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Posted by Coroflot  |  17 Dec 2014

Work for Karten Design!

Karten Design is an award-winning product innovation consultancy located in Marina del Rey, CA. Their team comprises a talented group of designers, researchers, strategists, and engineers all passionate about creating positive experiences between people and products. Mechanical Engineers are the most critical team members in product development and act as champions of great design in function, aesthetics, quality and efficiency. They currently have an opening for a talented and proactive Junior Mechanical Engineer.

This position is focused on solving functional problems, creating multiple solutions, and developing product concepts via 3D and 2D documentation as needed to move a product successfully through development. If you have hands-on assembly or fabrication experience, that's a huge plus. To join this team and enjoy all the perks of a cubicle-free environment and working in Southern California, Apply Now.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  16 Dec 2014  |  Comments (7)

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In our series on Beetle Kill Pine, we showed you how some designers are trying to find useful functions for undesireable, fungus-damaged wood. Another tree with fungal woes is Pecky Cypress, whose innards are scarred by rotted-out voids, making its gap-laden boards unsuitable for say, smooth tabletops.

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Instructables Community Manager Mike Warren, a/k/a/ Michaelsaurus, has a workaround: He fills the voids with resins, a technique you've probably seen before. But Warren doesn't use any old resin—he adds photoluminescent powder to the mix, producing a filler that "charges up in sunlight and emits a cool blue glow when in partial or complete darkness."

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The full Instructable is here, but peep Warren's cool video first:

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  16 Dec 2014  |  Comments (3)

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It's a sad fact, but true, that most of us industrial designers know the feeling of working on something that we don't care about. I myself have worked on many projects that I felt were inferior or even unneccessary, because I was part of The Machine, the one where the Design Group was beholden to Marketing. And for those of us that don't blossom into Marc Newsons, Jony Ives and Karim Rashids, we don't get much say in the process, and must continue to serve our cog-like function by slowly rotating in place.

I think that's why I found this Jerry Seinfeld clip so satisfying to watch. (Part of it is the awkward silence early on, while the audience tries to figure out if he's making fun of them or not.) He's giving an acceptance speech for winning an honorary CLIO Award earlier this year, and while on the surface he's skewering the advertising industry, he may as well be speaking to the thousands of companies pushing out unneccessary product:


Posted by Hand-Eye Supply  |  16 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Tough editors and refined designers can be hard to shop for, but we made it easy. Get your favorite typography-lover an extra glam Clampersand! These colorful clamps are the new super limited edition of coretoonist Tony Ruth's original. They are cast in the Batavia foundry in Chicago, IL, and powder coated five lovely colors in Portland, OR. They're beautiful and whimsical, and they work just about anywhere. Use them as book ends, as a centerpiece in your desk landscape, or to create visual puns around the house and shop. $65 at Hand-Eye Supply.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  16 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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A good old-school photographer, one raised on film, will always try to get the shot right "in-camera." In contrast, young bucks raised on digital are more willing to rattle off an imperfect burst, pick the most passable shot and then spend hours retouching the errors on a computer.

The reason for the disparity is no secret: Film is absurdly difficult to re-touch by hand. One manual film retouching option was to use an airbrush, with its attendant compressor and requisite masking. Another method, which perhaps required even greater manual dexterity, was to go over the negatives with a retouching pencil or a dye brush. And according to U.S. Patent #2,422,174, retouching via pencil "is done by highly skilled operators who work over the blemish spots [by making] a plurality of microscopic, overlapping check marks or loops which must be so small and so uniform that they will not become apparent on an enlarged print from the negative."

To make this task easier, an inventor named Harry LeRoy Adams filed the above patent in 1946 for his Photographic Retouching Device.

The principal object of this invention is to provide a means for automatically forming these small, microscopic check marks so that retouching will require less skill and less time. [It] will produce retouching marks much more uniformly than can possibly be produced by hand....

