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Design Job: TED is Looking for a "Detail-Oriented and Deeply Collaborative" UI Designer in New York, NY

Thu, 2017-11-16 12:23

We're looking for a UI Designer capable of developing high-fidelity, visually appealing prototypes. Experience with design systems is a must. The UI Designer will work on the entire range of TED initiatives (TEDx, TED-Ed, TED Fellows, and the TED Prize), as well as TED.com and other online properties. The UI Designer will also work on a myriad of internal applications that support our organization.

View the full design job here

A Look at the Fuji Transonic's Crisp, Aerodynamic Design 

Wed, 2017-11-15 11:44

The no-compromise, aerodynamic design of the Fuji Transonic is the culmination of Anvil’s years of experience in designing aerodynamic and performance carbon fiber bicycles with Advanced Sports International. The Transonic design uses sharp-surface transitions to accentuate dramatic highlights and shadows across the frame. Crisp edges on the front and rear triangles of the bike create a negative space that emphasizes both speed and motion. Additionally the front and rear brakes are integrated in

View the full content here

Boston Dynamics Releases Teaser Video of New Design for Dog-Like Robot

Wed, 2017-11-15 11:44

Remember Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robot from last year? To refresh your memory, it was a sort of dog-giraffe hybrid with a lobster claw for a head.

Well, now they've made some design changes, and just yesterday they released this teaser video of the New SpotMini, racking up 1.2 million hits:

Apparently the giraffe/lobster parts have proved unworkable so they ditched them. By the bye, did you see that aperture in the middle of the thing's "face?" I've got no idea what it's for, but it looks like you shouldn't stick your hand in it.

Whatever Happened to the Amabrush Hands-Free Automatic Toothbrushing Device?

Wed, 2017-11-15 11:44

There are nearly 30,000 people who want to brush their teeth without using their hands. We know this because earlier this year, 26,832 Kickstarter backers pledged €3,198,516 (USD $3.75 million) to bring the Amabrush, an "automatic toothbrush," to life.

Yes, our resident illustrator of imagined contraptions, Steven M. Johnson, came up with this first. But here's what Amabrush's real-life version looks like and how it's used:

Early tester models were supposed to have gone out by now, with the final product to ship in December. But those plans have been derailed. So what happened? According to the Amabrush developers,

…We unfortunately could not manage to send out Amabrush to our Pilot Testers, due to legal concerns.

…For everyone to know why we had to take those steps: We had some serious discussions with legal departments. Governmental matters did put us [sic] obstacles in our way and with every step it seemed to get more complicated and so a pre-release of our product was not possible, due to certification and other governmental issues.

It's somehow really complicated and we don't want to go into detail right now….

Doesn't sound very promising, but it's amazing that it brought in $3.75 mil. 

Would-be design entrepreneurs among you, we suggest you start poring over Johnson's Bizarre Inventions to see what other crowdfunding gold might be in there.

Festool Now Manufacturing in the U.S., and Their Parent Company Has Purchased SawStop

Wed, 2017-11-15 11:44

I was surprised to learn that Festool's parent company, Tooltechnic Systems (a/k/a TTS), purchased SawStop earlier this year. On the one hand both brands are focused on worker safety: Festool was a pioneer of both dust collection and the guiderails that make kickback from circular saws virtually impossible, and SawStop's table saws practically guarantee you leave the shop with all ten fingers. But Festool is known for making portable tools for jobsites, whereas SawStop's bread and butter was traditionally shop-based cabinet saws.

It's true that SawStop now makes jobsite/contractor table saws that can be hauled around...

...so perhaps we'll see a Festool-branded version? Or could SawStop's flesh-sensing technology somehow be integrated into a handheld power tool? For their part, TTS states:

"For TTS and the company's subsidiaries, it has always been a top priority to deliver precision results with maximum operator protection. The newly acquired technology, which TTS will continue to develop together with the SawStop team, supports these priorities and prepares TTS to face stricter safety requirements that are likely to be imposed on power tools."

