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Collapsible Reusable Coffee Cups and Water Bottles

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

It doesn't collapse down quite as small as that DiFOLD Origami Bottle, but this 20-ounce silicone water bottle by Stojo "collapses into a polite sphere when empty," the brand writes.

The brand, started by a trio of NYC-based dads, got their start around a decade ago. Growing alarmed by the amount of disposable coffee cups they all went through, they came up with these wicked collapsible coffee cups:

The cups are sold in a variety of sizes, from 8 ounces up to 24. Being made of silicone, they're dishwasher-safe. Check 'em all out here.

Great Industrial Design Student Work: A Portable Pendant Lamp

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

This Vespertine Lamp is by Max Hausmann and Tim Schuetze, who are Industrial Design classmates at Berlin's University of the Arts.

"From sunset to dawn, artificial light sources illuminate our lives. As soon as the daylight fades, we look for places that are illuminated. And even though artificial light is our constant companion, we go from light source to light source instead of taking our light with us."

"Vespertine combines the archetype of the familiar ceiling lamp with mobile lighting technology. Hanging from the ceiling as a pendant light, Vespertine charges the integrated batteries for mobile use. With a simple motion, the magnetic plug releases and Vespertine becomes a portable light source for activities beyond the daylight, curating lighting moods both indoors and outdoors."

I could see this being particularly useful in a tiny house situation, where you're looking to conserve resources and do more with less.

A Garden Sink with Integrated Hose Storage

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

From Slovenia comes this Mars Garden Sink, which is designed with built-in hose management:

Manufacturer Roto says the polyethylene sink is UV-stable, meaning the color won't fade over time. The sink contains a not-shown plug in the bottom, allowing you to hold water for soaking or drain it into a bucket.

Overall I think it's a smart design, and if we lived in a year-round warm-weather climate, I'd look into installing this in place of our existing hose spigots.

A Plastic Wrap/Cling Film Alternative Shaped Like a Silicone Yo-Yo

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

Cling film, a/k/a plastic wrap, is essentially non-recyclable.* But it's super-useful stuff, and I've been seeking an alternative.

These odd-looking platinum-cured silicone** Reusable Flexible Lids, by Spanish kitchenware manufacturer Lékué, may fit the bill. The odd-looking objects are kind of shaped like flexible yo-yos and come in different diameters.

The diameters do not need to correspond precisely with the diameter of the vessel or fruit-half—they just need to be close. For example:

- The 11 cm unit will cover from 11 cm up to 14 cm (4.3" to 5.5").

- The 15 cm can cover 15 cm up to 18 cm (5.9" to 7").

- The 20 cm can cover 20 cm up to 24 cm (7.9" to 9.4").

So the way they work is, you stretch the bottom half of the yo-yo over the top of the vessel, then stretch the top half over the bottom half. This adds enough compression, the manufacturer says, to get an airtight seal.

Here's what the process looks like:

They offer additional sizes as well, you can peruse them all here.


*Long story short: Manufacturers will say their cling film is recyclable, because it's polyethylene, or PE. However, it's technically cross-linked polyethylene, or XPE. Call your local recycling facility, talk to someone who actually knows the machines, and they'll probably tell you that their PE recycling lines can't handle XPE. You can read Year of No Garbage author Eve Schaub's struggles to find out why here.

**You can learn more about platinum-cured silicone and its applications here.

Beautiful Freestanding Coat Hangers

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

This handsome Hub furniture/object is by Switzerland-based industrial designer and professor Tomas Kral:

"A standing solid wood coat hanger with a central plate to put keys or gloves."

His similar Twig design does away with the plate:

Of the two, I'd prefer the Hub—I'd use the plate constantly—but with the legs of the Twig; to avoid rocking, the base of the Hub requires a perfectly flat floor, which I don't have.

These are both in production, by Czech brand Jakub Brezina.

3D-Printed Gizmo Prevents Dogs from Knocking the Garbage Can Over

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

"We were tired of coming home to find out that our dog knocked over the trash and had a feast!" writes Colorado-based programmer Greg Brault. This is a common gripe among pet owners, and Brault aimed to solve it once and for all.

Brault's specialty is electronics—you can see some of his projects here—but he also knows a thing or two about 3D-printing, so came up with this simple assembly:

The installation isn't a massive ask, even for those with low DIY skills.

The results (and the cute, foiled culprit):

"You can easily lift up the trash can from the wall mount if needed (to clean, etc.)," writes Brault, who also points out that he can print custom sizes if needed. He's been selling his Pet Proof Trash Can Holder on Etsy for a mere $12, and the reviews are effusive. An example:

"I just came home from going out for the evening and the dogs didn't get into my trash. I could cry. It's been 3 years of trying to finding SOMETHING to stop this. BUY THIS PRODUCT IF YOU HAVE TRASH PANDAS AKA DOGS IN YOUR HOME!!!!"