While it still required a human operator with a steady hand to hold a pencil or brush down and apply pressure, the device's function was pretty clever. The operator placed a negative—we're talking 4x5, 5x7 or 8x10, not that newfangled 35mm stuff—onto the bed of the machine, between the two donut-shaped "ring plates" you see in the photo. Whichever part of the negative was within the circle was illuminated from below by the device's built-in illumination, which could be cranked up or down. The negative could be scrutinized using the magnifying glass.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  16 Dec 2014  |  Comments (2)

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In only the most recent food fad to hit the streets of London and national headlines, bearded twin brothers Gary and Alan Keery reportedly had the epiphany to open up a cereal cafe one hungover morning whilst craving a mouth-clearing and stomach settling bowl of their favorite sugar-infused processed carbohydrate with lashings of the chilled excretions of cows' udders.

Following a failed attempt to crowdsource £60,000 on Indiegogo, the duo have been riding a wave of media attention after successfully securing a business loan for the venture. Upon opening the shop in an old video rental store on London's famous Brick Lane, press coverage has reached something of a frenzy, with some actual consumers also managing to squeeze in on the fray.

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With press from far and wide initially spellbound by the novelty of an establishment offering over 100 different varieties of global cereal brands, 12 kinds of milk and 20 toppings (only a small number taking aim at the sugar content and nutritional value of the so called "cereal cocktails" on offer) things turned a little sour towards the end of the week when a news reporter from UK TV's Channel 4 got up from a table with camera in tow to launch awkward questions at one of the twins about their £3.20 ($5) price tag for a bowl of cereal in an area of the city where many residents live in deprivation.

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Posted by Coroflot  |  16 Dec 2014

Work for squareone!

squareone approaches design as an elaborate process of research, conception, aesthetics and initial engineering. Their key activities focus on the design of consumer and investment goods. They are looking for ambitious, self-reliant students with a distinctive creative potential who offer profound knowledge of software such as SolidWorks and Adobe CreativeSuite. How would you like to work in Dusseldorf, Germany?

You'll be working on a variety of interesting projects with deep involvement into each part of our design process as well as extensive insights into a dynamic design environment. If you are already hooked and can't wait to start working with great creative people on meaningful projects please send them your portfolio with a selection of your most convincing works. Apply Now!

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  15 Dec 2014  |  Comments (1)

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Years ago William J. Beaty released a paper called "Ultra-Simple Hovercraft: A DIY Science Fair Project." In it Beaty, a research engineer at the University of Washington, laid out the plans for building a three- or four-foot wide hovercraft made out of a plywood disc and a battery-powered leaf blower.

That was in 1997, so there wasn't exactly any YouTube video of Beaty's concept in action. But earlier this year, the EdVenture Children's Museum in South Carolina took the idea and ran with it. Here's what they came up with:

It works! And EdVenture, it turns out, wasn't the first to realize Beaty's concept. In 2011 Torben Ruddock from Engineering.com built this model, with decidedly better seating:

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  15 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Have you ever been in the middle of a design project, when a totally different way of solving the problem occurs to you? Doesn't this always seem to happen to you towards the end, when you're already fully committed to the first solution and it's too late to go back?

It stands to reason that during his many years of perfecting his Capstan Table, thoughts of alternate methods for an expanding round table would occur to designer David Fletcher. Fletcher apparently found one such idea compelling enough to build a prototype of this "Rising and Furling Table." It takes far longer to transform than the Capstan, has added functionality in that it can raise and lower in height, and is presumably less mechanically complicated. Check it out, it's pretty nifty:

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  15 Dec 2014  |  Comments (1)

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As we've discussed before, dashboard cams have become a crucial safety feature for Russian motorists. But they've also become something else: A series of distributing hit-making machines that capture millions of eyeballs on video-sharing sites. Thus this stunning footage, captured on a German highway, racked up nine millions views this weekend when the original was posted to Facebook:

Cynical internet denizens were quick to question the clip's authenticity: The gents outside the wreck, they explained, are wearing standard-issue Stormtrooper uniforms, rather than Empire-approved official TIE fighter pilot get-ups.

