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Core77 Weekly Roundup (11-27-23 to 12-1-23)

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

Here's what we looked at this week:

Here's a supercut of 20 different space-saving transforming furniture designs.

Here's a concept design for an alternative to nightstands, done by industrial designer Chris Pearce for Ikea.

From Australia, the Bruder EXP-8, a battery-equipped rugged off-road trailer.

ID case study from Germany: This air humidifier, by consultancy Fluid Design.

This Collection of Posters is an Ode to Design in New York City

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

They say New York City is the capital of the world, and while many people outside the tri-state area would challenge that, there is no disputing the outsized role the city plays in the American design world. NYCxDesign is a civic organization that promotes and celebrates the NYC design community through programming, outreach and educational initiatives.

The NYCxDesign website quotes some impressive statistics - "New York City is a powerful design destination, housing the largest concentration of design studios and firms in the world with over 60,000 designers, 8,000 design firms, 1,000 museums, galleries, and cultural institutions, and 10 of the nation's best design and architecture schools."

The collection includes nine new works for 2023 along with a set produced in 2022. A few samples are below, and you can view and purchase the entire collection a Poster House.

Scott Henderson Metropulse

Natasha Jen & Jin Chun Tomorrowland

Standard Issue The Pulse of the City

Industrial Design Case Study from Germany: An Elegant Air Humidifier

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

This ID case study is by Fluid Design, a consultancy based in Munich.

LB 300 Plus Air Humidifier

The ChallengeDesigning an air humidifier that seamlessly blends into contemporary home interiors while exuding a sense of high performance.
The SolutionBeurer LB 300 Plus air humidifier masters the balance between softness and modernity and comes in a fresh and appealing design. Its geometry aligns harmoniously with typical elements found in modern interiors.Uniting aesthetics and functionalityDesigned for the renowned German wellbeing and lifestyle brand Beurer, this air humidifier series combines aesthetics with practicality. It complements modern home interiors, resembling a high-end consumer electronic product, while maintaining a cozy, inviting feel.

Reducing the draft angle to achieve a vertical and straight appearance presented a technical obstacle that was solved through a close collaboration with the engineers.

We developed a fresh and appealing design with a well-defined cross-section and an interface that is thoughtfully elevated.

The interface is elevated for user convenience and appears seamless, resembling a solid glass piece when the product is off. The attention to detail is consistent throughout, ensuring a well-designed 360-degree experience.

At the top, a copper-colored air grid pattern contrasts with the matte black main housing. This design adds a touch of sophistication and draws attention to the main features of the product.

A strategic partnershipAs Beurer's strategic partner, we developed the company's newly defined design language and product design guidelines to ensure a consistent company portfolio.This air humidifier is an excellent example to represent the new aesthetics of Beurer's design language.

Highlights & Capabilities

Seamless interfaceThe interface design was developed in parallel with the physical product design, aiming to craft a seamless user experience centered around simplicity and user-friendliness.

Contemporary blendLB 300 Plus air humidifier is crafted to seamlessly integrate with modern home interiors, evoking a sense of high-quality consumer electronic products.

You can see more of Fluid's work here.

Reader Submitted: This Card Game Helps You Turn Bad Ideas Into Better Ones

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

Bad Ideas (lead to better ones) is a card game that develops creativity through play. The game consists of 75 cards with 3 categories: users, goals, and constraints. When the cards are combined together, they create a randomized problem to solve. Then it's up to you and the other players to think of the most inventive solution. The game can be used in an educational or a home setting, and is available now for pre-order.

View the full project here

From Australia, a Battery-Equipped Rugged Off-Road Trailer

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

Australian adventure trailer manufacturer Bruder calls their EXP-8 "the ultimate off-road, off-grid camper trailer, designed and built for all seasons and all environments."

The wheels have a crazy 12" of suspension travel, "and it traverses undulating and uneven terrain effortlessly. This means sublime ride quality, plus the ability to calibrate its height to suit different tow vehicles, and level out on virtually any sloping camp spot."

An air filtration system keeps the air inside the trailer clean when driving through dusty conditions.

