Get Our Newsletter

Sign-up for your monthly fix of design news, reviews and stuff to make you smarter.

Follow Core77
Twitter Facebook RSS



The Core77 Design Blog

send us your tips get the RSS feed
Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  19 Jan 2015  |  Comments (0)


Southern Siberia's Lake Baikal has a lot of distinctions. By volume it's the largest freshwater lake in the world. It's also the deepest. And according to biologists who study zooplankton and how light penetration affects their activity, Lake Baikal is one of the clearest lakes in the world.

The clarity of the water may not sound exciting for those not engaged with zooplankton, but it does mean that when the lake freezes, the visual effect is stunning:



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  14 Jan 2015  |  Comments (0)


Architects among you: Is there anything more pleasing than seeing things in plan view? That godlike perspective that reduces those pesky humans to mere ovals and gives you omniscience over the grand scheme of things?



Perhaps it's no coincidence that Gdynia, Poland-based photographer Kacper Kowalski started out as an architect. But after five years of study and four years in the trenches, Kowalski ditched architecture and switched over, full-time, to flying planes and taking photographs.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   8 Jan 2015  |  Comments (0)


In light of the recent horrific events in Paris, it's worth re-visiting a particular press campaign. Last year the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression launched "Information is Ammunition," a trio of images defending freedom of the press.



Created by Toronto-based communications agency Juniper Park, the work also appears in the portfolio of copywriter Matt Hubbard. (Unfortunately we were not able to determine whom the photographer and art director were on the project, thus we can't credit them.) However, the photo series inspired others to produce similar pieces, and they're a bit easier to credit. The France-based photographer behind KOE produced this image:



Posted by core jr  |  24 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)


Core77 2014 Year in Review: Top 15 Posts · Year in Photos · Drones · Transportation Design · Food & Drink · Wearable Technology · Power Tools and Hand Tools · Tool Storage · Organizational Solutions · Material News · Design Thinking · Architecture and Design GIFs

In 2014 the Core77 team reported from the best design festivals, exhibitions, conferences, design studios and manufacturers around the globe bringing you a firsthand look at the designs and processes that made us look twice. Our photographers, many who are practicing designers, captured the beauty and the spectacle of the landscape of contemporary design.

From Swiss skis to party cups, precision vehicles to kinetic sculptures in the desert, here's a look back on some of our favorite photo galleries and photo essays from the last year.

Click on each image to see the full galleries / photo essays!

This year's North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) didn't disappoint, with a solid lineup of production cars including the Ford Mustang, Ford F-150 pick up, Lexus RC, Cadillac ATS Coupe, BMW M4 Coupe, Corvette Z06 and Audi RS7. As the car reveals get more and more sensational sophisticated with massive choreographed video projections, music and live stage antics, it's fair to say Ford won most ambitious booth design with nearly 38-ton section of assembly line on their stand to demonstrate the robotic production process of the F-150.

One of the biggest trends was the resurgence in performance cars, possibly to attract the Millennial market who's lack of interest in car ownership has been widely reported. Or more simply, the industry has grown stagnant and senses it's time to inject some new excitement to appease the car enthusiasts like Toyota's FT-1 and Kia's GT4 Stinger concept cars.
> >View Gallery

New York Design Week: The Best of ICFF
Has the ICFF has found it's mojo again? This year saw a number of new designers exhibiting for the first time, delivering a higher standard of work from both established manufacturers and emerging design studios.

Bernhardt design, who have helped launch numerous emerging designers with their ICFF Studio partnership, celebrated their 125th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion, designer Frederick McSwain created a series of family tree wall sculptures inspired by the growth rings found in the cross section of a tree trunk. Chicago-based designer Felicia Ferrone launched her debut furniture collection bravely opting for white carpet in the booth, London-based Cycloc returned after a brief hiatus with some brand new wall mounting fixtures and accessories for bicycles, and Artek picked up an ICFF Editors Award with their multifunctional task chair 'Rival' designed by Konstantin Grcic.
> >View Gallery

A Brave New Modernism: Dubai, by Shaun Fynn
Dubai symbolizes the megacity with the megaprojects like no other. Rarely have our talents as builders been so effectively combined with our talents as storytellers. Dubai tells the story of unprecedented and rapid economic expansion spurred by oil wealth and the city's desire to be the hub of commerce for the region. The enactment of carefully crafted policies has created an international center for finance, tourism, trade and manufacture.

