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Posted by core jr  |   1 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)

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This weekend saw the unveiling of the collaborative bicycle designs that are going head to head in the third edition of the Oregon Manifest, in which five teams in as many cities set out to create and craft the best urban utility bike. As of Monday morning, the public is invited to vote on their favorite one, which may well be produced by Fuji Bikes in the near future. We are pleased to present exclusive Q&As with each team so they have a chance to explain why their bicycle is the best before the voting period closes this Sunday, August 3.

Yesterday, we featured Teague × Sizemore Bicycle of Seattle; our final stop is Chicago, where MNML × Method designed the Blackline.

Core77: Did you and Method know of each other before the collaboration? What was the matchmaking process like?

Chris Watson (Project Manager & New Product Strategist, MINMAL): MINIMAL and Method were paired by Oregon Manifest. Coincidentally, our studio and Method's shop were located only blocks away. Our proximity made collaboration much easier during the early stages of the design process.

By its very nature, the design-fabrication relationship for this collaboration is far more intimate than your average designer's relationship with a contractor or manufacturer. To what degree did you educate each other on your respective areas of expertise?

We relied on Garry to keep us grounded. From the beginning, we made the decision to showcase Garry's craft on our frame. Rather than limiting our design, choosing to make the entire frame using traditional craft was a good counterweight to our team's desire to push boundaries with different forms and materials. Conversely, the design team pushed Garry to experiment with different frame architectures that were outside of his comfort zone. Our collaboration was a constant exchange of ideas in which we arrived at a solution that could have only been realized through our joint efforts. Has the collaboration yielded broader lessons? What was a particularly memorable area of difficulty when translating the design into fabrication? A major element of our frame design is the single main tube, which is constructed by mitering and brazing several tubes together. It was not clear from our original drawings if the frame would hold up to the abuse of city riding. No amount of analysis could have helped; we needed to build and test a frame. Garry did an amazing job translating our ideas into a working prototype in order to confirm our design would work for the final product.

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Posted by Core77 Design Awards  |   1 Aug 2014  |  Comments (0)

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From permanent installations to temporary structures, perhaps no area of design reflects our current cultural disposition more than the deesign of space itself. This year's submissions for the Interiors & Exhibitions category of the 2014 Core77 Design Awards did a fantastic job of reminding us of the many ways it can be interpreted. The jury team, led by Geoff Manaugh, recognized a dozen entries this year, from thought-provoking student concepts to impactful improvements to extant spaces.


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Professional Winner: Sustainability Treehouse, by Volume Inc. and Studio Terpeluk

Volume Inc. and Studio Terpeluk teamed up to bring sustainability to an organization known for its commitment to tradition. Not only does their Sustainability Treehouse for the Boy Scouts of America place visitors in a sustainable environment, it also tells a story through important facts and suggestions. "While the project risks falling into kitsch or even cliché, it nonetheless manages to be an imaginative and highly inspiring sequence of spaces for just the right age of user, the young Scouts who are its intended audience," says Jury Captain Geoff Manaugh. "The Treehouse also brings a message of sustainability—of personal responsibility, recognition of one's own environmental limits and respect for the needs of others, both now and in the future—to an organization that might normally skip that message in favor of the Boy Scouts' traditional focus on masculine self-determination. That makes this an important yet playful space, and one that's beautifully designed both architecturally and graphically."

» Learn more about Sustainability Treehouse


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Student Winner: Blastproof: A Hands-on Exhibition about Humanitarian Mine Removal, by Chris Natt

Landmines are but a vicarious news item (or metaphor) for most of us, but they are a daily reality for residents of war-torn nations. Royal College of Art student Chris Natt brings us an interactive look into the daily lives of the people responsible for removing the weapons from conflict-affected areas. Throughout the exhibit, visitors can interact with electronic replicas of the devices and experience the visuals that go hand-in-hand with the explosives. "Fascinating R&D with a critical subtext: Reactive training tools that enhance the perception of mine hazards," says juror Hayley Eber. "The museum-based detonation triggers a range of auditory, visual and tactile stimuli to communicate the event. It would be great if the installation could find a permanent home, and the prototypes went beyond 3D printing." Fellow juror Jake Barton appreciates the attention to the sensitive material: "It's really, really hard to make something that horrific be both experiential, impactful, and also respectful. I think it's the right mix and a great achievement."

» Learn more about Blastproof: A Hands-on Exhibition about Humanitarian Mine Removal


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Professional Runner Up: Breaking the Mold—VarVac Wall, by HouMinn Practice

It goes unsaid that an architecture school has to be housed within a memorable structure. The University of Minnesota School of Architecture looked to HouMinn Practice to give them a front office worthy of a a few photo ops. The VarVac Wall works specifically with sound—some sections of the wall absorb it while others reflect noise. The ultra-textured surface is made of vacuum-formed panels that are either solid or perforated, depending on their function. "This strikingly realized tweaking of a relatively common manufacturing process shows at least one way for new architectural designs to be realized in the tooling and fabrication stage, where aesthetic results—and these wall panels are definitely gorgeous—emerge less from a designer's own palate and more from the materials themselves," says Manaugh. "On a technical level, as well, this system points toward intriguing future overlaps between the realization of architectural systems and the production of industrial products."

