Data consolidated from a farmer's plow's GPS as it circled near Dmitriyev, Russia.
Uncovering unknown territory is more and more rare, as GPS paired with the Web has made even the most remote or unusual routes accessible to the world. The free service of OpenStreetMap (OSM) has more than one million registered users contributing data from GPS, aerial photography and just regular traversing across every possible route in the world. OSM has more than a decade of consolidated data and is often referred to as the "Wikipedia for maps." But the interesting part is that their data are considered their primary product, and not actual maps. Many sites are powered with OSM data—like Craigslist, Foursquare, Geocaching, MapQuest—organizations that want to use it instead of pricey Google Maps. But OSM also powers the beautiful maps produced by the startup MapBox.
Here's an example of a runner's various routes (the thicker red lines represent the number of times he ran that particular route) using data from OSM.
Posted by Ray
| 11 Dec 2013
Illustration by Mike Joos; photo by Emiliano Granado
The Core77 Ultimate Gift Guide is one of the more popular pieces of content that we put together every year, both for our readers and those of us who have the privilege—and eye—for making the selections. In the interest of capturing the communal spirit of this year's Gift Guide, the contributors will be selecting a few of their favorite picks from their cohorts' lists alongside one of their own.
In other words, hint, hint.
I considered a handful of different approaches to my gift guide list this year, but ultimately ended up following my gut and go with a handful of selections that represent facets of my abiding passion (outside of writing about design, of course). It's probably obvious that at least one member of Core77's editorial team is a cycling enthusiast / dedicated bike-commuter / sometime evangelist—after all, bicycles hit a sweet spot between form and phenomenon, between function and fun.
And while I deliberately chose gifts for discerning folks whose idea of a canvas is a pair of triangles on wheels, I'm broadly interested in objects that are functional, durable and lend themselves to mobility. It so happens that I recently moved to a new apartment—my first time living without roommates—so planning this year's gift guide coincided with a period of 'needing new things' (I actually ended up selling a bike so I could afford some new furniture). It initially felt unnaturally materialistic to me, but I came to realize that it's worth acquiring worldly possessions if 1.) you use them regularly, if not daily, and 2.) you won't have to buy that thing ever again.
A preponderance of cylindrical objects...
Outlier Grid Linen Towel - About as practical as it gets, really. Not only does the grid weave provide structure and surface area but the subtle geometric pattern adds a bit of Modernist flair as well. $28–120 from Outlier
AeroPress - A veritable secret to success, as far as I'm concerned. I imagine Da Vinci secretly invented an early version of this—since lost to time—and thanks to the AeroPress, everyone now has easy access to the life-affirming elixir we call coffee. $26 on Amazon
Rapha × Raeburn Wind Jacket - An easy one, perhaps, but hey, "high-viz" is meant to stand out. All black is normally the order of the day for me, but when you're plastered in spandex anyway, you might as well go all out. $450 from Rapha
Zojirushi Tuff Mug - Another one that I own and use regularly—usually not for my own Aeropressed ambrosia but on those occasions when I get it at my local coffeeshop. Lightweight and works like a charm. $32 on Amazon
Sony QX10 / QX100 - It might seem a little absurd at first glance and I imagine it's not quite as seamless as it could be, but I much prefer this version of the future better to awkward tablet photography, amirite? $250 / $500 from Sony
See the full 2013 Gift Guide for more ideas →
Posted by erika rae
| 11 Dec 2013
Since BioLite has already perfected stove design and garnered the highest achievement known to man with their HomeStove, there was only one thing left to do: make it bigger. The 2012 Core77 Design Awards-winning company is continuing its mission to bring light and heat to everyone by powering the Brooklyn Christmas tree with their new super-sized thermoelectric stove / generator. Sure, the Dumbo FirePit is a meant to be a festive holiday installation, but we can't help but think of it as a way to commemorate the launch of the Design Awards program earlier this week.
Posted by Kat Bauman
| 11 Dec 2013
Look at these stripes. Just look at them. Baffle your foes and hypnotize your prey with Hand-Eye Supply Portland-Made Aprons! Much-sought, rarely found: a comfortable apron in attractive yet durable fabric. Our new designs meet the needs we've heard from frustrated bartenders, woodworkers, hairdressers, chefs, nannies, cheese technicians and more. The result: you get a double-stitched canvas wrap with storage, style and flexibility.
The full-length apron boasts long cross-back ties for flexible fit and multiple tying options, two big waist pockets and a small swinging pocket so you don't lose your widgets when you bend over. The waist apron is the convertible of the family: smaller, sleeker, efficient. You can have your coverage and eat it too. Pick a style—and you get it at a reasonable price—made right here in the USA.
