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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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You're likely familiar with Polish designer Oskar Zieta—if only for his 2010 'Chippensteel' chair and other inflated steel furniture, often spotted in glistening chrome or copper. Zieta was back in the limelight at Łódź Design Festival in Poland last week with pyrotechnical demonstrations of some new steel products inflated by the application of heat.

The 'Hot Pin'—a repacking of Zieta's old techniques as a consumer product—is a wall-mounted coat hook sold flatpack in an admittedly quite charming mini pizza box. The intention seems to be to give us at home a chance to see the wonders of baking steel—the discs springing to life with inflating spontaneously when heated to temperatures above 200°C, cooling into a surprisingly solid object to be fitted to the wall.

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Posted by Coroflot  |  23 Oct 2014

Work for Hasbro!

Hasbro does more than create some of the world's most beloved brands. They are a global, fast-moving and innovative company where employees have the freedom to think big, lead bravely and achieve success. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." Why wouldn't you want to join their team as a Senior Product Designer, focusing on Fashion Dolls?

They're looking for someone with previous experience demonstrating strong technical design ability for fashion doll development who is a creative thinker, experienced at working in a broad range of creative projects/assignments. If this describes you and you want to join this iconic company, Apply Right Now.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  22 Oct 2014  |  Comments (2)

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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.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  22 Oct 2014  |  Comments (4)

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The ShopBot Desktop CNC mill can perform a variety of cutting tasks in a variety of materials, all depending on what kind of bit you're using. So when learning to use one, the first physical skill you'll master is how to install and remove a bit in the machine. Whether you've used power tools or not before, it's a pretty simple procedure:

Once you've got a bit installed, you'll need to "zero," or calibrate that bit, so that the machine knows exactly where that bit is in 3D space. Here's how that routine goes:

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Posted by Ray  |  22 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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As an industrial design publication, we publish both hypothetical and extant products; as such, we receive a fair share of inquiries, via e-mail or comments, from net noobs about the possibility of ordering these products. Where savvy Internet folk might content themselves with a Futurama macro of approval, we regularly receive reminders that there are plenty of people who think that the internet is not just a big store.

Of course, it takes a more nuanced approach to pull one on those of us who sift through Kickstarter pitches and dubious renderings for a living, and the TBD Catalog assumes a moderate degree of web-weary cynicism even as its pages present a close approximation of novelty (if not naïvity). The short version is that it's a neatly packaged, portable work of design fiction, a vicarious investigation of a near future that may not be the one we want but could well be the one we get. As Fosta (one of the 19 co-authors) put it in his expository piece:

We wanted to talk about a future of middling indifference, of partly broken things, of background characters. A future where self-driving cars weren't a fantasy, but another place to be bored. A future where drones didn't draw gasps of awe, but eye-rolls of indifference. A future where today's 'technology' had become tomorrow's ho-hum.

Reverting to printed matter is, of course, at once a way to short-circuit the feedback loop of the Internet and an excuse to produce an artifact, a token of one's efforts (why yes, it is available to order). Although the TBD Catalog is a send-up of invariably utopian futurecasting, it's not so much an outright parody as an exercise in the uncanny: As a work of design fiction par excellence, it blurs the minor distinction between 'fictitious' and 'fictional.' [Ed. Note: I wish I were more intimately familiar with the work of the individual authors so I could speak to how each of them may have shaped the final product, but at this point it seems most fair to evaluate their collective effort.]

While its relatively high production value—semi-glossy though they may be, the pages are a cut above magazine stock—betrays its true nature, the message is not in the matter but the medium. Beyond the cover, it reads as a mail-order catalog at first glance, from the true-to-form layout to the intrinsic stiltedness of stock photography, both of which the authors exploit (and sometimes unravel) to nice effect. Some of the content immediately invites a double take but the authors largely err on the side of subtlety, and the TBD Catalog certainly rewards a closer reading of the images, copy and subtext.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  22 Oct 2014  |  Comments (2)

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Although Poland might not currently rank too highly in the Top Design Nations List (that I've just made up), our experiences in Poland at Łódź Design Festival show many promising signs of local manufacturers keen to collaborate with the country's emerging generation of design talent. As part of the festivities, Polish radiator manufacturer Terma exhibited winners and shortlisted entries from their Terma Design Awards—a competition calling for creative home heating products.

Some entries exhibited showed an imaginative reinvention of the radiator—incorporating pipes into a table for example, or repurposing floor mounted systems into a bench. Of the more conventional wall mounted radiators, there was some really interesting styling to behold and some impressive use of materials to make more of a feature of the lowly heater and to disseminate the warmth more effectively.

