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(Page 1) | 2 | 3 | .... | 595 | newer

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    Guest post by Paul Fraser.

    Photography has come a long way in the last 200 years or so, or even since the first megapixel sensor. Newly developed robotics and software are now making it possible to photograph the tiniest of subjects, the most magnified close-ups, or the broadest panoramas with ridiculous depth of field, quality, and gigapixel resolution.

    At SIGGRAPH 2010, where pixels are on everyone's mind in some way, one exhibit focused exclusively on the topic. GigaPan, a company known for innovations in robotic camera mounts and custom image software, presented its latest hardware, software, and images. Using mounts that automatically move a camera's view across a selected subject, software can then stitch together the high-resolution image pieces to construct photos at the gigapixel level. We captured a video of the photography in action below:

    The first video shows the iterative photographing of a circuit board to create a gigapixel image. The second shows the demonstration of the GigaPan Epic 100. The robotic mount/software runs at about $350.

    A collaboration among Gigapan.org, Carnegie Mellon, NASA, and Four Chambers Studio, the exhibit illustrated how photography and imaging play a vital role in the study of biological systems, allowing new and better science in general, as well as extending the use of photography fundamentally.

    Click through the jump for some of the high-resolution images on display at SIGGRAPH 2010.

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    That's a prototype for an electric bicycle designed by Sir Misha Black, the influential UK industrial designer behind a 1946 exhibition called "Britain Can Make It."

    Shortly after the end of the Second World War, Sir Misha designed the 'Britain can make it' exhibition, held at the Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition was intended to boost morale by promoting the British manufacturing industry that was decimated after the war. Industry was to play a vital part in British post-war reconstruction. Sir Misha included a section called the 'benefits of good design', where he promoted good design as a force for social change.

    Black was made the first president of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design in 1959, and was knighted for his contributions to industry and business in the UK. He is now being honored by ICSID on the occasion of what would have been his 100th birthday.

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    The Savannah College of Art & Design's ID department continues to impress us with its significant ties to real-world industry and the educational opportunities this affords to its students. SCAD's latest team-up was with heavy equipment manufacturer JCB, who collaborated with SCAD ID students on a re-design of their 3CX backhoe loader, show above.

    The new 3CX features aesthetic changes to its loader arms, cab roof cap and engine hood that make it look more "rugged."

    "We gave it more of an Americas look," said Chris Giorgianni, JCB's general manager for product marketing. "From a look and feel aspect, it's always been about the guts of the machine. Now it looks on the outside the way it performs."

    The relationship [between JCB and SCAD] goes back three years and started with redesigns of accessories, like in-cab cupholders, assembly line workstations and skid steer loader attachments.

    The 3CX was the first product redesign on which the company and the college collaborated. And it will be the first of many, Giorgianni said, given the results.

    "The construction community is pretty tight-knit, and you end up with tunnel vision," he said. "The students challenge everything. They have virgin eyes. Every meeting we have, they mention some simple improvement that is an aha moment for us. We come away saying, 'Why didn't we think of that.' "

    Read more about it at Savannah Now's source article.

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    We didn't think it could be done, but technology has advanced to the point where the Magic Tree air freshener may actually be supplanted by something more sophisticated.

    "We want drivers to feel that they are healthier staying in the car instead of on the outside," a Nissan engineer announced at a press event in Tokyo yesterday. To that end they're looking into incorporating in-dash air purifiers designed by Sharp, air conditioners that spray a Vitamin C mist to moisturize skin, and special heated chairs--designed using NASA research--that promote better circulation.

    There's no word on when these features (and a few additional ones) will make their way into actual production models, but maybe we'll get lucky and see them in Nissan's new electric Leaf car, which launches later this year. In the meantime you'd better stock up on Magic Trees before they start disappearing like the rainforest.

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    via phys org

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    [Update: This project was originally and erroneously credited to a UK-based design firm, who posted the project on their site with no proper attribution, leading one to believe the work was theirs, whether by accident or negligence. Please note that the designer is Daniel Dobrogorsky.]

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    Daniel Dobrogorsky's Koolhaus concept is a faucet that lets you know how much water you're using--not just from the Koolhaus itself, but throughout the entire bathroom, even dividing the bath tap and shower tap into separate categories.

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    I'm not crazy about the form factor--seems like a part from an extreme athlete's bicycle--and the screen's a bit too small for my tastes, but I realize these things are subjective, and overall I find the concept solid. Am also glad Dobrogorsky left toilet water consumption off the display--while it's easy to take a shorter shower, I wouldn't know how to begin curtailing toilet usage.

    Hit the jump for some cool developmental shots.

