Home | Feed aggregator | Categories | Industrial Design News

Industrial Design News

New Photo Book Documents 40 of the World's Most Spectacular Ceilings (Plus One That Couldn't Be Included)

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

What's the best-looking ceiling you've ever seen in the world? For my money it's the one in NYC's Grand Central Station--and yes, I've been to Rome.

UK-based Catherine McCormack would undoubtedly debate me and my provincial tastes. The art historian and curator, who also teaches at Sotheby's Institute of Art, has been working on a photo book documenting the world's 40 finest ceilings (Grand Central didn't make the cut).

McCormack's "The Art of Looking Up" divides the works into four categories: Religion, Culture, Power and Politics. Here are a few samples from the book:


Imam Mosque, Iran. Almost half a million colored ceramic tiles cover the Imam Mosque.

Debre Berhan Selassie Church, Ethiopia. The central image of the crucifixion, above which is an image of three bearded men symbolizing the Holy Trinity.

Sagrada Família, Spain. Light floods in through the stained glass windows to illuminate the Sagrada Família's intricate structure.


Palais Garnier, France. Marc Chagall's rich colors, made up of five symbolic "petals."

Dalí Theatre-Museum, Catalonia. The viewer is right at the heart of Dalí's Palace of the Wind ceiling, looking up at gigantic feet and into the opened vault in the center.


Royal Palace of Brussels, Belgium. Jan Fabre's Heaven of Delight, occupying the ceiling of La Salle des Glaces in the Royal Palace of Brussels, is made up of jeweled scarab beetles. The wing cases extend down from their entrapment on the ceiling to encrust a grand chandelier.


United Nations Office, Switzerland. The ceiling represents the geography of the Earth's nations in 35 tons of paint, comprising pigments gleaned from rocks from around the globe.

Sadly, one of the ceilings McCormack wanted to include, as it holds special significance, did not make it into the book "due to an issue with images," she writes. "This was especially sad for me as it was the only work in the book that had been potentially by female artist, so this [blog entry] is the ideal space for a preview. Even more so amid the current re-engagement with the art of Artemisia Gentileschi who potentially painted a large proportion of this ceiling for the Queen's House in Greenwich, which is now installed in Marlborough House, London."

Orazio and Artemisia ( ?) Gentileschi, Allegory of Peace, Marlborough House, London, UK

We suggest you read McCormack's description of the theory that Orazio Gentileschi's daughter Artemisia Gentileschi may have been behind a number of his paintings. "She is better known as the most famous rape victim of art history and proto-feminist artist in an overwhelmingly patriarchal system of art production that only allowed a woman to pick up the tools of her painterly trade because she grew up in a studio of artists with her father and brothers."

"The Art of Looking Up" will be released on October 29th.

Check Out This Demonstration of a Working "Invisibility Cloak"

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

I always think of America as having the right combination of paranoia and funding to ensure that we develop the most advanced military technology. But in this case, we've been trumped (pardon the phrase) by a Canadian company whose website looks like it was designed in the Netscape era.

Canada's HyperStealth Biotechnology Corp., which specializes in camouflage technology, has been working for years on an "invisibility cloak." Just this month, they finally rolled it out and patented it, and it's pretty darn impressive:

In the past we've seen inventions that appeared similar to this, and relied on cameras and projection. In contrast, Hyperstealth's "Quantum Stealth" technology uses no such trickery, according to the company:

There is no power source. It is paper-thin and inexpensive. It can hide a person, a vehicle, a ship, spacecraft and buildings. The patent discusses 13 versions of the material and the patent allows for many more configurations. One piece of Quantum Stealth can work in any environment, in any season at any time of the day or night, something no other camouflage is capable of.

So how does it work? Beats the heck out of us (and all of their competitors, apparently). But they've got over an hour of demonstration footage that you can check out here.

Los Angeles to Test "Plastic Asphalt" as Alternative Material for Pavement

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

Now that China has stopped accepting waste from California and lawmakers rejected a bill to phase out single-use plastic containers last September, the city is getting more creative with its recycling solutions. In partnership with Technisoil, the city will soon be testing a new paving material made largely out of recycled plastic. The first test site—at West First Street and North Grand Avenue, near the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Hall—will receive the treatment before the end of the year.

Image of the area near the forthcoming test site via Flickr Creative Commons

As The Architect's Newspaper first reported, Technisoil's "plastic asphalt" is made by converting shredded recycled plastic into an oil that replaces petroleum-based bitumen to become the binder "in an otherwise traditional method of street pavement." The city's Department of Street Services predicts the new material will reduce costs by 25 percent. In addition, Inhabitat reported that plastic roads may be more durable—up to seven times stronger than regular asphalt—and will require significantly less maintenance.

"This is an exciting technology and a sustainable technology," said Keith Mozee, assistant director at the Department of Street Services. "And it's something that we believe going forward could be game-changing if we deploy on a large scale."

In response to environmentalist concerns that the plastic will leach into waterways, the company says they've already performed tests that show it's a safe alternative. Further details about that and just how much recycled material will actually be used are expected after the test run at First and Grand is completed and proven viable.

UC San Diego installed the first road made from recycled plastics in the US last October.

Los Angeles is the first city to consider implementing this material on a wide scale, but the first application of a similar material was done at the University of California at San Diego campus last October. The university partnered with UK-based company MacRebur to test out their patented plastic road material, which has already been implemented in the U.K. and Australia.

"Creating alternative uses for recycled plastic will be a crucial challenge that we all must resolve and maintaining over four million miles of roads in the United States will be an ever-growing problem," said Gary Oshima, UC San Diego's construction commodity manager. "The recent moratorium on exporting recycled plastic to China has had a profound impact on the U.S. recycling industry and it has created an even greater need for viable alternative uses for our plastic waste."

