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Core77
Launched in 1995, Core77 serves a devoted global audience of design professionals, corporations, students, enthusiasts and fans.
Updated: 1 day 27 min ago

Crash Baggage: Damaged-Look Luggage from Italy, for Peace of Mind While Traveling

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

You know when you see a new product, and you can't tell if it's meant to be a joke or not? An Italian company called Crash Baggage produces suitcases that look like they've had the hell beaten out of them, straight from the factory. "What's the first thing we think of when we buy a new suitcase?" the company writes. "We are afraid that it will [be damaged]."

To that end, the company produces ABS and polycarbonate suitcases with dents molded right into them. It would be hard to make these look worse. "Our 'Handle Without Care' travel philosophy," they write, "exalts freedom of movement and action where and when you want, without worry."

The company makes three different sizes: Carry-on, Medium and Large, as well as a sort of fanny pack that you can wear while you do martial arts or yoga.

My favorite shot from their lookbook is this very stylish woman using her Crash Baggage to transport bruised bananas.

Dive into their collection here.

Crowdfunding Smash: A 3D Printer That Can Print Pieces of Infinite Length

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

Creality has developed what they call an "Infinite-Z 3D Printer." By tilting their nozzle at a 45-degree angle that prints onto a conveyor belt, rather than a fixed bed, their 3D Print Mill can theoretically print to any length.

Of course, in reality you'll be limited by outfeed, but the development team has successfully printed in lengths up to six meters (about 20 feet). "All in one piece," they write, "produced by a machine only 66cm (about two feet) long."

The Kickstarter funding is bonkers; they were seeking just $13,000 to get production going, but at press time they had $947,760, with 24 days left to pledge.

Soap Dispenser Woes: Wall-Mounted vs. Countertop Designs

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

Ever since I was a kid working in restaurants, I've loved wall-mounted soap dispensers. From a UX perspective, I consider them an almost perfect design: You can clearly see when they need to be refilled, refilling them is easy, and the button is easy to press with knuckles or the back of your hand when your fingers are covered in messy stuff.

They take a little work to mount, particularly if you're drilling through tile, and I wouldn't recommend the double-stick tape they often come with. But once installed, a well-built unit works great.

The problem is, I can't find a well-built unit anymore. I deeply regret leaving two units behind in my New York apartment as they worked flawlessly. Every replacement I've bought since, has leaked. It is incredibly frustrating to find liquid soap all over your sink or countertop in the morning, the dispenser above dead empty. Every single unit you see for sale on Amazon, even the ones with 4.5-star review averages, leaks. Click on the one-star reviews to read the tales of woe.

I was intrigued to see there is an alternative form factor that is guaranteed to be leak-proof--because the nozzle is on top.

This is designed specifically for sponge applications, i.e. doing dishes:

OXO makes a slightly fancier version:

There are two things I don't like about this design approach. The first is that loading it looks like a minor hassle. With the wall-mounted, you pop the cap off and fill, you don't have to unscrew anything.

The second is that this design lives on the countertop (space is scarce on mine). If I can think of a stable-enough way to wall-mount this, without the constant pressing tearing it off of the wall, I may give one of these a go.

Yea or Nay? The Portable International City Radio Box

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

I'm always torn when I encounter objects like this: On the one hand they don't need to exist, but on the other, I see the appeal of the concept.

The Portable International City Radio Box allows you to stream live, local radio stations from your choice of 18 cities: Athens, Barcelona, Beijing, Berlin, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Havana, Istanbul, Jakarta, London, Moscow, Nairobi, New York, Paris, Rome, Sao Paulo, Sydney, and Tokyo. You choose nine of the 18 buttons to install, then pre-program the device so that pressing a button cues up the city.

That idea is alluring. However, the device is little more than a wireless Bluetooth speaker; it doesn't work unless you download the CityRadio app to your smartphone and pair it. In other words, it's your phone that's doing most of the work, and if you've already got a wireless speaker, here you'd be plunking down $120.95 for the experience of pressing a physical button.


