I'm skeptical of kitchen gadgets in general, but this one seems genuinely useful, at least if you're a frequent consumer of butter. Most of us store butter in a butter dish, and cut slices off of it with a knife. If you refrigerate your butter (a Northeastern America thing? I
Now relocated to farm country, I recently needed to gas up a lawn tractor. I went to Lowes to purchase a gas can. I grabbed the standard $20 one, which looks like this: But next to it I spotted another gas can, listed for an absurd $50, that looked like
Designers Andrew Greenbaum and Ian Felton of Pom Pom just served 2018 exactly what it deserves—a pink inflatable coffin. We caught wind of the satirical twist on the designer pool floatie trend yesterday morning, and put it to the Instagram poll test, which revealed many people are interested in the
It's a little absurd that it's the 21st century, and we're still filling nearly-empty shampoo bottles with water and shaking them. We looked at some design solutions to fully evacuate a bottle's contents here. An addition to this series is the helpful Zero Waste Cap: Of course, we wouldn't
Have you ever not been able to find some piece of material or tool in your shop, then given up and re-purchased it? You could fix this problem by following YouTuber and Lego enthusiast BANANENBUURMAN's example. He's combined a Lego train with tracks from TrixBrix and a 360 camera, meaning
Talk about niche: Lofty Pursuits is a Florida-based store that specializes in making "hard candies using equipment from the Victorian period. Much of our equipment was made between the 1850's and about 1910." When they got their hands on a rusted-out 19th-century machine with interchangeable rollers, they restored it to
Here's a brilliant bit of PR: Domino's Pizza has been funding road crews to repair potholes. Seemingly random towns in America--Athens, Georgia; Bartonville, Texas; Burbank, California; Milford, Delaware--have had just over 200 of their collective potholes repaired, then stamped with graphics: Domino's says they're doing it because "Potholes, cracks, and
The winners of this year's Swarovski Designers of the Future competition recently unveiled what they've been up to at Design Miami/Basel. On display as a complete exhibition, the commissioned projects each used Swarovski crystal innovations to explore the theme 'Smart Living'. Crystal definitely isn't the first material that comes to
Consumers are increasingly being expected to have a greater role in "healing thyself." Shorter hospital stays, fewer instances of clinician-administered medication, and more do-it-yourself cases of in-home care drive the need for innovative home-healthcare devices. The implications are many – not only for sis, dad and grandma – but also for healthcare brand owners, pharmaceutical packaging producers, medical device designers and related materials suppliers.
Chris Lefteri, the materials designer who literally wrote the book on the subject, has cooked up a new plastics-based concoction meant to be used for DIY repairs. Called FixIts, Lefteri's blend of polymer-based herbs and spices comes in stick form and is user-moldable: "FixIts are incredibly tough and made
The Amabrush was a successfully-Kickstarted hands-free toothbrush that never actually shipped. Now another design for an automatic toothbrush, the CHIIZ, has been successfully Kickstarted, and perhaps they'll have better luck. Since the CHIIZ doesn't have the protrusion in the front of it like the Amabrush did, that means you
When we think of rust, the first thing that comes to mind is "old," as the natural process is an indicator of age for most products and even modes of transportation like motorcycles and boats. Through his experimental materials project Rust Harvest, designer Yuma Kano aims to transform our notion
FixIts™ is the first product to come out of Chris Lefteri Design and marks an extension from the studio's history as a materials design consultancy by bringing to life one of its founders first material discoveries. FixIts™ is the world's first compostable, hand-moldable plastic stick that softens in 60C water
In this age of planned obsolescence, it is pretty cool that you can take a new Lego brick and it still attaches to one made over fifty years ago. Obviously their production line has been upgraded over the decades, and if you've ever wondered what the process looks like, here's
This is my final week of living in NYC, and it's been nonstop packing. Yesterday I cleaned out my 'fridge, and wondered: What the hell does the crisper drawer actually do? The name would suggest it keeps things crisp, but how does a transparent plastic drawer do that? I poked
The thing I love about tools is that they will always be useful. My ratcheting screwdriver will be as handy in ten years as it was when I bought it. On the other end of the utility/sustainability spectrum, we have techno-objects that are useful today, but will be landfill in
Following their intimate exhibition on the ground level of Ventura Futures during Milan Design Week, Central Saint Martins' 2018 MA Materials Future graduate products are now publicly on display at their Degree Show until June 24. Many of the projects on display at Ventura Futures weren't completed yet, so it's
This game is fun and frustrating at the same time. It's a color test developed by a company called X-Rite Photo & Video, and was designed to determine how accurately you can detect hue differences. Basically they show you this… …and you then have to drag-and-drop the tiles to get
Dina Amin is an industrial designer who has encountered the paradox many of us face: "I realized that I am not very fond of a huge part of Industrial Design," she writes, "the part where we consume insane amount of resources and energy to design things that eventually people throw
A few bucks on Amazon will get you a plastic headphone hook that sticks to your monitor. But I am liking this quick, less-obtrusive solution far better: A three-pack of Sugru strips goes for under ten bucks, and you get the satisfaction of shaping it yourself.
