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Posted by core jr  |  20 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Yesterday, our friends at PSFK released a report on a movement that is within our purview much as it is in theirs: The first edition of the "Maker's Manual" "provides insights into how people can learn, program, prototype and even sell their projects." Available for free download, it goes beyond your average trend report to offer "a wealth of tools, support and services available for every project size—from the hobbyist's tinkering to the entrepreneur's hack."

The "Maker's Manual" a fluent top-level survey of the technologies, services and communities that are out there today, online and off, and while the the report is not by any means comprehensive, it's certainly an excellent place to start if you're looking for, say, a Maker Shop or Collaboration Hub. There are nods to the usual suspects—Inventables, Makerbot, IFTTT, Techshop, etc.—but also more obscure or otherwise emerging projects and companies such as
GaussBricks and Craftsman Ave. Sure, there's a good chance that some of these resources may be too experimental or as-yet-inchoate to have a long-term impact, but this is precisely why the "Maker's Manual" serves as a kind of State of the Union. Indeed, the introduction includes a pithy Obama quote, from the recent White House Maker Faire: "Today's D.I.Y. is tomorrow's 'Made in America.'"

And although some of the headings and copy might read as hype, the "Maker's Manual" does well to addresses pragmatic issues such as fundraising and IP. All told, the 33 pages are chock full of solid information, presented in an appropriately skimmable format, one that invites readers to further investigate the companies and services that strike their fancy.

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Unfortunately, the PDF is encoded in a way such that the text isn't searchable; not only does this mean that there's no quick way to find a keyword but also none of the links are clickable—not even the one for Intel, which underwrote the whole thing—which, considering the inclusion of bit.ly links, seems like an egregious oversight. After all, the availability of new tools and resources is a cardinal tenet of its subject matter, and the utility of the "Maker's Manual" as a reference guide is rather diminished by the lack of search- and clickability.

Posted by core jr  |  20 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)
Content sponsored by the Ford Motor Company
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On Saturday, August 16, Ford and IDSA brought us the third panel discussion in a series on 'Designing Innovation.' We've been following along as the two organizations have brought together some of the biggest names in the design world to discuss and hash out real-life design topics onstage. While this panel's theme loosely focused around designing customer experiences, the four designers onstage took us into the inner workings of their own designing processes and shared the ways they incorporate their customers into the creation of their future products. Read on to see what Modern Edge CEO Austen Angell, Dell VP of Experience Design Ed Boyd and Ford Motor Company Exterior Design Manager Kevin George had to say on involving the consumer in today's design feats.

The Challenges of Customer-Led Innovation

The conversation began with a backgrounder on the panelists' respective companies and how each one approach predicting the future of design and technology. Seeing that all of the products have some sort of production timeframe, it's important for the design teams to nail down an idea and time it out to fit the needs of a group of consumers. Boyd shared some insight on the timeframe his team considers: "We look about three generations out and think about where technology will be and how will we solve these problems. You're looking at anywhere from six to ten years out." Ford's Kevin George discussed the practice of using consumer's own descriptions for the cars to lead future automotive design projects. When working on Ford's newest release, the Edge, two words stood out and informed the design direction of the recently launched car. "We take the words that they use to describe the car—some said dominating, some some accommodating. Very different. So we said, why don't we blend them?"

Finding the sweet spot in terms of a timeframe or design skeleton is one thing, but the real challenge comes with translating consumer insights into something innovative that the designers can stand behind. Angell had some words on designers' intuition that stuck with me for the duration of the panel discussion:

You need the rigor of academia, the rigor to have the proper amount of skepticism about your own assumptions, but we also recognize that there's part of the investigation that needs to take some risks. Designers have this intuition. It's marrying those two that we think produces some tangible results with the right amount of credibility that people can act on.

As exciting as it may seem, the toughest critics might be within company itself. "As a large company, if you talk about blowing things up, it's pretty challenging," says Boyd. "At Sony, we were holding on to legacy business, but I think today you need to be willing to blow that up in a really objective way. Every new idea that's very disruptive and different starts with a lot of anti-bodies before it's adopted."

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Posted by core jr  |  16 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)
Content sponsored by the Ford Motor Company
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A myriad of design topics have been covered in the past two panel discussions Ford and IDSA have hosted, from the effect of video games on players to the intricacies of automotive design. (If you missed them the first time around, you can watch them here and here.) This time, we have four solid panelists ready to take on the customer experience and how designers can create meaningful interactions between their products and the consumer, among many other areas of interest, of course. Eric Anderson of Carnegie Mellon's Integrated Innovation Institute will be moderating the conversation among Charles Austen Angell, Founder of Modern Edge; Ed Boyd, VP of Experience Design at Dell; and Kevin George, Exterior Design Manager at Ford Motor Company (read our recent Q&A with him here).

