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The Design of This Hanging Light Socket Makes it Easy to Position Anywhere

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

This Funambulb light fixture, by Swiss design brand Superlife, has a ring attached to the socket and a 7-meter (23-foot) cord.

The idea is that you can drape, clip or tie the cord around nearby objects or fixtures, and use the length of the cord through the ring, to position the light wherever you'd like it.

By using it in this manner you could also hang it overhead, in situations where drilling into the walls is okay but drilling into the ceiling isn't (i.e. renters).

The long cord is textile-wrapped, and "knotting is encouraged," the company writes.

The fixture is made from powder-coated steel (necessary?) and comes in several colors.

Superlife doesn't say where the Funambulb is manufactured, but judging by the cost, I'm guessing Switzerland. Each unit runs 160 Swiss Francs (USD $173).

Good Product Design Student Work: This Handsome Delivery E-Bike

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

Done while studying Product Design at Art Center in Pasadena, Drake Dong created this Atlas concept as a delivery e-bike.

Dong envisions Atlas as a grocery delivery vehicle that contains 12 refrigerated compartments. Meant to operate within urban environments, a fleet of these would deploy from a centralized warehouse.

I think the form is freaking gorgeous, and I'm almost irritated that Dong doesn't have an online portfolio I can browse; I'd like to see how he wields his sense of form across a diversity of product categories. The only reason I didn't brand the post "great" or "fantastic" is because I'd like to see a little more research on the practicalities of the delivery system.

Now graduated, Drake is based in the L.A. area.

Emeco's Gorgeous Aluminum Za Stools, Designed by Naoto Fukasawa

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

Furniture that will last for generations: These handsome Za stools, designed by Naoto Fukasawa for Emeco, are handmade in the U.S.

Made from recycled aluminum (which can of course be recycled itself), the stools come in three heights.

Finishes include hand-brushed and clear anodized, powder-coated in a choice of six colors, and a stunning (and stunningly expensive) hand-polished version that is also clear-anodized.

Aside from finishes, you can opt to add seat pads made from Merino wool felt ($130) or vegetable-tanned leather ($235).

The seats for all three sizes have the same 17.875" (45cm) diameter. The short stool provides a seating height of 18.75" (48cm), while the counter-height stool is 25" (64cm) and the bar height is 30" (76cm).

Whether hand-brushed or powder-coated with a color, the prices are the same: $590 for the short stool, while the counter- and bar-height models aren't much more at $640. However, the hand-polished models—the company says the process is done three times and takes eight hours—nearly doubles the price regardless of model. American labor ain't cheap!

Speaking of American labor, here's a look at the stool's manufacturing process at Emeco's facility in Hanover, Pennsylvania:

Hermès-Backed Manufacto Program Teaches Schoolkids to Make Things Themselves

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

Incredibly, "the average Gen Z shopper makes their first luxury purchase when they are 15," reports The Economist, citing a McKinsey study. The age of Instagram and TikTok has apparently convinced ever-younger buyers to spend what little money they have on posh items.

French luxury design house Hermès is also introducing youngsters to consumer goods—but in a more positive way than advertising and selling them. The Hermès Corporate Foundation, which aims to do social good, runs a program called Manufacto that they describe as "a unique system to raise awareness of manual trades in schools." The idea is to teach kids that handbags, furniture, lighting, etc. aren't just things people buy; they're things people make. And the best way to reinforce that is to show the kids that they can make them, too.

Image: Benoît Teillet / Hermès Corporate Foundation

Image: Benoît Teillet / Hermès Corporate Foundation

This is no mere 30-minute show-and-tell; the Manufacto program has kids spend a full 24 hours (not sequentially) creating something with their hands, under professional guidance.

Image: Benoît Teillet / Hermès Corporate Foundation

Image: Benoît Teillet / Hermès Corporate Foundation

Image: madd bordeaux

Image: madd bordeaux

Image: Benoît Teillet / Hermès Corporate Foundation

"Manufacto is deployed at the rate of twelve two-hour sessions per class, during class hours, within the voluntary school establishment. The project is fully integrated into the curriculum, from primary to high school. Supervised by a trio of professionals – a craftsman, an assistant and a teacher – the students discover the creative gestures of leather goods, carpentry and saddlery-upholstery. Each level corresponds to a specific object, specially imagined by a duo of designers according to demanding specifications."

