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    Before today, the closest I had gotten to associating the NYC Subway with appetizing food was Pizza Rat and that time my friend told me she saw a man eating plastic on the E train. I'm happy to see the French have a more refined experience on their Paris Métro, or at least that's what this chocolate packaging design leads me to believe:

    What you're looking at is three different chocolate bars designed by Paris-based design studio Noir Vif. The bars and their packaging were designed to celebrate the 40-year anniversary of the Paris Regional Express Railway (RER) network, upon the request of RATP (the Paris public transportation operator). 

    Noir Vif product designers AndrÈ Fontes and Guillaume Lehoux were inspired by the various characters, colors and patterns of Briare enamel tiles that have been lining the walls of the train stations since the late '70s. 

    Their goal with this design was to combine an object of instant gratification (the chocolate) and an object to keep as a souvenir (the small, colorful tiles next to the chocolate).

    The outer packaging is almost as eye-catching as the inner packaging, featuring a peek inside to the collectable tile as well as a brief history lesson.

    As someone that both eats chocolate daily and commutes via subway, this is a breath of fresh air. 

    What do the most iconic subway tiles in your city look like? Show us some photos of your own in the comments section, and maybe we'll rate them based on how delicious they look.


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    The International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA), born in 1980, celebrate the pinnacle of design achievement year after year and serve as a catalyst for the designers who are fortunate enough to win. Each year, thousands of entries from around the world are submitted across a wide range of categories, making IDEA one of the largest and most eagerly anticipated annual design awards programs in existence.

    Trends will come and go, but one thing endures—winning an IDEA is a career-defining moment and places winners instantaneously in the global spotlight.

    The IDEA 2018 jury—led by Michael Kahwaji, IDSA, of Whirlpool—is comprised of designers, thought leaders and visionaries who epitomize the best of the industrial design community. Representing industry, consultancy, academia and private practice, they are experts within their field. Many of them are past IDEA award winners who deeply understand the significance of the position. 

    The unique jurying process maintains anonymity for entries to ensure all decisions are solely based upon excellence of design innovation, user experience, benefit to the client, benefit to society and appropriate aesthetics.

    The IDEA 2018 categories are:

    Start your IDEA 2018 entry today!


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    This entry is why I'm psyched that Core77's readership contains actual working industrial designers who know how to draw. So here we go:

    Although Preston Tucker is often described as a car designer, he really wasn't; he was a car-obsessed entrepreneur who hired prominent designers of the 1940s, like Alex Tremulis and J. Gordon Lipincott, to realize his ideas.

    Preston Tucker

    His Tucker '48 famously never made it into mass production, with just 51 models being built before he was indicted (but not convicted) of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and violation of SEC regulations. After that his business tanked.

    What would have happened had he succeeded? Steve Lehto over at Road & Trackdug this sketch out of the Tucker Automobile Club of America's archives, which contain some 400,000 drawings, blueprints and documents:

    As you can see it's an unusual design for a 1940s-style pickup truck that's longitudinally divided. The design would allow for easier sidewalk loading/unloading of long objects and appears to have a narrow enclosed bed behind the driver. Obviously this design never got made, and this is the only image I could find online.

    So I'm asking the sketch-happy among you to complete the design.

    1. What does this look like from the other side? From a rear 3/4 view? What's that panel between the wheels? Are there integrated design elements to handle securing goods on the flatbed portion? Where is the engine located?

    Some other directions you could take this:

    2. What would you draw if Tucker had hired you and asked you to provide an alternative sketch based on this idea?

    3. What would this look like with a modern-day pickup?

    I'll leave it up to you whether you'd like to stick with the 1940s white-on-black rendering style or get more modern with it. Eager to see what you come up with!


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    If working with your hands, creating sketches on paper and by computer and building prototypes from materials sparks your creativity, then Garmin wants to see your portfolio! We are looking for a full time Industrial Design Intern to lead and execute aesthetic and ergonomic world-class designs at our headquarters in Olathe, Kansas.

    View the full design job here

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    Your dog shits free energy. As do mine. And every day I pick it up with a plastic bag and throw it in the garbage, where it does no good.

    British inventor Brian Harper is doing something about this. Harper lives in Worcestershire's Malvern Hills, designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (a UK designation of conservation/protection from development). Harper noticed that inconsiderate dog owners were leaving plastic bags filled with poop on the ground near his house. "I looked and I thought this is a crazy way," Harper told the BBC. "There must be a way of trying to give dog poo a value so people would do something sensible with it."

    Harper spent two years creating an old-school gas lamp that's hooked up to an anaerobic digester. A dispenser next to it provides free paper bags. Dog owners can bag their dog's poop, toss it into the digester, crank the handle, and the microrganisms within break the poop down into methane. Ten bags of dog poop are enough to power the lamp for two hours.

    The concept isn't Harper's; he states that he got the idea from the Park Spark Project, an art installation in Boston that installed a similar contraption at a dog run. 

    Sadly, their Facebook account hasn't been updated since 2014, so we assume the project is defunct. Hopefully Harper's flame will burn a bit longer.

    "[The] amount of poop I scoop," one Facebook user commented on Harper's project, "I could do the Blackpool Illuminations."
    The Blackpool Illuminations is an annual lights festival held in Lancashire.

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    For this year's Core77 Design Awards, we're conducting in-depth interviews with each of our jury captains to get in a glimpse into their creative minds and to hear more about what they'll be looking for in this year's awards submissions. 

    Our first interview is with 2018 Built Environment Jury Captain Dror Benshetrit. Founder of New York based Studio Dror, Benshetrit does not allow the conventions of the present to interfere with his ambitious goals for the future of design. He chatted with us about his upcoming Lookback project that simulates a walk on the moon, his vision for the future of architecture, and a designer's responsibility to think sustainably. 

    We'll start with an easy question—can explain to me what Studio Dror is all about and what it is you do?

    Great, so, that's actually not the easy one. That's actually the most difficult one!

    I'm not joking, actually. I think that there's nothing more difficult than to explain what is it that we do, but I like to say that we are an idea-driven design practice that looks at design comprehensively and doesn't differentiate by design disciplines, meaning we don't have boundaries between product design, art installation, architecture, and planning. 

    We have clients ranging from product brands to companies that ask us to create temporary and permanent installations, interiors, architecture, and organizations that we are doing master planning for.

    Can tell me a little bit more about the projects that you've been working on recently?

    Yes! So we actually recently won a competition to design the first self-driving-car neighborhood in Canada. We are doing three residential towers in Brazil. We're doing a couple of interior projects and working on a couple of kitchen appliances and the future of cooking. We're working on a very interesting, confidential project that is in the area of hygienic products. We're working on a new light-bulb concept. We're working on an art installation that mimics the feeling of what it's like being on the moon. What else? We're working on new, innovative systems in the area of 3D printing steel. What else is going on now…

    I can't imagine you ever get bored!

