2016 is the year of the intelligent sex toy and we're celebrating with the Core77 Sex-tacular, an exploration of the ways that design and technology will shape the future of sex and intimacy. For our current 1-Hour Design Challenge: Sex Toys of the Future, we've invited three distinguished designers to judge your submissions on the basis of originality, craftsmanship and level of intimacy your design can cultivate for lovers in the year 2050.
Many of you might be familiar with Jon Winebrenner, a longtime friend, Core77 board moderator and originator of the 1-Hour Design Challenge. We talk to him about the Challenge, his history with the Boards and what he'll be looking for in your submissions.
Barbarella wants you to design the Sex Toy of the Future!
Core77: How did you first get involved with Core77?
Jon Winebrenner: I had to go and login to my account to see what the date was that I joined the discussion forums. October of 2004 was my first interaction, apparently. That was right in the midst of some massive change for me. My daughter recently turned 1 years old. I was working for Sierra Wireless designing what we were hoping to be "The Blackberry Killer." We didn't realize at the time that in just a few short months we would get side-swiped by some dude named Steve Jobs with a little device called the iPhone. I found the discussion boards amongst all of this change and it was somewhere I could go to bring some sanity to my design day. Other designers, going through similar trials and tribulations? As the sole designer at a small tech company without a design community in Vancouver...it was like an oasis.
Tell us a bit about Hurdler Studios? What trends in product design are you most excited about right now?
Hurdler Studios is my design opus. I've worked for engineering-centric corporations most of my career. It was time for me to get back to my first love and start designing product in conjunction with engineering products (as opposed to engineering them, then stapling on the design).
Clug Bike Rack winner of an IDSA IDEA Gold Award.
The trend that I'm most excited by is the Amazon-ization of product distribution. As a designer, it has become ridiculously easy for someone to create a product and distribute it globally. Our Clug Bike Rack is a great example of how a well designed product can be made by a tiny company in a design backwater and garner international recognition and over $500K in revenue in its first year.
Where did the idea for the 1HDC come about?
It came from my own desire to learn to sketch better. Because my career has been predominantly based in engineering-centric companies, I never honed my skills in sketching. I wanted to create something that allowed me the opportunity to practice, but most of all, I wanted to see the process of many of the amazing designers floating about the boards. I'm a visual learner. Seeing what others could do in an hour allowed me to tune my expectations of my own skills.
What are some of your favorite topics and entries from past challenges?
Man, that's a tough question to answer as there were many of them that stood out. For me the inspiration came less from the topic an more from the enthusiasm of the people who participated. I learned quite a bit about myself and the expectations I had set on my own work by running the 1HDC. The main thing being that good ideas are easy, but good design takes time. If you look through the archives of the 1HDC, you can see that while someone can crank through a sharp looking sketch or two in 30 minutes, that is merely the tip of the ice berg when it comes to the full product development lifecycle.
I tend to put an emphasis on the story telling within a design. A good idea put to paper is more than just line weight and good perspective. The designer that has learned to think on the fly is a valuable commodity. I'm hoping the 1HDC will help showcase some of the amazing thinkers that are lurking around Core77.