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Fabian Oefner's Next-Level Cutaway Sculptures

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago


Best known for his Disintegrating series—mesmerizing photographs of "exploded" classic cars—Swiss artist Fabian Oefner is exploring a new, but related project. His latest works involve slicing cameras into multiple sections to expose their inner workings. CutUp continues Oefner's interest in "destruction and reassembly," but this time in three dimensions.

To make the cutaways, Oefner first casts the entire object in resin. "The production process...is a mix of high-end and low-end technologies," he explains on his website. "It starts with a very sophisticated method, which involves vacuum and pressure chambers to cure the resin around the embedded object at a precise atmospheric pressure and temperature."Then, he slices the objects apart using "an old archaic band saw," polishes each section by hand, reassembles them, and casts the exploded form in resin to give the sculpture its final shape.

Take a closer look at the process here:

Fabian Oefner - CutUp from Fabian Oefner on Vimeo.

Oefner's completed six sculptures so far. He started the series with cameras—as a nod to his photographic work—but plans to continue with a variety of technical objects.


What is it Like to Design and Build Something for Burning Man?

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago


Designers Jesse Silver and Joerg Student met at IDEO roughly a decade ago, but the two have more common work experience than that: They are the cofounders of FoldHaus, an art collective that has designed and built several large-scale, LED-festooned kinetic sculptures for Burning Man.

BlumenLumen, 2014


ShrumenLumen, 2016

RadiaLumia, 2018

Student is now Executive Design Director at IDEO and Silver is now Vice President of Product at PAX Labs, but they maintain Foldhaus as a going concern, powered by a small army of volunteers. We spoke with Silver and Student about both of their careers, and also to get the skinny on what it's like to design and build something for Burning Man's famously dusty playa.

Listen to our interview with Jesse Silver and Joerg Student here.

The Weekly Design Roast, #13

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

"The design challenge was to remove everyone's privacy, confuse the user as to where the boundaries of their desk are, and create unusable triangles of desk space behind each person's monitor. The empty hexagon in the middle is our 'punishment space,' where the slowest worker is forced to stand, silently, on a slowly rotating turntable."

"When the client asked for seating and a worksurface that is impossible for the user to adjust, I said, I can do even better: I'll make it monolithic and difficult-to-move, and I'll coat the entire thing in easy-to-scuff white lacquer, even the part where your shoe soles go."

"I like to put a waterfall edge on surfaces that hold delicate objects, like votive candles and lamps. I also like secondary shelves to be at an angle. You can still place things on the second shelf, you just have to wedge them in there tightly from right-to-left. (Refer to the instruction manual.)"

"No it was NOT the final straw. She and I were having problems with our relationship even before I designed, built and began spending a lot of time in this."

"This coffee table says 'Don't bring your kids over to my house.'"

"The client asked me to maximize marble waste."

"I wanted to provide very sharp corners on all of the angles of approach. I've also fulfilled what most of my clients are looking for, which is a bed that wastes electricity."

"I designed this immersion-therapy bedroom for a client who suffers from domino-phobia."

"The brief was to design casual seating that taller people cannot use."

"It's a 'privacy phone booth' that must be mounted to the ceiling on a pulley. It's a little bit of a pain in the ass when someone bumps into it and it swings like a pendulum, but overall, users enjoy answering their phones and having to say 'Hang on a sec' while they grab the white orb and adjust it to the height of their head."

Currently Crowdfunding: A Screen Protector That Makes Your Tablet Feel Like Paper, a Washing Machine Alternative, and More

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

Brought to you by MAKO Design + Invent, North America's leading design firm for taking your product idea from a sketch on a napkin to store shelves. Download Mako's Invention Guide for free here.

Navigating the world of crowdfunding can be overwhelming, to put it lightly. Which projects are worth backing? Where's the filter to weed out the hundreds of useless smart devices? To make the process less frustrating, we scour the various online crowdfunding platforms to put together a weekly roundup of our favorite campaigns for your viewing (and spending!) pleasure. Go ahead, free your disposable income:

Two years after his first successful campaign, Jan Sapper is back with a new and improved version of Paperlike, an iPad screen protector that can be used with an Apple Pencil to make your device feel like paper. In response to user feedback, Sapper's latest version features a finetuned surface that is both less grainy—for enhanced resolution—yet rougher, for an even more tactile feel.

Easy Wash is a simple, hand washing and drying machine perfect for apartment dwellers. You'll have to put some effort in to spin the handle, but that looks like nothing compared to the pain of lugging your laundry to the nearest laundromat (which is never as close as you want it to be).

The Duotek reflective jacket is reversible: one side will keep you safe from the elements during the day, the other will make you highly visible at night.

The team behind GIR have one mission: simple, thoughtfully designed products that just "Get It Right." In response to backer requests, their current campaign offers some of the most humble kitchen essentials—peelers, mashers, basting brushes, nonstick tongs, and spaghetti spoons—nothing glamorous. "These are the products that backer after backer has requested—far more often than a fancy coffee grinder, or a unique tong mechanism," the campaign says.

