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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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    A collection of sandstone tables, stools, lamps and trays created after observing the operations of a local, family-owned quarry and resulting from an exploration into alternative outcomes for discarded material.

    View the full project here

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    I walk by 513 Grand Street fairly often, it's on the way to my cousin's house, and what struck me is that in a city full of older buildings, the style of 513 Grand marks it as one of the oldest.

    By today's standards it's a very small house and dates from a time when Manhattan was a very low rise city, full of similar small townhouses that functioned as a home, a business, or both. According to city records it was built between 1827 and 1828, and is one of the few remaining Federalist buildings left in the city. This is the time period when New York was growing, prospering, and furniture makers like Duncan Phyfe were busy defining a New York furniture style. Furniture can be packed up and collect, buildings cannot and on investigation the history of the building is both really interesting, and not at all unusual.

    You see what makes this building stand out in my mind is that it's so darn typical. It only survived because at no time did anyone feel like tearing it down. Lower Manhattan has lots of buildings like it and during each building boom they wear a "Kick Me" sign and then they are gone. As far as anybody knows, Neither Washington, Jefferson, or Lincoln ever slept there. All it is is a sort of building that a moderately successful person of early 19th century NY could strive for, which makes it interesting to me at least. After many ups and downs over the years, and conversion to and from a storefront, today the building is a private residence. 

    In 2007 the building was up for landmark consideration and consequently a long report was prepared detailing the history of the building and its owners. The report touches on the transition of lower Manhattan from a new English city with farms, to merchant houses, early 19th century New York, records of slavery, and freedom from slavery, as the city and nation grew and matured. It's worth reading, click here: 513_Grand_St_house.pdf.

    If you have the urge to take a virtual walk around the area, you can see lots of older buildings in the area here is a goggle street view which you can roam around it. (Kossar's - which has great bialys is up the block, and if you follow Grand Street west to the Bowery (go right when you are facing the building) you will come to a great series of Chinese food stores which are always mobbed and also some of my wife's favorite food shopping. On your right you will also pass Seward Park HS - where my dad went to school with Bernie Schwartz - later better known as Tony Curtis. Google took the pictures early in the day, when the streets are pretty empty, but go full screen and you get a great tour, later in the day the streets are impassable.



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    Operating under the motto "When all hell bakes loose," Seattle-based Lauren Ko creates pun-captioned pies that look like they should be in a design museum.

    Incredibly, 30-year-old Ko only began baking a year ago, and she's not a designer by training; her day job is at Seattle Colleges, where she's Executive Assistant to the Chancellor. She cranks these out in her spare time.

    "I'm driven by color and pattern, so I'm constantly brainstorming color combinations and geometric patterns that I think I can replicate with pie dough [and] fruit," Ko told Buzzfeed. "What I create during a particular baking session is also often informed by produce that is in season and what's currently in my fridge."

    Check out Ko's Instagram, which was only started in August and already has 89,000 followers.


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    Jamie Wolfond is a Toronto-based designer. He is curious about materials, patterns, colors, simple physics and manufacturing systems. He believes that the relationship between a designer, manufacturer and consumer needs to be evolving constantly. He founded Good Thing in 2014.

    View the full content here

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    The storefront for this appointment-only, high-end jewelry store in SoHo has a shabby appearance.

    The black paint probably looked chic for the first week after it was applied. But now it is chipped and peeling, and we see that black is a poor choice because it readily shows dust. The paint is also peeling on the "Fuck Off, Don't Sit Here" protuberances.

    About those protuberances. The job of the designer is to create a space that serves the client's needs. But these windows have been set back, meaning passersby can sit on the sill. This store doesn't want that, so has installed the protuberances.

    I inspected them and they are made from injection-molded plastic. They, too, have not weathered well and are cracking.

    Reader Mike pointed out that these protuberances are plastic closure strips like these, used for corrugated roofing. If the designer had anticipated the client's needs, there would be no need for them to have purchased and installed these strips. But because the need was unanswered, the closure strip company is able to make some extra sales, and some handyman or carpenter is then hired to install them. A failure of design, then, has unwittingly contributed to the economy.


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    Yesterday morning, this commuter in L.A. shot this insane footage of the wildfire burning alongside the 405 freeway:

    That…doesn't look real. You could be forgiven for thinking the people of Los Angeles have pissed off a vengeful Greek god.

    Thus far the death toll is estimated at 40 people, and nearly 200,000 have had to evacuate. The L.A. Times reports that today the situation may worsen, as powerful winds are in the forecast: "We are in the beginning of a protracted wind event," said Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. "There will be no ability to fight fire in these kinds of winds," Pimlott said.



