Articles on this Page
- 12/26/18--15:19: _2018 Most Interesti...
- 12/26/18--15:19: _2018 Most Interesti...
- 12/26/18--15:19: _Tools & Craft #...
- 12/26/18--15:19: _Steven M. Johnson's...
- 12/26/18--15:19: _Reader Submitted: W...
- 12/27/18--13:37: _Design Job: We R Xh...
- 12/27/18--13:37: _Our Favorite Transp...
- 12/27/18--13:37: _Design Job: Dust of...
- 12/27/18--13:37: _2018 Most Interesti...
- 12/27/18--13:37: _Reader Submitted: F...
- 12/27/18--13:37: _2018's Free Resourc...
- 12/27/18--13:37: _2018's Best of Cool...
- 12/27/18--13:37: _Currently Crowdfund...
- 12/28/18--06:22: _Design Job: Manna I...
- 12/28/18--12:45: _The Best Process Po...
- 12/28/18--12:45: _2018's Best of Cool...
- 12/28/18--12:45: _Our Favorite Interv...
- 12/28/18--12:45: _2018 Best of Visual...
- 12/31/18--07:24: _2018's Best Design-...
- 12/31/18--07:24: _Design Job: Pixel a...
- 12/26/18--15:19: Tools & Craft #121: The Future of Furniture, Part 3 - Information
- 12/27/18--13:37: Our Favorite Transportation Posts from 2018
- 12/27/18--13:37: 2018 Most Interesting Architectural Solutions
- 12/27/18--13:37: 2018's Free Resources for Designers
- 12/27/18--13:37: 2018's Best of Cool Tools, Part 1: Powered
- 12/28/18--12:45: The Best Process Porn Videos of 2018
- 12/28/18--12:45: 2018's Best of Cool Tools, Part 2: Unpowered
- 12/28/18--12:45: Our Favorite Interviews with Designers and Creatives in 2018
- 12/28/18--12:45: 2018 Best of Visual Phenomena
- 12/31/18--07:24: 2018's Best Design-Related Anecdotes to Tell at a Cocktail Party
Even the most innovative in-house car design studio is still part of a corporation, so there's only so crazy they can get before the accountants start reigning them up. Aftermarket manufacturers, however, have considerably more leeway to innovate. Here are some of the most interesting aftermarket car design features and add-ons we saw this year.
German company Volkner's sports-car-deploying mobile home feature lets you continue to flee your troubles, ad infinitum.
If you want to sleep on the road but can't afford a mobile home, there are more budget ways to accomplish in-vehicle snoozing.
Of course, if you're so keen to sleep in your car, you're probably some kind of fugitive from the law. In which case you'd better watch out for this police vehicle add-on that brings car chases to a swift halt.
For motorists in snowy climes who are tired of clearing off their cars, check out Lanmodo's self-deploying umbrella for your car.
If you need a boost to access your vehicle's roof rack or truck bed, here's a variety of add-on step products on the market.
Got a 2WD car, but covet all-wheel functionality? Orbis created these hubless electric wheels that let you turn your 2WD car into 4WD.
If you've already got 4WD yet still find yourself getting mired, here's a simple, portable object that easily frees your stuck car.
But if that device doesn't cut it, you may have to resort to more extreme measures, like this.
Speaking of extreme measures: We don't recommend this at all, but it turns out that making a spare tire by wrapping duct tape around a bare rim actually works.
Most sensible corporations understand that if designers aren't allowed to have a little fun once in a while, they'll become unhappy and unproductive. Here are the most interesting automotive innovations we saw this year from in-house design teams.
GMC's design team came up with this six-function MultiPro Tailgate for pickup trucks.
Toyota came up with a full-size pizza delivery pickup truck that makes the pies in transit.
Volkswagen's designers got to splash out with their California Camper Van, loading it up with utilitarian design features.
Lincoln announced that they're bringing back suicide doors for the Continental next year.
Here's one you didn't see coming: For safety's sake, Jaguar's designers are adding googly eyes to autonomous vehicles.
There were a lot of unusual design decisions made for Rivian's electric pickup truck.
Speaking of electric pickups, with their forthcoming B2 model Bollinger Motors re-thinks what a work truck should be.
On the day after March 31st, Lexus unveiled their new Genetic Select prescription-vision windshields and DNA-based ignition systems.
In June we learned that Carnegie Mellon University's National Robotics Engineering Center has, quite literally, reinvented the wheel.