On top of that, the physical design of the device can only be described as "basic," bordering on first- or second-year ID student work.


While I do see the appeal of the concept, particularly for anyone who's lived in several of these cities, I find it hard to justify the production costs. If design is about delivering experiences, the experience promised here can be had without this object altogether.

What say you? In your opinion, would the experience of using it justify its production?

This Compact German Semi Truck Divides Into Two Separate Halves for Long Loads

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

My county has a robust timber industry, and you constantly see the logging trucks going back and forth. These trucks are massive when loaded, and massive when empty.

In Germany, however, they've got a very different vehicle for logging: The Ratioplus, manufactured by Doll Fahrzeugbau.

Headed to the jobsite, it looks like this:


Once on-site, the driver hops into the seat for the onboard crane.

He then unloads the truck's little buddy riding on the back.

Then he grabs a log.

As he lays the first one down on the little buddy, he simultaneously remote-controls it to drive away from him, essentially setting the length that the truck will take.

Then he loads up the rest of the logs.

Once done loading, he lashes the logs together with this manly pink chain.

Then he folds the crane back up...


...and drives off.

The configuration allows him to tackle windy roads with ease.



Here's a video look at the process:

A Murphy Bed That Turns Into a Gym

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

At first I thought this was a really dumb idea. But the more I think about it, the more this seems a good solution for dedicated gym rats. The Pivot Bed is a Murphy Bed (made of steel) that converts into a home gym.

The thing that turned me around is, the footprint taken up by your bed is a huge waste of space for the sixteen hours or more that you're not in it. For someone who lives in a small apartment and really does go to the gym every day, specifically to pump iron, that footprint would be truly useful for siting bulky equipment like a squat stand and bench press. (To be clear, it comes with the squat stand, but not the bench; that's up to you to provide.)

At £999 (USD $1,323) this isn't a casual purchase; it really only makes sense if you're a disciplined weightlifter. (And one who doesn't mind sleeping in a room that stinks of your own sweat.)

It's up on Kickstarter right now, but whether it will make the cut is anyone's guess. At press time they had $101,501 in funding towards a $265,523 target, with 20 days left to pledge.

The Opposite of Radiant Floor Heating: A Ceiling & Wall-Based Heating/Cooling System, With No Visible Vents

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

When the Enzo Ferrari Museum in Italy needed a stretch ceiling, they turned to French manufacturer Barrisol.

Housing precious Ferraris aside, Barrisol, who bill themselves as the "world leader of the stretch ceiling," has developed a revolutionary application that their competitors have not: A way to use their ceilings to heat and cool a space, without the end user ever needing to see a vent. Call Barrisol Clim, their proprietary system does away with grilles and in-room heating/cooling objects altogether.

Here's how it works: Their stretch ceiling is installed (minimum 10cm) below the existing ceiling, creating a plenum, or shallow chamber, above. A vent from the existing forced air set-up is fed into the plenum, seen below at left. Air blows through the vent and across the plenum.

The ceiling then acts as a membrane, allowing the blown-air temperature to radiate downwards into the space.

In addition, the air blown across the top of the ceiling hits the wall opposite the duct, then waterfalls down the wall through a slit.


The air current rides along the floor, back towards the originating wall. Finally, it climbs the wall and is reabsorbed into the plenum for another run.

With this cycle formed, "A natural flow of air develops throughout the space inside the room," the company writes, "at speeds so low they are barely perceptible."

The method is the same for both heating and cooling, and the company claims less energy is required than with conventional heating and cooling systems.

The Clim system eliminates the need for visible vents, a plus for interior designers seeking minimalism. The only visual giveaway that the system is in place is the slightest of reveals where the wall meets the ceiling:

And the system still works with ceilings interrupted by lighting fixtures, whether integrated or suspended:

For those interested in investigating the system, Barrisol has certified installers on all continents.