Design Job: Brighten the World with Your Designs! Join Kuzco Lighting as a 3D Visualization Artist

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

For over 12 years, Kuzco Lighting has distinguished itself in the lighting industry with its bold designs in contemporary decorative fixtures. Kuzco has been recognized by the 2019 Growth 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing companies; we are a growing team based in Vancouver, BC and New York City. Kuzco

View the full design job here

All These Recyclables Have Nowhere To Go

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

Product designers in the US, Australia, Canada or Europe: be aware of Operation National Sword. For some time now, much of our recycled waste has been shipped out to China. All those bottles, boxes, phones, appliances, plastics, metals, papers, the unneeded or unwanted products, that had the capacity to be recycled have been sent across the sea, out of sight, for someone else to properly recycle through a system of production. That is until the arrival of Operation National Sword, which as of last year, declared that China would no longer be accepting, "foreign garbage". China has already stopped accepting most recycled material and by 2020, intends to "achieve zero imports of solid waste". Which means the already stunningly ineffectual recycling infrastructure in the US has essentially lost a foundational component for its ability to function at all.

caption: Laysan albatross chick rests upon discarded plastic material. (via NOAA)

Caption A truck shipping products to be recycled, Shanghai, China — Photo by Paul Louis

Among designers, the last decade has seen incredible demonstrations in material alternatives to fossil-fuel-based plastics. There is healthy debate among industry leaders about the ethics of using recycled material vs. new bioplastic material. The market for alternative materials is on the rise; a necessary response to climate change and the fact that soon all seafood will likely be peppered with bits of plastic. Yet, the success of these great recyclable and compostable materials is contingent on the fact that users have access to a system of recycling or composting. As it stands, most people can't, or don't know how to recycle. With the implementation of National Sword, even those organizations that we've tasked to take care of all our recycled material, don't really know how to recycle. For industrial designers, as ecologically well-intended as a product may be, the afterlife of that product remains largely uncertain. Fossil-fuel plastics must be replaced, but if bioplastic and recyclables don't end up in the right place, they may end up doing severe ecological damage for centuries to come (at least).

The easiest and least helpful response to this is to think that the problem is user-error. Which was precisely the strategy of Keep America Beautiful (don't believe the branding), a non-profit formed by Coca-cola, Anheuser-Busch, Philip Morris and other companies. With their "litterbug" rhetoric, and decades of dogged lobbying, the organization is in large part responsible for the gross lack of US legislation holding corporations responsible for the damage they've inflicted upon the environment. Their campaign has long ensured that scrutiny of environmental practices remains focused on the individual. Yet as any designer familiar with user-research will tell you, when "75% of American waste is recyclable, yet just 30% of it is actually recycled", it's not the users that are the problem, it is the system. Which is to say that designers, who are on the industry end of this equation, should be exploring ways in which we might reconsider the life-cycle of products, while advocating for stronger recycling infrastructure.

Keep America Beautiful dared to ask, why design better products, when we could have children clean up after us?

Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts picking up trash on Keep America Beautiful Day, in Salinas California, 1972 (via U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)

In his essay, "Design Away" scholar and designer, Cameron Tonkinwise writes, "Would not designers—as hunters, cullers, eradicators or, less violent, waste managers, cleaners, problem dissolvers—make an importantly 'productive' contribution to transitioning our societies to less stuffed futures?" Good design in this ecological crisis may actually mean the removal of design. Recognizing the irony of removing products by creating products, Tonkinwise makes the case that designing products that are able to remove the need for more products can help us focus on the 'reduce,' of the 'reduce, reuse, recycle' mantra. Additionally, creating products that are able to inspire a deeper personal connection (would you ever consider a laptop, or a water bottle, to be an heirloom?), not to mention developing designs that can be repaired and cared for over the course of several years or decades.

"It's really annoying when you're tooling along on the tractor and the front wheel falls off." - John Deere 3030 Diesel, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Dwight Sipler

Dero's FixIt bike repair station

Fairphone 3's modular design

In fact, the Right-To-Repair Movement, is one that is gaining more and more traction in recent years. The movement is strongly supported by farmers who have suffered from the repair monopoly that John Deere has designed into their tractors, and the movement also extend to those who just want to be able to repair their iPhone without having to go to an official apple technician (Apple is currently under investigation for their monopoly on repairs). Listening to movements like this can offer insight for designers, to create products that offer greater longevity. As a counterpoint to the designed obsolescence of smartphones from Apple, Google, Huawei, and Samsung, consider the Fairphone which goes out of its way to offer repair solutions and replacement components for its users.

Tea bowl, Korea, Joseon dynasty, 16th century AD, repaired with "Kintsugi" gold laquer - Ethnological Museum, Berlin

Dish repaired with Resin from Andy Xiaodong Ma's "Repairing Society" Master Thesis

At its best, product design creates for its users an object that need not be thrown away, or at least, not readily. With the arrival of National Sword, and mostly because of the decades of tenacious corporate lobbying, many of us find ourselves throwing products "away," in a manner that is destructive on a planetary level. Infrastructure in the US and abroad has to be reformed. Part of that is advocating for better systems design, and part of that is designing products which needn't rely so heavily on the fallibility of our current infrastructure. Products can be shared, repaired, and integrated into circular economy solutions (see UN Sustainable Development Goal #12). Yet, I realize that I may be preaching to the choir because what designer would ever really want their product to be thrown away?

Should Computers be Designed as Pieces of Furniture?

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

There's an episode of Friends where Joey meets a woman who says she doesn't own a TV. He looks baffled. "What's all your furniture pointed at?"

The days of us configuring our living spaces around a media-relaying object go back to the radio (or arguably the family piano, when that was a thing). The radio was a piece of furniture in its own right, and it dictated that seating be placed within earshot.

The television set was also furniture, with a more dictatorial reign: Seating had not only to be within earshot, but due to its visual nature, had to adhere to the Joey Tribbiani rule of interior design.

Nowadays the chief media dispenser for many is the smartphone, which isn't furniture at all. It's been reduced to a size that makes it convenient for us to bump into people on the sidewalk, block escalator egress and obstruct subway entrances whilst staring into.

But in the home, it's the computer that serves as our main media gateway. And computers live in, on or under desks. Computers aren't a piece of furniture like their predecessors, but standalone objects that are either over-engineered and -designed to the point of fetishism (see: Mac Pro, most gaming PCs) or hidden away (see: iMac, HP black boxes).

Should they be furniture? A subset of DIY'ers (and predominantly gamers, it seems) think so and have posted their custom creations online. And while the designs differ slightly, in general there seems to be consensus on several elements:

1. The computer's innards should be spread within a chunky horizontal surface that will double as the desk surface.

2. The guts of a computer, including the elaborate cooling systems, ought be celebrated and within full view behind transparent surfaces.

3. The same offset illumination used buy car-modders must be integrated.

The results look something like modern-day pinball machines, albeit in a perpendicular orientation and flat rather than angled:

It's more common that the opaque parts of these desks are done in black or silver, and less common that you see anything resembling wood. But there are a couple of outliers:

They've all got an aesthetic that says "DIY" more than "designed," but seeing that last one made me wonder: Would it be possible to do something cleaner-looking, along the lines of Braun's classic record players?

Braun SK4

Braun SK6

Braun SK55

Perhaps not; with the computer desks, it seems the whole point is to display and highlight the innards.

I did find one outlier within the computer-as-desk community, however. UK-based Matthew Perks, the fellow behind the DIY Perks YouTube channel, has built a large computer-desk with the de rigueur elaborate cooling system, but with a couple of departures from his peers. For one, all of the computer bits are contained within a vertical rather than horizontal mass. This enables the second departure: The desktop surface itself is a large, handsome piece of wood that can hinge downwards when not in use, providing a clean appearance.

