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Design Job: Hit For the Cycle! Minor League Baseball is Seeking a Production Designer in Saint Petersburg, FL

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

In support of Minor League Baseball’s vision to “be a dynamic leader in sport and entertainment,” MiLB is currently seeking an energetic Production Designer to join the Brand Development team. The Coordinator, Brand Development assists in the creation of MiLB’s full portfolio of marketing communications, ensures design consistency and

View the full design job here

How to Build a Coffee Table with Just Two Tools, Make a Secret Compartment Shelf, Create Motion-Activated Bike Lighting & More

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago
Motion Activated Bike Lighting Prototype

Bob Clagett uses an Arduino 101 board to create a unique bike light. Helpfully, he covers not only the build, but the coding as well:

Traditional Farmer's Table

Laura Kampf builds a bauerntisch, a traditional farmer's table, from Spruce and Hemlock. I like her idea of using biscuit cleats to hold the top down while allowing for expansion and contraction:

DIY Modern Coffee Table with Two Tools

Chris Salomone builds a coffee table you can construct using only two tools, and goes over the build order in detail:

Secret Compartment Floating Shelf

DIY Tyler builds a floating shelf with a magnet-unlocked hidden compartment inside it:

CNC Downdraft Table with Storage

Dustin Penner, hater of MDF, must treat with the stuff in order to create this downdraft table for his desktop CNC mill:

New Shop Tour

Out of everyone on this list, Marc Spagnuolo probably had the largest and best-outfitted workspace with his 1,600-square-foot "dream shop" in Arizona. Now relocated to Colorado, Spagnuolo has had to start over again. Here's his new set-up, nearly complete:


How to Scribe Wood to Stone, Build a Space-Efficient Exercise Machine, Build 62 Frames in Two Days & More

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago
Homemade Gym in a Cabinet

Izzy Swan builds a space-efficient exercise machine, and discusses changing your mind about the design midway through a project:

62 Frames

Talk about production work. Jimmy DiResta's got a rush job on his hands, and needs to make 62 glass-faced shou sugi ban frames for an art show--in just two days:

Condensed 20" Bandsaw Build

Matthias Wandel compresses all seven build videos in his recent bandsaw series into one, for those who want to see it all in one sitting:

Installing a Cyclone Dust Collector

Jay Bates has been out of commission for a couple of months following a surgery. His ailment was respiration-related, so here he's updating the dust collection in his shop starting with installing a Clear Vue cyclone system:

Cutting Board Care

A cutting board is one of the easiest things for a beginning woodworker to make and start selling. Here Steve Ramsey explains how to prep one for sale and maintain it over its lifetime:

How To Scribe Wood To Stone

Here's a very interesting bit of problem solving from the Samurai Carpenter: How do you get a rectilinear surface, like the bottom of a post, to mate cleanly with an organic shape, like the craggy surface of a stone footing? The short answer is, special tools and hard work:

The Psychology Behind Couples Fighting in IKEA, an Archive of Cinema Tickets and How Muji Embodies the Ulm School's Design Principles

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

Core77's editors spend time combing through the news so you don't have to. Here's a weekly roundup of our favorite stories from the World Wide Web.

Tickets Please

The description (Twitter, Instagram) says it all: "An ever growing archive of cinema tickets." Many of the older examples read like small posters, printed for the occasion. More modern examples include interesting dot matrix and monospaced typefaces also.

—Stuart Constantine, publisher and managing partner

Why You Gotta Fight with Me in IKEA? You Know I Love to Go There...

This week, I'm playing relationship guru—more specifically, IKEA relationship guru. Here a psychologist explains why couples fight in the mega-store, and here's an opinion piece with some advice on how to avoid arguments about things like copper lamps and bed frames. Don't skip over these if you're single—I promise the scenarios still apply, but with inner battles:

"Here’s the cruelest of all the cruel jokes Ikea plays on its customers: If—if—you and your significant other still make it out of there with minimal strife and all the furniture you need, you still have to go home and assemble it. And that, for the uninitiated, is a whole other can of worms."

—Emily Engle, Assistant Editor

How Muji Brought the Ulm School to the High Street

Deputy Editor Mark Sinclair explains, along with photos, how "If one brand truly embodies the pure, democratic design principles of Germany's Ulm School of the 1950s and 60s, it's not Apple, or even Braun, but Muji." Since their birth in 1983, Muji has gradually expanded their product line into a complete ecosystem and, effectively, a lifestyle.

—Rain Noe, senior editor

Why Nothing Works Anymore

"So many ordinary objects and experiences have become technologized—made dependent on computers, sensors, and other apparatuses meant to improve them—that they have also ceased to work in their usual manner. It's common to think of such defects as matters of bad design. That's true, in part. But technology is also more precarious than it once was. Unstable, and unpredictable. At least from the perspective of human users. From the vantage point of technology, if it can be said to have a vantage point, it's evolving separately from human use."