Kickstarter has taken note of Oscar Lhermitte's clever "Quickstarter" model, recognizing it's positive message of showing that designers can learn just as much thinking on a smaller scale as they can thinking on a larger one. The crowdfunding platform just announced a landing page within their site called Quickstarter that
It wouldn't be the World Cup without Adidas designing a new soccer ball that the players can complain about. For 2018's Cup they've introduced the Telstar 18, a graphic update on the classic, black-and-white-TV-friendly Telstar from 1970. (Thus far goalies reportedly hate it, finding the ball unpredictable and slippery.) Adidas'
Up until the 1966 World Cup, soccer balls looked like this: That bland color was simply the natural color of the leather. Not very telegenic. But as matches increasingly became televised, the telegenic problem was solved in 1970 by
Forks, spoons, knives and chopsticks are designed to move food into our pie holes as efficiently as possible. For the most part, we all know how to use them–sometimes to the point where we don't even consider their existence as we shovel a plate of pasta down our throats. But
Musical instruments are undergoing a renaissance. Waves of techno-cultural innovation are melding arts and sciences, and steadily raising the tide on traditional crafts, turning them on their heads. The transformation of the musical instrument—through networks, sensors, data and computation—is not only a story about the craft of making musical tools,
There is an old adage in the firefighting community that the profession is 150 years of tradition unimpeded by progress. The original fire helmet, then called a fire cap, was designed in 1731 by Jacobus Turk for the Fire Department of New York in order to distinguish the department from competitors. (Scarily enough, firefighting was once privatized—just like in the movie 'Gangs of New York.')
As a designer, you can probably picture a finished product in your mind long before the specs are finalized. But even if that mental image is crystal clear, significant questions linger regarding how it will all come together—not the least of which being what materials you should use. In my
For every Silicon-Valley-VC-backed product design startup, I wish there were 100 people like Lynn Fisher. "I am a painter and Art teacher in New Jersey," Fisher writes, "and about fifteen years ago I came up with an idea to use old pieces of leather to make journals and sketchbooks for
I'm a member of ZipCar, which I love for the convenience. But one thing that always reminds you that you're in a shared car is the state of the interiors. I've experienced the following in a ZipCar: Sticky steering wheels, candy wrappers and potato chip bags shoved into various orifices,
Swiss-born Amaury Guichon was just 14 years old when he moved to France to pursue culinary training. Six years later he had five apprentices of his own at Cannes' high-end Lenotre restaurant, and the following year he became Executive Chef of Paris' Hugo & Victor patisseries. Now 'Stateside, Guichon teaches
Industrial designer Andrey Avgust hails from Belarus, a country whose currency I admit I've never seen. But he's seen our yankee dollars and recognizes that their design kind of stinks. For fun Avgust gave U.S. bills a redesign, starting with the material: Polymer. Then he took the design iconography of
Lignum Vitae, Latin for "Tree of Life," is the national tree of the Bahamas. It's also the world's densest wood, and has such unusual properties that the USS Nautilus, the world's first nuclear-powered submarine, has its aft main shaft strut bearings made out of the stuff. In addition to being strong, hard, heavy, dense, water- and salt-water-resistant, Lignum Vitae contains natural oils that make the bearings self-lubricating.
This doesn't exactly look like a food-safe facility, but I guess the laws are a little more relaxed in whatever country this was shot in. Here's a 12-mold ice cream cone making machine in action: While wafer cones like those are molded, the production methods for waffle cones and sugar
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