Posted by erika rae
| 26 Aug 2014
I know, I know—another backpack. But not just another backpack. Unlike the brightly colored or patterned varieties that are all the rage these days, this one differentiates itself through its functionality, employing powerful magnets for its modular capabilities. This isn't one of those packs you'll find on the racks of big-box retailers around the nation, prepping for the boom of back-to-school sales. In fact, you can't even get your hands on the Anti-Gravity Pack just yet. Tessel Supply launched their Kickstarter campaign earlier this month, and while they've already surpassed their $20,000 goal, delivery dates are six months out.
As its name suggests, the Anti-Gravity pack was inspired by space travel, comprising several components that can be added and taken away for a personalized system set-up. Sound familiar? Sure, we've seen a few modular pack systems before, but it so happens that Tessel Supply's previous space-themed backpack, the Jet Pack was met with a similar enthusiasm that resulted in a haul of more than three times what they were asking for on Kickstarter.
Check out this video on the inspiration for Anti-Gravity—complete with slo-mo running scenes and mountain sunsets:
As you can see, it looks good. It's surprisingly sleek for a bag with so many compartment options. Here's another video highlighting the various components of the backpack:
Posted by core jr
| 26 Aug 2014
This is the latest installment of our Core77 Questionnaire. Previously, we talked to Umbra co-founder Paul Rowan.
Name: Rem D Koolhaas
Occupation: I'm a designer and the creative director of United Nude.
Location: I'm based in Guangzhou, China; that's where we have our studio. But I also spend a lot of time abroad. We have showrooms in Amsterdam and New York, and we have shops all around the world. And then I spend the weekends in Hong Kong.
Current projects: We're a seasonal business, so we're designing a new collection every few months. Right now we are also making what I would call an "art car"—it's basically a sculpture that you drive around, which is almost finished. In addition, we're doing a 3D-printing project with 3D Systems, where we designed a shoe for very small-volume 3D printers. That was launched at our store in New York earlier this month.
Mission: To make cool products, and along the way try new things and push boundaries. To be inspired and inspire others.
United Nude's 3D-printed Float shoe launched earlier this month. Top image: Koolhaas and the Biospiracy boot. Portrait by Rosanne Lowit
When did you decide that you wanted to be a designer? Well, I come from a family with a lot of designers. My uncle is an architect with the same name as me. My father was also an architect and my mother was a graphic artist. So I think I wanted to be an architect like my father basically from the very beginning.
Education: I have a master's degree in architecture from the Technical University of Delft in Holland.
First design job: While I was still a student, I worked at several architecture firms, including OMA; I worked on the Prada store in New York. And then, before I graduated, I had already started United Nude with Galahad Clark, who comes from the Clark's shoe company family. We were already in product development, and the brand was officially launched about a year after I graduated.
Who is your design hero? It's between John DeLorean, from DeLorean Motors, and the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
The Biospiracy bootie (left) and boot are the latest designs in an ongoing collaboration between United Nude and Iris Van Harpen.
Posted by Hand-Eye Supply
| 26 Aug 2014
Tonight at Hand-Eye Supply, Curiosity Club pays a visit to inhabitable fictions with Coleman Stevenson of the Art Institute of Portland and Norah Wendl of Portland State University. Their talk "Paper Houses" will touch on architecture, art, and the unreal.
"The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible," Mark Twain once commented. It is precisely in the tense space between reality and fabrication that architects and authors alike must work, constructing alternate, speculative worlds that are so believable clients will show their faith through financial and political support, so authentic that readers will live inside of scenes and forge relationships with characters. It is in this liminal space that Coleman Stevenson and Nora Wendl have constructed the Center for Fictive Architecture, a framework for their individual and collaborative projects. In this talk, they discuss those ideas that form the basis of their current collaborations, in particular the related natures of architecture and poetry.
6pm at the Hand-Eye Supply store, or streaming online on the Curiosity Club page!
Coleman Stevenson is the author of The Accidental Rarefication of Pattern #5609 (bedouin books, 2012). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in a variety of journals, including Paper Darts, Common Ground Review, E-ratio, Hawaii Pacific Review, Mid-American Review, Seattle Review, and the anthology Motionless from the Iron Bridge. She teaches poetry, cultural communication, and word/image collaboration to design students in Portland, Oregon.
