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Launched in 1995, Core77 serves a devoted global audience of design professionals, corporations, students, enthusiasts and fans.

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    Good news, folks: Jay Z and Beyoncé, who were previously renting a Malibu house (monthly rent: $400,000 per month) have finally scraped up enough cash to become L.A. homeowners! They've snagged a nice little 30,000-square-foot house in Bel Air for a reported $90 million.

    Images are scarce as the architect has pulled the photos from his website, presumably at the couple's request. We were only able to find a couple of stills and a bunch of renderings scattered around the internet. So let's get into it.

    This is the entryway. The house has room for 15 cars, but we all know how this will end up, given human nature: Jay Z will eventually buy a 16th car and Beyoncé will yell at him to get it out of the driveway because he's blocking one of her eight cars in.

    The house has rather a lot of swimming pools, four to be exact.

    This amount of swimming pools is fortuitous; no matter where Jay Z is in the house, he's just steps away from playing his favorite game, "Marco Polo," when he needs to blow off some steam.

    At least one of the pools is so large that I'm surprised the architect didn't bisect it with a walkable span. I guess Jay-Z's got 99 problems but a bridge ain't one.

    In the rendering below we can see a fenceless tennis court. Since it is sited on a hillside, it would be fun to see the servants tasked with continually chasing down the tennis balls that are hit out of bounds.

    Sadly, in real life we can see they've converted the tennis court to a basketball court bordered by a wall.

    Instead of fetching balls, however, servants can be made to work up a sweat by ordering them to use the exercise machines below the swimming pool on the left, for lengths of time at Jay Z and Bey's discretion.

    Water cascades down the glass walls in the living room, creating the impression that one is behind a waterfall. This allows the couple to habitually re-enact their favorite scene from "Last of the Mohicans."

    This rather Spartan, railing-less space is listed as the Master Bedroom. However, the house has eight bedrooms, so it's not clear if this is the one that Jay Z and Bey sleep in, or if this is merely the one that they store their master recordings in. Alternatively, it's possible that this is the bedroom Master P sleeps in when he visits them.

    We were unable to locate images of the built-in recording studio, but we did find this shot of his-and-hers saunas. That thing in the center of the floor is either a hot tub or a dunking pool into which either Jay Z or Bey, depending on who's closer, can push any sound engineer whose work they find unsatisfactory.

    There are a few more photos of the house here, but I didn't include them because frankly I couldn't think up captions for them. 


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    We are day-dreamers, space cases, visionaries, tinkerers, illuminators, magic problem solvers, and imaginative storytellers. We see things from our eyes and follow our imagination. We look at reality and imagine a more perfect pristine world. One without limitations that focuses on endless possibilities. Armstrong White’s strong heritage in world-class visualization has resulted in the opening of Armstrong White Chicago, our newest studio built specifically for the visual brand expression of luxury, technology and performance products.

    View the full design job here

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    In the tony Toronto suburb of Forest Hill, a couple whose last name starts with "C" have a handsome, multimillion-dollar home designed in the Tudor style. We tracked it down on Google Street View, and found much of the house obscured:

    About 800 meters away, on a different street, a couple whose last name starts with "K" renovated their home, also in the Tudor style. That house is a little more visible on Street View:

    Well, after spotting the renovations the C's then sued the K's, along with the K's architect, builders, real estate agent and contractors for $2.5 million for copyright infringement. As the Toronto Star reports,

    According to a 2014 statement of claim, the [C's] say their architect-designed home is "one of the most well-known and admired houses in the Cedarvale and Forest Hill neighbourhoods, in a large part due to its uniqueness." They claim [Mrs. K], who is "in the business of . . . flipping houses," copied their home to increase her property value "while decreasing the value of the Plaintiff's unique house."

    Here are some of the issues, according to the Star:

    "Homeowners at a Strathearn Rd. house, left, claim a Vesta Dr. house, right, copied their architect-designed home. Wood panels were mounted to prominent gables and window frames were painted blue at Strathearn Rd. The homeowners say this design was copied by [the K's], who purchased, renovated, and later sold the Vesta Dr. house." (Steve Russell/Toronto Star)
    "Raised stonework around the chimney is among the allegedly copied elements from the Strathearn Rd. house, left, at the Vesta Dr. house, right." (Steve Russell/Toronto Star)
    "Strathearn Rd. house, left, and Vesta Dr. house, right, both have a brown front door with an arched lintel. [The C's], owners of the multi-million dollar Strathearn Rd. home, allege their neighbours copied their house design. " (Steve Russell/Toronto Star)
    "Plaintiffs allege the "distinctive blue colour" of their Strathearn Rd. house's wood window frames, left, was replicated on the Vesta Dr. house, right. " (Steve Russell/Toronto Star)
    "[The K's] were inspired by the Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland, which was featured in the James Bond "Skyfall" movie (right) in the re-design of their Vesta Dr. property (centre). But the plaintiffs claim their Strathearn Rd. home (left) is actually what the [K's] modelled their home after." (Thomas Hall & Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star)

    I looked up the distance between the two houses, and it's not like they're side-by-side:

    With so many houses in the neighborhood, I wondered how the C's even noticed. According to the C's claim, the contractors unwittingly tipped them off: They actually came onto the C's property, explained that they were working on a nearby house, and wanted to study the features of C's house in order to copy them.