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Design by Bartholomew Drabik, the industrial-chic "Ribbon" is sure to look handsome on an some exposed brickwork.


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Named after the Japanese tradition for low, futon-covered, heated tables, "Kotatsu" by Marianna Janowicz incorporates radiator pipes into the structure of a table to create a gently warmed communal seating space.

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Posted by Coroflot  |  22 Oct 2014

Work for Jacmel Jewelry

For almost 40 years, Jacmel has revolutionized the way that popular priced jewelry is merchandised and marketed in this country with its innovative packaging and in-store marketing campaigns. Their commitment to product development and consistently providing its customers with new product and the latest trends can be seen in their New York City headquarters. Among their growing team is an immediate opening for a Junior Production Artist - Packaging Designer with a self-starting attitude and plenty of creativity.

The perfect person for this role will have the ability to create hand cut and folded comps and technical drawing skills, in addition to experience with Photoshop, Illustrator, Excel, Word and Power Point. You'll be expected to prepare accurate press-ready print files for packaging and display manufacturers and help design packaging ideas based on projects & direction from customers, so get your portfolio ready and Apply Now.

Posted by Kat Bauman  |  21 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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With three years under its belt, Design Week Portland is starting to take on a clear character. With a central theme as broad (bordering on meaningless) as 'design,' it's natural that every city and organizing body will produce a distinct festival. So far Portland Design Week closely reflects the current trends in the city's industries and culture. The prevailing emphasis is on graphic design, traditional crafts, storytelling and skill-sharing. Fittingly, some of the clearest examples took place at the new Design Week HQ. The physical HQ, located in the heart of downtown under a series of conspicuous domes, was a hub for info and for a rotating series of artists and performers. Each day different artists did time illustrating bright banners inspired by tweets from the #dwpdx hashtag. The banners were color coded by day, and filled the courtyard over the course of the week.

Music, dance, and talks filled the third dome every day in an intimate (if sometimes stifling) public space. An early favorite was Carl Alviani's "Words Behind The Work," where designers read from works that inspired, influenced or challenged their work. A prime quote: "Just like learning about kerning will ruin signage forever, this is going to destroy your mind about porches."

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Another notable event was the live drawn history of alphabets by Elizabeth Anderson (of Anderson Krygier) and the following theater piece "The Typographer's Dream," which posed the deeply Northwestern question: 'Are we what we do for a living?' Deep shit, man.

Cultivating Community

Interactive events were common and productive. IDL Worldwide's merchandising competition pitted visual merchandisers against one another in an aesthetic rumble. The Design Efficiency intensive with Fluid Design doubled down on career skills, both technical and personal, to help designers be more effective. Make/Mend/Reflect, presented by Maker's Nation, offered a multi-discipline series of creativity exercises around embracing ugliness and working through problems. This entailed prompted writing, mending, and ugly creature building. Vital tools for the designer's toolkit(?). The huge number of open houses and open studios were an overwhelming option for interact with brands, agencies, workshops and individual designers.

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In keeping with our town's twee reputation, traditional crafts were a common subject. Printmaking, woodworking, glassblowing, textile design, letterpress, ceramics, and even macrame were taught, open-housed and exhibited. Among these I was particularly happy to see a panel discussion about bookbinding, book collection and the book as art object on the schedule. Portland may have small art and design scenes but it offers a great landscape for book lovers. The role of art books and publishing in design is both fascinating and evolving, and the panel featured well-informed stakeholders from Publication Studio, Division Leap, Monograph Bookwerks, and Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Sure, it's an advertisement, but if we're going to have goods hawked at us, this is how we'd prefer it be done. To promote their color-shifting Hue LED bulbs, Philips put together this entertaining, too-short video showing how living rooms have evolved, starting in the Boardwalk Empire days and running up until today. While we're presumably meant to focus on the lighting fixtures, the thorough set-dressing will capture your attention:

To be nitpicky, I'd like to have seen a little more Mid-Century Modern, and was it just me or did they seem to skip both the '70s and the '90s altogether?

Posted by Hand-Eye Supply  |  21 Oct 2014  |  Comments (1)

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Tonight at Hand-Eye Supply's Curiosity Club we get tiny, tacky and passionate as we hear Niko Courtelis present the talk "Stamps Ate My Brain." 6pm Pacific at the new Hand-Eye Supply location, or streaming online on the CC page.