Image: madd bordeaux

Image: Benoît Teillet / Hermès Corporate Foundation

Image: Benoît Teillet / Hermès Corporate Foundation

Image: madd bordeaux

Image: madd bordeaux

Image: madd bordeaux

"A lamp, a stool, a purse... between raising awareness of the world of shapes and role-playing, combining technical practice and the pleasure of doing things, the students create beautifully crafted objects, of which they are proud. All these sessions call upon the values ??of craftsmanship – high standards, quality, teamwork – and reinforce self-confidence. As this apprenticeship progresses, Manufacto intends to change the outlook on the artisanal sector, and even open up prospects in terms of orientation."

Image: Benoît Teillet / Hermès Corporate Foundation

Image: Benoît Teillet / Hermès Corporate Foundation

Image: Benoît Teillet / Hermès Corporate Foundation

Here's an English-language brief on the program, conducted at a trial in a London school:

Design Speculations, January 2023: AI's Collective Mindset Takeover and The Great Layoff Wave

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

Design Speculations is a monthly feature that rounds up the latest news and postulates on what it implies for the future of design.


We may just be scratching the surface of 2023 as January wraps, but the world has wasted no time in showering us with a flood of news with seemingly huge implications for our near future.

The AI revolution is at your doorstep

It's difficult to write about the news in January without diving headfirst into the topic of artificial intelligence and how it is infiltrating our lives and workplaces. The second half of 2022 saw the soft launch of Midjourney and DALL-E to the public, and the AI writing phenomenon ChatGPT reached over 1 million users by December 2022 (causing the site to shut down seemingly indefinitely). The surge of interest in this technology even led to Microsoft's quick acquisition of it, as the company announced at Davos on January 17 that OpenAI would be integrated into Microsoft Azure "soon." Google CEO Sundar Pichai has declared a "code red" at HQ to mitigate the imminent risk of their search engine's irrelevance without integration of comparable AI.

It's too soon to tell what this rapid evolution will mean for designers—at this point, the greatest threat appears to be to assistants and writers (gulp). However, if the last six months to a year are any indication, the idea that artificial intelligence will reorganize logistical areas of industry while leaving knowledge workers completely unscathed is up for debate.

Google search: our robot overlords

There are, conversely, many positive ways to look at this revolution. You don't have to look far to find news highlighting AI's potential for co-collaboration and increased efficiency for anyone using it. Healthcare experts are estimating ChatGPT could be instrumental in making healthcare more accessible. A study between Microsoft and PwC concluded with a prediction that responsible use of AI could drop greenhouse gases by 4% before 2030. At the very least, it's likely to help the process of cleaning out your email inbox easier!

But all the speculation also suggests if you'd like to remain relevant and employable, you'll need to keep up with the times. "Most of the US economy is knowledge and information work, and that's who's going to be most squarely affected by this," Director of Stanford's Digital Economy Lab Erik Brynjolfsson recently told CBS Sunday Morning. "I would put people like lawyers right at the top of the list, obviously a lot of copywriters, screenwriters. But I like to use the word affected, not replaced because I think if done right, it's not going to be AI replacing lawyers; it's going to be lawyers working with AI replacing lawyers who don't work with AI."

As natural advocates for change, designers are well-positioned to take advantage of AI as a partner in their work to advance the field. The question remains: in the future, what will the job of designer entail, and what labor will we hand off to our artificial intelligent companions?

Whatever's in store for our future, it's still important to continually interrogate ethics and objectives in the midst of developing these softwares. News of workers in Kenya performing the "mentally scarring" work of flagging harmful content on the Internet to make OpenAI less biased and racist demonstrates the simultaneously crucial and potentially exploitative nature of creating unprejudiced AI. There are also legal repercussions to consider if checks and balances aren't embedded within the product development process. Plenty of lawsuits have already emerged in the AI space, such as the recent case of Getty Images suing Stable Diffusion for copyright infringement.

AI first and foremost ought to be regarded as a tool for humans to create better work rather than an outright replacement of human labor—and should without question be designed by an extremely diverse committee of practitioners. Because what ultimately shapes the future of this technology is how we, as humans, choose to nurture its growth and advancement.