Here's a more detailed explanation of how the system works:


Interior Design Possibilities: Stretch Ceilings

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

When I was a kid, my cousins lived in an old colonial house in Connecticut. On a visit, one of them told me the ceilings of the house were made out of canvas. I didn't believe him. He grabbed a broomstick and pushed the tip against the ceiling. It moved upwards, like fabric. Then my uncle walked in and yelled at him (apparently canvas ceilings are very expensive to fix).

Fabric ceilings have evolved a lot since colonial days, gaining both illuminating functionality and greater aesthetic options. One of the leaders in the space is a UK-based company with a distinct competitive advantage: Like Xerox and Kleenex, the company's name is what laypeople refer to the entire product category as, Stretch Ceilings.

The company, which primarily targets commercial clients, sells systems that can incorporate lighting and graphics. They produce a variety of extruded plastic or aluminum tracks that are installed around the perimeter of a wall or otherwise suspended below the existing ceiling, and a lightweight PVC fabric is attached to the track.


The resultant stretched ceilings can then be dotted with canister lighting, as seen in this residential application…

…but the larger opportunity is to use the ceiling itself as a light fixture. Since the PVC fabric can be produced as thin as 0.2mm--offering light transmission around 75%--the entire ceiling surface can be made into a massive lightbox.

Alternatively, designers can get creative with the shapes of the lighting.

The fabric can also be printed upon.



With a more complicated supporting structure, the fabric can also be curved, albeit with limitations.

Lastly, the fabric serves as a vapor barrier, making it an ideal ceiling surface for spaces subject to humidity.


You can check out more applications for stretch ceilings here.

Designers! Add Your Ideas to the Core77 Ultimate Gift Guide – and Win.

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

Fifteen years after bringing the art form known as "gift guide" to the Internet we are reaching into our back catalog for a classic edition to remix. In 2012 we introduced *The Seven Designer Phenotypes* to the world both online and in a pair of pop-up stores. Originally populated by our editors and illustrated by Tony Ruth, the guide was a hit. Now, we're turning the idea over to our community of designers for an updated take on these classic archetypes.

Recognize yourself among these? Perfect, then add those items that you'd want to receive – those that meet your standards for designer-to-designer gifting. Do it by December 17th, 2020, and your name will be entered into our prize raffle.

Go to the 2020 Core77 Ultimate Gift Guide


illustrations by Tony Ruth


How it Works

Anyone who adds a gift suggestion or upvotes a published gift item will be added to a grand prize gift raffle:

1. Go to our Ultimate Gift Guide homepage and choose a designer type to see their gift guide. 2. Click the button at the top of the individual gift guide page that says "Add Your Item and Win!" 3. Enter the information for your suggestion. Make sure to include an image! 4. Click "Submit for Consideration" when you're done—once the product is published online, your name will be enter into our grand prize raffle!

You're allowed to suggest as many products as you like (1 product listed = 1 entry in our raffle), so go wild. You can also be entered into the raffle by simply upvoting an existing entry. However, in the case of voting, you will only be entered once into the raffle regardless of how many votes you make.

What You Can Win

What are the prizes you might ask? We've got some great ones this year. Enter to win, and you'll have the chance to win great prizes! Our two grand prize winners will win one of two gift options, including a Zip Zip multipurpose bag + pencil set for designers provided by Atelier Yul or a product bundle provided by Areaware!

Submissions are open until Thursday, December 17th, and winners will be announced the following day on Friday, December 18th.

Start making your gift suggestions!:
The 2020 Core77 Ultimate Gift Guide


Cool Tools: Crescent Makes an Adjustable Wrench With a Vise-Grip-Style Locking Handle

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

Years ago I had a roommate who was a carpenter, and I copied a habit from him: Anytime he came into a little extra money, he'd use it to buy a specialty tool that he didn't immediately have a need for, but anticipated he might someday. If you chose carefully, he explained, one day that tool would save your bacon. (Tools I can vouch for in this category are an air shim, a band clamp and a long, ratcheting Bahco driver with an articulating handle.)

