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    General Accountabilities The conceptualization and design development of new furnishings and related product for the Education and Healthcare environments. Specific Accountabilities • Working with stakeholders to define new product objectives and strategies • Developing multi-concept product proposals • Defining and

    View the full design job here

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    This unattributed photo of a stuck off-road motorist has been making the internet rounds. As you can see, the driver has dug a hole, wedged his spare tire in there with his jack and is using it as a winch point to pull himself out.

    If you're in a situation where you've got a winch but no tree to hitch it to, and no spare tire (shame on you) to use as above, there's a simple--and apparently hot-selling--device you can use called the Deadman Earth Anchor. It's essentially a super-strong polyester sling, and while it can be lashed around a tree, it can also be used in the following way on barren terrain:

    The brilliance of the Deadman is that it weighs next to nothing and can easily be folded up for storage.

    Lightweight and easily stowed under your seat, it's the self-recovery anchor that's always with you, allowing you to explore with confidence!
    While the Deadman loves to go around hugging trees or rocks, he is also an extremely capable ground anchor as well. Instead of debating whether to carry a heavy metal ground anchor, the Deadman becomes the ground anchor that's a permanent member of your recovery kit.
    With a Minimum Breaking Strength (MBS) ranging from 16,600 - 66,400 after assembly (depending on its configuration), the Deadman will be the strongest member of your recovery kit. We've gone to great lengths to ensure we get every last ounce of strength out of these American made, Class VII polyester industrial slings. The Deadman won't let you down!

    I say "hot-selling" because the $200 object is backlogged. If you want one, be prepared to wait for a couple of weeks.

    In any case, the Deadman is a great use of materials, and I call this good design.

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    I've pretty much accepted that if I discuss something out loud, ads start popping up for that thing when I go online. If I tell you that I think my phone is listening to me, I sound like a crazy person. So I have no explanation as to how this happens.

    Apple wants to assure you that they're not surreptitiously collecting data on you, that private things like your call log, heart rate and browsing habits are not stored on their servers. To make this transparent, today they've updated the Privacy portion of their website so that you can log on and request a report showing you precisely what data they've collected. It can be accessed here (follow the link to the "Manage Your Privacy" section).

    Have any of you noticed the enduring phenomena mentioned in the first paragraph? I'm going to start saying "bananas" out loud several times throughout the day to see if I get banana ads.

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    Several months ago a gentleman who runs a local maker space invited me to teach some hand tool classes at the space. I was happy to have the discussion, but we got hung up by a central question: How do you get students to the point at which they can produce something?

    My own answer thus far as a teacher has been to teach classes in which the product is the skill itself. I teach classes in making dovetails, sharpening, installing hinges with hand tools, and so on.

    I admire those who are developing schools teaching a class with a PRODUCT - most recently we offered one on building a collapsible shave horse, so I guess TFWW is also in this group - but these classes often highlight the tension between several contrasting human impulses.

    As woodworkers, we feel making things, especially with our hands, is deeply satisfying. People also love learning new skills, and most people also enjoy the social aspects of learning in a group.

    But we also have conflicting desires. The desire not to be the laggard, in danger of being left behind the group. The desire for instant or near-instant gratification. I want it now! And - crucially - our identities as consumers.

    Nowadays shop class has been consigned to the dustbin of history for most people. Many students come to woodworking classes thirsting for the satisfaction of creation. Andrew Zoellner, the new editor of Popular Woodworking, wrote an inspiring call to arms,The Joy of Woodworking - Out on a Limb as his inaugural editorial. "We're here to inspire people to make more of the stuff they have in their lives and to learn the virtues of craft," he writes.

    For those who make our livelihood from making stuff with our hands, or teaching others to make stuff with their hands, getting paid is also a challenge.

    Hand tools teach us to be responsive to subtleties and ignore the pace of contemporary society. Tuning out competing fundamental needs is a much harder act -- one I am still learning.

