Saturday, November 29, 2008

BOX TOP (pop-up) SHOP in Miami
Posted by: core jr

If you're heading to Miami for the 2008 hoo-hah, make sure to check out BOX TOP SHOP, presented by I.D. Magazine, Charles & Marie, and Areaware. They'll be selling limited-edition (natch) design objects from Areaware and Charles & Marie, as well as an edition of 300 I.D. tote bags featuring exclusive graphics by Konstantin Grcic, Tord Boontje, and the Bouroullecs. The space is designed by Rich, Brilliant, Willing (you'll recall them from our Greener Gadgets Design Competition last year), who've devised " a practical solution to create a temporary retail environment":

By using flat-packed hollow volumes (cardboard boxes), a shop is assembled in a single day. The boxes provide the necessary presentation requirements of merchandise using a minimal amount of material--the boxes themselves are readymade components drawn from a variety of manufacturers and industrial suppliers. Rich Brilliant Willing assembles these ubiquitous elements into a cohesive, functional whole: The Box Top Shop.
I.D., Charles & Marie, and Areaware present
A four-day retail experience
Design Miami, December 2-6
Miami Design District
4141 NE 2nd Avenue, inner foyer
More info here

Saint-Etienne Design Biennale 2008: Energy Solstices, by Anais met den Ancxt
Posted by: Allan Chochinov

One of our absolute favorite projects in the Saint-Étienne Design Biennale was Anaïs met den Ancxt's Energy Solstices, a project completed as part of her post-diploma at Ecole Supérieure d'Art et de Design de St Etienne, partnered with EDF R&D. The project was one of many inspiring design investigations in the school's "Réalisme énerg#233;tique" exhibition, and had us scrambling for our cameras and sketchbooks.

In Anaïs's project, the notion of daylight savings time is explored, arguing that its practical advantages have been blurred by technology, and that the purpose today would be to transform the practice "into seasonal rituals with a symbolic dimension."

She's done this with a set of incredibly poetic objects--all housed in a sweet wooden box, with which users can equip themselves for the changes that happen twice a year. Our favorite objects are the wind-up light bulb above, One hour of light (LED, small clock wind-up key, battery) which is used during the Winter solstice--when night falls one hour earlier. Its small clock wind-up key produces a symbolic hour of light.

Another favorite is Recto-verso clock, which slows down or speeds up the time over a four-day period, helping users to "update" their own internal clock. (That's the amount of time it takes us to adjust, apparently.) There are lots of other great items in the set, so be sure to check out the site to see them all.

More pics after the jump.

Virtual skyscraper: Everyone's got a story
Posted by: hipstomp

A fun blast-from-the-past piece of eye candy is Mr. Wong's Soup'parmtments, a "pixel by pixel" project that had volunteers add their own illustrated "apartments" to an ever-growing virtual skyscraper. With everything from swimming pools and automobile showrooms to Lightsaber academies and zombie attacks, the endlessly scroll-able, virtual Tower of Babel is an entertaining low-res delight. Load it up on your iPhone for the perfect airport lounge time sink.

Monday, November 24, 2008

no more …
posted by pantopicon

ironing shirts, wasting energy, shortening the lifespan of your shirt’s cloth. The Swedish brand Eton shirts has developed a coatingless cotton-fibre which returns to its original shape after washing. In fact bodyheat is enough to iron your shirt as you wear it. The fibre responds to heat - not unlike shape memory alloys) - to maintain its form.

Let’s extrapolate such a development for a second: imagine a world in which no shirts need to be ironed any longer. Consequences: significant decrease of energy usage since irons no longer need to be heated, presses are no longer necessary, thereby also increasing the lifespan of the shirt since the cloth is spared from several aggressive interactions. Combine that with a waterless washing machine such as Electrolux’ Airwash system. In terms of saving the environment. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how energy- & eco-efficient the production of the special cotton fibre (and the rest of its lifecycle) is before we can truly assess its impact. From a socio-economic perspective however - like any technological development which renders human (inter)action obsolete - the no-iron cotton fibre - if used on a large scale - might put extra stress on or obliterate ironing shops.

On a higher level of abstraction: think of all the kind of products which nowadays, because of their systemic or material makeup, require labour (implying usage of all kinds of other resources) in order to remain functional, usable etc. Windows need to be washed, houses need to be heated or cooled, etc.

What if … changes at the material/systemic level of these products, which nearly all of us use, could make these ‘wasteful cycles’ of energy. If employed at a large scale, effects (both positive and negative) of these changes can often be exponential in nature as they work their way through the chain of reactions linked to the lifecycle of the product. They alter the system of their ‘ecology’, their context (whether bio-, techno- or homosphere). Glass can be self-cleaning, houses can go without or using a minimum of heating/cooling energy, etc.

Monday, November 10, 2008

SNIF tag: Social Networking for dogs
Posted by: core jr

If you feel it's time for Fido to get into that whole social networking thing then this may be for you. The SNIF tag is a wireless gadget that clips onto a dog's collar. As you take your dog for a walk amongst all the other SNIF-enabled hounds at your local park, the tag records your dog's erm, interactions and shares the data with other tags.