—Allison Fonder, community manager

Drawing Cars is Hard—Here's a Way to Make it Slightly Simpler

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

A lot of you have been asking me to draw a car and honestly I've been avoiding it! But for good reason… because it is hard. Drawing a car is a lot different from any other product conceptualization. I think this is because we have strong emotional associations with cars. So much so that our minds have built them up a system of symbols and it can be hard to get past those to draw what actually feels like an automobile. The most similarly difficult subject to draw is the human form and face. If you can master the human form and the car, then I think you can draw just about anything with ease. In this video, I set up a relatively simple perspective without a lot of forced vanishing points to make it a little easier on ourselves. 

The more you get comfortable with sketching a vehicle the more you can start to play with challenging perspectives. For this video, I chose a relatively simple front 3/4 view with more emphasis on the front. Notice how I start by seeing up a very loose perspective box. Now I know you've seen a hundred demos where the guy draws a box and one step later it is magically jet fighter or an owl, but in this case I use the vertices of the box to act as centerlines for wheel ellipses. Once I have the wheels in place, I sketch out the shoulder line of the car, or the character line that tends to flow right over both wheels. Off of this I hook around the base of the front of the vehicle and rail the line up into the opposite fender. Now I have the lower half of the car blocked in and I can start adding form and detail to that. Notice how I build it around the centerline to create a strong personality to the front. this composition of elements on the front of the car is called the down road graphic, or DRG.

I'll start to build the upper half of the car, or the greenhouse, by sketching in the A,B, and C pillars. Notice how my A Pillar essentially points to the center of the front wheel ellipse. Likewise my C Pillar points toward the center of the rear wheel. The B Pillar doesn't go vertically, it slants in. That is because the greenhouse of a car is frequently tapered. This is called tumblehome. I also draw through the greenhouse showing the A,B, and C pillars on the opposite side of the car through the glass, which is called the daylight opening, or DLO.

Now that my line work is roughed in I use a simple strategy to shade the concept. Using a cloud blue Prismacolor marker I shade all of the upward facing surfaces to simulate a little sky reflection. Using 30% and 60% cool greys, I shade all of the ground facing surfaces. It is a simple technique that helps the sketch read with a minimum of fuss.

Sketching a car is hard. Did this video make you any better at it? Probably not—it takes years of practice. I could teach a semester long class on just getting OK at sketching a car in a few perspectives. So if you are a little rough at it, don't beat yourself up. The key is to keep practicing. As always, post below with any comments, questions, or requests.

Yo! C77 Sketch is a video series from Core77 forum moderator and prolific designer, Michael DiTullo. In these tutorials, DiTullo walks you through step by step rapid visualization and ideation techniques to improve your everyday skills. Tired of that guy in the studio who always gets his ideas picked because of his hot sketches? Learn how to beat him at his own game, because the only thing worse than a bad idea sketched well is a great idea sketched poorly.

Stockholm Design Week 2017

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

The largest annual tradeshow for Scandinavian design takes place—fittingly, perhaps—in the middle of the long Nordic winter, when the temperature is typically hovering around freezing. Even so, the quality and quantity of the products and projects brings some 50,000 visitors to the Stockholmsmässan over the course of a week. Taking place from February 6–12, the city's eponymous design week coincides with the Furniture & Light Fair, which ran from the 7–11th this year, featuring a tasteful selection of new and recent work by independent designers and studios alongside more commercial offerings.

We undertook a whirlwind tour of the fair, which was divided into three main sections with the usual tradeshow fare, as well as a number of special guest exhibitions throughout the Stockholmsmässan. While it was nice to see blockbuster booths from well-known Scandinavian brands such as HAY, Muuto, Normann Copenhagen, Menu, Kvadrat, etc., it was the independent brands and student presentations that offered the latest and greatest projects. 

Here are just a few highlights from the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair 2017.

Originating from the Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusetts, "Furnishing Utopia" is an ongoing collaboration between over a dozen designers, who have revisited traditional typologies developed by "the first minimalists" from the late 1700s. The Shaker Design Project debuted at NYCxDesign last year and the latest edition includes new pieces alongside the first collection; participants include Core favs Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, Chris Specce, Studio Gorm, Gabriel Tan, Zoë Mowat, Jonah Takagi, and many more.In the foreground: "Trestle Table" by Studio Gorm; "Brush Study" by Zoë Mowat; "Stepstool" by Anderssen & Voll"Hancock Basket" by Studio Tolvanen; Broom and Sconce by Tom Bonamici"Handy" folding ladder and rake by Chris Specce; "Secretary Desk" and "Woven Stools" by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio

Smaller objects such as "The Hand" by Studio Tolvanen, baskets by Studio Gorm, "Brethern Doorstops" by Gabriel Tan, and measuring tools by Ladies & Gentlemen StudioThe Danish Design Maker exhibition included 20 projects and prototypes, such as the "Sui" chair by Studio FEM"Plusboxes" by Wednesday Architecture "Volume" chairs by Jonas Edvard & Nikolaj Steenfatt

Muuto was among the many Scandinavian brands at the fair.Curated by second-year "Design + Change" students, Linnaeus University's exhibition showcased speculative projects by third-year "Design and Sustainability students."UOK" by Sofie Röjne hypothesizes products to suppress the five senses.At top, "Genderation INC." by Elis Frederiksen; below, "Black & Blue" by Emelie Sandahl"Xenotransplantation" by Ebba Johansson addresses organ transplanting between humans and animals, and vice versaAalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture presented "Under Bar Himmel," a collection of bent-steel chairs.

