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Core77 Weekly Roundup (7-8-24 to 7-12-24)

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

Here's what we looked at this week:

Som, by industrial designer Eva Dugintseva, is an easy-to-assemble 3D printed chair.

Industrial Design student work: Chiara Torterolo's MedGum is an alternative to traditional drug delivery systems.

ID studio Intenxiv reveals the tons of mockups required to arrive at their new hair dryer design.

Architecture student concept: Houses designed for disassembly.

Jewelrymaking on a farm: Kathryn Reid's animal snout finger rings.

Artist Aleks Melnyk offers hundreds of different pyrography stencils.

Design problem: Creating tethered bottle caps that people don't hate.

Form follows function: These tree stake support bands.

Clever design entrepreneurship: 3 Five Design's 3D-printed RPG organizing cases for gamers.

Originally designed to house refugees, the CX20 is a portable, unfolding shelter that sleeps 8.

Two unusual physical design features on the CMF Phone 1.

The ChillBeam is a shameless knockoff of the Africa lamp, by industrial designer Francisco Gomez Paz.

A beautiful medical device: This biomimetic orthotic collar, designed by Dr. Luke Hale.

Nendo's eye-catching Fandango perfume package design.

Chamelo's electrochromic sunglasses can instantly change tint level or color.

An unusual product category: Floating coolers.

The Corvette sinkhole disaster's 10-year anniversary exhibition.

These FORX e-mountain-bike cranks are by industrial design firm 4Design.


FORX E-Mountain-Bike Cranks, by Industrial Design Firm 4Design

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

FORX is a New-Zealand-based manufacturer of cranks for EMTBs, or electric mountain bikes. Australian ID firm 4Design was called in to develop FORX's products.

"In the rapidly emerging world of electric-assisted mountain bikes," 4Design points out, "many components have been inherited from traditional bikes without fully understanding the ergonomic and performance implications."

"With the development of the FORX range of cranks we have addressed this and tailored the cranks to improve bike performance and rider comfort, safety and confidence."


"The FORX cranks have a unique length and shape that not only improves electric motor performance through improved cadence, but also provides a more natural 'Q-Factor:' better ankle clearance, less knee, hip, back strain, and less 'crank strikes.' It's a game changer. These fundamental design changes allow for a greatly improved rider experience."

You can see more of 4Design's work here.


The Corvette Sinkhole Disaster's 10-Year Anniversary Exhibition

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

A decade ago, the National Corvette Museum in Kentucky suffered a bizarre incident: A massive sinkhole opened up beneath the museum's Skydome, swallowing eight rare Corvettes. Thankfully it happened after hours. (The security camera footage of it is here.)

Weirdly, the freak event subsequently drove record attendance. People wanted to see the aftermath of the disaster.

Now the museum is holding a 10-year anniversary exhibition of the disaster:

"Get ready to experience 'Ground to Sky: The Sinkhole Reimagined,' our newest exhibit that takes you beyond the infamous 2014 sinkhole. This limited engagement showcases a decade of grit and innovation, highlighting our epic recovery journey and unstoppable progress. Just like the Corvette, it's a story of smashing through obstacles and pushing boundaries."

The museum was able to restore three of the Corvettes, which will be on display.


An Unusual Product Category: Floating Coolers

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

Here's an object category I had no idea existed: Floating coolers. These are apparently popular among people with swimming pools, people who vacation on lakes, and kayak campers. (The latter category travel to their campsite by kayak, carrying their camping gear on-board.) Being a relatively new product category that targets different use cases, there is no established form factor. What I found most interesting are the user reviews: The people who love these things, really love them.

This $66 Rangland River Cooler is inflatable. This targets the kayak crowd. It's meant to be loaded up with food and drink, then towed, reducing weight on the kayak. It's made of PVC, and the manufacturer says the underside is triple-layered to offer "extreme protection against scratch and puncture."


This $40 Pittman Floating Ice Chest is also inflatable, and they offer both a hard-sided cooler and inflatable cooler option. However, these apparently lack the durability (according to reviewers) of the Rangland model. It's perhaps better suited to pool parties than towing down a river; whereas Rangland mentions beefing up the underside of their offering to protect against rocks, this Pittman model comes with a patch kit, which doesn't sound reassuring.

This rigid $130 CreekKooler model is presented as being primarily for pool parties. But it gets rave reviewers from kayakers and boat people. An interesting use case I hadn't thought of; one reviewer says he bought a second one, to use as a floating trash can.



