The Core77 Design Blog

send us your tips get the RSS feed
Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |   1 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)


When you picture an ordinary filmmaker's workspace, you picture piles of camera and grip gear alongside coffee-table tomes on the French New Wave. But Casey Neistat is no ordinary filmmaker, and his lower Manhattan workspace looks more than a little like the Industrial Design studio spaces you remember from design school. Part art supply store and part hardware store, Neistat's workshop allows him to quickly cobble together everything from iPhone docks to camera fixes to marker-scrawled animation slides.

Neistat's just launched his Studio Series, where he's going to presumably show us the inner workings of this amazing makerspace. First up: His red-box organization system and the thinking behind it, presented in his signature explanatory style:

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  |   1 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)


Despite the first part of their name, Brooklyn Boulders is a Massachusetts-based organization that runs the oddest co-working space we've ever seen. Their Active Collaborative Workspace has got the desks, tables, counters, couches, lounges and Wi-Fi you'd expect, but it's located atop an enormous climbing wall in a 40,000-square-foot "hybrid climbing facility."


While workspaces have traditionally been about focusing on tasks, either alone or with others, the ACW is designed with physical distractions aplenty: Standing-desk-height counters are topped with pull-up bars, and in addition to the rock climbing wall there are cardio machines, a weight room, a yoga studio, a slackline facility and a variety of fitness classes and personal training sessions one can sign up for.


The company's thinking is that these diversions will not only get you into shape, but ultimately boost, not curtail, productivity. "Positive disruption of sedentary work sessions," they write, "in the form of play, movement, and exercise fuels creative thought, encourages collaboration and results in a happy and healthy work environment."


Posted by Core77 Design Awards  |   1 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)


The numbers don't lie: In 2012, 4,628 construction workers were killed on the job from a number of hazards—falls, scaffold collapse, electric shock, failure to use proper personal equipment. Pensar and Illumagear took note of that last threat and got to work.

The HALO Light is an LED light ring that attaches to a number of hard hat styles for increased visibility—and the Professional Winner in the Equipment category of the 2014 Core77 Design Awards. Take note of that universal fit mention, because according to the designers it wasn't an easy task. "Attaching to any hard hat quickly and easily was a serious challenge," says Pensar's Creative Director Alex Diener. "We evaluated 50+ hardhats to ensure the Halo fits almost any hard hat. The most popular hard hats were scanned and brought into CAD. We held cross-disciplinary brainstorms to explore many options—from ratcheting bands and elastic straps to cam systems. A trial-and-error process of iterative model making followed. There were many failures, but it refined our approach and priorities: simple, no tools and fast to install/remove."

Check out the light in action:


Posted by Carly Ayres  |   1 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)


When it comes to lights that retail for tens of thousands of dollars, you better believe every detail is excruciatingly considered. That's certainly the case with Bec Brittain's line of high-end lighting, luxury pieces thoughtfully designed and painstakingly assembled in her studio in Bushwick, Brooklyn. A prime example: During New York Design Week last May, the designer launched her latest iteration of Echo—a series of pendants with a price tag of around $40K each—which uses fins of glass around a central axis to reflect and diffuse beams of light.

Started in 2013, the Echo series is an exploration of light directed inward, toward mirror and glass. Thus Echo 1 has five angled LED arms that shine light toward the center, where it is reflected by bronze mirrors. The next version, Echo 2, employs opal white glass panels to softly diffuse light, while Echo 3 uses gray mirrored panels to create a much stronger, brighter glow. This year's addition to the series, Echo 4, introduces custom-cut perforations to break up its mirrored panels.

The perforated mirror is a first for Brittain's lighting work, chosen for how it works with linear light. "The lines are segmented and thrown, to create an effect we had hoped for but could barely anticipate," explains the designer. "This is one of our most exciting new fixtures, as the visual impact is at a maximum. The perforated mirror panels work with each other in a way that makes the fixture undefinable; it becomes a concentrated optical illusion."


When approaching a new idea for lighting, Brittain always begins by sketching—allowing the fixture to take form in these sketches, before moving to physical models. "We look at proportions, feasibility, concept; we try to understand the project as best we can with these methods, and then bring it to a digital model to work out the details and individual parts," she says. For the Echo 4, that meant prototyping the fixture in foam core and mocking it up using hardware from her SHY light series. Some sample glass was cut. In other cases, Brittain's team has 3D-printed hardware prototypes." It's a really great way to see the pieces and test them," Brittain says. "We move between the computer and these prototypes, and then order a small run of machined parts before moving into production."