    PS - My wife is actually the chief writer of this post. I am a lucky fellow in a bunch of ways, and at this moment grateful to be with someone who can turn a bunch of thoughts into a blog entry under deadline.

    N.B. The pictures are of some spoons Pate, who teaches the City Dweller's Collapsible Shave Horse class, made on her shave horse.


    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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    General Description: The Junior Graphic Designer in Communication Design works independently under a general supervision of the Senior Design Manager and partners with various graphic designers and Senior Graphic Designers on exhibition concept, identity, design, and execution for a range of exhibitions and installations across the museum

    View the full design job here

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    As I learned during the construction of my dog-fenced run, erecting farm infrastructure is a combination of hard work and clever labor-saving tricks.

    The fence is 300 feet long, with thirty 4x4 posts set ten feet apart, welded wire stretched between. Sherman, the fellow I hired to put the fence up, was raised on a farm and has built things his entire life; and though he's now in his 70s, he dug 20 post holes in a fraction of the time it took me to dig the remaining ten.

    We set all 30 posts into the 24" deep holes, ensuring they were plumb as we filled the remainder of the holes with Quikrete. But getting water to each of the holes was going to be a challenge, as the house the fence is attached to has no hose connection. I could fill buckets at the other house on the property and carry them over to the post holes, but that would be a slog, particularly since the fence is built on hilly ground.

    Sherman explained that we wouldn't be carrying buckets of water to each hole, nor buying a hose extension.

    "But doesn't the concrete need water to set up?" I asked.

    "Yes it does," he agreed.

    "So how are we going to get the water to the holes?"

    "Wait for it to rain," he said.

    Two days later there was a thunderstorm, which handily filled each hole and mixed with the concrete. Afterwards Sherman checked the posts to see if they had shifted any, and tapped a few of them this way and that while the concrete was still wet. Then the posts set up, and now they're rock solid.

    Subsequent rains washed the local soil over the top of the concrete, and the grass has already grown back in around it, making the concrete invisible.

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    The noise of an internal combustion engine provides important feedback not only for drivers, but for pedestrians. For the vision-impaired pedestrian, the sound a car makes may be the only warning that it is approaching at all. Hence electric cars, which produce no engine noise at all, present a problem.

    To solve this Jaguar is rolling out their Audible Vehicle Alert System, designed by sound engineers:

    I still think consumers should be able to download EV sounds of their choice. Then again, perhaps people would abuse the technology and select obnoxious audio (farting noises, barnyard animals, engine sounds designed by Kanye, etc.).

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    So here's what it's come to: Penny-pinching corporations insist on stuffing us workers into open office plans, which everyone hates. It's impossible to concentrate in a bullpen. Thus Panasonic has invented Wear Space, a pair of noise-canceling headphones combined with visual blinders, in hopes of focusing your attention.

    The partition on the side of the main body can narrow the view of the left and right when wearing it, and can interrupt troublesome visual information such as the movement of surrounding people and light. Cutting the horizontal field of view by about 60% will promote concentration in the work in front of you.

    All told, Wear Space provides visual focus, noise cancellation, audio playback via Bluetooth, and the necessarily anti-social feature of blocking your face from view. As Panasonic explains:

    Have you ever experienced that your concentration has [been broken by] being spoken to by your colleague or your boss, despite [attempting to focus] on your work while listening to music with earphones or headphones? With WEAR SPACE you can tell the surroundings that you are "concentrating on the work" just by wearing it.

    Panasonic is currently attempting to crowdfund the Wear Space. At press time they were just over half of the way towards their ¥15,000,000 (USD $134,000) goal.

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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:

    Tired of being a pawn in the modern advertising game? Have no fear, IRL Glasses are here. These glasses, which look like regular sunglasses, remove the images on all digital screens to the eyes of the wearer, thus eliminating the majority of the advertisements encountered on a daily basis.

    Designed by former Dyson designer, Oliver Chambers, the Herston Self-Balancing Desk Lamp smoothly adjusts to any position using precision engineering. The lamp uses a counterweight system to self-balance as the light source is moved around. No need to tighten any screws—once you move it, it just stays there.