The company reckons that the trailer can provide enough juice to power a four-person household: It's kitted out with solar panels, a 20 KwH battery and a 5000W inverter. "Intelligent, lightweight construction has been designed to meet the demands of extreme terrains and climatic conditions without compromising the internal living space. The fully enclosed climate-controlled interior operates off-grid without the need for a generator or plugged-in power."

"The kitchen is positioned as a centrepiece of the entertaining area, with generous counter space and storage and comes fully equipped with a twin induction cooktop, comprehensive refrigeration and large storage capabilities. Gallery windows allow a complete vista of the environment and open fully to connect the inside and the great outdoors."

Below, a trailer for the trailer, which provides a better look inside and out:

The EXP-8 goes for AUD $317,500 (USD $208,469).

Concept Design for an Alternative to Nightstands

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

Klippa is a concept project for Ikea, done by industrial designer Chris Pearce. Pearce, who works at IDEO Japan, is based in Tokyo, a city where bedrooms are tiny and space is scarce; thus the concept presents an alternative to the bedside nightstand, seeking instead to provide the equivalent functionality using a wall.

"Lack of space for bedside furniture is a common difficulty in small bedrooms, especially with a double bed placed in the room. KLIPPA replaces the functionality of a typical bedside table, offering storage space for books, phones and other objects while also supplying a lamp for pre-sleep reading. With the functions separated, accessories can be arranged in any unused wall-space around the bedside - a versatile solution for even the most challenging of small bedroom spaces."

"Finding desirable space-saving solutions when living in a small apartment can be tough. Often, these solutions are designed as 'temporary' measures with poor quality materials, poor manufacturing quality and generally unappealing aesthetics. Holding little sentimental value, these solutions are often discarded as the user moves from home to home. KLIPPA aims to address this issue, offering a forever-temporary space-savvy solution to bedside storage. KLIPPA accessories can be placed and removed with no damage to walls, saving renters the punishment of reduced return in their apartment deposits when moving out.""1. Book holder. A simple hook designed to receive a typical size paper-back novel. The small groove features allow for thinner books to be leant against the wall at incremental angles."

"2. Phone Holder. Designed to receive any sized smartphone safely and securely. A 45 degree angle ensures stability and reduces strain when a charging cable is connected, [preserving] cable health over time."

"3. Tray. A simple, sturdy tray with a soft felt flooring. Designed to fit reading glasses and a few other essentials. An optional lid allows users to store with discretion."

"4. Lamp. A reading lamp with 4 brightness levels and 2 color tones. Tap interactions can be used to cycle through options and switch the lamp on/off."

There's no word as to whether Ikea's greenlighting the project or not.

Sponsored: Revolutionizing Design and Manufacturing: Autodesk's Commitment to AI-Powered Innovation

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

In the fast-evolving landscape of design and manufacturing, the demand for new ideas and products is accelerating. Autodesk recognizes the increasing pressure on its customers to deliver faster, more sustainable, cost-effective, and higher-quality solutions. In response, Autodesk has prioritized investing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) for over a decade, acknowledging its transformative potential for design and manufacturing teams.

The central question guiding Autodesk's AI research and development is clear: How can AI enhance the translation of imagination into reality? The goal is to simplify the product development process, enabling teams to bring their ideas to life more efficiently.

Autodesk is currently developing Autodesk AI, a technology designed to augment creative exploration and problem-solving, automate tedious tasks, and analyze project data for predictive insights. This initiative aims not only to increase productivity but also to provide tools that foster ambition and creativity among users.

The focus of Autodesk AI revolves around three main areas: Analysis, Augmentation, and Automation. Recent updates to Autodesk Fusion, such as generative design, already harness the power of AI, allowing professionals to prompt, generate, and refine a multitude of ideas throughout the design and manufacturing lifecycle.

It's crucial to emphasize that Autodesk AI puts users in the driver's seat, functioning as an assistant that works alongside them. Users retain control over the decision-making process, deciding how to combine manual and automatic adjustments to achieve the desired outcomes for their projects.

