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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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    London-based product design firm Special Projects has developed an experimental phone UI that's simultaneously forward- and backward-looking. I mean that figuratively, not literally. The designers focused on the non-intuitive nature of switching between apps, and came up with this Magic UX alternative:

    On the one hand it's undeniably clever. On the other hand, technology has reached the point where I can no longer tell if we're moving forwards or backwards.



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    The last time we looked at a home built inside a former missile silo, it was Matthew and Leigh Ann Fulkerson's "Subterra" home, which was then listed on AirBNB. But the Fulkersons have nothing on developer Larry Hall, who purchased a decommissioned Atlas missile silo in Kansas and converted it into 15 stories' worth of Luxury Survival Condos.

    Take a look inside, and note that many of the condos are already sold:

    I do like how they call it an "undisclosed location" in Kansas, yet if you Google "luxury survival condo" the address pops right up.



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    Paul Kirtley is a professional outdoor skills instructor in the UK. Founder of Frontier Bushcraft, Kirtley teaches wilderness skills and self-reliance to both camping enthusiasts and hardcore survivalists.

    In an old Swedish book, Kirtley uncovered a description of unique type of fire called Nuorssjo, and referred to as den bästa stockelden (literally, "the best logfire") by the Swedes. This type of fire differs from others in both its configuration and its long-lived design; it is intended to be used in deep snow when it's time to get some shuteye, and the way it's constructed provides enduring heat. Check out the technique:

    Kirtley's tip-loaded blog is here, and he's got a dense and informative YouTube channel here.



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    To provide advanced-level professional graphic design solutions that convey information about Metro’s wide ranging programs, projects and services. Leads design teams from concept to completion of small, medium, and large-scale projects including defining design criteria, conducting research, creating team assignments, and schedules, providing design direction and refining presented concepts and designs. Conceptualizes, designs, refines, and produces creative work for Metro’s internal and external clients and/or employs Metro’s existing design standards and templates.

    View the full design job here

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    There's an unfortunate trope that freelancers sit alone in coffee shops all day doing "computer things", like poring over the minuscule details of their work, scrolling through portfolios of fellow creatives for inspiration, or sending cold emails out to people who could potentially offer them their next freelance project. At the end of the day, they return home only to realize they haven't used their voice at all for warm conversation, and all that typing on their computer has been nothing close to personal or meaningful. 

    Here's where Shapr comes in. Shapr is a free networking app that's designed to help creatives—and aspiring creatives—to connect with the right people. If you're a producer looking for freelance DPs, or a photographer hoping to team up with a writer on your next documentary project, chances are you'll be able to find someone on Shapr. 

    The best part is that, unlike LinkedIn where people portray an image of professionalism and success in their headline (think: "seasoned industry professional with track record of boosting business sales"), Shapr takes a more personal approach served with a dash of vulnerability. You don't have to be at the top of your game on Shapr; instead, you should be someone who's working towards something and interested in learning more. When setting up your profile, the app asks you to describe your goals as well as how you can help others. It promotes a caring and sharing community, with no pressure to put your best face forward.

    Shapr is also designed to encourage users to network for a small amount of time every day, instead of in spurts of hours. To make networking a daily habit, users are presented with a maximum of 15 profiles (or double that for a premium account), and then have to come back again the following day day for their next batch of people. The point is that these connections should be meaningful, and not mindless thumb swiping left and right when you're bored. 

    The app also presents a lot more interesting information on each user's profile page to encourage you to take pause, read, click around, and get to know someone. Click on their LinkedIn if you want to learn about their career path. Click on their Instagram if you want to see where they like to go on vacation. The point is that Shapr makes an effort to present a multi-faceted image of a person. 

    If you just matched with an awesome, super inspirational person who's juggling 5 projects that you'd LOVE to be a part of, and you don't know how to start talking to this person, Shapr's got your back. The app takes the awkwardness out of first conversations through a user interface that offers suggestions on conversation starters. Here's an example first liner, short and sweet: "Thanks for swiping right! Are you up for grabbing a coffee?" 

