We're digging the National Design Collective, a trio of Toronto-based recent ID grads (Scott Bodaly, Heather Lam and Jessica Tien) that get together after work, use ID skills to make fun stuff just for the sake of learning and experimentation, and document it all.
Example #1: They wanted to learn about lost-wax casting, and the result was a series of experimental jewelry and a cool silver map of Winnipeg pinned to a bag made from industrial felt.
Example #2: To hold baked goods up off of a countertop while it cools, you could make a simple trivet out of wire--but why not make a mold and cast one out of concrete?
A few items that we learned and want to share with you from the process:
1. Concrete in the eye is a bad thing.
["..the googles! They do nothing!" - Rainer Wolfcastle]
2. Make sure your mould will not leak before casting.
[As concrete sets, water is expelled out and in our case, all over the worktable.]
3. Don't wash your concrete bucket in the laundry sink afterward.
4. Know how to use a plumbing snake if you did not follow #3.
They also do commercial stuff, like this stackable, easily-reconfigurable window display for Idea Couture.
But most of all, we love NDC because they turned us on to Animals with Lightsabers.