Key AI-powered features already integrated into Autodesk Fusion include:

Generative Design Introduced over six years ago, this AI-powered design optimization solution generates thousands of manufacturing-ready solutions, enabling quick analysis of design alternatives.

Automated Modeling Facilitating rapid design exploration at the beginning of the design process, automated modeling provides numerous editable design alternatives with minimal input.

Automated Toolpaths The CloudNC CAM Assist Automation Add-in translates 3D models into machining strategies in seconds, automating repetitive CAM programming tasks.

Automated Drawings Expected to launch by the end of the year, this feature will translate 3D models into fully dimensioned drawings with a simple click, significantly reducing time spent on documentation.

Autodesk AI is positioned as an enhancement to creativity and decision-making, offering additional support to existing workflows within Fusion. The user remains in control throughout the process, with Autodesk AI serving as an invaluable tool in the Fusion toolbox.

This represents just the beginning, as Autodesk continues to invest in increasingly powerful forms of AI technology to support continuous innovation, eliminate non-value tasks, and keep users ahead of the competition. Now is the opportune time to explore the transformative potential of AI and witness the positive impact it can have on design and manufacturing processes.

Learn more about Autodesk Fusion

A Supercut of Space-Saving Transforming Furniture Designs

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

Expand Furniture is a distributor of Italian-made space-saving furniture. We've looked at some of these designs individually before, but in this supercut of 20 transforming pieces, you're bound to spot something new. Here's three minutes of inspiration:

While the company does not list the provenance of their pieces, I believe many of these were designed and manufactured by Italian furniture brand Clei.

Core77 Weekly Roundup (11-20-23 to 11-24-23)

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

Here's what we looked at this week:

An interesting design detail on this EDC tweezer multi-tool.

Clothes Hingers: Simone Giertz's brilliant design for folding clothes hangers, allowing you to hang clothes in half the depth.

This trippy, undulating DIY kinetic PC case is a one-off by Ideal Idea Creations.

In Saudi Arabia, plans for this wild-looking beachside skyscraper complex called Epicon.

No more backing up: Range Energy's self-powered trailer can be hand-guided to your truck.

Going over the design details on these Camsquares Fresh Pro, restaurant-industry food storage containers.

This tiny, rectilinear electric van is a concept by Japanese startup HW Electro.

This insanely thin RM UP-01 wristwatch was created in collaboration between Ferrari and watchmaker Richard Mille.

Industrial designer Piotr Tluszcz designed the Life Chariot, an off-road ambulance trailer for Ukrainian medics. Two are currently being tested in the field.

Case study: A hi-tech medical cart, by ID consultancy Tactile.

Industrial Design Case Study: A Hi-Tech Medical Cart

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

This case study of a hi-tech medical cart comes from Tactile, a Seattle-based product and UX design firm that also has their own in-house engineering.

Seno ImagioEnhanced Imaging Accuracy

To reduce unnecessary breast biopsies, Seno Medical Instruments, Inc. developed Opto-Acoustic Imaging, a diagnostic technology that distinguishes malignant and benign tissue more accurately than others. Their system combines laser and ultrasound imaging in real-time, to produce high-resolution, high-contrast images of new blood vessels surrounding a malignant tumor. This groundbreaking technology is contained within a complex medical cart, offering several functional benefits for clinicians, service technicians, and patients alike.

Design and EngineeringSeno Medical enlisted Tactile to help with the industrial design and mechanical engineering of their next-generation medical device, Imagio®, which uses their Opto-Acoustic imaging to diagnose breast cancer and in many cases, without a biopsy.Like many of our clients, Seno Medical has a fully operational engineering department. However, we offer engineering specialty skills that complement any organization interested in bringing new products to life.

Our Design ProcessTo help Seno Medical to determine critical features of the device functionality, we worked with Seno Medical from the earliest stages of industrial design concept generation, defining volumetrics, end-user interaction, and mechanical engineering architecture.

Usability and Architecture ExplorationAlthough Seno's component technology was established, the arrangement of each part in the cart was up to Tactile's strategy for space optimization, thermals, accessibility, wire routing, and weight distribution. Usability recommendations included cable management ideas, height guidelines for console use, monitor range of motion, clinic room scenarios, and cart mobility.