Back at home, the tag uploads its data to your online SNIF profile, which allows you to share as much personal information with other SNIF owning dog lovers as you can handle. Creepy or cool? It depends on how hot the other SNIF owners are I guess.

For the designer backstory, here's a video clip of SNIF tag production and a Flickr set of SNIF's quest for a production facility together with their industrial designers from Readymade.

It's interesting. I have a dog and I really like this little staff. It is $199, too expensive! 

Sunday, November 9, 2008

John Maeda: Line Calendar

Good idea, I can see every second of my life in this calendar.

I Want You To Want Me / by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar

What an amazing project! This program not only is a wonderful interactive installation, but also it is an affectionate art work. It shows the vulnerable but sincere emotions needs of human. I was deeply moved when I saw the small balloons which embrace thousands of people connecting each other and forming a DNA shape. The visual presentation and the background music works very well too. I just can't help to watch it again and again.

When designers anticipate the next Big One
Posted by: Mark Vanderbeeken

A few weeks Core77 featured After Shock, the world's first massively collaborative disaster simulation, about a major earthquake affecting much of Southern California.

It turns out - as one could have expected - that there is quite a lot behind this unique serious game. It is actually part of a larger design initiative The Los Angeles Earthquake: Get Ready, led by Designmatters at Art Center College of Design, that has allowed them "to investigate the contributing role of design in disaster mitigation and public awareness".

Mariana Amatullo, (vice president and director of Designmatters at the Art Center College of Design), just wrote a long article on Design21 outlining the project's philosophy and ambition, that is recommended reading for anyone interested in serious games.

In a recent email to me, she said: "Our hope [...] is that the paradigms for communication created by this project can test the efficacy of different communications approaches in a contemporary media environment, and provide a blueprint for vitally needed mitigation efforts elsewhere in the world."

The project is, in my opinion, also particularly strong and commendable, because of the thoroughness with which it has been prepared, and the sense of civic engagement that drives the people behind it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Assignment 5

  • Theme:
         Genetically Modified Crops for Healing

  • Tagline:
         Planting for Health
  • purpose/uses/service: 
  1. treat illness
  2. help to prevent diseases
  3. improve people's health
  • treatment/scenario
  1. A soybean is lying on a culture dish.
  2. The soybean begins to germinate.
  3. It outgrows a stem, several branches and leaves.
  4. At the top of the branch, it brings forth a capsule.
  • Story Board
Get your own at Scribd or explore others:
  • style frame

Get your own at Scribd or explore others:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Assignment 4

posted by pantopicon

At the inspiring Venice Architecture Biennale - this year’s edition curated by Aaron Betsky, former director of the NaI - the famous Dutch design studio Droog Design & KesselsKramer showcase S1NGLETOWN.

S1NGLETOWN focuses on the world of contemporary singles. Its relevance is broad, as all of us are likely to belong to this group at some stage in our lives — and likely more than once. In fact, some sources predict that a third of people in developed countries will be living alone by 2026.

S1NGLETOWN is an exhibition that’s also a town, an abstract interpretation of a new kind of urban space. Visitors will be able to walk its streets and interact with its products and citizens, and view their homes.

The concept is a beautiful illustration of a persona-like approach, typecasting different types of singles and imaginatively describe their world, ways of living using their point of experience as a point of departure. Although designed in a beautiful, powerful yet fairly abstract way, one is fully immersed in this ‘view on the world’ being able to walk around in S1NGLETOWN through an exhibition.

wfs outlook 2009
posted by Pantopicon

The World Future Society recently published their top ten of future developments to keep an eye on in view of 2009 and beyond:

Everything you say and do will be recorded by 2030.
Bioviolence will become a greater threat as the technology becomes more accessible.
The car’s days as king of the road will soon be over.
Careers, and the college majors for preparing for them, are becoming more specialized.
There may not be world law in the foreseeable future, but the world’s legal systems will be networked.
The race for biomedical and genetic enhancement will — in the twenty-first century — be what the space race was in the previous century.
Professional knowledge will become obsolete almost as quickly as it’s acquired.
Urbanization will hit 60% by 2030.
The Middle East will become more secular while religious influence in China will grow.
Access to electricity will reach 83% of the world by 2030.
As 2008 flies by and 2009 approaches, prepare for more lists.

obesity system influence diagram
posted by Pantopicon

Within the ‘Foresight tackling obesities’ project, which we blogged about earlier, our friends over at Shiftn created an amazing map( depicting the forcefield surrounding obesity. Congrats Philippe & Co.!

The causal loop map provides systemic insight into the wide variety of factors influencing the obesity epidemic. A thorough analysis of about 40 science reviews led to the identification of 108 drivers of obesity, interrelated through positive and negative effects.

Reflecting on the potential of maps like these: a next step of increasing the interactivity of the map could further enhance its value as an information insight or what-if tool. For example, select a relationship arrow and see what the relationship stands for. Or furthermore … select a few drivers, confirm or alter the parameters of their cause-effect relationship, push the action button and see what happens. Or … describe an effect (wishful or to avoid) and see which buttons need to be triggered in order to change the outcome as mentioned. In other words: the map, as an information visualization tool, can be a first step toward a full-fledged knowledge tool.