The next tool I'd have to put in this category is this cool 10" Locking Adjustable Wrench by Crescent. It's got the convenience of a vise-grip-style locking handle with a more hex-friendly jaw configuration:


These are about $25 on Amazon.

Photographer Documents Everything a Soldier Had to Carry From the Year 1066 to Modern Day

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

London-based photographer Thom Atkinson fastidiously documents "people, objects and places," according to his bio. His work "is characterised by a gentle and observational approach, a natural and honest quality, and a care for the craft of picture making."

Atkinson's "Missing Buildings" is a photo book documenting the titular subjects in London, all removed by the Blitz during World War II. Also on the subject of war, and brilliantly told through "everyday carry"-like photographs, is his "Inventory" series. This carefully documents everything the soldiers of a particular conflict, place and time had to carry with them. Some examples:

Huscarl, Battle of Hastings, 1066, by Thom Atkinson

Mounted Knight, Siege of Jerusalem, 1244 by Thom Atkinson

Trained Band Caliverman, Tilbury, 1588 by Thom Atkinson

Continental Army Private, Battle of Brooklyn, 1776 by Thom Atkinson

Blackfoot Horse Raider, Montana, 1875 by Thom Atkinson

US Army Paratrooper, Operation Market Garden, 1944 by Thom Atkinson

Royal Marine Commando, Falklands Conflict, 1982 by Thom Atkinson

Close Support Sapper, Royal Engineers, Helmand Province, 2014 by Thom Atkinson

Atkinson has way more photos in this series, visible in their high-res glory, here.

Resource: Ex-Nike Footwear Designer Breaks Down Sneaker Terminology in Live Sketching Video

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

Some of you reading this have completed your Foundation Year, and were supposed to be in your first semester of Industrial Design right now. Instead the pandemic has you stuck at home. If this is you, and you were looking forward to studying Footwear Design, we've got the video for you.

Here industrial designer Michael DiTullo, who's worked for Nike, Jordan and Converse, breaks down the terminology and components of footwear design in an hour-long live sketching session:


This Autonomous, Wheeled Toyota Drone Would Refuel or Recharge Your Car On the Road

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

Toyota has filed a patent for an "autonomous fueling drone," a wheeled vehicle loaded up with spare gasoline or a battery charger. The idea is that you're on the road, far from a gas/charging station, and need a re-up. You contact a dispatcher, who communicates current prices to you based on fuel cost and distance. If you're down to pay, the drone is dispatched to rendezvous with you, automatically "couple with [your] vehicle" and top you off, whether your vehicle runs on electric or gas.

The patent even mentions how the drone could maximize sales:

"After the drone has refueled the vehicle, the drone may return to a refilling station. If the drone still has fuel, the drone and/or the dispatcher may send an advertisement to vehicles in the area. The advertisement may advertise the amount of fuel available and/or the cost of the fuel. The drone may gain efficiencies in fuel economy by unloading as much fuel as possible by selling to additional vehicles, rather than carrying the fuel back to a refilling station."

The patent doesn't mention if this would happen while you're in motion, or pulled over by the side of the road. But either way, it's an interesting concept--and if these were scattered across the country, like if every gas or charging station owned a fleet of these, it might go some way towards reducing the range anxiety of electric car owners.

And if a fleet of these were owned by highway rest stops, I'd imagine these could bring you some McDonald's or Starbucks along with your top-off.

BMW's Response to Design Criticism of iX: It's Not Us, It's You

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

Once, I envied BMW's designers. Nowadays I don't envy their marketers, who must craft a campaign around the widely-reviled design of their new iX. And thus far their approach is basically It's not us, it's you. If you don't like the design, you've got some kind of problem.