Design Concept Exploration

Three design languages were presented to show how they compare product attributes like precision, efficiency, and usability. For instance, the chosen language of chamfers, angles, and exposed ports was best suited for communicating durability, practical functionality, and trustworthiness. Better yet, the design accommodated low-volume production methods like sheet metal and cast parts.

Design Refinement and EngineeringAfter narrowing on a design direction, details were resolved like console buttons, laser safety storage, cable and plug installation, wheel clearances, filter access and peripheral storage. Colors, finishes, materials, and branding graphics were defined too. This phase initiated engineering efforts of part breakup, manufacturing strategy, serviceability, and technical feasibility for challenges like wheel breaking and armature movement.

Validation TestingTactile mechanical engineering specializes in providing the highest quality services from the earliest stages of visualizing a product, building mockups to get a sense of scale, validation, ergonomics, to providing a proof-of-concept (POC) functional prototype.

Articulating ArmatureImagio® is a complex medical cart weighing over 400 pounds. Tactile built an articulating armature that's capable of holding the weight of the user-interface console, positioning the display and user-controls close to the bedside as well as capable of moving the whole cart when locked into position. We explored many options and finalized on a four-bar linkage design with gas-assist for raising the user interface console. Additionally, low-friction slew bearings were used to allow for two points of rotation both at the cart interface and at the console interface. The armature is locked into position when inactive and electromechanical silinoids are utilized for unlocking the armature in short intervals to move the arm into the desired position.

Thoughtfully Designed Inside and OutThroughout the project, Tactile's design and engineering teams worked together to ensure that the outcome functioned as well as it looked. Aesthetic details like durable chamfered corners, wipeable surfaces, and intentional feature locations were married with engineering details like precision machined gears, and sliding armature panels that conceal mechanics. Through constant collaboration, the final design remained faithful to the initial concept.

Compact Wheel LockA simple and intuitive foot-activated locking mechanism was built for the two front wheels of the cart. This is complicated by the position and wheels out away from the cart. We designed a mechanism, which mounts to a flat plate for rigidity and takes up very little space while also making the foot-activated lock serviceable in the field.

Clever Component AccessDue to Imagio®'s size, the unit needed to be reliable and easily serviceable on-location by trained technicians. We developed a drawer system for the most frequently serviced internal components. The service technician can remove a few discrete screws on the device along with three body panels, offering direct access to cabling and any diagnostic connections. The compact drawer system allows all the components to be tightly packaged during use but easily exposed during service. The drawer holds the weight of the heavy components during service and within their cord length so technicians don't have the burden of lifting heavy loads, balancing components on small surfaces, or disconnecting circuits. This limits the drop risk for components, allowing for quicker re-assembly and permits diagnostic testing with the device in a partially assembled state.

Supportive PartnersThe final deliverable was a functional POC prototype of the entire system, engineering validation unit, design files, and engineering specifications for many of the custom components of the system. We provided design and engineering specification documents that equip Seno Medical engineering to bring the device to market. We take pride in being able to work alongside companies at any design stage they're in to support their efforts toward definition, development, and realization of a new product.

You can see more of Tactile's work here.

Industrial Designer Creates Off-Road Ambulance Trailer for Ukrainian Medics

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

Industrial designer Piotr Tluszcz, who's based in Cracow, Poland, co-founded a utility trailer company 11 years ago. More recently, as he watched the conflict unfold in neighboring Ukraine, he realized the terrain there provided a challenge for Ukrainian medics. Tluszcz then designed the Life Chariot, an off-road ambulance trailer, and had his company Da Orffo produce a pair.

"The Life Chariot [is] a MEDEVAC off-road ambulance that can attach to any hook-equipped vehicle. The vehicle's low weight and suspension makes it safer for a casualty to travel in than the boot of a car. The interior of the upper body provides space for rescuers to attend to the injured person while driving from the front line to the nearest medical point. The vehicle's construction is repairable in frontline conditions. The adjustable drawbar allows the trailer to be quickly adapted to any vehicle, and can be quickly re-coupled if the towing vehicle fails."