    It's important for designers to learn the art of self compassion, especially because it's so easy to get down on yourself after a tough critique or marketing meeting gone wrong. The Art of Imperfection is a digestible (and nicely illustrated!) way to remind yourself that you're still human. Cut yourself some slack occasionally, you deserve it.

    "WEAR SPACE" is a functional—and humorous—commentary on open offices and our overall decline in focus. Strap the device onto your face to instantly block out the sounds of your annoying coworkers. Bonus: you won't be able to see them either.

    We covered Prepd back when it smashed its initial Kickstarter goal in 2016, but now the crowd favorite lunchboxes are back—with new colors. Prepd Colors are essentially the same as the original Prepd lunchbox, but they are now completely plastic, have a bit of an updated design and come in a variety of new colors. If these don't encourage you to bring your lunch everyday, I'm not sure what will. 

    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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    Next Thursday, October 25th we'll be gathering in Brooklyn for the annual Core77 Conference. This year's conference is focused on highlighting the realities of launching and growing your own creative business. Through a series of talks and workshops, you'll hear from other successful creative professionals in various design-related fields on how, exactly, they got to where they are and what tools, tricks and techniques they use to get ahead. 

    Don't miss out on the best design party of the year—join us next Thursday for the Core77 Conference in Brooklyn, NY. Buy your ticket today!

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    Building a retaining wall in the conventional ways (above) is not a trivial matter. So DIYers have come up with an interesting trick: Rather than messing around with mortar, they lay the walls down like Lego pieces, using concrete while it's still in the bag.

    That's right, the idea is that you don't open the packaging. Once the bags are laid, you wet everything down thoroughly with a hose, saturating all of the bags.

    Once the concrete sets up, you can either wait for the paper to biodegrade, peel it off, or burn it off.

    Prior to wetting the concrete, you can easily drive rebar into the bags as reinforcement.

    You can also use the technique to build sunken fire pits.

    Once cured, you can tell that these were made using bags, but I don't find the effect unpleasing.

    If you want to use "bricks" that are smaller in size than your standard concrete bags, you can put in some extra work and re-bag the concrete in smaller lunch bags. That's what the fellow below did to create a retaining wall, and even a short series of steps, to brick in this culvert:

    I wonder if, as in the entry about fenceposts, you can simply wait for a thunderstorm and forgo the hose step.

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    At a Sotheby's auction this month, Banksy had one of his pieces on offer, mounted in a baroque, self-created frame. After the bidding war ended at a staggering £860,000 (USD $1.1 million), an alarm sounded and the frame revealed a surprising capability. Here's how it went down, followed by footage from Banksy of how it was supposed to go down:

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    This seems like an industrial design student project that actually got picked up by a manufacturer. It's a coiled beeswax candle made by a company called Candle by the Hour, and it was supposedly "part of the 1600s dating scene. Known as a 'courting candle', protective parents would light one to limit the time prospective suiters [sic] could spend with their daughters."

    I say it seems like a student project, because I can just imagine the copy about how this "Urges us to reconsider the nature of time" or "recontextualizes the passage of minutes by forcing us to manually advance the candle," you get the idea.

    In any case, the object is popular enough that they've scored Home Depot distributorship.

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    This interview is part of a series featuring the presenters participating in this year's Core77 Conference, "Now What? Launching & Growing Your Creative Business" , a one-day event aimed to equip attendees with tangible skills and toolkits to help produce and promote their products or service.

    Many designers follow a traditional design process, where selecting a factory to manufacture with comes after the design process is completed. Jamie Wolfond and his brand Good Thing, however, choose to put an emphasis on specific materials and production methods at the beginning of the design process, working with factories, manufacturers and outside designers to bring unexpected twists on classic home items to life. 

    Jamie will be speaking about this method of "backwards design" to explain how it works and how it fits within Good Thing's unique business model at the 2018 Core77 Conference, happening next Thursday October 25th at A/D/O in Brooklyn. Ahead of his talk, we sat down with Jamie to learn about Good Thing's origins, understanding your customers and why putting materials and process first can help your products in the long run:

    How did Good Thing start?