In a similar vein, designer Calvin Branch has made a double-walled pour-over coffee system that claims to "keep your coffee at the perfect goldilocks temperature zone over 3x longer" than others.

Do you need help designing, developing, patenting, manufacturing, and/or selling YOUR product idea? MAKO Design + Invent is a one-stop-shop specifically for inventors / startups / small businesses. Click HERE for a free confidential product consultation.

Design Job: Join the team at Volvo Trucks North America as the Chief Designer, User Experience

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

The heavy truck industry has been gearing up to be innovators in new technologies, especially around user interaction and Volvo Trucks North America is excited to bring onboard talented individuals to provide a unique Volvo Trucks experience and continue our great reputation to be the #1 preferred brand.

See the full job details or check out all design jobs at Coroflot.

Vollebak's New Plant and Algae T-Shirt Can Decompose in Three Months

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

A typical cotton t-shirt will take about five months to decompose, but if you're looking for an even better alternative, experimental apparel start-up Vollebak has developed a new tee that claims to decompose and turn into "worm food" in just three months (h/t Fast Company).

"It's built from pulped eucalyptus and beech from sustainably managed forests and algae grown in bioreactors," per the Vollebak website. "You can think of algae as a space-age material that just happens to be 1.5 billion years old. Having already put man-made supermaterials like graphene and carbon fiber into clothing, we wanted to start the journey of getting algae into clothing too."

The t-shirt features a prominent green rectangle which was printed with ink drawn from algae. The team took algae water and passed it through a filter to create a paste which was then dried in the sun to create a fine powder. That powder was then mixed with a water-based binder to create the algae ink.

"Algae can't survive once it's removed from water, so the algae on the T-shirt is no longer alive," the designers explain. "Because it started life as a plant rather than a chemical dye, the natural pigment in algae is more sensitive and won't behave like color normally does on clothing. As soon as it comes into contact with air it starts to oxidize, which means the green will begin to change color and your t-shirt may look different from one week to the next as it fades."

Vollebak also recently released an iridescent ski and snowboard jacket, inspired by the adaptive camouflage of the squid. "We've replicated elements of this biological survival mechanism using lasers, resin and over 2 billion disruptively-structured microscopic glass spheres. The result is a mind-bending...jacket. While it looks like metal or oil in dull light conditions, when exposed to bright light it instantly reflects every color in the visible spectrum."

This Rendering Competition is a Great Way to Chill

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

Welcome to the third leg of the Core77 Design-Athlon, where designers flex and get respects. We've already seen some excellent Sketching and Prototyping go down so now turn our attention to the final skill in our series: Rendering.

Our first #c77rendering challenge is "Air Conditioner":

An apartment during hot summer months can be one of two things: sauna or salvation. The difference is air conditioning. This challenge is to consider the usability and aesthetics of Air Conditioning in an apartment environment, and then produce a kick-#!@ rendering of your design. Designers love constraints so *if you need or want them* here are some considerations you could address: ease of window installation by end users, seasonal use and removal for storage, and the bland, cheap, run-of-the-mill looks of a conventional AC. In the end though, this is a rendering skill challenge so presentation is paramount.

For this final leg of our competition we have industrial designer Scott Henderson to help us pick winners! Your Air Conditioner challenge is open for two weeks, so get to designing/rendering!

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How To Enter

1. Follow us on Instagram

2. Make a rendering of your Air Conditioner

3. Post your picture to Instagram, posting must tag us, @core77, and include the hashtags #c77rendering, #c77challenge

Good luck!

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Rules

• The contest ends Thursday, September 5th – 11:59PM – EDT . Winner and runner-ups will be announced within 30 days of close.

• Multiple entries are permitted but a participant can not have more than one winning entry per challenge.

• Winning entries will be selected by a panel of design professional(s) and Core77 staff based on skill, presentation and ideas.

• The contest is hosted by Core77 and there are no eligibility restrictions.

• This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

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To learn more about our entire Summer-long design skill series, check out our announcement of the Core77 Design-Athlon.

As an Undergrad, James Plimmer Designed an Easier-to-Use Inhaler

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

Using a preventative inhaler properly is key to improving the symptoms experienced by asthmatics, but few patients use inhalers correctly on a consistent basis. Existing inhalers require multiple steps for use, with recent research demonstrating that mistakes are made as much as 70-90 percent of the time. Proper inhaler use results in 40 percent of the drug reaching the lungs—but when it's done wrong it can result in as little as 7% of the medication being delivered. These numbers convinced James Plimmer that a better solution is desperately needed. While a BA Product Design student at Nottingham Trent University, he designed Flohaler as his final project.

