Seeing as toilet humor never gets old, we were very interested to stumble upon a company called Remade Co., which gives a veritable swirlie to a certain New York City-based design company. We've seen uncannily similar variations on the theme of painting a handle, but Remade is a parody par excellence: The website is dead ringer (or should we say plunger) of its target, and the product lineup is at once entirely on-brand and completely off-the-mark.
In the profile video (below), which I assume is a shot-for-shot remake (get it?) of an original that I was unable to dig up as of press time, an unidentified jester goes by a hyphenated surname that is the inversion of that of his mark. It's a bit heavyhanded at times, but considering that they've taken the joke that far, it's hard not to be impressed by the whole thing.(more...)
The season of sparkling snow, stress and singing Santa figurines is here! In between the food and the familial feuding, we hope you'll find time to show your loved ones you support their creative aims. At Hand-Eye Supply we think a good gift sparks excitement about the object and the way you'll use it. We've gathered some especially inspiring objects for the shop, the studio, the campsite and the home. Who they're gifted to (or hoarded by) is up to you, but we guarantee they're all nicely made, satisfying to hold and ready to fit a creative lifestyle.
Check out some of the collection stand outs after the jump.(more...)
On 7th Street in Manhattan's East Village stands McSorley's Old Ale House, one of NYC's older Irish pubs, dating back to the mid-1800s. Since its inception the bar had a no-women-allowed policy—an anachronism they held onto until 1970 (!) when the Civil Rights Bill was passed. The first woman invited inside was Barbara Shaum.
If being invited inside a bar doesn't sound like an accomplishment, what Shaum was achieving just two doors down the block was. As a 21-one-year-old woman living in 1950s NYC, she had begun learning leathersmithing. By 1970 she'd had nearly 20 years of experience, and had her own leathergoods shop—in both senses of the word—next-next-door to McSorley's. (And she'd actually had beers inside the bar before the ballyhoo, as local shopkeepers were once a lot friendlier with each other.)
Barbara Shaum is the leathersmith whom Kika Vliegenthart apprenticed under. And now, at age 83, she's 62 years into the business and still running her shop. Rising rents have forced her off of 7th Street, but she's still keeping it East Village real enough, now relocated to 4th.
Shaum refers to the leather sandals she makes as "like wearing a T-shirt on your feet." It's not uncommon for them to last for decades, as her business has. Over the course of her six-decade career she's made bags, briefcases, sandals, belts, and a variety of custom work (her strangest "client" was a llama). Here's her story:(more...)
This is a true story. Descriptions of companies, clients, schools, projects, and designers may be altered and anonymized to protect the innocent.
Editor: After a nasty paycheck surprise, suddenly underpaid "Family Man" has to figure out where he went wrong with his new employment contract. Has he screwed himself and his family, or are they getting screwed by the company?
It was well after closing when I got to the office, so everyone else was long gone. I flipped the lights on, headed over to my desk and ripped the drawer open. There was the contract. I pulled it out, slammed it down on my desk and started reading through it, to see where I'd screwed up. To be told you were going to be paid an annual salary only to have some clause slipped under your nose in the contract stipulating you'd instead be paid hourly wages—this made me angry, and I had to figure out where I'd make the mistake so that I'd never make it again.
I spent fifteen minutes going through the contract from top to bottom, and could find no such clause. So I read through it again. And again. Then, a fourth time.
There was nothing in the contract like that, no clause, no loopholes. It was totally straightforward. I was supposed to be paid $85,000 a year in biweekly installments, no ifs, ands or buts. So I had read the thing correctly the first time. That made me breathe a sigh of relief since it meant the error wasn't mine, but my anger shortly returned. The boss was shortchanging me.
I went home that night angry, and when my wife asked me what was wrong I lied and said I had to learn some new software for work that was giving me a headache. I couldn't bring myself to tell her how much less money we were going to have, not until I talked to the boss and figured out what the hell was going on.(more...)
