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    Last month at the DMV, I was switching my driver's license over to my new state of residence. The clerk showed me a screen where I could double-check my data, and I saw that she had accidentally listed my gender as female. "Can you backspace over that," I asked, "or do I have to get the operation?"

    Aside from said operation, I think the biggest hassle of switching from male to female would be adjusting to women's clothes. Especially the lack of carrying space. The notion that female should be bereft of usable pocket space and forced to carry a dedicated, expensive storage object--whose fashionableness is meant to invite judgment from others--seems crazy to me.

    "There are few things more frustrating than collecting your belongings only to realize that the pockets in your pants are too small to hold them," writes designer Jan Diehm and journalist-engineer Amber Thomas. "Or worse, the fabric designed to look like a pocket is merely for decoration and doesn't open at all." The pair decided to get to the bottom of shallow women's pockets using data: "[We found] complaints and anecdotes galore but little data illustrating just how inferior women's pockets really are to men's. So, we went there."

    In an article in The Pudding, Diehm and Thomas created visualizations based on studying pockets from men and women's pants from 20 popular-in-America brands. By overlaying the pocket shapes of 80 pairs of jeans, they revealed the following:

    They also created an interactive to show how some commonly-carried items do (or don't) fit into each gender's pocket:

    We don't want to steal all of The Pudding's images, and there are plenty more that we recommend you read on their site: Skinny jeans vs. straight, front pockets and rear pockets, a breakdown by brand and more.

    "Pockets, unlike purses, are hidden, private spaces," the pair concluded. "By restricting the space in which women can keep things safe and retain mobility of both hands, we are also restricting their ability to 'navigate public spaces, to carry seditious (or merely amorous) writing, or to travel unaccompanied.' If you think this idea is outdated, think about the last time a woman asked her boyfriend/male friend/anyone in men's pants to carry her phone/wallet/keys on an outing.

    Read the full article here.

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  • 08/16/18--15:17: Sketching Up a Tesla Tank
  • This week industrial designer Eric Strebel's got a sketching video up. "I recently visited Norfolk, Virginia and was inspired by all the military hardware on display in the area," he writes. "You can see some of the amazing ships in the beginning of the video. This got me to thinking about why today's military hardware is not electric or even hybrid.

    "I decided to sketch up a light infantry concept vehicle for the brave men and women of the Armed Forces. It's a sketching tutorial as well. I rough in the form of the vehicle with a 10% grey marker to work out the proportions, then switch to a Hi-Tec C pen to flesh out the details of the tank. Finally I use a series of darker values to add more form to the craft."


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    A vertical cryogenic storage vessel design has been developed to produce a variable temperature environment using a pool of boiling liquid nitrogen as the refrigerant. The successful candidate will be responsible for the further design and implementation of TCV cooling system components

    View the full design job here

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    "Trap OS" won a Notable award in the Interaction category of this year's Core77 Design Awards.

    TrapOS is a productivity and performance driven mobile operating system designed for simplicity and ease of use across cultural and physical boundaries. It is intended to be a truly universal global interface where users of all abilities and locales can have the same high-quality experience.


    TrapOS is a productivity and performance driven mobile operating system designed for simplicity and ease of use across cultural and physical boundaries. It is intended to be a universal global interface where users of all abilities and locales share the same high-quality experience.


    When phones have an extremely low battery level, they can go into what is called Battery Trap Mode. This auxiliary mode can only support rudimentary operations with very low processing and power needs.

    The goal was to create a complete operating system that could run entirely in Battery Trap Mode; hence the name TrapOS.

    Though we may never achieve a fully functional OS in such extreme conditions, the pursuit is noble. There is always a premium on performance and battery life.

    Gains in performance and battery life can improve existing devices as well as resurrecting devices that were once obsolete. Product life cycles are extended and older devices are relevant again – potentially having a positive environmental impact.