Hand-Eye Supply Portland Made Aprons
Available now from Core77's Hand-Eye Supply
Order now for guaranteed holiday delivery!
Image by Dale Purves (see info below)
One of the things I loved about seeing Scott Robertson's presentation on rendering tricks at Autodesk's CAVE Conference: The man still renders in Photoshop. I cut my ID teeth rendering bottles in Adobe's flagship product, and it's nice to see that not everyone has completely gone the 3D route.
When you're manually (albeit digitally) laying down gradations and layers, you quickly learn how much black you have to put into something to make it look white, and how much white you have to put into something to make it look black. The optical illusion up above, which has recently gone viral and is shocking to anyone who's never done an ID rendering, is an excellent example. The top chiclet is black and the bottom is white, right? Well, not if we look at it after masking off most of the drawing:
Who can forget Perceptive Pixel's big-ass multitouch display, which caused such a stir at AU 2011? We were secretly hoping the company would be purchased by Autodesk and turned to the task of cranking out high-end rendering stations, but alas, that wasn't in the cards; Microsoft scooped them up last year and essentially turned the product into corporate-meeting whiteboards, absent SketchBook Pro or other rendering apps.
But that doesn't mean big monitors with proprietary software and killer apps are dead for designers. Coming to the rescue is Montreal-based Smart Use Softwares, Inc., whose soon-to-launch S-55 Smart Table was this year's Exhibition Hall showstopper; the device was so mobbed we had to come back after hours to get a private demonstration. What we're looking at, folks, is essentially magic blueprints:
Posted by Dave Seliger
| 11 Dec 2013
Civic Service is a program from Parsons' DESIS Lab co-founded by Eduardo Staszowski, Elliott Montgomery, and Core77's Dave Seliger. Civic Service hosts a range of events to encourage interagency collaboration in local government and inspire civil servants to become intrapreneurs within their agencies.
Civic Service is about many things. It's about dedicating your career to serving the public. It's about the innumerable services that a city delivers every day to its residents. And it's about using design to make these services more user-friendly and human-centric. Civil servants are a reflection of the cities they serve—in New York City, we are dreamers, visionaries and creators. We founded Civic Service to empower civil servants with inspiration, tools and a network of like-minded colleagues.
This past weekend, we took an exciting step toward bringing service design as a tool for change to local government. With the help of civil servants from a variety of New York City agencies, we prototyped our first Civic Service Workshop. Four fantastic Parsons Transdiciplinary Design graduate students—Meagan Durlak, Reid Henkel, Mike Varona and Joe Wheeler—carefully led the participating civil servants through the service design process.
Posted by Coroflot
| 11 Dec 2013
TERRA NATION makes going to the beach an even better experience by designing beach equipment and beach going footwear. With head offices in Niederdorla, Germany, TERRA NATION would you like to apply your industrial design and footwear design skills to their pursuit of improving the beach visiting experience.
The beach environment, global user habits and the nature of products used to meet the needs of beach visitors are fields that are constantly explored. One of TERRA NATION's areas of interest is the technology, behavior and aesthetics of footwear that can be used in such environments. Sound like a fun job? Apply Now.
Posted by erika rae
| 11 Dec 2013
Photos courtesy of David Smith
We love getting into the brains behind design, whether it's with graphic designers like Jessica Walsh, Yoshimoto bladesmith Murray Carter or expert blacksmiths like Tony Swatton. This time, we've got a video that takes a us back in time to the art of signage and goldleaf application. David Smith, a traditional signwriter, has been practicing reverse glass decoration and ornate gilding for more than 29 years. His designs are featured in pubs, liquor labels, businesses and album art, of all things.
Smith is currently based in Torquay, United Kingdom. He runs his own signage and gilding shop specializing in all kinds of embossing from vehicle graphics to 3D installations—but he's kept his signature style of reverse glass gilding in all of his work.
The final version of Smith's work for the Kings of Leon
It won't take you more than a couple of minutes to appreciate the detail in his work. And this special attention hasn't gone unnoticed—Smith has designed album art for the Kings of Leon (Beautiful War) and John Mayer (Born & Raised). You can also find some of his intricate designs on seasonal Jameson whiskey labels.
In 2010 we put out a call for entries seeking ID renderings of a cell phone airbag concept. Exactly zero of you responded (though six people left comments; most folks like to critique more than they like to do). In 2011 we discovered Apple had actually patented an airbag-like cell phone protection system. And this week, I became excited upon seeing links popping up to an airbag cell phone case supposedly developed by Honda.