"The evacuation trailer consists of a Da Orffo off-road suspension designed for high speeds thanks to gas-adjustable coilover dampers and longitudinal rocker arms. The upper module is a protective steel cage that is covered with a fireproof tarpaulin that opens at the sides and rear. Inside the upper module there are guides for easy loading and securing the NATO-standard stretcher. On the sides are two strapped seats for rescuers or the more lightly injured. The body also contains two airtight boxes and a roof rack for additional medical equipment."

"The initial two builds have been given to the Ukrainian Medical Military Unit and the Polish Voluntary Medic Unit of Damian Duda 'W Miedzyczasie' Foundation, having been tested in terrains such as mountain trails, forests, caves and mines."

"Piotr is continuing to implement upgrades to The Life Chariot based on feedback received from medics working on the front line. He is also working on adapting the vehicle for mountain rescue purposes."

Tluszcz and the Life Chariot won the 2023 James Dyson Award in the Humanitarian category.

An Insanely Thin Wristwatch, by Ferrari and Richard Mille

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

This insanely thin RM UP-01 wristwatch was created in collaboration between Ferrari and Swiss watchmaking brand Richard Mille.

FIGHTING FOR THE LAST HUNDREDTHSWith the RM UP-01 Ferrari, Richard Mille is proud to present an ultra-flat watch just 1.75 millimetres thick. This mind-blowing technical feat owes as much to approaching watch mechanics with fresh eyes as it does to reframing design methods in ways that make the spectacular available for use in everyday situations.For such a project, it was necessary to set aside all the knowledge we had amassed over years of practice, and every conceivable standard of watchmaking. This is precisely what we did throughout our collaboration with the laboratories of Audemars Piguet Le Locle. Shaving off those last hundredths of a millimetre of depth was an extremely demanding and lengthy process.

PERFORMANCE AS AN ACCELERATOR OF STYLEWorking collaboratively alongside the Ferrari team, the RM UP-01 is a model resulting from many year's work, dozens of prototypes and more than 6,000 hours of development and laboratory testing.Meeting the challenge of an ultra-flat watch precluded a traditional movement with superimposed gears and hands. Richard Mille therefore opted to distribute what could not be stacked over a broader surface area by creating a perfect symbiosis between the movement and case, each ensuring the necessary rigidity of the other.


The design and execution of the entire watch bears witness to a comprehensive conceptual approach to the movement and the case, which are developed in complete harmony. It represents the first appearance of this new and highly identifiable form within the Richard Mille collection. Its uncompromising slimness perfectly symbolises the Richard Mille philosophy of letting technique dictate aesthetics, once again transforming the tonneau shape and adapting it to new circumstances.

The RM UP-01's case has the same characteristics and exhibits the same sleek lines and attention to minute detail, as the large number of manufacturing operations required for its bezel and its monobloc caseband and caseback attest.

If you're a watch nerd, there are more technical details here.

A Tiny, Rectilinear Electric Van With Swappable Panels, Modular Interior

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

Tokyo-based startup HW Electro has unveiled Puzzle, their concept for an electric Kei van.

The tiny, rectilinear vehicle is just over 11' long and just under 5' wide. Intended for both mobile vending and disaster relief, it features sockets, USB ports, a WiFi transmitter and a first aid kit behind the front panels.

The charging will reportedly be augmented by solar panels.

As you can see by the color-coding below, a number of the panels are interchangeable, to keep production costs down.

"PUZZLE is a product that has been thoroughly streamlined to give form to its functions. That design philosophy is clearly reflected in the exterior. For example, the panel under the front light and the front edge of the roof, or the left front door and right rear door, are made of the same exterior panel. By standardizing every detail and using compatible common panels in various locations, we have eliminated waste during manufacturing and increased productivity. Rational design optimizes all resources during manufacturing. Funds obtained by reducing hardware costs will be used to develop software and connected services."

The rectilinear shape is to maximize interior storage space.