Volkswagen buyers in Europe have the option of adding this super cool, flip-out hidden trailer hitch.
Of course, sometimes when you're towing a trailer you'll need to back up, a tricky process. Thus VW's designers also came up with this trailer assist system.
If you've got a late-model car, the engine noises you hear may not be real. That's because cars are now so well built that manufacturers pipe in fake engine sounds. You can listen to some of them here.
Lastly, some…disturbing images of an ill-fated auto design. Once upon a time, GM tried making a four-door 1980 Corvette by cutting two of them in half and sticking them back together.
Thirty years ago it was fairly common for students to have classes in some sort of craft in high school. Arts 'n' crafts for younger kids, and as kids got older, probably home ec for the girls and shop for the boys (and all three for the lucky minority). This probably included woodworking instruction. This experience meant, among other things, that the idea of making something wasn't alien or a big reach. Nowadays Steiner/Waldorf schools continue to teach craft, but by and large most public and private schools don't. The underlying reasons are varied, but crafts courses of all kinds have disappeared from schools, and consequently most young people start out totally disconnected with the maker world.
And thirty years ago if you had the urge to make something and your friend-relative-teacher-neighbor couldn't help you, the only information available was through a half dozen national magazines like Popular Mechanics, Popular Woodworking, and Fine Woodworking. Specialty and niche publications existed, but the smaller magazines did not have a ready access to distribution and they took some looking to find. The larger magazines functioned as a introduction to setting up a full shop and doing mainstream projects. Of course they all tackled projects with specialty techniques, but the magazines were generalists in orientation. If you had the urge to get more involved in a specific area of woodworking, the magazines were where you could find out about other smaller specialty magazine, woodworking clubs, and of course classes.
I remember that one of the appeals of Fine Woodworking when it first came out in 1975 was that it addressed niches (see table of contents in the photo above). While the other mainstream magazines of the day were focused on how to build practical furniture, mostly in neo-colonial or Shaker style, Fine Woodworking's interest and focus was about traditional techniques that were still being practiced, and how you could do them too. Of course, over the years what was unusual at the time has become usual, with the result that someone whose says their hobby is "woodworking" can mean anything from building simple pieces, fancy bentwood, to carvings, turnings, or all sorts of complications.
Then along came the internet!
We aren't going back to the old way. Someone with the urge to make something can totally bypass the traditional furniture route. We meet a lot of turners, spoon makers, carvers, and chair makers, some of whom have branched out or will branch out to other types of woodworking. For most of them, the traditional path never comes up. The internet has made resources - the knowledge, the community of clubs, both in-person and virtual, the tools themselves - accessible with limited gate keeping.
In the pre-Internet days, information about a new group, a new toolmaker, a new source of tools and equipment might take years to circulate - sometimes too late, if the new thing folded before getting sustainable amount of support. Today this is not the case. This access to information will be what enables all sorts of woodworking to continue.
All this information affects the type of woodworking people will do because the leap for someone who has never had a shop class to invest in a table saw, a jointer, a planer, etc. is pretty large. But the leap to a local class, or following instructions on the Internet to build something, or find out about and then going to a club meeting is pretty small. I see a future where people satisfy their urge for woodworking by finding and participating in any of the less capital-intensive niches. And I am sure those niches will survive and prosper.
What is less secure is full sized furniture construction. I am pretty sure the high-end will survive but I am a little more worried about the weekend warrior. It's hard to convince someone to deck out a workshop if all they want to make is a bookcase. In another chapter I will discuss a plan for making simple projects simpler than ever, with minimal needs for the workshop. I have genuine enthusiasm for a new approach to casework that is becoming very common among professionals in New York City and will soon be readily accessible to amateurs.
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.
Overcoming the technical challenges of developing a domestic robot requires nothing short of symphonic integration. These challenges have kept home robots out of reach...until now. We are finally at a nexus where technology, design and cost have aligned to present an opportunity.
A Designer at WRX must: -Meet with clients to interpret needs and create concepts to fit their needs -Ideate 2D designs which develop into full-color 3D rendering, to provide the client with a clear model of the future design -Develop concepts and designs to beView the full design job here
The field of transportation covers a lot of ground, and offers a lot of opportunity for designers. Technology, manufacturing, concepts, classic styling, craftsmanship and stunning visuals are just a few of the aspects up for debate and discussion. The impact of transportation on the environment adds a level of urgency as well, ensuring that the level of innovation in this industry will continue at breakneck pace through the future. Here are a few stories that caught our eye through the year, a compelling mix of old and new, high- and low-tech, that will keep you moving.