The discussion kicks off at 12:20pm ET. Remember, if you submitted a question on Twitter using the hashtag #DesiginingInnovation, you might hear it asked on stage. Tune in below to see the 'Designing Innovation' panel live from the annual IDSA Conference in Austin, Texas.

Read up on the panelists onstage:

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Posted by core jr  |  15 Aug 2014  |  Comments (1)

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Once again, Core77 is pleased to be the media partner for the Bike Cult Show, which will once again bring the very best custom framebuilders in the Northeast region to New York City this month. Set to take place this weekend, August 16–17, at the Knockdown Center in Queens, the second annual Bike Cult Show promises be bigger and better than before. Earlier this week, we heard from new kid on the block Mathew Amonson of Airtight Cycles; the subject of our fourth and final builder profile is the venerable J.P. Weigle, who has seen fit to chronicle his storied career in a photo essay.

If you like what you see here, head over to Knockdown Center this weekend to see these works of art in person at the Bike Cult Show!

Text and images courtesy of Peter Weigle

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I never dreamed about being a frame builder—in fact, I had no idea such a person existed. In 1972, a friend encouraged me to interview for an 'interesting opportunity,' and three weeks later I was standing in this shop in Deptford, England. The shop was old, old school: No jigs, no machinery, no alignment table etc. We drilled vent and pin holes with hand-spun twist drills. Hacksaws, files and elbow grease got the job done.


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After a seven-month stint, I came back to the States. I worked in a small frame shop, Witcomb USA, along with Richard Sachs. I rode and raced my bike as much as I could. I made this bike for myself in England; this road race, at left, was a hilly one up in Vermont.

At right, a few of the mid-years crew at Witcomb USA. That's Chris (Fat Chance) Chance on the left, Fred Widmer in the center, and me at the right with my Clockwork Orange haircut.


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Witcomb USA closed its doors in '77. My plan at first was to get a real job... but instead I bought one of the Witcomb jigs, some of the tooling and some material inventory. This photo was taken at my first shop, a Quonset hut at a local airport. I had no phone, so I used the payphone over at the field office. Customers took quite a chance driving there, wondering if I'd be there or not.

This mixte touring bike was one of the first bikes built in my new shop. Fenders, Ideale saddle, hmmm...


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In the early 80s, a friend from California told me about a 'mountain bike' he had just purchased. He sent photos of his Ritchey and some sketches. I made my first mountain bike in '82 and rode it everywhere. I went to Fat Tire Bike Week in Crested Butte, CO, in '83–4. All of the MTB luminaries were there and it was ground zero for that sport. Moab was just a dusty place in the desert at that point.

Racing soon followed. The early days were real grassroots affairs—nobody knew much about the sport, so sometimes we made things up as we went along. No one knew what to wear at these events either... you might see a classic Brooklyn jersey next to a racer in cut-offs.

I also used my lightweight specials in cyclocross events, which was legal back then. At the 1988 National Championships, I won the Vets race in fine style.


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Even though mountain bikes were my newfound passion, I still made my share of road frames. This bike was displayed in a show and was also selected for the cover photo at left. I was just learning how to do these three-color schemes and was having trouble. I used a tooth pick dabbed in paint to touch up my mistakes... and I used the same 'tool' to paint the clown's face on the back of the pump bump. ;~)

And on the right, the 'money shot' in a Cigar Aficionado article. I called this bike 'French Reminiscence'—all it needed was fenders.

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Posted by core jr  |  15 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)

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By Tim Adkins

Ambitions are often simple dreams, born in shallow pocketbooks, that yearn for accoutrements larger than whatever the Joneses own. Some dreams deviate. They're more elemental, more profound. Consider Walter Dorwin Teague's ambition:

"I will strive to make the name I bear a loved one long after I am gone."

More than 50 years after his death, Teague's name continues to resonate. But the story of the man who strove to give it an eternal life has largely been untold. Last night, Jason Morris premiered Teague: Design & Beauty, a documentary on the seminal industrial designer, for a few hundred designers attending IDSA's 2014 International Conference in Austin, Texas. The film, nearly five years in the making, fills a substantial gap in our contemporary memory.

TeagueDoc-Morris_Audience.jpgJason Morris addressing the crowd

In the film's first few frames, we meet Walter Dorwin Teague as he faces a mid-life problem that he must design his way out of: He's a successful industrial artist who is restless. He sees the road ahead and envisions an intersection where his many interests and skills—including fine art, illustration, typography, fashion, architecture and storytelling—could converge to create a new method for giving form to experiences.

After Morris frames the conflict for us, Teague backtracks and follows a straightforward chronology. We learn that Walter—as Morris's narration refers to him in the first act—listed in his childhood diary all the books that he had read from age ten onward. We see some of the beautifully composed short films that Teague—as he is known in the second act—shot of the Chartres Cathedral in 1930. And we get some insight on the creative tension that soured the relationship between Mr. Teague—of the third act, of course—and the talented son who inherited his name and many of the senior Teague's creative gifts.

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