Konstfack grad Keisuke KawaseTORU hails from BarcelonaStudio Foy is based in OsloBeckmans College of Design

Jaime Hayon was this year's Guest of HonorThe Spanish designer created a pavilion in the atrium of the Stockholmsmässan Hayon was the 14th Guest of Honor for the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair.

A Heavy-Duty Lantern Designed to Face the Elements

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

Lacking a signature lighting product, we developed an aggressive and rugged lantern for the PEAK 720 brand, durable enough to withstand drops, dirt and water across multiple environments. The panoramic LED lighting system features five intensity settings and a convex reflector cap provides you with the ultimate lighting experience indoors and out. A removable battery pack in the bottom of the device enables users to charge independently from the unit, and the rubber overmold ensures maximum protection for all your needs while you’re at work or play.

View the full content here

IBM and Ace Hotels' Coding Cognitive Study Groups

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

A couple of weeks ago, we had the pleasure of attending IBM and Ace Hotels' first Coding Cognitive event in New York City. The four part series aims to teach a wider audience about the opportunities IBM Watson's technology can bring to the table. Along with gaining knowledge about the technology, participants have the chance to create their own chat bot using IBM Watson as a tool. 

We sat down with IBM and Ace Hotels team members to talk about the motivation behind these events and what participants can expect:

Register for Pittsburgh and London's events here.

Rain's Weekly Design Minutiae: Apple's Unusual Shopping Bag

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

A crew in my photo studio left behind a bunch of paper shopping bags. I was folding them up to recycle them when I noticed something odd. Take a look at this Apple shopping bag vs. the others:

Front Rear

See it? All of the non-Apple shopping bags have their fold-flat crease on one of the faces. 

The bottoms of the non-Apple bags, though they are comprised of different pieces laminated together, are designed to remain flat whether the bag is folded or open. They are also a visual hodgepodge of different pieces meeting.

In contrast, the bottom of Apple's bag is neat and orderly, no angles. It's also designed with the fold-flat crease on the bottom, leaving the face unmarred.

In other words both faces of the Apple bag are completely seamless.

I found that Apple has patented this bag's design. And the Washington Post even wrote about it. But neither the patent nor the article mention the seamless faces; both are instead focused on the nature of the handles.

The non-Apple shopping bags have twine-like handles glued between strips of paper. In the Abercrombie & Fitch bag the handles disappear into slots.

The mid-range bags have shoelace handles that are knotted on the inside.

The Apple bag has knit handles that are made from paper. They don't feel softer in the hand than the shoelace handles but they do feel more substantial.

They disappear into the bag through these half-moon cutouts and are reinforced on the inside. The top of the bag feels quite strong and I'm certain that if this were to fail, it wouldn't be at the handles.

(This drawing is a cross-section of 9-9 shown in Fig. 1)

I'm a longtime Apple user, but the company no longer holds the magic for me that it once did. I find their products aren't any easier to use compared to competitors and their software is non-intuitive, clunky and buggy. I don't care if they do or don't come out with something shiny and new every year, I just wish they'd focus on making their current stuff work well.

So, seeing the design attention lavished on this bag actually made me a little sad. Because it shows that someone inside the company still gives a damn, but it is not trickling down to end-user-me in a way that improves my life.

Steve Jobs used to cite the old craftsman's saw about making the unseen back of the cabinet as nice as the front, and someone has done that here with the bottom of the bag. Which is admirable, though no one is likely to notice. I do notice daily, however, that the search functionality in Mail is completely fugazi, it's impossible to find things in the Finder and using iCal is horrific. My phone is constantly nagging me to use iCloud and when I activate Siri there's no more audible prompt, so by the time I start speaking it cuts me off with "Sorry, I didn't get that." And on and on.

So while I appreciate the design of the bag, these days I find myself less inclined to buy anything to put into it.

A Swoopy Concept Bike Done Right

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

It's not unfair to say most sleek designy bikes are garbage from a practical perspective. Aesthetically speaking designers despise hubs, spokes, angular frames, familiar components and the basic engineering that makes bikes work. Thankfully the Stadtfuchs is a foxy new release from Urwahn Bikes in Magdeburg, Germany, and a pleasant departure from these edgy frame adaptations.