Norah Wendl often aligns architecture and its histories with the adjacent fields of fiction, poetry, contemporary art and literature. She is co-editor, with Isabelle Loring Wallace, of Contemporary Art about Architecture: A Strange Utility (Ashgate, 2013). Her research has been featured or is forthcoming in internationally and nationally recognized journals including 306090, Journal of Architectural Education, Architecture and Culture, Studies in the History of Gardens and Designed Landscapes, and On Site Review, and she performed and exhibited at various venues including Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Public Library, and Wordstock. She is Assistant Professor of Architecture in the School of Architecture at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.
Posted by Kat Bauman
| 26 Aug 2014
This is the second half of a two-part conversation with Geoff Baldwin, head of the new-ish Industrial Design department at Code and Theory. Read the first part here.
Core77: Outernet is technically involved, it's mechanically involved, and it's got a big dream behind it. How did C+T come to the project?
Geoff Baldwin: This whole industry, everywhere I've been, it's all about good people. Sayed [Karim], the founder of Outernet, I used to work with him at IDEO, where he was our tech guy, which is the best story ever: The IT guy at IDEO is trying to win a Nobel Peace prize! He was the best IT guy, he'd fix your computer super fast and was so responsive, because he just wanted to get done being an IT guy so he could go back to the shop and build shit.
I kept in touch with him, he went from IDEO to NPR to an investment firm that invested in news and information startups in developing countries. He was living all over the world and saw this problem: Yes, people need the Internet, but maybe they just need information. Back in March or February, I got an email asking if I knew anyone who could help him out with hardware. What he needed was a concept car and a vision. He was starting to get funding, but needed something tangible that people could hold onto and believe in. That's where it started.
Did C+T do the entire physical development of the Outernet?
Yes, and I think it should be understood that the project is still at a very gestational stage. [Sayed] is trying to do something incredibly ambitious that requires tons of capital and people being interested, so what we were doing here was creating that concept car and vision—if people can't get it in two minutes, they're not going to get it. But in order to create that concept car, we had to do some intense nuts and bolts engineering. We did this incredibly rapidly, as a six week project. Instead of staging it as the product, then the story and then... it was all at the same time. We brought Sayed in for a week, he was basically living with us. Sometimes we'd kick him out and he'd sit in the hallway and do... whatever he did.
He had collected so much knowledge about satellites and how they work, a ton of work on that back end, so we got him in and got his input on the technical basics and problems to solve and constraints. But in addition to getting a lot of hard information we also got the basis for the story. In a way the story, the fluffy-message fun part started to drive the really hard, critical engineering.
Last year we wrote about the Knee Defender, a pair of plastic gizmos that an airplane passenger can use to prevent the person in front of them from reclining. We wrote it up in utter dismayed fascination at a product directly designed to increase one's comfort while inconveniencing another; we called it the "Me-first" approach to product design.
Now it's in the news, after a flight was diverted and a man and woman tossed off the plane for arguing over the thing. On Sunday United flight 1462 was en route from Newark to Denver when a fortysomething woman tried to recline her seat. She could not; the fortysomething man behind her, using his laptop on the seatback tray, had deployed the Knee Defenders. United officially bars their use, and this is what happened next according to the AP:
A flight attendant asked him to remove the device and he refused. The woman [whose seat was barred from reclining] then stood up, turned around and threw a cup of water at him, [a law enforcement official] says. That's when United decided to land in Chicago. The two passengers were not allowed to continue to Denver.
USA Today subsequently interviewed the inventor of the me-first device. Unsurprisingly, he passed the buck:
"Sometimes people do things they shouldn't do on airplanes, but as far as I know this is the first time anything like this has happened," involving the Knee Defender, said Ira Goldman, the man who invented the device in 2003 and continues to sell it online.
"United could make seats that do not recline, but they have not chosen to do so," said Goldman. "In the meantime, the Knee Defender says right on it: 'Be courteous. Do not hog space. Listen to the flight crew.' Apparently that is not what happened here."
What do you guys think, is this an irresponsible product design, or do you have the if-you-design-a-car, someone-will-use-it-to-rob-a-bank, it's-not-my-fault attitude about it? And do you think we'll see more me-first product designs in the future? One popular NYC pet peeve is guys who sit on the subway with their knees spread wide open—what's the ID fix for that?