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Posted by Coroflot  |  15 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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On December 10th, we braved some less than appealing weather to gather at the historical Cooper Union for an exploration of design progress and innovation. This was the fourth edition of the Designing Innovation series presented by Ford and IDSA NY and the conversation did not disappoint. The four panelists discussed fortifying customers' relationships with brands through innovative design, as well as broader ideas like what it means to be a pioneer, accountability in design and providing an 'opt-out' to innovations. As we approach what appears to be a tipping point across many technologies and experiences that have remained stable for decades, the panelists discussed the responsibilities designers have to both shepherd progress and keep the end users in mind at the same time. If you missed the presentation, here's a summary of what Ingrid Fetell, Design Director at IDEO; Steve Schlafman, Principal at RRE Venures; our very own Allan Chochinov, Chair of MFA Products of Design at SVA; and Craig Metros, Exterior Design Director of the Americas at Ford Motor Company had to say.

On Being a Pioneer

Moderator Rama Chorpash, Director of MFA Industrial Design, Parsons the New School for Design, kicked off the night by diving right into the question, "What does it mean to be a pioneer?" Allan offered a quick definition that included the qualifiers "risk-taker", "optimist", and "voracious curiosity", while rejecting the commonly held notions that it's impossible to be dedicated to any passion while maintaining a career and family at the same time. Craig pointed back in time to when Henry Ford's visions of vertical assembly in the 1920's led most to think he had a few screws loose, so perhaps suggesting the unbelievable is a prerequisite for being a pioneer. He credits that assembly line concept innovation with being a source of inspiration; something he admires for the impact it's had, not just on the automotive industry, but on the manufacturing of products in general.

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The images projected on stage showed the dramatic contrast between a car assembly line from the 1920's and one today, the latter being completely void of any human presence. Rama used these images to point out that the turn of the 20th century ushered in focuses on both transportation and labor in the United States, which led to dramatic innovations of the assembly line process. Craig explains that automation has made production not just more precise and faster, but also safer by removing people from environments like the welding pit.

On the Cusp

Rama then turned his attention to Steve Schlafman who suggested we are on the cusp of incredible things happening as innovations shake up industries and products that haven't changed significantly in decades. He believes companies ilke Uber, Tesla and Google are on the verge of making fundamental changes to the humble car in the next 20 years. He also sees this type of upheaval happening in the service industries where Managed by Q is taking the task of maintaining an office space to a new level with their software enabled management system. Steve pointed out that Managed by Q is accomplishing this wonderful innovation while adhering to fair labor practices, which led the conversation to the presence of accountability in companies that grow too big, too fast. The element of trust is vital in these innovative spaces where open systems like Uber and Craigslist enable wonderful advances but also present risks to the consumer.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  15 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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It's a clinical way of looking at it, but that's what pasta is: A bunch of extrusions. The same production method used to make aluminum cooling fins, vinyl threshold inserts and rubber hosing is also what creates tasty fusilli. And as a lifelong pasta lover, I became entranced by that GIF above when I spotted it over at BoingBoing, and I had to track down the machine doing the work. Which was fun because in the process I got to make my own GIF of conchigliette being made:

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Posted by Coroflot  |  15 Dec 2014

Work for Otherlab!

Otherlab are mischievous scientists, practical dreamers, working on making the world the way it needs to be. Asking: "Wouldn't it be cool if..." is an excellent place to start for this team. They have a strong track record of attracting research funding for early and risky ideas in areas such as 'programmable matter', robotics, solar energy, wind energy, energy storage, computational and advanced manufacturing, medical devices and more. Otherlab wants a Fabric Structure Designer to join their San Francisco team.

This role requires creativity and a solid design approach in order to develop and prototype fabric structures for novel powered orthotics. You'll need a BA/BS/BFA Degree in apparel design, textiles, garment engineering, industrial design (soft goods) or equivalent. If you happen to have a strong intuition with mechanical systems and are enthusiastic about robotics, even better! Apply Now.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  12 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Earlier we showed you a movie Hayao Miyazaki never made, and here we can show you a piece of one that he did. The last piece, in fact, of the last movie he'll ever make, by most accounts; though the globally-beloved animation master has announced—and rescinded—his retirement before, this time he's rumored to be quitting for good.