URWAHN BIKES | TEASER STADTFUCHS from Urwahn Bikes on Vimeo.

A city bike after my own heart, it is intended to offer the gearing and ride qualities that you'd actually want around town, while the frame itself takes on a familiar conceit - less frame is cooler! 

To accomplish that bendy minimal look, the design incorporates 3D-printed joints made through additive selective laser melting. The stainless steel frame and super curved rear triangle (or 2/3 triangle?) offer impact dampening, and clearance for fat slick tires helps too. 

The Stadtfuchs also integrates bulby alien-looking LED lights, driven by dynamo hubs. They seem minimally illuminating but certainly add some odd pragmatism to that rubbery wishbone rear end for a fun yet practical take on the modern commuter bike. 

Design Job: Turn Up the Volume! TIDAL Music is Seeking a Product Manager in Oslo, Norway

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

TIDAL Music is growing at an exceptional speed and we are searching for an experienced Product Manager to join our growing team in Oslo, Norway. The Product Manager will work closely with our technology & design teams to innovate products from conception to launch. As a Product Manager

View the full design job here

Pre-Order These Trusco Toolboxes Now

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

Four years ago we spotted the Trusco Toolbox on one of our favorite designer's website and, fully enamored, immediately made a sourcing mission of securing it for sale at volume. After much effort we found a Japanese distributor willing to work with us via an export agency; it added cost and processing time but it got the toolboxes to our shores. Our passion for Trusco spread and the toolbox became one of Hand-Eye's best-ever sellers.

Get on Board for $avings

We kept up an effort throughout this time to more efficiently source and import: looking into other arrangements, even trying air freight to keep the supply flowing smoothly. Finally, late last year, with the help of our city – Thank you, Mitsu & Portland Development Commission – we established a direct connection with the Trusco manufacturing company.

Now that the contracts are complete we are very excited to update our Trusco page with new prices - an average of 40% less than before and to announce that pre-ordering is open! Anyone placing an order by February 28th is guaranteed a spot in of our first shipment!

Get your pre-order in by Feburary 28th!

Hand Tool School #20: My Favorite Chisel

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

I was recently asked by a Hand Tool School member to provide a list of good chisel brands to aid him in buying. That's actually a pretty tough question to answer seeing as I don't have more than 5 minutes of fiddle time with more than a couple brands. So I started to think about what I like about my favorite chisels, and for that matter which one is my favorite chisel.

My favorite chisel isn't pretty, it's beat up pretty badly and has lots of patina on the socket handle and the blade. The handle has a ratty leather washer on top, and I don't think I can even free it from the socket any longer. It is a 1.5? firmer chisel and the straight walls often get in the way on inside corners. It is a Buck Bros. chisel, which isn't really known for high quality tools, and I have no idea when it was made. I think I bought it for $5 along with 6 or 7 other rusty tools in a shoebox at a yard sale.

Here's the thing, this chisel fits my hand like a glove. The edge, while not as durable as some of the modern alchemy, can be honed razor sharp. The bevel is set at 20 degrees with a slight microbevel. It pares away even the most stubborn woods with ease, and I use it constantly to pare split tenon cheeks, chamfer edges, or refine a filister. There is a spot of heavy patina right where my thumb rests, and while I know this not to be true, this area feels softer and sculpted to my thumb. When I grasp the blade, my fingers fall into place automatically, and the chisel becomes an extension of my hand that is perfectly balanced. It responds to my thoughts instantly, and I swear it anticipates my next move. When I use it, my breathing slows and we work as one.

I don't know who owned this before me or how it was used. I relish the thought that I am extending the life of this chisel and continuing the work of craftsman before me. On paper my Lie Nielsen and Blue Spruce chisels should outperform this "reject" in every way. I can't explain it other than to say that my favorite chisel has soul. The figurative choir of angels just sings whenever I use it.

But Here is My Theory...

I know nothing about metallurgy and don't really care enough to research it. My common sense tells me that modern made chisels, especially ones made by Lie-Nielsen, Blue Spruce, Veritas, etc. have superior steel than the vintage chisels you will find in a shoebox at the garage sale. But I question whether that is even important. Don't get me wrong, my Lie Nielsen chisels are fantastic, but the hardness of the steel really isn't that big a factor when I'm doing paring work. Certainly if I pound on it to chop a mortise, a weaker steel might fold and dull quickly. But then again, that is what sharpening is for. There is something magical about the "softer" vintage steel in old chisels that makes them easy to sharpen and they work great for general use and for paring.

So which brands are the best? I can't really answer that and I don't think the type of steel really should play into that question. In my experience, its all about the feel or "spirit" of the tool. Who can tell, it is a personal choice and sometimes it might surprise you which chisel is your "best."