    Another lovely feature is the "How we can meet" portion on everyone's profile. Users can choose up to 4 options, these include: "on a walk," "video call" "breakfast" and "weekends." Alas, no more being afraid of encroaching on personal time by suggesting a weekend rendezvous. Go ahead and have an early morning meetup over croissants right before work, if you know your match is a breakfast person too! 

    If you think that Shapr is not for you because you're not creative or cool, take a pause and listen up. While targeting creative professionals and freelancers, the app is also remarkably popular in other industries as well. In just a few days on Shapr, I've come across lawyers hoping to make a career change, businessmen looking to invest in a new project, executives offering mentorship, and even a health coach who's interested in discussing ideas about how to live a life of wellness and meaning.

    A close friend of mine who has been in the finance industry for the past 6 years recently asked me for some advice. He's hit a stalemate. He wants to branch out, meet new people, and work on a creative project—it's about time for a change! The problem? He doesn't know how to get started doing that. He needs mentors and partners but his social circle is so limited to the same people. My advice to him? Try Shapr! You should too.

    So what are you waiting for? Download Shapr today and get started!


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    One of the main reasons why I don't want a cat (besides being allergic, which is a pretty big reason) is the ugly furniture cats require. I'd rather not invade my apartment with fragrant litter boxes, tan carpeted climbing posts and whatever else cats need so stay content with their indoor lifestyles. 

    My mind is slowly changing, though, thanks to cat furniture and accessories brand Tuft + Paw. Instead of sticking with designs and materials that have sold well for years, Tuft + Paw saw a need for cat furniture that fits in with a modern home. To fill this need, they've designed a full collection of furniture and home items for cats, consisting of beds, shelves, scratching posts, litter boxes and more. Of course, the price points are higher than your typical plastic litter box, so you'll need to carefully consider how much (in dollar amount) your cat's luxury means to you. 

    When asked if there are any special considerations when designing furniture for cats instead of humans, Tuft + Paw's design team responded with the following:

    "Usually when you're designing a product, you start by asking potential users about their problems. Cat furniture presents a unique challenge because we can't actually ask cats what they want, what makes them happy, or the issues they have with current products. The way we solve this is by starting from the ground up and researching basic questions like 'what makes cats happy? why do cats scratch?'.

    We work with cat behaviorists and local shelters to find the answers to these questions so that we can make some calculated design choices. And finally, the most important step is to test our assumptions by creating product prototypes and carefully observing cats use the product before moving forward with production."
    This cat shelf focuses your cat's jumping desires to a single, comfortable place
    This is a litter box
    The front opens up for easy cleaning
    This cat is so cozy it's almost cute
    A scratching post that's more friendly on the eyes than the typical ones you find in pet stores or your grandma's living room
    A subtle, wall-mounted scratching post

    Explore more here.


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    This article was originally published on Makefast Workshop's blog. Check out the original article here

    Note: If you just want to make some midair springs, skip ahead to the G-code generator.

    Most 3D printable parts are designed to limit overhangs to 45 degrees or less. That's because maker-style 3D printers (technically FDM) build each layer from the bottom up, fusing the current layer onto the previous, and if there's nothing below a layer, the plastic will sag (or worse yet, form a glob and potentially ruin your part).

    To get around the overhang limit, parts are often significantly modified (with chamfers to reduce overhangs) or support material is used to hold up sections that extend too far. But neither approach works all the time; sometimes you can't chamfer away the overhangs and/or rely on support material to bail you out.

    Going Midair

    Have you ever noticed that at the end of a print there's sometimes a small thread of plastic that seems to follow the exact path of the extruder after it finishes printing? This is often caused by a little extra filament continuing to flow/ooze as the print head pulls away. The plastic is thin enough to cool as it moves, tracing out the path in midair.

    While those little threads aren't likely to be very useful, we wondered if we could apply that same approach to purposely trace out a 3D contour.