NeoMam Studios took the time to design and render a series of concept cars that speculate on a world where competing car brands join forces to create mash-up vehicles that incorporate the styling cues from each brand. The results are as awesome as you'd expect.
We took a look at Volkswagen's new California Camper Van, and the cleverly designed features and accessories that go with it. Mobile living here we come.
Ring-Drive wheels from Orbis can turn any car into a hybrid, AWD vehicle. All while using one of the design worlds most polarizing objects, the hubless wheel. Love it? Hate it? You decide.
While we're on the subject, if your new, or current, two-wheel or four-wheel drive vehicle gets stuck, the Grabber Traction Device easily adds the tooth your tire needs to get out.
The Revolve folding wheel project, designed by Andrea Mocellin, takes a standard 700c bike wheel and allows it to collapse into a small object that can be easily transported and stored. The design of the wheel has a unique aesthetic, and opens up new opportunities for collapsable bike design.
Back in March we caught up with Robert Bollinger and he detailed some of the design process behind his new electric sport utility truck. The dual-tailgated vehicle opens at both ends to allow a full tunnel through the body, opening up a world of transportation options.
It's no secret that designers love Porsches. It's also no secret that most of us will never be able to afford one, and certainly not one of the rare vehicles sold at a 70th Anniversary Auction in October. So instead of driving a million dollar+ car, you can have the pleasure of downloading a PDF of the catalogue and keep dreaming.
Coming back to reality, our intrepid editor took a designer's eye to a more realistic vehicle, the Subaru Forester, and was not happy with what he found.
For NYCxDesign in May, frog teamed up with Art Start and invited members of the NYC design community to design and create skateboards, which were then auctioned to raise funds for Art Start. The results did not disappoint!
The Driven concept bike drive train system, created by CeramicSpeed in conjunction with the University of Colorado's Mechanical Engineering Department, shows how hard it is to replace the traditional chain and derailleur system we've been using for 100+ years. But it looks cool.
Finally, for those of you not lucky enough to make it to the North American Hand Made Bike Show, we went in your place and took a bunch of photos for your enjoyment.
3M is driving creativity and design as a competitive platform for innovation and brand globally to enhance design-driven solutions for people and the world. We are looking for a Senior Industrial Designer for our Health Care Business Group to enhance the design function at the 3M Design Center, located inView the full design job here
This year a bunch of fascinating architecture came up on our screens--but not all of it was modern. We'll start this entry off by going back to ancient times, then work our way up to the new stuff.
Creative director Przemyslaw Sobiecki and architect Maja Wronska looked at some of the world's most famous ancient ruins, then created animated renderings to show you what they looked like in their original glory:
In the 1400s, a very clever non-architect figured out how to erect the world's largest dome:
This year we took a trip out to L.A., and got to see some crazy, not-for-the-acrophobic cantilevered houses built in the 1950s by architect Harry Gesner:
Also in the 1950s, Frank Lloyd Wright designed a pre-Guggenheim spiral house for his son. It went up for sale this year:
A popular non-residential structure in the 1950s was the nuclear missile silo. This couple bought a decommissioned one--and transformed it into an AirBNB rental:
Decommissioned silos aside, plenty of folks are still worried about nuclear war or other global disasters. Rich folks can wait out the apocalypse in style, as evinced by these floorplans and video walkthrough of luxury underground bomb shelters:
Assuming we are spared the apocalypse, the trend of more people moving to cities will continue, meaning more people will be living with roommates. This year Muji showed off their shared apartment concept of featuring cantilevered wooden caves for bedrooms:
This quirky automotive engineer figured out how to build a perfectly spherical structure for his freestanding home office:
An architect with no place to park his car devised a way to transform a bedroom into a hidden garage:
We got to see an incredible mega-library in China, with one feature that the architects were denied:
Yves Béhar wandered into the architecture lane, designing this customizable system for tiny homes:
This architect quit designing buildings and started designing cakes, with visually stunning and presumably delicious results:
McMansion Hell had a hell of a time critting up Betsy DeVos' 22,000-square-foot summer home:
And speaking of parodies, here's a video on what architects actually do.
Five Machines is an exploration of an alternative narrative of the existence of machines in our life. Through building 5 machines with different intents and behaviors, the project attempts to propose a new human-machine relationship.