"Stamps are tiny pieces of eye candy with great stories. Mine is a cautionary tale of a casual pursuit that's become a passionate obsession. The discussion will range from childhood stamp collecting and graphic excellence, to correspondence and mail art, and the absurdity of collecting turn of the century perforating machines. I'll be sharing some very unusual, artful and rare stamps. There's a lot more to these little things than you might think!"

Niko is a creative director, designer, filmmaker and partner of Portland-based PLAZM. He collects postage stamps, typewriters and vintage perforating machines, and uses them to make artistamps, mail and correspondence art. His book Philatelic Atrocities was recently published by Kat Ran Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is an adjunct professor at PNCA. Niko has a daughter and a three-legged turtle.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Oct 2014  |  Comments (6)

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These are exciting times for those looking to get into digital fabrication, as the technology really is starting to trickle down. With MakerBot the go-to for desktop 3D printing and ShopBot cornering the shop-based prototyping and production market, Inventables reckons there's room for something in-between: A machine it's calling Carvey, designed by Scott Wilson and MNML.

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Billed as a "3D carving machine," what Carvey has in common with MakerBot's Replicator line is the fully-enclosed, desktop form factor; these are machines that could be placed in the office portion of a design firm, as opposed to the heavy-duty machines in the modelmaking shop area.

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Where it differs from the MakerBot is in what it has in common with the ShopBot line: Carvey is subtractive, not additive. It's essentially a CNC mill, albeit it a miniature one. With a work area of just 12" x 8" and a Z-axis of under three inches, it's no competitor for a ShopBot (whose entry-level Desktop roughly doubles the work area in all axes), but it's not meant to be; while you won't be using Carvey to produce furniture, it's meant to be good enough to produce smaller items like sunglasses, jewelry, small signage, electronics enclosures, et cetera, out of wood, plastic or metal.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  21 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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A key event of the Łódź Design Festival is the international design competition Make Me! showcasing work of up-and-coming talent from Poland, Europe and the rest of the world.

Winner of the spoils this year was Berlin-based studio Blond and Bieber for their 'Algaemy' project (also awarded as a notably student speculative design entry to Core77 Award) using the properties of colorful algae to produce dyes for textile-making. Noting the huge recent scientific interest in the plants, the designers were inspired to explore the creative potential of algae. They created the 'Algaemy' printer—a mobile algae farm, workstation and human-powered textile printer—to print on large sections of textile with shades of blue, green, brown and red, where the colors apparently developing and deepening with time.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  21 Oct 2014  |  Comments (2)

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We all know the oceans are filled with plastic waste, and we've seen the horrific photos of dead animals that have ingested the stuff. It is up to activists, responsible corporate citizens and lawmakers to stop these plastic garbage patches from growing. But that won't solve the problem of how to get rid of the stuff that's already floating around in there.

Enter Boyan Slat, just 19 years of age. At 6, he was diving in Greece—that country whose postcards show pristine beaches and blue water--and was horrified at the amount of floating garbage he encountered. "I saw more plastic bags," Slat told the BBC, "than fish." When he returned home to the Netherlands, he started working on a way to rid the oceans of garbage—and his design solution is as promising as it is out-of-the-box.

The conventional thinking goes that ships need to be sent out into these garbage patches with huge tow-nets. The problem is that these nets would capture aquatic life as well as the garbage they're trying to collect. And ships burn fuel. So Slat took a closer look at how oceans operate and how the garbage migrates around.

Oceanbound trash tends to gather into their own little garbage continents, driven by "gyres," or rotating currents. There are five of these trash gyres worldwide.

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Although the concentration of plastic in these areas is high—it's sometimes described as a plastic soup—it's still spread out over an area twice the size of Texas. What's more, the plastic does not stay in one spot, it rotates. These factors make a clean-up incredibly challenging.
"Most people have this image of an island of trash that you can almost walk on, but that's not what it's like," says Slat. "It stretches for millions of square kilometres - if you went there to try and clean up by ship it would take thousands of years." Not only that, it would be very costly in terms of both money and energy, and fish would be accidentally caught in the nets.

Slat reasoned that it would be more efficient to let the ocean move the trash around, as it does on its own. We would then simply place floating barriers in the known trouble spots, allowing the floating garbage to simply run into the barriers. Aquatic life could still flow under the floating barriers unmolested, with no nets for them to get caught in, and the barriers would be anchored to the seabed via cables to prevent them from floating off. Garbage could then be harvested and recycled from an area with a much smaller footprint.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  20 Oct 2014  |  Comments (5)

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Drawing is about muscle control, and muscle control comes from reps. Which is why Professor Gary, our Drawing teacher at ID school had us draw hundreds, then thousands, of cubes in perspective. And once we'd gotten those down to his satisfaction, we drew yet more cubes in perspective, then started filling the planes with ellipses.