    The C's and K's eventually settled out of court. The Star contacted Carys Craig, a law professor who specializes in I.P., to ask about the case. Here's what she had to say:

    "We often don't think about architecture when we think about copyright, and we often don't think about buildings as works of art," Craig said. "So it might seem like a particularly strange claim to the average person who assumes that if you own a home you can design it as you want."

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    This is incredible. An Italian startup called Springa has invented a CNC mill that does away with 90% of the mass and materials of a conventional gantry-style machine. Check out the Goliath, now live on Kickstarter:

    Good gosh. This thing is like the Shaper Origin, except you don't even need to hold it.

    I was curious to see how you set the thing up. Springa posted this video to show you:

    Even after watching that, I still had questions: How the heck does it not spin itself right off of the workpiece once the bit bites? If you use it to cut a pocket, how does the machine avoid falling into it? How does it not slip on the sawdust and lose position?

    Going through the FAQ, I see the machine weighs 22 pounds and only uses bits with a 1/4" shank. I guess that by using narrow 1/4" bits, selecting appropriate feed rates, spindle RPMs and depth-of-cuts, the developers have made it stable. Here are the answers to the other questions I had:

    How does Goliath avoid slipping? How can it move and carve at the same time?
    This is the magic of Goliath! We spent months looking for the right balance between the torque of the motors, the power of the spindle, wheel's dimension and material and so on. Goliath works thanks to the correct balance of these elements. If something is goes wrong, and wheels slip, the positioning systems will correct the route.

    How does Goliath handle traveling over parts it's already cut?
    The custom omnidirectional wheels, thanks to the three module design, ensure that two rollers are always in contact with the panel, different from the traditional omni-wheels that only have a roller in contact at a time. In so doing, Goliath movement isn't affected by grooves or parts that it has already cut, as at least one roller is always in contact with the panel.

    How does Goliath avoid driving over holes or pockets?
    Goliath carves out pockets or drills large holes after it has cut all the profiles. Moreover, it carves out pocket beginning from one corner on the top and then moves backwards (see the pocketing GIF on the page) to avoid falling into what it has carved.

    The Goliath has already hit its funding target, with $405,251 in pledges on a $90,000 goal at press time. The $1,490 Early Bird Specials are all gone, and it appears there are only 23 units left, period, selling for $1,750. It's expected to retail for $2,890 and should roll out in September of next year.



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    The process of flipping food in a pan, especially fried food, is not acceptable for people who care about the shape of their food when it's served. Most of the time, food ends up getting crushed, and people generally resort to using at least two utensils to turn the food.The idea for this utensil is based on theIranian style of cooking fried food. Three main difficulties were observed during the research process: the shape of ordinary kitchen utensils do not support smooth and easy movement, ordinary flippers are not reliable and users are not able to recognize the safe heat for picking up their utensils, resulting in burns.

    View the full project here

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    On Wednesday, Earther.com ran an article pointing out that with its power grid mostly destroyed, Puerto Rico has "an opportunity to completely transform the way electricity is generated [locally]." It described a local woman who had solar panels on her roof, granting her with electricity, unlike most of her neighbors who rely on the now-gone grid.

    Yesterday Scott Stapf, a principal at PR firm The Hastings Group, read the article and sent out this Tweet:

    Musk read the Tweet, and responded:

    Musk, it turns out, was already engaged in the problem. Tesla stepped up and sent hundreds of Powerwall battery systems to Puerto Rico in late September, after Hurricane Maria did her damage. Musk also donated $250,000 of his own money to the island.

    Here's a video showing how Tesla is already powering Ta'u, a small island in American Samoa:

    Last night, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello read Musk's Tweet and posted the following:

    With any luck, this will happen!

    Via Marketwatch



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    The creative team at Mixer has been inventing innovative Starmark pet products for more than 10 years. Each year we find new materials and playful methods to grow the market for Starmark’s brand. These highly researched toys tug at the leash, the heart and at consumer’s pocketbooks.

    View the full content here

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    Summary

    Rapid prototyping is a core human-centered design skill. Design that Matters uses prototypes to better communicate with stakeholders across languages and cultures, quickly testing assumptions to efficiently converge on a final solution. This essay includes six examples of insights we gained using prototypes and how we taught these methods to our social enterprise partner, MTTS.

    1. Avoiding Overheating in the Pursuit of Cozy Babies

    2. Getting the Size Just Right

    3. Avoiding Bumps and Bruises

    4. Many Settings, or No Settings?

    5. Finding Firefly's Home

    6. Bringing Mom and Baby Together

    "Fail early to succeed sooner" is a common mantra in the product design world. When you are creating something new and innovative, you take risks. Risks that people won't like it. Risks that new technology may not work. Risks that nobody will buy it. It's important to test your riskiest assumptions early and often to avoid expensive failures. The human-centered design process (HCD) encourages inexpensive failures early in the process to avoid changes later when it becomes too expensive. One of the central tools in the HCD process is the prototype. Prototyping is a great tool for communicating ideas early to get critical feedback from end-users. In designing Firefly, prototypes bridged the narrative gap between ourselves and our users. We shared ideas early and often- this helped us work with users of a different culture and language, as well as working in a medical context with which we had little personal experience.

    During the innovation process, the cost of changes only increases as the development process progresses.