Some interesting AI stories from January 2023:

ChatGPT: Grading artificial intelligence's writing" on CBS Sunday Morning

A helpful overview of ChatGPT and the many angles to consider when it comes to its potential effects on society.

How Generative AI Will Supercharge Productivity

James Currier makes a case for the power of generative tech, arguing, "we will finally have tools that will take us from zero to one, making creation easier than ever…The unique eye of the artist will still be valuable. Writers can still edit and refine the AI's draft copy into their individual voice. They'll just be better, faster, and more efficient at their jobs, leaving more room for curation."

This 22-year-old is trying to save us from ChatGPT before it changes writing forever

"'I think we're absolutely at an inflection point,' Tian says. 'This technology is incredible. I do believe it's the future. But, at the same time, it's like we're opening Pandora's Box. And we need safeguards to adopt it responsibly.'"

Don't Ban ChatGPT in Schools. Teach With It. 

In this article for The New York Times, Kevin Roose argues that banning technologies like ChatGPT in schools will not only be extremely difficult, but could be detrimental to students, teachers and the evolution of education.

The Lack of Women Data Scientists Hurts Artificial Intelligence

Despite the existence of pipeline programs aiming to diversify the field, only 17% of people enrolled in computer and information sciences Ph.D. programs identify as women—what can be done to address this gender gap?

Job stability for many in January felt murky at best

It's a somewhat strange coincidence this AI revolution coincides with a continuing wave of massive layoffs in tech, adding uncertainty to previously solid roles in the overall work landscape. Reuters reports the job market is still tight and unemployment is low, suggesting layoffs are a "return to normal" after the employment surge in 2021 and 2022. Some companies seem to outright fear an upcoming recession. Stanford Business Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer even hinted layoffs are an example of "social contagion," and companies are making decisions out of worry that they misalign with general industry trends. All things considered, there's already been a surreal up is down feeling to the news about work and commerce in 2023.

Some of the most secure jobs in recent years have been at large, in-house companies, but the recent layoffs at Slack/Salesforce and now over 12,000 job cuts at Google, all of which include layoffs of designers, give shape to what can be expected in the next year.

Will 2023 see startups, small studios, and freelancers picking up on the slack of a reduced in-house workforce? Layoffs hint at this possibility. This news also makes clear there are going to be (and already are) a lot of highly skilled designers, directors, etc. looking for work in the coming months.

This is all perhaps good news for the "small fry" agencies, studios and consultancies looking for work in 2023, but an extra hill for talented people to climb in an already shaky job market.

I've seen other interesting hints of what's possibly to come as a result of these company actions via LinkedIn. Some of those laid off are trying to capture the collective energy of tens of thousands of frustrated, talented individuals by suggesting ex-Googlers, Spotifiers, Meta-ers(?) ought to start their own thing. Identity crises are abound.

There's also growing discourse about the idea of fighting for unions in the tech space thanks to the cavalier manner in which layoffs took place. Unions are gaining more universal approval within the general population of America as reported by Gallup, up to 71% as of August 2022 compared to 64% prior to the pandemic.

All in all, I think it's safe to say: watch this space.

Articles worth reading:

Tech Layoffs Shock Young Workers. The Older People? Not So Much.

"'It seemed like tech companies had so much opportunity,' said Ms. Chang, 26. 'If you got a job, you made it. It was a sustainable path.' Brian Pulliam, on the other hand, brushed off the news that the crypto exchange Coinbase was eliminating his job. Ever since the 48-year-old engineer was laid off from his first job at the video game company Atari in 2003, he said, he has asked himself once a year: 'If I were laid off, what would I do?'"

Why are there so many tech layoffs, and why should we be worried? Stanford scholar explains

In a larger context, why should we care about layoffs? Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer, who studies how the workplace affects human health, lays it out simply: "Layoffs kill people, literally."

Would it really be so bad if AI took our jobs?

A rumination on the future of jobs, and the true value of work we sometimes lose sight of.

Other interesting links this month:

Image source: Jonathan Chng via Unsplash

Recycled Polyester Doesn't Fix Fast Fashion's Over-Production Problems

Will 2023 be the year we start to question our current sustainability models in production? Still in the thick of greenwashing, more information is beginning to hit the mainstream that sheds the truth of sustainability practices like the use of recycled polyester—for one, that it's typically only recyclable once in the case of turning plastic bottles into items like activewear, and two, it's a source of microplastic shedding into our waterways.