In my own experience, I rarely transform furniture that is meant to be transformed, and it usually lives in just one of its positions. But I still find this design (aside from the exposed hinges) more appealing than the alternatives.

If you'd like to see the full build of Perks' desk, along with a step-by-step explanation, it's below. (You might wanna save it for after work; it clocks in around 30 minutes.)


Is Mars the Final Frontier for Design?

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

Despite the difficult journey and inhospitable conditions on Mars, humans remain intent on getting there. Ventures such as NASA and ESA's Orion project and SpaceX have heralded a new space age, just as we're celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. Getting there—and being able to stay—will require breakthroughs not only in science but also in design. Moving to Mars, a new exhibition opening today at London's Design Museum, explores how design will shape and define our journey to Mars.

The exhibition unfolds over five sections. First, 'Imagining Mars' looks at the many ways humanity has envisioned the Red Planet, from the earliest mentions in a cuneiform tablet to its representation in science fiction and popular culture today. The section includes a full-scale prototype of the European Space Agency's ExoMars rover and a multisensory installation that aims to give visitors a glimpse into Mars' hostile environment.

The next section is all about the voyage, including items such as NASA-designed food trays, Galina Balashova's designs for Russian space interiors from 1964 to 1980, Raymond Loewy's design work for space stations, and the NDX-1 spacesuit, designed specifically for the surface of Mars by the University of North Dakota and exhibited here for the first time. Konstantin Grcic was commissioned to create a spacecraft table inspired by the constraints of dining in zero gravity.

The next section is titled 'Survival' and includes one of the exhibition's main draws, a full-scale Mars habitat designed by London-based architecture firm Hassell as part of NASA's 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge. The habitat will highlight the resourcefulness required of life on Mars, featuring objects like clothing made out of solar blankets and parachutes. There will also be a deep-dive into farming on Mars, exploring hydroponic methods and Spirulina-growing systems.

The final sections are more speculative and ask, "Should we even go to Mars?" As part of that, Dr. Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg created a new installation that shows us what Mars would look like if we only colonized the planet with plant life, not humans.

Ultimately, chief curator Justin McGuirk emphasizes that the show doesn't support the idea of viewing Mars as a Plan B option. Instead, he hopes that exploring how we may be able to survive in the extreme conditions on Mars will inspire new solutions for sustainable design practices right here on Earth.

"Moving to Mars" will be on view at the Design Museum through February 23, 2020.

The Weekly Design Roast, #21

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

Why is this retail display designed to close? Are you supposed to shut it at night so the clothes can go to sleep?

"I illuminated the interior because it's important for me to see exactly which ice cube I want."

After "Silence of the Lambs" character Buffalo Bill was killed, this sommelier bought his house and renovated the basement.

This is actually a clever reminder from a bar that when you're there, you're just a middleman between beer and piss.

Assignment to the designer: "I know it's just a refrigerator, but add some visual cues to justify why we can mark this up by two or three grand"

"I want a chandelier that houseflies can get trapped inside of"

"Don't forget: Because of the way it's designed, the floor doesn't actually have any support. So when you open this thing to use it, do NOT step on the floor"

From the 12th hour of this 37-hour shoot: "Guys--are you going to be able to get the goddamn patterns to line up, or not? We can't keep repainting the wall white and waiting for it to dry"

"My design concept perfectly illustrates that I do not understand how heating elements or knives work"

"It's brilliant. Instead of being able to scan all of the books at once, sometimes you have to walk around to the sides!"

Seen and Unseen Art Gallery & Museum Storage Systems

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

I do miss the hangout culture of New York City in the '90s, when it was still populated by artists. You'd bounce around from one friend's apartment to another's, and sooner or later you'd wind up in the loft of some guy who smelled like clove cigarettes, looked like he made his own soap, and introduced himself with some flowery name that he'd obviously given to himself. He was a painter, and in the corner of the loft you'd see something like this:

While that solution worked fine for Damocles and his Avenue B loft, proper art galleries and museums need something more professional to store paintings in than a bunch of glued-and-screwed 1x2's. In fact there are entire companies dedicated to designing deep storage systems for art. Some examples:

UK-based Constructor Group produces these pull-out panels that ride in both tracks embedded in the floor and suspended from the ceilings:

If digging up the floor to install tracks isn't possible with your space, they also offer these wheeled variants:

Flat, sliding racks are the best way to store lots of gigantic paintings, as seen in this system by Montel:

Here's an offering from Rackline. As you can see, the use of wire mesh, which provides a measure of transparency useful for quick visual scanning, is the industry standard:

If one lacks the space to accommodate panels that pull out sideways for viewing, this alternative design offered by SpaceSaverInteriors features panels that move in the perpendicular axis:

In the past 10-15 years or so, the hipper museums have come to realize that visitors actually dig seeing these racks. Thus a handful of institutions make them available for public viewing. The Brooklyn Museum's Luce Visible Storage/Study Center, for instance, has them in full view.

Image credit: le Liz (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

The Museum of Wisconsin Art does the same:

Image credit: Cindy V. Vagabond

As does the Latvian National Museum of Art in Riga:

I think the visual effect of seeing the density of stored paintings, even if you cannot access them, is pretty cool. And I think it's way better than leaving them in the basement. These paintings below look like they're in fine art prison.

Sitting Well With Us: Final Week to See "Chairs" Exhibit at R & Company

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

Advisor-collector Raquel Cayre, curator of "Chairs Beyond Right & Wrong," is a small statured, young figure in a big, old old world of design. But the tunnels she's drilling through that big, old world are geysering with freshness, as she mixes and matches art with design, design with art and back again. And as she makes extremely public these crossovers and the new, egalitarian burrows she's created for them to be interacted with, she also revitalizes the fun-ness of design, skirting showroom settings for environments that offer broader value to broader audiences – both aspirational and buying.

Lucy Dodd, "Grandma Serpent," 2017. Pigmented cotton on metal chair frame, mirror.

(Left) Rogan Gregory, USA, "Hermaphroditee," 2019. Sitting environment in gypsum with upholstered cushion. (Right) Seth Price. "Chairs Beyond Right & Wrong," 2017. Baked enamel CNC-routed aluminum; this work is the exhibition's namesake.

Tribeca-based design gallery R & Company fits right in with this ethos. In fact, it was doing it first, and was the original tapper of young blood design talents the likes of The Haas Brothers and Katie Stout, to name just a couple. So, although she'd thought about presenting her chair-based show concept without institutional backing, when Cayre began conversations with the gallery it became clear it was a natural fit for both parties. (Evan Snyderman, who alongside Zesty Meyers is the gallery's founding principal, was also involved in the curator's 2018 "Raquel's Dream House" project, a month-long experiential home design takeover that sold pieces out the wazoo, cementing the effectiveness of her model of experiential design presentation).