You might know Jessica Walsh for her graphic design work, but it's more likely that you religiously (and tearfully, at times) followed her viral side project "40 Days of Dating" with fellow designer friend (even post-breakup) Timothy Goodman. The latter project has blasted her name around the Internet and in conversations worldwide—Warner Bros even recently bought the film rights to the project. But her graphic design starts a conversation on its own. The attention to surreal detail in her ad campaigns, subway posters and branding projects puts her on the "designers to follow" radar.(more...)
Calvin Chu pitches Palette at the HAXLR8R Demo Day in San Francisco. All event images by the author for Core77.
If you were to take apart the hardware on your computer, you'd see a microcosm of the world. A simple look at a laptop computer on SourceMap, the popular software for sourcing the materials and components of just about any object and where those pieces come form, reveals an incredibly complex trade route: Unlike software, which can be hacked together regardless of location, hardware requires a lot of moving parts, from raw materials to manufacturing to assembly. It's a process that criss-crosses the globe until the final product arrives in our hands, ready to use.
Shenzhen is a key focus of HAXLR8R, which bills itself as "a new kind of accelerator program." Accepting applications twice a year from hardware startups around the world, it provides seed funding of $25,000 (with opportunities to increase that amount through additional funding paths), office space and regular mentorship on a variety of topics, from building products to pitching them. Most importantly, it offers an opportunity to live and work in Shenzhen, interacting directly with manufacturers who have the ability to take the product to scale.
"JDFI also applies to us," notes the accelerator program's website, as they list out the services and equipment they provide, including a laser cutter, 3D printer, CNC machine and in-house services like product design and small batch assembly and testing, not to mention the basic tools of business. HAXLR8R is very much a project about doing and making at the highest levels. And as I explored in my recent column, this intermixing of disciplines and processes undoubtedly makes for better designs.
Bassam Jalgha demos the Roadie Tuner with a live tuning session.(more...)
New Balance has a history of 100 years of enduring performance and is still running strong today. They seek to hire associates who are always on the move, who push themselves forward and are motivated to move New Balance forward. Do you fit this description?
As the Color, Material and Trend Designer in their Lawrence, MA office, you will work cross-functionally to execute new and original color combinations, materials, & print/graphic applications for footwear. You'll need knowledge of footwear materials, construction, colors and design processes, as well as a creative and motivated personality. What are you waiting for? Apply Now.
Like most everyone who was born after, say, the mid-70's, we're big fans of Super Mario—see figs. 1, 2, 3—so we're definitely digging Robert Bacon's "Super Mario New York City Subway" Map. As Andy Cush of Animal New York puts it, the poster is "perfect for the transit-obsessed gamer on your list."(more...)
Hailing from the Netherlands, Sabine Spanjer was an interaction designer. Fellow Dutchwoman Kika Vliegenthart earned a Bachelors in Economics. So naturally the two found themselves starting up a leather goods company in NYC, producing beautiful models like the Postal BackPack #3, above and below, and a line of bags, device cases, sandals, belts, suspenders, wallets and more. (See the full line-up here.)
The two operate out of a space in Brooklyn's Navy Yard under the name Kika NY, designing and producing goods--all by hand--that go out to shops in New York, San Francisco, L.A., Austin, Portland, and overseas.Our goal is to design high quality goods that will last a lifetime —ones with clean, simple lines that eliminate the unnecessary. To keep the the tradition alive, we work with machines custom-built for our studio and tools from old-school suppliers in France and the UK. Most of our resources come from Europe as well. We use high-end leather from Portugal, Italy, and Belgium, and our solid brass hardware is hand-tooled in a family-owned foundry in Europe.
It didn't happen overnight, of course; before starting up Kika NY, Vliegenthart spent some 15 years apprenticing under a rather legendary NYC leathersmith whom we'll look at next.(more...)
Dogs may be man's best friend, but UK laundry company JTM Serviceis helping them creep into that "one pet fits all" territory. They've created a bark activated washing machine, making it possible for support dogs to take on their share of chores to help owners with disabilities.
The invention, aptly named "Woof to Wash," has been dogified with height-appropriate buttons and a pull toy attachment on the door handle, making it easy to open. Check out the video after the jump to see machine (and adorable support dog Duffy) at work:(more...)