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    Folks, you have to wonder why no one else thought of this a long time ago:

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    This headphones packaging design (released last month by the European branch of Panasonic) was designed by Berlin-based Scholz & Friends, a creative agency whose motto is "Surprise! Convince!"

    As Scholz & Friends explained to the Coloribus Global Advertising Archive,

    The selection of earphones is huge and the products are often interchangeable. Only a packaging with a clear visual idea is able to stand out at the market among the generic packagings of the competition.

    ...The earphones show at first sight for whom they are made: for passionate music lovers.

    ...The new packaging was met with positive reactions from retailers and clients because it clearly stood out from the generic packaging of the competition. As such it helped to attract new target groups for Panasonic.


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    Senior Visual Designer
    frog design

    Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Qualified candidates will share our belief that design is as much about behavior and emotion as it is about utility and ease of use. Senior visual designers provide leadership in concept development, creation of original art and wire-frame interaction model, project design/development, and QA. They are responsible for the development of innovative navigation systems, interface designs, typography, and screen or page layouts for software, application, web sites, and other interactive media. They will push the state-of-the-art with every creation and thrive in our fast-paced studio.

    » view

    The best design jobs and portfolios hang out at Coroflot.

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    Guest post by Paul Fraser.

    After hours of walking the SIGGRAPH 2010 expo aisles, you just need to unplug and have a little playtime in the sand. One exhibit located in the Art Gallery of the conference provided a sandy oasis from the sea of computer graphics and electronic do-dads.

    Glowing Pathfinder Bugs, an interactive art installation created by Anthony Rowe and the digital arts group Squidsoup, allowed participants to manipulate the topography of a sandpit, which would change how projected virtual bugs respond in real time to their surroundings.

    Using a haptic 3D interface, the piece was designed to encourage participants to look after, control, and even breed the bugs—sort of like you would with a Tamagotchi digital pet (remember those??). But most people just enjoyed lifting the bugs up high and then letting them splat against the sand.

    The piece definitely was a crowd pleaser. Perhaps future sandboxes or other play areas will be commonly equipped with portable projectors, sensors, and software that allow kids to play in both the real and virtual worlds.

    We posted a video of people handling (and dropping) the virtual bugs above.

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    Something fun for Friday: we love this charming take on a cart, a mason bag crossed with a radio flyer that functions almost like a picnic basket. Welcome, a design brand based in Los Angeles, is producing a series of these wheeled carrying devices, each one a remix of an existing "icon of carraige." The first one? A mason's bag with a bright blue trailer.

    From Laurel Broughton, the designer:

    The WAGON series is a curated bricolage of style and function that merges playful aesthetics with the timeless need to carry and convey. Each WAGON is modeled after an icon of carriage-- WAGON No.1 starts with the honest mason's bag and adds wheels and a friendly demeanor for chores about town, lazy picnics or at-home downtime. WAGON No.1 is an all duty companion, an updated wheel-y bag if you will.
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    Available directly from Welcome.

    More shots after the jump.

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    Troika's newly installed two-way sign for the V&A museum in London is simple, quiet, and mind-boggling all at the same time, "a kinetic object consisting of three revolving parts, together forming the V&A monogram. With each half turn, the monogram de-constructs and reconnects itself turning into a mirrored palindrome."

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    More proof that it takes (x) years to make an overnight success: Karlsruhe-based communications designer Felix Vorreiter invented the txtBOMBER back in 2005, but it's just in the past few days that it's exploded onto the blogosphere.

    What is it? It's basically a handheld skywriter that prints on walls using an Arduino processor and seven markers. Pretty damn rad!

    TEXTBOMER from H@nnes at HfG on Vimeo.


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    Photographer Sergey Larenkov uses computational rephotography (as shown above and explained here by Wired) to overlay extant WWII-era photographs on their corresponding modern settings. The results are both spooky and stunning:

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    The shots really do have to be seen large, so check out Larenkov's LJ page for the rest of 'em.

    via gizmodo

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    In office furniture design we've seen tons of would-be successors to the cubicle, but nothing's really taken root yet. The latest to throw their hat into the ring is Italian furniture manufacturer Tecno, with their Red-Dot-Award-winning Beta workplace, designed by Pierandrei Associati:

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    Beta is a fresh furniture system that addresses the needs of the creative office. Using flexible system elements, offices can be creatively reconfigured and redesigned, while constantly adjusting to the user's individual work style. The starting point of this innovative concept was the idea that a progressive office should provide space for working on both an individual and a team basis as well as space for relaxation, while fostering the shared use of knowledge. Thus beta is not just a simple furniture system, but rather an atmospheric work environment.

    At press time Pierandrei Associati's website was down, but Contemporist has got tons-o'-shots of the Beta system up.