"This exhibition was four months of research and not telling anyone," Cayre says of the early stages of its conception. "It started as me dissecting and funneling through the Vitra collection, going to the MoMA show" as well as other exhibits abroad, and "just nerding out and breaking down all the architects and designers making classic chairs." In other words, she embarked on an obsession-fueled global inquisition on what role chairs play in art history and what they're respectively up to these days: where the old chairs reside, who's talking about them (and sitting in them), how they are being re-interpreted by new designers, how artists are interacting with them as subject and even medium, and what potential is left unfulfilled by their meaning as both function and formal art or design piece.

(Left) Peter Shire, USA, "Plasma Elephant," 2018. Sculptural chair in steel, two-part polyurethane. (Right) Chair by Darren Bader.

Rob Pruitt. "Love American Style" 2019. Gold tape on love seat.

The curatorial process, for Cayre, was incredibly research-heavy. Aside from firsthand exhibition trips, archives, and a library of textual resources she's curated as part of the exhibit display (viewable on a bookshelf en route downstairs to R & Company's lower level, where "Chairs" continues), she cites Joseph Kosuth's One and Three Chairs (1965) as monumentally inspirational.

Kosuth's work – which is alluded to in her curator's statement, a relatively abstract musing on the chair – is a display of a chair, a photograph of a chair, and a blown-up, written-out wall text definition of "chair." So which one is a chair, as we choose to see it? "Chairs Beyond Right & Wrong" is provoking a similar question: What does a chair mean, and how malleable (or vulnerable) is that meaning? In other words, why do we subscribe to ideas of what a chair "means" or "is," when its meaning and being have the opportunity to be radically more expansive.

One and Three Chairs (1965) by Joseph Kosuth. Image via the Museum of Modern Art. This art piece was an inspiration for curator Raquel Cayre.

The show is an investigation of these questions and preconceptions. "I didn't want it to be a design show," Cayre says. "I wanted this to be a thinking show."

The tools for prodding visitors to think exist in the confrontational works themselves, all curated with historical precedences in mind, and mostly rooted in personal relationships, whether with the design and art-work as a collector or with the makers themselves. Cayre began inviting artists to participate in January – quite recently, in exhibition-planning terms – and provided them with guidelines about as abstract as her curator's statement. The resulting interpretations of "chair" are what's on display, from mediums spanning Plexiglas to painting to photography to fur coats to flora to textiles to typeface to bumper stickers to bronze and beyond.

Bunny Rogers. "Chairs (after Brigid Mason)," 2014. Rush-seated interwoven wood chairs. "Comedy Tragedy Horseshoe Neck Pillows," Upholstery fabric, grosgrain ribbon, piping, stuffing. "Flag Rag Rug," Cotton sheets, fabric dye.

(Foreground) Chris Wolston. "Chimichagua Chair," 2019. Terracotta. (Background) Nate Lowman. "Broke Dick Dog Chair," 2019. Oil on canvas.

(Left) Jim Lambie. Seat Belt (Ned Kelly), 2009. Steel, acrylic paint. (Middle) Martine Syms. "Aunty (10)," 2018. Painted steel chair, woven polyester strap. (Right) Reginald Sylvester II. "HEEL CHAIR (Judy)," 2019. Highly polished stainless steel/chrome.

Featured artists and designers include both more commercially known names, like KAWS and Nate Lowman, and classically recognized icons like Cayre's famed Instagram's namesake, Ettore Sottsass. And of course, the 40-plus other artists and designers featured in the concise exhibition of colorful, bizarre, sometimes grotesque and sometimes whimsical – but consistently eye-popping – "chairs."

Ettore Sottsass, Italy, 1974. "Tappeto Volante" (Flying Carpet) armchair. Wood, fabric, velvet, and carpet.

Rob Pruitt. "Technicolor Chair #5 (Frederic Schwartz)," 2019. Purple tape on chair.

"Chairs Beyond Right & Wrong" is on exhibit at R & Company's 64 White Street location through October 19.

All installation images are courtesy Nicole Cohen, via R & Company.

Incredible Eames Lounge Chair Rebuilt With Recycled Skateboards

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

Whether wittingly or unwittingly, Canadian fabricator and skateboarder Andrew Szeto purchased a faux Eames Lounge Chair.

The only good thing about owning a lousy knock-off is that you have no psychological problem ripping it apart, which is exactly what he did.

Szeto then refabricated ­­the back--by recycling old skateboard decks.

After cutting the decks (so many decks) into strips, he then began laminating them together.

I was wondering how he could possibly bend these pieces, which are laminated along the wrong axis to be put into a mold. Then I realized he wasn't going to put them into a mold at all, as he began mitering the edges and laminating them into upwards wings:

Once he'd reached a rough approximation of the desired shape…

…he again impressed me by going at it primarily with rough construction/demo tools, like a reciprocating saw, an angle grinder and a power planer:

It was incredible to see how well the shape came out after some sanding:

By way of finishing, he applied a fiberglass film:

And finally, the pieces were ready for remounting:

A pretty good result, I'd say.

While I know the knockoff trade isn't going to go away, I do wish all faux pieces would be ripped apart by their owners and re-interpreted. I damn sure wouldn't do it with an original.

Anyways, if you'd like to see the full video of the build, it's all here:

And if you want to see how the real thing is/was put together, click on either of the following:

1950s footage of the original Eames Lounge Chair being assembled.

How Herman Miller manufactures the Eames Lounge Chair today.

The Original 1956 NBC TV Footage of Charles & Ray Eames Debuting Their Iconic Lounge Chair

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

This is so cool! In the 1950s NBC had the Today show and The Tonight Show, as they do today. But they also had a show in between them called Home, hosted by Editor-in-Chief Arlene Francis. Focusing on domestic topics, Home featured a certain Eames couple in 1956.

During the segment, Charles and Ray Eames discussed their work, their work relationship, the design field, materials, their house composed of "standard factory units," and capped it off by debuting this newfangled thing they'd come up with called the Lounge Chair.

Here's the full segment:

If you don't have time to watch the whole 11-minute segment, you Philistine, at least watch the three-minute clip below (we've cued it up for you) where they debut the chair and reveal how it's assembled:

Currently Crowdfunding: Own a Piece of the Blackest Black Possible, Make Vinyl Record Mixtapes, and More

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

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:

Unless you're Anish Kapoor, you won't be gazing into the abyss of Vantablack anytime soon, but now you can own the next best—or, darkest—thing. Singularity 2 is the blackest black currently available to the public and the reviews sum it up better than we can: "It's almost creepy how black it is," one backer writes. The team behind the campaign previously funded an iteration of this black, called Singularity, but that version only appeared "superblack" when viewed head-on, whereas this latest release retains its ability to trap almost all visible light from any angle. You can choose to get a swatch housed in a protective case if you're looking for a curio to add to your collection, or as an individual sheet that can be used as a material for your next project.