Last night on the American news program 60 Minutes, Amazon skipper Jeff Bezos unveiled the company's plans to have packages delivered not by strapping UPS men, but by autonomous drones that it is impossible for your girlfriend to develop a crush on. It turns out that 86% of Amazon packages are under five pounds, a very do-able payload capacity for our little octo-rotor friends. With well-placed distribution centers, Amazon reckons that "Prime Air Delivery," as they're calling it, will get package delivery times down to just 30 minutes for those living in the right zones.
Here's what it would look like in action, using footage purportedly from an actual test flight:
[image via JBT AeroTech]
Your correspondent managed to travel via subway this Thanksgiving, avoiding the car-clogged roads, the train-jammed tracks and most importantly, the airplane-choked skies. But this past weekend, I departed for Autodesk University on the other side of the country, meaning there's a plane ride in my immediate future.
On the jet bridge, I'll be looking out for that little wheeled thing in the photograph above, which I've not noticed (so much for being an observant industrial designer) on the numerous flights I've taken in my lifetime, probably because during the boarding process I'm more concerned with if there's any overhead bin space left. Slate, however, has been kind enough to point the object out and explain its function. Can any of you guess what it is, and what it does?(more...)
Hosted by Don Lehman, Core77's podcast series is designed for all those times you're sketching, working in the shop, or just looking for inspiration from inspiring people. We'll have conversations with interesting creatives and regular guests. The viewpoint of Afterschool will come from industrial design, but the focus will be on all types of creativity: graphic design, storytelling, architecture, cooking, illustration, branding, materials, business, research... anything that could enrich your thought process, we'll talk about.
The past couple of weeks have seen the release of two next generation video game consoles: The PS4 and the Xbox One. I love when new consoles come out. It's such an infrequent occurrence that every console becomes a milestone for design and technology. So I thought it would be fun to break down the game industry's efforts, as well as try to decipher where they're going next, with my buddy Peter Rivera-Pierola. Besides being an avid gamer and tech nerd like myself, Peter is also an industrial designer and a manager of strategic concepts at McDonald's in Chicago.
Get the Afterschool Podcast, Episode #13 - Next Generation Gaming Consoles: Available at the iTunes store or direct download via Soundcloud below.(more...)
Industrial designers who work for Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. work on a product line that includes more than 500 tools and over 3,500 accessories. These are the heavy-duty, high quality, portable electric power tools and accessories that professional users worldwide rely on to get the job done. Why should you join their team in Milwaukee, WI?
Beyond the opportunity to help shape one of the leading brands in this industry, your benefits start on your first day of work (health, dental, vision, life insurance, 401k) and you get to enjoy an excellent working environment that includes an on-site cafeteria, state of the art fitness facility, recreational sports leagues and company outings. What's not to love?(more...)
In the context of design, fabrication is essentially a fancy term for making, and insofar as the term is refers to the process of producing a physical thing, the word transcends its alternate meaning: to contrive or devise, without justification—in short, to lie. Negative connotation aside, it's loosely synonymous with invention, such that 'digital fabrication'—term of art notwithstanding—might also refer to algorithmically generated designs. If the concept is the frontier of new media art (Phillips de Pury's recent "Paddles On!" auction made art-world headlines for unprecedented sales of GIFs and Tumblogs), it is at once more and less apropos design. On one hand, there is a sense in which design is intrinsically algorithmic, where function serves as an overarching constraint—to say nothing of manufacturing considerations—yet there is also a sense in which the premise of creating a bit of code to dictate an aesthetic seems more like art than design.
Which is a long way of introducing Zhang Zhoujie's current project on Indiegogo, his first—and the first international crowdfunding campaign by a bona fide Chinese designer. Over the past few years, we've encountered Zhang's work at various design festivals around the world, starting in 2011 at London Design Festival (he studied with Ben Hughes at Central St. Martins) to the Salone and Shanghai last year (he's based in the latter city). Between the design concept and the fact that he's turned to Indiegogo, there are a lot of angles to the Digital Vessel (pun intended). He notes that "I believe that Indiegogo is the right platform to find the support needed to launch an entire digital revolution, a generation of backers that understand and can identify with my vision."