    During the Firefly Newborn Phototherapy design process, Design that Matters used a series of prototypes to get critical feedback from end-users while also teaching the prototyping mindset and skillset to our Vietnamese manufacturing partner, Medical Technology Transfer and Services (MTTS). We did many activities together, including a tour of Boston organizations who are leaders in prototyping, a workshop about prototyping and manufacturing techniques, and providing prototyping references. Most importantly, our manufacturing and implementation partners hosted us for field research in Vietnam. During the research, they could see firsthand how prototypes generate key insight about the real behaviors of doctors, nurses, technicians, and parents using Firefly before the design was finalized. The Firefly design experience has changed the way our manufacturer approaches design for all of their products, including their current project creating a CPAP device for infant respiratory distress.

    After gaining concept feedback from our manufacturing and implementation partners as well as eighty-eight doctors and nurses at East Meets West Foundation's Jaundice Conference in Central Vietnam, we created an alpha prototype. This prototype had "looks-like" aspects of our chosen design: a small and thin top light to provide phototherapy while still allowing good patient visibility, a large base light and a removable clear baby bed, called the bassinet, which would hold the baby right over the light. For lighting, we worked with a noble DtM volunteer who quickly wired together some generic blue LED lights and some white lights to three buttons. Separately, we created a series of concept button graphics and button configurations that could control the lights in different ways. We also brought along a life-size newborn doll for people to simulate use with the prototype. The insights we gained by showing the Firefly alpha prototype to doctors, nurses, technicians, parents and babies at seven hospitals in Vietnam were key to designing the final product which is currently in-use in seven countries.

    Left: A nurse uses our alpha prototype to show how she would drape Firefly to keep the light from bothering bystanders, and to keep the baby warmer. Right: The resulting top light is made of thick metal to ensure heat can escape even when draped.

    1. Avoiding Overheating in the Pursuit of Cozy Babies

    At many hospitals we visited, nurses indicated that they would want to drape a sheet over Firefly's top light to minimize air flow over the baby and keep the baby warmer. Other doctors and nurses we met commonly draped overhead phototherapy devices to keep the light from bothering bystanders' eyes. What they didn't know is that draping any of these devices impairs the device's ability to cool the electronics. This can lead to a variety of ill effects including reducing light bulb life, dim ineffective phototherapy, overheating the baby, or even fire in very extreme cases.

    Result: We designed the top light out of thick aluminum and mounted the electronics and lights directly onto it, drawing the heat from the electronics up and away and keeping it cool even when covered by a sheet or blanket.

    2. Getting the Size Just Right

    We were lucky to meet a tall mom and her above average baby early in the process so we could discover that our bassinet was too small.

    We asked healthcare providers whether they thought the bassinet would be cozy for a small newborn, but still comfortably fit a large newborn. Luckily, one of the tallest women in Vietnam was at one of the hospitals the day we visited. She consented to put her big, healthy baby briefly into the bassinet. Sure enough, it was a very tight fit. Other healthcare providers commented that the walls seemed to be too low for comfort and too steep to easily access the baby for procedures like a blood draw.

    Result:We went back to the drawing board, gathering statistics on typical newborn sizes, and resizing the bassinet and the entire device to fit a 90th percentile baby.

    3. Avoiding Bumps and Bruises

    Left: A mother bumps the baby doll's head while lifting it out of the alpha prototype. Right: A mother safely and comfortably lifts her baby in and out of the final Firefly device with raised top light.

    We asked doctors, nurses, and parents to try taking a doll in and out of the Firefly alpha prototype to see how they would do it. Even though the bassinet was removable, most preferred to take the baby directly in and out of the device while keeping the bassinet in place. They explained there isn't a lot of space in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, especially not tabletop space where they could put the bassinet. However, the top light was so low that our baby doll was getting a lot of bumps and bruises along the way.

    Result: We used a tape measure to simulate different light heights and had a variety of healthcare providers put the baby in and out until we had consensus on the right height. We adjusted the height of the top light higher in the final design.

    4. Many settings, or No Settings?

    Left: Healthcare providers in Vietnam consider an array of different button option on paper. Right: The resulting simple, one-button Firefly control panel.

    We asked healthcare providers at each hospital to consider a variety of different lighting control options. The main question: did most healthcare providers want multiple levels of brightness, and separate control of the top and bottom lights, or just one button that could turn both lights on and off with a single brightness? The various buttons and icons led to a discussion about the settings they used on their current overhead phototherapy devices. Most existing devices offered either two or three different brightness levels. Through these interviews, we discovered even staff at the same hospital had different approaches to which brightness setting they would choose. Some would always leave the phototherapy on low because they wanted the bulbs to last longer; others would occasionally put it on high for patients with severe jaundice; and still others had never realized there were multiple settings to choose from. In multiple hospitals, we noticed newborns laying under white lights and looked closer to find the device included an option for a white observation light. At one hospital, I asked the nearest nurse if she knew the child was not receiving treatment. She explained to me that this was a white light phototherapy unit. Unfortunately, the overwhelmed staff had never discovered that they were not providing any phototherapy because the device had always been in patient observation mode.

    Result: Given that there is no known way to overdose on phototherapy, we wanted to give every baby the best chance at a successful treatment. We decided to provide one button and one power setting with both lights providing intensive phototherapy. We also excluded the white patient observation light.

    5. Finding Firefly's Home

    Left: Nurses in Vietnam discover the Firefly alpha prototype is too long after attempting to put it on their typical infant cot. Right: The final Firefly design fits neatly within the typical-sized cot in Vietnam.

    Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) in low resource hospitals are busy places. At National OBGYN Hospital in Hanoi, where the first baby was treated with Firefly, there were 9 rooms and 150 newborns. At all the hospitals we visited across many countries, one of the scarcest resources was counter space. When we asked nurses to show us where they would keep Firefly in the NICU, she picked it up and tried placing it in one of the standard infant cots. Unfortunately, the device was just a couple inches too long to fit inside the rails! The experience repeated itself at hospital after hospital. There was a standard-sized infant cot, so the team took measurements before we left.

    Result: We ensured the final design would not be so long, and that it would leave extra room to hold onto the device while lifting it in and out of a typical infant cot.

    6. Bringing Mom and Baby Together

    Left: A mother provides positive feedback while lying next to the Firefly alpha prototype in bed with the light turned on. Right: In the Philippines, the first mother and baby benefit from treatment in mom's room.

    One of our hopes was for the new design to be used in the room with mom, bringing mom and baby together for breastfeeding, bonding, and to better watch over the baby. Luckily an intrepid mom was willing to give it a try. We placed the device next to her on the bed and she lay next to it with the lights on. She reported that she could lie comfortably next to it and it wasn't too bright for her eyes. She also indicated that she loved the idea of having her baby close during treatment.

    Result: We maintained a similar device configuration to enable it to fit on mom's bed.

    Vietnamese Social Enterprise, MTTS, Uses Rapid Prototyping to Design CPAP

    After experiencing the process side by side with Design that Matters, our Firefly manufacturing partner, MTTS, is now using rapid prototyping to design a radically new version of their Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine to help newborns with respiratory distress.

    MTTS and East Meets West staff interview healthcare providers in Vietnam about CPAP using rapidly-created form models and paper print-outs of buttons. Images courtesy MTTS.

    MTTS is using user interface rapid prototypes during interviews with doctors and other stakeholders to design the new machine. MTTS used rapid prototyping materials to make a variety of different form factors for feedback around aesthetics and ergonomics. Paper printouts stand in for displays and controls.

    Multiple concepts for the new CPAP form and interface. Images courtesy MTTS.

    To gather stakeholder feedback from experts across the world, MTTS developed a survey highlighting various options for displays and controls. Domain experts including East Meets West partner doctors responded to the questionnaire, the results are being used to inform the design.

    Left: The MTTS CPAP before. Right: The new MTTS CPAP in-development. Images courtesy MTTS.

    The contrasts between the original CPAP and the new design concepts are striking! The redesign is made possible by newly-developed internal resources and capacity at MTTS, built with help from Design that Matters during the Firefly project. The result is an organization that now approaches each new device through a human-centered design lens, and is better-positioned to create world class designs that will save many newborns across the globe.


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    The Core77 team spends time combing through the news so you don't have to. Here's a weekly roundup of our favorite finds from the World Wide Web:

    3D print models straight from NASA's archives!

    Google hardware is no longer a hobby.

    IKEA's new kitchen product vending machine.

    Taco Bell used to have a machine that made 900 tacos per hour.

    What would flying from New York to Shanghai in 39 minutes feel like?

    Dyson is working on an electric car.

    Benetti Superyacht Concept. Just renderings, but man that is a hell of a boat!

    Famous logos re-done with less ink

    Would you stay in this traveling hotel?

    The stocking machine at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution. 

    History of design in West Hollywood.

    "Today in Technology: Raising a Ladder to the Moon, Under the Sea"

    Great images of past winning entries from the World of Wearable Art competition. A competition for burning man attendees.

    Sweet images of Aston Martin's $4 Million submarine.

    How Canadians rid their yards of bears. 

    Hot Tip: Discover more blazin' hot Internet finds on our Twitter and Instagram pages.


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    In this tutorial, I'll show you how to make a variety of useful zippered gear bags that are incredibly tough, lightweight and waterproof.

    This tutorial is intended for someone like me: familiar with rapid prototyping tools like 3d printers and laser cutters, reasonably competent with hand tools, but pretty clueless about sewing and sewing machines beyond emergency repairs and hemming the odd pair of pants.

    I promise that after less than an hour of trial and error on a sewing machine, you'll be able to create out an endless variety of useful stuff. Making clothes on a sewing machine is HARD. Banging out awesome gear on a sewing machine is EASY.

    If like me you come from working with additive or subtractive rapid prototyping processes, you will discover that fabric has all kinds of mind-bending topological properties, meaning you can fold, scrunch and invert it in ways that allow you to conceal your sewing ineptitude.

    We use some fancy gear—including an electric hotknife and a heavy-duty industrial sewing machine—but mostly to save time and labor. With a little persistence and creativity, you will be able to reproduce almost all of our steps with even the most basic sewing machines. If you want to have a bag right this instant, we are also offering some as rewards for supporting our Kickstarter campaign.

    NOTE this tutorial is a draft! Help us make it better by putting your suggestions in the comments!

    Step 1: Three Basic Gear Bag Designs

    There's little novelty in basic bag design—once you understand the archetypes, you'll see them everywhere (and after you make a couple yourself, you'll be shocked by the prices). After some experimentation, we've identified our three favorite bags.

    The flat top-zipper case is useful as a pencil case, for wrangling snarls of USB charge cables and for protecting a passport and plane ticket from sweaty pockets and tropical downpours.

    The flat front-zipper case works as a document holder, a case for chunky gear and as a waterproof/bugproof sleeve for travel-size laptops.

    The duffel bag is perfect for keeping work clothes dry on your bike commute, as an overnight bag on short trips and as a bug-out bag for doomsday fantasies.