The glass dome of Manual's latest coffeemaker will lend a unique sculptural look to your pour-over ritual.

Phonocut is an "idiot-proof" vinyl lathe that turns digital audio files into 10" records. It's a no-brainer for music producers but equally exciting for audiophiles looking to transform their digital playlists into tangible vinyl mixtapes that can be shared with loved ones.

Carbon labeling isn't the solution to our climate problems, but by helping consumers make informed decisions, labels can play a crucial role in encouraging businesses to take full responsibility for their carbon expenditure. A collaborative effort from Peak Design and BioLite, this campaign is raising funds to create a label that will be awarded to businesses that have achieved carbon neutrality.

An intriguing puzzle made of brass and stainless steel that's as satisfying to work out as it is to look at.

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.

How Astronauts Get Their Spacesuits On (and Other Fun Facts)

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

While researching the story of NASA's new spacesuit prototypes, I could not confirm the one-size-fits-all claim made by news outlets. But I did learn the following fun facts while I was looking:

- According to NASA: During spacewalks, which can last for many hours, astronauts all wear "a diaper-like garment…that is a combination of commercial products stitched together for maximum absorption." Astronauts "generally prefer not to use it."

- Amy Ross, NASA's lead spacesuit engineer, describes her job as "to take a basketball, shape it like a human, keep them alive in a harsh environment and give them the mobility to do their job."

- The Orion suits, which are worn during re-entry, are colored orange in case the astronauts wind up in the ocean and need to be spotted for rescue. (You know what, maybe this fact isn't actually "fun.")

- According to NPR, "astronauts grow taller in the microgravity of space;" astronaut Anne McClain reported that after a few months on the ISS, she'd gained two inches in height!

- This Z-1 Mars prototype suit actually had the green accents added as a nod to Buzz Lightyear.

- I thought squeezing into a tight pair of jeans was bad, but getting into a spacesuit is apparently more difficult. Here's an astronaut finagling her way into an older spacesuit design with "waist entry:"

- More modern designs feature this crazy "rear entry" process:

- NASA has this actual image and caption in one of their downloadable presentations:

Who knew NASA had a sense of humor?

Why Astronauts Have Unisex Spacesuits (and Why Unisex Body Armor Doesn't Work)

Core 77 - Tue, 2019-10-22 00:48

As we learned here, when female soldiers in the U.S. military are given body armor designed for men, their job is made more dangerous; the ill-fitting armor has been shown to encumber women's range of movement, which affected everything from their aim with a firearm to their ability to quickly get in and out of a vehicle. Even worse, the bad fit creates gaps that an enemy can grab onto during hand-to-hand combat.

Sheathing the relatively barrel-like shape of the average male torso is a relatively straightforward design process; but military designers have been stumped by the problem of creating curved armor plates to fit the average female form, as the shapes required create more weight and even worse, weak points. (Hopefully this will change, as last year the House of Representatives finally greenlit funding for the design of female-specific body armor.)

So I was surprised to learn that another dangerous government-backed job that increasingly involves both genders, the vocation of astronaut, has unisex outfits that work for both men and women. Apparently a spacesuit's large interior volume (required for pressurization) moots the need to accommodate the anatomical bits that distinguish the genders. Instead, the problem with astronaut suits has been size.

As an example, earlier this year two astronauts at the International Space Station were scheduled to work on an exterior repair, a spacewalk in NASA parlance. This requires special spacesuits--Extravehicular Mobility Units, or EMUs for short--different than the ones worn inside the station (called Orion suits). The modular EMU spacesuits are not designed for gender, but instead for size, with just three options for the torso portions: Medium, Large and Extra Large.

Both astronauts selected for the task were female and one of them, Christina Koch, was outfitted for a size Medium suit. The other astronaut, Anne McClain, had trained in both a Medium and a Large down on Earth, but on an actual spacewalk earlier in the mission, had discovered that the Medium was the better fit.

Christina Koch

The problem was that, while they had two Medium suits onboard the station, only one of them had been prepped for the mission. Preparing a suit for a spacewalk is more complicated than getting dressed for an Edwardian dinner party, with a time-consuming list of equipment safety checks and "loop scrubs" that must be performed first. In order for the spacewalk's task to be completed on schedule, McClain stepped aside and fellow astronaut Nick Hague went in her place, in the prepped size Large.

Preparing an EMU for a spacewalk

As a result, what would have been the first all-female spacewalk--a coincidence of scheduling, with astronaut rotations being "luck of the draw," according to NASA spokesperson Stephanie Schierholz--did not happen. "When you have the option of just switching the people, the mission becomes more important than a cool milestone," Schierholz told The New York Times.

Still, for years NASA engineers have understood the problems associated with having suits of different sizes. On a spacecraft or station with limited space, and in a potentially dangerous environment where redundancy can mean safety, it would be desirable to have complete interchangeability of gear among all astronauts. And this week, NASA revealed the solution they've been working on.

From left to right: Amy Ross, Lead Spacesuit Engineer; Jim Bridenstine, NASA Administrator; Kristine Davis, Spacesuit Engineer, wearing the Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU) prototype; Dustin Gohmert, Orion Crew Survival Systems Project Manager, wearing the Orion Crew Survival System suit.

On Tuesday NASA unveiled the prototype for their next-generation EMU, called the xEMU (Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit), as well as a prototype for the orange Orion suit that astronauts wear when inside the spacecraft or station.

I totally covet this helmet!

After seeing this photo, I'll never again complain about how bulky my laptop backpack is.

And after seeing this photo, I realize that I have a jacket I never wear because it makes my shoulders look weird. I am probably too self-conscious to become an astronaut.

Multiple news outlets have reported that xEMUs are one-size-fits-all, though none have offered details, and NASA in their own press release has made no such claim. However, NASA has stated that:

In the Anthropometry and Biomechanics Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center, astronauts undergo full-body, 3D scans while performing basic motions and postures expected during spacewalks. With a complete 3D animated model, NASA can match the astronaut to the modular space suit components that will provide the most comfort and the broadest range of motion, while reducing the potential for skin irritation where the suit might press on the body.

You guys are NASA, and this is the highest resolution image you could provide?

This leads me to believe that perhaps the exterior of the torso component of the xEMU is of a single size, with modular interior components of differing sizes for each astronaut that can be "plugged into" the xEMU suit. But that is admittedly speculation.