There is no shortcut, he taught. If your circles suck, draw 10,000 of them and at some point they'll stop sucking.

Well, turns out there is a shortcut, at least for drawing circles of a few specific sizes. Not much applicability for ID sketching, but it was clever enough that we at least had to show you:

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  20 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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With London Design Festival having wrapped up only a couple of weeks ago, we headed over this week over to the other LDF in Łódź, Poland. Although the design scene of Poland may be relatively in its infancy, this year's festival in Łódź—the country's third biggest city, pronounced something link 'wodch'— marks the 8th year for the event, the words 'Brave New World' having been chosen as title and theme of this edition.

A large part of the festival hub in Łódź this year has been handed over to London-based designer and thinker Daniel Charny—founder of studio From Now On and rebel rousing advocate of the maker movement—to create a prototype of his proposed 'Fixhub' spaces. Building on the models and cultures of public makerspace like FabLabs and Repair Cafe, Charny's Fixhubs are part fix-shop, part library and part gallery brought together in a one stop shop for communities to be inspired, informed and equipped to action to extend the lifespan or usefulness of their belongings.

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With lots of making workshops going on and a rack of materials to read, the gallery portion of the space showcased a wide range of making and hacking projects—a collection that Charny believes points to the coming of age of the maker movement. Likening the process to the early days of filmmaking, all the novelty and wacky experimentation (arguably much need to allow for learning) is finally giving way to works of much greater significance.

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Launching officially at Dutch Design Week, Belgian studio Unfold gave festival goers in Łódź a sneak peek of their incredible 'Of Instruments and Archetypes'—a set of instruments that measure physical objects and transfer the dimensions to a digital model in real time, allowing users to then send these files off for 3D printing. On show with the video of the tools in action was a selection of vessels hacked with tools, different objects having been used for handles.

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Posted by Kat Bauman  |  20 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Portland is a solidly 2D town. We do great graphics, our branding is beautiful, and the interactive design coming out of here is innovative and interesting. Which is really lovely... but leaves us a little lacking in the physical department. Traditional crafts are on the rise, but where are the really interesting product design projects? Apparently, they're still in school.

Of all the events and all the open houses attended last week, the University of Oregon Product Design show was easily my favorite. Possibly because I was the only one there and thus didn't have to contend with two dozen graphic designers drawling about their current shows while pretending that they were there for something other than free wine. Also possibly because 97% of the work in the small show was clean, slightly surprising, and whimsical without pretense.

The show features work produced in Asst. Professor Wonhee Arndt's studio, the theme was "Home Away From Home," and selected pieces made an early debut at Milan's Design Week. Here are my favorites.

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It's easy to imagine this rolling storage bin by Chris Lau being used as a fun organizer for kiddos or slightly absurd adults. Nice lines, easy to move, easy to clean inside and out.

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Ceramic oddities by Trygve Faste and Jessica Swanson titled "Intertidal Deployment Objects" show a fun blend of nautical and traditional pottery influences with disconcertingly neon glazes, and could ostensibly be producible. I'd own one—in this climate you never know when you need to deploy some intertidal objects. The structured but cozy "Construction Quilt" by Wonhee Arndt makes fort building more interesting and wrapping up an architectural affair. Less compelling when wall mounted, but it looks like it would be plenty of fun.

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Posted by core jr  |  20 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)
Advertorial content sponsored by Dassault Systèmes
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The AliveCor heart monitor is the first FDA-cleared device to let patients monitor their heart rhythm through a smart phone, enabling cost-efficient, timely diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias for those at risk. Designed by Karten Design.

With the explosion of wearable technology and legislation like the Affordable Care Act, the medical product industry is rapidly evolving. Healthcare is seeing unprecedented changes, creating new opportunities for devices that connect consumers and doctors to information faster, easier, and more efficiently.

"It's coming to a point where there are just amazing breakthroughs every day," says Tor Alden, Principal and CEO at HS Design (HSD), where he has been directly involved in medical design for over 14 years. "[Technologists] are innovating and changing the landscape of how healthcare is going to be done to the point where we're not going to recognize it in the next three or four years from where it is now." It's a changing landscape that has caught the eye of many innovative startups, who now make up half of HSD's client list. "These new products have amazing technology, but it needs to be humanized and centered on user needs to be successful." HSD is positioning itself to be a bridge connecting the medical and healthcare startups with the investment banker communities. Alden predicts that if the growth continues at this rate, that number could be closer to 80% in the next few years.