    Note that this isn't something most STL/G-code slicers are going to do for you (yet). Slicers are focused on fusing layers together to create solid parts or shells and don't typically try to extrude filament in midair (with the exception of bridges that are supported on two sides).

    Making Springs

    We figured an extreme test of printing in midair would be to print a coil spring (specifically a helical compression spring).

    Besides some high-end research using metal and lasers and a few one-off demos, midair printing seems rather underexplored -- the perfect opportunity to get hacking!

    After a few quick refreshers on generating custom G-code, we made a short javascript function that traces out the desired 3D path, setting temperature, feedrate, fan speed, etc. along the way.

    It took several iterations to dial in the parameters and sort out what worked/failed. Eventually we were able to consistently produce springs of various sizes and shapes.

    The spring constant is admittedly tiny (i.e. it pushes back very lightly), but it's by far the springiest print we've ever made (incredibly smooth, consistent, and doesn't show any major signs of fatigue after lots of squeezes). And since the coil itself is a single strand, there's no worry of delamination along the coil (as is the case with most 3D printed springs).

    Lessons Learned

    Go with the flow.

    The ideal extrusion flowrate should be pretty close to 1:1 for the distance traveled. 

    Not extruding enough material pulls on the part, deforms it, and sometimes gets too thin or breaks. Extruding too much material causes uncontrollable ripples, sags, or globs if it collides with previous layers.

    Move slooooowly and evenly.

    Plastic takes a significant amount of time to cool (even with the fans on) and that means the print head must move slowly to allow time for the plastic to harden in midair as it goes.

    Many plastics also ooze differently as the feedrate and temperature change, so once the midair section is started (or even slightly before), keep things steady. 

    To give a sense for the time scale, each of the springs shown above took between 3-7 minutes to print (the first few layers are quick, then the midair coils move much more slowly).

    Bubbles Break Things.

    New filament should be dry and unlikely to bubble, but older filaments can have moisture trapped in the plastic that boils and sputters as it gets heated (causing uneven flowrate and weak sections).

    When printing solid parts, small bubbles are usually just a cosmetic concern since other layers can share the load. But with midair printing which leverages a single continuous strand of filament, weak spots caused by bubbles can cause the part to fail.

    Compensate for the extruder's pull.

    As the filament is extruded, it tugs slightly on the existing cooled strand. Near the bottom where the part is well supported this has very little impact, but as the part grows taller the force displaces the strand more (think of it as a vertical end-loaded cantilever beam, with a growing lever arm as the print proceeds).

    This means that the gGcode for a cylindrical coil spring actually flares out slightly near the top to produce a spring that is straight when completed.

    Note that fully modeling the extruder's pull (or even push in the case of over-extruding) is tricky. Prints that only stretch out into midair briefly probably don't need to compensate much, but others (like very tall springs) require it to produce accurate parts.

    Midair Spring G-Code Generator

    Note: To view and experiment with the generator, visit the original article here.


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    Travel needs a lot of planning and organization, but it should still be a magical experience. That's what now is about. As AirBnB transitions to the provider of 'magical trips', now offers a complete adventure for the solo traveler: from booking a home that is safe and verified for solo travelers to finding unique experiences at your travel destination. The hardware called now gear becomes an enabler of the experience. A true integration of physical, digital and experiential spaces to provide a magical trip for every solo traveler.

    View the full project here

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    The sun reaches its highest position at noon, which is presumably why clock faces place the "12" where they do. But London-based design firm Animaro has taken clock design a step further with their Solstice, whose form itself expands and contracts in synchronicity with the sun's position. At noon, the Solstice clock reaches full-size; as it creeps towards 6pm, the clock shrinks with the sun's rays.

    The £395 clock (about USD $513) has successfully been Kickstarted, with $24,038 in pledges on a $32,465 goal at press time. If you want one, there's still 28 days left in the campaign.



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    Who we are: Mijksenaar is a design and consultancy firm specializing in wayfinding, with offices in Amsterdam and New York City. Our primary goal is to connect people and places in a meaningful way. We see every visit, ride and trip as a journey - all of

    View the full design job here

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    Watching things being made in a factory is fun. Fanatical Japanese attention to detail is fun to watch too. In this series of short videos, we get to see both.