What Gen Z Thinks About Work, College, and the Internet

I've just recently discovered Rex Woodbury's "Digital Native" Substack and this latest send is a fascinating survey of Gen Zers—not to mention it has some pretty mind-boggling factoids sprinkled in there (like the fact that 85% of college students today in 11 years will have jobs that not yet exist).

frog Trends 2023: Collide, Connect, Care

frog's annual trend report remains an interesting barometer for what to expect in the coming year of design. Highlights in the 2023 report include more on creative AI, the mainstreaming of 3D printing, a technological boom within the healthcare industry, "anti-bland UI" and more.

Konstantin Grcic's Locker Box and Drop Box for Vitra

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

At first glance these Locker Boxes could be mistaken for steel toolboxes. In fact the design, done by Konstantin Grcic for Vitra, consists of recycled/recyclable polypropylene sides, aluminum tubes providing the lengthwise structure and polyester textile panels with welded seams slung between the tubes serving as the walls.

And while these are meant for carrying tools, they are the tools wielded by knowledge workers:

"Flexible work methods have been transforming our offices for several years now. Work is no longer confined to an assigned desk, but occurs in changing locations – according to whether the task requires productive exchanges with colleagues or quiet concentration. It is therefore practical for employees to always have their personal utensils with them.

"Konstantin Grcic teamed up with Vitra to develop the Locker Box and Locker Box small: two compact, portable caddies of different size that can hold work tools, such as a laptop, keyboard, papers, pens, cables, hard drives, headphones etc. and be easily stored away at the end of the day."

They come with nametags so you can keep track of yours.

I really like the aesthetic, and the construction is clever. It appears that there are three aluminum tubes with circular cross-sections, fastened at the topmost point and the bottom two corners of each side. It then appears that the unseen tubes that the fabric panels are slung between are racetrack-shaped in section, and require no fasteners but are captured by bosses on the inside of the side panels. (At least that's what I'm guessing based on this photo below.)

Rounding out the pair are a larger, double-decker Drop Box:

The price points mean it would be better if your employer, and not you, ponied up for these: The Locker Box small, Locker Box and Drop Box run $310, $325 and $565, respectively.

Great Industrial Design Student Work: A Monomaterial Compliant-Mechanism Scale

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

While studying Industrial Design at ECAL, Theodore Simon produced this Lari scale as his diploma project. While scales typically contain several different materials and parts, from the weighing surface to the spring to the dial and the indicator, Simon devised a way to make his monomaterial, and made from just two parts.

"During my previous studies in micro-engineering, my curiosity for the technical nature of production was sharpened, particularly towards the elasticity of different materials. Lari stems from research on compliant mechanisms which make use of that elasticity to provide motion, thus reducing the number of parts, simplifying production and facilitating recycling."

"This kitchen scale, entirely made of plastic, consists of two parts. The item to be weighed is disposed on the tray which is linked to the base by two flexible parallel beams. This allows the tray to remain level. The other part is a flexible indicator actuated by the movement of the tray which allows calibration to zero by sliding in the base."

Now graduated, Simon's got his ID Bachelor's, but it looks like no one's snapped him up at press time. If you're hiring, he's based in Geneva.

Creative Use of a Lasercutter: Designing Better Toy Car Storage

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

Today's installment of Creative Ways to Make Money with a Lasercutter: Etsy shop Artifact Design NC has used theirs to design wall-hung garages for 1:64-scale (i.e. Matchbox-sized) toy car enthusiasts.

It's certainly a better way to display the cars than the old-school Matchbox rack, which only shows them in profile.

"Rack will hold 66 1:64 die-cast cars. Slots are slightly oversized at 3.5"x1.5" to hold the longer and taller cars. Wheel stops are cut in the shelf to prevent rolling. Shelf shows off more of your collectible car by allowing 3 sides to be seen."

Made of 3/16" plywood, the racks arrive flatpacked and are slotted together by the user. While they will hold on their own, Artifact recommends reinforcing them with wood glue.