    Never bored. That's definitely not in the vocabulary of my life right now. Last month, we debuted an installation in New Zealand for a wine brand. It had a couple of delays with the earthquake in New Zealand, but it's just been debuted and completed last month. Prior to that, we debuted our construction for Galataport in Istanbul, which is an ongoing project that is by far our largest project to date. It's 1.2 kilometers on the Bosphorus Strait, and we basically did the master plan and design of the cruise-ship terminal, the boardwalk, and the 18 buildings on the site.

    Considering your practice is so interdisciplinary, I'm curious about what your educational background is and how you arrived at this point.

    I studied design in the Design Academy in Eindhoven, and prior to that, really considered myself more of an artist and studied art. When I finished school, I was of course trying to think, in what area of design do I want to master and specialize? And I very quickly realized that I'm too curious to choose one particular area and actually like the idea of collaborating with specialists and specializing in my own way of looking at design and creativity.

    "I strongly believe in this cross-organization between disciplines. One of the most interesting things for me is how to break those boundaries that actually often create more limitations than strengths."

    So that was the initial direction for the practice, not knowing that actually beyond design, there's architecture. Beyond that, there's planning and landscaping and all of those things that are under the title of "design" as a whole, but I initially couldn't even comprehend thinking of those kinds of scales. I think after we did our first interior project, it was very clear to me the relationship between product, design, and interior. We then pushed it to the next scale when working on our first architectural project. 

    I'm not formally trained as an architect myself. We have a lot of architects on the team and we are always working in collaboration with structural engineers, architects of records, and more, but I strongly believe in this cross-organization between disciplines. One of the most interesting things for me is how to break those boundaries that actually often create more limitations than strengths.

    I've heard a little bit about the moon project that you're working on, which sounds totally immersive and powerful. Do you think experiences like this have the power to create change in the world? 

    There are many things that can change the world. I think, in general, that creativity has tremendous power of solving the world's biggest problems, and that a lot of time we're looking more at data and analyzing data and studying a certain pattern; sometimes those are not necessarily the only places to look at. Really thinking about experiences, in particular, is the essence of art in my opinion. Art has always been about trying to provoke human behaviors and provoke new feelings by doing things differently, whether you're standing in front of a canvas, a sculpture or you've immersed yourself within something sculptural like a building.

    One of the things that excites me specifically with this lunar installation is that many of us have never been in a dark space that is extremely bright at the same time. That kind of relationship doesn't exist currently because everywhere that you go, we are still within the atmospheric air particles that are here on earth, so if you've been to the middle of the desert where there were some strong, bright projection, you could gauge the distance from you to the particles in the air and be able to get this kind of depth, or if you've been to a big stadium that is dark outside and bright.

    What this installation tries to do is to create an indoor space that deprives you of the ability to gauge how far the structure itself is. We're using this new nanotechnology material called Vantablack, which essentially is the closest thing to the black of the infinity. They call it the blackest black material there is, which has 99.97% non-omitting light, so you can brighten the surface pretty intensively and then stand literally a couple feet from the wall and not know that it's there. The idea [behind the installation] is to basically see if that can provoke a new feeling in us, to see if that could change something in how we feel towards that relationship.

    I think that, of course, coupled with the idea of standing on the lunar terrain, looking back at planet Earth, just has a huge power in terms of helping us understand how magical this one and only planet we have is.

    Is there anything within the realm of design and technology you're particularly excited about right now? Is there an issue you feel strongly about that you think architects and designers need to be paying attention to in order to be progressive and future-facing?

    I think that we live in the most exciting time to be a designer and a creator ever, period. If we're not paying attention right now to how we are going to utilize artificial intelligence, how we're going to utilize parametric softwares, how we're going to utilize 3D printing, we are missing the boat. Each one of these of course cannot be viewed in silo. They're all interconnected, but 3D printing alone is changing our world as we speak, and robotic manufacturing is going to take over pretty much everything in the next two decades. They're going to construct buildings, they're going to pretty much replace manual labor, and the complexity of the vocabulary of forms that we're going to see as a result of 3D printing robotic manufacturing is insane, which is crazy exciting.

    I think that the machine-learning approach we are already seeing now is going to, at first, make a lot of boring designs, but eventually it's going to show us how we could use that as a tool and add to our own human creativity—then we're going to get, in my opinion, to a very, very, very exciting path of creating what I call "superstructure supernature."

    I just debuted two weeks ago the initial direction that we are going to open another practice in January called SUPERNATURE Lab, and our intention is to work on creating structures that are in collaboration with nature. They're basically encompassing nature in a new way. So one of the biggest problems that I see in architecture today is the fact that it's either urban or natural. We are basically taking a piece of land, demolishing what was there, getting rid of the trees and soil and vegetation, pouring concrete foundation, and that's it.

    Studio Dror's 2012 "HavvAda" project

    What we set to do with this practice is to work on new ways architectural systems can incorporate soil and nature within them and allow for people and vegetation. By doing that, we hope we can change the way the ugly sprawl of metropolis around the world looks. Population growth cannot be avoided. We are growing very fast, and our city as a need will grow accordingly, so hopefully we're not going to just build more and more ugly mid-rise and high-rise buildings everywhere.

    This architecture that you're hoping to do in the lab, is it speaking to the idea that nature inspires the aesthetic of the building or is it also speaking to the idea of sustainability?

    It's both. It's absolutely both. First of all, when you're talking about being inspired by nature and natural forms, that's a big aspect of that, because nature builds much more efficiently than we do today. Nature builds much more beautifully, and the one thing that nature definitely doesn't do is build boxes like we do for everything.

    The other aspect is building from nature, meaning how do we incorporate and utilize the benefits that soil has in construction? How do we use benefits of vegetation, whether it's the purification of air, the production of O2, and of course the beauty, which I think that we are now finding more and more ways to link a physical relationship of our health to our emotional health, and I think that beauty is a part of that. We just don't know how to measure it yet.

    What are some considerations designers often overlook when creating built environments? Would you say that's the answer, is kind of incorporating the natural?

    Absolutely. For one, I dream that every architect will consider themselves an artist and would realize that they are working on the most valuable canvas we have, which is our planet. I think that it's a huge problem in the design and architectural profession that sometimes what we do is considered planning or just pure logic and problem-solving. I think that what architecture and design is more about is creating the right emotion with what we do. When you talk about how productive your office is, in terms of the well-being, it's not necessarily measured in just pragmatic and logical charts. It's much more than that, and as designers and architects, we need to make sure that we are feeling those things, not just thinking of them, and reasoning them more with the heart than necessarily with the logic of the brief that we are getting.

    I totally agree. So to connect back to the Core77 Design Awards, you're acting as this year's Built Environment Jury Captain! When judging the awards, what do you hope to see in all of the submissions, and what you hope to see designers considering in this area?