Meet Your Jury Captains for Strategy & Research, Built Environment and Consumer Product

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

Our Core77 Design Awards deadline is inching closer and closer—less than two weeks left to send your entry in under our Regular Deadline! As you prepare to submit one of your best design projects, learn through our Jury Captain series about who will be judging your submissions and what they'll be looking for this year. Week 1 we chatted with captains for Design Concept, Visual Communication and Furniture & Lighting categories. Last week, we caught up with the Transportation, Design Education Initiative and Service Design judges. 

Our latest bundle of interviews concentrates on the jury team leaders for three important categories—Consumer Product, Built Environment, and Strategy & Research.

Ian Ferguson (left) and Martin Postler (right)Ian Ferguson & Martin Postler, 2017 Consumer Product

Founders, PostlerFerguson

Martin Postler and Ian Ferguson are the founders and directors of PostlerFerguson, an industrial design office creating products for a meaningful future. PostlerFerguson works with clients to design and develop products combining bold creative vision with refined technical solutions. With offices in London and Hamburg, they have an international roster of clients including LG Electronics, Nike, Acoustic Research, Nudeaudio, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Victoria and Albert Museum.

PostlerFerguson talks with Core77 about their time spent designing consumer products—we discuss their favorite kinds of projects to work on, the rewards and challenges of working with small vs. bigger clients as well as what they are looking for in the 2017 Core77 Design Awards consumer product submissions.

Lola Sheppard, 2017 Built Environment

Co-founder, Lateral Office

Lola Sheppard received her B.Arch from McGill University and M.Arch from Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo. Together with Mason White, she founded Lateral Office in 2003. Lateral Office is an architecture practice that operates at the intersection of architecture, landscape, and urbanism. The studio describes its practice process as a commitment to design as a research vehicle to pose and respond to complex, urgent questions in the built environment, engaging in the wider context and climate of a project– social, ecological, or political.

Designing environments combines many design fields and skill sets. What does a typical built environment team look like? What skills do designers need to bring to the table in order to design successful projects?

A built in environment team should bring together designers from a wide range of disciplines and approaches. Depending on the project this might include architects, landscape architects, fabrication designers Interior architects, etc...The negotiation of scales and priorities can only enrich the project.

Why is it important for architects and designers working in the field of built environments to integrate material and technological research into their own practice?

Design is, necessarily, a material practice: new materials and technologies offer opportunities for innovation and invention. In other instances, use of traditional materials in new.

What are some important considerations designers often overlook when creating built environments?

Because designers' work begins in the form of drawings, models and renders, it is easy to focus on how a project looks rather than how it is experienced, who uses it and how, how it will weather and change use over time, and how it can accommodate for contingency and unpredictability. 

Nicolas Maitret, 2017 Strategy & ResearchSenior Principle, SY Partners

Nicolas leads projects at the intersection of innovation, branding and transformation, with deep expertise in both design and business strategy. Over the past 15 years, he has designed a wide range of products, services, and environments. At SYPartners, he's helped IBM, AARP and Johnson & Johnson bring to life new visions for their businesses and brands; imagined customer experiences for Old Navy, Blue Shield, and Target; and designed exhibits for Nike and IBM.

The projects you work on for SY Partners help companies transform their organizations through branding and innovation. What's your background before this and what led you to what you're doing now?

I grew up in France where I got an MBA and an MFA in industrial design. In 2005, I was working as an industrial designer in Paris. My wife and I decided to move to the US. I contacted dozens of design firm on both coasts. Back then, having a hybrid business and design background was uncommon. People didn't know what box to put me in. I had a few good conversations in the Bay Area. I came to SYPartners for a short interview and ended up meeting half of the office. Right away, it felt like a great fit. I got an offer the following day. And never left.

How has the relationship between strategy & research and design changed in recent years? How have these changes affected your role?

SYPartners believes in the fusion of design and strategy. Our teams include both strategists and designers from start to finish. There's no handoff. The traditional boundaries tend to blur. Designers are expected to think strategically and strategists are expected to understand design.

We do that for three reasons.

+ Designers help make the strategy stronger and more unique: The problems we address are complex enough that multiple perspectives are needed to solve them. By gathering MBAs, behavioral scientists, engineers and designers in our teams, we can be much more creative and systemic in our approach.

+ Designers translate the strategy into experiences that build belief: To be successful, a strategy doesn't just have to be understood. It has to be felt. A few years ago, we crafted the CSR strategy of a famous apparel brand. We first shared a simple deck and people nodded along. They got it, but it didn't move them. Then we turned the strategy into an immersive exhibit including sound, powerful artifacts, lighting design... Employees, from the founder to interns, came in and teared up. They could feel the strategy's intent, viscerally. Only then did they truly believe in it.

+ Designers help close the gap between strategy and execution by making the strategy real faster: Strategies often look great on paper and prove impossible to execute. We're trying to reduce the execution risk by adopting agile methods in our consulting practice. Our teams are building the strategy and immediately prototyping its implications. Increasingly, deck-driven strategy is replaced by prototype-driven strategy. One example is our work with a large membership organization. As we help shape their long-term brand strategy, we immediately apply our hypotheses to their current campaign. We're working on two different timeframes at once — the long term brand positioning and the design of this season's ads. The two tracks inform each other.

