylock. It's a chunky, quick-releasing seat where the attachment rails fold out as a 3-foot folding bar lock.

Yes, it's a neat package. But, obviously, your humble hate-filled author takes issue with several of these "features":

- Two-sizes-fits all approach to ergonomics? Check.
- Dubious attachment mechanism? Check.
- Proprietary parts? Check.
- Questionably tested claims about security? Check.
- Seat that bolts on and off with an allen wrench anyway? Check!
- And colors? Ch-ch-check.

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Posted by erika rae  |  22 Sep 2014  |  Comments (1)

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With all of the culture available to NYers, it might have been easy to miss the massive Picasso original that's been hanging in what is now the Four Seasons restaurant (in the Seagram Building) on Park Avenue since 1959. That being said, there are plenty of locals and tourists alike who wait hours to have the chance to see one of the area's many hidden art gems. "Le Tricorne"—a depiction of a bullfighting scene—is a 19’ × 20’ canvas, originally painted in 1919 and used as a stage curtain for the Ballets Russes. At the time, his wife Olga was a ballerina in the troupe.

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The real question here is, why is it being moved at all? It turns out that Aby J. Rosen, owner of the Seagram Building, doesn't want the piece up in the space anymore and wants more room for "other art"—I'd be interested to know what he will find worthy of replacing a Picasso. This didn't really present much of an issue, considering that Rosen doesn't even own the piece. That honor goes to the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

The handlers in charge of moving the piece had no idea as to how or what was keeping the art attached to the wall, making for an adventurous and relatively risky removal process. The New York Times recently put together a fantastic look at how "Le Tricorne" was analyzed and moved from the area:

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

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I keep waiting for a modern-day piece of furniture to top David Roentgen's transforming gaming table, but it ain't gonna happen. The only man who can top Roentgen is Roentgen himself. As evidence, have a look at the Berlin Secretary Cabinet designed and built by Roentgen (possibly with his pops, Abraham) which goes even further than the gaming table. The automatic flip-out easel at the end is just mind-blowing:

Consider that this was all made by hand, prior to the Industrial Revolution.

The cabinet, which was owned by King Frederick William II, is described by the Metropolitan Museum of Art as "One of the finest achievements of European furniture making" and "the most important product from Abraham (1711–1793) and David Roentgen's (1743–1807) workshop."

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

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As part of the upcoming Design Week Portland, our friends at Ziba are hosting a heavy duty panel discussion, set to take place at their HQ on Friday, October 10, at 6:30pm. Taking the theme of "The Future of Product Design," panelists will address questions such as:
- What defines a product, today?
- How will customization and on-demand printing drive entrenched industries to change?
- How will crowdfunding impact the making or design of products?
- What's the difference between design and making?
- Does the discipline have a future, or could interaction design swallow us whole?
...as well as your questions, submitted via the comments section below!

To show us where we're going and how to think about it, the panel features a lineup of design industry veterans and visionaries from multiple disciplines. The panelists will be Allan Chochinov, Chair and Co-founder, SVA MFA Products of Design and Partner, Core77; John Jay, President and Executive Creative Director of GX (previously of Wieden+Kennedy, Bloomingdale's); Aura Oslapas the former SVP current Chief Design Officer at Best Buy; and Sohrab Vossoughi, Founder and President of Ziba Design.

The discussion will be filmed and released after the festival, and it will tangle with the issues of making of things in the era of apps, Kickstarter, 3D printing, and open source. If you will be attending Design Week Portland, you can buy panel tickets here.

What's missing? You tell us! Leave your questions for the panelists here, and stay tuned for our event recap along with the rest of our DWP coverage.

Posted by Moa Dickmark  |  22 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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The young Danish designer Mikkel Mikkelsen first caught my attention when I saw a series of experiments he had created with wood, aluminium and acrylic/plexi. A dining table with the same honesty as the original experiment captures the lessons learned.

Ever since I first saw the experiment, I've enjoyed following his progress as a designer, and a few months ago, one of his latest endeavors caught my attention once again. This time around, it was due to a duck. I know it sounds a bit odd, but this small little character with a metal beak is a remarkable duck, it's a duck you fall in love in a heartbeat, and it's a part of a grander book project created by Aviendo Fairytale. Seeing how far Mikkel has come since the first time i saw his design, how true he has been towards himself, his design and the people he come into contact with, I figured it was about time you all got a proper introduction to his work.

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Core77: How did you get into the field of design?

Mikkel Mikkelsen: Before I started in the school of architecture, I was working in construction while I was doing business school. I was working in building high-end private homes in a company where my dad was a constructing architect. So the interest for architecture started there I guess—my dad also had his own studio before this, so drawing houses has always been in my life. It was like it was meant to be.

I think after architecture school, I was looking for a way to keep working on mikkelmikkel because I was, and am not very interested in a 9-to-5 job in one of the big companies. I tried this a couple of times but I always end up feeling stuck behind a computer and very detached from the projects. I think it has something to do with the scale of the projects in the big companies. I have always preferred the smaller scale that relates more directly to the basic needs of human beings.

To me, the interaction with clients are what drives the projects. A new project is always kind of a journey where you get up close and personal with the people you work for, which I find very interesting. Half of the journey is identifying and understanding the needs and challenges in a project before solving them.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  22 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)

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UK design blog Dezeen have collaborated with car manufacturer MINI at London Design Festival this year to create an exhibition of commissions exploring the future of transportation. Far from a showroom for shiny self-driving cars or connected-car dashboard concepts, was eclectic collection of exploratory interpretations by artists, designers and architects was on display in the ground floor entrance of design and furniture fair designjunction. The exhibition space itself embodied the theme—architect Pernilla Ohrstedt teaming up with 3D-scanning specialist ScanLAB to create her contribution 'Glitch Space'—an enormous arrangement of vinyl white dots meticulously laid out across the exhibit floor as a representation of the swaths of environmental data that will flow through the city in a future of driverless cars.

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On the same theme, Dominic Wilcox, ever the inspiring out-of-the-box thinker, turned a lot of heads with the revealing of his incredible 'Stained Glass Driverless Sleeper Car.' Not just a pretty piece of craft, Wilcox's creation is actually a profound reflection on the future design possibilities for the automobile. In a future in which cars are self-driving and super safe, the forms, materials and uses that have constrained automotive design in our time may no longer apply. Although Wilcox's fictional future car manufacturer's website shows a spectacular array of possibilities this could present, the stunning stained-glass model on view demonstrated the equally appealing option of rolling around town in a half-car, half-bed 'hybrid,' revealed when lifting up the hood (below).

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Posted by Coroflot  |  22 Sep 2014

Work for Nike!

Nike does more than outfit the world's best athletes. They are a place to explore potential, obliterate boundaries, and push out the edges of what can be. This iconic company is looking for a Footwear Materials Designer II in Brothers, OR with an exceptional application of design skills including high level concept development to further elevate their brand. Are you up for it?

As their Footwear Materials Designer II - Nike Sportswear, you'll leverage materials to deliver a premium, recognizable and consumer relevant brand point of view in the marketplace through strategic vision, design direction, storytelling and editing. You'll lead the development of the materials creative vision and strategies for category/consumer groups, maintaining hands-on involvement in Materials design and development, in support of creative direction, seasonal initiatives and go-to-market strategies. Glory awaits. Apply Now.

 

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