Design tools can be expensive, so the prudent designer takes advantage of every free resource available. Here's a bunch of no-cost tools and archives we found in 2018:
If you've got any more, let us know in the comments!
Rather than cover the shop and homeowner tools that most of you already know, this time we're going to focus primarily on the unusual specialty tools you've probably never heard of.
Getting right up to the edge of obstacles with a lawnmower is slow and often requires multiple passes. So this amazing German lawnmower attachment that cuts around poles and fenceposts looks pretty goshdarned amazing.
Another incredible landscaping tool: This Italian machine cuts perfectly spherical shrubs!
These two enterprising farmhands invented a brilliant repair machine that straightens old fenceposts.
Here's a high-tech tool for firefighters: The Pyrolance, a handheld waterjet cutter.
An Australian engineer came up with a brilliant tool that makes removing notoriously difficult parts a quick, easy process.
Production line time: Check out the overhead automatic screwdrivers that factory workers use.
Festool came up with this clever Bluetooth system for triggering your vacuum from the nozzle end of the hose.
Invented by students, the Rhino Rotary Hammer Attachment makes short work of masonry repointing.
Check out what you can do with some sheet metal and a beading machine.
In a blackout, what's handier than a flashlight? This Panasonic flashlight, which can use whatever size battery you happen to have on hand.
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:
If you're a photographer that wants to experiment with photographing the night skies, NANO1 is your tiniest, most portable option out there. Capture away!
What do you get when you combine a smart air monitor with a powerful air purifier? Wynd Halo! The Halo monitor tells the purifier exactly how much to clean after detecting something funky, making this a thorough and discreet way to keep your air fresh at home.
If you've had the chance to watch RAMS, you're probably wanting a bonsai tree of your own to majestically trim in your garden (or apartment). This Water Flowing Bonsai Kit will give you the upper hand on Dieter, as it incorporates flowing water into the ecosystem. So, not only does it look beautiful, but it also sounds beautiful.
We've noticed some of our past favorite projects making their way onto Japanese crowdfunding platforms lately, one of them being Loop. These stylish alternatives to traditional earplugs make protecting your ears during concerts and other events a little less of a drag.
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.
As we continue to grow we are looking to expand our design team! Manna is looking for a passionate, talented graphic/packaging designer with experience working on consumer product packaging to join our team in the heart of NYC's fashion district. We are known for our trend forwardView the full design job here
Another year, another accompanying swarm of soothing process videos provided by the Internet to help us swallow the insanity that was 2018—and at Core77, one of our greatest pastimes is stockpiling the most satisfying of these videos we can find. This year, despite a very unfortunate Instagram hacking on our @core77 account that deleted all of our past videos (sad, we know), we set out to once again deliver on our promise to find the best of #processporn to share with our friends on Instagram. It's that time of year again to pick the best and the brightest of what we discovered. So take a moment to yourself and enjoy some of this design magic:
This ceramic stamper was a huge hit on our account this year for obvious reasons (original source unknown, but found via World of Engineering)
This string trick lands a little more in the realm of life hack than design #processporn, but hoo-boy, did our Instagram friends find it satisfying (via Reddit).
I could just watch this lathe make ball after ball until that thing can lathe no more.
Watching this gabion basket weaving video is pretty much a hypnosis tool for designers (video by ssmesh9 on YouTube).
Watching thermoforming will never get old to us—and this video of thermoformed luggage is by no means an exception!
This video by @measuredworkshop is maker eye candy—not only do you get a video demonstrating how to do a flush curve in plywood, but it's also expertly documented.
Ever wondered what it takes to make one of those holiday cookie cutters? Well, I have good news for you: now you no longer have to and it's mesmerizing (via @otbp_cookiecutters).
While many of you agreed that this process is a little too tedious for tile-making, many simultaneously found it very hard to argue that watching it isn't satisfying AF.
The sound and visuals of this ceramic scraping process by @abe_haruya make this video ASMR perfection.
If you are not already following pastry chef Amaury Gichon on Instagram, do yourself a favor and follow now—this video of him making a chocolate gramophone (Yes, a GRAMOPHONE) is an excellent demonstration of his unfathomable construction skills.
The process of fiberglass molding is pretty dated, and yes, not very sustainable or safe...but there's something about watching a fibrous sheet turn into a finished chair that is oh-so-fascinating.
And finally, some culinary #processporn that's an excellent life hack for anyone who's a fanatic for noodles.