    Nestlé Japan has a factory in Ibaraki Prefecture, and this is where the KitKats are made. Here in Part 1 of their factory tour, we get to see their insane safety and cleaning rituals. It starts with mandatory finger-pointing in the parking lot:

    Safety & Hygiene Management and the Chocolate Tank Room

    The Baking Line

    In Part 2 we get to see the freshly-baked wafers, which run through a cooling process that will look familiar to residents of St. Louis. Next they're coated with "sandwich cream," then stacked and processed by robots. I guess they can't show the part that cuts the larger wafers into the smaller blanks* since there appears to be a blade guard over it, but I'd have liked to see that.

    (*To anyone with experience in factories like these, I apologize if "blanks" is not the correct terminology; my school didn't have a Candy Bar Production Methods class where I'd have learned the appropriate nomenclature.)

    The Molding Line

    Part 3 is where the wafers are added, by robots, to the chocolate-filled molds. I'm a little bummed that they don't show the actual part ejection step:

    The Packaging Line

    Part 4 is where everything gets wrapped up, literally. Pretty cool to see the automatic box-folding and loading:

    In that final longshot of the factory, I'm surprised there are as many cars and parking spaces as there are; you don't see any humans during the highly automated production process. I suspect that K. Kohno and H. Matsumoto are either taste testers or robot service technicians.



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    Have a look at this "1980 Chevy Corvette Four Door [That] Can't Be Unseen," which is currently being sold for a whopping $217,203.

    Yes, it's got four doors. How did this monstrosity come to be? Interestingly, Super Chevy reports that:

    "Chevrolet had actually planned on making this family minded sports car at a rate of 40 per year, and to call it 'Corvette America.' It was designed by California Custom Coach in Pasadena. The one prototype and five production cars that were assembled were built by cutting two cars in half which, when mated together, extended the wheelbase of the vehicle by 30 inches."

    Obviously, response was muted and the car never saw production.

    Four doors. Four T-tops. Zero taste.


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    From the top: Paring Chisel, Ashley Iles Beveled Edge Bench Chisel, 2 more paring chisels, 2" Ashley Iles Bench Chisel, 2 Nishiki extra thin paring chisels, and a Registered Chisel.

    When a tool maker or seller talks about paring chisels, we don't mean chisels that can be used for paring: Almost any chisel can be used for paring. Rather, we are referring to chisels that were designed to making accurate paring easy.

    Paring is a chisel operation in which the chisel is used to shave precise amounts of wood from the work. The goal here is control - otherwise any chisel and a mallet can do the work. There are three important features of a paring chisel:

    A handle not designed for mallets. Of the paring chisel's three features, this one is the least distinctive. To enhance control, paring chisels typically have handles designed to be pushed - thin, long, and graceful - rather than the big and possibly hooped handles that are designed to be struck. Thin handles also put the weight of the chisel at the cutting edge so that the tool is easier to maneuver.

    Length. This is the paring chisel's second most important feature. Human hands aren't perfectly steady, especially when trying to push a chisel into resistance. But by making a paring chisel very long, the natural side-to-side movement of the hand's impact is minimized at the cut. And the benefit of the long length is that you can easily sight the chisel to make sure it is at the correct angle to the work.

    Low Cutting Angle. This is probably the most important feature. The lower the cutting angle, the lower the forces needed to advance the chisel in the wood. This means more control -- and also less of a need for a mallet. While bench chisels are usually set at 25 degrees from the factory, and Japanese chisels at 30-35 degrees, Western paring chisel show up at 20 degrees -- or even less. This translates to an edge that is very fragile but possessing a superb cutting ability. It's why shaving razors are ground at such a low angle as well.

