Now, now, now, please?
Most fans and followers of Industrial Design agree that there’s been a drought in technology design innovation, of late, but fear not, for that drought is finally over; Inhabit and Kyocera recently unveiled a prototype for a new phone over which the design world, its fans, and gadget geeks everywhere are currently oooing and aahing–the Kyocrea EOS, a kinetic flexible OLED phone. If you love design, it should make you squee! with joy–you may just do so regardless.
Look at it. It is beautiful. The simplicity of its minimalist design makes the iPhone look like the Griswold house at Christmas time, and with a form factor the approximate dimensions of a small wallet (not ham), it makes the iPhone look bloated, as well.
The Fractal Table from platform is amazing. I’d give you more info, but they don’t offer much other than its name and inspiration. For more images check out their site.
It’s not often I’ll admit to being in love with a toilet, but here you have it–I am completely, head-over-heels in love with the Julien Bench Toilet by Troy Adams. It’s a little like the superhero of toilets, except it doesn’t require a phone booth to transform. Closed, it’s an unobtrusive modern bench with storage space; opened, and well, its function becomes obvious. Thank you Troy.
So few games other than chess have gotten any attention from designers. Occasionally you see someone tackle backgammon, or Chinese checkers, and of course people are constantly adding their flair to billiards tables, but, more often than not, only one part of the game gets stamped with the designer’s signature. We’re most always left feeling like an opportunity was missed. Why not re-imagine the entire look of the game? Seize the chance to redesign all the marbles; don’t just change the look of the board a bit. As long as the game is still easily playable, go for it. Alas, it seemed no one had the balls…until now.
This is nostalgia, beauty, brilliance, and playfulness rolled into one package. GRO design and TIM modelmakers activated their Wondertwin powers to bring us their take on foosball/table football, and what they’ve come up with is incredible. The game is, quite simply, gorgeous, and play remains true to the original. The sneak peak below doesn’t do it justice so go look…now…I mean it…
Artists for Humanity is a Boston based organization who give disadvantaged youth the chance to develop their creative and entrepreneurial potential while becoming economically self-sufficient by providing them with paid employment in the arts. They do this by taking on clients, much like any other design firm, and offer a full range of services from art and design to production. The teens begin by completing an apprentice program, and recently the apprentices were inspired by the building in which they work (it’s LEED Platinum certified) to create a line of green furniture. The table pictured is one of three models that comprise the ReVision line the kids have created. They are made from used magazines, junk mail and no-VOC resin, and are currently on sale for $300-$650. The model shown is $650. Check out their site. They sell many more products, and if you aren’t up for shopping you can always donate to their cause.
Apothia Los Angeles must be feeling pretty great about their candle products. Not only did they win an AIGA design award for their packaging, but their candles won an Interior Scent Collection of the Year award from The Fragrance Foundation (Yes, it exists. You learn something new everyday). They don’t need my adulation, but I’m going to add it anyway, because I really do love their packaging design. Their candles could smell like a hobo’s buttcrack and I would probably still buy them–unless I could tell before opening them that they smelled that way. I’m not that easily influenced by good design.
Target rolled out their Clear Rx packaging recently, and hopefully it will inspire everyone else who dispenses medications to follow suit. The new system is well thought out, and takes into consideration the fact that consumers often have families. So what’s the big deal? Well, look for yourself.
In case you’re still confused, here’s a laundry list:
- Flat sided bottles so all the info is readable at once.
- Color coded rings on the neck of the container. Each household member is assigned their own color so you know at a glance which meds are yours.
- Cautions on the back, again readable without turning the bottle, and obvious.
- An envelope on the back (behind the cautions) containing the patient info sheet for the drug. You know how most pharmacies just staple the info to the bag, then you go home and either read through the info and toss it or never even bother to read it? Then when you go to take it you think “Crap, I threw that out!” Well, no more…
- Behind the patient info is a little magnifier for those who find the small print difficult to see.
- Med name on the end so you can see what it is at a glance if it is stored in a drawer.
It always warms my heart to see someone putting some thought into something most of us take for granted. Will it catch on? I hope so, but the oldest institutions are the hardest to change.
I usually reserve this site for the praise and celebration of design, but I’ve been stewing about this for a few days and just couldn’t let it lie. Apple has on its payroll Jonathon Ive, who is considered by many, if not most, to be the greatest industrial designer of his generation. So, when I first saw Apple TV I was flummoxed. Where was the “oooo,” and what happened to the “aaaaah?” Why didn’t I want this despite having no real use for it and better things to do with my money? You see, this is the effect that most everything Jonathon Ive has designed for Apple has had on me. My brain shuts down and goes into “Shiny! Pretty! Useful! WANT! WANT!” mode, and it usually takes someone wafting cheese under my nose a la the Three Stooges to snap me out of it (for the record, I prefer a nice Stilton on these occasions). So, why, instead, was I thinking, “It looks like someone sat on a Mac Mini?”
I could only reason that Jonathon Ive had nothing to do with this as he was busy with the iPhone or something. That being said, I am still disappointed. Apple had a real opportunity to bring us an innovative product wrapped in an innovative design and fell short, so indugle me, if you will, as I write here an open letter to Steve Jobs.
Dear Steve Jobs,
Regarding Apple TV, WTF? I mean seriously, WTF?
From their site:
2007 marks 25 years since the opening of the Boilerhouse, the original
incarnation of the Design Museum. To celebrate this significant anniversary, as
plans are being made for a major expansion programme, the Design Museum
has invited 25 designers and individuals with an interest in design, each to select
an object that they believe represents the best, or the most characteristic design
of the period.
From the 1983 Alessi Whistling Kettle, to the 2001 iPod designed by Jonathan
Ive for Apple, the 25 selected designs, representing the best of industrial design,
graphics, furniture, and fashion, designed or first manufactured between 1982
and 2007, will be exhibited at the Design Museum in 25/25 – Celebrating 25
Years of Design from 29 March to 22 June 2007. The exhibition will offer a
fascinating overview of the most important moments and developments in
design during this period, as well as an insight into the thoughts of these key
designers and design commentators, including Terence Conran, founder of the
Boilerhouse, fashion designer Paul Smith, designers David Mellor, Jaime Hayon,
and the Design Museum’s Director Deyan Sudjic.
Other selectors include architect Richard Rogers and designer Ab Rogers,
industrial designer Dieter Rams, product designers Richard Seymour and Dick
Powell of SeymourPowell, world renowned graphic designer, visual artist, and
computer scientist John Maeda, and Dutch designer Maarten Baas.
The Design Museum is located at Shad Thames, London SE1 2YD, and is open from 10am-5:45pm daily. For more information on the museum, please visit its site. Information on advanced booking for the 25/25 event can be found at Ticketweb.
These are just too fun to pass up. Product designer Mark McKenna set out to pay homage to some of the greatest modern designers of our times, knowing full well he couldn’t possibly recreate their genius, and really, why would he even try? Instead he found his own unique voice in the Design Emulation Kit, or DEK, for short, a snap apart, snap together kit that emulates lamp designs of Castiglioni, Sapper, Starck, and Maurer. The end result is a bit irreverant in a tongue-in-cheek way, but it’s done with the utmost respect. At $29 each + the cost of a 9 volt battery, this would make a great gift for any design enthusiast.
Shown: DEK4 Achille Castilioni’s Toio Lamp