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    Are you ready to work in a new environment? Let’s do this! Now is the time to make that move to an agency position that empowers you to own your work from start to finish, create great things and work on challenging digital projects. Here at Vitamin, we love WordPress. If you have WP skills, that’s a big plus. Got some PHP and some MySQL skills too? Another big plus.

    View the full design job here

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    Designers Lisa Siedlecki and Jennifer Silbert worked in fashion and architecture, respectively, two industries where they saw their share of wasted materials. Three years ago they'd had enough and quit, teaming up to produce something useful and ecologically responsible. "We started Rewilder to combat the fast fashion craze with meticulous design, ethical materials, and high quality," they write.

    With the goal of repurposing existing materials, Siedlecki and Silbert began to do research and found that beer manufacturers use enormous swaths of polypropylene filters during the manufacturing process, then throw the unrecyclable filters away. They also found that climbing gyms deem ropes unsafe after just six months of use, then those go in the trash. And they found that painting contractors have no use for the leftover custom color paints from one job to the next.

    The duo then set up a means of acquiring these materials and designed a line of useful products that could be made from them:

    To divert items from landfill and instead see them as a useful and free (or low-cost) raw material to produce useful objects is a goal all designers should have. I've read through Rewilder's philosophies, printed below, and wish that these principles were part of every design school's curriculum.


    Rewilder's "THINGS WE BELIEVE IN"


    REPURPOSING:
    Extending the useful life of a material; the evolution of a material from industrial byproduct to design object. Repurposing means that we are not making new material; instead, we're careful to use materials that are already made. Repurposing is better than recycling.

    DESIGN:
    Design is a powerful tool with the ability to influence thoughts and actions. As designers we feel responsible for starting conversations about the things we make and consume. We take a thoughtful approach to every decision – what materials we use, where we get them, how we fabricate, and with whom we partner.

    HANDCRAFT:
    Making things by hand brings us closer to the end product and allows us to thoughtfully consider each detail. The close-knit relationship between design and making results in beautiful, long-lasting objects that fulfill our intentions.

    TRANSPARENCY:
    Production is hard, and we want to share our knowledge about the decisions we make. Ask us questions and we'll answer them!

    PRESERVING NATURAL RESOURCES:
    Los Angeles has the lowest green space per capita in the country. Even so, nature is all around us, and we believe in preservation both in our backyards and on a global scale. We support organizations that keep plastic out of the ocean, and keep waste out of our local natural resources.

    FAIR PRICING:
    The price of our products reflects the actual cost of producing items in a responsible manner in the US.

    OUR MISSION STATEMENT:
    We are passionately creative makers who believe in repurposing materials already in circulation rather than making them anew, and creating long-lasting products valued as design objects in order to inspire thoughtfulness and impact people's relationship with the things they buy.

    If you're a design entrepreneur looking to make a difference, you can start by visiting a material recovery facility to see what gets thrown away. Read this entry on how Siedlecki and Silbert did just that several years ago, and the benefits and insights they gained from the visit.



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    I'll always prefer working with wood over metal and plastic, because wood is such a forgiving material. Inevitably when you're working with the stuff, you're going to screw up, usually when you've run out of stock and are on a tight deadline. Here Marc Spagnuolo, a/k/a the Wood Whisperer, shows you how to fix some common mistakes.

    The video is nearly 20 minutes long, so for those of you that don't have time to watch it all in one go, we've broken it down into the separates mistakes/fixes.

    The Materials You'll Need

    Repairing Tearout with Filler

    When You've Misplaced a Mortise

    Repairing Chipout (When You Can Recover the Missing Piece)

    Repairing Chipout (When You Can't Recover the Missing Piece)

    Steaming Dents & Scratches

    Using Glue and Wood Dust as a Filler


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    NYC's MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) has been making noise about the new R211 subway cars they're acquiring, which are supposed to have a bunch of design upgrades. To get public feedback, they've built two full-sized mockups and put them on display at the 34th Street / Hudson Yards station. So I headed up there to take a look.

    The exterior of the new cars certainly looks snazzy. Which is important because when you spend so much time on the platform waiting for a hopelessly delayed train and imagining what it will look like when it finally arrives, you want that snazzy image in your head.

    The mock-up is a half-length-car, cut in half so you can look in. It's a weird perspective. Not because it's cut in half, but because it's empty and there aren't any homeless people or manspreaders in there.