    Of course the low angle doesn't work if the steel can't take the low angle. So the best paring chisels are all made of simple carbon steel, hand- or drop-forged for better performance. A wider chisel takes more effort to push through wood than a narrower chisel does, so the wider the paring chisel, the more important it is to have a low primary bevel angle and a blisteringly sharp edge. Last week I experienced the fragility of the sharp edge when I used the wide I Sorby paring chisel in the photo above and I accidentally knocked the edge against something (not very hard). The edge distorted. I stropped it, but it really needs to go back to the stone.

    Beautiful octagonal bolsters.

    Up to the 1970's, paring chisels were mostly used by pattern makers for careful final dimensioning of a wooden pattern that would be used for metal casting. The best paring chisels on the market were officially called "Patternmaker's paring chisels" because those were the longest. They were also very thin and slightly flexible so that you could "English" them as you applied hand pressure.

    Of course, English toolmakers were not the only ones to manufacture paring chisels. In the US, Stanley made a longer version of their iconic 750 chisels. The Stanley 720 series was their "paring chisel," and while not nearly as thin or as long as the English versions, the 720 comes out of the American millwright's chisel tradition and is typical of the paring chisels made by all the American makers.

    Japanese paring chisels have the same long length, but the length is in the handle, not the blade. They are stiffer -- and to my taste less desirable -- but that's very much a personal preference. Millions of woodworkers would disagree with my preference. In reality, Japanese paring chisels are perfect for the precise joinery that Japanese woodworking is known for.

    Left: Nishiki. Right: English I. Sorby.

    We stock Japanese paring chisels by both Nishiki and Iyori. The former are superb, thin, easy to sharpen, and hold an edge. The Iyori chisels have a triangular section that makes them stiffer, but also easier and less expensive to make.

    Back to English paring chisels. When shopping for them, look for beveled sides, not straight sides. Straight-sided chisels are known as "registered chisels." Registered chisels don't have the finesse you would want in a paring chisel. They're typically thicker and are more suited to larger work in timber framing.

    Older English paring chisels have nice wide bevels -- more elegant and able to get into corners more easily. Sadly, those dating from the 1980s and beyond just have token beveling at the side and frankly don't pass muster with me. The reason we do not stock any Western paring chisels is that as far as we know nobody is currently making anything that I would consider worth owning.

    Older paring chisels have nice octagonal bolsters, which were hand-forged, ground, and harder to make than round bolsters. Boxwood handles were the traditional material for paring chisels. Boxwood is brittle so it doesn't like being struck, but finishes up nicely and has a great feel to it. Incidentally, the traditional way of fitting boxwood handles was having a snug but not pressure fit on the tang, and attaching the tang with a bit of rosin poured in the hole. Both of these features are nice to have, but not requirements.

    Because paring chisels are long, thin, and have bevels, they are hellish to make and require the highest skill level of any chisel. Stanley and others solved the manufacturing issues by making the chisels fatter -- at the expensive of performance. The basic problem is that the chisel forge has to forge a long thin straight blank, which is hard to do, and compensate for warping during hardening. After hardening, the chisels have to be made straight again, only to curl up as the side bevels are ground in. It's a no-win situation requiring great skill in forging and grinding. Ray Iles told me that by the 1970's Ashley Iles was forging large quantities of paring chisels, and one of Ray's jobs as a youth was bringing the paring chisel blanks to the one guy left in Sheffield who ground paring chisels for all the edge tool makers.

    According to contemporary catalogs, English paring chisels were made in widths from 1/8" to 2". I have never even heard of an 1/8" paring chisel, so it's possible it's wasn't a practical size and was never really manufactured. For me, larger sizes -- 1 1/4" - 2" -- are the ones that get the most use, but since I am not a patternmaker, nor a Japanese temple builder, the main use I have for them is paring a mortise to a scribe line after chopping, and occasionally trimming a surface. For paring the odd fat dovetail joint, I use my regular bench chisels. Instrument makers also love paring chisels for the precise formation of wooden parts. With that in mind, what I recommend is that if you see some wide English paring chisels, in decent shape, that are fairly long, snap them up. But don't lose sleep if they seem elusive.