The fictional nature of Dubai has been the subject of much debate but interpreting the elements that contribute to the increasingly blurred lines between fact and fiction, myth and realty are a challenge for our era. Our abilities as architects and designers to understand the power of a brand now bridges every aspect of what we create. From handbags to high-rises, the entire built world becomes ever more sophisticated as we evolve our practices to better cater for the motivations and desires of both business and the individual.
> >View Photo Essay


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  16 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)


A good old-school photographer, one raised on film, will always try to get the shot right "in-camera." In contrast, young bucks raised on digital are more willing to rattle off an imperfect burst, pick the most passable shot and then spend hours retouching the errors on a computer.

The reason for the disparity is no secret: Film is absurdly difficult to re-touch by hand. One manual film retouching option was to use an airbrush, with its attendant compressor and requisite masking. Another method, which perhaps required even greater manual dexterity, was to go over the negatives with a retouching pencil or a dye brush. And according to U.S. Patent #2,422,174, retouching via pencil "is done by highly skilled operators who work over the blemish spots [by making] a plurality of microscopic, overlapping check marks or loops which must be so small and so uniform that they will not become apparent on an enlarged print from the negative."

To make this task easier, an inventor named Harry LeRoy Adams filed the above patent in 1946 for his Photographic Retouching Device.

The principal object of this invention is to provide a means for automatically forming these small, microscopic check marks so that retouching will require less skill and less time. [It] will produce retouching marks much more uniformly than can possibly be produced by hand....

While it still required a human operator with a steady hand to hold a pencil or brush down and apply pressure, the device's function was pretty clever. The operator placed a negative—we're talking 4x5, 5x7 or 8x10, not that newfangled 35mm stuff—onto the bed of the machine, between the two donut-shaped "ring plates" you see in the photo. Whichever part of the negative was within the circle was illuminated from below by the device's built-in illumination, which could be cranked up or down. The negative could be scrutinized using the magnifying glass.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   1 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)


This AirDog drone may soon have a bit of unwelcome competition

The web is abuzz with news that GoPro is expanding beyond cameras into aircraft. As drone-loving videographers already attach GoPros to their own quadrotor rigs, the San-Mateo-based company figures they may as well get in on the action by producing and selling their own drones. The specs are vague, but the Wall Street Journal reports that GoPro is working on "multirotor helicopters" that will ship late next year, reportedly for more than $500 but less than $1,000.

It's possible that the move came about in reaction to China's SZ DJI Technology Co., the world's largest drone manufacturer. DJI observed that many of its customers were attaching GoPros to their products; that company then started producing their own small cameras and selling them along with the drones.

It's also possible, however, that GoPro was working on this before DJI started to muscle in on their territory. The Journal, by the way, warns that when GoPro goes drone, competing drone manufacturers may be motivated to stop supporting the GoPro in favor of going the DJI route. Ah, competition.

Here's the report:

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


It was on the photography-based PetaPixel website that I first heard of what are called cinemagraphs. While cinemagraphs are uploaded as GIFs, in essence a cinemagraph is to a standard GIF what color footage is to black-and-white. With a cinemagraph, a photographer uses photo compositing techniques to animate only selective elements of a photograph, while the rest of it remains still.

In the hands of a master photographer like Julien Douvier, who produced the three shots below, the effect is simply stunning.




Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  30 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)


I'm not looking forward to winter, because the ex-manufacturing space I moved into last year is brutally cold and drafty. I spent last winter making futile attempts to caulk this and shrink-wrap that, only to achieve zero perceptible gains in thermal efficiency; the space is simply too deteriorated on all six sides for me to determine where I can best make a dent.

What I need is a focused plan, a way of determining where the largest heat leaks are so I can tackle those first. And I think I've found my solution in this awesome-looking Seek Thermal Smartphone Infrared Camera.


