We’ve seen quite the gamut of unique bicycle designs over the past year. From the 19th century velocipede re-imagined with today’s bicycle technologies to custom bicycle designs that utilize rapid manufacturing methods and everything in between, riders looking for a funkier ride have never had more options. The Sandwichbike from designer Basten Leijh is the latest funky bicycle design to hit the market and comes in the form of a flat-pack design a la IKEA—however don’t get your hopes up if Swedish meatballs and lingonberry juice aren’t an included option.
If you’re a fan of the popular Automoblox toys, then this one’s for you. Architect Matteo Ragni organized a list of one-hundred designers and architects to design their own take on the wooden toy car as a part of his 100% ToBeUs initiative. The well-conceived initiative is focused on moving kids away from disposable toys and objects and to learn to better appreciate well-crafted objects. With a sponsorship from Alessi and 100 world-class designers and architects on board, there are most certainly some favorable designs in the mix. Here’s a few of our favorites.
There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the (RED) charity auction curated by Jony Ive and Marc Newson—particularly in regards to their one-of-a-kind desk and Leica camera designs. Well, it all goes down tomorrow (Saturday 11/23) at Sotheby’s in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. In preparation for the auction, Sotheby’s held a limited-engagement exhibition to show off the 43 objects that represent some of the best achievements in design over the last century ranging from furniture design to surfboards and record players to spacesuits. Jony, Marc, and (RED) co-founder Bono were even in attendance on Friday to answer questions, stand by their favorite items, and most importantly, get people hyped up about a great cause. SolidSmack stopped by to see what the fuss was all about and grabbed some pics of the items before they head off into the hands of buyers. Here’s some of our favorites in the 43-piece auction lot.
Yesterday, SolidSmack posted on the Electric Loog Guitar—a sort of build-a-guitar kit that encourages customization. While build-a-kits have been in existence for decades, there seems to be a resurgence in interest for both adults and kids alike. After raising over $160,000 on Kickstarter with 29 days left to go in their 30-day campaign, the Kano Build-a-Computer Kit just might have found the sweet spot that people are looking for in STEM-based ‘kits’.
The iPad stylus market has seen an interesting turn in recent months with the release of Wacom’s Intuos Creative Stylus and now this morning, the Pencil by 53. For anybody who has used the iPad app Paper by 53, you might be familiar with 53′s exceptional attention to detail in the user experience and their wide community of diehard Paper users. However, their lack of stylus support (other than the Pogo Connect) put a damper on things for many users—specifically those who wanted to use Paper in conjunction with the recently-released Wacom Intuos Creative stylus. The developers at 53 have spent years ironing out how to translate an otherwise messy physical media experience into something that is clean, polished, easy-to-learn, and most importantly, fun…but will they will be able to pull off the same feat in the hardware department, too?
Airless tires have been sort of like a pesky mole in the last ten years: they poke their heads out just long enough to catch some attention, then retreat back into their holes. Other than being airless and less-prone to damage, their use in automobiles has been questionable based on their potential lack of driving comfort. So far, we’ve seen efforts from Michelin, Segway, and iBOT in applying airless tire technologies to low-speed vehicles such as those used in construction, however we’ve been yet to see anything truly prominent trickle down to the mass market. Polaris just might be the first to claim that title with their announcement of their Sportsman WV850 design featuring airless TerrainArmor tires that are not only more rugged for off-road riding, but are also strong enough to take a .50-caliber bullet round and keep driving for hundreds of miles.
As a dog owner, I am constantly on the lookout for dog products that aren’t your run-of-the-mill, ‘bought it at PetsMart’ variety. Sadly, very few products actually exist for dog owners that reflect rock-solid design ideals (and no, I don’t need a Gucci dog collar). For those looking to step outside of the realm of traditional dog products (and an excuse for another weekend project), Architecture for Dogs is the open source doghouse and dog accessory collaborative spearheaded by Japanese architects that just might make you jealous of young Fido’s dwellings.
As any office prankster worth their salt will tell you, launching objects in a parabolic arc at an unsuspecting co-worker is one of the greatest and most-satisfying ways of communication (assuming that said objects are gummy bears, marshmallows, and the occasional spitball). E&M Labs is offering a new way of stepping up your office warfare game with their new Ballista and Catapult designs that harness the power of the physics-packed Siege Engine (twisted rope) to power a gummy bear or other object across the room with enough force that it just might crack your buddy’s new HD monitor 8 desks across the room.
These days, adding security features to cell phones is usually old news, but for the case of the Halo™ anti-theft system, maybe not. Being marketed as “The World’s Most Advanced iPhone Security Device”, the Halo is an all-in-one security gadget concept for the iPhone 5. Aside from lacking an actual defense weapon, it basically has one of everything else that an anti-theft phone case could possibly offer, including several features that are programmable via the Halo App.
Most folks can probably agree that it has been fun watching the progression of affordable domestic robots evolve in the post-millennium era. Undoubtedly, it is becoming increasingly conventional to employ automated machines to facilitate routine tasks that would have been manual ones not ten years ago. However, it is still fairly uncommon to find free-range robotic devices in the home-setting, aside from the occasional iRobot Roomba. But as we all know, other domestic robots are certainly out there—it is mostly a matter of balancing their practicality with their price points that is preventing them from gaining a greater footing in the household environment.