    From the top: Paring Chisel, Brand New Stanley 720, Nearly new Stanley 750.

    P.S. We expect to get a shipment soon of Ashley Iles beveled edge chisels with the wide 2" size back in stock. Uber long paring chisels might be a discretionary purchase but I think wider bench chisels are very useful. While you might not use them every day, having wider (1 1/2" or 2") bench chisels, are especially useful for cutting clean joints at a scribe line or cutting wide base between pins on a dovetail joint. As with paring chisels, with wide chisels of any kind, a low angle, and keeping them uber sharp will make them much easier to use and get the results you want.

    ___________________

    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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    The Alexaphone is a fusion between the beautiful, architectural telephones of the past and the voice interfaces of the present. We love the style and craftsmanship of old telephones and wanted to give them new life, while simultaneously modifying modern tech to be more user-protective. The Alexaphones are also a critique on the tradeoff of convenience over privacy; the microphone is physically disconnected until you've picked up the handset.

    We try to modify the original telephones as little as possible. We see the reviving process of each Alexaphone as a unique piece of art, requiring hours of repair, reconstruction, and creative engineering. They retain a weight and presence that we rarely experience in our modern, cost-optimized lives.

    With the Alexaphone, you interact with Alexa through an interface that feels fundamentally human. It is a higher quality experience that also invites us to question our relationship with machines that can, at times, feel alive.

    View the full project here

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    Brought to you by MAKO Design + Invent, North America's leading design firm for taking your product idea from a sketch on a napkin to store shelves. Download Mako's Invention Guide for free here.

    Navigating the world of crowdfunding can be overwhelming, to put it lightly. Which projects are worth backing? Where's the filter to weed out the hundreds of useless smart devices? To make the process less frustrating, we scour the various online crowdfunding platforms to put together a weekly roundup of our favorite campaigns for your viewing (and spending!) pleasure. Go ahead, free your disposable income:

    ONDU III is a wooden pinhole camera that will help you slow things down, focus on only the features that are truly necessary during the photography process, and learn about the properties of light in a new way. To put things in perspective, ONDU III is sans lens, focus, mirror and batteries.   

    Only a couple of hours left to support The New Bauhaus, a documentary film about how László Moholy-Nagy brought the Bauhaus movement to Chicago. The film is already fully backed, but there's no harm in pledging a little extra for the love of design.

    Curious about the weighted blanket trend? Reviv is a good place to start. The simply-designed bamboo blanket comes in various weights, colors and sizes to fit your coziness needs. Sit back, relax and feel like you're being hugged—all of the time.

    Crave was the first company to crowdfund a vibrator, and we're excited to see they're back with a new campaign. The Pocket Vibe from Crave features three interchangeable silicone caps and is made from high quality metal, which provides a more intense vibration than typical plastic or silicone vibrator. 

    Wowstick is a 56-bit electric screwdriver designed to look and feel like a pen. The starter pack comes with 20 bits, and if you want to be even more overwhelmed with tool options, you can up your backer level. 

    Well, UNOBRUSH is certainly one of the more interesting campaigns we've seen. But does it really brush your teeth in 6 seconds? Who knows.

    Do you need help designing, developing, patenting, manufacturing, and/or selling YOUR product idea? MAKO Design + Invent is a one-stop-shop specifically for inventors / startups / small businesses. Click HERE for a free confidential product consultation.


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    Core77 discussion boards moderator PackageID (Justin Coble) recently posted an interesting (and likely relatable for many of you) request on the boards:

    "I am about to start a new gig, and I will be split between working in the office and at home. I have never really been a working from home kind of person, so I need to set up a home studio. I have planned to take over my basement and wanted to reach out to all of you out there that have home studios to see what you would say are the 'must haves' when it comes to being productive, comfortable, and inspired. 
    I will be doing service/UX design work. My plans are to of course have a large desk/workspace, plenty of gator board for post-its and area to pin things up. And have installed new lighting to make the space nice and bright. Any info you can shoot my way would be super helpful and much appreciated. Pictures would also be awesome."
    By David Sipress for New Yorker

    The responses to PackageID's question have been pretty unanimous so far. The overall consensus is that when working from home, it's important to distinguish between "work" and "home", even if there is no physical difference. For example, discussion board administrator yo (Michael DiTullo) chimed in with the following response: 

    One of my good friends has been running a small design studio from home for about 15 years. One tip he taught me was that you still need a "commute". For him it is a 10 minute bike ride to a coffee shop that is further away. When he comes back he is "at work".