From physical Nike installations to imagined brand experiences for Yahoo!, you've worked on it all. Are there any research methods that are relevant to every project you work on? Are there different methods you use for digital projects as opposed to physical ones?

We use a wide range of methods, from conducting ethnographies and surveys to commissioning academic studies. We spend as much time researching the purpose, culture, and structure of the organizations we work with as we do exploring the market, societal and technological forces shaping their environment. In our experience, majoring on the research of external forces at the expense of internal dynamics leads to solutions that make sense from a market perspective but fail to be embraced by the organization. That's why we put equal emphasis on understanding internal and external systems.

What are you hoping to see in the Design Award entries this year?

Projects that turn confusion into clarity.

Projects that help people bring purpose into their lives.

Projects that help people transform and show up at their best.

Projects that help people belong.

Projects that break barriers and build bridges.

Projects that embody optimism and aspiration, without being naïve.

Refine your projects and enter them in the 2017 Core77 Design Awards today! Regular prices end March 8. 

Affordable Japanese Stand-and-Dine Steakhouse Comes to NYC

Core 77 - 10 hours 16 min ago

Margins are thin in the restaurant business, and most of them survive on volume. As a server I learned that turning tables over is both art and science; in addition to subtle interpersonal machinations enacted by the waiter, the chairs provided are not too comfortable and the background music isn't too pleasing. You want the customer to eat, enjoy their meal but not linger too long, or profits erode.

In Japan eating while standing is not uncommon for fast food; when living there I did it often at outdoor ramen carts. So Japanese chef Kunio Ichinose, who's on a mission to serve delicious but affordable steaks, figured a standing concept might work with a steakhouse. 

He opened Ikinari Steak in Tokyo in 2013, featuring standing-height tables and no chairs. Customers have little incentive to linger after enjoying the food, meaning more can be served in a night.

The last time I went to a steakhouse—NYC's wonderful Strip House, where I would slap anyone who tried to touch my dry-aged Ribeye—I spent damn near three hours there. On my feet I'd have done perhaps sixty minutes.

The concept proved successful, and as of this year Ichinose now has over 100 Ikinari Steak restaurants in Japan.

Today he's opening another—in New York City, the home of fierce steak competition. Ikinari Steak at 90 East 10th Street, the East Village's Little Tokyo, opens its doors today offering 40 standing spots. (A further ten spots do have chairs, so the infirm or those dining with companions in wheelchairs can also enjoy the food.)

The prices seem shockingly low. I've never paid less than $50 for a good steak in Manhattan, but Ikinari offers a 14-ounce Ribeye for $36. At lunchtime they offer a 10.6-ounce Chuck-eye for $20 including a salad, soup and rice.

Diners can order in the Japanese style, meaning by the gram. Those with small stomachs can go as low as 200 grams (7.1 ounces) while diners with hefty appetites can go up to 500 grams (17.6 ounces) and the prices scale accordingly.

One other Japanese custom has been brought over, one that I abhor as a former server but which your average customer is bound to love: There is a no-tipping policy.

It would be ironic if they equip the queue outside the restaurant with those Japanese self-driving chairs.

Announcing the Core77 x A/D/O Design Residency

Core 77 - Sun, 2017-02-26 08:07

Designers: do you have a professional or passion project you're ready to get off the ground, but are lacking the space and support to make it happen? Well, we and our friends at the A/D/O design space in Brooklyn may be able to help.

source: A/D/O

Beginning this spring, A/D/O, a new, dedicated workspace for designers in Brooklyn, New York, will offer not only a beautiful work environment, but also fabrication equipment, exhibition space, and a flourishing community of like-minded individuals and support to further your design projects. Featuring a full calendar of cultural events and exhibits with visionary speakers, members of A/D/O will also have a front row seat to some of the most engaging discussions around design in the city.

source: A/D/O
Today we're excited to launch our Core77 x A/D/O residency call-for-entry. 

The A/D/O Core77 residency is an outstanding opportunity for designers in the Core77 community to find a supportive space to further their efforts in design.

After receiving your residency proposal submissions, Core77 and A/D/O will pick one designer to occupy a desk at A/D/O's space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn from April-June 2017 for free. The winner will have their own desk and access to all of A/D/O's facilities, services, as well as their shop & digital fabrication equipment.

During their time in the residency, the occupant will be expected to document some of his or her process (prototyping, digital fabrication, woodworking, etc.) through photography and video. Once a month, winners will also be visited by the Core77 editorial team to conduct a monthly check-in, which will result in a video series showing a behind the scenes peek into the process of their project.