Plimmer's design focuses on improving three key aspects that impact the efficiency of inhalers: posture, airflow, and coordination. Flohaler features an angled mouthpiece that naturally encourages users to lift their chin. "This results in the throat being straightened, reducing the deposition of the dose in the mouth and at the back of the throat," Plimmer explains. One chronic user error with typical inhalers is breathing in too quickly, so Plimmer designed the device to have a narrow opening. "A more restrictive opening around the canister ensures patients inhale at a much slower rate, further reducing drug deposition in the back of the throat."

Patients are supposed to breathe in gently before taking a dose, because moving air into the lungs allows for a "smoother flow of the medication." But getting this right can be tricky, as Plimmer notes. "The optimal window to activate the dose is typically quite small. By reducing airflow speed, we widen the opportunity to activate the dose, reducing the issue of coordination."

The design also has an easy-to-read counter that tracks how many doses are left and includes indications in braille on its case. "As a preventative inhaler, these are typically taken in the morning and at night, integrated into the patient's routine," Plimmer notes. "Additional factors in relation to inhalers or asthma such as stigmatization or inhaler size are less of a priority since the preventer is left in the house and not taken with them."

Flohaler targets patients who have the tendency to get complacent in their use habits, who may be inadvertently hurting their health in the process. Plimmer conducted user tests in which participants showed a marked improvement in technique, and as a consequence, received more efficient doses of their medication.

Plimmer says there are existing products that attempt to tackle the issues associated with preventative inhalers, but they do so in a way that increases their cost. By "approaching this through the use of form...rather than complex internal mechanisms," Flohaler remains a less expensive alternative that could have widespread commercial reach.

"In the future, development of a children's range specifically designed for smaller hands along with supplementary products such as spacers will enhance the inhalers functionality across a broader range of patients," Plimmer says. "Additional development into reducing the volume of material needed for the actuator could have further additional benefits, not only from an economic perspective but also an environmental one too."

Design Job: Find your way to a new job as an Industrial Designer at Garmin in Kansas City, MO

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

Garmin’s Consumer Industrial Design team continues to grow in Kansas City. We are looking for talented Industrial Designers to create amazing designs for cycling computers, outdoor handhelds, dash cams, marine radars, and much more. As well as a growing range of wearables for wellness, running, outdoor, golf, kids, and scuba ...

See the full job details or check out all design jobs at Coroflot.

Reader Submitted: CASE Command E6

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

The future of farming is changing, drones are roaming the skies and patrolling the ground studying crop yields and collecting data. At least, that's how I imagine the future of commercial farming. This project explores that future and the solutions that new tech can bring to the commercial industry.

Pre-VisualizationPhotoshop Composite explaining the idea through visual storytellingCommand E6Product Shot displaying rugged aesthetics and brief explanation of unit.Technologically AdvancedThe technology I have crammed into the Command E6 is not completely far fetched, many things are already use in today's world. Things like airless tires, LIDAR, and 100HP electric motors.Implement connectionMy vision is that future wheeled platforms will either be told, or already know what tool is needed to accomplish a specific task. Here, I've equipped the Command E6 with a front loading tool as a visual example to the possibility.Field DroneThe second part of this unit is the field drone that re-charges at the back of the Command E6, collecting data on crops when not connected.Drone VisualizationThis part of the unit is not entirely set in stone, as the options for drones could potentially vary depending on the farmers needs. But here I have sketched out one possibility to explain the uses of a drone with the Command E6. (sorry for the image de-saturation)Field WorkDisplaying the Command E6 out in the field in the morning doing work alongside the farmers really solidifies the concept. Maybe the Unit is still working from the previous day?CASE ConstructionAfter the reveal of the Tetra front loader concept, it got me thinking about the applications of the Command E6 for the construction industry? Here are a few visuals with a new color palette to show the flexibility of this unit.View the full project here

How the Customer Interview Illuminates Innovation

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

Often our most painful experiences lead to our best lessons. Here's a story of an awkward moment that inspired one of the most widely used practices in modern innovative thinking.

Steve Blank is the creator of the original Lean Startup methodology, a movement that started in the early 2000s and is now used by modern startups as well as established companies. At its core is the iterative development of products, where each iteration is highly informed by customer feedback. This iterative feedback is what Blank calls "Customer Development." Blank is famous in Silicon Valley, having been a serial entrepreneur beginning in the 1980s, and his ideas around understanding and speaking with customers have become a mantra for startups. But he originally got the idea from a tough and abusive boss.

In the late '80s, Blank was an experienced marketer within the computer science industry and he had recently joined Ardent, a supercomputer startup. One morning Ardent leadership met to discuss the specs for a new supercomputer design. They explored the necessary trade-offs between what would be feasible and what the customers (in this new market) might want. Engineers around the table dove into computing details like double-buffering, 24 vs 32-bits of color, etc. And Blank, as the marketer, chimed in with the customer point of view as he knew it, "I think our customers will want 24-bits of double-buffered graphics." At that moment silence filled the conference room. The Ardent CEO turned to him and asked, "What did you say?" Blank, feeling very proud of himself, repeated the statement and confidently went on to add all the reasons why customers wanted this feature. The 15 leaders around the table remained silent. CEO Alan H. Michaels, who had a long history of startup successes, responded quietly, "That's what I thought you said. I just wanted to make sure I heard it correctly."