Posted by Kat Bauman  |   1 Aug 2014  |  Comments (2)

SilkLeaf1.jpgAsk your doctor if Silk Leaf is right for you

Stop the Green Dream presses. Julian Melchiorri has built a leaf that absorbs CO2 and sunlight and produces oxygen. Rather than just growing a plant like most of us who want leaves in our lives, Melchiorri's work got positively semi-scientific. By breaking down the tough proteins in silk, and plucking out useful chloroplasts from plant matter, the end product "lives" on light and water, and produces what we breathe. Produced as a part of the Royal College of Art course "Innovation Design Engineering," the Silk Leaf project was conceived as a way to manage emissions and neutralize environmental impact with a space efficient, "biological" material.


Posted by core jr  |   1 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)


This weekend saw the unveiling of the collaborative bicycle designs that are going head to head in the third edition of the Oregon Manifest, in which five teams in as many cities set out to create and craft the best urban utility bike. As of Monday morning, the public is invited to vote on their favorite one, which may well be produced by Fuji Bikes in the near future. We are pleased to present exclusive Q&As with each team so they have a chance to explain why their bicycle is the best before the voting period closes this Sunday, August 3.

Yesterday, we featured Teague × Sizemore Bicycle of Seattle; our final stop is Chicago, where MNML × Method designed the Blackline.

Core77: Did you and Method know of each other before the collaboration? What was the matchmaking process like?

Chris Watson (Project Manager & New Product Strategist, MINMAL): MINIMAL and Method were paired by Oregon Manifest. Coincidentally, our studio and Method's shop were located only blocks away. Our proximity made collaboration much easier during the early stages of the design process.

By its very nature, the design-fabrication relationship for this collaboration is far more intimate than your average designer's relationship with a contractor or manufacturer. To what degree did you educate each other on your respective areas of expertise?

We relied on Garry to keep us grounded. From the beginning, we made the decision to showcase Garry's craft on our frame. Rather than limiting our design, choosing to make the entire frame using traditional craft was a good counterweight to our team's desire to push boundaries with different forms and materials. Conversely, the design team pushed Garry to experiment with different frame architectures that were outside of his comfort zone. Our collaboration was a constant exchange of ideas in which we arrived at a solution that could have only been realized through our joint efforts.

Has the collaboration yielded broader lessons? What was a particularly memorable area of difficulty when translating the design into fabrication?

A major element of our frame design is the single main tube, which is constructed by mitering and brazing several tubes together. It was not clear from our original drawings if the frame would hold up to the abuse of city riding. No amount of analysis could have helped; we needed to build and test a frame. Garry did an amazing job translating our ideas into a working prototype in order to confirm our design would work for the final product.


Posted by Core77 Design Awards  |   1 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)


From permanent installations to temporary structures, perhaps no area of design reflects our current cultural disposition more than the deesign of space itself. This year's submissions for the Interiors & Exhibitions category of the 2014 Core77 Design Awards did a fantastic job of reminding us of the many ways it can be interpreted. The jury team, led by Geoff Manaugh, recognized a dozen entries this year, from thought-provoking student concepts to impactful improvements to extant spaces.


Professional Winner: Sustainability Treehouse, by Volume Inc. and Studio Terpeluk

Volume Inc. and Studio Terpeluk teamed up to bring sustainability to an organization known for its commitment to tradition. Not only does their Sustainability Treehouse for the Boy Scouts of America place visitors in a sustainable environment, it also tells a story through important facts and suggestions. "While the project risks falling into kitsch or even cliché, it nonetheless manages to be an imaginative and highly inspiring sequence of spaces for just the right age of user, the young Scouts who are its intended audience," says Jury Captain Geoff Manaugh. "The Treehouse also brings a message of sustainability—of personal responsibility, recognition of one's own environmental limits and respect for the needs of others, both now and in the future—to an organization that might normally skip that message in favor of the Boy Scouts' traditional focus on masculine self-determination. That makes this an important yet playful space, and one that's beautifully designed both architecturally and graphically."

» Learn more about Sustainability Treehouse


Student Winner: Blastproof: A Hands-on Exhibition about Humanitarian Mine Removal, by Chris Natt

Landmines are but a vicarious news item (or metaphor) for most of us, but they are a daily reality for residents of war-torn nations. Royal College of Art student Chris Natt brings us an interactive look into the daily lives of the people responsible for removing the weapons from conflict-affected areas. Throughout the exhibit, visitors can interact with electronic replicas of the devices and experience the visuals that go hand-in-hand with the explosives. "Fascinating R&D with a critical subtext: Reactive training tools that enhance the perception of mine hazards," says juror Hayley Eber. "The museum-based detonation triggers a range of auditory, visual and tactile stimuli to communicate the event. It would be great if the installation could find a permanent home, and the prototypes went beyond 3D printing." Fellow juror Jake Barton appreciates the attention to the sensitive material: "It's really, really hard to make something that horrific be both experiential, impactful, and also respectful. I think it's the right mix and a great achievement."