    I started Good Thing because I spent a year after graduating from school attempting to license my designs to manufacturers for production before finding that there wasn't much of a licensing infrastructure in North America to work with. Or really very much of an infrastructure for young designers to see their work produced at all. My intention was to create an opportunity for myself to get work out there, and I pretty quickly figured out that by involving other people whose work I also admired and appreciated, I could go create a much more sort of visible platform to sell these products.

    You've created a system where you consider materials and the manufacturing process first. Why is this approach important to you and how has it shaped your business model?

    Good Thing, in general, works with designers who think about materials in a particular way, but I also have a process that I use in my own design work, whether or not it's a product for Good Thing or a product for someone else, that is a little bit more specific. Broadly speaking, at Good Thing, we like to make things that are asking to be made.

    "If the manufacturing process is not involved in a very literal way at the beginning, then sometimes the result is stifled by someone's preconception about what that process might do."

    This usually means that the design process starts not with a particular category and product, but with an ambition to get more from a process that we already know something about. For me, that manifests as this process that I sometimes call "backwards design", which refers to sort of reverse engineering or solving an unexpected problem with a technique or process. I think for some of our external designers, that's present in varying degrees. Of course each designer that we work with has their own perspective but it is, I think, at the end still tied together with this idea of changing what's possible, not by introducing new technology, but by using existing technology in a new way.

    What does "backwards design" mean to you?

    On the other side of the supply chain there's usually a person who's making the product. If you involve the person, their tools, their equipment, their machines, their skills and even, in some cases, their personality in a product before you determine what it's meant to become, you end up with a product that is ultimately stronger for the way in which it's been shaped by different influences. Whereas if you come up with something and you know how it has to look and the surface has to feel exactly this one particular way, independent of the forces used to construct it, sometimes there's an unpleasant kind of tension left in the object, where what somebody envisioned it to be and what it was able to be. If the manufacturing process is not involved in a very literal way at the beginning, then sometimes the result is stifled by someone's preconception about what that process might do.

    Even if you have a metal laser cutter locally that you usually work with, what you know about the parameters of that laser cutter doesn't normally help what can be done with some other laser cutter somewhere else. It takes practical experience working alongside the actual vendor with the actual machine in the actual place where the thing can be made to really shape an object such as it is.

    What are some materials and processes that you've been particularly excited to work with over the years?

    We've had the chance to work with a lot. They all have their different strengths, and we like having a big toolbox to work from. We know that there are certain methods that work really well at small volumes and they make for you a prototype and test things. Early in the beginning, we worked with a factory that would dip things in rubber. That one didn't last awhile. That was the best example of when we backwards designed ourselves out of a vendor. I think we've hit the gamut of conventional industrial practices. Of course, we're always interested in unconventional ones, but it's extra hard to find a open-minded factory ready to do something completely different. And that's when outsourcing work overseas can become very challenging.

    When working so heavily with manufacturers from the start, how do you also consider your end consumer?

    That's where my talk at the conference will fall, so I don't want to give away too much. It's a very challenging thing, and it's not something that was intuitive in the same way that working with the factory to figure out how to make something was intuitive. When I started Good Thing after graduating from art school, I knew that products that adhere to conventional industries and norms were not the kind of things I wanted. For that reason, it seemed like making something that a large audience wants and making something that I think is beautiful were mutually exclusive because there are so many things our audience buys that are not inside my canon of beautiful things. I think the way that we came to understand our consumer at the beginning was really with a lot of trial and error. By analyzing the soft data that came out of releasing products and seeing how they sold over and over, we were able to figure out a collection of items that sort of operate on multiple levels.


    You want to start a creative business. Now What? Come to our 2018 Core77 Conference to learn more about launching & growing a product line or design studio of your own on October 25th in Brooklyn!

    Buy "Now What? Launching & Growing Your Creative Business" Tickets here.