Ember Equipment is the name of a group of industrial designers with "deep experience and expertise in the design of technical soft-goods and equipment," as they write. "We most especially love bad-ass backpacks." That adjective perfectly suits their awesome Modular Urban Pack, which appears to be designed with indestructible, weatherproof hardware and provides the flexibility to add tailored modules that suit whatever you're hauling. Take a look at the demo video of their two models, which are currently up on Kickstarter:
While consumers will ultimately be able to pick and choose options to build their own packs, for the MUP's Kickstarter campaign there will be four pre-configured pack-builds on offer. Buy-in starts at US $209 for a "Minimalist" model and top out at $289 for their "Outfitter" pack loaded up with every gear option.
We've got very little hard information, but it seems a handful of European and Scandinavian individual bloggers have been seeded with photos of these forthcoming IKEA designs. The Swedish furniture giant will soon be releasing their IKEA PS 2014 collection, a new line designed "for a home in constant motion, always ready for new situations and furniture needs."
The pieces are quirky to be sure. For one there's this peculiar narrow bench, intended to be a used as temporary butt-parking station while you take your shoes on and off, and it takes up a minimum of space:
There's this odd pendant lamp (pictured at top and below) that brings to mind an exploding Death Star:
One of the most satisfying things in an NYC motorist's life is coming over the Queensboro Bridge and heading south on 2nd Avenue late on a weekday night. Through proper timing and judicious use of the accelerator, you can catch a wave of green lights for three miles, from 59th Street all the way down to Houston.
Audi's Smart City Traffic Light Assistance System, if realized, could convey this sensation to millions—while cutting a car's emissions by some 15%. While it's not designed to let you beat lights per se, what the system does is receive information beamed from surrounding traffic lights, then crunches that data with your car's location and speed to present the precise timing between lights. Check it out:
The obvious hurdle is that it requires a grid of "smart" traffic lights that can beam data--but ideally this is the way cities should be going. And the upshot is that the system can be retrofitted.
Editor: Have you ever been tempted to take someone else's design? What do you think would happen to you if you did? Here we've got Part 3 of "Accidental Designer's" story, as he follows through on a fateful decision.
Missed the last one? Catch up here.
At a craft fair I'd spotted this guy, I'll call him Rusty, selling these chairs he had made. As soon as I saw his design, I realized I could build them myself, even better than he had. And I darn sure had enough wood to make them. Now I have to point out that these chairs were not my design. But before we talk design theft, I have to detour into auto theft. Because in my life there were two cases where people were getting rid of a boatload of wood and it worked out in my favor, and with the first one I ended up getting my car stolen.
Some guy was selling a garageful of teak, which I'd mentioned earlier. These were huge pieces of rough-cut lumber and you couldn't believe how much of it there was. The guy's grandfather had brought it all over from India on a ship in the 1950s. I had this crappy Chevy Astro van, and each trip I loaded it up to the brim with wood, so badly that the van was practically bottoming out. It was a 1.5-hour round trip and it took me six freaking trips to get all of the wood back to the boatyard where I was living.
By the time I made it back with the final load, it was late at night and I was dead tired. I couldn't lift my arms to unload that last batch and figured I'd get to it in the morning, so I left the car in the lot, staggered back into my sailboat and fell asleep with my boots on.
In the morning I got up and went out to finish the job. But my van was gone. I always parked in the same spot so it's not like I misplaced it, and the keys were still in my pocket, so it's not like a buddy of mine had moved it. It had just disappeared, along with its load of valuable teak.
While Chuck Close's tool of choice was the pencil, artist Seung Mo Park makes his marks with a very different medium: Stainless steel mesh.