"PUZZLE prioritizes convenience as a transport vehicle, and has been designed to minimize wasted luggage space. Its appearance, which looks more square than a typical small van, is the result of an almost cubic cargo space that makes full use of the given size. Up until now, the luggage space of typical one-box cars has often narrowed towards the roof, making it often impossible to use every inch of the space originally provided."

I'm digging the Spartan interior, particularly that sliding shifter.

Also note the pegboard-like arrangement.

"The user-friendly interior layout differs from user to user. PUZZLE's interior panels are made into pinboards, allowing you to flexibly arrange various interior parts as if you were arranging your own room. Even if one unit is used by multiple users, you can easily attach and remove the necessary kits wherever you like. Each driver can drive with the interior of their choice."

While the company claims the Puzzle will be available in the 'States in 2025, they've got a long way to go: "Plans are underway," they write, "for a mass-produced model based on the concept car." Unsurprisingly, no prices have been announced.

The Design Details on These Restaurant-Industry Food Storage Containers

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

These Camsquares Fresh Pro food storage vessels were designed for commercial kitchens. Though they appear to be simple, stackable plastic cubes, a fair amount of design has gone into these. Let's look at the details.

Design 101: Easily-legible gradations, and color-coded lids, so you can sort by ingredient.

Those things you see inside the container are interior drainage shelves, for when you don't want the contents getting soggy.

The lids have a small hole in one corner, so they can be hung for storage or for when the container is being engaged, freeing up room on the worksurface.

This feature you cannot see: The lids and vessel rims have been engineered so that you can feel the air being pushed out as you seal the lid.

The corners of the vessels are rounded for easy pouring.

Tough to see, but there is actually a texture molded into the bottom half of the outside corners. This is to provide grip when pouring.

The vessels all have handles, to make hauling easier.

Lastly the handles are recessed, so that the vessels don't take up dead space in storage.

These are manufactured and sold by restaurant supply company Cambro, and come in 2-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 12-, 18-, and 22-quart sizes.

This Self-Powered Trailer Can be Hand-Guided to Your Truck

Core 77 - 14 hours 44 min ago

The established system of attaching a trailer to your truck is, you back the truck up to the trailer, getting the tow ball as close to the hitch as possible. Old hands do this with rearview mirrors and experience; newer trucks have backup cameras. But in the future, backing up to a trailer is likely to be a thing of the past. Instead we'll have self-powered electric trailers that you can simply guide to your truck.

A company called Range Energy is developing just that. their Mule 2 prototype, a dual-axle gooseneck trailer, features a "shopping cart mode" where the trailer moves itself in the desired direction while you effortlessly guide it by hand. In this demonstration an employee walks it over to a waiting pickup:

Freaking incredible. A good chunk of trailering is working out where you can and can't back it up to, then executing. Range Energy's system removes an entire set of logistics from the process.

The bigger picture is the fuel savings in transit. Range Energy, which is long-term targeting the 18-wheeler market, says their self-powered trailers will save 30-40% on diesel costs when hooked up to a conventional cab; from an energy perspective, it's essentially as if the cab is driving with nothing hooked up behind it.

Here's how it works:

Musk Finally Delivers Production Tesla CyberTrucks

Design News - Fri, 2023-12-01 15:00
What kind of volume qualifies as “production,” remains to be seen, but Tesla has delivered CyberTrucks to buyers.

Manufacturers Are Driving Sustainability and Profits Through Circularity

Design News - Fri, 2023-12-01 13:00
Manufacturers can improve sustainability by moving from a linear product lifecycle to a circular model.

Munro Teardown Examines the Cadillac Lyric's Cooling

Design News - Fri, 2023-12-01 09:00
Why does the Lyric have such an unusually large drive module plate cooler?

AI Summit Looks at AI’s Progress and Challenges

Design News - Fri, 2023-12-01 07:00
Conference looks at advances in areas like generative AI as well as growing challenges.

Could Digital Twins Help Engineers Communicate Better?

Design News - Fri, 2023-12-01 02:00
Using interactive digital engineering communications could open doors to new opportunities.