» Learn more about Blastproof: A Hands-on Exhibition about Humanitarian Mine Removal


Professional Runner Up: Breaking the Mold—VarVac Wall, by HouMinn Practice

It goes unsaid that an architecture school has to be housed within a memorable structure. The University of Minnesota School of Architecture looked to HouMinn Practice to give them a front office worthy of a a few photo ops. The VarVac Wall works specifically with sound—some sections of the wall absorb it while others reflect noise. The ultra-textured surface is made of vacuum-formed panels that are either solid or perforated, depending on their function. "This strikingly realized tweaking of a relatively common manufacturing process shows at least one way for new architectural designs to be realized in the tooling and fabrication stage, where aesthetic results—and these wall panels are definitely gorgeous—emerge less from a designer's own palate and more from the materials themselves," says Manaugh. "On a technical level, as well, this system points toward intriguing future overlaps between the realization of architectural systems and the production of industrial products."

» Learn more about Breaking the Mold—VarVac Wall


Professional Runner Up: Architecture Factory, by Marc O Riain (CIT) and Neil Tobin (RKD)

We live in a time where shipping containers are finding more applications—or at least more media exposure—as trendy space solutions beyond the shipping industry. Marc O'Riain of the Cork Institute of Technology (CIC) and Neil Tobin of RKD Architects have incorporated a series of containers into an open office space plan. Architecture Factory turns the CIC's Department of Architecture into a collaborative space despite the claustrophobic size constraints of a single shipping container. Jurors Yen Ha and Michi Yanagishita appreciated this contrast: "The project presents a different approach to shipping containers by using them not just as containers, but as walls and dividers of space. A great project that defines space without creating barriers, providing visual interest and continuity."

» Learn more about Architecture Factory


Student Runner Up: Cocoon, by Tanya Shukstelinsky

Our living spaces are becoming smaller, but at least our floorplans are keeping up with the trend and more creative ways to embrace (and use every inch of) the space we have are popping up. You won't want to make a permanent home out of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design student Tanya Shukstelinsky's Cocoon, but it is an intriguing look at the way our public spaces define our personal territories. The structure is made of textiles sewn together to create stairs, sleeping areas and other living areas. The jury team had a few situational suggestions for this design: "the implications for things like tent design or portable camping shelters—let alone children's play rooms—are fascinating to consider," says Manaugh. Ha and Yanagishita had another idea: "Cocoon reduces the idea of what it means to be in a space to the bare minimum. Definitely the new hammock for start up tech offices."

» Learn more about Cocoon


Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  31 Jul 2014  |  Comments (4)


I've got a friend from Alabama who told me that growing up, most families she knew kept shotguns in the house. When you heard a noise in the middle of the night, the shotgun was the go-to item, and she explained that the CHIK-CHIK sound of "racking" it carried across the porch and was enough to discourage the casual burglar.

Another sound shotguns make is the actual blast, and I'm told it's deafening. Twelve-gauges reportedly top out around 150 to 165 decibels, and inside a house, where there are walls to bounce the sound around in, likely more. That's enough to cause permanent hearing damage. "Shotgun owners have been without a real solution for ear protection," says a Utah-based company called SilencerCo. "Some choose hearing preservation in the form of earmuffs or plugs for relief in controlled environments, but spurn their use in the field or in a home protection scenario, where the ability to detect other sounds is critical."

With that in mind the company has invented the Salvo 12, "the first and only commercially-viable shotgun suppressor on earth." Interestingly enough it's modular, made up of little Lego-like sections of roughly two inches in length that the user can add or subtract to hit their preferred balance of length, weight and noise level.

The noise reduction is pretty nuts:


Posted by Hand-Eye Supply  |  31 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)


Hey Portland people, it's that time again. The Summer Quarterly is here and we couldn't have done it without help. While we rounded up awesome stuff for summer, cool creatives from all over sent in sweet selfies with their tools and gear, and we can't wait to share their style!

Drop by the new and beginning-to-be-improved Hand-Eye Supply garage at 714 NW Glisan, pick up a free people-populated poster and we'll announce the winners of our All Geared Up photo contest! Then eat some unbeatable treats from Pacific Pie co., and rub elbows with the great minds of the HES set. Come tell us about your projects and dreams while we dig on grooves from DJs The Beatles and Tobias, spinning "your uncle's records" and weird classics from multiple decades.

Come for the poster, tunes and food, stay for the incomparable company!

714 NW Glisan
Portland, Oregon



Braun Product Histories. In recognition of Braun's long history of and dedication to good design, Core77 presents this archive of product histories, photos and more to highlight Braun's success in creating meaningful products that people enjoy using.
Discussion Threads
Get Our Newsletter

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

Follow Core77
Twitter Facebook RSS