And then everything changed for Blank. Michaels continued, but this time he screamed, "You don't know a damn thing about what these customers need! You've never talked to anyone in this market, you don't know who they are, you don't know what they need, and you have no right to speak in any of these planning meetings." Blank went white with shock and embarrassment. Michaels kept going, "We have a technical team assembled in this room that have been talking to these customers since before you were born, and they have a right to an opinion. You are a disgrace to the marketing profession." Blank felt about '6 inches tall' and then it got worse, "Get out of this conference room and out of my company, you're wasting our time!" With that, Blank shrunk even more and got up to leave, when Michaels then added, "I want you out of the building...talking to customers, find out who they are, how they work, and what we need to do to sell them lots of these new computers."

When Blank reflects on this moment he says that he did not appreciate the yelling, but adds, "...I've learned over time that the smarter the person you are dealing with and the larger the ego, sometimes the message has to be delivered with more than a memo. If it had been a memo I wouldn't have heard it." And with Michaels' direction, Blank went out of the building and spent time with customers, one-on-one. He met with the inventors of the IBM 360, he went to Brown University, Boeing, NASA, and spoke with potential supercomputer customers.

This experience became the basis for Customer Development and the Lean Startup. As Blank puts it: "No facts exist inside the building, only opinions."

This might seem obvious, but in my experience working within established companies, as well as startups, very few people commit the time and due diligence when connecting with their customers and end users. There are two challenges that continually get in the way:

1) The curse of knowledge, a psychological phenomenon where we forget what it was like to not know everything about our product, and this "curse" results in wrongly predicting what our users want, need or even understand.

2) Connecting with customers is not about yet another focus group or just sitting down with your product user and ask for their opinion. Rather, Customer Development is about conducting well curated one-on-one conversations.

Today, more than 20 years since Michaels schooled Blank on understanding customers, there is a new formal process to the one-on-one customer interview. Past methods are riddled with dangerous biases. You cannot simply ask people what they want because that rarely leads to an innovative solution. As Henry Ford is quoted saying, "If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said, a faster horse." And old-school focus groups are compromised due to compensation and 'group think'. Even during one-on-one conversations, if you frame questions a certain way, as in, "So do you like this chair?" you will almost always get a, "Yeah, sure." Even if they hate it.

People are also incompetent historians of their own behavior. They'll say they lead a healthy lifestyle, despite smoking on weekends and eating chocolate croissants every morning. People will say they'll pay for something but then at the moment of purchase everything changes. People will even be wrong about their problems, saying that finding a new solution is a top priority, when in fact they have a mile-long list of other urgencies ahead of it. So how do we receive accurate data in our discussions with customers?

There are many ways to write up the basic questions and much depends on the product, but the ever present rule is never mention your product. The customer interview is not about you or your product but rather about them, uncovering their needs and their unmet desires.

Here's a list of the standard rules for interviewing customers in the lean customer development model:

- No leading questions. Instead ask open-ended questions. e.g., Don't ask, "Are you a healthy eater?" Ask, "Tell me what you ate for dinner last week?"

- Focus on stories and experiences. e.g., "Tell me about your last trip."

- Focus on past behavior. e.g., Don't ask, "Will you do more of X in the coming month?" Ask, "How frequently did you do X last month?"

- Do not lead the interviewee. e.g., Don't ask, "Do you like this app?" Ask, "What do you think about this app?"

- Ask "Why?" or "Tell me more" often.

- Use silence. People will open up more when you remain silent.

- Pay attention to anything that surprised you, any contradictions, and any failure or success stories.

- Pay attention to emotions. When you see an emotional reaction, stop and ask a question about it.

Here is a standard set of questions that can work for most products and services.

Tell me about your recent experience with [insert specific task, procedure, product, experience].

Describe the best part.

Describe the worst part.

Tell me more about that.

What have you done to solve that problem?

How satisfied are you with that solution?

How important (urgent) is it for you to find a better solution? (Relative to other current priorities, ask them to rate importance on a scale from 1-5)

Why is that?

I heard you say x, y, z [summarize some key statements] -- is that accurate?

Is there anything else you would like to tell me about your [experience/process]?

Try these rules and questions with your next customer conversation, and if you haven't started scheduling regular calls with a sample set then I recommend booking a day to do it. I know the time and resources spent on having these conversations will pay off not only for your current products and their successful use, but with innovative sparks into the next decade.

Adidas' Director of Sustainability Alexis Olans Haass discusses materials, experiments and sustainability

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

This post is presented by the K-Show, the world's No.1 trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. Visionary developments and groundbreaking innovations will again lead the industry into new dimensions at K 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany.