One of the factors opening the door for innovation in the medical device industry is the Affordable Care Act. As requirements roll out for health care providers, there is an increasing need for new tools and products that ensure patient compliance. Take a typical hip replacement, for example: Under the Affordable Care Act, if a doctor or hospital is not tracking the compliance and rehabilitation of that patient and they return within a year with no improvement, the hospital owes money to the government. There's a financial incentive to make sure patients get better and, therefore, to track and evaluate their progress. This could spur invention around hip replacements—possibly leading to one with a chip (i.e., embedded UDI) to track rehabilitation or remind patients to get complete their physical therapy exercises.

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Posted by Ray  |  20 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

Snohetta-Beaufort.jpgReddit-USD.jpgAt top: Designed by Snøhetta, the reverse sides of all five denominations of Norwegian kroners form a continuous pattern; above: A proposed redesign of the U.S. Dollar

By now, you've probably caught a glimpse of what were widely hailed as "the most beautiful banknotes ever." Somewhat less widely reported, at least in the first wave of press, is the fact that the Snøhetta-designed reverse side of the new Norwegian kroner is based on the Beaufort Scale for windspeed, or the fact that the jury actually selected Enzo Finger as the winner but that Norges Bank overruled their judgment and, um, split the bill between runner-up Metric System—who, in fairness, received credit for the obverse—and the architecture firm's PR-friendly abstraction. (A curiously contrarian interview with Snøhetta's Matthias Frodlund in Creators Project is perhaps the most interesting window into the process behind the pieces; "[Since] this might be the last [paper] money to be produced in Norway, [it's like] giving the digital world a little sneer—look we can be like you, digital and pixelated, just much more beautiful.")

NOK100.jpgThe front and back of the 100kr note, designed by the Metric System and Snøhetta

In fact, all of the entries are available for viewing in the exegetical catalogue [PDF] (published with the October 7 press release), which elaborates on requirements such as standardized dimensions and colors of the notes—these properties remain consistent with extant currency for easy identification by both blind and sighted users—and judging criteria. Taking the theme of "The Sea," each denomination was required to express a subtheme, i.e. "Sea that brings us into the world" (100kr); "Sea that brings us further" (1,000kr). Other considerations include acceptance by the general public, aesthetic longevity, and, interestingly, the fact that it will represent the national idenitity as "a businesss card for Norway."

NOK1000.jpgThe front and back of the 1000kr note, designed by the Metric System and Snøhetta

That much I gleaned from some de rigueur Google translating; the 64-page document (only about 15 of the pages have text) is a fairly straightforward outline of the competition, but I won't deny you the surprise of seeing Aslak Gurholt Rønsen's entry (pp. 16–21)...

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Posted by Coroflot  |  20 Oct 2014

Work for Feetz!

In Chattanooga, TN, Feetz is challenging the most basic elements of the footwear industry. Mass Manufacturing is dead. Mass Customization is the future. They combine 3D design, computer vision, biomechanics, additive manufacturing / 3d printing, robotics, and material science in ways that will make you go "WOW". Feetz is also seeking the entrepreneurial game changers, the self-starters, and the team players to join their small funded startup team to create the future.

To join this team, you must turn ideas and sketches into manufacturable designs. You must know what it takes to make something real and have experience in the fabrication space - from additive manufacturing to welding to textiles. You should also want to enjoy all the benefits of living in Chattanooga. If you want to be part of solving big problems in a fast changing environment, Apply Now.

Posted by Ray  |  17 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Last we wrote about Black Eyed Peas' irrepressible frontman Will.i.am, he was dispensing nuggets of wisdom about logo design; earlier this year, he debuted a smartwatch on Alan Carr: Chatty Man, which he unveiled in earnest this week at the Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. Here's the debut of the as-yet-unnamed Puls from April:

Billed as a cuff, as in cufflink or handcuff, the wearable.i.am. was reportedly two and a half years in the making and is noteworthy in that it need not be paired with a smartphone. Like the Samsung Gear S and Timex Ironman ONE GPS (both released in August), the Puls connects directly to a data network so it can function as a standalone device. Although the user can send and receive calls and texts, "it's on the wrist, therefore it should not mimic a phone." So says Will.i.am in a product walkthrough with the Wall Street Journal, in a video that is a appreciably less surreal than his talk-show appearance:

Jimmy Iovine reference duly noted; not entirely sure why he's pictured with Dr. Dre though...

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