Posted by core jr
| 26 Aug 2014
Photography by Jeff Enlow for Core77
Once again, we were thrilled to support NYC's fledging Bike Cult Show as an official media partner and offer exclusive coverage of the late-summer exhibition that is shaping up to be the region's premier handbuilt bicycle show. The second year delivered on its promise to be bigger and better than the first as organizers Harry Schwartzman, Benjamin Peck and David Perry upgraded to the massive Knockdown Center event space in Maspeth, Queens, for the event that took place over the weekend of August 16–17.
Once again, we showcased a handful of the exhibitors in the weeks leading up to the show—Bryan Hollingsworth, Brian Chapman, Mathew Amonson and J.P. Weigle—who were happy to share their stories and talk shop about bicycles and much more. And in case you missed it, last year's builder profiles included several of this year's exhibitors as well: Johnny Coast, Jamie Swan, Rick Jones and Thomas Callahan and the late Ezra Caldwell (to whom the show was dedicated).
» View Gallery
Bike Cult Show 2014 Builder Profiles:
» Bryan Hollingsworth of Royal H Cycles on Saying "Yes" to Clients, the Decline of the Fixed-Gear, and More
» Brian Chapman Shares the Eight Secrets to Making a Living As a Custom Framebuilder
» Mathew Amonson of Airtight Cycles on Avoiding the G Train, Seeking a Master Framebuilder, and More
» J.P. Weigle Reflects on 40 Years of Framebuilding - A Photo Essay
Posted by Coroflot
| 26 Aug 2014
The Bose Design Center in Framingham, MA is a vibrant and growing team of industrial designers, model makers, and rapid prototyping experts. They are looking to hire a Junior Industrial Designer to help support the continuous success and global growth they've been experiencing. This is a tight-knit group that believes in a motto: Better products. Better sound. And a better way to work.
Working at Bose is about doing whatever it takes to solve problems--then seeking out new challenges to take on. This is the attitude they're looking for in a creative, passionate addition to their team. With anywhere from 0 to 2 years of work experience, exceptional sketching and rapid visualization skills, plus conceptual engineering abilities to design assemblies/mechanisms for prototypes, you could be the perfect person for this job. Apply Now.
When you think of knockout sci-fi concept designers, you probably think of Syd Mead and/or Doug Chiang. Between Blade Runner, Tron, Terminator 2 and the later Star Wars films, both men have gotten their due. Their names also ring a little sweeter to us because both majored in Industrial Design, Mead at Art Center, Chiang at CCS. But for fans of this genre, there's another man whose name you may not know and whose work you should look at: Jean-Claude Mézières, whose background was not in industrial design but in illustration. And if you have seen the original Star Wars trilogy, you have seen the largely uncredited influence of his work (further down in this entry are the most egregious examples).
Mézières' background is as wonderfully confusing as it is interesting: Born and raised in Paris of the 1930s and '40s, entered an art academy at the age of 15. After graduation he did two years in the French army, seeing action in Algeria, and briefly worked as an illustrator upon his discharge. Then he became so fascinated by the American West that he hitchhiked across America in the 1960s to fulfill his lifelong ambition of becoming an actual working cowboy in Utah.
After wrapping up his cowboy gig and American adventures, Mézières returned to France—and started an influential science-fiction comic book, at a time when sci-fi was about as popular in France as being a hitchhiking cowboy was.
I've solved the wallet thing for myself, I've got the perfect wallet for me. So whenever someone comes out with a new ultraslim wallet, I'm unmoved. But I just gave the Silo Mesh Card wallet a gander and am impressed at the thinking that went into it:
When most folks think of improving the design of a flashlight, they think of making it brighter or smaller. It's easy to overlook the average flashlight's central flaw: They emit a limited, circular patch of light that doesn't really jive with human peripheral vision.
On a trip upstate last year, I was looking for my runaway dog in the woods at night. While my LED flashlight was powerful enough to cast a far beam, having to trace that small circle of light over a wide swath of trees felt like painting a battleship with a toothbrush.
I'd have done better with a Morphalite flashlight, created by product developers Frank and Gary Wall. They've figured out how to create a lens that effectively refracts light into a 180-degree arc, enabling the user to scan a large patch of horizontal darkness in one go. Alternately one can rotate it 90 degrees and send the spread vertical, to better illuminate a trail one's walking down, for instance.
The Walls' DIY video below is, well, DIY quality, but that doesn't detract from the cleverness of the product's design, and their logic is unassailable:
Interestingly enough, engineer Frank discovered how to create the lens purely by accident. You can read the tale here.