    Inside we see a welcome feature: This double-grab pole, which I learned the fancy reporters are calling a "looped stanchion." It may appear that this pole is designed to allow twice as many people to grab onto it, but we New Yorkers know better; it is so that inconsiderate jerks who lean on it, preventing people from holding it, can have better back support.

    These are the new fold-down seats. The MTA calls them "flip-up" but I call them "fold-down." This is the New Yorker's version of glass-half-empty-or-half-full.

    There is a chamfer on them, so that in the upright position you can at least lean on them, unlike those folding seats on the 6-train.

    The MTA employee who demonstrated the seats (I was not allowed to touch them, I guess I looked germy) said that they don't make the loud BANG when you fold them up. It's too bad, that's my favorite part; the noise always makes tourists turn their head, allowing us all to identify and judge them.

    Native New Yorker and comedian Colin Quinn has joked that due to the gentrification of Williamsburg, the L-train, which had a predominantly black ridership during his youth, is now so white that it looks like a ski lift. Incidentally, this new bench design does look like it was borrowed from a ski lift.

    The MTA rep explained that it has a lower grab bar, because "short people need something to hold onto, too." I didn't like the way she looked me in the eye when she said "short people." But yeah, I must admit that at this height they are pretty easy for me to grab.

    These arrows on the floor are meant to befuddle first-time subway riders: Should you move diagonally left, straight ahead, or right? The possibilities are endless.

    The doors are noticeably wider. The size of the previous doors discriminated against obese thieves; when portly phone-snatchers made a dash for the closing doors, they'd often become stuck and get arrested. Now even a wide-bodied bandit has an even chance of getting away.

    They've lined the doors with LED strips. You might think that the lights turn red when the doors are about to close and green for open, but in fact they are connected to electrodes that the conductor must wear, and the color of the lights indicates his mood and emotional state.

    This button is pretty cool: If you press it, free Wi-Fi comes out of a transmitter in the conductor's mouth.

    The MTA rep explained that the onboard maps are going to be interactive touchscreens. Which is good, because the one complaint I had about the paper maps is that they've always lacked the ability to transmit flu germs.

    Okay, I've been a wiseass for most of this entry, but there are a couple of neat design changes, on the information front, that I do appreciate. The overhead displays in the train will add transfer information for buses in addition to subway lines.

    The display listing upcoming stations indicates how long it will take you to reach each stop, which is pretty cool.

    Lastly, when the train pulls into the station, this display pops on overhead. It shows you where the exits are on the platform relative to the car you're in, as well as which direction the transfers are in. That's actually pretty nifty if you're riding into an unfamiliar station.

    The MTA says the R211s will start rolling out around 2020. But given their recent problems with delays, I'll believe it when I see it.


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    The ideal candidate will have positive, helpful attitude, good judgment, and problem solving skills. Must be able to work under pressure and deadlines, while staying calm and focused. Qualifications: . Bachelor's degree in industrial design / architecture . Knowledge of and

    View the full design job here

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    Ford produced just 500 of their GT supercar for 2017/2018, but received 6,500 applications. Those deemed worthy of buying the car had to undergo a thorough vetting process that, according to the Detroit News, "included previous GT ownership, activity on social media, and signing a legal document stating they wouldn't sell it for 24 months."

    Ex-wrestler and actor John Cena was one of the few lucky enough to be green-lit, and ponied up the $463,000 asking price for a GT that he took delivery of in September. Here he is going over the car, and you can see he's clearly psyched:

    However, Cena sold the car just a few weeks later. Ford found out and, not having any of it, is now suing Cena for violating the agreement.

    In the suit, Ford says Cena admitted to selling the car along with other assets to liquidate for cash to take care of expenses. When the automaker told him he had violated the agreement, he allegedly texted the company saying: "I completely understand and as stated am willing to work with you and Ford to make it right. My sincerest apologies."
    …To date, the suit says, Cena has "not made it right."
    "Mr. Cena has improperly benefited to Ford's detriment by receiving a large profit from the resale. Ford also has lost almost two years of ambassadorship and brand value that Mr. Cena would have offered by owning the vehicle for the contractually required time," the complaint concludes. "Moreover, the unlawful resale bypassed a line of people waiting to purchase the vehicle through the program, thus affecting Ford's goodwill and customer relationships."



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    This here combines two of our favorite things: German engineering and bacon, delicious bacon. Here's the Textor TS750 high-speed slicer in action:

    That's their Einzelscheiben ("single slice") machine. But how do they slice them into those neatly-nested packages we buy at the supermarket? Using their TS700, which can do both bacon and pepperoni:

    Great--now I'm STARVING.



