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Posted by core jr  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Following the pre-conference workshops on Wednesday, this year's GAIN Conference was in full swing in NYC today, bringing together a great lineup of thinkers and doers to address the idea of redesigning business from a wide range of perspectives (hence the "Design and Business" moniker). Chaired by Nathan Shedroff with moderation help from Jeanne Liedtka, the speakers explored new ways of defining the value and role of design across organizations, continually referencing the human element and how design serves to connect people, and improve lives. The conference website has interviews with several of the speakers, and will be publishing videos of the presentations in the coming weeks.

Below are some of our favorite tweets covering the day's activities:

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Like the vlogger in "Why I Quit Studying Industrial Design," Hank Butitta found himself dissatisfied with his chosen course of study. "In architecture school I was tired of drawing buildings that would never exist, for clients that were imaginary, and with details I didn't fully understand," he writes. "I prefer to work with my hands, exploring details thoroughly, and enjoy working/prototyping at full scale." So rather than quit, Hank figured he'd gain his Masters with a kick-ass final project: Convert a schoolbus into a living space.

Now forget for a second that this is a bus, and look at this as a pure design problem. You've got a 225-square-foot space with existing elements, and you want to convert it into something livable, flexible, and most importantly do-able; you've got to build this thing with your own hands with nine grand that you scraped together, and three grand of that went into buying the bus on Craigslist. How would you tackle it?

Here's Butitta's approach, as we understand it:

Work With Existing Elements

Butitta looked at the fixed elements in the bus: The windows. There were twelve to a side, aft of the driver's compartment and entry stairwell. Despite their inconsistent size (three of the windows towards the rear are wider), he looked at the windows as modules or units, each of which would have something built in front of it. A certain amount of units would comprise each of the four living areas he wanted to create: a place to sleep, a place to lounge/work/eat, a kitchen and a bathroom.

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Posted by Jeri Dansky  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Garages protect our cars, serve as our workspaces—and often store an amazing amount of stuff. Making the most of garage space, for yourself or for an end-user, might mean using the ceiling, but it might also mean using the walls.

One way to use the walls is to install shelves. Monkey Bars has a clever design that involves layered storage, so you can fit more into any given wall space. And the shelves are built to take the load; every four feet of shelving holds 1,000 pounds. And with nine different types of hooks, there should be one to hold almost anything.

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Elfa systems, long beloved for organizing closets and other interior spaces, can also be used in the garage. The ease of installation is a key factor in end-user satisfaction, as is the array of components: shelves, baskets, hooks and more. Like the Monkey Bars, they'll appeal to those who want everything out and visible.

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Slatwall designs also work in garages; the one above is called storeWALL. While many slatwall systems are made from MDF, these panels are manufactured as a solid core, foamed PVC extrusion [PDF]. Again, the accessories are a big part of what make these systems work; the storage totes and brackets especially caught my eye. The panels are also compatible with conventional slatwall accessories, which gives end-users even more flexibility.

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Posted by Hand-Eye Supply  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (1)

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Hand-Eye Supply has leveled up! After realizing we were rapidly outgrowing our small Chinatown space, we had a choice: find a bigger rental, or walk our DIY talk with an ambitious project of our own. Just six months after making the bolder choice, we opened the doors of the brand new Hand-Eye Supply, our custom designed and team-built home at 427 NW Broadway, where we're ratcheting up our role as an inspiring resource for creative minds.

So not only do we have our very own digs, we did a real doozy customizing the place. The interior architecture was designed by long time C77/HES collaborator Laurence Sarrazin, who has helped mastermind numerous exhibits, fixtures, pop-ups and events, and whose previous work has taken her through architectural artworks, Portland Arch & Design Fest, and work for Herman Miller under Ayse Birsel.

The new space features interesting skylighting, airy modular storage and custom sculpture, while allowing the building's unique structural elements to peek through. To honor our focus on making new skills and design accessible, exposed process and raw materials are themes throughout the space. Our own process was uniquely DIY too: the retail build-out was completed in just four weeks, by a small crew of Hand-Eye Supply employees and trusted pros. Here are some of our favorite parts.

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Always a Hand-Eye staple, aprons now have a large interactive display, much like a big, tactile poster wall. Modular storage keeps things neat and accessible below. At the left you can see a little bit of the original exposed brick poking out behind the register.

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Outdoor gear and kitchen supplies get similar shelving sections, while knives and axes perch in cases built in-house and modeled after Japanese benches. The book area got extra elbow room and a cheery table inspired by Enzo Mari.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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HP making magic?

Earlier this month it was reported that Hewlett-Packard was breaking up into two companies. While one half, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, will focus on boring stuff like corporate computing, the other half, HP Inc., sounds a little sexier with its emphasis on 3D printing and "new computing experiences."

Since that announcement, it didn't take long for HP Inc. to arrange an event to show what that new experience might be. The new organization plans to hold a press event next week, where they'll pull the sheets off of a new type of computer called Sprout. The all-in-one PC will reportedly feature not only a flatscreen, but a touch-sensitive flat horizontal area over which will be mounted both a projector and a 3D scanner.