    This could also lower the entry price point for smartphone ownership, putting technology in economies where it was once out of reach.


    We realized very early that creating a universal operating system would require us to remove any branding and other potential biases.

    Luckily, most branding was removed in our text-only system –omitting any branding via app icon artwork.

    Roboto Monospace was our chosen. Roboto because it is readily available on most Android devices Monospace was critical because all characters are equally spaced. This removes any spatial bias between characters – ensuring that any offenses or misinterpretations are merely coincidental.


    Many people don't consider text as technology but there are many benefits to using a text only system. Here are a few to consider:

    1. Text on a black background has far fewer illuminated pixels and much lower power consumption.

    2. Rendering text takes less processing power than graphics. As a result, TrapOS has better performance and increased stability.

    3. White text on black has the highest contrast ratio possible. This maximizes legibility for all users.

    4. Apps are ordered alphabetically. This method of organization is used by many cultures and has withstood the test of time.

    5. Text scales uniformly with no customization to base Android. Its supports users of all visual needs.

    6. Localization is standard on all text in Android, making translation effortless.


    By switching to a text-only system, we realized that we had an opportunity to simplify the architecture of the apps as well. Currently, smartphones use an arbitrary system or a most-frequently-used model. We felt like a single alphabetized list was the most simple, intuitive, and democratic strategy.


    As a prototype, we explored removing all graphic elements including system navigation and status bar iconography. This proved to be problematic because controls, percentages, and fractions do not translate into text elegantly. We realized that if we retreated a bit from this hardline text-only stance that it would actually be more intuitive and reduce cognitive load.


    The use of a single alphabetized list for apps with system iconography for status and navigation proved to be the most elegant compromise for text and graphic delineation.


    An unexpected result of TrapOS is that users are required to be more deliberate in their actions – freeing them of visual traps and improving digital health. This is a delightful revelation in the face of cognitive hijacking and unwanted digital addiction.


    People who prefer simplicity - Kids who are addicted to their phones - Adults who worry about digital health - Software engineers who like text UIs - People who are productivity driven - Anyone who need increased legibility - People who use many languages - People who are not tech savvy - Work devices, not social devices - Low cost devices


    Visit the Core77 Design Awards website to view the 2018 Interaction Honorees

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    This is my car. There are many others like it but this one is mine.

    Following my "A Designer Buying a Car" saga, yes, I purchased a 2018 Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. I've logged 2,500 miles and am super happy with it--except the color; I wanted it in silver, but VW doesn't offer it, so I went with this dark grey.

    The Alltrack is only offered in seven fairly boring colors, because us station wagon buyers are a bunch of squares. But folks who purchase VW's sporty hot hatch, the Golf R, are a lot more image-conscious…

    …so Volkswagen has made the seemingly crazy decision to offer the 2019 Golf R in 40 different colors:

    Their color initiative is called the Spektrum Program, and some of the colors are classics: The "Viper Green Metallic" is from the third-generation Europe-market Scirocco; the "Mars Red" graced the first-generation GTI; and the "Ginster Yellow" last draped the 1997 Driver's Edition GTI.

    A builder tool will soon be added to, where customers can test out all 40 different colors, manipulating the vehicle with a 360-degree colorizer. Also on its way to all dealership showrooms is a color sample kit, which will allow customers to view each of the 40 colors duplicated on paint shop-quality color cards. To order, customers should visit their local dealer. After submitting an order, the build and delivery time is approximately two to four months.

    Price tag: $2,500. Which makes me wonder: Is that cheaper or more expensive than taking it to a custom paint shop?

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    After you get the hang of 'em, chopsticks are pretty darned handy; and once you've eaten a salad with them, particularly a messy one, you'll never go back to using a fork and knife.

    Because the design is so simple and thousands of years old, you'd figure there's nothing you could do to improve upon them. But dining goods company AltGalley is trying. Their Hover Chopsticks are made out of carbon fiber, which is admittedly overkill; they claim the materials choice offers better grip for both your hands and the food you're picking up with the business end.