» Learn more about Breaking the Mold—VarVac Wall


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Professional Runner Up: Architecture Factory, by Marc O Riain (CIT) and Neil Tobin (RKD)

We live in a time where shipping containers are finding more applications—or at least more media exposure—as trendy space solutions beyond the shipping industry. Marc O'Riain of the Cork Institute of Technology (CIC) and Neil Tobin of RKD Architects have incorporated a series of containers into an open office space plan. Architecture Factory turns the CIC's Department of Architecture into a collaborative space despite the claustrophobic size constraints of a single shipping container. Jurors Yen Ha and Michi Yanagishita appreciated this contrast: "The project presents a different approach to shipping containers by using them not just as containers, but as walls and dividers of space. A great project that defines space without creating barriers, providing visual interest and continuity."

» Learn more about Architecture Factory


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Student Runner Up: Cocoon, by Tanya Shukstelinsky

Our living spaces are becoming smaller, but at least our floorplans are keeping up with the trend and more creative ways to embrace (and use every inch of) the space we have are popping up. You won't want to make a permanent home out of Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design student Tanya Shukstelinsky's Cocoon, but it is an intriguing look at the way our public spaces define our personal territories. The structure is made of textiles sewn together to create stairs, sleeping areas and other living areas. The jury team had a few situational suggestions for this design: "the implications for things like tent design or portable camping shelters—let alone children's play rooms—are fascinating to consider," says Manaugh. Ha and Yanagishita had another idea: "Cocoon reduces the idea of what it means to be in a space to the bare minimum. Definitely the new hammock for start up tech offices."

» Learn more about Cocoon


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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  31 Jul 2014  |  Comments (3)

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I've got a friend from Alabama who told me that growing up, most families she knew kept shotguns in the house. When you heard a noise in the middle of the night, the shotgun was the go-to item, and she explained that the CHIK-CHIK sound of "racking" it carried across the porch and was enough to discourage the casual burglar.

Another sound shotguns make is the actual blast, and I'm told it's deafening. Twelve-gauges reportedly top out around 150 to 165 decibels, and inside a house, where there are walls to bounce the sound around in, likely more. That's enough to cause permanent hearing damage. "Shotgun owners have been without a real solution for ear protection," says a Utah-based company called SilencerCo. "Some choose hearing preservation in the form of earmuffs or plugs for relief in controlled environments, but spurn their use in the field or in a home protection scenario, where the ability to detect other sounds is critical."

With that in mind the company has invented the Salvo 12, "the first and only commercially-viable shotgun suppressor on earth." Interestingly enough it's modular, made up of little Lego-like sections of roughly two inches in length that the user can add or subtract to hit their preferred balance of length, weight and noise level.

The noise reduction is pretty nuts:

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Posted by Hand-Eye Supply  |  31 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Hey Portland people, it's that time again. The Summer Quarterly is here and we couldn't have done it without help. While we rounded up awesome stuff for summer, cool creatives from all over sent in sweet selfies with their tools and gear, and we can't wait to share their style!

Drop by the new and beginning-to-be-improved Hand-Eye Supply garage at 714 NW Glisan, pick up a free people-populated poster and we'll announce the winners of our All Geared Up photo contest! Then eat some unbeatable treats from Pacific Pie co., and rub elbows with the great minds of the HES set. Come tell us about your projects and dreams while we dig on grooves from DJs The Beatles and Tobias, spinning "your uncle's records" and weird classics from multiple decades.

Come for the poster, tunes and food, stay for the incomparable company!

6-9pm TONIGHT
714 NW Glisan
Portland, Oregon

Posted by Jeri Dansky  |  31 Jul 2014  |  Comments (2)

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As a professional organizer, I've helped people organize their homes and offices—and their cars. One challenge drivers have is finding a good place to keep things like smart phones and sunglasses close at hand. (Hopefully, no one is texting while driving, but there are other reasons to keep a smart phone nearby; I need mine to hear my turn-by-turn driving instructions.)

Here's one solution to that challenge: The StickyPad from HandStands is one of several non-adhesive, non-magnetic pads that goes on a dashboard. There's an interesting balance here—the pad should be sticky enough to hold items even when the car is taking a sharp curve or coming to a sudden stop, but not so sticky that it's hard to remove items when the end-user wants to. And here's one drawback: Unless the end-user moves the pad around, the part of the dashboard covered by the pad won't fade uniformly with the rest.

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An alternative dashboard design is the "grass mat" that came with the Renault Twingo II. It seems like a cool idea—but at least one reviewer, Ivo Kroone, said the grass mat was better in theory than in practice. Kroone found it "annoying trying to fish small objects out from amongst the stalks." And it seems that larger items didn't fit well, since Kroone left them just "sitting on top." The positioning behind the steering wheel was also problematic for Kroone.