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    As wildfires continue to ravage the Los Angeles area, art lovers have to be nervous about their proximity to the Getty Center, which houses many priceless works of art. But thankfully architect Richard Meier was fully aware of what the value of the Getty's contents would be, and designed the site with plenty of anti-fire features. In addition, the Getty's administrators maintain anti-fire practices. Here's the rundown:

    Materials

    The building is constructed from travertine stone and metal panels. The walls and doors were all designed to a thickness that will compartmentalize flames.

    Landscaping

    Plants with high water contents surround the museum, and fire-resistant poverty weed has been planted on the slopes. The surrounding hills are kept clear of brush and grass by a herd of goats (we're not kidding) that the Center hires annually.

    Infrastructure

    On-site is both a helipad for firefighting 'copters, and a one-million-gallon water tank that they can use to load up on water. Hydrants around the property and the fire suppression system both draw from the site's own reservoir. The museum's access ramp was designed to accommodate a fire engine passing over it.

    Technology

    In addition to smoke detection systems and sprinklers, the Getty has been designed with internal pressurization systems. If smoke gets into the building, the system can pump it back out.

    As Getty Center spokesman Ron Hartwig puts it, the Getty is "the safest place an art collection can be."


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    This holiday, share your Ultimate Gift Guide with Core77 for a chance to gift yourself some fun prizes. We're on the lookout for your Top 5 holiday gift ideas and will reward the best gift guides with awesome rewards, including gift certificates and designer-approved products. It gets better—three Runner-Ups will each win a handy multitool from Leatherman, one Editor's pick will take home a set of double-ended art markers from Prismacolor, and one Community Choice winner with the most votes will win a Wacom Intous Pro Paper tablet!

    It's that time of week again! This week, three submissions chosen by our editors have earned their curators a Farm & Field pocket knife from Hand-Eye Supply and a spot in the running for the grand prize come December 15.

    Here are our 3 Editor's Picks: 

    Ah, nothing like the smell of a fresh, well-designed book straight out the Amazon box. Thomas Ho's "Books You'll Want to Sniff After You Unwrap Them" gift guide, filled with design books also on our reading list, sums that sensation up perfectly. Bonus points for title creativity!

    This guide from Andy Kriebel instantly chills us out and reminds us that tech isn't everything. We know it's a challenge these days to put your phone down and focus on activities IRL, but try being wild this season and encouraging your family and friends to engage in non-digital activities (they'll thank you later).

    Scott Doty's "Designer's Bedside Essentials" guide includes a cool bedside lamp he designed himself along with other products perfect to keep beside you at night. Each item addresses a major nighttime need—light, storage, hydration and inspiration—making it as well-rounded as it gets. And it's always awesome seeing what our readers are up to!

    Thanks to all of those who submitted, and congratulations to our week 2 winners! You'll be receiving a Farm & Field pocket knife. Check out all the potential items you could snag with your prize here!

    ____________________________________

    NEXT WEEK

    Want in on the fun? MAKE YOUR OWN ULTIMATE GIFT GUIDE HERE— three of next week's winners will be receiving a gift certificate to MOO so you can gift yourself some fly business cards or other printed goodies. If you didn't win this week, get your friends to vote for your guide, and you could still be crowned the Community Choice winner!


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    For this summer's alpha prototype project, we were most excited to implement a new UI design to the Otter Warmer. Firefly, Otter's sister device, has a membrane switch UI with blue domed buttons labeled with CE mark icons and a tinted window atop a 7 segment display. We designed Otter to match.

    Prototyping the membrane switch was a new challenge for us. Using the machines we have in-house, an Othermill CNC, a 3D printer, and a home InkJet printer, we were able to fabricate a UI that looks and works like a real device.

    We started with a design in Fusion 360.

    Once we settled on the UI elements to include and the layout, we took that design into KiCAD to build out a circuit board. Each UI element has a dome switch or surface mount LEDs beneath it. We routed traces from each of those elements to an edge where the board would be connected with the full Otter circuit.

    The designs were exported in two parts: the KiCAD traces as GBR, and the Illustrator outline vector as SVG. We found that you have more control in OtherPlan, the Othermill software, over the order in which the Othermill runs through your G-code if you import each pass (traces, holes, and outline) separately.

    We cut our design into FR1, a "circuit board blank" made of a composite material laminated with a thin layer of copper on the top surface. The Othermill cuts about 2mm deep into the board around a predetermined path, isolating a copper trace from the rest of the board. This allows us to control and send current to each UI element.