This $60 Big Bobber Floating Cooler seems like a poor design: As you can see in the product photos, the spherical shape means it can easily tilt and take on water. On top of that, the lip where the two halves meet seems cheap and poorly executed. User reviews back both of those points up.

Lastly, this $300 Amphibious Cuddy Crawler has wheels, making it easy to transport on land. Reviewers raved about this feature—coolers loaded up with ice and drinks can get heavy—though some complained about the wheels falling off. There is a rather glaring design flaw: The wheels are meant to be removed for towing-in-water applications, and they are attached to the cooler by Velcro. As one reviewer pointed out, trying to pull the cooler across a gravel parking lot easily jostles the wheels off. Caveat emptor.


Sunglasses That Can Instantly Change Tint Level or Color

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

An eyewear company called Chamelo has developed electrochromic sunglasses that can instantly change tint level or color. Check out their Dusk model:

Their tint-adjustable Music Shield (so named because it has built-in speakers):

Their color-changing Euphoria model can cycle through four different warm hues:

And finally their Aura model, which can cycle through four cooler hues:

The company says their patented Prismatic Color-Changing Lenses are a world first.

The innovation doesn't come cheap. The Dusk and Music Shield models run $249, while the Euphoria and Aura are $385.


Nendo's Fandango Perfume Package Design

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

Some years ago, Nendo participated in an exhibition where designers were asked to create bottles for defunct perfume brands.

"We were asked to undertake the perfume named Fandango by Koehler, which gained popularity in Russia in the 19th century. However, apart from the image of the perfume bottle, hardly any information on neither the fragrance nor the background to the product was available. So we decided to determine the outline of the perfume bottle and express its silhouette with the tube inside."

"The tubes come in two types, one is a gradation of cold colours and the other is a gradation of warm colours. The perfume bottles were respectively named Fandango -12.3 ºC and Fandango +23.1 ºC, to suggest the average temperatures of the winters and summers in Moscow where Koehler used to be. These two colours of the temperatures also represent the cool, fresh scent of the winters and the warm, passionate scent of the summers."


Sponsored: Connecting Cultures Through Design

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

Core77 has partnered with the Design Intelligence Award (DIA)to promote the organizations Call for Entry. Final Deadline to enter is July 14, 2024. Enter now using this exclusive invitation code US2024-LBJ9RIU.

The Design Intelligence Award (DIA) is an international competition connecting cultures through design. It gathers a global community of entrepreneurs, creatives and innovators who tackle and solve society's biggest challenges.

While the DIA is one of the newer design awards, it was founded in 2015 by the China Academy of Art in partnership with The People's Government of Zhejiang Province, the China Industrial Design Association, the Steering Sub-committee on the Teaching of Industrial Design in Higher Educational Institutions under the Ministry of Education and organized by the Design Intelligence Award Committee, it offers at least two big benefits--it's free to enter and there are cash prizes if you win.

The DIA recognizes innovative, forward-thinking, and sustainable design solutions that address real-world problems and improve people's lives. DIA experts are a diverse group from around the world who are recognized for their expertise in design. The expert panel consists of 550 experts and judges from 37 countries and regions, including designers, heads of design organizations, curators, editors-in-chief of design magazines, design museum experts, college design professors, and enterprise executives.

The 2023 Gold Winner was BrainRobotics Mini Hand

Designed by Zhejiang Qiangnao Technology Co., Ltd. and the team: Zhaoyi Yang, Haoxuan Wang, Zhiqiang Ji, Weicheng Deng, and Bicheng Han.

The intelligent bionic hand represents a quantum leap forward from the era of rudimentary metal hooks and static prosthetic limbs. It shatters previous constraints that required physical buttons or joysticks to perform pre-programmed gestures. This advanced prosthetic hand weaves AI technology and bespoke programming capabilities into its core, offering a more seamless and intuitive user experience. By harnessing muscle signals through electromyography sensors in the residual limb, it translates these biological cues into precise movements, enabling amputees to perform gestures and actions that feel natural and intuitive.


The 2023 Future Talents winner was Sunseeker

Designed by Studio VANTOT and the team: Sam van Gurp, Thomas Verboven, Eline Smits, Zowa Rindt, and Gerrit Beking.