So here we have something akin to watching Frank Lloyd Wright draw his last line, or Harley Earl shaving his last piece of clay. And it happens in a cramped-looking, low-ceilinged office lit by fluorescents, with an actual pencil and paper.

Not sure if you caught it, but the clip is significant as he changes the final meaning of the entire movie (The Wind Rises) by changing a single syllable of a single word uttered by one of the characters.

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Posted by Carly Ayres  |  12 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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For centuries, scientists, thinkers, makers and—of course—designers have looked up to the sky and stars for inspiration. From satellite imagery on silk scarves to the movie Interstellar, some great stuff has come from celestial-oriented thinking. One of the latest examples is a set of tableware by Chi and Chi that takes its cue from astronomical objects and other cosmic phenomena.

Founded last year, Chi and Chi is a product design studio based in Taiwan, run by brothers Stephen and Leo Chiu. The duo were approached by a close friend, Sappho Wong, who wanted to develop a set of tableware for her brand Saniyo. Wong offered to provide her expertise in OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturing) consulting and her connections in the ceramic industry, while giving the Chiu brothers free rein over the ideation and creative process.

The designers started off by thinking about the concept of "gathering"—a natural point of entry for tableware "We think that it is very interesting how people meet and get to know each other and become friends; it is something very natural and we never know if there is a law or pattern behind it," Stephen Chiu says. "We think it is similar to the universe—everything is in order, and when all the things join together, it brings harmony and diversity. It is exactly like the relationship between humans."

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  12 Dec 2014  |  Comments (5)

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I greatly enjoyed Barry Berkus' "How to Think Like an Architect" videos, and have been searching in vain for an industrial design counterpart. To have a creative designer walk you through, in plain English, a design as it unfurls is immensely edifying, but I can't find an ID guy who's done it.

I did, however, luckily stumble across Field Notes man and Curiosity Club veteran Aaron Draplin breaking down a graphic design project. Learning website Lynda.com tasked Draplin with designing a logo—something that can take months—and condensing it all into a sit-able video. Not only does Draplin render his process completely transparent, there's a bonus starting around 15:00, when he discusses what happened after he decided to go freelance.

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  12 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

PizzaHut_SubconsciousMenu8_Dec14.jpgJust look at those vacant expressions—if only there was an easier way

Something's definitely been cooking in the R&D department at Pizza Hut this year. In a market showing trends to polarization—the rise of the high-end, handmade, hipster-friendly, small batch, sourdough, pizza-craft on one hand, and the quick, easy, cheap, delivered-to-your-door stuff still going strong on the other—the middle of the road pizza chain has been struggling with a lack of relevance in recent years. Moderately priced, average pizza (to be kind?) and '80s salad bars are clearly doing it for nobody in the 2010's. And by the looks of things, they know it.

Earlier this year, we reported on the Hut's first foray into interactive ordering technology with the release of their concept touchscreen table top for (playing at) designing your own pizza (with some games and phone interconnectivity thrown in for good measure). Last month, the chain announced a total revamp, launching both an attempt at a bold and contemporary new menu—whipping out on-trend big guns like Sriracha sauce, Buffalo drizzle, "Skinny Slice" and more premium toppings, all under a pretty nauseating (and fairly offensive to Italians) campaign "The Flavor of Now" (I'm not linking to that shit)—and a big identity update; the company's fourth refresh in 15 years.

As if Sriracha, touchscreen tables and insulting geriatric Italian's (ok here's the video) wasn't enough innovation for one year, Pizza Hut have released a new concept that claims to be "the future of dining"...