    In general, I avoid projects that require lots of sewing skill because I have none. I've found that size and detail are the key variables: a small wallet with lots of little pockets is a nightmare. A giant set of drapes can be a hassle to feed through the machine unless you have an equally gigantic work surface. Our three favorite bags offer high utility and low fabrication complexity. I find the flat front-zipper case to be the easiest to build, and the duffel bag the most complex.

    Step 2: Materials

    FABRIC

    We make all of our field research gear bags out of Dyneema (brand name of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, aka UHMWPE or UHMW, also sold as Spectra and cuben fiber). Dyneema is a composite material that is roughly twice as strong as Kevlar at half the weight. William Gibson described Dyneema as "sort of like if NASA made waxed paper." Popular with both high-performance sailmakers, ultralight hikers and the military, Dyneema is UV-resistant, tear-resistant and 100% waterproof. I bought a cuben fiber wallet in Hong Kong five years ago and after loads of abuse it still shows hardly any wear.

    For the exterior of all the bags, we use a single layer of composite fabric, with a shiny inner lining of 48 g/m^2 Dyneema bonded to a matte outer layer of 50 dernier polyester. We've only found this material in grey and black. As far as fabric goes, Dyneema isn't cheap but a home-made bag will cost a fraction of a similar factory-made bag from Your Favorite Outdoor Company.

    For the middle layer of the duffel bag, we use 62 g/m^2 Tyvek, the same material used in your home's vapor barrier, in tear-proof envelopes and in a million DIY wallet and kite projects. Tyvek is stiff and folds like paper, so helps the duffel bag keep its shape. Tyvek is hard to rip and relatively puncture-resistant, but it will pill up and get tatty over time if it gets a lot of wear.

    For the duffel, we sandwich the Tyvek between the outer layer of Dyneema composite, and an inner layer of thin and nearly transparent 34 g/m^2 Dyneema. The thin Dyneema lets you see the Tyvek logo, which is useful for hipster cred, and in general makes for a bright bag interior that makes it easier to find stuff. We've recently started experimenting with replacing the inner Dyneema layer with mustard-yellow Robic XL ripstop nylon.

    OTHER MATERIALS

    - We assemble the bags on our industrial sewing machine using bonded polyester outdoor thread that is resistant to UV, heat, abrasion, salt water and mildew.

    - We use YKK Aquaguard water-repellent zippers, #3 zippers on the small bags and #5 zippers on the duffel.

    - We give the bags additional waterproofing by sealing all of the internal seams with single-sided Dyneema seam tape.

    - For handles on the duffel bag, we use 2" nylon webbing. Many vendors sell really coarse webbing that's tough to fold and sew. The softest webbing we've found is Sailrite's 1800# nylon.

    - For the duffel bag strap, we use bright red 3/4" tubular nylon.

    - For the zipper pulls, we use fluorescent yellow 1.2mm Dyneema line.

    - We use 3/4" and 1" binding tape (grosgrain ribbon) to create zipper stops and loops

    - The key to speedy assembly is "basting tape", a kind of heavy-duty double-sided tape that's used in making sails and awnings. We use the basting tape to attach things together before we sew them, for example the zippers and the Dyneema, and the fabric layers of the duffel bag. Everyone who actually knows how to sew seems to think that basting tape is tool of profligate degenerates. I like not stabbing myself with pins.

    SOURCES

    - Zpacks and Ripstop by the Roll fabric and some of our zippers

    - Sailrite for polyester thread, basting tape and other zippers

    Step 3: Tools

    MEASURING, MARKING AND CUTTING THE MATERIAL

    - grease marking pencil (for marking cut lines)

    - tailor-style fabric tape measure

    - two- to three-foot straight-edge for tracing lines

    - OPTIONAL: a 24" quilting ruler (much easier to make measurements off the edge of fabric, as the transparent ruler smushes the fabric flat)

    - electric hotknife and a glass or metal plate (heat resistant cutting surface)

    - OR rotary cutter, a self-healing cutting mat and cut-safe gloves

    - OPTIONAL: an electric rope cutter (useful but not necessary for cutting and automatically fusing zipper tape and nylon ribbon)

    Having blunted a whole collection of rotary cutters on Dyneema panels, we looked for alternatives. We did some experiments cutting Dyneema sheets on our laser-cutter, but given the simple designs of these bags and the hassle of fabric flapping around in breeze generated by the laser ventilation, it seemed like overkill.

    We now prefer to cut the material with an electric hotknife. If you are going to cut Dyneema with a rotary cutter or something like a box-cutter or an Xacto blade, I strongly recommend you get a pair of cut-safe gloves.

    We invested in an electric rope-cutter a few years ago for cutting and instantly fusing the ends of paracord, nylon webbing and dyneema line. For such a weird specialized gadget, it gets a surprising amount of use in the studio.

    SEWING

    - a needle threader (who knew you didn't have to fish around trying to thread the needle for ages)

    - a chopstick (for pulling thread from the lower bobbin, and gently poking out corners when you invert your bag)

    - thread snips (worth having; more convenient than scissors and you'll be cutting lots of dangling threads)

    - a seam ripper (for unwinding mistakes)

    - basting tape (we prefer Seamstick 1/4" Basting Tape For Sailmaking & Vinyl)

    We use a Sailrite LSZ-1 sewing machine. We really only need the walking foot, the powerful needle and the zigzag stitch when we're sewing the handles for the duffel bag. It should be possible to build the two smaller bags on any sewing machine.