I'm not sure what those "likely to be imposed" new requirements are; maybe they've got a line on something brewing at OSHA?

In other Festool news, the company has also announced that they've begun producing their guiderails in the U.S.A., at the company's facility in Lebanon, Indiana. This makes good business sense, should certain protective trade policies come into existence; producing the relatively low-tech guiderails here allows them to dip their foot in the U.S. manufacturing pool, perhaps with an eye on future expansion of capabilities.

We know what you're thinking: If they're producing the guiderails here and not having to pay to ship them across the Atlantic, will they be cheaper for us U.S. customers?

Probably not. But we've already told you where you can buy Festool stuff on the (relatively) cheap--on their recon website. One of our readers already wrote in to say he'd scored a Kapex there at a steep discount.

Design Job: Put your Game Face on: The Philadelphia 76ers Are Searching for a New Graphic Designer 

Wed, 2017-11-15 11:44

The Graphic Designer supports all marketing efforts through the design of forward thinking, creative graphic elements that maintains the Philadelphia 76ers as a world-class brand across both traditional and interactive mediums. The mediums include brand campaign assets, ticket sales material, print, OOH, in-arena signage, direct mail, digital content, logos, etc. The Graphic Designer must be a team player who can balance creativity and tight deadlines in our fast-paced environment.

View the full design job here

Free, Downloadable Book on "Materials, Processes, Principles and Practice" Reveals Forgotten Joinery Techniques

Wed, 2017-11-15 11:44

Here's a great, free resource for you furniture designers or architects looking for different ways to join materials together. A book called "Cassell's Carpentry and Joinery," first written and illustrated in 1854, painstakingly details all of the joinery techniques--many of them forgotten--that builders used for centuries to create our furniture and structures.

The book focuses on practical techniques rather than theory:

A wide range of topics are covered:

But the part that immediately jumped out at me was the section on joinery, as I spotted some interesting techniques I've never seen before. For example, here's how to create a wide dovetailed surface out of a series of narrow boards. If you did this with contrasting woods, it would be visually striking:

Since there's no copyright on the book, we'll publish here a bunch of images from the chapter on joinery to pique your interest:

Here Joey from Kingpost Timberworks, a New-Zealand-based custom furniture company, tries tackling four of the joints detailed in the book using modern tools:

You can download a copy of the book for free, in a variety of digital formats, here.

Cars, Markers and Beers: The 2017 Middlecott Sketch Battle Experiment™ at SEMA

Wed, 2017-11-15 11:44

The yearly SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Show is when custom builders, resto-mod officialdom, gear heads and car nuts of all kinds descend on Las Vegas in a rowdy clash of screeching tires and burning rubber—and that is not hyperbole. Out front of the show is a low G skid pad where professional drivers can take out cars to see how easily they do donuts, from the Ford Mustang to the latest Kia. Legendary builders like Rod Emory, Magnus Walker, Singer, and Icon show off their latest and most insane builds. Mainstream brands like Ford, Honda, and Chevy display their race vehicle R&D test beds and high performance models. And every possible part maker you can imagine is set up to show off how they can improve your ride from stiffer racing shocks to smartphone integration.

It is in that mix of motor oil, super high octane racing fuel, and car branded tattoos that the Middlecott Sketch Battle Experiment landed. The Middlecott Sketch Battle Experiment (or MSBE) ir organized by designer Brook Banham and Frank Schwartz, founder of Advanced Automotive Consulting Services. Their goal is to bring design out of the corporate offices and into the limelight. MSBE has been running at the Detroit Auto Show for the past 8 years, and this will be its second year at the LA Auto Show. The concept is simple: Gather all of the designers that are at these shows anyway, pick the best of the best of them, and have them square off in a live sketching competition. This year sponsor Axalta helped them one-up the experience by actually bringing the first few rounds of competitive heats directly to the show floor in their booth.

Contestants furiously sketching against the clock in the opening round.