As he says in the pitch video above, that vision "is not about designing something... it's about finding something." And while Zhang only mentions it in passing in, his ultimate goal is to approximate nature itself—arguably the original designer—with algorithms for objects that grow or evolve of their own accord. (I struggled to grasp the concept when he explained it to me during Beijing Design Week, but he elaborated at length about his ongoing research and is clearly fixated on emulating nature through software.)(more...)
How do you take two things most people don't like—airline travel and advertising—and combine them into a pleasing experience? That was the task online retailer Zappos set for Mullen, and the Boston ad agency came up with a client-pleasing solution. This Thankgsiving Eve, travelers through Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport found their baggage claim conveyor belt festooned with what appeared to be Zappos advertising banners, but which were in fact prize markers for clothing, appliances, accessories and gift certificates. The entire conveyor belt had effectively been transformed into a giant roulette wheel, with travelers' individual pieces of luggage serving as the ball.
"Zappos wants to intercept people in their everyday lives and bring surprise and delight," Mullen executive creative director Tim Vaccarino told Ad Age. "So right away we're always looking for something fresh in approach."
Zappos staff were on hand to verify prize winnings, with at least one of them dressed like a turkey. And unlike America's usual Black Friday shenanigans, there were no fistfights, stabbings or shootings reported.(more...)
As I mentioned in this post on travel methodologies, I never travel with anything larger than a rolling carry-on. So if I'm flying someplace that has inclement weather and I think I might need to bring boots, I have a simple space-saving trick: I wear them onto the flight. Even filled with rolled-up socks and power cables, boots take up far too much space packed into luggage, whereas the sneakers I pack are easy to crush and stow.
The problem with the boots-wearing is, it's a pain unlacing and re-lacing them at the airport security line. But I think I've just found a solution: A company called LEMs, for Live Easy & Minimal, sells a collapsible, packable boot that I could easily squeeze into packed luggage.
"Was an African or Arab or a Portuguese shipwreck implicated? Marooned Indonesian sailors? Had Aborigines traveled to Kilwa in days of old?" The Past Masters dig the truth.
I'm not trying to start nothing, but this crowdfunding campaign could kick your crowdfunding campaign's ass. The team: archeologists, anthropologists, an Aboriginal army unit, shipwreck hunters, and native rock art historians. The goal: investigating mysterious East African Kilwa coins found in Australia, dating from centuries before known non-native contact on the continent. They call themselves the Past Masters, and they want to change Australian history.
Now, Australia has been populated for a while—upwards of 40,000 years, in fact. It is a conspicuously large land mass, with several expansive trading cultures around its perimeter that predated Western contact. Yet, the story still goes that Australia was discovered for the very first time (the first arrival of human settlement notwithstanding) in either 1770 by Captain James Cook, or 1606 by the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon. The presumed likelihood of this theory has declined somewhat with the increase in "facts" and "evidence" of earlier trade linking East Africa, Arabia, Persia, India, China and Indonesia. These coins may not have rested on the beach since they were first in circulation, but the Past Masters believe the region's history is less cut and dried than supposed.(more...)
If only there were, for every kid glued to an XBox, another kid like Wesley Souza. After observing how an escavadeira (excavator) works, the Brazilian teen replicated the hydraulic mechanisms using syringes and plastic tubing; with a little help from family member Lidio, he even carved up some wood scraps to create a working scale model.
See it in action:(more...)
Today is Thanksgiving here in the U.S., when we all give thanks that the heavens have provided us with the Kardashians, a bitterly bifurcated government and wildly diverging views on firearms. We celebrate these things by cooking lots of food, most of it in ovens. But if more of us were like Grant Thompson, a.k.a. The King of Random, we could heat our meals by harnessing the sun's power.
Inveterate tinkerer Thompson has 46 million hits on YouTube for good reason: Because he does crazy shit like snagging a free projection TV on Craigslist and turning the screen—which is essentially an enormous magnifiying glass—into an absurdly powerful, eco-friendly death ray capable of heating things to 2000 degrees Farenheit. Observe:(more...)