Core77 will be looking for applicants with specific project proposals—be it kickstarting an entrepreneurial project, development of a new product or even a conceptual design project. Applicants should be able to provide a clear summary of their mission if chosen as the Core77 design resident as well as telling us what stage in the process they are currently in. Although the chosen resident can use the space however they wish, we aren't looking for a designer simply seeking a place to work—we want to see a dream project you're ready to get started on in an environment with with plenty of resources and support!

As we'd like to ensure the space will be used by the winning designer, local applicants in the New York area will be placed at the highest priority.

Apply now to be in the running for this fantastic opportunity—winners will be announced March 20th, so you only have a few weeks to apply! Apply for the Core77 x A/D/O Residency hereLearn more about A/D/O here

Reader Submitted: A Sleek Bamboo Charcoal Filtered Water Bottle

Core 77 - Sat, 2017-02-25 07:41

Over 50 billion disposable plastic water bottles are thrown away around the world every year. BU Water aims to bring you an innovative alternative to single­ use bottles by encouraging people to conserve resources with a reusable bottle that filters water on the go.

View the full project here

Striking Lighting from Humble Parts

Core 77 - Fri, 2017-02-24 06:29

A recent interior design collaboration by Marta Ayala Herrera and Cito Ballesta resulted in some of the more dynamic lighting I've seen so far this year. Working for the Casa Encendida creative space, the product designer/architect duo aimed to emphasize honesty and simplicity from the materials through their use. 

The entire resulting project is a lovely synthesis of modern and contemporary thinking. The lighting in particular uses industrial materials and colors to surprising effect. With parts as simple as fluorescent tubing and bent perforated sheet steel, Herrera made spatial arrangement an almost physical ingredient in how the lights feel in the space. Alone or interlocked together, the lights play along X, Y, and Z axes, keeping the simple shapes as interesting and dynamic as the space they're meant to light.  

You can find more on the project and its odd modular furniture on Marta's website

Design Job: Off to the Races! The New York Racing Association, Inc. is Seeking a Graphic Designer in New York, NY

Core 77 - Fri, 2017-02-24 06:29

Job Overview: Responsible for creative design for various New York Racing Association properties while maintaining and implementing brand guidelines. Responsibilities: * Production management/ project management across online and offline platforms, for all tracks, including video production, web graphics, marketing collateral (booklets, posters, brochures, etc.), advertising

View the full design job here

How to Negotiate Your Own Licensing Agreement

Core 77 - Fri, 2017-02-24 06:29

For the past few months, I've been describing what is needed to license simple ideas for new products. Designers pride themselves on their execution. But the licensing model requires you to be willing to relinquish some control. There are enormous benefits — and self-employment is freeing.

To briefly summarize, if after you've studied a market and done a prior art search; determined your product idea is indeed novel; made a list of potential licensees; filed a provisional patent application; and begun reaching out to said companies over LinkedIn or by calling their corporate office… one day soon, you'll get a response! Which may surprise you.

Know that smaller, more aggressive companies will get back to you quickly. Predictably, large companies move more slowly. They may need to bring a larger group of people together before replying, which could take between five and 10 days. My best experiences have been with midsized companies.

You'll say to yourself, "Shit, this actually works!" Now you're in the game. I try to get my students in the game as quickly as possible so they know this is for real, and I advise you to do the same. Polishing your design may be satisfying, but it won't help you secure a licensing agreement.

Don't overthink it.

The licensing process is actually pretty straightforward. It's always made sense to me on a very practical level in that way. If your marketing materials are good, companies will be able to quickly decide if they want to discuss your idea with you further. Yes or no.

The challenge really lies in finding the right partner — the perfect match for your concept. The closer you get, the sooner you'll hear back.

Remember, companies today are stretched thin as it is. Getting them to do something new is damn near impossible. You need to show them something that is just different enough. Of course, some companies do take chances on products that fall outside their typical purview. But those who do are most often small companies, which by definition have access to fewer resources.

Soon enough, you'll land one. (If not, you may be approaching the wrong companies.) And just like that — the time to dance has begun.

Keep in mind… this is a slow dance. Finalizing a deal will take longer than you expect. No matter. Your attitude is everything. Be explicit, and continue to tell the company that if they're interested, you can get a deal done. Make it very clear that you're happy to be working with them — that you're optimistic, excited, appreciative, and looking toward the future. Setting the right tone is extremely important; I cannot stress this enough. Look at every interaction you have as an opportunity to keep setting the right tone. When things move more slowly than you want, don't let your emotions get the best of you.

You don't want to step on anyone's toes and you don't want to unnecessarily throw up any red flags. Be patient.

Early on, most of your conversations will be through email. That creates a paper trail, which is great.

But after a few exchanges, get on the phone. You need more information, and having a phone conversation will provide some in more ways than one. Everything from what is said to how much time on the phone your contact spends with you will shed light on their level of interest. I previously wrote about the value of sending each company on your list a unique link to your video. This allows you to track when and how often they click that link. Have they been watching? If they're playing it cool, but they've watched your video 12 times… draw your own conclusions. The party with the most information usually wins.