Sunseeker is a mobile and modular solar-light chain developed by Studio VANTOT. Its human-centered design promotes playfulness and participation in urban landscapes and encourages local curiosity towards sustainable energy resources. The smart solar harvesting modules of Sunseeker are equipped with light sensors that inform each individual light fixture to spin on its axis or move along the light chain to find the sunniest spots. This allows the fixture to escape the shadows of the urban landscape and optimizes solar harvesting. Much like sunflowers spinning to catch the sun rays, or people chasing glimpses of the moving sun between high-rises, the choreography of the lights adds an exciting and sentimental element to our usually detached city settings. Once the sun sets, SUNSEEKER becomes an illuminating pathway, as it uses captured solar energy to light up the night.

Enter your best work today. It's free and you can win prize money!


Industrial Designer Documents Car Door Handles

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

Remember the mid-century German photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher? They documented, among other things, industrial architecture.

Industrial designer Roee Ben Yehuda was inspired by the Bechers' work. But instead of industrial architecture, Yehuda chose something closer to hand: Car door handles. He's dedicated an Instagram account to documenting them.

Yehuda described the project in an interview with Portfolio (machine-translated from Hebrew, apologies for any errors):

"The car door handle is an everyday, functional object: it is simply there for the second we need it, and disappears from our sight afterwards. It interested me because during my studies I suddenly realized how much investment goes into its design. I wanted to emphasize the differences between the different handles, to examine the effects of prestige, era, and relationship with the user.

"The handle was a small window into the mind of the designer, into the spirit of the time. Because of its simple function, it was a good platform to examine the differences between the different manufacturers, between the different approaches of the designers and the relationship to the morphology, to the relationship with the user and the design style that has changed over the years."

"And there really were a lot of differences. Material differences: between black plastic that completely breaks the visibility of the vehicle, and chrome, a handle that is painted in the color of the vehicle. Differences in morphology: it is not possible for a Hummer handle to look like a Honda Civic handle (even if they fulfill exactly the same purpose."

"There are manufacturers who understand that the user meets this handle every time he gets into the car, and they will invest in a handle that summarizes the vehicle's DNA - sporty, massive, cute or high-tech. On the other hand, there are manufacturers who say that the handle is made by hand, and you can suddenly see several models that share the exact same handle."

There's plenty more to see here.


A Beautiful Medical Device: This Biomimetic Orthotic Collar

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

Orthoses are medical devices that provide support to the patient's body. This unusual orthosis was designed by Luke Hale, a doctor in the UK. Hale founded a company called Pi-A Health, which uses technology to assist with patient recovery.

"I designed a new way of making orthoses from 3d scans, so they are strong and porous, a bit like bone," Hale writes. "We then applied the workflow to a patient with a neurological disorder who unfortunately couldn't wear regular collars."

Hale went through a number of design iterations:





"This neck collar is the result of digital methods of making, combining 3D scanning, procedural design and 3D printing. Its form is derived from an algorithm that mimics the structure of bone, creating a collar that is light and strong. The process is quicker and more responsive to patient feedback than traditional methods of manually casting, sculpting and moulding plastic."

"In collaboration with the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Pi-A developed this collar for a patient with a neurodegenerative disorder, it is now worn every day. It has led to improvements in the patient's posture and breathing where other devices had failed."

Update: The ChillBeam is a Knockoff of the Vibia Africa Lamp

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

It has come to our attention that this ChillBeam cordless lamp, by a Wyoming-based manufacturer of the same name, is actually a knockoff.

Chillbeam, a knockoff

It is a shamelessly direct copy of the Africa lamp, designed by industrial designer Francisco Gomez Paz in 2022. Paz's original design is below:

The Africa lamp is in production by lighting brand Vibia. With any luck, their lawyers will be able to solve this.

Two Unusual Physical Design Features on the CMF Phone 1

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

The CMF Phone 1, by upstart brand Nothing, features two unusual (for a smartphone) physical design characteristics.

First off, it actually comes with a little screwdriver. That's because the back is held on with honest-to-god screws you can undo. I'd thought this might be for maintenance or repair, but they appear to have added this feature for aesthetic reasons: "With a detachable back cover, you can change the look of your device to reflect how you're feeling or where you're going."

Secondly, that odd-looking circle in the corner can be popped off, and replaced with one of two accessories: A fold-away kickstand for the phone, or a lanyard.


They also offer an optional card case, which attaches magnetically. (At first I'd thought it, too, screws on, but those bosses in the corner are apparently just feet, for when the phone is on its back.)

The $200 phone is currently up for pre-order, and expected to ship later this week.


A Portable, Unfolding Shelter that Sleeps 8

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

The CX20 is a portable shelter that combines "the adaptability of a tent, with the durability of campers," according to manufacturer CMAX System Inc.