If you haven't already, go ahead and follow our Instagram and wait for the never-ending supply of satisfying #processporn to come your way.
There should be a word for this in German: That particular joy you experience when, after suffering for a long time with the wrong tool for the job, you finally acquire the right tool for the job. It's even more satisfying when you didn't even know this wondrous right tool existed.
Here are some tools you may not have heard of, that are all vast improvements over the conventional way of doing things.
In the video linked here, master carpenter Matt Jackson demonstrates an old-school goodie, the slide hammer nail puller.
Another old-school tool is this ingenious, spinning implement for cutting accurate, repeatable inlays.
Michael David Young might have three names, like a serial killer, but he's actually an industrial designer who invented this brilliant nail-dispensing hammer.
Greenlee's ratcheting PVC Pipe Cutter provides clean, quick cuts and tool-less blade changes.
The Paperpot Transplanter isn't a singular tool, but an entire system invented in Japan that makes farming way easier.
Another outdoor tool that makes a big difference: LogOX's brilliant 3-in-1 back-saving forestry multitool.
If you need to lift something heavy, like a riding mower, by yourself, here are two different approaches to the problem: The MoJack and the Jungle Jack.
Sheetrock isn't terribly heavy, but it's darn unwieldy. For the lone worker trying get it up onto a ceiling without a panel lift, this hanger invention from the UK fits the bill nicely.
For studio-bound designers cutting foamcore for modelmaking, this new Perfect Cut tool, which lets you cut at precise angles, is the mutt's nuts.
Need to draw a perfect ellipse on a piece of material? Traditional furniture makers used to accomplish this task with this nifty wooden ellipse jig.
While not a tool in its own right, the simple addition of a bendy straw to a can of WD-40 makes it way easier to spray the stuff into tricky places.
This year we got to sit down (and Skype down) with some incredible creatives. We were interested in not only what these people do, but what their thinking process is and how they gained their current positions. Here's a rundown of our favorite interviews from this year on these topics and more.
The story of how the successful industrial designer climbed multiple ladders to wind up principal of his own design firm. "Sometimes young students talk to me about making like a five-year plan, and I would say "Fuck that, make a 20-year plan."
How he overcame the setbacks that all designers face. He also reveals his exit plan: "Death."
Ward may be one of the most obsessive and perfectionist designers we've ever met. He's also a polymath who's just as comfortable with engineering as with design. In Part 1 of our chat with him, he tells us how and why Ward does what he does, what makes Icon viable, how digital tools and CAD figure into his process and more.
Continuing our interview, we discuss durability, longevity, future-proofing, on-the-job headaches and pay-offs, what the current auto industry's missing, what Icon's working on next and more.
Author, designer, furniture maker and researcher (among other things) Schwarz chats with us about inspiration, why some of the best solutions come from the past rather than the future, secrecy vs. openness, workbenches, people who have inspired him and more.
Here Schwarz shares his thoughts on using tools, making tools, furniture design philosophy, photography, anarchy, anti-consumerism and more.
Here industrial designer Oliver Seil, Belkin's VP of Design, gives us an unprecedented behind-the-scenes look at how one of their hit products came to be.
Design vs. Engineering: Q&A With a Mechanical Engineer on What It's Like to Work With Industrial Designers
Here David Kleeman, Belkin's Director of Mechanical Engineering, dishes on what it's like working with us ID'ers.
Lastly, while we were at Belkin we quizzed various staffers on what had made them choose the ID path, and how they got to where they are.
Eye candy means different things to different people. To us, it means photos and videos of unusual objects, interiors and phenomena. We'll take a vintage Soviet control room over a carefully-curated Dwell magazine interior any day. Here's the best of what we saw in 2018:
Need more eye-catching videos? Check out our Best Process Porn Videos of 2018.
Tonight at midnight you'll be drunk and reveling, but at some earlier point in the evening you'll be stuck talking to some dullard at the party. Or maybe multiple dullards. Well, wear your industrial-designer-ness on your sleeve, and amaze and delight them with any of the following "Did you know?" anecdotes.
To Promote DIY Metric Rulers in the 18th Century, Paris Placed Meter-Long Marble Blocks on Public Buildings.
Pixel And Timber is a technically-driven product design and development company working in the medical device and consumer products industries. We are seeking a talented Industrial Designer to join our design team in downtown Cincinnati, OH. Pixel and Timber was founded in 2017 to provide product designView the full design job here