Alexis Olans Haass
Director Sustainability adidas PURPOSE

Alexis heads adidas brand's sustainability program from global headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. Her responsibilities include directing adidas brand's sustainability strategy, developing new sustainable innovations and business models, and coordinating sustainable product creation across adidas' business units and global creation centers. Alexis' previous work revolved around sustainable product development and clean technology with companies such as IDEO, P&G, and Transfair USA. Alexis has an MBA in Marketing, and a MS in Sustainable Systems from the University of Michigan.


There is possibly no other product category that is more dynamic and experimental with materials than the sportswear industry, and in particular athletic footwear. Being part of the fashion industry, it is also an area that needs to be held environmentally accountable for the high turnaround and volume of products that it generates. As such, this interview with Alexis Haass, Director of Sustainability at Adidas, looks at the role of plastics from the perspective of sustainability and high-end design, materials and consumer expectations.

Chris Lefteri: Could you explain your role within Adidas?

Alexis Haass: I'm the director of sustainability in Adidas Purpose. I lead the team that focuses on sustainable product and how sustainability impacts our brand strategy. We work with teams across the company to determine which sustainable innovations we need, what new business models we should pursue, how we engage our consumer - anything that goes more towards the consumer side of things.

CL: Sustainability is a hugely complex process in terms of materials for products. How do you break that down into manageable chunks?

AH: So that's actually quite a challenge for us as a brand, not only on the products themselves but even just thinking on the strategy we wanted to pursue because the topic is so huge. We broke down our strategy into three areas – we call them three Loops. We're trying to make this transition from that linear economy that we all know - where we take something out of the ground, you make it into a product, and then it gets thrown away - and transition over to a natural circular economy. In order to do that, we've got three Loops that are all part of the solution.

The first one - The Recycled Loop - is where, instead of that straight line, you start to bend the line back. In the Recycled Loop, you're putting waste in at the front end instead of virgin material. Parley product and our recycled polyester Moonshot fit here, making sure that we can cut off the flow of virgin material and move only onto recycled materials. For our Moonshot, we are committed to using only recycled polyester in every product and in every application where a solution exists by 2024.

The next stage is the Circular Loop – not only using recycled materials, but also ensuring the product itself is circular. That it's made to be remade. Here it's not just design - you'll need new business models to ensure that products go round and round. The last Loop that we have is Bionic Loop, where we are trying to loop with nature. Products here, if not made with recycled plastic, will need to be made from nature, and – in case they ever escape the loop – should harmlessly return to nature.

This is a transition we are trying to go through as a product company and as a brand. We want to engage our consumers not only in the eco-innovation we're doing, but also how these topics could apply to their lives. That's why with Parley products we focused on not just making shoes out of ocean plastic, but also on engaging consumers to make a commitment to get rid of single use plastic in their lives. With the Futurecraft Loop shoe we're trying to spur on the conversation about the need to transition to a new circular economy.

The goal is to create an exciting vision that our consumers want to participate in with us. Where we can bring the power of a big brand to innovate in this space – be it in the materials, products, or even brand activation – to make inroads in this transition towards a circular economy where we loop with Nature.

CL: I'd like to probe a little bit more because there was an interview that I read where you talked about the difficulty of using lifecycle analysis tools. On that very narrow level of just looking at material and material choices, how do you balance and approach materials selection of one material being better than the other?

AH: We lean very heavily on lifecycle analysis in shaping our strategy. What we don't want to do is solve a small subset of the problem over here and then create another big problem with the replacement over there. We have in our team lifecycle analysts who actually help review those innovations and who give that full picture that guides both our strategy, our products and materials. There are times when something comes out as a bit of a wash about which innovation is a better way to go, and then we go for what illustrates the story of transition better. When it comes to something that is not communicated the right way and could be perceived as greenwashing, we need to take into account if it is really going to help our consumers. Is this going to get them excited? Or maybe help them relate to a problem that's otherwise pretty intangible? If that's the case, then we could prefer one over another.

CL: Yes, exactly. I gave a talk recently and I talked about this aspect of product and sustainability and there has to be that element of desire. It isn't just about feeling guilty, you want to be optimistic and you want enjoy the process of being more considerate. Which brings me to the next question, are there any instances where sustainability in terms of materials in your products has driven the aesthetic of the product?

AH: Actually both Futurecraft examples - the one we did for the Recycled Loop and the other for the Circular Loop – the sustainability of the material drove the original aesthetic. I'll talk about them one at a time.

Our first Parley shoe – the UN shoe – was Futurecraft. That shoe was an experiment - we had this problem of new material (gillnet pulled from the ocean and plastic bottles from the Maldives) that was not of the quality or calibre that we normally expected. We were trying to weave it into a product and find a way we could turn this threat into a thread, and so had to turn to a new technology we were trialling in the lab. When we wove in the gillnet with this new technology, it created a particular look where you see waves on the line of the shoe. The tech made somebody really be able to see and visualise that the net was a part of the shoe.

