Dina Amin is an industrial designer who has encountered the paradox many of us face: "I realized that I am not very fond of a huge part of Industrial Design," she writes, "the part where we consume insane amount of resources and energy to design things that eventually people throw
A few bucks on Amazon will get you a plastic headphone hook that sticks to your monitor. But I am liking this quick, less-obtrusive solution far better: A three-pack of Sugru strips goes for under ten bucks, and you get the satisfaction of shaping it yourself.
Forks, spoons, knives and chopsticks are designed to move food into our pie holes as efficiently as possible. For the most part, we all know how to use them–sometimes to the point where we don't even consider their existence as we shovel a plate of pasta down our throats. But
Musical instruments are undergoing a renaissance. Waves of techno-cultural innovation are melding arts and sciences, and steadily raising the tide on traditional crafts, turning them on their heads. The transformation of the musical instrument—through networks, sensors, data and computation—is not only a story about the craft of making musical tools,
There is an old adage in the firefighting community that the profession is 150 years of tradition unimpeded by progress. The original fire helmet, then called a fire cap, was designed in 1731 by Jacobus Turk for the Fire Department of New York in order to distinguish the department from competitors. (Scarily enough, firefighting was once privatized—just like in the movie 'Gangs of New York.')
For every Silicon-Valley-VC-backed product design startup, I wish there were 100 people like Lynn Fisher. "I am a painter and Art teacher in New Jersey," Fisher writes, "and about fifteen years ago I came up with an idea to use old pieces of leather to make journals and sketchbooks for
Swiss-born Amaury Guichon was just 14 years old when he moved to France to pursue culinary training. Six years later he had five apprentices of his own at Cannes' high-end Lenotre restaurant, and the following year he became Executive Chef of Paris' Hugo & Victor patisseries. Now 'Stateside, Guichon teaches
Industrial designer Andrey Avgust hails from Belarus, a country whose currency I admit I've never seen. But he's seen our yankee dollars and recognizes that their design kind of stinks. For fun Avgust gave U.S. bills a redesign, starting with the material: Polymer. Then he took the design iconography of
At first glance, the designs by concept artist "E wo kaku Peter" ("Peter who draws") appear to be merely fanciful, like these: Formula One tow car Ancient Egyptian hard drive Dracula extermination kit The first hint that Peter's got some underlying thoughts about a consumerist society appears
For this year's NYCxDesign, frog partnered with Art Start for the second year in a row to help bring creativity to NYC's homeless and at-risk youth through their DECKxDESIGN challenge. Following a successful inaugural year focused on dart boards, this year pivoted focus towards a different type of board—the skateboard.
After graduating from the Hokkaido Institute of Design, Norio Tanno pursued his chosen field of furniture design. But he quit after just four years, feeling that his work wasn't original. Instead he turned to creating tiny boxes. That was around 40 years ago. He now runs Tanno Studio in Hokkaido,
Here's an object you've likely never seen before. But by looking at the photos, you should be able to deduce what it's for and how it's operated. The first one of you to tell us in the comments wins…nothing! This ain't a game show, folks. The images here are
I'm digging how Coleman's industrial design team creates new products that pay homage to old form factors. Last year we looked at their 4-in-1 LED Lantern, and this year their 360° Sound and Light Lantern has caught our eye, again for copping the form of an old gas lantern but
This is sort of like the corporate version of looking inside someone's workshop to see what kind of nifty little jigs they've built for themselves to simplify production. Upon learning that some of their factory and logistics employees walk up to 12 kilometers a day inside their facilities, BMW's Group
Designing an object that will accommodate one animal, but not another animal of similar size, is a tricky endeavor. A bird feeder is a good example: How do you allow your avian friends to access the seed, without greedy neighboring squirrels helping themselves? One solution might be to cover the
On June 30th the New York Aquarium will open "Ocean Wonders: Sharks!" This is a 57,500-square-foot, $146 million exhibit that has taken over a decade to create, as the newly-built aquarium was badly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Now coming into the home stretch, the aquarium employees need to get the
These are three of the pens roaming around my desk that I'll grab when I need to sketch something. I don't love any of them but I got them all for free. They're all ballpoints that deploy the tip when a portion of the pen is rotated. That's a nifty
Of great frustration is that I cannot discover who designed/built the object in this image that I found floating around the internet. If you know whose work this is, please sound off, as I am desperate to examine the rest of this person's portfolio. This object's design is all
Is there any worse sound than when you're vacuuming, and suddenly hear the whining interrupted by that "FWUPP" noise that means you just sucked up a small object? What the eff was that? My wedding ring? A piece of crucial medication? That special screw I dropped and have been looking
A fluoroelastomer is a variant of synthetic rubber. Chemical- and stain-resistant, it's used to make seals in air conditioners and automobiles. Nendo, however, imagined more domestic applications for the stuff, and partnered with air conditioner manufacturer Daikin, a company well-versed in fluoroelastomers, to make a new series of kitchen objects.