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    It's a Friday, so I feel free to rail out at what I see as ridiculous or wasteful design, especially projects that get tons of blog attention for being "stunning." I don't know what Colier Sparkling Wine's eco-credentials are, but this packaging can't be green; the bizarre container the bottle comes in, "targeted to [sic] business women [sic]," looks like a carbon-fiber egg.

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    For God's sake look at the size of this thing. Imagine handing this big black egg to a female executive in congratulations. If someone handed this to me as a gift I'd have them removed from the premises. And what's with the egg metaphor? Also what are you supposed to do with the egg after you take the bottle out, use it as a purse? Keep it around to show guests? "Look, it splits down the middle!" This thing doesn't make any, freaking, sense!

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  • 07/30/10--13:03: Maker Faire Detroit is here!
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    Maker Faire Detroit opens tomorrow [Saturday] - the first ever held in America's cradle of industry and what many view today as a post-industrial laboratory for the future.

    The two day event will be packed with inspiration and enjoyment for people of all ages and walks of life, including Maker Faire favorite The Life-size Mousetrap, hot-rodded Power Wheel racing, demonstrations on everything from circuit-bending to screen printing, rocket building and cheese making, and lots of robots. Lots and lots of robots...

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    The deadline for the Sukkah City design competition is tomorrow, so if you've registered and got a re-imagining of the ancient form of the sukkah percolating, better fire up those Prismacolors tonight! 12 finalists will be built and exhibited in New York City's Union Square on September 19th, and jury members are Michael Arad, Ron Arad, Rick Bell, Paul Goldberger, Steven Heller, Natalie Jeremijenko, Maira Kalman, Geoff Manaugh, Thom Mayne, Thomas de Monchaux, Ada Tolla, Adam Yarinsky, and Core77's Allan Chochinov.

    All info at the site.

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    This is a promo video for a firm that manufactures Corvette seats, but if you skip the first 30 seconds you'll get a look at what goes into one; they're essentially really complicated upholstery jobs combining CNC cutters and actual human beings with sewing machines. I found the bit about how they map out flaws in the hides, then cut around them, interesting (if wasteful-looking). And these guys even make their own foam.


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    We are honored to introduce Bill Moggridge as our newest columnist, once the designer of the first laptop computer (the GRiD Compass 1982), now the director of Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and always one of design's leading lights. He describes his career as having three phases, first as a designer with projects for clients in ten countries, second as a co-founder of IDEO where he developed design methods for interdisciplinary design teams, and third as a spokesperson for the value of design in everyday life, writing, presenting and teaching, supported by the historical depth and contemporary reach of the museum.

    Welcome Bill!

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    "We replaced an injection-molded plastic and metal assembly with a composite design and achieved significant part consolidation and weight savings," is one of those sentences that, when uttered at a gathering, will cause an industrial designer's ears to prick up while others slink away in search of more fruitful conversation.

    Those are the words of Pat McAllister of Commercial Vehicle Group, an Ohio-based company tasked with redesigning overhead storage cabinets in trailer-truck sleeper compartments--nuts-and-bolts ID that, while it won't make an appearance at the Salone, is the bread and butter of many a workaday industrial designer.

    An article in the sexily-named Composites World discusses the project in-depth, covering manufacturing, tooling and materials details concerning IVCR (Improved Vinyl Clad Rigid) and RIM (Reaction Injection Molding).

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    I learned at least one new thing, that they use magnets embedded in molding surfaces to hold metal parts co-molded into non-metallic materials in place; so put aside your design snobbery and see how the other half works here.

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    A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to interview Younghee Jung, the globetrotting Nokia ethnographer whose job is to research how people use their mobile phones all over the world. While doing preparatory research, I came across footage of Jung doing a presentation where she explained how an Indian girl from an impoverished rural region used her phone: "The mobile phone is the only electronic device in her house," Jung explained, "and she records TV or radio from outside with her phone so she can replay them at home."

    If a cell phone manufacturer tried to sell us "rich-world" folk on using our phones to record other people's TVs to watch back in our apartments, we'd probably scoff; similarly, though Vladimir Pavlenko's Aylampa concept has been decried as "impractical" by the TUAW blog and others, I actually think it's a great idea for developing countries.

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    Pavlenko's concept is a flexible phone holder that plugs into power and turns your phone into a lamp. While that's not practical for the vast majority of you reading this blog, for those in this world for whom a mobile phone is their only electronic appliance, I think this makes perfect sense, pre-supposing a power supply (and admittedly using a not-so-high-end phone).

    Pavlenko, if you're reading this, please do drop us a line; apparently your name is common and I was unable to locate your main portfolio site.

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