The same effect wound up happening with Circular Loop, and the Futurecraft Loop shoe. We wound up with very different aesthetics and looks because of making it from just one material. The material has a natural color and behaviour properties. We're already seeing - as we go through future generations of recycling those shoes in the lab - that the colour of the material changes over time… So recycling itself creates a desirable aesthetic that tells a generational story. Does that make sense?

CL: Yeah absolutely, very nice. I brought that up just to give a little context because I asked this question to Alistair Curtis of Logitech, when they used the speckled effect on their K780 keyboard. Although it wasn't a project focused on eco materials it was whether consumers would accept products that were less perfect and had a degree of variance on them. In the US it wouldn't work at all which is why I'm interested in the aesthetics of sustainability and why I asked that question.

AH: That's not what we've seen – I think we're still experimenting with what people would and wouldn't accept. Consumer's interest in these topics is driving excitement around some of these new aesthetics. Recycled used to be a dirty word - in fact anything that gave you a visualization of that felt sort of crunchy in a way that most mainstream consumers didn't want. Talking about ocean plastic, enabling people to visualize and understand the plastic problem, is starting to change the desirability of recycled products. If you get it right in positioning the topic in such a way that it can grab consumers, actually that preference around aesthetics will start to change. So, I don't think it's a permanent thing, I think it's more a question of how much resonance you've been able to create and how simple and clean of a story for consumers to touch them in the right way. Not preachy, but in a more exciting, innovative way that makes them desire that future coming; and then they're all on board.

CL: In terms of these new types of materials, which generally have higher costs or are hard to get hold of how do you scale up from new and innovative materials? How do you overcome that at Adidas?

AH: So, at Adidas we have this thing called Futurecraft. Essentially this is our way of opening up our doors and letting people see in when our innovation is pretty far along but not fully baked. That's what we did at the beginning with Parley - we opened it up and we launched initially with one concept shoe. We were trying to create the demand or the desire for recycling where it otherwise wouldn't be, where it made no cost sense for it to be, such as plastic from beaches or from small island communities. We've been able to drive huge scale by positioning the topic right – by sending the call out to the industry while also making it exciting for our consumers, there's more demand for that story.

But we need to make sure we're not only driving up the demand for ocean plastic, but for recycling overall. That's why we are also talking about our recycled polyester Moonshot, where we've committed to having 100% of our polyester, which is also the material that we use the most of, transition fully to recycled by 2024, in every product and on every application where a solution exists. When you couple those together - the very good story and visualisation at the top and then a big call and commitment with the Moonshot material behind it - you generate consumer demand and awareness with our supply base on the outside, as well as mobilise people on the inside. The pull effect moves quite quickly.

We've created a replicable model with Futurecraft in this space. With the UN Parley shoe, we have a track record - going from a concept shoe to producing 11 million pairs of shoes with Parley Ocean Plastic by the end of 2019. You can really build scale if you couple the inspiration at the top with a big Moonshot plan at the bottom.

CL: Have you had feedback from retailers such as Footlocker about the projects, any of them? In terms of the aesthetics?

AH: Oh gosh, yeah.

CL: Do you do that sort of testing before launching?

AH: Could you clarify which sort of testing you're talking about?

CL: Well let's say the Parley?

AH: What we've seen from our key accounts is that they all really want this story, and that actually it's more of a question of trying to keep up with the demand of landing that story in the right way and making sure it comes across. We don't want to just sell products with that story, it's also about activating awareness and education around the problem we're trying to solve. That's where Run for the Oceans, RFTO, comes in. RFTO is Adidas x Parley's global mobilization initiative to encourage runners around the world to engage with the problem / raise awareness of the plastic pollution threat to the world's oceans. 60,000 runners took part in 2017, almost a million last year and around 2.2 million people ran in 2019, raising $1.5 million, which we're investing in the education of future generations on the issue of marine plastic pollution.

So for us, it's more about making sure that the story lands holistically, not the lack of demand. In fact, it's more us running behind it trying to keep up. This is what happens with opening up early with Futurecraft – putting that call out engages our wholesalers like Dicks and Footlocker, as well as engaging our key suppliers. People start approaching you afterwards saying 'look, I see your commitment to it and we're ready to go to scale with you'. I think that's the power of putting something out before it's perfect or 100% there, to create the pull.

CL: In an article that I read the interview where you talked about Solar City being an inspiring example of sustainability from a particular angle. Do you have a case study outside of Adidas that is a product that you were inspired by? In terms of how they had dealt with sustainability?

AH: Wow, there are so many. This is just me personally talking, but several of the car company models are changing the desirability around electric mobility. Tesla was quite early in that race, but there are more now. The thing that I found exciting about this moment is there used to be a perfectly functional electric car before, but those cars didn't put desirability first and foremost, so many consumers were stuck feeling they had to make a sacrifice to stick to their values. The success of Tesla has been in pulling the transition to electric forward 10 - 20 years because they made that switch to prioritizing desirability, while providing availability. If we can be so lucky as to do the same for accelerating the transition to sustainable consumer goods, driving up demand for moving away from virgin plastics and towards looping with nature… I would consider that success.

