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Posted by Hand-Eye Supply  |  19 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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These beautiful and affordable chefs' knives are hot off the presses in Tosa, Japan and ready to head straight into the hot mess of your kitchen. Great for both beginners and cooks with an eye for quality, their hand forged blades ideally blend toughness with incredibly sharp accuracy. High carbon steel (hagane) on the inside, forged to hammered iron (jigane) for tensile strength on the outside, with a simple handle that will gain patina with use. The Nakiri is a perfect prep knife for careful chopping, its double bevel and square shape comfortable for controlling large broad cuts and general vegetable business. The Funayuki is a deft single-bevelled all-purpose knife that shows particular strength in precise cuts, fillets, skinning and peeling. Combine their powers and the world gets more delicious. $40-$48 at Hand-Eye Supply!

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  19 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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We've seen the design approaches taken by Jupe and Fletcher to create a circular expanding table. Now let's take a look at the more common table form factor, the rectangle, and some different approaches used to make it expandable.

The first question a designer's got to answer is, where do the leaves go? Are they stored integrally, in Fletcher-like fashion, or meant to be stowed externally, a la Jupe? Resource Furniture's Goliath table takes the latter approach. And while it may seem cumbersome to remove each panel manually and find a place to store them, this is offset by two benefits: The table shrinks down to an almost absurdly small size, offering unmatched space saving, and the length can be customized rather than locking the user into predetermined end lengths.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  19 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Scott Stowell's Design for People was one of our Gift Guide picks this year, by way of Etsy Creative Director Randy Hunt. But we've gotta plug it again because it's in danger of not happening.

To refresh your memory, Design for People is a book by Scott Stowell, founder of design consultancy Open. The purpose of the book is to "[tell] the stories of our biggest projects through interviews with clients, consultants, designers, interns, vendors—and regular people who use the stuff we make, including my Mom and Dad (and maybe you!)," Stowell writes. "If you like to get into the details of how things work, Design for People is for you." The book also features the contributions of Core77 veterans Emily Pilloton, Bryn Smith and Alissa Walker.

Stowell has opted to self-publish, and the book is currently on Kickstarter. Here's the thing: It's short of its target with $44,000 pledged towards a $50,000 goal, and there's only three days left to pledge. The book is close, and just needs that final push!

Have a look at the trailer and see if it doesn't tickle your fancy:

Fancy tickled? Then get in there and pledge!

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  19 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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It's time again for Hankook Tire's biennial design school team-up, where they task ID students with developing futuristic tire concepts. Last time 'round they paired up with Cincinnati's DAAP, and this year they're at Germany's University of Design, Engineering and Business in Pforzheim. And once again, not only did the students did not disappoint, but pulled off some real socks-knockers!

The central trend is to stop looking at the tire as a rubber cladding for a wheel, and to think of it instead as something that works together with an actively transforming wheel to create some ker-azy functionality. Now maybe I'm biased because I know ID students were involved, but the following video showing the three winning concepts in action is more exciting than any action movie trailer you'll see:

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  19 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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This post includes photos and an excerpt from the photoessay Christmas, Handmade in China originally published by Make Works. Make Works is an organization based in Scotland championing local manufacturing by making it easier for designers to work with manufacturers and makers. Photos and the original article are by designer Gemma Lord, documenting her experience on as part of the expedition program of Unknown Fields—a nomadic design studio exploring behind the scenes of the modern world, visiting manufacturing landscapes, mines and infrastructural fields.

It's the most gallingly consumeristic time of year, and (for anyone with even the slightest understanding of modern day globalized production and manufacturing) it takes, I'd suggest, a feat of remarkable mental strength and endurance to block out the social and ecological impact of season (squirming uncomfortably in the back of our minds) and actually enjoy it. Fortunately for us, a lot of the new objects appearing in our stores—santa hats and the latest plastic kids toys dropping like some Christmas bloody miracle every year without fail—shield our innocence and let us get on with the admittedly important task of celebrating with our loved ones.

On a mission to shine a light on the realities of global manufacturing practices and make a path for new forms of localized production, Make Works have recently published a photo-essay by designer Gemma Lord documenting her experiences as part of an Unknown Fields expedition project, posing as a European buyer inside a Christmas 'decorations' factory (of course, during the height of summer in advance of the season) supplying vast quantities of jolly tat to the Western world. As well as a fascinating look behind the scenes with some stunning photography, the piece is a much needed reminder of the impacts of Christmas consumer behavior. Whilst the conditions might not look too appalling (grim, definitely, but not the worst by a long stretch), perhaps the most troublesome thought that these pictures provoke, is that so much human life is spent dedicated to the production of something so trivial, to be shipped half way round the world and in landfill by New Year's.