They also make this 40-car rotary display version:

The wall-mounted unit runs $85, and the rotary version is $40:

A Ring Form Factor for a Boxcutter, and Other Wonderful Shapes for Cutting Tools

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

We've seen dozens of box cutters, but never a form factor like this:

That's cutting tools manufacturer Slice's silicone Safety Cutter Ring, an $8 gizmo that basically gives you a reimagined fingernail.

It was designed by industrial design consultancy Herbst Produkt (U.S.-based, despite the spelling), who have also filled out the rest of Slice's offerings with an incredible array of fresh forms: Box cutters, scalpels, utility knives, scrapers, scissors. Each tool is beautiful in its own right:

"With a distinct point-of-view the SLICE brand has a confidence that is unmatched," writes the design firm. "Herbst has driven a disciplined approach and built a visual design language with a signature DNA that reinforces the SLICE brand attributes and exudes the confidence and boldness that their tools provide."

You can browse Slice's offerings here.

A Design Mystery: Why Does the Classic French Workwear Jacket Have No Right Breast Pocket?

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

Designers should be able to look at existing objects and reverse-engineer why they were designed that way. So let's do an exercise, and try to figure out why the classic French workwear shirt/jacket, the bleu de travail that has now become a knocked-off streetwear staple, has no right outside breast pocket. I believe I've worked it out, but I want to see what you deduce.

First we'll need some background info.

The bleu de travail (work blues) first appeared in the late 1800s, as industrialization spread across France. Factory workers were needed, laborers were needed to build infrastructure and farms still needed to be tended. The garment was a response to what all of these manual workers needed: A sturdy, utilitarian, long-lasting, weather-resistant garment that could be cheaply mass-produced and thus affordable for the working class.

Design: Materials

Cotton drill

For durability, the bleu de travail was typically made from one of two cotton fabrics. The first was drill, also called twill, a stout material with a strongly visible diagonal bias in the weave. (If you've ever seen a pair of Dickies work pants, you know what I mean, although they use a cotton/poly blend). The other was moleskin, a heavy cotton fabric that is shorn on one side to produce a soft, felt-like finish that is comfortable and reduces chafing. (Interestingly, though the word "denim" derives from the name of the French town where it originated, that material was not used; in the late 1800s it remained the province of the Americans.)


Both drill and moleskin have dense weaves that are water- and wind-resistant, making them suitable for outdoor labor, while they're also tough enough for factory work. But unlike something heavier like leather, they're not so thick that you can't get a regular sewing needle through them, to repair any wear. If you encounter a vintage bleu de travail in a European thrift shop, you'll often find them repaired with patches.

Design: Cost

As with blue jeans, the garment was dyed blue, to better hide dirt. Indigo dye, once the province of the rich, had been synthesized in Europe in the late 1800s and was both readily available and affordable.

The construction of the garment is unfussy, keeping manufacturing costs down. There are no pleats nor lapels, both of which would add labor cost. The pockets are simply unlined patches topstitched to the garment.

Design: Function

The simple, boxy construction of the bleu allows for the freedom of movement manual workers need, and also allows it to be worn as a jacket when the weather demands layering.

The simple, bucket-like pockets are meant to hold tools, instruments or small parts. There are two at the waist and just one at the left breast. Because I've never seen one of these shirts up close, it has always puzzled me why there aren't two breast pockets; I have a shop jacket that does and find all four pockets indispensable.

My puzzlement ended yesterday, when my wife messaged me from a thrift store. This particular store had a number of vintage bleu de travails, and she asked if I wanted one. I asked her if she knew why that style of shirt lacks a right breast pocket.

"There's an inside pocket on the right side," she wrote. "I'd guess with such thick/rigid fabric, a pocket both inside and outside in the same place would get unwieldy." Aha, so that explains it.

The next thing I wondered is why was the interior pocket was on the right side, when most people are right-handed; presumably something important would go in the inside pocket, and wouldn't it be easier to reach right-handed if the pocket was on the left?

I thought about this for a bit, and realized it's my own modern-day bias that's leading me astray. Probably the most important thing I'd put in a jacket's inside pocket is my phone, for safety's sake. Workers in 19th-century France probably had little need to carry anything except the tools and utensils they worked with, which would of course be easier to access on the outside, and an outside breast pocket on the left might be accessed constantly.

