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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  24 Oct 2014  |  Comments (1)

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For a relative minnow of the design world, it was great to see some solid involvement from the international design community at Łódź Design Festival in Poland last week. To give one outstanding example—Eindhoven based Japanese designer Tsuyoshi Hayashi took to the stage to present his delightfully simple 'Kawara Chair'—a small stool from ceramic and wood.

Inspired by the charming array of colours and finishes of rejects, Hayashi makes use of off-casts from the traditional Kawara curved tile industry in Takahama, Japan. The frame design takes advantage of the tiles' standard size and shape: the tiles slot in with awesome precision, holding firm without the need for glueing or fixing of any kind. The unique hardness of these glazed tiles (apparently fired at double the temperature used in Western kilns) gives the dainty seats a satisfying solidity.

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Posted by core jr  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Following the pre-conference workshops on Wednesday, this year's GAIN Conference was in full swing in NYC today, bringing together a great lineup of thinkers and doers to address the idea of redesigning business from a wide range of perspectives (hence the "Design and Business" moniker). Chaired by Nathan Shedroff with moderation help from Jeanne Liedtka, the speakers explored new ways of defining the value and role of design across organizations, continually referencing the human element and how design serves to connect people, and improve lives. The conference website has interviews with several of the speakers, and will be publishing videos of the presentations in the coming weeks.

Below are some of our favorite tweets covering the day's activities:

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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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.

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Posted by Jeri Dansky  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Garages protect our cars, serve as our workspaces—and often store an amazing amount of stuff. Making the most of garage space, for yourself or for an end-user, might mean using the ceiling, but it might also mean using the walls.

One way to use the walls is to install shelves. Monkey Bars has a clever design that involves layered storage, so you can fit more into any given wall space. And the shelves are built to take the load; every four feet of shelving holds 1,000 pounds. And with nine different types of hooks, there should be one to hold almost anything.

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Elfa systems, long beloved for organizing closets and other interior spaces, can also be used in the garage. The ease of installation is a key factor in end-user satisfaction, as is the array of components: shelves, baskets, hooks and more. Like the Monkey Bars, they'll appeal to those who want everything out and visible.

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Slatwall designs also work in garages; the one above is called storeWALL. While many slatwall systems are made from MDF, these panels are manufactured as a solid core, foamed PVC extrusion [PDF]. Again, the accessories are a big part of what make these systems work; the storage totes and brackets especially caught my eye. The panels are also compatible with conventional slatwall accessories, which gives end-users even more flexibility.

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Posted by Hand-Eye Supply  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (1)

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Hand-Eye Supply has leveled up! After realizing we were rapidly outgrowing our small Chinatown space, we had a choice: find a bigger rental, or walk our DIY talk with an ambitious project of our own. Just six months after making the bolder choice, we opened the doors of the brand new Hand-Eye Supply, our custom designed and team-built home at 427 NW Broadway, where we're ratcheting up our role as an inspiring resource for creative minds.

So not only do we have our very own digs, we did a real doozy customizing the place. The interior architecture was designed by long time C77/HES collaborator Laurence Sarrazin, who has helped mastermind numerous exhibits, fixtures, pop-ups and events, and whose previous work has taken her through architectural artworks, Portland Arch & Design Fest, and work for Herman Miller under Ayse Birsel.

The new space features interesting skylighting, airy modular storage and custom sculpture, while allowing the building's unique structural elements to peek through. To honor our focus on making new skills and design accessible, exposed process and raw materials are themes throughout the space. Our own process was uniquely DIY too: the retail build-out was completed in just four weeks, by a small crew of Hand-Eye Supply employees and trusted pros. Here are some of our favorite parts.

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Always a Hand-Eye staple, aprons now have a large interactive display, much like a big, tactile poster wall. Modular storage keeps things neat and accessible below. At the left you can see a little bit of the original exposed brick poking out behind the register.

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Outdoor gear and kitchen supplies get similar shelving sections, while knives and axes perch in cases built in-house and modeled after Japanese benches. The book area got extra elbow room and a cheery table inspired by Enzo Mari.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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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:

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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 (5)

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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, both 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 (3)

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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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