As for the Orion suits, NASA's language is also confusing: "The Orion suits will be custom fit for each crew member and accommodate astronauts of all sizes." I take that to mean they are not interchangeable.

I want to believe that if you press the red button on the ribs, a mechanism inside the helmet dispenses snacks.

In any case, this week NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted the following:

Lastly: Want to see how astronauts get into their suits? Click here for some Astronaut and Spacesuit Fun Facts.

Nvidia Unveils the EGX, its Supercomputer for 5G Edge Processing

Design News - Mon, 2019-10-21 20:58
The Nvidia EGX platform is designed to handle 5G data at the edge. (Image source: Nvidia)

Nvidia kicked off Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019 in Los Angeles with a big investment on the future of 5G via what the company is calling “the world's first edge supercomputer.” Nvidia wants to position its EGX supercomputer platform as the go-to platform for processing the enormous streams of sensor data that 5G will be bringing in from smart factories, IoT devices, and even city streets. The goal, Jensen Huang, NVIDIA founder and CEO, explained, is to place powerful compute at the edge of the 5G network for high-performance, low latency processing for tasks as varied as enhanced retail experiences all the way to autonomous, connected cars.

Delivering a keynote a MWC 2019, Huang emphasized that for 5G to bring about the next great technological leap, data centers are going to need the computing power to process the new streams of data that will be coming in as 5G connects more and more devices. “We’ve entered a new era, where billions of always-on IoT sensors will be connected by 5G and processed by AI,” Huang said. “Its foundation requires a new class of highly secure, networked computers operated with ease from far away.”

That's where the Nvidia EGX comes in. The configurable platform runs with an Nvidia Cuda Tensor Core GPU and can be optimized for processing a variety of sensor information (including LiDAR) and also for artificial intelligence and robotics applications. Nvidia says that one core can run at processing speeds up to 240 teraflops. “One [EGX] rack will replace hundreds of CPU servers,” Huang told the MWC audience. The EGX is scalable and can go from a single, maker-friendly Jetson Nano to a high horsepower rack of T4 servers depending on engineers' needs. The EGX also runs a proprietary software stack that Nvidia says is enterprise-grade and optimized for running on edge-based servers.

New SDKs, More Powerful AI

Huang announced that Nvidia is already making strategic partnerships and rolling out developer applications around the EGX. Samsung, for example, will be deploying the EGX in its factories to assist with semiconductor design and manufacturing processes. “Samsung has been an early adopter of both GPU computing and AI from the beginning,” Charlie Bae, executive vice president of foundry sales and marketing at Samsung Electronics, said in a press statement. “NVIDIA’s EGX platform helps us to extend these manufacturing and design applications smoothly onto our factory floors.”

On the developer end, Nvidia is looking to the EGX to accelerate and enhance some of its AI efforts already under development. First announced two years ago, Nvidia's Isaac platform for training collaborative robots in virtual reality could see a much-needed processing boost from the EGX platform. The EGX should allow for faster and more robust simulation training of robots as well as faster and more reliable deployments into physical systems. Nvidia said that an official Isaac SDK will launch for developers in January 2020.


Nvidia also unveiled new developer tools in the form of Metropolis IoT, an open-source reference application for utilizing sensors in smart manufacturing and smart city applications. Metropolis, which is now available, runs on the EGX and will allow developers to experiment with developing for predictive maintenance, logistics, manufacturing, and other applications, all while leveraging the EGX's computing power.

Arguably the most intriguing demo of the presentation was the EGX's ability to facilitate multimodal, or multi-sensor, AI applications. Nvidia introduced a software platform dubbed Jarvis (yes, like Tony Stark's computer assistant) that can handle such tasks.

In one demo a couple driving a car asked a system about restaurants in the area (Yelp rating, directions, ect.) while also seamlessly having a conversation with each other. In another a woman in a retail space was able to have an AI answer questions about the various products on the shelves by pointing at them or describing them (i.e. “How much is that white water bottle?”).

What was most notable about the demo was the lack of a hot word (no need to say, “Hey Alexa” or another term) and how the system was able to continue the interaction even with breaks in the conversation. There was a recognition of context. The AI tracked users' faces to recognize when they were looking into a camera to ask it a question – meaning it once someone asked about a sushi restaurant they could come back moments later and simply ask, “How far away is it?” without having to resupply context, such as the restaurant's name, to the system.

Enhanced by the EGX, Nvidia's Jarvis SDK can enable multimodal AI applications that can recognize context and handle queries without the need for special words or phrases to activate. (Image source: Nvidia) 

Huang said such a system also has clear implications for the manufacturing space, particularly with collaborative robots. “You could tell a robot to 'pass me that,' 'hold that,' or 'hold this while I do that,' all things that require context,” he said.

Nvidia is releasing its Jarvis SDK for early access in December. Included in the SDK will be several pre-trained AI models for tasks such as speech recognition, natural language processing, text-to-speech, speech synthesis, computer vision, and pose classification. Developers will be able to use Jarvis' pre-trained models to create AI applications that take advantage of multiple sensor and data streams.

The elephant in the room however is that such functionality would seem to require some degree of continuous monitoring. How can the AI know you're looking into a camera, for example, unless the camera is always-on and checking for such a thing? Nvidia did not comment any further on this, but there's little doubt it will become of a growing and ongoing conversation around AI ethics and privacy.

But even with the moral and ethical implications Huang said the next computing revolution – the one that will create a seismic shift on par with the introduction of the first iPhone – won't happen until engineers rethink the data sensor with technologies like the EGX – transforming them into software-defined solutions.

“With 5G the edge can no longer be a pipe,” Huang said. “The edge has to become a computing platform.”

Chris Wiltz is a Senior Editor at  Design News covering emerging technologies including AI, VR/AR, blockchain, and robotics

Don’t Blame the Engineer for These Disasters

Design News - Mon, 2019-10-21 05:45

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 19 years, 17 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years, he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.



Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis

The Midwest's largest advanced design and manufacturing event!
Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis connects you with top industry experts, including esign and manufacturing suppliers, and industry leaders in plastics manufacturing, packaging, automation, robotics, medical technology, and more. This is the place where exhibitors, engineers, executives, and thought leaders can learn, contribute, and create solutions to move the industry forward. Register today!


New Ultrathin Artificial Muscle for Soft Robots Developed

Design News - Mon, 2019-10-21 04:30

Researchers have developed an ultrathin, artificial muscle for soft robotics that allow for kinetic movements by combining a carbon-based 2D material and a synthetic polymer to create flexibility.

A team from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) developed the soft actuator, which allows robots to move in more flexible, realistic ways not just for utilitarian purposes, but also to create art, researchers said.