There's a craftsman in Japan going by the handle Conocoto (I looked it up, it's a town in Peru) who makes these tiny, ambivalent storage drawers. They're designed to hold "nothing particularly," he writes on his Japanese-language blog. "Please store your favorite things like toothpicks and stamps." Although the jewelry
Question: If you're re-designing an object that has a long history, do you feel compelled to somehow integrate that history into the design? Or do you feel progress is only made by throwing out the past and reaching for fresh forms? I'll try to clarify that question using an
Whether you refer to it as an "Everyday Carry" or not, most of us have things we consistently keep on our person as we leave the house. For some, if not for your correspondent, it makes sense to marshal all of these things onto a dedicated object at the end
The constant struggle for product designers is (or should be): Am I creating something of true utility, or just bringing more stuff into the world? I do get annoyed at how bottles/cans in bathrooms/kitchens get wet, collect water at the bottom and leave a ring on surfaces. But I cannot
Like the Bath Buddy from yesterday, I'll put this in the silly-but-useful category. The Forktula is simply a small piece of silicone with two holes on it, and it goes over two fork tines like a sleeve. That allows you to do this: As someone who hates to
The sequence of my thought process when seeing this object: 1. This seems silly 2. Oh wait a sec, this would be very useful 3. WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THIS
When that Southwest Airlines flight depressurized last week between New York and Dallas, killing that poor woman, the plane began descending rapidly and the overhead oxygen masks deployed. I'll never understand this compulsion, but one of the chaps in the photo below pulled out his phone to capture this selfie:
Joseph Herscher never ceases to amaze with his Rube Goldberg contraptions, and this is without a doubt the most inventive one he's done so far. It involves danger, babies, fluids, open flame, butter…ah, you get the idea, just watch it: How does he come up with this stuff?
BadAbout is the name of a website billing itself as "an online encyclopedia of criticism:" "We allow users to quickly share and discover the drawbacks about something, usually a product or service. We are not a general review site. We collect the bad points to achieve a positive purpose."That's right,
If you regularly use a sewing machine and have declining eyesight, you know that threading that damn needle is the most frustrating part of the process. There are times when I've continued sewing with the wrong-sized needle just because I subconsciously didn't want to insert and thread a new one.
This is one of those objects that I find beautiful in one configuration, yet ugly in another. While beauty is a subjective thing, I wanted to go over the object with you and see if we can come to some agreement about universal aesthetics (if such a thing exists).
The function of a doorway is to allow people to pass through a wall. The function of a door is to seal that aperture, providing visual privacy, protection from the elements and denying access to people who are not supposed to pass through that wall. Given those truths saloon
The always-imaginative Russian concept designer Semenov Dahir Kurmanbievich is at it again. This time he's conceived of a mass transit system that combines aspects of an airplane and a train: Obviously the craft is meant to draw power from the monorail. A monorail system, and the idea of getting the
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