    When you ask somebody, "What do you want to do?" it's very similar to "What are you dreaming about?" And I think that in every design phase, there is a moment of kind of leaving the knowledge aside or leaving the pragmatic decisions aside that relate to manufacturing capabilities or cost or whatever it is and just kind of letting your imagination go wild for a moment. Because it is really necessary and I think that in general, it's something that we've lost recently in design. It's something that I'm hoping to see: a little bit more personality, a little bit more unique dreaming.

    On a final note, what are some of your predictions for the future of architecture and built environment?

    Well, that's an easy one. My prediction is the name of the lab that we are setting up: SUPERNATURE. I really think that we are going to see products and structures that mimic nature more and are inspired by nature, not taking away from the natural terrain but enhancing it, making it even more beautiful.

    It's interesting. If you look from the angle of product design, like a chair or a vase or a coffee mug, unless you're designing a new typology that you don't even have a name for, you are essentially redesigning something that has been designed before. In this case, your motivation is always to make the best, most beautiful, most logical version ... like, if you have a chart of different reasons, you're trying to basically score better than anything you know on each aspect of the chart.

    But when we are taking a piece of nature and we're saying, "Well, this is an undeveloped rural area. Let's build 70 mid-rise building here," how come we're not applying the same questions of, "Am I going to make this area look better than what it looks like right now?" It's almost always uglier. It's almost always worse. I just hope that even if we just let that question sit somewhere in the back of our mind, we are going to make a better project, and I just hope that designers and architects have that kind of mindset to strive and do better with all of those kinds of decisions that relate to what it's going to be and what it is today.

    Submit your work to the 2018 Core77 Design Awards today! Regular Deadline to receive submissions is March 8.  

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    The Compound Camera is a twenty-foot inflatable installation composed of 109 pinhole cameras, each of which projects a slightly different view of the surrounding environment onto its interior surface. The structure's flexible fabric invites visitors to push on and distort the projected images, allowing them to play with the fundamental properties of light, optics, and vision in a tangible way. In our increasingly digital world, the Compound Camera offers an analogue perspective; it reminds us that relatively simple construction methods and old technologies can continue to profoundly impact how we perceive our surroundings.

    Opaque Exterior
    From the outside, the Compound Camera looks like an opaque, dark space.
    Credit: Cassidy Batiz
    Fully Transparent Interior
    Once inside, the interior wall disappears into a patchwork of the exterior world.
    Credit: Cassidy Batiz
    Soft to the Touch
    The piece is inviting to touch since it is a soft and squishy inflatable.
    Credit: Cassidy Batiz
    All Encompassing
    The piece is an immersive experience, inviting visitors to look all around.
    Credit: Cassidy Batiz
    Fully Analog
    Most people find the analog nature of the Compound Camera unbelievable. They find that touching the surfaces helps them understand that there is no digital equipment embedded within it.
    Credit: Cassidy Batiz
    Interactive
    Visitors can focus on different elements of the "scene" by pushing into the inflated cells.
    Credit: Cassidy Batiz
    Bulbous Shapes
    The inflated form creates a naturally organic surface.
    Credit: Cassidy Batiz
    Fragmented Reality
    Each camera captures an image that is mostly the same as the cameras surrounding it, creating a surreal, fragmented reality.
    Credit: Cassidy Batiz
    Diagram of Exposure
    Fluctuating being shade and sunlight, the Compound Camera is a physical diagram of how exposure works in cameras.
    Credit: Cassidy Batiz
    Fly's Eye
    The cells are arranged in a geodesic pattern to form a dome, giving viewers an experience that can be compared to being inside a fly's eye.
    Credit: Cassidy Batiz
    View the full project here

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    It was turning out to be a bad Valentine's Day for Michael DiTullo, rebellious design student. Having pissed off the wrong people one too many times, he learned he was being kicked out of the Industrial Design department at RISD. Furious, he confronted the department head and told him he refused to leave. A screaming match ensued.

    Hours later DiTullo, now calm, showed up at a Greek restaurant called Andreas carrying a red rose. It matched the deep red of his date Kristina's hair, which was cut assymetrically. It was 1996 and this was their first date. It went well and the two of them spent hours talking over a table in the back of the restaurant.

    Now, 22 years later, Kristina and Michael are married. They both have BFA's--from RISD, Michael's in Industrial Design.

    Over the past two decades Michael has done work for clients like Burton, Converse, Google, Hasbro, Honda, Intel, Nike and Sephora, to name a few. He's worked on auto design, consumer electronics, footwear, interior architecture, kitchenware, medical instruments, retail design, robotics, technical apparel, transportation, toys. He's got the sketching skills, the design skills, the presentation skills, the business skills. DiTullo is the entire package. (And yes, he's worked on package design too.) He's also one of the rare designers to have made it into the C-suite.

    Last year DiTullo left his job as Chief Design Officer of Sound United, of his own volition and without any screaming matches. He was the one calling the shots now. He knew precisely what he wanted to do, and opened a full-service design firm with his name on the door.

    So how did he go from failing student to owning his own firm? Here in Part 1 of our interview with DiTullo, we'll unspool the story of how he made this all happen.

    ____________________

    Core77: I'm looking at your resume here and it is long. You're a guy who has made a lot of moves in his career. What inspired you to take each leap?

    Michael DiTullo: Well, in a way, I think my value to any project/process/client/group is in being the least knowledgeable person on a subject matter. I always felt like my best work at Nike over my eight years there was in my first two years, because I just didn't know enough to box myself in. So I could ask things like "Hey, can we make a shoe that folds up and fits in a woman's purse?" Questions that might seem kind of stupid if you've been doing something for ten years. But if you've been doing it for ten months, it seems like "Why can't we do that?"

    So I always get a little scared when I start to know too much. When I sense that I'm starting to close off avenues of investigations, because you have that doubt of "Oh I tried that before," or "this won't work," or "so-and-so will just fight against it." But if you're new to a category, or have a fresh set of eyes, or are working across a bunch of industries, then you don't have that. And you have the courage to say, "What if we tried this?"

    So I always gravitated towards that. When I started off at Evo Design in Connecticut, we were doing work across so many categories, and I noticed sometimes projects with corporate clients were canceled, or things would come through the corporate process and really change. Which made me think "Why is that happening? I don't know. And I want to find out why it's happening. So I'm going to have to go work corporate."

    If I'm going to go work corporate, I want to work for one of the best brands in the world. I want to work for Nike. So I flew out there, and they were like "We want you to work here too."

    After two years of working at Nike, I was like, "I want to work with Michael Jordan." John Hoke (the Head of Design) was like "Why should we let you work with Michael Jordan? There's like a hundred other designers here, and you've only been here for two years." And I said, "I just think I'd be good at it. It's true that I don't know anything about basketball, but I will work harder than anybody, because I want to work with Michael Jordan."

    I talked to the Design Director of Jordan at the time, Dwayne Edwards, he's the founder of Pensole. And he gave me a test project to work on at night. He liked the project, he had me present it to [CEO] Mark Parker, and next thing I knew, I was working at Jordan.

    What was it that made you say, I want to work with Michael Jordan?

