The best way to find gear is getting a tip from a friend you trust. As friends of our design community for over 20 years, we want to be that voice of reason by helping our readers find products that really, truly work. So, we've gathered a list of things
The devastation of the fire that tore through Santa Rosa this month is hard to comprehend; entire neighborhoods have simply vanished. As you can see in these aerial shots, the results look consistent with a thorough aerial bombing campaign: Image by Marcus Yam / L.A. Times The view from on
Is there any domestic chore worse than ironing? It takes forever, the design of most irons suck and there seems to be little correlation between the shape of my clothes and the shape of the board. I so desperately need this automatic clothes ironing machine, called the Effie:
File this under Why the heck have I never heard of this before? The History Channel used to have a documentary series called "Ancient Discoveries," and in this episode they focus on some crazy Chinese naval technologies from centuries and even millennia ago. I know that you readers are
We all know there's no good reason to build cylindrical beer coolers that silently appear out of the ground in your backyard. But that hasn't stopped a bunch of German guys, engineers we assume, from building their own and posting the videos to YouTube. Here's Ralf Göldner's: Timo Hänsel's
The creative team at Mixer has been inventing innovative Starmark pet products for more than 10 years. Each year we find new materials and playful methods to grow the market for Starmark’s brand. These highly researched toys tug at the leash, the heart and at consumer’s pocketbooks.
On my last trip to Germany, I sat at a crowded café and marveled that all of the patrons were eating, drinking and interacting with each other. I saw not a single smartphone. Contrast that with America, or at least New York, where you can walk into any restaurant and
Around 1902, mechanical engineer and inventor Hiram Percy Maxim confronted a difficult problem: How could you make firing a rifle a quiet act? For those who like to hunt, the retort of the bullet leaving the muzzle is not only hard on the ears, but it startles the game. And
Mixed feelings on this product: On the one hand, I feel we should be exposed to a certain amount of germs, in order to keep our immune systems up to snuff. On the other hand, I've seen a child sneeze into his hand, then grab the subway pole without wiping
Shaving has been around for a long time. In the 4th Century B.C. Alexander the Great, an early proponent of shaving, ordered his troops to do it. Alexander had observed that beards were a martial liability for soldiers; if you didn't remove your own facial hair, your opponent would do it for you—by using your beard to grab your face.
My mother bought this bookcase sometime in the 1940's, I think. It was sitting in my parents living room for over 40 years before they downsized and gave it to me. I brought it to the shop because my apartment already has too much stuff but I liked having it
A fellow named Gualberto Elizondo recently attended the Grill Master Campeonato Nacional de Parrilladas (Grill Master National Barbecue Championship) in Monterrey, Mexico, spotted one entrant's crazy contraption and posted it to his Instagram: It's a pity that we're coming across this only now, when barbecuing season is about to end.
We designers often take for granted the terminology we use to describe parts of objects. But after seeing laypeople interchangeably use the words "bevel" and "bezel" in an online discussion about the forthcoming iPhone X, it's become clear that not everyone has our command of design and manufacturing vocabulary. Well,
Steven M. Johnson's "Patent Depending" series of inventions range from social commentary to plain ol' bizarre, and they always give us a laugh. So we've contracted him to let us publish one every week.
Here's a quick, carefully-researched history of writing surfaces: 1. SandYou've finally learned written characters, leaving your Neanderthal relatives in the dust. You use a stick to scratch out an inspirational message in the sand outside your hut, but when you bring your friends by to show it to them, a
I just came across this bizarre story from over ten years ago. A New Jersey mother had amassed 1,000 cans of Silly String and was trying to ship them to her son, who was serving in Iraq at the time. U.S. soldiers from both the Army and the Marines
Gone are the days of flipping through physical photo albums with your family, reminiscing on vacations, weddings and other shared experiences while leaning over a massive book. Now in the digital age, many of us have thousands of photos stored on our phones, many of which we take and never
David Rockwell is one of America's most acclaimed interior designers. His firm, Rockwell Group, has designed large-scale immersive environments for hotels and restaurants around the world, not to mention its sets for the Academy Awards and several Broadway musicals. But Rockwell's latest project is one of his smallest yet, and not something typically associated with high-end hospitality—a grill.
The Household Hacker got his hands on a 1957 publication called "1,001 How-to Ideas," i.e. hacks. He then picked out 16 of them and demonstrated them on video to see if they'd still be useful today. As with all "life hacks" roundups, a couple of these are just dumb,
Artist Cam Bergerman counts archery and leatherworking among his hobbies. Having learned how to craft leather handle wraps the traditional way, with stitching, he decided to experiment a bit: I had an idea a while back for a way to join a seam in leather without anything but the leather
Here's a great example of a guy who turned his hobby into a business, and how not having enough money forced a creative decision that made the business take off. In 1958, Pierre Koller was a Swiss 34-year-old that had grown up in Lausanne and Zurich. Fond of collecting
If you've ever been to the Javits Center in New York City, you know how colossal the convention center is. But have you seen every single inch of the space completely filled with exhibitors? We hadn't before, until we took a trip to NY Now last week. Let's just
Making things can be time-consuming, and if you're recording your entire process on video, your camera can start to heat up as the minutes tick past. Industrial designer Eric Strebel found his Lumix GF7 getting so hot that it would shut itself off. Strebel's solution: Harvest an aluminum heat
Social media has been inundated with shots of the historic levels of flooding Hurricane Harvey has wrought on Texas. Here are some images that really drive home the insane levels the water has reached: Interestingly enough, ants have worked out an effective defense mechanism to survive:
In an effort to create an economical, space-saving watering system, we developed a watering spout that attaches to any ordinary, wide-mouth mason jars. Providing an angled spout that sprinkles water gently and evenly, this device is perfect for indoor and outdoor plants, as well as for treating hard-to-reach spaces in the garden. Designed to use a fraction of the material of ordinary watering cans, this garden innovation will add some life and efficiency to any home or garden
Earlier today, HAY design launched their exclusive Kitchen Market at the MoMA Design Store SoHo. We were overwhelmed and excited by the 250—yes, 250—piece collection designed by Mette Hay with items selected by Danish chef and restaurateur, Frederik Bille Brahe. The collection merges classic kitchen necessities with modern design, throwing
For those of us who are beginner or even intermediate level woodworkers, making a delicate box with a perfect finish is hard enough. Imagine that you get all of that done, and then the real work starts. If you've ever been to Korea, you may have seen some of these lacquered boxes inlaid with what looks like pearl or shells:
Public Goods is the tiny company hoping to make a huge impact on our personal finances. Entrepreneur Morgan Hirsh's mission is to manufacture common household consumables—shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, cleaning products, et cetera—and sell them directly to the consumer at cost. By eliminating middlemen and retailers they can sell,
I dislike wallpaper, but this 1963 film almost makes me like it. It's not the aesthetics that appeal to me but the artistry and craft that go into making the product. Except for reproductions of William Morris designs, I don't suppose much wallpaper is made this way anymore. I particularly
I'm a big fan of the desert and have been to Death Valley a number of times. At the ruins of the Harmony Borax Works, not far from the visitor center at Furnace Creek, are two of the original wagons used to haul borax to a railroad 165 miles away.
On August 21st the U.S. will experience a rare phenomenon, a nationwide solar eclipse. Because this upcoming one can be seen from the east coast all the way to the west, millions of Americans will view it. Obviously you cannot stare directly into the sun, even during an eclipse, without
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