The main competition was held at a rented out club in downtown Old Las Vegas. A welcome respite from The Strip, designers from all of the major brands checked in to have a few beers and cheer on their favorite competitors. Last year, I participated at the LA edition as a judge, and this year for SEMA I dropped in as a surprise competitor. Three thirty minute heats whittled the field down from 15 entrants do to a final 4, to a single winner who took home a giant WWF style championship belt. Other entrants included Daney Chhang previously at Faraday Future, Roberoto Martinez, Cesar Estrada of Airdesign, independent designer Chris Greazel, John Narciso of TSW, Justin Famularo owner of Joy Performance Wheels and designer at Rivian, Del Swanson, Kayvan Naderi, Matt Torres, Ryan Goimarac of FCA, and Art Center students Chris Lah, Henry Pu, Jose Omar Gonzalez Torres and Xinhan Wang. Competition was stiff but friendly, with entrants pushing and encouraging each other. If you think sketching live is stressful, try doing it in front of a room full of car designers in various states of inebriation. Judges included the legendary Camillo Pardo who designed the Mustang and Ford GT, Tim Anness Head of Jeep Exterior Design, and Adam Genei of Mobsteel.

Each round had a theme. The first was restored-modded pick up trucks, round 2 was Lincoln low riders, and round 3 was open as long as it fit in with SEMA and Mobsteel. The event's headline sponsor was MobSteel, a Detroit based builder and wheel maker. Daney Chhang walked away with the championship belt, and the crowd walked away energized and inspired. 

So much of what we do is locked up behind closed doors for years, and sometimes forever. Getting a bunch of designers together and setting them loose is a good thing, even if only for a few hours. If you're planning to be in LA for the auto show in December, come a few days early to check out the next Middlecott Sketch Battle Experiment™.

The next Middlecott Sketch Battle experiment will be Nov 29th, from 7pm-11pm, at the LA Auto Show. Get your tickets HERE.

Classic American Muscle Car Design: What Was the Best Year for the Pontiac GTO?

Wed, 2017-11-15 11:44

The Pontiac GTO, like the Chevrolet Chevelle, was a classic American muscle car that debuted in 1964. Initially the GTO was merely a performance package for Pontiac's Tempest, but became an actual separate model in 1966.

The GTO's design was tweaked every single year of the decade it was in existence. To see how it's evolved, we'll rely on the excellent and consistent photography of RK Motors Charlotte, which also records 360 turntable video of the models they restore:

1964360 Turntable:1965360 Turntable:1966360 Turntable:1967360 Turntable:1968360 Turntable:1969360 Turntable:1970360 Turntable:1971

(No turntable video available.)

1972360 Turntable:

And then, folks, it all came crashing down.


Which year was your favorite, and why?

Clever Design for a Device That Picks Up Nuts

Tue, 2017-11-14 11:07

I've never had to harvest pecans, but presumably the designers of this Multi Headed Nut Wizard have. Here's the brilliant object they came up with, which "will pick up through light to medium leaves and will hold up to 40 lbs of pecans when full." Be sure to stick around until the end, when they show you how they unload the thing:

Design Job: Passionate About Design and Writing? Consider Joining Our Team as Editorial Intern in NYC!

Tue, 2017-11-14 11:07

Our Editorial Internship offers a wealth of experience in editorial research, metric tracking, copywriting and editing (not to mention hanging with us in our Soho office!). We're looking for a passionate individual who's ready to embrace their inner design nerd, has a way with words and is itching to attend and cover design events in the New York City area.

View the full design job here

Toy Design Fail: Teddy Bears With Long Legs are Horrendous

Tue, 2017-11-14 11:07

There are certain classic toy designs that simply oughtn't be messed with. Here's a case where a manufacturer did not heed this rule, perhaps realized that they screwed up after they'd already gone into production, and perhaps was very careful in how they presented their creation in photographs.