    Step 4: Cutting the Material

    CONSIDER STOCK DIMENSIONS

    The vendors we use carry 54" wide rolls of Dyneema, and they sell it by yard. That means you get 54" wide by 36" sections (or longer in three-foot increments). Tyvek comes in 108" wide rolls and they sell it by the foot. The Robic XL nylon comes in 68" rolls and they sell it by the yard. All of our vendors send the material folded up in a box rather than wound around a roll.

    Our first step in bag design is to set the dimensions to minimize waste. As the most expensive material, the Dyneema roll dimensions determine our bag dimensions. In the beginning, I tried all these fancy formulas for dimensions, setting target internal dimensions for the bag and then working backwards to include seam allowance and other factors—but I'm too sloppy at cutting and sewing and this isn't press-fit cabinetry.

    Now, I simply divide the 54" roll width as follows for each bag:

    pencil/passport case

    - Goal is to cut panels that are 9" wide by 10" tall

    - Cut a 10" tall strip off the roll,

    - Cut that strip into six 9" x 10" sections

    - Creates a flat case that is roughly 9" wide by 4.25" tall.

    document/laptop case:

    - Goal is to cut panels that are 18" wide by 21" tall.

    - Cut a 21" wide strip off the roll

    - Cut that strip into three 18" x 21" sections.

    - Creates a flat case that is roughly 16" wide by 10" tall.

    duffel bag:

    - Goal is to cut panels that are 27" wide by 36" tall.

    - Cut the 54" wide by 36" stock section in half to create two 27" x 36" sections.

    - Creates a bag that is roughly 10" wide by 18" long by 7" tall.

    CUTTING THE MATERIAL

    Our favorite way to cut with the hotknife is to use the large flat metal engraving bed that came with our laser cutter. We pin the dyneema sheet down on top of the metal plate with magnets (magnetic pin backs from conference badges) and then quickly zip the hotknife along the marked line. For a heat-safe cutting surface, you can also use a big pane of glass.

    After I've cut the exterior Dyneema panel for the duffel bag, I cut the Tyvek middle layer and and the interior panel of Dyneema or nylon slightly big. I find the most square edge of the outer Dyneema panel, and attach it to the most square edges of the Tyvek and inner material layers with double-sided basting tape. I lay the composite panel flat on the metal engraving bed and trim away the excess with the electric hotknife.

    Step 5: Prepare the Panels and Attach the Zippers

    ADD PATCHES

    Starting with the blank panels, consider whether you want to add any patches or nametags—as it gets much harder to do once you attach the zippers.

    For example, I found dozens of vendors selling inexpensive military "name tapes", a narrow embroidered fabric name tag that can typically fit a dozen letters or so. They come in all kinds of colors, from the most stealthy camouflage patterns to ninja black-on-black to color patterns that are easy to read from far away. We went with the white letters on navy blue ripstop nylon.

    Another relatively inexpensive way to personalize your gear is to invest in a custom woven labels. I designed the label in Adobe Illustrator in the "center fold woven label" style so it would have our logo on the front and a short message on the reverse. I saved the file as an EPS. Wunderlabel charged US$100 for 300 labels (one hundred labels would have been just a few dollars cheaper) and delivered the labels in a couple weeks. I didn't have time to do much price-shopping so there may be cheaper service. Anyways, it's amazing how a little tag turns a home-made bag into an official Real Thing.

    Embroidered tag
    Military-style nametapes

    The steps for attaching the zippers are as follows:

    1. Mount the zipper slider on the zipper tape. This can be tricky, especially with the tiny #3 zippers. See the video for a quick HOWTO.

    2. Cut the zipper tape to length with a half-inch margin on either end

    3. Create stops on either end of the zipper by sewing folded pieces of binding tape across each zipper end. Make sure the opening of the fold faces the outer edge of the zipper.
    4. Attach one edge of the zipper to the panel with basting tape using an inside-out fold.
    5. Zipper sewn in place.  Note that the shiny side in the inside surface of the bag. 
    6. Flip over and fold the Dyneema fabric down.  Now you see the outside of the zipper and the outside of the bag.
    7. Place a strip of basting tape on the outside of the zipper.  Note that this shows the paper backing on the basting tape.  Remove the paper backing (duh)!
    8. Fold the bottom of the Dyneema up onto the basting tape.
    9. Add your embroided label between the Dyneema and the zipper before you sew.
    10. Sew across the attach the zipper.  Now you have an open-ended tube of Dyneema with a zipper on top.
    11. Showing the other side.
    12.  Side view of the inside-out bag with the zippers attached.

    Step 6: Sew the Sides to Complete the Flat Top-Zipper Case!

    Attaching the zipper is the hardest part of the basic gear bag. Now you simply need to cut some loops out of binding tape for the side of the bag, and stuff them inside the fold along the unsewn edge of the bag (see video). Then you run a stitch down each side of the bag.

    Inside-out bag, showing the zipper tab sewn in place.
    The finished bag!

    Flip the bag inside out. Create a zipper pull—we use bright yellow thread. You're finished!

    For extra credit, you can tape the seams on the inside of the bag with single-sided Dyneema tape to make the bag waterproof!

    Step 7: Stay Tuned!

    Next, I'll add instructions for the flat front-face zipper bag, and the duffel bag.  Check for updates here on Core77 or on DtM's Instructables project page.

