Invented just one year after the invention of Scotch tape in 1930, the tape dispenser is a unique package design-tool hybrid that can be found in just about every household. Due to the frustration of finding the loose end of tape on a roll, 3M Engineer John A. Borden invented the serrated-edge dispenser to keep the end of the tape away from the roll. Almost a century later, Japanese designer Kouichi Okamoto has redesigned the tape dispenser to create a liquid-like form from the resulting tape cuts.
Ezra Caldwell’s father was a custom wood furniture maker. He grew up playing in the wood shop. He now lives in Harlem and builds custom steel bicycles. He was also diagnosed with cancer, both devastating to his life and what he had built his life around. He was given 8 months to live. That was in 2008. Made by Hand has released another film in their series that covers people who make things by hand. The new film is called The Bike Maker and features Ezra, who tells his story and shows how making bicycles is as much about making time for what’s important as it is about working within constraints.
Imagine a crate of trucks that can be shipped on-site, built within a day, then sent to the four corners of the country delivering food, people, animals, medicine or a new shipment of mobile devices. Our first world problem encompass jamming 1000 pieces of $9.99 flat-packed furniture into small, hybrid cars. In developing countries, flat-packed furniture may have a market, but Sir Torquil Norman is betting millions that flat-packed trucks definitely have a market. The Ox, the philanthropic venture of Sir Torquil and in development by Global Vehicle Trust (GVT), is a truck being design and built in Britian with the goal of helping developing countries gain control over the transportation of needed supplies. Now, they’re seeking funding to finish the project.
Perhaps the most widely-respected industrial designer of all time, Dieter has inspired thousands—if not millions of designers with his perspectives on ‘good design’. From Apple’s Jony Ive to budding design school students, the Ten Principles of Good Design is just as relevant today as it was in the early 1980’s when Dieter began to recognize “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colors, and noises” in the world of design and manufacturing. In honor of his 81st, perhaps take a moment to reflect–yet again–on Rams’ ten principles. Like a good book, I find myself reading from a different perspective every time I read them. Enjoy your cake, Dieter!
I bet, next to those dusty engineering and design textbooks on the shelf, you have a few picture books that have led to endless inspiration since you were a child. No? A comic book? Dilbert? *cringe* Nothing? Well, perhaps you had a favorite as a child, There Are Rocks in My Socks! or Where the Wild Things Are. Over at Muddy Colors, Author/illustrator Adam Rex describes the process he goes through to turn an authors words into illustration that eventually become the 32-40 page picture book you buy for a child. Grab a cup of Keurig and delight yourself in the process of what it takes to make it happen.
Perhaps none of us will top the professional-level squatting recently done by a young entrepreneur at AOL’s headquarters. The then-19 year old Eric Simons was a part of an AOL incubator focused on helping young people with their startups. Having ran out of money, the persistent Simons ended up squatting at AOL…showering in their gym, sleeping in their lounge area, and eating meeting leftovers. Perhaps it was a legal and moral gray-area, but Simons went on to secure more than enough to get his startup off the ground. For most people however, a simple place to nap might be the ideal solution after hammering away for 18 hours on a project with a 5 AM deadline and presentation. Bring on the office-sleeping YouTube prank videos.
When Kickstarter first launched, it was a hotbed for garage hobbyists, indie game developers, and the occasional ‘pro’ who wanted to test the crowdfunding market. More recently, the platform has made its way to more commercial projects that while having been successful, are arguably exploiting an indie-based platform and have led some into a pit of crowdfunding doom. Kickstarter isn’t just a crowdfunding platform…it is a goldmine for free press and exposure, something that both Makers and Hollywood studios would love to get their hands on while promoting project campaigns. However, the openness of this business model is a double-edged sword: while it may allow a creator full creative control for a new project, it is still open to potential claims of fraud, misappropriation, conversion, and embezzlement. Where should you draw the line with Kickstarter ethics and avoid getting yourself into a hotbed of crowdfunded trouble?
You all know it. Augmented Reality (AR) headsets are/will be all the rage. From the Oculus Rift to Google Glass, the size, shape and application of these devices is quite broad. Sketchfab, the site that brings you the ability to set up your own 3D portfolio, is holding their fourth Sketchfast competition, and this one introduces the challenge of designing your ideal AR headset… in 3 days. Ready, Set, GO.
When I’m wrestling a ham and cheese sandwich in 3 inches of water, I’m not paying attention to anyone else around me. There are already devices to get people like me out of the pool (tazers hurt) but there are just not enough (read: any) device that take advantage of modern technology to save the life of a drowning child. With the #1 cause of death for children under five due to drowning, you would think this a high priority problem to solve. The Seal is the product with death prevention in its wearable swim monitor sites. They’re currently going after funding via Indiegogo and we spoke with Charles Hunt, Head of Innovation and Design at Thermocline Ventures, to find out a little more.
Projects Mighty and Napoleon, the pen and the ruler. Two hardware products announced by Adobe this week at the Adobe MAX conference. Two hardware products that connect you to your device, your files, your work where ever you may be. Connected tools that explore our bond to the web beyond the smartphone and tablet. All of this ‘connectedness’ sealed up even tighter with their other announcement that future releases of the Adobe Creative Suite and other CS products will end to focus on the development of Creative Cloud and delivering the applications through the Creative Cloud subscription model. Adobe just moved all their chips onto that cloud, drawing the silver lining around it with… your identity.