During my daily searches, I often see the work of new ID grads designing coasters, fidget spinners, desktop plinths for holding letter openers, et cetera. And I'm always wishing they'd just go out and talk to real people and find out what their little daily annoyances are. As silly as it might seem, particularly if you don't own dogs, humble objects like this are well worth designing (and I know some of you with ID degrees could improve upon this design).

Invention Allows You to Tow Garbage Cans Up Long Driveways

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

Since we live in a rural area, our garbage can has never been near our house. It lives a quarter-mile away, at the end of the driveway. We drive the trash up to it piecemeal, as do many of our neighbors.

For some, this is inconvenient; they'd rather load the can at their house and transport it to the end of the driveway on pickup day. Thus Pennsylvania-based inventor Roy Gelesh welded this together:

The garbage can handle fits within the two U-shaped pieces and is secured by wire lock pins.

The contraption fits onto a tow ball, allowing Gelesh to easily pull the can up the driveway.

Two cans can even be ganged together.

Gelesh sells his invention for $60 at TrashCanTrailerHitches.com.

Lastly I'll say, for those of you who might have long driveway envy: To you it might seem like a luxury. From a privacy standpoint it is, but from a practical perspective, not so much; in addition to taking out the trash, long driveways require maintenance that's time-consuming if you do it yourself, or expensive if you pay someone to do it. During bad storms that knock trees down, we're sometimes not able to drive out until I've done laborious chainsaw work. Checking the mail is also a hassle, and I eagerly await the day when the mailbox is a drone that flies to our house and back.

A Singular All-Sizes Measuring Spoon Design

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

Spanish kitchenware manufacturer Lékué has a very different take on measuring spoons. Rather than having one for each size, they've designed a singular spoon with a slider:

The measuring cup, which the spoon nests within for storage, is more conventional: Fill until you hit the colored portion, that's a half-cup. Filling it up to the top is a full cup.

The cup and spoon are sold as a set, and run $13.

A Rack to Turn Trash Cans Into Sorting Bins

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

This diminutive, Asian-market LatteStyle household trash can seems plain and basic. Angled top, spring-loaded press-to-open lid.

What I did find interesting is that the manufacturer, Risu Co. Ltd., also offers rolling racks that can hold three, four or five of them, resting on their backs at an angle.

The trash cans thus become sorting units for recycling (of which there are more categories, in Asia and Europe, than in America)

While the design is pretty basic, I think this is a smart way for the company to potentially increase sales.

Two Different Design Approaches to Non-Contaminating Cutting Board Sets

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

If I remember correctly, it was JosephJoseph who first came up with the concept of separate, color-coded cutting boards to prevent contamination while cooking multiple ingredients.

Today they sell an updated Folio design that doesn't have the cutesy file tabs of the original, and which places the cutting boards in "stadium seating" for easier access.

They've also got this variant that comes with knife storage and the knives themselves.

What both of those sets require is counter space. Here in America, we have plenty of it. In Japan, kitchens are tiny and counter space is scarce; thus Japanese housewares brand LiberaLista offers these Hang Sheet color-coded cutting boards that are made to be hung above the counter, and also use far less material (perhaps at a UX cost):

I'm not sure I'd enjoy working with such a flimsy cutting surface. If you're of the same mind, they also sell optional Grip Board bases they can be paired with:

One benefit of using LiberaLista's thinner cutting surfaces would be cost. Whereas JosephJoseph's Folio runs $60 for the set ($90 with the knives), the Hang Sheet set--of admittedly just three cutting surfaces--rings in at ¥1,450 (USD $10.68). A single Grip Board goes for ¥1,980 (USD $14.60).

Anyways I thought this was a good, simple example of adapting the same concept to two different cultural (and budgetary) contexts.

GM to Spin Off Corvette as Its Own Brand

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

Car & Driver has a secret source with GM's Tech Center, and they've broken the news that Corvette will be spun off as its own brand.

In addition to the coupe, the allegedly racy-looking Corvette line-up (no leaked images were available at press time) will contain a four-door and a crossover SUV, both of them EVs. Exploiting the architecture of an electric vehicle has apparently freed up the designers a bit:

"The switch to the Ultium battery platform allows the keepers of the brand to reimagine the proportions, stance, and engineering—or to adhere to the trademark elements which shaped the American sports car icon from the '50s to the present day."

"A source who has seen the first proposals describes them as 'copies of nothing' and as 'encapsulated emotional purity.'"

The brand's secession won't occur until 2025, but we expect renderings will leak well before then. We'll keep our eyes peeled.