    _____________________________________

    This "Design Experience that Matters" series is provided courtesy of Timothy Prestero and the team at Design that Matters (DtM). As a nonprofit, DtM collaborates with leading social entrepreneurs and hundreds of volunteers to design new medical technologies for the poor in developing countries. DtM's Firefly infant phototherapy device is treating thousands of newborns in 21 counties from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. In 2012, DtM was named the winner of the National Design Award.



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    Are you ready to join a passionate team of designers working to get Every Butt on a Bike? Quality Bicycle Products is looking at add a Senior Industrial Designer to our growing team. Voted one of the top 50 work places by Outdoor Magazine multiple years in a row, QBP is based in Bloomington, MN, and respected as one of the best businesses in the cycling industry. QBP’s product development team designs and develops innovative products and experiences for our portfolio of 15+ Brands with the likes of Surly, Salsa Cycles, 45Nrth, and many more.?

    View the full design job here

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    This looks so much like one of Steven M. Johnson's Bizarre Inventions that we can't believe it's real.

    Jaguar Land Rover has a Special Vehicle Operations team, composed of 200 specialists who create bespoke "high-specification vehicles." For British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, the SVO folks turned a Land Rover Discovery into a veritable kitchen on wheels, then showed us how they did it in three parts.

    First off, the teaser video:

    Then Part 1, where we see the manic Oliver barraging two hapless designers with a free-flowing brainstorming session:

    While Oliver is clearly joking around in Part 1, the SVO designers turned an insane amount of his blue-sky ideas into reality, as we see in Part 2:

    In Part 3 Oliver actually uses the car to prepare what looks to be a delicious feast:



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    Last year we looked at Deskbloks, a design for modular desks that was a disaster on IndieGogo (just €27--not €27,000, just €27--raised on €30,000 goal). This year the designers have regrouped, addressed some of the design issues, re-branded the system Modulos and are trying again:

    They've gotten rid of the steel mending plates used in the previous design, sensibly moved all of the ports to the edges of the blocks rather than the undersides and added a quarter-round module. Here's a complete list of the system's features:

    Basic module - a simple flat surface basic module
    Rounded module - a module used when you want to create a rounded edge on your Modulos desk
    Cabling hole module - a module with a cabling hole that enables you to handle that mess of cables that go through to the top of your work surface
    Pencil holder module - a module with neat grooves that prevents your pencils from rolling off your work surface
    iPad/iPhone dock - this module enables you to dock your tablet or mobile phone. It has a groove that fits your device and three strategically placed holes that lead your charger cable from below the desk
    Rotary iPad/iPhone dock - this module has a groove that fits your devices with a center hole for cabling and allows you to rotate your device. This works great when you're using your iPad as a second screen or want to keep an eye on your phone screen at all times. It is available as an upgrade over standard modules available for +$49 per module.
    "Twist" power outlet module - a module that has a very stylish, high-quality and super-functional metal add-on in the middle, that holds two power sockets! It is available as an upgrade over standard modules available for +$79 per module.
    USB Hub module - a module with an integrated USB hub. We have designed and produced a prototype that includes a quality Sabrent USB 3.0 hub. This module will be available shortly in production as well. We need to test out some more options regarding the best USB hubs to integrate. We would love to hear your opinions about it!
    Wireless charger module - a module with an integrated wireless charging pad neatly engraved into the surface. The prototype is done with a standard IKEA charger. We are looking into better options and better charger models to integrate.

    Even with all of these features, I still cannot see the enduring benefit of having a desk built in this way. Kickstarter backers, however, disagree with me; at press time the Modulos had been successfully funded, with $34,164 pledge on a $30,000 goal. Kudos to the designers for sticking with it and regrouping after the initial version didn't take.

    What say you? Do you see any merits in the design, and would you buy one of these?



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    Here's a fun game for designers: Quick, can you draw the Target logo from memory? How about Starbucks' logo, Apple's or Adidas'?

    Signs.com gave markers to 156 Americans and asked them to draw ten famous logos from memory. They then compiled the results, and they're pretty neat to see:

    It looks like young people are better at this game:

    And here's how people did overall:

    At the next Core77 event, we so totally need to do an industrial design version of this. How many of these could you draw without having to look them up?

    - Eames Lounge Chair
    - Coca-Cola glass bottle
    - Michael Graves tea kettle
    - "We Are Happy to Serve You" paper coffee cup
    - The first Nike Air Jordans
    - Jaguar E-type
    - The first iPod
    - Dieter Rams' Phonosuper for Braun
    - Angelpoise lamp
    - The first Polaroid camera

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    The chef's knife roll is a bag that combines the aesthetic and durable necessities of a professional chef's knife bag. The reality is that the current knife rolls on the market either celebrate aesthetic value or durability, but rarely both. The purpose of designing Coltello is to present a much needed solution to this gap in the market.


    Bag opens to reveal a simple knife holding roll

    No-slip material to protect the blades
    Concepts
    Chosen Concept
    Operational Sequence
    View the full project here

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    Electrolux is currently looking for a talented and highly creative Senior CMF Designer who will be part of the North American Major Appliances design team. The successful candidate will be responsible for leading the development of outstanding color, material and finish design alongside trend analysis and foresight work in relation to our North American market. The position will be located in Charlotte, NC.

    View the full design job here

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    All of us are recorded on surveillance cameras dozens of times per day. And soon many of us will be unlocking new iPhones with our faces. As facial recognition technology continues to improve, there is a danger that it can be combined with the ample existing footage of us to invade our privacy in new ways.

