It is a shame that the Power Mac G5, and the first-generation Mac Pro, are these beautiful hunks of aluminum that have no present-day use. While the conscientious may deliver them to recycling facilities, wouldn't it be cool if the shells could be usefully repurposed? Germany-based designer Klaus Geiger thought so, and machined a solid piece of walnut to perfectly match the radii in the G5 tower's handles.
Though Geiger's one-off bench was created for a freecycling event in Freiburg, he subsequently became intrigued by the idea of upcycling G5 shells, stating "they are simply too good to be disposed of." He produced at least a couple of other pieces, like the one seen up top and this rolling set of drawers...
...then cranked out some renderings to show what a full line might look like:
Design theory is all fine and good, but one of the better things that will happen during an industrial design education is when schools connect with real companies that make real things. The company gets an opportunity to see what fresh minds would do with their product line-up, and design students get real-world feedback on creating something that's actually doable.
Case in point: The annual Zinc Challenge sponsored by InterZinc, a Michigan-based company that unsurprisingly specializes in zinc—the fourth most commonly used metal worldwide, they're quick to point out—and asks ID students to come up with product-based uses for the stuff. "Our challenge [is] a two part zinc casting design competition," the company writes. "The first part based on knowledge, the second on practical design."
Like the vlogger in "Why I Quit Studying Industrial Design," Hank Butitta found himself dissatisfied with his chosen course of study. "In architecture school I was tired of drawing buildings that would never exist, for clients that were imaginary, and with details I didn't fully understand," he writes. "I prefer to work with my hands, exploring details thoroughly, and enjoy working/prototyping at full scale." So rather than quit, Hank figured he'd gain his Masters with a kick-ass final project: Convert a schoolbus into a living space.
Now forget for a second that this is a bus, and look at this as a pure design problem. You've got a 225-square-foot space with existing elements, and you want to convert it into something livable, flexible, and most importantly do-able; you've got to build this thing with your own hands with nine grand that you scraped together, and three grand of that went into buying the bus on Craigslist. How would you tackle it?
Here's Butitta's approach, as we understand it:
Work With Existing Elements
Butitta looked at the fixed elements in the bus: The windows. There were twelve to a side, aft of the driver's compartment and entry stairwell. Despite their inconsistent size (three of the windows towards the rear are wider), he looked at the windows as modules or units, each of which would have something built in front of it. A certain amount of units would comprise each of the four living areas he wanted to create: a place to sleep, a place to lounge/work/eat, a kitchen and a bathroom.
HP making magic?
Earlier this month it was reported that Hewlett-Packard was breaking up into two companies. While one half, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, will focus on boring stuff like corporate computing, the other half, HP Inc., sounds a little sexier with its emphasis on 3D printing and "new computing experiences."
Since that announcement, it didn't take long for HP Inc. to arrange an event to show what that new experience might be. The new organization plans to hold a press event next week, where they'll pull the sheets off of a new type of computer called Sprout. The all-in-one PC will reportedly feature not only a flatscreen, but a touch-sensitive flat horizontal area over which will be mounted both a projector and a 3D scanner.
No one knows what the thing looks like (in case our visual atop this entry didn't tip you off) or how the interaction will work, but it seems likely that it's similar to the Fujitsu FingerLink Interaction System we showed you last year, which features components similar to what the Sprout is described as having:
With a lot of folks buying the Back to the Future 2 hoverboard prank earlier this year, it's no surprise that a purportedly real hoverboard just got funded on Kickstarter. (Or so we assume—at press time it was at $234,708 of a $250,000 goal, with 53 days left to pledge.) "We aim to get this technology into everyone's hands (and under everyone's feet)!" writes Hendo Hover, the California-based company behind the Hoverboard.
Yes, you can really stand on the thing and yes, it really floats, but there is a bit of a catch:
Our patented technology transmits electromagnetic energy more efficiently than previously possible, enabling platforms to hover over non-ferrous metals with payloads. It is scalable to any size and any weight.
The limitation of needing a non-ferromagnetic metal surface to float over aside, the technology still looks pretty cool.
Amazingly, only a handful of the actual backers will receive a working hoverboard; the ten units have all been snapped up at a buy-in of ten large. The sub-$10,000 tier of funding is for developer kits and short hoverboard rides at Hendo's facility.