The object in question is the Joyfay Giant Teddy Bear 78" (6.5 Feet) White. Here are the first six photographs of it shown on the Amazon listing:

Cute, right? But if you get down to the final, seventh photo, you see this:

The legs are grotesquely long, but the first six photos all use foreshortening or cropping to downplay that fact.

Apparently many folks who bought the teddy bear never bothered to check that sixth photo, and are hilariously crapping all over the product in the reviews with their own, more honest photos. Some examples:

And this damning review sans photo:

And a couple of wiseacres:

To be fair to Joyfay, the bear has received primarily positive reviews…

…but the one-star gripes have worked their way up to the top of the list.­­ Because let's face it, these days negatively funny stuff always draws more attention.

Via Motherboard

Bad Design Meets Unnecessary Technology: Guy Reviews ION Bottleless Water Cooler

Tue, 2017-11-14 11:07

Here's a great example of a product design that probably sounded great on paper, but clearly sucks to use in the real world. We present to you the Ion Bottleless Water Cooler:

1. The Initial Design Problem

Office water coolers require the end user to lift that heavy jug of water, invert it, and drop it into the top of the machine.

2. The Solution

Let's design a water cooler that hooks up to a tap instead and filters the water. With no reservoir, it will be much smaller, taking up less space, and no one will have to lift the bottle.

3. The Add-Ons and Details

Let's add carbonation, and a lot of different temperature options. And a touchscreen!

4. The End Result

Over the weekend this Redditor posted this review of the resultant device:

Just a reminder of how much can go wrong between #2 and #4.

nendo's Toilet Design for Disaster Victims, An Algorithm that Cuts 3D Printing Time in Half and More

Tue, 2017-11-14 11:07

The Core77 team spends time combing through the news so you don't have to. Here's a weekly roundup of our favorite finds from the World Wide Web:

This algorithm cuts 3D printing time in half.

Vintage Honda CT-110 auction ending today at 5PM. Bidding at $2,800!

Gentrification measured by the usage of Edison bulbs.

How to hack prison

nendo's designs for disaster victims

Talking luxury car design, and jewelry, with Earl Lucas, the chief exterior designer at the Lincoln Motor Company.

Nathalie Du Pasquier, the artist, designer, and founding member of the Memphis group along with Ettore Sottsass, shares some of her artworks and the philosophy behind them.

Porsche is starting its own subscription system where you can get Porsches on demand for $2,000 a month.

An argument against the travel neck pillow.

A neural network created its own celebrities—the result is terrifyingly realistic.

These looping abstract animations are mesmerizing.

Hot Tip: Discover more blazin' hot Internet finds on our Twitter and Instagram pages.

Reader Submitted: Vintage Suitcases Turned Into Portable Sound Systems 

Tue, 2017-11-14 11:07

Bounceybox was born more than two years ago with the aim of joining music, design and vintage aesthetics.

The concept is a tribute to the underground culture of the 80s, when wonderful and huge boomboxes were hanging around down the street. Bounceybox adds two differential notes to the boombox—vintage design and wireless connectivity, aiming to form a union in perfect harmony between past and future.

View the full project here

Design Job: 3M is Looking for a Lead Industrial Designer to Work in Their MN-Based Design Center

Tue, 2017-11-14 11:07

Does your curiosity inspire you to imagine tomorrow’s solutions to today’s problems? Do you ever wonder how collaborative creativity can enrich innovation and make progress possible? Or wonder if design can drive competitive advantage for business, while also having positive impact on the world? These are just a few of the questions we ask at 3M Design every day.

View the full design job here

Device Invented to Do Laundry While Traveling Turns Any Container Into an Ultrasonic Bath

Tue, 2017-11-14 11:07

I use a small ultrasonic jewelry cleaner to wash old machine parts, and it's amazing watching decades of grease just mist away into liquid clouds. But the size of the machine's tub limits what I can put in there.

The developers of Sonic Soak came up with a better idea: Isolate the ultrasound-providing element, placing it in a wand form factor. 