    Next, we outfitted the circuit board with hardware. The dome switches were attached using an adhesive film overlay. This helps smooth the transition from metal switch to board, creating a more graceful "bump" in the end result. The surface mount LEDs and connector pins were then soldered directly onto the board.

    Then we mounted the circuit board to the 3D printed housing. We finished the 3D print using many coats of an automotive filler primer, which gets rid of the printer's striped texture, and then a top coat of matte white enamel paint. We find this combination best simulates the sheen and feel of a plastic injected parts. We lasercut an acrylic mounting board that sits just under the membrane switch, with strategic openings that protect the more fragile electrical components.

    Once everything is mounted, we hooked it up to the main control circuit, used arduino code to coordinate what each button does and when to turn on the LEDs, and we have a working prototype!

    The next step is to cover the circuit board with the graphics panel. This piece is made of 3 layers: one of plain white cardstock, and two of clear adhesive graphics paper. We needed the colors of this switch to match the colors on the Firefly UI. So, we printed out the graphics in various hues and tones until we found the perfect CMYK value.

    The adhesive graphics paper has a coating on top of acrylic film that accepts the printer's ink. This material is susceptible to water damage, so to protect the graphics, we sandwiched the printed layer with another layer of the same material, unprinted. We then rubbed off the top coating, leaving a strong, clear acrylic top coat.

    Since we don't have the equipment to print white ink, we took to the laser cutter. We used a piece of white cardstock for extra structure, and cut out the shape of the membrane switch. We aligned and sealed the cut cardstock to the printed graphics, and used the cardstock as a guide to trim the excess.

    Lastly, we used a thick coating of Super77 spray adhesive all over the panel's back and adhered it to the circuit board. This completed the prototype!

    _____________________________________

    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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    This here is your standard NYPD barricade.

    They link together by having hooks on one end and loops on the other.

    The police use these to block areas off for parades and street festivals. Sometimes when they come to pick them all up, they leave one or two behind, so these aren't terribly difficult to steal.

    So, someone in my neighborhood got their hands on one, and either broke the feet off or the feer were already broken off. And they tried to build their own stand for it using 2x4s and all-thread.

    They took the time to dado out the upper 2x4 on each side, and bent one of the all-thread bolts over, presumably in an effort to strengthen the connection.

    If you look closely, you can see that they tried to use screws to contact the bottom rail in an effort to prevent it from rotating, in the manner of a grub screw.

    This has obviously failed, and the thing does not stand up. Which is presumably why it's been discarded and left out here on the sidewalk. This is a truly terrible design attempt, and I wonder how long they spent trying to get it to work.



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    Bompas & Parr is globally recognized as the leading expert in multi-sensory experience design. The studio works with commercial brands, artistic institutions, private clients and governments to deliver emotionally compelling experiences to a wide variety of audiences. Sam Bompas and Harry Parr first came to prominence through their expertise in jelly-making, but the business rapidly grew into a fully fledged creative studio offering food and drink design, brand consultancy and immersive experiences across a diverse number of industries.

    View the full content here

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    The provenance of this is unclear, but this Vietnamese Facebook account has posted this video of some very creative kids spoofing a Victoria's Secret catwalk event. The creativity is pretty astonishing:

    Talk about using local materials!

    I've scrolled through the comments hoping to find the creators' names, but most of the text is in Vietnamese and I was unable to discover the source. If any of our Vietnamese-literate readers discover who created this, please let us know so we can credit them!



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    Looks like we're still figuring out new ways to trick our eyes. Take a look at this image and tell us what you see:

    Well, turns out those lines are all actually the same shape. The illusion is revealed when the background color is either black or white:

    As it turns out, this 'curvature blindess illusion," developed by professor Kohske Takahashi of Japan's Chukyo University, might be of use to designers creating 3D objects. According to Discover magazine,

    Takahashi proposes that the brain's visual system may default to seeing corners when there ambiguity over whether a line is a smooth curve or not….
    The "zig-zag" lines in the illusion are the ones in which the color of the wavy line changes from dark grey to light grey at the 'corners' i.e. the peaks and troughs of the curve. It is only seen against a medium grey background however, suggesting that what matters is that the color of the wavy lines shifts from being lighter than the background, to being darker than it.
    Takahashi notes that the illusion involves a sense of depth: the "zig-zag" lines look a bit like a surface, or wall, going into and out of the page, and the changing color of the wavy line suggests shadows. However, further experiments revealed that depth perception is not the driving force behind the effect.

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