This is evinced in the landing page for the iX itself, both in the images and the copy. For several of the images, they chose shots where the car is not well-lit and/or is partially obscured, like they're practically trying to hide it:

As for the copy, here's the approach they're taking:

"You will always have plenty of reasons to change. But the truth is: It's always easier to find a reason not to. It might not be the best time for you right now, or perhaps you find yourself in the wrong place. You might think that technology still hasn't reached its peak, or that the design looks strange."…[We ask] one simple question: "What's your reason not to change? Because once you accept the endless possibilities of shaping the future for the better, we believe there is no real reason not to take that first step. There is no reason not to change."

In other words, it's not that we're recoiling at a cascading series of horrific design decisions. We are "in the wrong place" and collectively experiencing some kind of emotional or psychological barrier to accepting change and understanding that the design must be good. Because all change is good.

BMW is also engaging in some hilarious Twitter exchanges:

It's a very weird tack to take, but I don't know what else their marketers could possibly do.

In the end, drivers will vote with their wallets. It will be interesting to see what the initial sales figures look like.

Lastly, here's their somewhat condescending video, with a voiceover chiding you to get with the program and accept the iX as the future:

via Jalopnik & The Drive

Vote for Our 2021 SXSW Panel: Harnessing Data to Reach Your Social Impact Goals

Wed, 2020-11-25 05:44

Core77 is excited to announce our very first submission for SXSW, a panel titled "Harnessing Data to Reach Your Social Impact Goals" in partnership with multidisciplinary engineering consultancy MistyWest. The talk is currently open for voting in SXSW's PanelPicker system until Friday November 20, which is part of a two-tier process that allows conference attendees to have a say in this SXSW's 2021 programming.

Vote for "Harnessing Data to Reach Your Social Impact Goals" on SXSW's PanelPicker platform here

Panel Topic

While it's true technology today is responsible for much gloom and doom, it may also be our only hope for reversing industrialization's effects on climate change and creating more equitable futures globally. For this panel, we'll be chatting with design professionals at leading organizations such as Google and Microsoft who are working on teams using data to fight future disease outbreaks and help build more resilient, productive food systems.

What can be learned from their findings about the power data has to affect change? How can you implement the use of data within your own company or practice to successfully contribute to social good? This panel will answer these questions of how data can speed up research and optimize observations in order to tackle urgent social impact issues.

Panel Participants

This panel will be joined by Oleha Riden, Principal of MistyWest, Emily Ma, Project Lead at X (formerly Google X), Dr. Lucas Joppa, Chief Environmental Officer at Microsoft, and will be moderated by Allison Fonder, Senior Producer of Core77.

Dr. Lucas Joppa Dr. Lucas Joppa is the first Chief Environmental Officer at Microsoft where he leads the company's sustainability efforts through ongoing technology innovation, program development, policy advancement, and global operational excellence. With a Ph.D. in Ecology from Duke University and extensive publication in leading academic journals, such as Science and Nature, Dr. Joppa is a uniquely accredited voice for sustainability in the tech industry. In addition to formerly serving on the Federal Advisory Committee for the Sustained U.S. National Climate Assessment, Lucas is an Associate Editor for in Chief for the Ecological Society of America's EcoSphere journal, an honorary Fellow at the UN Environment Program World Conservation Monitoring Center (UNEP-WCMC), and serves on the boards of leading scientific organizations. In 2017, he founded Microsoft's AI for Earth program—a five-year, $50-million commitment to leveraging AI and machine learning to help transform the way society monitors, models, and ultimately manages Earth's natural resources.

Emily Ma As Project Lead, Emily Ma has led a number of early stage moonshots at X, Alphabet's moonshot factory. X creates radical new technologies designed to solve some of the world's biggest problems. In the last few years Emily's focus has been on developing radical new approaches to the problem of food waste. During her time at X, Emily helped bring a range of breakthrough technologies into the world including Loon internet balloons, Glass smart glasses and Makani's energy kites. Emily started her career as a mechanical engineer and roboticist. In her time with IDEO, a global design and innovation consultancy, Emily worked on end-to-end innovation programs with clients ranging from Eli Lilly to Procter & Gamble, during which she came to understand the equal importance of human-centered design, engineering and business. With this, she returned to Stanford University to pursue her MBA and continues to teach entrepreneurship at the School of Engineering. She is the holder of seven patents spanning medical devices to consumer electronics.