Then the object can be dropped into any vessel, like a bowl or even a kitchen sink, and turn the entire thing into an ultrasonic bath:

It's pretty brilliant, which is why it's become a crowdfunding smash: At press time the Sonic Soak had racked up $514,076 in pledges on a measly $10,000 goal. Buy-in starts at $230, and the developers estimate they'll have these ready to ship in December.

An Impressive Build: Watch This Designer Create This Curved Bench from Scratch

Mon, 2017-11-13 10:04

If you were shown a sketch of a design like this, to be made from solid wood, how would you make it?

Consider that the radii of the slats are concentric, so that they cannot be separately laminated from a single mold. Well, the Croatia-based designer/builder (the chap behind the Lignum YouTube channel) has clearly thought this through carefully. Watch his efficient build process, which includes a glue-up process that makes you go "Ah, of course you'd do it that way:"

What Are These Perfect Circles Across The American Landscape, And How Are They Created?

Mon, 2017-11-13 10:04

Flying across America provides a bird's eye view of how we humans have decided to cut the land up. In regions where we've completely mastered the topography, you'll see completely unnatural-looking, perfect grids like this, punctuated with perfect circles:

So what the heck are those, and how/why are they created? Here's the 30-second answer:

That's a snippet from this five-minute-plus video on why certain parts of America look very different from the air, depending on which colonial master first took control of which region. It's worth a watch if you've got the time.

Tools & Craft #72: A Useful Repair Tip

Mon, 2017-11-13 10:04

In the early 1950's my parents bought a modern, Danish style set of table and chairs that fit quite well in the dining area of the tenement apartment where I grew up until age 11. This is when Danish furniture was something new and exciting and Ikea did not exist. The furniture my parents actually bought was Danish style  American made by Paul McCobb. The table is long gone, given away to a cousin, and eventually discarded. But the chairs I have always liked and over the past twenty years, all but one of the set of six have migrated to my apartment.

The newsworthy bit of all of this is that after 60 years the glue that holds the legs on is starting to fail and several legs have collapsed, requiring a repair. The legs are threaded and screwed into threaded holes in the chair bottom. Wooden pads build up the thickness around the leg sockets. The pads were simply glued on with four small nails to keep them steady while the glue dried. Wood movement over the years has caused the pads to crack and the glue, which was originally poorly and spottily applied, has given way on many chairs, causing the leg to fail. 

If the leg comes completely off, what I do is clean off the glue, and reglue the pad and leg on. This seems to work. But on some legs the pad has begun to give way but isn't exactly off, and the leg cannot be just unscrewed. My solution, which is really just a patch, is to force glue into the joint, apply a little pressure and then hope it all sticks. The glue being stronger than the wood.

Many years ago I learned this trick from Maurice Fraser to force the glue deep into the joint (which is critical). Ideally you use a piece of cellophane wrapper from a pack of cigarettes (preferably Will's Gold Flake). It's thin and rigid. Sadly I don't smoke so I didn't have any cellophane but I did have a lot of plastic wrap. This didn't work as well but it worked pretty well. You have to be careful as the plastic wrap bunches up as you slide it in and out of the joint. What you do is apply a lot of glue on the outside of the joint and then try to slide a single layer of plastic in and out of the joint pushing and spreading the glue into the joint. Then clamp or squeeze shut the joint and let the glue dry. It works pretty well. Not as well as being able to take apart the joint and cleaning and preparing fresh surfaces, but it's better than nothing. This is a handy trick to use on any glue starved joint where fully dissembling the item is impractical.

I used yellow glue, another option would be Old Brown Hide Glue, which now that i think of it might be stronger, and of course Old Brown is reversible.


This "Tools & Craft" section is provided courtesy of Joel Moskowitz, founder of Tools for Working Wood, the Brooklyn-based catalog retailer of everything from hand tools to Festool; check out their online shop here. Joel also founded Gramercy Tools, the award-winning boutique manufacturer of hand tools made the old-fashioned way: Built to work and built to last.