The USB Battleship is a new 5-port USB hub by design duo giffin'termeer. Not just a pretty hub, the device was designed to visually anchor the cable chaos surrounding most of our workspaces, with a toy-like, miniature ship. The piece was introduced during ICFF, and is now available for purchase from Kikkerland.
According to giffin'termeer, the symbol of the boat is especially significant to computer-based deskspaces. Below, they explain the parallel:
Boats are interesting because for the most part, the bottom half is simple and sleek. The top half, however, is usually covered with radar equipments, guns, lifeboats, and other necessary structures—in other words, chaos, and like the physical area around our workspaces, chaos. The thought was that maybe a boat shape could be an "organizing image" to visually manage the tangle that emanates from my notebook.
Above, an image of all their significant mock-ups tells the story of the battleship's development, as narrated by Jim Termeer.
1. First idea was to actually make it an old steamship, with the cords acting as the smoke. Problem is, cords do not look like steam. Not. even. close.
2. However, a warship has a defined profile, but looking beyond that, there seems to be little unity in form. Can the silhouette hold a clue?
3. Replacing the topside with USB bits and pieces seems to hold that true (look at the reflection of the model. Kinda looks like a warship.
4. From there, easy move into 3D and the making of the first printed model. Looks too much like a canoe. Warships are surprisingly fat in the middle. Kinda like an overfed cat.
5. Final 3D printout with cast iron paint, which seems to work better than navy blues and grays. (We tried them all.) Silhouette was the key. Usually this takes our studio 30-60 models to get it right.
See more of giffin'termeer here, and get the Battleship at Kikkerland. We just got one ourselves—though not very heavy, its long footprint does a fantastic job balancing the weight of all the cables without toppling over.
Lisa is dedicated to promoting the American contemporary design scene. She keeps herself busy as the co-founder of the Object Design League, an association of independent designers in Chicago, and design practice Smith&Linder, both co-founded with Caroline Linder. She also teaches foundation research studios at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.