Oleha Riden Oleha studied Environmental Science at the University of Ottawa and has a decade of experience in corporate, government, and start-up environments. She is an avid cyclist and draws inspiration from the nature of the west coast, driving her passion for technology focused sustainable design. Oleha thrives in a fast paced environment and enjoys enabling and connecting engineers, designers and collaborators. She is responsible for strategic execution of capital projects to develop the capabilities of MistyWest.

Vote for "Harnessing Data to Reach Your Social Impact Goals" on SXSW's PanelPicker platform here


3D Print Your Own Pocket Hole Jig for Different-Sized Screws

Mon, 2020-11-23 05:13

Like many DIY'ers, Thingiverse denizen Caleb Schulze is a fan of the Kreg Pocket Hole Jig.

However, he wanted one that accommodates a different size of screw; since Kreg doesn't offer the jigs in multiple bores, Schulze 3D-printed his own, then knocked in the bushings himself:

He's got the files available to download here.

via Gareth's Tips

Opinion: This Robotic Drawing Tutor is the Wrong Way to Teach Kids to Draw

Mon, 2020-11-23 05:13

In the past, technologies were invented to solve specific problems. But nowadays, we see product development teams trying to contrive uses for whatever existing technology they have access to. And that leads to product designs like this DrawBo.

The technology in question is the vertical plotter suspended from two wires, like the Scribit. Hang it from two nails, stick a marker in it, and it reels/unreels either cable to travel around the drawing space, laying down lines.

The DrawBo is basically the Scribit with some extra software. The developers claim it can teach your child to draw, in the following manner:

So basically it lays down a line, then pauses. Your child is meant to ape the line on a separate piece of paper. Then it draws another line, pauses. Your child copies it. Et cetera.

Perhaps I'm too influenced by the industrial design applications of drawing, where you are trying to represent form or express an idea, but I don't think the DrawBo is teaching drawing at all. If anything this seems like a version of the game "Simon," except it wastes paper. And if drawing can be taught by simply having a child copy one line at a time, why is this even a physical object, and not an animation on a screen?

So I'm putting this one in the category of "Technologists contriving a problem to solve."

The DrawBo is currently up on Kickstarter. At press time it had $7,172 on pledges on a $30,000 goal, with 23 days left to pledge.


Kizik's "Hands-Free," Easy On/Off Shoes Have a Spring in the Heel Counter

Mon, 2020-11-23 05:13


Footwear brand Kizik's shoes are "hands-free." Designed with a flat spring embedded in the heel counter, the shoes pop on and off without you needing to bend over and fuss with them.

They come in a range of styles for both men and women. More importantly, their product video featuring a less-than-ideal family arrangement made me laugh out loud:

Crowdfunding Smash: Transformable, Multipositional Chair Snags $3 Million

Mon, 2020-11-23 05:13

If there's one thing marketers know, it's that customers love being told a product can be perfectly configured for you. Which would handily explain the wild success of the BeYou Chair, a kooky-looking assemblages of chair-like parts that furl and unfurl into all sorts of positions:

The still shots made me skeptical, but the video at least demonstrates some compelling usage cases:

The $350 chair landed a whopping $1.5 million each on both Kickstarter and IndieGogo, even though backers will have to wait nearly a year (October 2021) to receive theirs. Until the first reviews come out, we'll just have to guess whether this is a fragile toy that you grow tired of, or a robust and flexible ergonomic dream.


A Closer Look at Ford's Fold-Flat F-150 Seats

Fri, 2020-11-20 02:52

Back in June, for our post on "The Ford F-150's New Design Tricks," all we had was a grainy GIF of the fold-flat seats. Now they've released a more detailed overview of the seats, which look amazing:


In action:

Cynically speaking, I am tired of marketers telling us their customers "work hard and play hard." Is there anyone who works hard and plays half-assed?