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) developed a soft robotic butterfly that can open and close its wings using a new flexible artificial muscle developed from a combination of MXene and polymer. (Source: KAIST)

“Wearable robotics and kinetic art demonstrate how robotic muscles can have fun and beautiful applications,” said Il-Kwon Oh, a professor of mechanical engineering at KAIST, who led the research.

To demonstrate some of these applications, the team developed a robotic blooming flower brooch, dancing robotic butterflies, and fluttering tree leaves on a kinetic art piece using the robotic muscle.

Visually, the actuator the team developed is very thin, appearing as a slender strip of paper about an inch long, researchers said. This design was possible using MXene, a class of carbon-titanium compounds that are only a few atoms thick.

Combining for Flexibility

While MXene itself is not flexible, researchers found a way to combine it with another material to create a flexible actuator. They achieved this by connecting it through an ionic bond to a synthetic polymer, researchers said. This created flexibility while also maintaining strength and conductivity, which are key to allowing for robotic movements controlled by electricity, they said.

As mentioned, researchers created a number of robotic designs to prove the actuator works. In one, an origami-inspired brooch unfolds its petals when electricity is applied to the actuators. Researchers also designed robotic butterflies that use the artificial muscle to move their wings up and down, and a tree sculpture that can flutter its wings.

A video demonstrating the actuator’s movement is available on YouTube.

The demonstrations showed that the actuator responded quickly to low voltage, and could last for more than five hours even when moving continuously, researchers said.

The team reported their findings in a paper on their work in the journal Science Robotics.

Aside from the devices researchers demonstrated, the artificial muscle has myriad uses in soft robotics for the medical field and beyond, Oh said.


“It also shows the enormous potential for small, artificial muscles for a variety of uses, such as haptic feedback systems and active biomedical devices,” he said.

Researchers plan to continue their work to investigate more practical applications of MXene-based soft actuators as well as explore other engineering applications of MXene nanomaterials, they said.

Elizabeth Montalbano is a freelance writer who has written about technology and culture for more than 20 years. She has lived and worked as a professional journalist in Phoenix, San Francisco and New York City. In her free time she enjoys surfing, traveling, music, yoga and cooking. She currently resides in a village on the southwest coast of Portugal.

Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis

The Midwest's largest advanced design and manufacturing event!
Design & Manufacturing Minneapolis connects you with top industry experts, including esign and manufacturing suppliers, and industry leaders in plastics manufacturing, packaging, automation, robotics, medical technology, and more. This is the place where exhibitors, engineers, executives, and thought leaders can learn, contribute, and create solutions to move the industry forward. Register today!


How to Track Down Setup and Hold Violations with a Mixed Signal Oscilloscope

Design News - Mon, 2019-10-21 04:00

Timing relationships between signals are critical to reliable operation of digital designs. With synchronous designs, the timing of the clock signal relative to data signals is especially important. Tracking down setup and hold violations can be tedious work, but mixed signal oscilloscopes offer digital channels for testing many data lines at once, and often have triggering capabilities that can help speed up the process. In this article we offer tips and tricks that will make performing this task easier using a mixed signal oscilloscope (MSO) with automated setup and hold triggering capability.

Setup time is defined as the time the input data signals are stable (either high or low) before the active clock edge occurs. Hold time is the time the input data signals are stable (either high or low) after the active clock edge occurs. As shown in Figure 1, violations occur when these conditions are not met. Setup and hold times are specified in component data sheets for synchronous devices (such as flip-flops) and must be met to assure that the component will behave correctly and reliably.

Figure 1. Violations occur when data signals are not stable either before or after the active clock edge.

An MSO is an effective tool for identifying setup and hold violations because it can capture both analog and digital representations of signals and display them in a time-correlated format. These instruments combine the analog signal capture capabilities of an oscilloscope with the basic functions of a logic analyzer.

The timing resolution of an MSO is important to note, since this will determine your ability to measure timing differences. Timing resolution can vary considerably for mid-range MSOs typically used for these applications, ranging from about 2 ns for more affordable units down to 0.2 ns for higher-end MSOs with higher sample rates.

Setting Digital Thresholds

A mixed signal oscilloscope’s digital channels view a digital signal as either a logic high or logic low, just like a digital circuit views the signal. This means as long as ringing, overshoot, and ground bounce do not cause logic transitions, these analog characteristics are not of concern to the MSO. Just like a logic analyzer, an MSO uses a user-specified threshold voltage to determine if the signal is logic high or logic low.

The MSO’s analog channel can be used to check the logic swing of a digital signal. As shown in Figure 2, the MSO in this case automatically measures the digital signal amplitude as about 3.6 V. For logic families with symmetrical voltage swings like CMOS, the threshold is at half of the signal amplitude. However, for logic families with asymmetrical voltage swings like TTL (Transistor-Transistor Logic), you typically need to consult the component data sheet and define the threshold as half-way (TTL Vthreshold = 1.4V) between the logic device’s maximum low-level input voltage (TTL VIL = 0.8V) and minimum high-level input voltage (TTL VIH = 2.0V) values.

Figure 2. Quick verification of the logic signal amplitude using automated measurements.

Some MSOs provide per-channel threshold settings that can be used for debugging circuits with mixed logic families, as shown by the example in Figure 3. In this case, the TTL signal threshold was set to 1.7 V, the 3.3 V CMOS signal thresholds were set to 1.65V, and the 5 V CMOS signal thresholds were set to 2.5 V. This enabled reliable acquisition of the various logic signals at the same time.

Figure 3. Mixed logic families (TTL & CMOS) threshold settings in the same view.

Color Coding and Grouping Speed Analysis

Digital timing waveforms look very similar to analog waveforms except only logic highs and lows are shown. To make analysis easier, some MSOs show logic lows and logic highs in different colors on the digital waveforms, allowing you to see the logic value even if a transition is not visible. The waveform label color also matches the probe color-coding to make it easier to see which signal corresponds to which test point, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Probe color coding matches waveform color coding, making it easier to see which signals corresponds to which test point.

For additional analysis the digital timing waveforms can be grouped to create a bus. One digital signal is defined as the least significant bit and the other digital signals represent the other bits of the binary value up to the most significant bit. The MSO then decodes the bus into a binary or hex value.


Remove Timing Skew

To simplify digital measurements, modern MSOs compensate for the propagation delay of logic probes. Therefore, there are no digital channel probe deskew adjustments. However, for better time-correlation measurements between the analog and digital waveforms, it’s important to remove the analog to digital time skew.

In the example shown in Figure 5, to align the analog channels with the digital channels, the 2 V (50% amplitude) position on the analog waveform was time-aligned with the digital signal transitions which occurred at the 2 V threshold. The deskew value was manually adjusted to align the analog channel to the digital channel. This deskew process needs to be repeated for any other analog channels.