This post is presented by the K-Show, the world's No.1 trade fair for the plastics and rubber industry. Visionary developments and groundbreaking innovations will again lead the industry into new dimensions at K 2019 in Düsseldorf, Germany.


Design Job: Get your bass in gear as an Industrial Designer for White River Marine Group in Springfield, MO

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

Seeking a highly creative, self-motivated individual that works well in a fast paced, collaborative environment. Must be able to work on multiple projects simultaneously and manage time effectively to meet project deadlines. You are passionate about the details and have a proven track record of creating products that are authentic to a brand, and connect emotionally with consumers.

See the full job details or check out all design jobs at Coroflot.

Dust London is Transforming Tea Waste Into Covetable Homewares

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

Roughly 160 million teabags—which often contain polypropylene to keep them intact—are thrown away in Britain every day as Brits around the country fuel up with their drink of choice. Designers Michael McManus and Matt Grant launched their homeware line, Dust London, in part to bring more awareness to the potential of recycling natural materials and their first collection features a range of home accessories made primarily out of tea waste.

The initial drive behind Dust London was "to step away from the computerized and the mechanistic," as the designers wrote to us in a recent email. After exploring various natural materials, they gravitated toward tea waste for its "range of natural pigments and subtle textures." They also thought it would be a good conversation starter to get people talking about the potentials of sustainable design. "As a nation of tea drinkers in Britain, we find that people can relate."

First, they collect used tea bags from local cafes and separate the loose-leaf remains into different types—their current collection uses a palette of chamomile, peppermint, rooibos, English breakfast, and black tea. "We thoroughly dry them out and blend them so that they are ready to mix with a non-toxic binder. After much experimentation, we settled on jesmonite as our binding material. A key part of ensuring the strength and surface finish of our pieces is balancing the ratios of tea waste to the binding material. Once we have achieved the desired consistency, the material is ready to pour."

A vase and coaster showing off different tones, all achieved with peppermint tea.

The designers use temporary molds inspired by origami techniques. "We begin with a sheet of paper; scoring, folding and pinching to create the desired form," they explained ."A key part of this technique is balancing the tension between the curved facets. We then reinforce the paper and work through a series of steps to create robust and seamless silicone molds."

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign at the end of last year, their focus now is on adapting the process to make permanent molds that will allow them to ramp up production and add more objects to their collection, which so far encompasses vases, coasters, and planters. The Tate Modern will start stocking the pieces in their homeware and furniture store later this year.


Reader Submitted: The Pacific all-day shoes using materials destined for landfill

Core 77 - 57 min 6 sec ago

Taking materials that would be otherwise destined for landfill, The Pacific is an eco-conscious footwear line made entirely from recycled materials including algae-based foam, chrome-free recycled leather trimmings and tree-based linings.

View the full project here

Explore the Evolution of the Office (and Possibilities for the Future) at A/D/O's Latest Exhibition

Core 77 - Thu, 2019-08-22 22:14

"If the office is no longer spatial, what has it become? Where work and life are conflated, what is the relationship between the office and identity?" These are some of the questions posed by Out of Office, an exhibition exploring the evolution of the office from 1950 to a speculative 2050. Taking place at A/D/O—a fitting venue to explore shifting paradigms of work—and co-curated by Andrea Hill of TORTUGA Living, Alex Gilbert, and Soft-Firm, the exhibition tracks "the feedback loop" between design, technology, and the office.

The show is comprised of four installations. First upon entering, the interactive Water Cooler Talk places the ubiquitous conversation starter next to a live feed from a Slack group to suggest how "the symbolic heart of the office" has shifted, while phrases like "Step away" and "Work smarter, not harder" remind us of the negative repercussions of our always-connected culture.

There's a sense of what we're losing in The Supply Closet as well, which showcases an array of office supplies, many of which are now nostalgia-inducing. "It's rare that we interface with anything other than a computer these days," the curators told us in a recent interview. "What would it take to reinvigorate our senses and make for more inspiring modes of communication and creation? Can something as simple as receiving a letter in the mail help diminish our digital fatigue? We believe that the manual tools of work can continue to spark productivity even as they become less directly tied to our output."

The meatiest component is the Evolution of the Desktop, a graphic timeline that tells "an associative story of how the office evolved alongside global events, cultural and political shifts, labor movements, and pop culture," through the lens of several narrative arcs: from job security to flexibility, hierarchy to horizontality, profit-driven to innovation-driven, control to autonomy, homogeneity to diversity. The cloud-like graphics (likely inspired by Charles Jencks's Evolutionary Tree diagram) express how "these values overlap and bleed into each other, setting the stage for inventions, emergent technologies, IPOs, and work movements," the curators say. "It isn't meant to be a definitive survey from 1920-2050...we intended to create an installation that offered a great deal of information about the evolving office in a single glance."