The tiny, three-inch, half-ounce, $199 device brings something close to military- or industrial-grade thermal imaging to the common man with the common paycheck. (A commercial infrared camera would run you four figures.) You plug it into the bottom of your smartphone and bang, you've got an image on your screen that can accurately display a range of temperatures from -40° Celsius (-40° Fahrenheit) up to 330° C (626° F).

Here's a demo of it in action from Android Police's David Ruddock, and you can skip the first 30 seconds of pitch-blackness:


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  25 Sep 2014  |  Comments (19)


Once wielded by everyone from impatient partygoers to crime scene detectives to insurance inspectors, Polaroid used to be synonymous with instant image capture. With that advantage long since evaporated, the company is seeking to move into a new market—one that's already dominated by GoPro.


The newly-released Polaroid Cube is the company's answer to action-seeking shooters, specifically those looking for bargain-basement prices. At just $100 the Cube is an entry-level product, though it's capable of shooting 1080p HD video; it will either help Polaroid get their foot into the action-cam door, or serve as a stopgap measure for kids saving up for a GoPro.


The Cube was designed by Ammunition and was reportedly not an exercise in "form follows function;" instead Brunner and co. dreamt up the cubic shape, and it was up to the engineers to make the guts fit. According to Businessweek,

Cramming all the camera's guts into a package that's less than 1.5 inches around presented some challenges. When the designers handed the plans over to the development team, they were told the battery wouldn't fit. The problem temporarily threatened the designers' vision of a cube until they came up with a solution of using two rechargeable batteries, one on each side. The configuration had the added benefit of creating a balanced block. After a few nips and tucks, each side of the gadget ended up measuring 35 millimeters—a serendipitous homage to old-school film stock.



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

Glasgow_PhotoGallery_12.jpgAll photos by Deena Denaro

With the vote on Scottish independence just a few short days away, the United Kingdom may soon undergo a major geopolitical transformation that nevertheless feels like it's a world away from North American shores. Far be it for us to predict the results, but the forthcoming vote marks an apt occasion to share a photo essay from Glasgow, comprising photos from the XX Commonwealth Games and beyond.

The Games inherently have a political element—participating countries are former members of the British Empire—but more broadly speaking the international event was a singular opportunity for the host city to showcase the best that the country has to offer at this critical juncture in the nation's history. Whether or not the nation of 5.3 million chooses independence, it is certainly home to a rich design culture, from its long heritage in textiles to its contemporary makerspaces. Shot by Deena Denaro, these photos duly capture the spirit of the games and the pride of place in Glasgow itself.

At top: The Parade of Nations at the Opening Ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, featuring motion graphics by ISO Design.


People Make Glasgow, the city's spot-on tourism campaign, launches our quest for pin badges, the unofficial currency of the Commonwealth Games. Each country, organization venue and/or sport mints it's own pin badge which are exchanged by athletes and delegates as a symbol of friendship.

The "Big G" was the cynosure of George's Square (recognizable as the backdrop for the opening of World War Z). The concept behind the logo is derived from time, data and measurement, with four distinctive parts. The red outer ring symbolises the fact that it is the 20th Commonwealth Games; the yellow ring (which is 17/20 of the size of the outer ring) symbolizes the 17 sports on the program; the blue ring (11/20 of the size of the circle; appears vertical in image) represents the 11 days of the event; and the 'G' in the center represents Glasgow, the color reflecting the Gaelic meaning of the city's name, "Dear Green Place." View the "Making Of" video here.


The venues featured two-dimensional incarnations of the logo, designed by Glasgow's own Tangent.

Glasgow_PhotoGallery_19.jpgThe view from the sky box at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome during the men's 40km points race.

Glasgow_PhotoGallery_18.jpgScotland's tandem cyclists whizzing by as they take the gold.


Posted by Shaun Fynn  |  12 Sep 2014  |  Comments (0)


"These great towns, temples and buildings rising from the water, all made of stone, seemed like an enchanted vision from the tale of Amadis. Indeed, some of our soldiers asked whether it was not all a dream. It was all so wonderful that I do not know how to describe this first glimpse of things never heard of, seen or dreamed of before.""