Figure 5. Analog channel time needs to be aligned with the digital channel, as shown here.

Analog channel skews should be checked when the analog probes are changed and the digital thresholds should be checked when measuring a different logic family. With the threshold and skews configured, the MSO is ready for verifying and debugging digital circuits.

Flip-Flop Measurement Examples

Many memory and communications interfaces specify critical setup and hold times, but the simplest synchronous logic device is a flip-flop. In a D-type flip-flip the logic state of the D Input appears at the Q output only after the rising clock edge (after a propagation delay). In this example, we used a 74HCT74 dual positive-edge triggered, D-type flip-flop.

Initially, the device looked like it was working as expected. The data signal had been stable for several nanoseconds before the rising edge of the clock, and the data remained stable for many nanoseconds after the clock edge. The propagation from clock edge to the Q output was about 6 ns. But as we discovered, as shown in Figure 6, in one instance the data signal transitioned just 300 ps before the clock edge, well below the 15 ns setup time specification – a setup time violation. Notice that the Q output did not change state as expected. The gray regions around the signal transitions indicate the timing uncertainty related to the digital sample rate.

Figure 6. Because of a setup time violation with the 74HCT74 flip-flop, there was no change in Q output as expected.

Similarly, Figure 7 shows an instance where the data signal is transitioning about 300 ps after the clock edge. This is well below the 3 ns hold time specification for the device– a hold time violation. Again, notice that the Q output does not change state as expected.

Capturing Setup and Hold Violations

Many MSOs have a specialized trigger mode designed to automatically capture every setup and/or hold violation. The setup and hold trigger measures the timing relationship between the clock and data signal and captures signals when the setup time or hold time is below the specification. Some MSOs can measure the timing between a clock and multiple data lines at once. This capability simplifies debug, but also can be used for unattended monitoring of a design.

To use this function, first refer to the component data sheet for setup and hold trigger parameters, which can then be set on the scope to capture any violations. Once configured, the MSO will automatically trigger on the first input condition that violates the specified parameters.

To show how setup and hold triggers work, let’s take a look at a 74LVC1G74 D-type flip flop. After consulting the 74LVCG74 component data sheet, we set the setup and hold trigger parameters (2 ns and 1 ns, respectively) to capture any violations, as shown in Figure 8. In this case, the MSO triggered on a hold violation where the data changed inside the specified 1.12 ns hold time..

Figure 8. After setting the setup and hold times for a 74LVC1G74 flip-flop, the MSO triggered on a hold violation where the data changed inside the specified 1.12 ns hold time.

By adding logic analyzer functionality to an oscilloscope, MSOs facilitate fast digital debugging. As shown in the previous examples, MSOs make it quick and easy to identify and measure setup and hold violations in digital designs.

[All images courtesy Dave Pereles / Tektronix]

Dave Pereles, a technical marketing manager at Tektronix, has worked in the test and measurement industry in various roles including applications engineering and product management for over 25 years. He holds a BS in electrical engineering from Trinity College, Hartford, Conn., and an MBA from Seattle University.

World Premieres & Designer-Approved Popcorn: NY Architectural & Design Film Festival Kicks Off Wed, Oct 16

Core 77 - Mon, 2019-10-21 00:44

My first time attending an Architecture & Design Film Festival program was in 2016. I saw graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister's documentary The Happy Film, a tonally existential autobiography about Sagmeister's pursuit for that elusive, tease-of-an-emotion. Following the screening, the audience had the privilege of sitting in on a discussion between (now-disgraced) radio journalist John Hockenberry and the filmmakers, the famous designer included. It was an intimate setting, and a rare opportunity for transparency about process, partnership, psyche and the flexibility of the parameters of "design" as a medium.

My initial (albeit belated) foray into the ADFF world reflected only a smidgen of the festival's broader line-ups of programming and screenings, which make up the compact annual events series whose audience has expanded far beyond just the design ilk, and which continues into its 11th year this October.

Image courtesy ADFF

Its 2019 roster of 25 films spans many aspects of design, ranging from the politics of housing and urbanism to structural engineering to print and communications design – including, of course, ample focus on architectural subject matters rooted in cities and landscapes across the world.

"The lineup contains many films that stray beyond the traditional boundaries of architecture and design," says ADFF Founder and Director Kyle Bergman. They "tread into the realms of politics, global health and inequality," he continues, offering a wide lens perspective on what the festival's eponymous aesthetic and technical mediums encompass.

Festival Founder and Director Kyle Bergman

Wednesday, October 16 is its New York kickoff, featuring a world premiere of The New Bauhaus. A documentary chronicling the North-America bound trajectory of controversial Bauhaus-bred designer László Moholy Nagy, the screening will be followed by a conversation with award-winning director and ADFF returnee Alysa Nahmias, led by Design Matters' question-asker extraordinaire Debbie Millman.

Poster for The New Bauhaus, debuting ADFF's opening night

Approaching the industry with an angle for which I have particular affection, the fest's closing night will feature the U.S. premiere of City Dreamers, a documentary piecing together how four trailblazing, fiercely persevering female architects have contributed to the build of our urban landscapes. The film highlights the stories of Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Denise Scott Brown, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel and Phyllis Lambert, the latter of whom will be present afterward to discuss the film with its director, Joseph Hillel, as moderated by prolific architecture critic Paul Goldberger.

From City Dreamers, an early photo of architect Denise Scott Brown ©. Image courtesy Denise Scott Brown via Venturi, Scott Brown & Associates.

From PUSH, Leilani Farha on an official mission to Chile. Photo by Janice d'Avila.

Sandwiched between its opening and closing features is a jam-packed schedule of screenings, a pop-up installation in the lounge at Chelsea's Cinépolis theater, and conversations from the likes of MoMA Architecture and Design curator Sean Anderson, design editor Wendy Goodman, UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing Leilani Farha, and The Space Beyond subject Mario Botta. Special shout-out to a Saturday boat tour of Swiss structural engineer Othmar H. Ammann's NYC-based bridges projects (sign me up!) in celebration of the U.S. premiere of Gateways to New York, a film reframing the art of bridge-building through the story of Ammann's unique history and practice.

Sundown vantage point of the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge in New York City, designed by Othmar H. Ammann, and a viewing pitstop on the ADFF boat tour of some of his work.

From The Space Beyond

Visit ADFilmFest.com more information on the festival, its screening schedule, its programming and presentations line-up, its supporters (Evenstcape, a custom art and architecture fabricator, is the largest this year), and relevant location and ticketing information.

We'll see you front row, hungry for popcorn and thirsty for this annual showcase of illuminating design-centered cinema.

Image courtesy of ADFF