    It seems audacious, but I was like well, if I'm working at Nike, I want to work on the best product Nike makes. Not from an ego standpoint, but from a challenge standpoint: "This seems like it'd be really hard, and I want to go do that. The Jordan team must be the best team, so I want to go work with that team so I can learn from them."

    Then after eight years at Nike I'd learned a lot about the corporate process. And [I wanted] to take what I've learned back to the consulting side. And so then of course [laughter] I was like, "I'd like to work for one of the best consultancies in the world. I want to work for frog." And they were looking for a creative director for San Francisco.

    And it's interesting, being in that consulting world where people had never worked corporate before: I found there's a lack of understanding of, for example, with a deliverable--the consultants say, "Okay, we need a decision in 24 hours." And the corporate client will be like "No problem." And I'd have to tell my team "Guys, we're not going to get a decision in 24 hours. He's got to go talk to guy above him, and then that guy's got to talk to his lateral guy, and it's going to be like two weeks before we get a decision on that."

    Design review at frog.
    Leading a workshop at frog.

    You have to know what it takes to navigate through that corporate world, and how you can structure the deliverables like "Hey, what do I need to give you for your people to sign off on it?"

    You mentioned that when you were at Evo, you decided you wanted to learn corporate. And then after Nike for eight years, you decided to bring this back to the consultant side. Did that decision just come to you one day, or did it slowly build up over time?

    I think I actually made that decision before I even went there. When I went to Nike I thought "I'll be here two to four years, and then I'll bring what I learned back into consulting." But I liked it at Nike a lot, I had a good time, and they didn't want me to leave. So they kept giving me newer and harder challenges, and I ended up staying there twice as long as I'd planned to stay.

    So this was a long-term plan that you laid out, then executed.

    Yeah. Sometimes young students talk to me about making like a five-year plan, and I would say "Fuck that, make a 20-year plan."

    What was the rest of your plan?

    When I started at frog, I was like, "I'll learn how a world-class consultancy works, and then I'll make my own studio." In between that, the Sound United thing happened. That was not part of the plan, but [Sound United] wanted to create their own internal version of frog, so I was like, "This is a fantastic dry run to starting my own practice." And it's a mutually beneficial opportunity.

    When I took that position, I gave myself five years to set up the design principles and processes, scale up a team, design and build out a facility, and bring as much product to market as we could. And basically I had my own studio with total creative control over multiple brands, from brand positioning, innovation pipeline management, and branding through to industrial design, packaging, retail displays, web presence, and even product photography and launch videos.

    After that five years, it had now been 20 years since I graduated and it was time to get back to starting my own consulting studio, my long-term plan all along. I feel like I've done enough in enough industries, in footwear, consumer electronics, transportation, to open up a studio that can do a diverse range of projects.

    So what is the next challenge level now that you finally have achieved having your own firm?

    It's going to take a while to build this. Right now, it's fluctuating in size from like three to five people, depending on our project load. We have some good clients. So for the next few years, I want to focus on building this.

    DiTullo's studio.

    And then I've been teaching a little here and there. I'm 41 now, and I think my long-term goal after I do this for several years, is I'd like to really tackle design education. Whether that's starting a program at an existing university that doesn't have a design program, or just starting my own school, like Frank-Lloyd-Wright-slash-Bauhaus style. I really want to take on the question of "How do we educate designers?" Because I really believe that design is not an academic activity, but we try to force it into an academic setting.

    Reviewing student work at Cleveland Institute of Art.
    Doing an innovation workshop with 6th graders at The Del Mar School.
    Running a workshop at UIC's Innovation Lab.

    I think design is something that's really learned better in an apprenticeship kind of scenario. I think a couple of years of academic-type courses would help; me going to RISD gave me a good focus on art, architectural and design history. And 2D, 3D theory was immensely helpful in the first two years. But after that, it could all have been apprenticeships.

    Did you have any influential internships when you were at RISD?

    You know, I didn't. I had some influential experiences. I did a term abroad, which was really helpful. I did a term at the Cleveland Institute of Art, where a lot of the projects were sponsored by Chrysler Design. And then when I came back to RISD, I actually had my senior year sponsored by Nike and later by Nissan.

    I think I've always been thinking about design education, because I almost failed out of school sophomore year.

    How did you almost fail out?

    So, I was a nerd: I knew I wanted to be an industrial designer since I was 13 years old. Pre-Google days in the '80s, going to Brentano's bookstore to get Dick Powell books and every book about industrial design I could possibly get. So I came into school probably a little bit more well-read on what industrial design is than my classmates, and I felt like what the instructors were teaching us didn't live up to what I'd read.

    There were four ID instructors in that year, my first year of ID. And they were all good people, but two of them had just graduated from the grad program, one was a graphic designer, the other was an architect. And I was like, "As well-meaning as they are, I don't know if these people really know enough about industrial design to be teaching it."

    I didn't react well. I reacted really poorly, in a very 19-year-old rebellious way. I pretty much stopped going to class. I'd show up on crit days with a totally different project and they'd go "Michael, what the hell is this?" I was like, "This is the project. Not what you had assigned, because you don't know what you're doing."

    So, rightfully, they failed me. I had to go through this whole academic probation, and I remember having a shouting match with the head of the department at the time, who was Bob O'Neil, he passed away recently. He ended up becoming one of my biggest advocates, but we were standing there just yelling at each other.

    There was this visiting professor there from Domus, I can't remember his last name, his first name was Giovanni. And after two hours of us yelling at each other, Bob goes "Giovanni, what do you think of Michael?"

    Giovanni says, "You don't want to know what I think."

    Bob says, "No, no, tell us what you think about Michael."

    And Giovanni says "Okay, well, I think Michael's probably your best student. And you don't know how teach him, which scares the hell out of you."And then he had a frank conversation with me. He let me know that I was good, but I was going about it the wrong way. I was just trying to hammer these guys instead of working with them.

    So that was a turning point, probably for both Bob and I, and we worked out a plan. Because prior to that they had basically told me "Get out, we don't want you here." And I had just met a girl. That meeting was on Valentine's Day, and that night I had the first date with the girl that would become my wife. So in my mind I was like, I'm not going anywhere.

    Michael and Kristina at RISD.

    Bob O'Neil and [ID professor] Micky Ackerman came back from sabbatical, and we worked together and made a learning plan, basically, where I could do these educational exchanges study overseas, work on industry sponsored projects. And ironically I ended up graduating with a faculty award, however that works.

    I stopped fighting them and started working with them. And I learned that this whole system is all made up.

    Can you elaborate?

    My last semester, I was busy doing sponsored projects for both Nike and Nissan--but I had three liberal arts electives I still had to get out of the way. And I couldn't do these projects for these two huge companies, do the liberal arts stuff too, and not die.

    So my second week of class the last semester, I set up one-on-ones with the liberal arts instructors and said "Look, here's everything else I have going on. I need your credit to graduate. But I don't care about your class. So what's the minimum I could possibly do to pass your class?" And all of them...they loved it.