Also, manual laborers likely weren't carrying much of value, perhaps not even money; it's not like there was an Au Bon Pain on every corner where they'd buy lunch. Having that inside pocket for safekeeping held, I imagine, maybe one of two things: A worker ID card, if the factory required it, or the week's pay when it was doled out by the paymaster. Access to it would be rare enough that the location is justified.

Unusual Concept by Audi: A Luxury Sports Car with a Hidden Pickup Truck Bed

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

The Audi Design Studio in Malibu, California designed this gorgeous Activesphere concept. I absolutely love the form, it is so clean while still managing to express elegance and personality without resorting to slashwork. The design team has a fantastic grasp of surface-based, not crease-based, gesture.

The claimed underpinnings are about what you'd expect from a concept car from a luxury automaker these days: A fast-charging EV with sick range (372 miles) that's autonomous, but still gives you the option to drive it.

The Activesphere is meant to be off-road capable—remember that Virgil-Abloh-designed Maybach concept?—and has an unexpected feature: A hideaway pickup bed, for rich people with dirty hobbies. "The Sportback rear of the activesphere can turn into an open cargo bed ("active back") at the touch of a button – perfect for carrying recreational equipment such as e-bikes or water and winter sports gear."

"The Audi activesphere concept is a crosser of boundaries, which means it is a master of metamorphosis. Its rear section in particular reflects the active lifestyle of its customers and makes it possible to transport even bulky sports gear – without sacrificing the elegance and sportiness of the Sportback silhouette."

"If required, the transparent rear window slides are almost flush with the roof of the Audi activesphere. At the same time, the lower, vertical segment of the rear folds horizontally – this opens up an ample cargo bed called the active back that features brackets for e-bikes, for example. The lateral surfaces of the rear, the C-pillars, remain in position to maintain the activesphere's dynamic silhouette, whilst a motorized bulkhead deploys from behind the rear seats in order to isolate the cabin from the elements."

Here's the promo vid. Check out what the rocker panels/body cladding do, around the 1:15 mark, when you activate the car's suspension-raising trick:

Sturdy, Retractable Tweezers that Can be Safely Stored in a Pocket

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

If you're doing splinter-prone work, a pointy pair of tweezers is handy to have, but not the kind of thing you can carry in a pocket without eventually goring yourself. Veteran knife designer Bob Terzuola thus designed this Tac-N-Tweeze, a stainless steel pair of tweezers that smartly retracts into a sturdy brass handle. A knurled wheel attached to a sliding screw locks it into any position you'd like along the slot.

These are manufactured by knifemaker Civivi and run $31.20.

Steelcase Re-Releases Frank Lloyd Wright Office Furniture, with Modern Adjustments

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

Steelcase, in partnership with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, has re-released a line of office furniture designed by Wright in 1939. The Racine Collection "reintroduces, reinterprets and reimagines the classic furniture designs of Wright, originally produced by Steelcase for the SC Johnson Administration building in Racine, Wisconsin in 1939."

What's interesting is that the pieces have been slightly modified for the 2020s. "Select Signature pieces will faithfully match the style and finishes of the original furniture, with subtle adjustments to the collection's proportions and scale to support modern living," Steelcase writes.

I figured maybe they meant cable management, but at least one of the changes has to do with how big Americans and our worksurfaces have become in 2023 versus 1939. The changes include "new desk and guest chair sizes that feature broader dimensions and proportions; an expanded material palette to provide more design choice; and the first-ever public introduction of a lounge chair that Wright designed for the SC Johnson building in 1939."

I'm not crazy about the chairs, but the desks look fantastic. They also look pretty sweet when paired with a modern-day chair:

You can browse the new collection here.

Spend Some Time On Your Core77 Awards Entry This Weekend! Early Bird Deadline is Soon

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11
Early Bird catches the worm (the worm = big savings)! View the full content here

Core77 Weekly Roundup (1/23/23 - 1/27/23)

Core 77 - Wed, 2023-02-01 14:11

Here's everything we covered this week:

The NapEazy is a strange telescoping pillow, designed for napping in unusual positions while on-the-go.

The Heatty is a marble space heater by Claudio Larcher, professor and director of the Design Department at Milan's New Academy of Fine Arts.

Industrial Designer Christian Neumeier designed these unusual Bender wall hooks made of powder-coated steel.