–Spanish conquistador Bernal Díaz del Castillo, circa 1519 on first sighting of Tenochtitlan
(Original translation by J.M Cohen from the Conquest of New Spain)

Mexico City, formerly known as Tenochtitlan, is the fifth chapter in StudioFYNN's Brave New Modernism series. The ideas of progress and evolution are fundamental concepts behind modernity. The pursuit of growth, technological development and knowledge are seen as prerequisites for economic development and in turn influence how we build today's cities. However, progress may have many interpretations and there are no guarantees that all ideas of progress manifest in sustainable and enduring plans.




Founded in 1325AD, Tenochtitlan was the ancient capital of the Aztecs and prospered as one of Mesoamerica's greatest cities until its siege, conquest and destruction by the Conquistadores from 1519–1521AD. The ancient Aztec city incorporated complex ideas of cosmology, mythology and religion entirely alien to the Westerners, which were almost completely eliminated as a new city was built in accordance with European ideals and concepts of civilization. With a population at the time of conquest exceeding 200,000 (among the world's largest cities at the time), it appears that in Tenochtitlan, the Aztec concepts of civic function were masterfully integrated with the higher beliefs of their civilization. From the urban plan to the iconography so powerfully represented in sculpture, murals and artworks, the centers of trade, worship, governance and habitat were woven together with the coherent thread of the deeper belief systems.




Posted by erika rae  |  11 Sep 2014  |  Comments (1)


Whether you live in an overstimulating city center or a more bucolic setting, the countless details of the built environment often barely register as designed objects. Telephone wires are among those often-overlooked systems. And judging by these photos of a telephone from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, we've come quite a long way. The steely subject of these shots is Stockholm's Telefontornet ("Telephone Tower"), which was the main communication hub in the area from 1887–1913.


Despite the fact that the tower is a complete eyesore, it's hard not to be impressed by the fact that the the carefully routed lines comprised an entire city's phone network. As if it wasn't already the cynosure of Norrmalm, the city thought the tower was missing something, so they held a competition for an "embellishment" that would be placed at the top of the tower. In 1890, architect Fritz Eckert came up with the winning design, bedecking the tower with turrets on its four corners, each adorned with a pennant.



Posted by core jr  |   5 Sep 2014  |  Comments (1)

KyleOldfield-1.jpgPhoto by Kyle Oldfield

We'd like to start this post by saying thank you to everyone who submitted pictures to our call for photos of life in design school! You guys came up with some fantastic shots, from winsome candids to artfully composed campus scenes, and they definitely brought us back to our own student days. We enjoyed all of your images, but one recent grad went above and far beyond our modest expectations. There was no single winning image, but Kyle Oldfield stood out in terms of both the quality and the quantity of his submissions, nicely documenting his experience at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (UC DAAP) in an album's (or camera roll, perhaps) worth of snapshots.

Indeed, all of our winners wisely chose to submit multiple photos to depict student life at their university; second place goes to Valdemar Haugaard Olsen who portrayed the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in black-and-white photos, and Nick Althouse of Arizona State University is our third place winner. Congrats to Kyle, Valdemar and Nick, and thanks again to everyone who participated.

ValdemarHaugaardOlsen-1.jpgThe Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design in Copenhagen. Photo by Valdemar Haugaard Olsen

NickAlthouse-2.jpgThe photographer's father's once-reliable electric drill lies in pieces alongside various materials and Easter eggs after a final presentation's deadline. Photo by Nick Althouse

Honorable Mentions: Dan Rucker and Jaineel Shah

DanRucker.jpgA shot of RIT's Vignelli Gallery—designed by the man himself. Photo by Dan Rucker

JaineelShah.jpgStudents sketching in a classroom at the DSK International School of Design in India. Photo by Jaineel Shah

Bonus photos - DAAP alum Patricio Silva sent in a few 'vintage' photos from his University of Cincinnati days circa 1996, check 'em out:


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  15 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)

01vitalyhk.jpgVitaliy Raskalov, Hong Kong

Maybe it's because I just came across the 10,000th social media selfie I've seen this month that's making me snap. It was another of those inane pics taken in the safe confines of a bar that looks like every other, so I burned the morning looking for more dangerously-shot selfies. In particular the famous ones I'd seen those Russian maniacs shooting high up in the Dubai sky.