A Hoodie…for Your Xbox Controller

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

Yesterday we looked at an object created by crafters on Etsy, that I'd have thought a corporation would sell—those shoebox-inspired sneaker storage furniture units—and this here is the opposite. This Xbox Mini Controller Hoodie, which totally looks like the kind of thing you'd find on Etsy, is actually sold by Microsoft.

Does storing your Xbox controllers in $25 polyester hoodies with ribbed waistbands and cuffs make any sense? Of course not, but that didn't stop the first batch from selling out. The next batch won't ship until mid-February, and they are of course taking pre-orders.

This object will appear fun to some, obscene to others. I'm reminded of a bit a comedian did, discussing someone from a country where running water and money are scarce, visiting an American park. There they see a fountain filled with running water that is not meant to be drank, and the bottom is lined with coins that aren't meant to be spent. I.e. we have so much that we're literally throwing money into piped-in water. And here we are able to clothe our game controllers.

This Photo Book by Muji has 504 Pages of People Cleaning Things

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

Just prior to the pandemic, "we went around the world photographing scenes in which people were pictured cleaning," writes minimalist homeware brand Muji. "We had been wondering if the very essence of human beings lies dormant in the everyday and ordinary work of cleaning, which transcends culture and civilization."

"No matter how technology advances in the future, people are living things, embracing a rhythm of life that perpetually resonates in the depth of the body. We can move forward heeding this natural internal rhythm."

The 504-page book, called "Cleaning," is filled with both illustrations and images. At press time it was not yet available in the 'States. But you can see plenty of images, and even some video montages of cleaning acts captured by Muji's shooters, here.

"Here's Why UI/UX Designers Get Paid More than Industrial Designers"

Core 77 - 6 hours 36 min ago

San-Francisco-based industrial designer Anson Cheung, a former partner at Bould Design, has been in the ID game for over a decade. On his Design Things blog, he shares a wealth of hard-won knowledge and advice from the field, and all of it's worth reading.

For starters, perhaps you've heard that in general, a UI/UX gig will pay more than an ID gig. Cheung dug into the stats to confirm it. "At every level I looked at," he writes, "the difference is almost $20,000, which is substantial."

Which begs the question: Why? Cheung explains in in-depth in "Here's Why UI/UX Designers Get Paid More than Industrial Designers." I highly recommend giving it a read.

Solving Problems: Future Design Engineers are Getting a Head Start

Design News - 15 hours 48 min ago
Clever, yet simple engineering principles are what excites the judges of the James Dyson Award. And they like a sustainable design even better. This year’s International, International Runner-Up, and Sustainability winners have just been announced in the contest that challenges young people to “design something that solves a problem.”

Breakthrough With Metal-Organic Frameworks Brings Innovation in Chemical Sensing

Design News - Thu, 2022-12-08 14:18
Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) for sensors offer several benefits, including reduced manufacturing costs and environmental impact compared with currently used sensors.

Single Pair Ethernet Is the Focus of Supplier News

Design News - Thu, 2022-12-08 12:43
We’re also looking at ProSense float-level switches and tactile devices.

A Physical Shortcut Panel for Sketching with Procreate on an iPad

Core 77 - Thu, 2022-12-08 02:04

Do you use Procreate on an iPad? If so a Netherlands-based company called Pen Tips, whose stock in trade is making silicone tips for Apple Pencils, sells this shortcut panel specifically for that set-up.

For those of you that find constantly tapping on the interface with the Pencil cumbersome, their USB-C-chargeable PenPad offers 23 different shortcuts that can be accessed with physical buttons.

"No cramps, an ergonomic experience," the company writes. "Optimized key spacing for speed, error, usability, and biomechanics for longer periods of time."

I suppose given time, one could memorize the location of all the buttons and get speedy with it—you ever see an accountant work an old-school calculator?—but I'd be curious to see a design with more differentiated and intuitive buttons.

The PenPad retails for $91.

Furniture for Sneakerheads

Core 77 - Thu, 2022-12-08 02:04

I'm sure it's just a matter of time before lawyers from Beaverton shut this down, but for now, shoebox-inspired furniture is a thing on Etsy. Sneakerheads with an $825 budget for a coffee table can snag this kick-storing unit from Custom Big Cartel:

Shoebox BG offers this $1,049 unit with both a hinged lid and a drawer:

Sneakerhead Shoebox will build you this Jordan-themed storage box with a glass shelf for $1,450:

We Naild (sic) It offers four-, eight-, twelve- and sixteen-pair units with prices starting at $790:

All four of the shops also offer customization.

To be honest, I'm kind of surprised that Nike, Adidas et. al. don't produce these on their own. Limited edish, they'd probably make a killing.