    My other recommendation is a good HiFi! I'm biased here based on my last gig but one of the coolest things about working from home is you can crank the stereo and get lost in the work.

    I'd also recommend getting some big gator board sheets (usually come in 3'x6' or 8' I think) so you can pin stuff up and move it all around easily.

    Moderator NURB (Chris Haar) added to yo's advice, mentioning that it's also important to separate your workspace from the rest of your living space to maintain your productivity and sanity:

    A strict work schedule, and a way to close yourself off from the rest of your house. I find working from home to be very distracting if I can't do it at a certain schedule, and if I can't eliminate the other distractions (house projects, family members, etc.)

    Also, if you're really going to take over your whole basement for actual work, keep tabs on exactly what you do down there. If you are hoping to expense some of the cost of having a home office talk to a tax accountant about how to go about it properly.

    Some contributors even included photos of their spaces to support their advice, like rkuchinsky who makes a strong case for good furniture. We see you with your Eames Lounge  and Ottoman!

    I've been working from my loft for 11 years. Just recently moved into a house and moved the "office" along with it. Here's my thoughts-

    1. Storage. Never enough storage for papers, samples, supplies, books, etc. Built out a 3x set of Ikea Pax + had a custom set of Rakks Aluminum bookshelves in the loft and still had to sometimes find places to hide things or store samples off site at the old loft. Vintage Herman Miller vertical filing was the best (also had vertical files in the vintage HM desk)...New room in the house has less immediate storage, but there is overall more room in the house.

    2. Good furniture! One of the best things working from home/for yourself is you can pick all the furniture. No more having to make due with crappy task chairs, beige desks and standard looking stuff. In my loft, the workspace was part of the open concept 1400sf loft so everything aesthetically blended. You are more likely to want to "go" to work if work is a nice looking place!

    3. Change in perspective. Your work area should be only for work, not double duty for living room, etc. My last loft office was technically part of the same room, but out of the way and faced a different direction. Also had the pot lights wired on a separate circuit so I could turn off the work area lights when I was done for the day.

    Do you have any tips for how to create the most productive work environment at home? Suggestions and photos are welcome in the comment thread below or over on the original discussion board!


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    A LITTLE ABOUT US Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive

    View the full design job here

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    At a local antiques market I spotted this table. While the design initially appears unremarkable, something that jumps out at you is that the top appears to be in much worse shape than the base. While the latter is clean and features straight components, the former is both battered and warped.

    The proprietor noticed my curiosity and came over to explain the table's design. She showed me these two handles sitting off to the side.

    Then she invited me to crouch down besides the table. As she pointed out, the top and the base are actually separate. The tabletops are affixed to battens that are placed outside of the aprons. Two handles on each side (in the photo here one handle is present, the other removed) slide through holes in both the batten and the base to affix the tabletop.

    "This is what a farmer and his family would use to slaughter pigs on," she explained. The drawers at front would hold butchering tools. Slaughtering pigs is a messy business, and afterwards the tabletop could be hoisted off, toted down to the creek and washed off.

    Upon reflection, I think it's likely this isn't even the original top. The farmer could, and probably did, replace it with a fresh one when the previous one became too worn. I call this a smart design.


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    Last week's ID tips video about the Backpack Hanger Mockup Build is doing steady traffic, and this week industrial designer Eric Strebel's back with a rundown of the attendant marker sketching process. "This is part of the industrial design product development process that you would go though to develop a new consumer product," he writes. Follow along as he covers his rendering procedure from start to finish:




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