This month saw the release of the Karim Rashid × 3M (yes, that one) "Pebble" Post-It and tape dispensers. Rashid recently summed it up for the New York Times:I wanted to get out of the idea that these objects are pretty utilitaria. When you have them on your desk, they're really just nice and comfortable and kind of quiet. They have a personality, but they're soft.
While the whimsical design is hardly a departure for the ultraprolific designer, they certainly add a bit of pizzazz to the matte black (and brushed aluminum) hegemony of most office environments. (Admit it, you spend the better part of your day staring at the myriad handheld denizens of your workspace too.)
In fact, I would go so far as to say they're sculptural, given their semblance to Brancusi's "The Newborn," for one—I'm holding out for a limited edition marble version, if 3M would be so kind as to indulge me...
Of course, the "Pebble" has a few functional features as well, lest we lose ourselves in the glean of the its surface: it's weighted with a non-slip foot to facilitate one-handed use for all the adhesive ninjas out there.
Speaking of which, designer Hiro has come up with a prototype for an origami tape dispenser, for those of you who prefer harder edges to your desktop architecture
In short, the inexpensive, recyclable raw material—paper—does not require adhesives or chemicals for assembly, where curves impart rigidity to the form.
Not to take the metaphor too far, but it's got a bit of a Frank Gehry thing going on, am I right?
The video of its construction, however, needs to be at least twice as sped-up to suggest that it's easy to build... at over two minutes long, it's kind of a drag.
Incidentally, I recently saw a commercial for yet another office innovation from the quintessential materials science company that has inspired at least a couple rainy-day activities.
I can see how it would be useful for, say, wrapping gifts, but suffice it to say that it won't be on our Ulimate Gift Guide...