    But the one smart thing they have added is angled tips, meaning when you set them down on a table, you don't have to make that little paper chopstick rest to keep the tips off of the tabletop.

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    By now you've surely absorbed our must-read series on the Angelpoise, the classic task lamp invented by a 1920s freelance car designer. The iconic design has been put into service by everyone from architects to Pixar, and now the company's producing a half-size version that can be toted around--and plugged into your laptop, as it's powered by USB.

    Offspring of the ever-popular 1970's Model 90, the 90 Mini Mini has all the versatility and personality of a classic Anglepoise® lamp wrapped up in its tiny form. At half the size of a standard desk lamp it's designed to fit just about anywhere - perfect if you're working on the go or in a low-lit coffee shop. The 90 Mini Mini is powered by USB for enhanced portability and has a dimmable integrated LED for focused light for up to 20,000 hours.

    At press time the lamp was only showing up on Angelpoise's UK website, and appeared absent on the American site. Are we Yanks being punished for our "bigger is better" mentality?

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    A Rhode-Island-based company called Hideaway Solutions has designed the Step 180, a clever and compact stepladder that seamlessly integrates into one's kitchen:

    The seemingly simple device has a host of well-thought-out features:

    Amazingly, it only takes up 1.5 inches of width within your base cabinets.

    It might be a pain to retro-fit, but for the height-challenged among you who are currently renovating your kitchen or planning a new one from scratch, this looks like a must-have.

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    are you a superstar designer with a reputation for mixing solid strategic thinking with big creative ideas? at flood, you will work on everything from startups to big global brands and everything in between with the opportunity to be involved from start to finish. join us and

    View the full design job here

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    I'd always assumed that curved wooden handrails were first milled, then steam-bent into shape. Turns out that's not always the case. German power tool manufacturer Scheer has modified their HM 17 router to work on square stock that's already been steam bent:

    The SCHEER handrail-router FG 308 ist used for precise, fast milling at the handrail. Especially for curved handrails a must-have. The machine is powered by the SCHEER router HM 17.

    The set-up, known as the Handlauf-Fräsgerät FG 308, will run you €1,690 (about $1,930).

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    Here's one of those channels that makes you thankful YouTube exists. The anonymous craftsman behind Easy HomeMade Projects shows you how to DIY all manner of unlikely objects, the most impressive of which are in the small power tool space. Wanna see something crazy? Check out his small-scale DIY miter saw:

    Or this jigsaw:

    And a drill made from a toy gun:

    He's got dozens of videos up, going back a couple of years. Check 'em out here.

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    The success of this year's Core77 Conference "Now What? Launching & Growing Your Creative Business" hinges on the advice coming from seasoned creative entrepreneurs and consultants to help answer the question that will be on every attendee's mind: what does it take to run your own creative business and help it thrive? 

    Before this one-day information bonanza begins, we wanted to give our readers a chance to ask some of our presenters some of their burning questions around the topic in our "Ask Me Anything" social media contest! If you write in a question, not only will you potentially have your question answered by one of our presenters, you'll also have a chance of winning a free ticket to our 2018 conference!* We're giving away two tickets in the contest, to be announced in two weeks.

    Here's how the contest works:

    1. Think up a real good question for one of our many "Now What?" presenters (check out the full list here). It could be about production, tips for success, marketing, crowdfunding... anything related to starting a creative business venture is fair game!

    2. Post your question either a.) on Twitter with the hashtag #c77con2018 or b.) in the comments section of this Instagram post while also tagging a friend (Instagram comment must include both in order to win).

    3. Post as many questions as you'd like! The better your questions are, the better your chance is of winning that ticket.

    (See full terms and conditions to learn more about the contest rules)

    On September 7th, 2 winners will be announced alongside a video of one of our conference presenters answering in full your pressing question!