02remnev-dubai.jpgAlexandr Remnev, Dubai

03remnevdubai4.jpgAlexandr Remnev, Dubai

As I clicked through the work of Alexandr Remnev, Vadim Makhorov and Vitaliy Raskalov, I couldn't help but pull my faves from their (primarly non-selfie) archives. Not just from Dubai, but from Shanghai and Hong Kong, that particular trio of cities being the most photogenic from high up. These guys may be in their twenties, and they may be crazy, but usually when you say to a kid "It's just a matter of time before you wind up dead or in jail," it's not SLRs they're toting around. So my hat's off to these spider-climbing psychopaths, whom I hope have never shot a selfie indoors and below 1,000 feet.

04makhorov-hk2.jpgVadim Makhorov, Hong Kong


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   6 Aug 2014  |  Comments (1)


First thing I had to check was that this wasn't released on April 1st. But no, in a research paper titled "The Visual Microphone: Passive Recovery of Sound from Video" submitted for the upcoming SIGGRAPH 2014, a team of researchers have allegedly discovered how to extract sound from video images.

I'm still waiting for Snopes to debunk this, but this research collaboration from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, Microsoft Research and Adobe Research makes the following claim:

When sound hits an object, it causes small vibrations of the object's surface. We show how, using only high-speed video of the object, we can extract those minute vibrations and partially recover the sound that produced them, allowing us to turn everyday objects--a glass of water, a potted plant, a box of tissues, or a bag of chips--into visual microphones.

Sounds crazy, no? Watch this and see (er, hear):

As you can see, the technology is predicated on using high-speed, high-resolution video. But just imagine if it was possible to apply this to old, audio-free archival footage.

Posted by erika rae  |   1 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)


Since the dawn of the radio, over a century ago, there has been buzz about the invisible rays that make our tech go 'round... and what they're doing to our bodies, and as our lives become more wireless, the myths and rumors presumably expand into an ever denser unseen web. Perhaps the most unsettling thing about those "invisible killers" is that they are, indeed, invisible. But add another layer to the equation and you'll discover that those unseen signals are actually beautiful pieces of art (not that that'll make you feel better about what they may or may not be doing to your health). Newcastle University's Luis Hernan is giving us a peek into the concealed world of wireless signals with his project, Digital Ethereal.



Using what's being described around the blogosphere as "a piece of equipment that translates the strength of the Wi-fi signal into colors" (blue being the strongest and red coming in as the weakest—like flames in a fire), Hernan captures time-lapsed shots of these waves at work. That description is about as vague as the ghost-hunting tools we see paranormal scientists toting around on the sci-fi channel—which actually makes sense considering Hernan compares the waves to ghosts, thanks to their invisible qualities.



Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  30 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)


If you asked me a year ago which famous persons are advocates of drones, homemaking maven Martha Stewart would not have topped that list. But after receiving a camera-outfitted drone for her birthday last year, she became enamored of it while flying it around a New England beach and observing the vantages from her iPad. Pronouncing herself "hooked," she continued using the drone to capture subsequent parties, nature hikes and outings.

Earlier this year, a member of Stewart's security team purchased a similar drone, and was given permission to learn to fly the thing over Stewart's expansive Bedford, New York farm property. Stewart became so enchanted with the subsequent photos that she posted an entry on her blog entitled "Amazing Aerial Photos of My Farm."

With captions like the following...


This beautiful aerial shot of my home, which I call the Winter house (center), includes the flower room, carport and studio in the one long structure to the left, the Summer house to the far right, one of the horse paddocks and my beautiful peony garden in full bloom below.'s easy to see why media outlets, perhaps unfairly, began to skewer her. Even before the blog entry was released, Vanity Fair caught wind of her new kick and allowed her to explain her drone attraction before giving her a gentle ribbing:

[As Stewart explains,] "You can control the altitude, you can control the speed, you can control where it's going. It's easy to use, actually. You can really control it, it's gentle. It's lightweight, too; it's very beautiful."
Have the neighbors called the authorities, reporting a U.F.O.? "No. I don't have any neighbors," she said, laughing.