Beneath the graphic, a standing desk prototype designed by Robert Propst—the originator of the cubicle furniture system—for Herman Miller in 1963 and SO-IL's speculative furniture system designed for Knoll in 2014 bookend an array of workplace innovations, "from the curious to the canonical."

Tucked away in a separate room, the dimly lit space of Wellness 2050 offers a place to rest under the familiar glow of a projection, which shows a bucolic landscape—more or less a stand-in image for wherever a worker would prefer to be. Will conference rooms be transformed into wellness rooms? "With the increasing virtuality of work and nature, spaces for escaping and unplugging from our new reality may be the new normal."

Each distinct installation expands on the exhibition's underlying questions and teases out even more strands of thought to chew on—but don't go in expecting any answers. Ultimately the show hopes to "prompt designers to expand their role in the creation of new, humanistic formats for work."

What do the curators forecast for the future of office design? "Office design has become increasingly about wearables," they say. "Building technology will become smarter over time (like a device) and office technology will catch up to the algorithm."

Out of Office will be on view in the atrium at A/D/O through September 6, 2019.


The Weekly Design Roast, #12

Core 77 - Thu, 2019-08-22 22:14


"My research shows that people often misplace chairs. What could be more frustrating than getting back to your desk, only to discover you've lost the chair again? Well, with my design, that never happens!"

"I've joined the legion of clever designers who design a thing that doesn't work well, but is cool because it's made out of another thing."

"I designed this sofa for people who have friends who smell and/or have annoyingly loud voices."

"Here's a great application for generative design: Wine decanters that are impossible to clean with a bottle brush."


"I designed this chair so that I could read a book while my wife scans the lawn for intruders."

"It's true that pushing it shut and zipping it closed makes it very difficult to get in and out of, but it's worth it for those times when I want to undress in the middle of the living room when I'm having people over."

"I designed this so that I can walk and text in the rain. It doesn't leave my hands free to hold an umbrella, but what's more important, keeping myself dry or my phone dry?"

"I like my cylindrical tiny home, but sometimes when the neighborhood kids roll it down a hill, I do wish I had chosen a different shape."

"I wanted to combine the beauty of living in nature with the inconvenience of a three-story walk-up."

"I'll tell you when he goes to lunch, then all you'll have to do is sneak in and loosen two bolts. It'll look like an accident, and we'll split the insurance money fifty-fifty."


Reader Submitted: Metamorphose - portable stain remover

Core 77 - Thu, 2019-08-22 22:14

Many techniques and methods are used to remove clothes stains including scrubbing, dabbing and rinsing. It can quickly become an overwhelming task to do particularly for beginners. Metamorphose aims to provide a single but honest process of removing stains effectively, eliminating the unnecessary stress and embarrassment that comes along with one.

View the full project here

Design Job: Quench your thirst for a new job as a Product Developer at Takeya in Huntington Beach, CA

Core 77 - Wed, 2019-08-21 21:18

Takeya USA is seeking a detail-oriented and team-minded individual to become our Senior Product Developer & Technical Project Manager (SPD) to oversee all Takeya Product Development projects. Project management responsibilities include the coordination and execution of project tasks and completion of projects on time, within budget and within scope in

See the full job details or check out all design jobs at Coroflot.

A Hand-Operated Rolling Bridge Planned for London Redevelopment

Core 77 - Wed, 2019-08-21 21:18

As part of a masterplan reimagining Cody Dock in East London, architect Thomas Randall-Page was inspired to create a modern version of the retractable rolling bridges first invented during the Industrial Revolution. The small-scale pedestrian bridge will use a system of hand-operated mechanisms and counterweights to rotate a full 180 degrees, accommodating boats and barges that need to pass underneath it.

"Rolling parallel to the channel it crosses, this design owes much to its Victorian forbears. They knew that moving large heavy structures efficiently requires that they are a balanced system and my design works on this same principle," Randall-Page says. "Finished in painted steel the bridge design aims to be understated in its rest position but celebratory and playful in its movement creating a memorable event for spectators when operated."

Teeth alongside the railings enable the bridge to be moved in a steady gear-like motion, while counterweights built into the rounded square frame add further stability and prevent it from getting stuck in a particular position. A single cable will attach the structure to a crank handle, allowing just one person to invert the bridge. All in all, it'll be much easier to operate than other movable bridges.

Despite the nod to Victorian-era engineering, the project looks forward to the future of motion-based architecture, as Fast Company already noted, also citing the operable roof of New York City's Shed museum as a recent example of the latest trends in kinetic architecture and responsive urban design.

Randall-Page has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for construction which will be part of a larger masterplan for the area—a former industrial neighborhood that hopes to become a new hub for creatives—by PUP Architects. The bridge will connect walking and biking paths on either side of the canal, increasing connections between planned artist studios, exhibition spaces, and fabrication workshops along the banks of the Lea River.