    Pretty easy right? You have until September 3rd to send in your questions, so make 'em count! We can't wait to see what you've got brewing.

    Haven't seen our full roster of amazing speakers yet? Check out our conference site and secure your ticket to the 2018 Core77 Conference today!

    *ticket win does not include travel & accommodations 

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    Foscarini recently introduced CRI CRI, a wireless lamp with an internal rechargeable battery designed in partnership with Studio Natural. The more casual, functional addition to Foscarini's product lineup is made to thrive both indoors and outdoors, ideal for 'glamping' or dinner on the backyard patio.

    CRI CRI's handle allows easy lantern-style hanging, and the silicone body collapses for easy storage. 

    Sketches by Studio Natural

    The light can turn on in both the collapsed and upright states, as seen in the image below.

    Hanging twelve or so of these up around a campsite would be quite lovely and easy to manage, except each CRI CRI retails for around $567 (talk about cray cray).

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    This article was originally published on Automotive Designer Matteo Licata's blog, Roadster - Life.

    In my time, I've been part of many projects and designed pretty much everything, so in this second installment, I've decided to summarize the process of your average car design project.

    Saying "I'm a Car Designer" may sound almost too glamorous for its own good, but what it means, after all, is an office job. You check in in the morning and check out in the evening, much like most people in the world, except you have to have a sticker covering both of your phone's cameras. It's what you do in your office hours that is different and very rewarding—at least most of the time.

    In my time I've designed engine covers, bumpers, grilles, rear view mirrors, many exterior design proposals... The lot! But I have to admit I've never had the chance to fully develop an exterior up to production or thereabouts, something I happen to have done quite a few times on interiors instead.

    For this reason I'm going to write mostly about the design process of a car interior: the place where the customer passes most of its time yet often gets nowhere near the attention managers tend to give to exteriors during development. This isn't always a bad thing because an interior is a more complex object than an exterior, being made of a greater variety of parts and materials. It is also much more difficult to "destroy" with a single sentence for the mostly unqualified (in design terms, obviously!) company CEO at a big design presentation.

    Of course this doesn't mean you can do your job less than perfectly: it simply means the feedback you'll receive will probably be more nuanced, and any non-design-trained upper manager eventually present at the presentation will throw less random "suggestions" and thus interfere less with your own good work.

    Exterior designers often aren't so lucky: because everyone experiences cars in their daily life in one way or another, seemingly everyone feels eminently qualified to pass judgement on a design team's several month's work!

    At such high-level presentation, the role of the Design Director is very important as a "buffer" between the design teams, which take huge pride in their work and often take things personally. But I digress...

    Normally the interior design sketching phase starts a bit later than the exterior's one, to give time to the exterior team to at least give the new car some semblance of a shape. How many different alternatives may be sketched and how many "filter" presentations the material goes through may vary according to different OEMs and even according to the time constraints of the single project.

    Once one or more designs are selected, more detailed drawings are made to support the first 3D modeling phase, where we encounter one of the figures that never get any publicity but has become the true backbone of car design projects: the digital modeler. In the car design field, two-surface modeling softwares are mainly used: Alias® by Autodesk and Icem Surf® by Dassault. Which software is best between the two is an ongoing argument that's far from settled and goes far beyond the scope of this post.

    Anyway, with the package measurements for the new car loaded into the 3D software, plus eventual carry-over components, plus all the needed drawings and sections made by the designer (or designers) present and accounted for, digital modeling can begin: that's a phase that will be closely monitored by the designers involved, making sure the digital model will look exactly "right".

    Remember this is still early stage, so not everything will be 100% feasible just yet, but it is nevertheless a first "reality check." Given that most production cars are made on shared platforms that can last more than one model cycle, the big hard-points for our new swanky interior will already be there. The steel carrier upon which the dash and its systems are attached is likely to be already designed and present, as will the HVAC unit, which is the climate-control system—a big, costly component that's always much bigger than the designer wants it to be and it is destined to survive many model cycles.