The latter statement, of course, is in reference to the fact that yeah, a 153-acre farm doesn't subject you to a lot of Joneses peering over your fence.



Posted by erika rae  |  21 Jul 2014  |  Comments (1)

HKNeon-Lead.jpgPhoto by Leung Ching Ho

The bustling scenes of Hong Kong at night wouldn't be complete without the constant glow of its neon-lit streets. This is a sentiment that is not only experienced by those who have made the pilgrimage to the city of 7 million, but also by foreigners who have never set foot within its limits, thanks to countless cinematic references based on and shot within the iridescent city.

M+, Hong Kong's new visual culture museum, is sharing the neon art that gives the city its unmatched vibrance. Their online exhibit, "Mobile M+: NEONSIGNS.HK," allows anyone with an Internet connection to browse photo after photo of Hong Kong's local signage.

HKNeon-Shop.jpgPhoto by Wing Shya

With more tech-y solutions rapidly overtaking the neon market, the once bold and iconic works of glass craftsmanship are falling victim to disrepair: The industry has declined, possibly to the point of no return, such that few shops can fix these cultural icons. The project M+ has put together records the grandiose life of a crumbling artform through photos, user-submitted prose, slideshows, commissioned artwork and videos.

HKNeon-TangHoYin-RomainJacquetLagreze.jpgPhotos by Tang Ho Yin (left) and Romain Jacquet-Lagreze (right)

Check out this video from M+ for a look into how neon signs are made and what some signmakers have to say about the state of the industry:


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   9 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)


With his short entitled "Waves of Grain," video designer Keith Skretch gives us an unusual, tomographic look at wood. Skretch took a chunk of what looks like Doug Fir, repeatedly ran it through a planer (you can see chatter and snipe marks) and snapped photos between each cycle, looping them together into this trippy stop-motion:

Skretch's wicked flick isn't the only one in this genre. Several years ago Michael Turri, as a student in the Stanford Design Program, did something similar with more precious woods than Doug Fir: Bocote, and what appears to be mahogany.


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  11 Jun 2014  |  Comments (1)



I loves me some booze, but I can't stand cocktails. Anything I drink, I drink straight. This has nothing to do with manliness and everything to do with respecting the craft of the liquor manufacturers I patronize. There are families that spent centuries getting their distillation process just right, tweaking the flavors, getting the profiles just so, then you animals go and dump your pomegranate juice into it? You don't cover a Le Corbusier chaise longue with a throw blanket, nor spray fluorescent green paint on a Rembrandt because it's trendy. Please remember that cocktails became popular during Prohibition, when you needed to mask the taste of the nasty bathtub gin that was all you could get back then.

BevShots is a company that recognizes booze as art--but in their eyes, a visual art. Started by research scientist Michael Davidson, the organization puts crystallized booze on a slide and photographs it through a polarized light microscope. The results are stunningly beautiful, as you can see here.



Posted by erika rae  |  30 May 2014  |  Comments (0)


There are enough quirky "found thing" necklaces out there for this one to pass as nothing more than a piece of jewelry ironically moonlighting as a camera—which is exactly what Brooklyn-based designer Olivia Barr wants you to think. In reality, it's a real-live piece of tech that's perfect for the hipster Harriet the Spy in all of us.



Barr made the first version for her 101-year-old grandmother (pictured below), who took up photography in her 90s. She wanted to create a lighter version that was easy on the muscles and simple to use. The half-inch thick walnut camera also shoots HD video and comes complete with 3.5MB capacity and straightforward instructions laser-etched on the back.



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

0goproipo-001.jpg"Parahawking in Nepal," by Scott Mason

The industrial designer of today would have much to explain to the industrial designer from 50 years ago. Back then, if you designed a successful product, you'd be expected to regularly design subsequent updates to that product that consumers would want to continue buying, thus growing the company you were working for. It's simple math: Move More Product, Make More Money.