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Posted by core jr  |  12 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

RedHook_HUB_branding.JPGPhoto by Anke Stohlmann

By Laetitia Wolff, Design/Relief Program Director

How can graphic design positively transform communities and the practice of design? The New York chapter of AIGA launched Design/Relief, a participatory design initiative targeted at New York City neighborhoods still grappling with the effects of Superstorm Sandy, in the fall of 2013. To fund the project, AIGA/NY received an innovation grant from Artplace America, a consortium interested in advancing the practice of creative placemaking. Engaging in this emerging movement, AIGA/NY believed graphic designers could leverage their agile, creative process while testing their community organizing skills on the ground.

We handpicked three teams, composed of graphic designers, storytellers and community engagement experts, to catalyze three New York waterfront communities. The teams were tasked to help these communities imagine a more vibrant future for themselves—the three neighborhoods were still struggling to overcome the lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy, even a year after the disaster. While learning about the reality of multi-disciplinary collaboration, urban territories and public engagement processes, designers were given a framework to act locally and dispatched for a 9-12 months period to Red Hook in South Brooklyn, Rockaway at the Queens shoreline and the South Street Seaport enclave in Lower Manhattan.

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Revisiting the Design/Relief Manifesto a year later, AIGA/NY is proud to have engaged designers in tackling tough civic challenges while generating new knowledge about design as a creative placemaking tool. As we conclude this endeavor with the recent launch of the Red Hook team project, the HUB, we wanted to take a moment to highlight a few insights before sharing a more detailed case study (coming soon, early 2015). Here they are:


  • Places are made by people. Yes, before anything else.

  • Graphic designers are particularly apt at connecting the dots, building bonds, visualizing futures, and enhancing communication between people and places.

  • Our placemaking projects focus particularly on public spaces in which community information and communication can be shared.

  • Improving a place successfully comes along with social justice, inclusion and opportunity-building—our creative placemakers tried to remain aware of the fine line between gentrification and displacement.

RedHook_HUB_library_board.jpgThe Red Hook HUB includes a board at the local library branch on Wolcott Street. Photo credit: David Al-Ibrahim

The Red Hook HUB is a 21st century bulletin board
Seen on Brooklyn streets and in the digital space

Over the past year, through their engagement with the communities of Red Hook, Brooklyn, Rockaway, Queens and the Seaport in Lower Manhattan, our Design/Relief teams often acted as catalysts for latent desires, lingering community needs and long-lasting aspirations. Red Hook residents had expressed a need for a coordinated communication system that would allow them to more effectively share trusted information. Although the need was in the air, no one had formulated the appropriate format, place and process.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  12 Dec 2014  |  Comments (1)

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The Fletcher Capstan table, like the Jupe table before it, has undoubtedly been copied in garages and workshops around the world. And while it's unlikely that anyone can duplicate David Fletcher's fastidious and multimaterial construction, some enjoy the challenge of DIY'ing something similar that's more within reach.

Contractor Scott Rumschlag falls into this category, and has put more than 400 hours over a couple of years attempting to produce a self-built version of the Fletcher Capstan, complete with star-shaped center and multi-level leaves. Here's what Rumschlag had come up with by February of last year:

While he was not able to duplicate the always-round design of the Fletcher Capstan, here's the version he posted a video of last week, where he explains the mechanicals he devised to achieve Fletcher-like results:

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  11 Dec 2014  |  Comments (0)

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I have to be honest—I wasn't going to say anything to you, but now I feel I must. It's not that your gift-giving skills are bad—I know that you've faithfully perused both our 2014 Gift Guide and the offerings at Hand-Eye Supply—it's that your gift-wrapping skills suck.

That's why everyone looks disappointed when you bring them a gift; the way you've wrapped it is so conventional, so pedestrian, so blah, and you use too much tape. So here I'm going to show you how they do it in Japanese department stores. They rig up little slots at the corners so the gift-opener can get some purchase with a fingernail, and they only use a single piece of tape on the entire package. Sure they might offset the tape savings by wasting a little more paper, but this is the holidays, buddy, not a goddamn Greenpeace mission.

Now step up your game. You can thank me later.