    Positioning of the passenger airbag is also an issue, as its positioning is crucial for it to work properly and usually can't be changed all that much! Steering column positioning is also a given, together with the "envelope" of the various positions the assembly "steering wheel plus stalks and column plastic cover" will take in each of its possible adjustments: of course no interference is permitted! Seat frames are another hidden high-cost component that the manufacturer tries to reuse for as many model cycles as possible, so it's likely to be carried over and only the foams and exterior trim will be redesigned... As it's often the case for the steering wheel as well: the main steel core is usually retained while the exterior is redesigned. It's a bit like a bakery that brushes some molten chocolate upon yesterday's croissants to sell them off... But the end result can often be much "tastier", if the designers make their job properly!

    By the way, from the 3D data the design models, or styling "bucks" will be milled, usually in clay parts fitted to a steel structure made according to the package measurements of the car. Two or three styling "bucks" will likely be presented, upon which the management will hopefully pick one favorite... Or, as often happens, demand to merge two proposals into one! Interior bucks at this stage are usually limited to the front seating area, where most of the design work is initially concentrated: dashboard and front door panels. At this stage, steering wheel and seats may still be off-the-shelf production items, put there just for show.

    Needless to say, there is no such thing as a scale model of an interior: there's simply no way to properly evaluate an interior design without seeing it in life size and actually sitting on it, contrary to what happens with exteriors, which can be milled at quarter scale for an initial screening.

    No matter how much virtual reality technology has improved, in my humble opinion there's no real substitute to looking at the models in the real world: not only gives me a kick every time, but it allows to properly judge how some styling features "work" in reality. For all the experience one may have, 3D software may still lead to overestimate the aesthetic impact of a certain surface change, chamfer or the like, because software are designed to visually magnify them to help you spotting eventual mistakes or defects. The clay phase is also very important because it gives the designer the opportunity to phisically modify the design buck, trying out some solutions or improvements that weren't considered or not even thought about during the digital phase.

    Once a direction is chosen by the management, whatever that is, the buck is scanned and on that base the design team gets back to work repeating the process all over again, but in greater detail and concentrating more resources on the chosen design direction: one "lead" (a senior designer that's responsible for the overall result) will oversee the work of the junior designers that are helping out on a lots of issues while keeping track of the 3D modelling, dealing with engineering and manufacturing issues and how the eventual late additions of features that weren't originally planned (like a wireless phone charger or a bigger screen demanded for marketing reasons) end up impacting the design.

    Depending on how each OEM is structured, there will be more presentations and the model will get more detailed as time goes on, up until a full seating buck that looks and feels like the real deal can be made. Such bucks take a lot of man hours to make and can become very, very realistic if so desired: I've seen people breaking door handles on them because they thought it was real and used it to open the "door". As time goes on all changes to the design become smaller, going into the details, the quality of the 3D model gets better, from C (styling in progress) to B then to A ("master" surfaces, used for making the production tooling).

    Another aspect in which how OEMs are organized may differ is the presence (or not) of specialized "components" departments: I remember that ten years ago I was drawing all kinds of stuff needed for "my" design proposal myself, from radio faces proposals down to the graphics of the dials, while in a more recent project the opposite happened: despite being the "lead" of the interior project I couldn't even dare to pass judgement on stuff like steering wheel or gear knob proposals, as those were made by the "components" department... Heaven forbid if I encroached into the "component" boss's territory... You know, big companies have their own internal structures and politics! As you can see, there are many people involved and many decisions being made in what is quite a long process, so it's incorrect to state "this designer did this or that"... And yes, there will be a part three, stay tuned!

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    The Product Designer will be responsible for the design and development of products from high performance, leisure and lifestyle hydration to hydration accessories, food storage items and various other products. Providing innovative design solutions to support the company strategy and the team’s goals and

    View the full design job here