Product designer Jordi Canudas devised a novel way to color the glass lampshades of his Dipping Lights.

To confer privacy in public, Cap_able, a clothing line by fashion designer and machine learning expert Rachele Didero, produces a line of knitwear that fools facial recognition software into thinking you're an animal.

We wondered what many industrial designers no doubt wonder: Do aftermarket products point to design failures?

The Swedhook is a portable, universal hook that will surely be co-opted by the EDC market.

The designers at tech accessories company Anker re-think the form factor of the incumbent wireless charging platform, creating a rather modernist cube.

Industrial Design students Lukas Bazle and Lukas Stotz reimagine the closet as a laundry drying rack, cutting out a step in the washing-to-wearing routine.

Architect Shinichiro Ogata's S[es] brand creates "daily life tools," striking new objects that look old, having been produced with traditional craft techniques.

The Twixit Seal & Pour solves a UX problem for foodstuffs that come in paper bags. It's a bag clip with a convenient pouring spout.

Studio Kaschkasch designed Rail, a modular table system that can be extended via a sliding trestle, rails in grooves and a cam lock.

Transportation designer Samir Sadikhov penned this aggressively-styled Tank, an off-road bulletproof vehicle produced by Rezvani Motors.

NVIDIA's new webcam filter can fake your eye contact, making video conferences and presentations seem more natural.

Industrial designers Bryce Gibson and Kurt MacLaurin invented the Mule, an all-terrain wagon that can be pulled by hand, towed by bike, or hauled in a vehicle's hitch mount.

Teenage Engineering's OP-Z Stable Diffusion Synthesizer, created by think tank/design studio Modem and creative agency Bureau Cool, creates an AI-powered visual experience that reflects the visual experience of synesthesia.

Industrial designer Myung-Nyun Kim designed this Amphi concept, a stovetop with a morphing heating element that can handle both regular flat-bottomed cookware and the domed shape of a wok.

Italian manufacturer Atim produces hardware that allows furniture to unfurl from cabinetry.

Digital fabrication firm Kkervvit uses a 5-axis CNC mill to produce these wooden eyewear frames for Enlite.

Another CNC-based fabricator, Karv Design, produces this amusing "Great Wave off Kanagawa" desk organizer.

Manufacturer Impact Racks now collects the no-longer-needed newspaper boxes they sold to companies decades ago, and rehabs them into upcycled storage units.

Keep Up with Shortened Timelines Through Collaboration

Design News - Wed, 2023-02-01 13:53
It’s important for engineers to leverage the expertise of their medical contract development and manufacturing organizations (CDMOs).

Skin-Like Haptic Device Provides True Touch Sensation for Metaverse

Design News - Wed, 2023-02-01 01:57
A wireless, battery-powered, and ultra-soft system can make virtual reality (VR) applications more user friendly.

Using the Metaverse to Better Society

Design News - Tue, 2023-01-31 17:30
IME West keynote speaker on a mission to improve human lives using the metaverse as a community.

Mercedes C 111 Was Futuristic Perfection

Design News - Tue, 2023-01-31 16:00
The enchanting prototype started off with rotary power and switched to diesel, breaking records with both engines.

Impact Racks: Repurposing Newspaper Boxes

Core 77 - Tue, 2023-01-31 12:42

A terrible business to have gotten into in the late '90s: Manufacturing newspaper boxes. But a great business to be in now, is collecting, refurbishing and repurposing them. Now that digital media is nearly finished eviscerating its dead-tree victims, the market is awash in newspaper boxes that no longer have a purpose.

Pennsylvania-based Impact Racks started out as the first kind of company, and has now transitioned into the second. "Every week, we drive hundreds and hundreds of miles to pick up retired racks," writes the company, which has been in business for 30 years. "Often these are racks we initially sold to the newspapers."

"We bring them back to our shop where we begin the upcycling process. After removing the head of the newspaper rack we sand down the entire box. Next we prime and coat them with fresh paint and decals."

Fans of branding will appreciate that Impact Racks still has all of the original stencils.

Buyers have repurposed the racks into record-playing stations, Little Free Libraries and donation boxes.

The racks run from $260 to $450, depending on options. And "each purchase," they write, "helps to keep around 85 lbs. of metal out of the landfill."