No one knows what the thing looks like (in case our visual atop this entry didn't tip you off) or how the interaction will work, but it seems likely that it's similar to the Fujitsu FingerLink Interaction System we showed you last year, which features components similar to what the Sprout is described as having:

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Posted by Sam Dunne  |  23 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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You're likely familiar with Polish designer Oskar Zieta—if only for his 2010 'Chippensteel' chair and other inflated steel furniture, often spotted in glistening chrome or copper. Zieta was back in the limelight at Łódź Design Festival in Poland last week with pyrotechnical demonstrations of some new steel products inflated by the application of heat.

The 'Hot Pin'—a repacking of Zieta's old techniques as a consumer product—is a wall-mounted coat hook sold flatpack in an admittedly quite charming mini pizza box. The intention seems to be to give us at home a chance to see the wonders of baking steel—the discs springing to life with inflating spontaneously when heated to temperatures above 200°C, cooling into a surprisingly solid object to be fitted to the wall.

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Posted by Coroflot  |  23 Oct 2014

Work for Hasbro!

Hasbro does more than create some of the world's most beloved brands. They are a global, fast-moving and innovative company where employees have the freedom to think big, lead bravely and achieve success. It has been recognized for its efforts by being named one of the "World's Most Ethical Companies" and is ranked as one of Corporate Responsibility Magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens." Why wouldn't you want to join their team as a Senior Product Designer, focusing on Fashion Dolls?

They're looking for someone with previous experience demonstrating strong technical design ability for fashion doll development who is a creative thinker, experienced at working in a broad range of creative projects/assignments. If this describes you and you want to join this iconic company, Apply Right Now.

Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  22 Oct 2014  |  Comments (2)

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With a lot of folks buying the Back to the Future 2 hoverboard prank earlier this year, it's no surprise that a purportedly real hoverboard just got funded on Kickstarter. (Or so we assume—at press time it was at $234,708 of a $250,000 goal, with 53 days left to pledge.) "We aim to get this technology into everyone's hands (and under everyone's feet)!" writes Hendo Hover, the California-based company behind the Hoverboard.

Yes, you can really stand on the thing and yes, it really floats, but there is a bit of a catch:

Our patented technology transmits electromagnetic energy more efficiently than previously possible, enabling platforms to hover over non-ferrous metals with payloads. It is scalable to any size and any weight.

The limitation of needing a non-ferromagnetic metal surface to float over aside, the technology still looks pretty cool.

Amazingly, only a handful of the actual backers will receive a working hoverboard; the ten units have all been snapped up at a buy-in of ten large. The sub-$10,000 tier of funding is for developer kits and short hoverboard rides at Hendo's facility.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  22 Oct 2014  |  Comments (4)

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The ShopBot Desktop CNC mill can perform a variety of cutting tasks in a variety of materials, all depending on what kind of bit you're using. So when learning to use one, the first physical skill you'll master is how to install and remove a bit in the machine. Whether you've used power tools or not before, it's a pretty simple procedure:

Once you've got a bit installed, you'll need to "zero," or calibrate that bit, so that the machine knows exactly where that bit is in 3D space. Here's how that routine goes:

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Posted by Ray  |  22 Oct 2014  |  Comments (0)

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As an industrial design publication, we publish both hypothetical and extant products; as such, we receive a fair share of inquiries, via e-mail or comments, from net noobs about the possibility of ordering these products. Where savvy Internet folk might content themselves with a Futurama macro of approval, we regularly receive reminders that there are plenty of people who think that the internet is not just a big store.

Of course, it takes a more nuanced approach to pull one on those of us who sift through Kickstarter pitches and dubious renderings for a living, and the TBD Catalog assumes a moderate degree of web-weary cynicism even as its pages present a close approximation of novelty (if not naïvity). The short version is that it's a neatly packaged, portable work of design fiction, a vicarious investigation of a near future that may not be the one we want but could well be the one we get. As Fosta (one of the 19 co-authors) put it in his expository piece:

We wanted to talk about a future of middling indifference, of partly broken things, of background characters. A future where self-driving cars weren't a fantasy, but another place to be bored. A future where drones didn't draw gasps of awe, but eye-rolls of indifference. A future where today's 'technology' had become tomorrow's ho-hum.

Reverting to printed matter is, of course, at once a way to short-circuit the feedback loop of the Internet and an excuse to produce an artifact, a token of one's efforts (why yes, it is available to order). Although the TBD Catalog is a send-up of invariably utopian futurecasting, it's not so much an outright parody as an exercise in the uncanny: As a work of design fiction par excellence, it blurs the minor distinction between 'fictitious' and 'fictional.' [Ed. Note: I wish I were more intimately familiar with the work of the individual authors so I could speak to how each of them may have shaped the final product, but at this point it seems most fair to evaluate their collective effort.]

While its relatively high production value—semi-glossy though they may be, the pages are a cut above magazine stock—betrays its true nature, the message is not in the matter but the medium. Beyond the cover, it reads as a mail-order catalog at first glance, from the true-to-form layout to the intrinsic stiltedness of stock photography, both of which the authors exploit (and sometimes unravel) to nice effect. Some of the content immediately invites a double take but the authors largely err on the side of subtlety, and the TBD Catalog certainly rewards a closer reading of the images, copy and subtext.

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