    To warn against this, Dr. Michal Kosinski, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, set out to develop gaydar. By feeding 35,000 photos of both gay and straight folks' faces into a deep neural network's algorithms, and using an off-the-shelf facial analysis program, Kosinski and co-researcher Yilun Wang reckon they've granted AI the ability to visually distinguish between gay and straight.

    The accuracy that they're claiming is astonishing: They say that if provided five photographs of a person, their system can correctly identify gay or straight with 91% accuracy for males and 83% accuracy for females. When humans were put to the test, their accuracy was far worse, getting it right only 61% of the time for males and 54% for females.

    This has some terrifying implications. There are plenty of reasons that a person might want to keep their sexual orientation private, and there are still developed countries on this planet where homosexuality is considered a crime punishable by death.

    Speaking of death, Dr. Kosinski has had his own life threatened after publishing the research, according to the Times:

    "I imagined I'd raise the alarm," Dr. Kosinski said in an interview. "Now I'm paying the price." He'd just had a meeting with campus police "because of the number of death threats."

    Plenty of folks have been tearing into the researchers' claims, which have all been recorded in a publically-viewable paper called "Deep Neural Networks Can Detect Sexual Orientation from Faces," and which is due to be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Critics say the system could not possibly be reliable outside of the study, which relied solely on photographs of white Americans who were open about their sexual preferences.

    Until Dr. Kosinski's gaydar is definitively proven accurate or inaccurate, we can choose to either believe that it works or that it doesn't work. Although the pseudoscience of physiognomy--whereby it was thought that one could deduce a person's intelligence and criminal proclivities by their facial features--has been debunked, I don't have a hard time believing that algorithms crunching through thousands of photos can detect patterns that we humans cannot perceive. "Just because humans are unable to see the signs in faces," the Economist points out, "does not mean that machines cannot do so."

    I also remember reading a 2003 University of London study where researchers discovered that lesbians blink like straight men. To explain, people blink when startled, by a loud noise, for instance. The rate of this involuntary eye-blink is different between straight men and straight women. However, the researchers found that the blink rates lined up for lesbian women and straight men. As it is humanly impossible to control this response to being startled, the study would seem to reinforce that sexual orientation is involuntary and not a choice.

    If Dr. Kosinski's gaydar is accurate, it, too, could be used to support that case; we cannot easily change the micro-dimensions of our facial features.

    Alternatively, the gaydar could be exploited for profit or used in the service of hatred or ideology.

    As is always the case with technology, it would be less about the tech and more about what we choose to do with it.


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    At the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota will unveil this Tj Cruiser, a sort of SUV/van hybrid. 

    Meant to be "used like a toolbox," the chunky vehicle has been designed to easily haul stuff.

    The rear opening is huge, and would make it easy to get awkward objects like bicycles in and out.

    The seats fold completely flat and have multiple tie-down points. The company claims that the interior will swallow "long items up to 3 meters in length such as surfboards."

    It's a bit of a shame that the B-pillar is so chunky, but there's probably no other way to achieve the requisite stiffness required for the frame.

    Visually, it seems that the seats have their own butt cracks.

    I'm digging the little canvas strips everywhere, though it's not clear what they're meant to hold; pens?

    The boxy exterior is quite the design departure for Toyota, so it'll be interesting to see how the public reacts at the formal unveiling.



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    Imagine if you could get through airport security without having to stop and wait at a counter or metal detector. Well, officials in Dubai reckon they've got a technological solution that would allow you to keep walking, as you're being scanned.

    According to The National, they've come up with a "virtual aquarium tunnel" loaded up with cameras.

    Image by Satish Kumar for The National

    The walls of the tunnel are screens on which eye-catching video, like images of an aquarium, will be played. The images are meant to draw the traveler's gaze, and as they walk through the tunnel, some 80 cameras complete a facial recognition scan. By the time you reach the end of the tunnel, you're either cleared and can pass through, or security materializes.

    HH Sheikh Hamdan, Crown Prince of Dubai, walking through the tunnel. Image via What's On

    While they're starting the tunnels off with just face recognition, the idea is to later add iris scanning. Additionally Rabie Atieh, Vice President of Emirates Group Security, speaks of "new Chinese devices that detect things that were not detected by earlier devices, like explosives" though it's not clear if those would be added to the tunnel or in another location.

    The design is reportedly the result of 18 months' worth of brainstorming, and the first tunnel will be rolled out next year. The goal is for the tunnels to completely replace check-in counters.

    Though the technologies are different, it does make me think a bit of the body-scanning tunnel in the original "Total Recall:"

    I wonder if whoever came up with the Dubai concept is a Schwarzenegger fan?

    In any case, I think that they could make the tunnel more fun to travel through by insisting travelers pass through it Soul-Train-Line-Dance style:


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    Brevite, developer of functional and versatile everyday-carry backpacks has returned to Kickstarter with the Hadley Series, which includes three different daily-carry backpacks offering backers the opportunity to choose the pack that best fits their individual life adventures. Taking a different approach to the current landscape of bulky everyday-carry backpacks, the Hadley Series' sleek design balances form and functionality by incorporating Brevite's unique removable insert system to deliver more adaptable solutions for daily uses.

    Brevite has a mission to design functional travel accessories that help people get out and experience the world around them. We specialize in designing backpacks for photographers, commuters, and travelers.

    View the full project here

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