    What do you mean? That they appreciated your honesty?

    Yes, I guess no one had ever said that to them. So the English professor was like "Read this book and write me an essay, you don't ever have to come to class." The CAD instructor was like "Here's the final for the CAD class, if you can just do the final, you don't ever have to come to class the whole rest of the term." I worked out a deal with each one individually, because I realized this is just a somewhat made-up system to help you learn.

    Now that you've long been out of that system, where you find inspiration for individual projects?

    I almost see everything as one project. I have different clients, and they send me on different inquiries, if you will. But I feel like I'm a sponge in the world all the time. I'm always gathering stuff and jotting it down. Even if I don't have a project in a particular industry, if I see something happening in that industry I'll jot down my thoughts on it.

    Sometimes I use the Core77 discussion forums for that purpose. I'll start a topic on "Hey, I noticed this is going on," and then I'll get a bunch of other people talking about it, and kind of formulate an opinion on it. I feel like I'm building up these reservoirs all the time.

    Do you jot these down into an organized system?

    No, but I probably should. It's very free-form, just a constant stream of notebooks. I also use Pinterest as a way to collect a lot of that stuff. I'm also a really big believer in immersing yourself in culture that's not directly design-related. My wife's an artist, so we're always going to art openings, museums, or even traveling to L.A. or New York for museum openings. Seeing how curators put shows together and what they're talking about. Gallery shows, music, concerts. Trying to mix with those people as much as possible, because artists and musicians are very sensitive to what's going on in the world. And I feel like that's a big part of my continuous inspiration and research, it's pretty natural and fluid.

    Then when I start a client project, now I have to formalize it. For example with the project for Leucadia, I had to pull all of my ongoing research and inspiration together in a way that is easily understandable to the client. Usually when I present initial concepts, they will be shown alongside an emerging trend. And these trends won't be on the level of "orange is cool". The trends are broader and more macro, for example "People are staying home and cooking more."

    There's a higher value on that, so in the case of that custom chef's knife, I helped the client double their retail prices. I was like "Hey, there's more of a premium being put on these home experiences. Here's all the different trends pointing to that, whether that's from streaming video to the rise of Whole Foods as a viable national grocery chain. And so because people are spending all of this time and money at home, I think the brand can raise retails." That in turn gives me more money to play with in the design of this knife, and I can help make a better product.

    So these things comprise a sort of creative diet. Are there other inputs?

    I'm a very extroverted Type-A person, and talking to people is how I figure out a lot of things. So at least weekly I pull two or three designers together for lunch or coffee. Just bouncing all this stuff off of them and also sucking up all the things they're looking at. "Oh cool, I'm going to write that down and go check that out."

    That's really important to me. Because if I'm just on my own, thinking things that I perceive, it's very limited. So I want to know what you think, and I want to know what other creative people think.

    Our studio is located a block from the Pacific Ocean and there's a bunch of other businesses around us that are totally different. There's a furniture company, there's a few apparel companies. I like reach out to the people that own those businesses with a "Hey, let's get lunch. What's going on in your guys' world? What do you think?" Trying to collect all these different perspectives. Because otherwise, the solitary designer's perspective can be off. Because we're not normal.

    There is that danger, where if say, architects only hang out with like-minded architects, their work can start to alienate regular folk. It reminds me of those two AIs talking to each other and inventing their own language that no one else could understand. Anyways, earlier you had spoke about a sort of fear that you were not challenging yourself enough when you were starting out. Is that something that only happened when you started design school, or was that a trait that you always possessed?

    Dissatisfaction is the best tool in my toolbox. I'm just never happy with anything, so--you see this wall of stuff I've worked on behind me? [Gestures.] 

    I don't like any of it. For me, every single one is a reminder of something I did wrong, or a battle I lost, or something I learned but couldn't apply in time. That's why I keep them. It's my work, and I own that, that's part of it. And I'm proud of the diversity of the things that I've worked on, but I don't love them, if that makes sense.

    I love what I've learned, and I'm trying to apply what I learned on the next thing always.

    ________

    Coming up in Part 2: 

    DiTullo's clever solutions for dealing with the setbacks, obstacles and bullsh*t that all designers face, plus what he's working on next!


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    The Senior Experience Designer innovates at the intersection of interaction design, industrial design, and interior architecture in modern aviation. Their work is centered on points along the passengers' and crew's flight journey, which may range from brand touchpoints to aircraft interiors to ancillary products and services. They design multi-sensory physical

    View the full design job here

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    With the 'Atlas Clip-in Overshoe' commuter cyclists can now reap the many benefits of clip-less cycling pedals without having to carry another pair of shoes, or subsequent bags. Rather than changing in and out of their cycling shoes, cyclists can wear the 'Atlas Clip-in Overshoe' on top of their existing shoes, allowing them to clip onto the pedals whilst also protecting their shoes. Once their journey is complete, the overshoes collapse down and magnetize together, making them very portable in their supplied pouch.

    View the full project here

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    Remember Stuart Semple? He's the British artist who started making and selling that ultra-black paint after artist Anish Kapoor tried to have it all to himself. Now Semple has created that paint's opposite: LIT, which is made out of "the most powerful light emitting pigment on the planet."

    This stuff is absolutely amazing. You can shine a light source on it, turn light source off, and the paint continues to give off light for up to 12 hours. It can also turn heat into light. And unlike regular glow-in-the-dark paint, it can be "recharged" indefinitely.

    To test this stuff out, science channel The Action Lab shone the world's brightest flashlight--a 32,000-lumen model made by Imalent--onto the paint to see how it responds. If you are too impatient to listen to the scientific explanation for what's happening here, skip ahead in the video to about 3:26:

    There has to be a useful application for this stuff beyond novelty. Perhaps in disaster relief? Or perhaps it could be used in developing nations that have hot climates; it charges up during the day, then gives off helpful illumination at night?

    What are you guys' and gals' suggestions?



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    Beehives are typically comprised of parallel layers of honeycombs, like an office building filled with cubicles. But in Australia, a bee species known as Tetragonula carbonaria, a/k/a sugarbag bees, build their hives in a single-layer spiral, like they're imitating the Guggenheim.

    Why do they build them this way? National Geographic has a rather unsatisfying answer:

    [Australian entomologist Tim] Heard says no one's quite sure why carbonarias make their hives in spiral formations, but the architecture could help queen bees navigate them easier. It could also make for better air circulation, because generally, other bee colonies are not well ventilated.

    So the queen is lazy and/or these bees are really into HVAC. In any case these sugarbags, which are also stingless (but can bite) have security against both germs and intruders designed right into the structure:

    Carbonaria bee hives only have one entrance, which is heavily protected by guard bees and a mix of sticky resins. Antibacterial properties from the resin clean any pathogens from the bees as they enter the hive, like a sticky welcome mat. The substance also keeps out predators such as ants, like a moat.

    That's pretty nifty.