Originally designed to house refugees, the units fold up to just 37" in width, making them easy to transport.

Once on-site, the sides are folded down and become the floors. The black circles you see are actually height-adjustable feet on large threads; you turn them to increase or decrease their height, so you can deal with uneven terrain. (That said, the ground will still need to be relatively flat; the feet only have 60mm, or 2.36", of travel.) The unfurled structure, the company says, can sleep eight.


Assembling a CX20 requires no tools, and the company says two people can do it in 11 minutes.

In addition to housing displaced people, the company reckons the CX20s can be used for everything from camping to medical tents.

Prices aren't listed, though New Atlas reports that the CX20s cost $8,000 each.


Clever Design Entrepreneurship: 3D-Printed RPG Organizing Cases for Gamers

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

Duane Gitzel is a Canadian industrial mechanic. He's also a talented design entrepreneur who launched a business called 3 Five Design, which allows him to make money in a relatively risk-free way while also indulging his passion. "I'm a small time Digital Creator for 3D Printing," Gitzel writes. "I love playing board games and tabletop wargaming. I run my business out of my basement office."

Tabletop gamers are a fertile subcultural market. To serve them, Gitzel designs and prototypes 3D printed transportation and organization cases for gaming accessories—products he himself uses. These modular cases feature a variety of slide-out trays, drawers and compartments for holding dice, gaming figurines, books, et cetera. Because Gitzel is a gamer himself, he understands what fellow gamers want and need, and perfectly designs to market.

The brilliant part is, he doesn't actually sell the products. Instead he holds a Kickstarter to sell the .stl files for the products; his last, for his War-Ganizer 3.0 case, brought in roughly USD $12,000. He also sells his designs—again, just the .stl files—on 3 Five Design's Etsy page.


By not selling the physical products, offloading the production to the hobbyist end user instead, Gitzel wipes out all of the major hassles of running a product business: Production, inventory, fulfillment, shipping. Risk and up-front capital requirements are nil. Gitzel gets to focus on just the design, and creating the ideal object for himself.



Gitzel does request that purchasers of his .stl files use them for personal use only, not for production or re-sale. I did spot another Etsy user selling the physical version of Gitzel's War-Ganizer design, but that seller states that he has licensed the design from Gitzel. Which opens up another revenue stream. My hat's off to 3 Five Design.


Take the Core77 Reader Survey and Get in the Running for an Apple Gift Card

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

If you're a dedicated follower, complete newbie, or somewhere in between, Core77 wants to hear from you! It's been a while since we ran one of these reader surveys so we're pulling out all the stops, splashing money on expensive branding — see below — and $50 Apple gift cards for three (3) random survey participants. Drawing to be held on July 23rd. Living outside the USA? If you win, we'll get you the equivalent of a $50 USD gift card in your local currency. Click here to take the Core77 User Input '24 Survey, we appreciate your feedback!


Form Follows Function: Tree Stake Support Bands

Core 77 - 1 min 38 sec ago

These tree stake support bands are for tying plants or saplings to stakes, so that they'll grow straight.

They might seem to be glorified zip-ties, but they have more design in them. The crosswise ribs stand off of the plant, steadying it without strangling it, and lock into the crosswise slot. The chevron-like protrusions on the tip lock into the lengthwise slot to secure it to the stake.



Good design. Simple, effective and easy-to-use.

Engineers: Is Your Salary High Enough?

Design News - Fri, 2024-06-28 14:23
Is your engineering salary up to snuff? Find out with this look at the top, bottom, and median salaries for engineers working in various roles.

J.D. Power Names the Top 2024 Vehicles in Initial Quality

Design News - Fri, 2024-06-28 12:52
The Empire Strikes Back: GM Leads 2024 JD Power Initial Quality Scores

Manufacturers Turn to AI to Transform Processes

Design News - Fri, 2024-06-28 08:20
Given challenges with standardization, workforce, and compliance, manufacturers turn to AI to streamline workflow, enhance collaboration, and drive efficiency.

Automation Enters All Areas of Agriculture

Design News - Thu, 2024-06-27 17:55
Here are eight examples of farm automation, from planting and irrigation to harvesting and farm management.

LaserWeeders Killed Billions of Weeds in the Last Two Years

Design News - Thu, 2024-06-27 14:42
The AI-powered laser tool from Carbon Robotics is helping farmers to eliminate weeds without chemical herbicides or soil disruption.