While that phenomenon of course exists today, what's different is that now companies can grow by moving beyond physical devices and enhancing the user's experience through technological, networked means that then emotionally tie you to the device. The hardware, the physical object, is meant to draw you into the company's larger world of diversions and thus become an indispensable gateway. Consider the iPod followed by the development of the iTunes Music Store. Or look at the X-Box, and ask yourself if it would be a success without connecting you to millions of strangers you can play Call of Duty with.

So perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised to hear that GoPro, the inventors of a bad-ass little camera, are seeking to expand beyond the physical device and into the realm of media. While you've undoubtedly read news of the company's recent IPO, you may not have read the fine print on the filing:

To date, we have generated substantially all of our revenue from the sale of our cameras and accessories and we believe that the growing adoption of our capture devices and the engaging content they enable, position GoPro to become an exciting new media company.

0goproipo-002.jpg"Trampoline Good Times," by Paolo Ferreri

0goproipo-003.jpg"Using Burst Mode to catch water balloons being popped!" by pedro grimaldi garcia


Posted by erika rae  |   9 May 2014  |  Comments (1)

Sandcastle-Lead2.jpgImages via Sandcastle Matt

Forget your fancy sandcastle building tools. Your molded buckets may ensure a perfectly formed turret, but where's the fun in that? The artist behind these abstract sand designs, who goes by sandcastlematt on Flickr, uses the traditional drip method known and used by castle builders of all ages. By using a simple 1:1 mixture of sand and water, he's able to create sculptures that stick without any help from adhesives. Obviously—or maybe not so obviously—it's not all sand. He uses debris found on beaches (driftwood, fishing line, vines, plywood and some biodegradable twine) to create a base structure to build off of and give them that "leaning tower of sand" look.



Sand Castle Matt works with the beach's elements to play up his designs by using shadows, reflections and even beach-goers in the photographs of his work. His sig other put together a video following the creation of one of the castles. Check it out:


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   5 May 2014  |  Comments (0)


As Harvard's National Lampoon is to comedy writing, perhaps Apple will become to product start-ups. Following ex-iDevice team leader Tony Fadell's Nest Thermostat, now another ex-Mac man, Bill Banta, is leading a young start-up called CENTR Camera. Banta--the man once in charge of getting the cameras into iDevices and MacBooks—is now devoting his efforts into getting CENTR's 360-degree camera off the ground.

With an industrial design team including Joey Roth, CENTR is hoping to launch their dimunitive, puck-like device that isn't much bigger than a GoPro yet records video from all four directions at once. CENTR's software then stitches the footage into a seamless panorama, which can be interacted with during playback, as if you're choosing which way to spin in a tank turret (click here for a demo). The device has been some three years in the making, and CENTR is turning to Kickstarter for the funding, seeking a relatively modest $900,000:

At press time they were already past the quarter-million-dollars mark and climbing. Offering the sizeable discount of $100 off of the MSRP is a pretty good incentive; though it will retail for $399, Kickstarter pledgers are getting in for $299 a pop.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  28 Apr 2014  |  Comments (0)



Back in the day, you just couldn't go to a European sidewalk cafe without a bloody man collapsing at your table and pressing a roll of microfilm into your hand, urging you to keep it safe while an unseen assailant cut his final sentence short with some kind of ranged weapon. Nowadays, of course, your average crossbow-bolt-riddled spy's whispered last words would probably be the password for his Instagram account. But back then it was always microfilm.

That monopoly aside, storage media devices were once a varied and peculiar assemblage of objects. I was reminded of this by coming across the "Relics of Technology" project, shot by Oregon-based photographer Jim Golden, as seen below. (The awesome game consoles shot atop this entry belong to Golden's "Collections" project.)



Aesthetically, Beta was betta


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  23 Apr 2014  |  Comments (3)


It was just a few years ago that Lytro released their Light Field Camera, meant to usher in an era of "computational photography." Users capture the ambient light field rather than a bunch of static pixels, and this radical technological approach allows one to re-focus shots after the fact.

But the LFC never really took off, whether because of its alien, boxy form factor or the educational hurdle the company faces in explaining this new generation of product. So now Lytro is releasing a new model, the Illum, featuring both improved internals and an entirely new form factor. What most caught our eye is that it echoes an SLR in shape, but is clearly an entirely new class of object—not an easy design line to tread.