    You can learn more about sugarbag bees at Heard's website.


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    About A' Design Award & Competition

    A' Design Award & Competition, the world's leading international annual juried competition for design, is now accepting entries for its next cycle. Every year, projects that focus on innovation, technology, design and creativity are awarded with the A' Design Award. Designers worldwide are called to take part in the accolades by entering their best works, projects and products. 

    Enter your designs here.

    Judging Process

    Entries will be judged by an international jury panel of scholars, professionals and media members. Unlike other awards, A' Design Award and Competition follows a peer-review process with anonymous voting and evaluation of entries.

    Past Winners:

    The A' Design Accolades are organized in a wide range of creative fields to highlight the very best designers from all countries in all disciplines. To give an idea of projects that are eligible to apply to receive an A' Design Award, we've put together a list of some projects that won last year:

    Digital and Electronic Devices Design

    Packaging Design

    Noti D.I.Y. Hanger Packaging Green Packaging Transformation by Leo P. H. Chan & Kobe So

    Furniture, Homeware and Decorative Items Design

    Architecture, Building and Structure Design

    Vehicle, Mobility and Transportation Design

    Home Appliances Design

    View all of the awards categories here.

    Benefits of Winning

    There are many benefits to winning an A' Design award, including:

    Awards Trophy, Extensive PR Campaign, Inclusion in Yearbook Publication, Winners' Certificate, Gala-Night Invitation, Feedback Notes by the Jury, Exclusive Interview, Designer of the Year Nomination, Winners Badges, Newsletter Announcement & more.

    Learn more and Register Your Work

    To have an opportunity to get your design published, featured and promoted on Core77, remember to submit your work before the entry deadline of February 28th. We will be publishing a selection of award winners on April 15. 

    Nominate your best design project here.


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    The theory behind sanders is pretty simple. The machine moves the sandpaper back and forth and round and round and the abrasives on the sandpaper abrade the wood making it smooth.

    Ahhh, were it that simple.

    As your sandpaper abrades the wood the the saw dust that's generated puts a barrier between the abrasive and the work so that the sandpaper works less effectively. The buildup in sanding dust is easily remedied with a good vacuum system and that's the core of the Festool system.

    But there is a problem. The vacuums are far stronger than they need to be, so strong in fact that they cause suction between the sander and the work. This means that your sander has to work harder to move its pad and that generates heat. All that heat buildup heats up the pad and heats up the hooks on the pad that hold your sandpaper to the hook and loop pad. All that heat, softens the hooks and the hooks lose their grip on the sandpaper. Sanding pads are considered consumables but still it's annoying to wear them out.

    You have the same heat buildup problem if you constantly press too hard when you sand.

    There are two very simple solutions to this problem.

    1 - Turn your vac down to about 1/2 power. The vacuums are designed to give great results for all the power tools, sanders really don't need a particularly powerful vac. So turn down your vac to the minimum suction that will give you total cleaning but not much more. You will find that the sander is easier to use, has less friction on the work, and best of all the pads will last longer.

    2 - The same cure is used if you find yourself pushing down on the sander to try to make it sand faster. Pushing is more psychological than actually useful, and it will shorten pad life. As long as your dust collection works, you really should not need to apply much pressure to the sander. Get used to lightening up. If you want the sander to sand faster make sure the paper is still sharp and cutting and if not replace it. For really fast removal use coarser sandpaper, but make sure you don't jump too many grit sizes. Coarser paper makes coarser scratches in the work and when you graduate to the next finer grit you will have to remove the scratches you made.

    While I am on the subject I should mention something about sanding pads in general. All the Festool sanders come with a "soft" pad as standard. Most of the sanders have "hard" and "supersoft" pads available as accessories. Here is the deal: A harder pad is more accurate but less forgiving. For example: If you want to create a mirror surface you need a flat surface. A hard pad will sand any small high spots and give a flatter surface. But because the hard pad is less forgiving it will also sand through high spots on your finish. That's okay if you want that mirror finish - but a waste of time is you want a typical finished surface.

    A "super-soft" pad will easily follow small variations in the surface, and is very forgiving. But if you are looking for a mirror surface you won't get any accuracy any any unevenness in your finish will stay put.

    The "soft" pad is a compromise between the more extreme pads and is perfectly the right pad to use for most applications. Incidentally for making perfectly flat mirrored finishes, in the last century finishers would use flat, unforgiving, marble sanding pads for their most finicky work.

    ___________________

    This "Tools & Craft" section is provided courtesy of Joel Moskowitz, founder of Tools for Working Wood, the Brooklyn-based catalog retailer of everything from hand tools to Festool; check out their online shop here. Joel also founded Gramercy Tools, the award-winning boutique manufacturer of hand tools made the old-fashioned way: Built to work and built to last.



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    As the most visited online awards platform in the world, Awwwards is perfectly positioned to stage an ongoing series of conferences, bringing together leading UX experts and visionaries from around the world for two days of insight and inspiration. Kicking off in Berlin at this very moment, the latest edition of the IRL event—billed as a “Digital Thinkers Conference”—once again showcases the latest trends and innovations in UX/UI design.

    Better yet, the folks at Adobe are excited to bring you an exclusive livestream from the Awwwards Conference, where nearly two dozen talented designers and developers will take the stage in the next two days. Tune in starting now, 10AM CET, until 4PM this afternoon—morning for Stateside ET—and tomorrow, Friday, February 9, from 10AM until 4:30PM CET to follow along and submit questions via social media using the hashtags #AdobeLive and #AwwwardsBerlin.

    Those of you on the East Coast can tune in first thing tomorrow morning to catch the keynote by Adobe's own Khoi Vinh, or set your alarms accordingly for talks from Melanie Daveid, Michael Flarup, Jeany Ngo, Vitaly Friedman, and many more; see the full schedule of talks here, and the livestreaming schedule here. Featuring an eclectic mix of speakers from the likes of Google and Minecraft alongside boutique studios and entrepreneurs, the Awwwards Conference is certainly not to be missed—and thanks to Adobe Live, you can join along over the next two days!

    » Watch the Awwwards Conference on Adobe Live


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    Industrial designer Eric Strebel uses a self-built rolling camera dolly, his rover as he calls it, to capture footage for his videos. Here he shows you how, using some fabrication tricks shown in earlier videos, he upgraded it with a quick-engage motor mount and created new hubs for new wheels in order to adjust the rover's speed:



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    Introduction

    3D printing materials and manufacturing processes go together hand-with-hand: often choosing a material, also dictates what 3D printing processes are available to use.

    But with such a vast selection of 3D printing material options, how can a designer make an informed decision?

    In this article we present a comprehensive overview of the 3D printing materials currently available in the market. We grouped them together into categories to simplify the selection process and make decision-making more actionable.

    3D Printing Materials

    Let's start with a quick refreshment on Material Science...