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Imagine a Poundland store so enormous that it takes two whole days to walk from one end to the other. Even then, you'll have missed an aisle or two. Well this is Yiwu International Trade Market. Covering over 4 million square metres it is the "largest small commodity wholesale market in the world."

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  18 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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With all of the hullabaloo over the new lightsaber design, fans may have missed another important detail in the trailer for the new Star Wars movie. First off, most of us know the Millenium Falcon has a round radar dish, as shown above.

Fans may also recall that in Return of the Jedi, Han Solo lends the Millenium Falcon to Lando Calrissian. (Han is busy down on Endor, trying to disable the Death Star's shield.) Lando drives the Falcon into a shaft on the Death Star—and hits a pipe, knocking the radar dish off, as seen in this clip:

Core77 has obtained an exclusive, unreleased script excerpt that details the aftermath of that incident, and it just so happens to tie into the new trailer. Please see below.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  18 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Owners of the Knee Defender may be able to purchase a companion device next year, albeit one from a different company. Said company, Soaragami, is a start-up looking to tackle "the problem of fighting for armrests" with their eponymous product.

The idea for the Soarigami came from being stuck in a very uncomfortable airplane seat. Sick of fighting for armrest space with strangers, our co-founder sketched a design that would ultimately become the Soarigami on, you guessed it, a cocktail napkin.

The services of California-based design firm Focus Product Design were enlisted, and the result is a foldable divider—gussied up to look like an old-school airmail letter, which I think is a bit too on-the-nose—that a passenger can unfurl and perch on the armrest. And for their part, the Soaragami founders don't see it as having the built-in confrontational nature of a Knee Defender: "Make a friend, share fair, and let's unfold savvier skies," they write of the product. (Your cynical correspondent doesn't think fellow passengers would react positively to anything that they perceive as intruding on their personal space, but I hope I'm wrong.)

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One thing that Soaragami has for sure, that the Knee Defender doesn't, is a catchy, accompanying pop anthem:

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Posted by core jr  |  18 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Michael Bierut, certainly one of the most insightful and entertaining design lecturers there are, visited the MFA Products of Design department at SVA last month with a talk that was unprecedented for him: No slides. It turns out that "since his daughter's wedding" he has never given a design lecture without the use of visuals, and in this unbelievably personal talk he delivers something very special.

(The start of the video shows MFA chair and Core77 partner Allan Chochinov introducing Michael, referencing a little-known story about the genesis of Bierut's forever-fantastic 2009 Core77's Hack2Work feature article "How to Make your Client's Logo Bigger Without Actually Making Their Logo Bigger.")

>>WATCH THE VIDEO HERE<<

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Posted by Jeri Dansky  |  18 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Photo: Rainy Day Magazine

Professional organizers will tell you that any papers with confidential information should either be shredded or taken to a shredding service (or perhaps composted). Shredders come in varying capacities; I'm going to focus on those intended for personal or small office/home office use.

The Bridge paper shredder, designed by One Tenth for Idea International, runs on four AA batteries. With its slanted sides, it's intended to fit on both round and square wastebaskets with a diameter of 21-25 cm. However, this is a strip-cut shredder—better than nothing, but nowhere near as good (for security purposes) as a cross-cut shredder. It's a fairly light-duty shredder, handling four papers at a time, which must be folded to fit into the slot. Also, unlike heavier-duty shredders, it can't handle staples or paper clips.

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The Ziszor portable handheld paper shredder is another strip-cut shredder running on four AA batteries. It only weighs one pound. This would work for users who want a shredder they can just throw in a drawer or carry with them—and who don't feel they need the extra security of a cross-cut shredder.

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Posted by Ray  |  18 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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In the broad spirit of co-working spaces and the sharing economy, 'tis the season for the retail manifestation of nimble business practices: namely, the ever-popular holiday pop-up shop. After all, the ephemeral storefront offers the best of both worlds: not only do you get to personally inspect many of the beautiful things you see on the Internet but you get the cachet of an exclusive, limited-time-only marketplace (some, such as last weekend's NeueHouse Holiday Art & Design Bazaar, are open to the public for but a single afternoon—often to the chagrin of those of us who find out the next day). Better yet, they're often hyperlocal, meet-the-maker affairs—exhibitor/vendor fees notwithstanding—that transcend the 'showrooming' phenomenon with what might be deemed a site-specific shopping experience. Here are a few of our favorite ones in New York City this season.

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Following its relaunch at NY Now in August, American Design Club has tapped its extensive network of independent designers and makers to stock a jam-packed pop-up shop in the basement of Michele Varian's eponymous boutique in Soho. Many of the designers need no introduction here, but we were impressed with work by newcomers such as Hey Look Studio, Death at Sea and Aaron Poritz, to name a few.

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AmDCPopUp-4-shelf1Centered.jpgMerchandising 101: Put the best sellers near the front

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