After you get some initial interest, continue reaching out to other potential licensees. Don't assume it's a done deal! Deals falls out all the time.

Keep the momentum you've got going. Time is money! Having multiple companies interested in your product is never a problem. (Not because I think you can leverage one against the others, per se. That's unrealistic, although it does happen.) The bigger picture is, continuing to reach out to other potential licensees is a form of protection. If you've filed a provisional patent application, your patent pending status is a ticking 12-month time bomb. So make haste!

Because if you disclose your idea publicly and don't move quickly enough, you may end up having to make an expensive decision when those 12 months are up — meaning file a non-provisional application. Filing a non-provisional patent application on your own, with no interest? That's more risk than I want to take on. I prefer to get my licensees to pay for a patent to be written in my name, of course, and so do other licensing experts like Gene Luoma, best known for inventing the drain-clearing tool Zip-It. "The hardest part is keeping it simple," Luoma likes to say. I agree.

The original prototype of the Zip-It drain clearing tool, invented by Gene Luoma, which has sold over 32 million units.Look at it like this. The minute a marketing manager (or whoever else it is you reached out to) gets back in touch with you, the negotiation process has begun. 

Expect to receive a response along the following lines. "Thank you for submitting your idea to us. Do you have time for a few questions?"

This is the ideal opportunity to gather as much information as you can about the company. You're both checking each other out! So prepare to ask questions. Is this company the right fit for you?

You'll be asked what you're looking for. My answer: "I am not looking to manufacture; I'm looking to license my product. I'm looking for a royalty on each unit sold."

At that point the first thing out of their mouth will be, "What royalty rate are you looking for?"

To which I respond, "If I understood your business a little bit more, I could come up with an appropriate royalty rate that works for both of us."

Pulling a number out of thin air without knowing the potential revenue opportunity? That's not smart. At this point, the tables will have turned a bit. Now, they're selling you.

Ask them how many stores they have product in. Some people will readily share this information with you, but it's more likely they'll be vague. That's okay. You can find out more on your own. If they tell you they're in Walmart or Kmart, you can always Google how many retail outlets there are.

Assume each retail store sells one unit a week. (If not… your product is going to be kicked to the curb.) Now apply different royalty rates. How much will you make at a five percent royalty? Seven? Three?

Almost always, they will ask you for an exclusive. When you give someone an exclusive, you lose the ability to sell your technology to anyone else, meaning your royalty stream is finite. If your projected revenue is too low, you should walk away. If you've been granted a patent or have proven sales, you can negotiate a higher royalty rate, like between seven and 10 percent.

To be clear though, royalty rates are less important than how many stores they're in and the minimum guarantees they're willing to commit to. Remember, at this point, you're still dating! You don't want to ask any hard questions, which include minimum guarantees, yet.

Don't be caught off guard when they ask you about your intellectual property fairly quickly as well. If you've filed a provisional patent application, then your answer is easy; tell them your concept is patent-pending. At that point they may want to see your provisional patent application, which is not a problem. But you might want to ask them to sign a non-disclosure agreement, given that you'll be sharing confidential information with them.

Most likely, they will not sign yours, and will instead offer one of their own. There is nothing wrong with this, but make sure to examine their document very closely. Confidentiality agreements are written so that they protect both parties — what is known as a mutual non-disclosure agreement — or just one. If something doesn't sound right, consult a patent attorney or a licensing attorney. Yes, this will slow down the momentum you've got going. But it also makes you look more professional. To be honest, I've never relied on confidentiality agreements to protect me. But from a public disclosure standpoint, they're absolutely helpful. They can help you extend the length of your provisional patent application, for example. But please note laws regarding non-disclosure agreements differ between states. IPWatchDog.com has some good sample confidentiality agreements.

Once you've come to an agreement, send them your provisional patent application and any other information that might help them figure out whether your product is right for them.

Continue following up with your contact.

inventRight coach David Fedewa, who has licensed several of his ideas, puts it like this: "You want to stay on top of their pile — on their radar, in other words." So Fedewa follows up with companies that are interested in his ideas every week and does so alternating between emails and calls. He focuses on how he can be helpful by literally asking questions like: How can I help? Do you need any more information?

"If you keep demanding, 'Do you have a decision? Do you have a decision?' then you're likely to be thought of a pest. But if you offer a helping hand, they're more likely to think of you as a resource. 'Why not work with him?'" Fedewa explained.

If the company isn't getting back to you despite your best efforts, you can always ask them pointblank as a last resort: Are you interested? In my experience, that's usually enough to get people off a rock.

If they are interested, that's when you should ask if you can put together a few terms that you all agree upon before moving forward. Technically, what I'm referring to is a term sheet, but you don't have to call it that.

Next up, I'll tackle what that term sheet should include, as well as negotiation dos, don'ts, and deal-killers.

Congrats - You've got interest!