    3D printing materials usually come in filament, powder or resin form (depending on the 3D printing processes used). Polymers (plastics) and metals are the two main 3D printing material groups, while other materials (such as ceramics or composites) are also available. Polymers can be broken down further into thermoplastics and thermosets.

    Thermoplastics:

    Thermoplastics can be melted and solidified over and over again, while generally retaining their properties. Both traditional injection molding, as well as the FDM and SLS printing processes, make use of thermoplastics by heating up solid thermoplastic to a malleable state and injecting or extruding it into a die or onto a build platform where it then solidifies.

    Thermoplastics are best suited for functional applications.

    These materials generally have good mechanical properties and high impact, abrasion and chemical resistance. 3D printed engineering thermoplastics (such as Nylon, PEI and ASA) are widely used to produce end-use parts for industrial applications.

    SLS parts have better mechanical properties and higher dimensional accuracy than FDM, but the latter is more economical and has shorter lead times.

    Typical 3D printing thermoplastics:

    SLS:Nylon (PA), TPU

    FDM:PLA, ABS, PETG, Nylon, PEI (ULTEM), ASA, TPU

    A functional bracket with hollow sections printed using SLS in Nylon

    The pyramid below shows the most common thermoplastic materials for 3D printing. As a rule of thumb, the higher up a material is in the pyramid, the better its mechanical properties and the harder it generally is to print with (higher cost):

    Thermosets:

    Unlike thermoplastics, thermosets do not melt. Thermosets in 3D printing typically start as a viscous fluid (resin) and are cured to become solid, via exposure to UV light. Once solid, thermosets cannot be melted and instead will lose structural integrity when subjected to high temperatures.

    Thermosets (resins) are best suited for applications where aesthetics are key.

    These material options produce parts with smooth injection-like surfaces and fine details. Generally, they have high stiffness, but are more brittle than thermoplastics, making them less suitable for functional applications. Speciality resins are available though, that are designed for engineering applications (mimicking the properties of ABS and PP) or dental inserts and implants.

    Material Jetting produces parts with superior dimensional accuracy and generally smoother surfaces than SLA, but at a higher cost. Both processes use similar photocurable acrylic-based resins.

    Typical 3D printing thermosets:

    Material Jetting:Standard resin, Digital ABS, Durable resin (PP-like), Transparent resin, Dental resin

    SLA/DLP:Standard resin, Tough resin (ABS-like), Durable resin (PP-like), Clear resin, Dental resin

    Small bracket 3D printed with Material Jetting
    Ring with intricate details 3D printed in Castable Resin with SLA/DLP

    Polymer Composites

    Both thermoplastic and thermoset polymers can be reinforced with other high strength materials improving their mechanical properties or giving them other unique characteristics.

    For example, SLS powder can be filled with carbon, aluminum, graphite and glass particles increasing their mechanical performance, wear and thermal resistance and stiffness.

    Furthermore, composite parts reinforced with continuous carbon fibers, kevlar fibers or glass fiber can be manufactured through the FDM process, creating plastic components with strength-to-weight ratio comparable to metals.

    Functional joint, 3D printed with FDM in nylon and reinforced with continuous carbon fibers. Courtesy of Markforged

    Many "exotic" filaments, such as woodfill or metalfill PLA, are also available for FDM, resulting in parts with a unique appearance.

    Phone speaker for the Fairphone 2, 3D printed with FDM in woodfill PLA

    SLA resins filled with ceramic powder have improved wear resistance, making them ideal materials for tooling applications (such as 3D printed injection molds).

    Typical composite 3D printing materials:

    SLS: Carbon filled, Glass filled, Mineral filled

    FDM: Carbon filled, Woodfill, Metalfill, Carbon-fiber reinforced, Kevlar-fiber reinforced, Fiberglass reinforced

    SLA/DLP: Ceramic filled

    Metals

    Metal printing allows for high-quality, functional and load bearing parts produced from a variety of metallic powders.

    Metal 3D printed parts have excellent mechanical properties and can operate at wide range of environmental conditions. The freeform capabilities of 3D printing make them ideal for lightweight applications for the aerospace and medical industries.

    DMLS/SLM parts have superior mechanical properties and tolerances over Binder Jetting, but Binder Jetting can be up to 10x cheaper and can produce much larger parts. Low-cost extrusion-based (FDM) metal 3D printing systems are expected for release in 2018.

    Typical 3D printing metals:

    DMLS/SLM: Stainless Steel, Titanium, Aluminum

    Binder Jetting: Stainless Steel (bronze-filled or sintered)

    Metal part 3D printed in aluminium with SLM
    An oil and gas strator printed in stainless steel (bronze-filled) with Binder Jetting. Courtesy of ExOne

    Other materials

    Other materials can also be 3D printed, but have limited applications. These materials include ceramics and sandstone in full-color with Binder Jetting. They generally have poor mechanical properties and are optimized for a single application, such as full-color figurine printing or sand cast manufacturing.

    Other 3D printing materials:

    Binder Jetting:Full-color sandstone, Ceramics

    Large multi-part sand casting assembly 3D printed with Binder Jetting. Courtesy of ExOne

    Compare 3D printing Materials

    The guidelines and tables of this article should already give the reader a basic understanding and reference for choosing the right 3D printing material.

    If you want to view, compare and search for 3D printing materials with specific mechanical or physical properties, the Material Index is the most comprehensive online library of 3D printing materials.

    *****

    3D Hubs is the world's largest network of manufacturing services. With production facilities connected in over 140 countries, the 3D Hubs online platform helps you find the fastest and most price competitive manufacturing solution near you. Founded in 2013, the network has since produced more than 1,000,000 parts locally, making it the global leader in distributed manufacturing.



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    I was thrilled to see that this video made the front page of Digg. It shows craftsman James Wright building a hall table by entirely using hand tools, and relying on joinery alone (no screws, glues or nails) to hold it together. Because Digg posted it, it suggests to me that mainstream audiences are taking an interest in handwork, which I've been immersing myself in.

    Most of us were trained in traditional powered shops at ID school, using table saws, bandsaws, power jointers and the like. So for those unfamiliar with hand tools, I wanted to break down what all of the tools are that Wright's using in this video.

    Here he's using a bow saw, a type of frame saw that allows you to tension the blade by adjusting the cord (blue here) that attaches to the "cheeks" of the saw. While this task could be done with a handsaw, I assume Wright's using the more aggressive bow saw here for the sake of speed.

    Here he's using a handsaw (that's what you call a handled saw that has no stiffening element on the spine, as opposed to a joinery saw) and a saw bench to crosscut a board. Using saw benches is faster and easier than chucking a board up in a vise, particularly with a long board like this. With a saw bench, your knee is the vise and gravity does much of the work for you.

    This vintage combination plane can be fitted with a variety of blades to cut different molding profiles. Here he's using it to cut a bead.

    He then cleans up the fuzzies with a card scraper, also called a cabinet scraper. This is just a rectangle of spring steel with edges that you file and then burnish in order to create a burr sharp enough to shave wood.

    When saws have backs/spines like this, it's because they're used to cut joinery, where straightness is paramount. (In contrast a handsaw is used for rough work and thus needs no back.) This is a tenon saw, meant to cut in the direction of the grain and so the teeth are filed for rip cuts. The teeth are also finer than with a handsaw, so as to produce a smoother surface.

    Using a Japanese ryoba saw to refine the tenon. The ryoba has rip teeth on one side and crosscut teeth on the other. Here he's ripping. Because the saw cuts on the pull stroke, it affords good accuracy without much effort. While I don't care for these saws myself, they are an excellent option for anyone just getting started and/or on a budget. You can do a lot of operations with just this one saw.

    Using a mortise chisel, which is driven by mallet whacks, to chop a mortise. Mortise chisels are stouter than regular bench chisels and some find them easier to use and register against the side walls of the mortise.

    Using a jointer plane to joint the edge. The extremely long sole makes it easy to flatten a surface.

    Using the tenon saw on both the face and edge of a board in order to cut a rabbet (the American bastardization of the English "rebate").

    Using a regular bevel-edge bench chisel to pare a surface down for a perfect fit.

    Using a jack plane--so named because it's the jack-of-all-trades, i.e. versatile--to clean up the edge of a board.

    Using a marking/striking knife to mark fit. Joiners typically use knives rather than pencils for marking as knife lines provide greater precision.

    Using a dovetail saw to cut its namesake joint. Here he's cutting through two boards at once, which is not only faster but makes it easier to ensure you're cutting at 90 degrees relative to the board's face. The fancy scalloped back and toe of the saw are the stylistic trademark of BearKat Wood, a manufacturer that offers handles custom fit to your hand size.

    Chopping out the dovetail waste with a bench chisel driven by mallet taps.

    As you can see, Wright's mallet has more than earned its keep.

    In addition to driving chisels, mallets are used to tap joinery together.

    Using the combination plane again, this time fitted with a blade that cuts a groove into the edge of a board. At bottom left you can see the corresponding blade which will be used to cut a tongue on the edge of another board, then the two will be mated.

    Here he's using a #62 low-angle bevel-up jack plane. This is one of the most versatile handplanes out there. In this case, he's selected it because the low attack angle of the blade is perfect for slicing across tough endgrain, as he's doing here.

    Using a brace and bit to drill holes. It may seem antiquated, but it's actually easier to drill perfectly plumb using a brace than it is using a powered hand drill. Also note the blue tape on the bit; he's using that as a visual depth stop indicator.

    If you look closely within the red circle, you'll see the tongue and groove used to mate these two boards. Since Wright is not using glue, the boards will be held together at the joint with a bowtie. The holes were drilled to make chopping the waste out easier.

    The bowtie is pounded in with a mallet.

    Using a carving gouge on a pattern glued to the board. This is some serious skill right here.

    The tool is obscured by his hand, but here he's using a card scraper to easily get the glued paper off.

    Here he's using an old-school wooden-bodied shoulder or rabbet plane to cut a small rabbet into the bottom-most board. The top board is there to serve as a fence. Everything is held firmly in place by the iron holdfasts. The tall, narrow form factor of handplanes like this makes it easy to keep them perfectly vertical so your joint comes out level and square.

    Using a bench chisel, bevel down, and mallet taps to cut a stopped groove. "Stopped" meaning the groove does not go all the way to the other side of the board. In this case the groove's walls are undercut so that it can accept a sliding dovetail.

    He uses the tenon saw to create kerfs in the waste, making it easier to remove.

    Sliding the dovetail into the groove.

    Using a jack plane to chamfer the underside edges of the tabletop. This is often done to give the tabletop a light, un-chunky appearance while retaining the strength conferred by its actual thickness.

    Using a turning gouge to shape the drawer knob on a lathe.

    Here he uses the dovetail saw to cut a notch into the back of the knob's shaft. Since he is not using any glue…

    …the shaft of the knob is inserted into the hole, then a wedge is driven into the notch. This spreads the shaft halves outwards, keeping the knob firmly lodged.

    Using a brace and bit to drill holes for drawboring. Explaining the genius of drawboring requires its own entry, so stay tuned for that one.

    The tenons are through-tenons, meaning the mortise goes all the way through and the tenon ends protrude. They are chamfered with a chisel. This is a stylistic choice.

    Using a jack plane to shave the drawer sides. Unlike power tool users, hand tool craftspeople usually build drawers to be slightly oversized. Then, after their case piece is assembled, the drawers are shaved down for an absolutely perfect fit.

    He takes a final pass at the drawer face with a card scraper. Used properly, a sharp card scraper will yield a glass-like finish.

    I can't say what type of finish he used, but you can see how it makes the wood sing.

    I hope this has been helpful to those of you who may be getting interested in hand tools. The joy and satisfaction gained by using them to make useful things is something I think everyone should experience, and I'm going to be writing about them more. 

    Also, please don't think that you'd need every tool in this video in order to make furniture or objects. You can really do a lot with just a few tools, and I'll touch on that topic later too. If there's anything in particular you'd like me to cover, please say so in the comments.


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    Bould Design recently announced two very different projects we have our eyes on at the moment: 

    The first is Vestaboard—a multipurpose message board controlled by your smartphone. Instead of changing the letters on your seasonal farm-to-table restaurant's daily menu or your wall of inspirational quotes at the office (no judgement) by hand, now you can just type what you want in Vestaboard's app and let technology do the rest.

    Physically changing message boards like this is labor intensive and time consuming, so in many cases, Vestaboard would actually come in handy. Besides typing out your own messages, the board can also source messages from Slack, Twitter, Google Calendar and more for some office fun—just be careful with who you give access to...

     The movement of the display's individual pieces reminds me of Penn Station's late "big board" (RIP) and is reminiscent of a time not too long ago where split-flap displays reigned supreme. Here's a closer look:

    I'm thinking of pitching this to the employees at the Burger King near my apartment—their outside board has said "try our new chicken parm" for the past two years. Enough is enough.

    Now onto Rylo, an itty-bitty 360º camera with built-in stabilization. This little guy's interface is straightforward and foolproof—the only options are to start and stop recording, and remaining battery level is listed on the small screen. Other than that, there's not much else to worry about besides filming content. 

    Our main interest in the design lies within the dual cameras on either side of the device. The cameras' cooperation allows footage to be captured at all angles with just one shot.

    Built-in stabilization has become a must when it comes to tiny action cameras, and Rylo is no exception. The camera's ability to switch into stabilization mode seems pretty reliable (top video in link is stabilized).

    Once you're done filming, connect Rylo 360 to your phone and edit the footage in the Rylo 360 app. There's no Bluetooth or WiFi connection, which is something to keep in mind when considering the price. This camera is really meant for users who seek simplicity in tech and don't demand flashy features like self-editing apps and instant-uploads to Instagram. And yes, it appears that market is still alive and well.

    Learn more about: Bould Design, Vestaboard and Rylo.


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