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Another way to keep things close at hand is to make use of the sun visor. We've praised the Cocoon Grid-It products before, but the sun visor organizer is worth some additional attention. The Grid-It can hold a wide range of items; the one complaint I've seen is that the Velcro straps are not long enough to go around a large sun visor.

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Sun visors have other potential uses, too. The Visor Notes from Vertically Driven provides a white board for any information a user wants to see or note, when stopped. There's a holder for the dry erase pen, and the cap of the pen holds an eraser. This product uses clips to attach to the visor, rather than the straps that many visor-mounted products use—and unlike many other products, it flips up so the vanity mirror is still accessible.

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Posted by Ray  |  31 Jul 2014  |  Comments (8)

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Bike Grouch Alert: So it's come to this.

That there is Lucid Design's "Kit Bike," which, like an IKEA shelving unit, can be assembled and disassembled into 21 parts for ease of transport. I didn't mind Paolo de Giusti's asymmetrical concept bike and I can appreciate the over-the-top hipster chic of Van Hulsteijns, but this is exactly the kind of thing that the general public will eat up with nary a thought about whether it would actually work. After all, it turned up in a couple of reputable design blogs, one of which notes that:

The bike frame is made from hollow aluminum tubes that twist together and can be secured with a key. Since the frame attaches only on one side of the wheels, the bike can be assembled and disassembled while it leans against a wall. When it's not in use, the parts and wheels can each be stowed in sections in a custom-designed bag.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, that's because it is.

Don't get me wrong—I personally would love to have a bicycle that I could snap together like a tent (a well-designed one, of course), but then again, I don't know if I would trust the contraption to hold up on the road. I'm no engineer, but the very thought of applying torque to that rear wheel—note that the hub is connected only at a single, non-driveside dropout—makes me feel like I'm breaking something. Meanwhile, if the grossly oversimplified componentry and lack of brakes can be written off, the fact that the drivetrain is on the wrong side suggests that the Bangalore, India-based firm lacks a basic understanding of a bicycle in itself.

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Posted by Core77 Design Awards  |  31 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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When you think about it, the basic forms of quintessential articles of furniture—I'm talking desks, chairs, couches, stools, work lamps and pendant fixtures—largely consist of variations on a theme. As such, furniture designers innovate through the details from new manufacturing methods and materials to integrating functionality that speaks to our mobile, tech-enhanced lifestyles. This much is apparent in seing the honorees for the Furniture & Lighting category of the 2014 Core77 Design Awards.
While the selections from Jury Captain Naihan Li and her Beijing-based jury team may look familiar at first glance, closer inspection reveals that each one is customized to fit a certain lifestyle-driven need.


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Professional Winner: Gesture, by Steelcase Design and Glen Oliver Loew

As more and more of us spend more and more time basking in the warm glow of a screen, so too do we spend more time in our office chairs. With these digital tendencies in mind, Glen Oliver Loew designed Gesture for Steelcase (with help from its internal design team). The jury appreciated the chair's origin as a research project: "This project began as a global study on human body gesture and resulted in a stylish chair that will not only carry you comfortably in a work environment, but support you in every move you make while seated. Furniture design can be as advanced as any new technology we use today and an advance in office chair design has the potential to benefit thousands as our lifestyles evolve. By providing a more dynamic support to the body, this chair attempts to encourage movement while we interact with the handheld digital devices we love."

» Learn more about Gesture


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Student Winner: SOAK Charging Side Table, by Youmin Vincent Kim

Recently graduated from the Youmin Vincent Kim's SOAK charging station redefines the humble side table as a 'platform' for mobile devices. Furthermore, the Art Center College of Design student cleverly managed to tuck the power supply for the induction charging surface into its very construction: "The leg emerging from the wall to accommodate the main power plug is an artistic solution to the inelegance of wired products. Our daily need to repeatedly charge our digital devices can now be achieved casually by leaving them on a side table—a thoughtful and functional object design that surprises you by the advanced technology embodied within a playful yet elegant form."

» Learn more about SOAK Charging Side Table


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Professional Runner Up: Lightwing, by Jean Marie Massaud

Lightwing brings a new level of interaction to the way we illuminate our spaces while remaining relatively inconspicuous. Designed by Jean Marie Massaud for Foscarini, the lamp features adjustable screens, allowing the user to cast a glow wherever it's most needed. The jury noted the artistic aesthetic of the lamp: "Minimalist and elegant, this is a delicate and fluid lighting design. The history of elegance can only be enhanced by new technology, which is the case here where a clever magnetic sphere provides fluid, multi-directional movement as the light transforms from an ambient light to a reading lamp. It utilizes a new LED lighting system and technically advanced industrial production to make a bold and artistic statement in its form and in the interactive nature of the motion the lamp achieves."

» Learn more about Lightwing


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Student Runner Up: Dynamik Standing Desk, by Brian Pughe and Conor Brown

Virginia Tech's Brian Pughe and Conor Brown have developed an interesting take on a contemporary trend with the Dynamik Standing Desk. Made from steel and wood, the desk has a sleek appeal for users of all stripes, but it's the the strap of felt that serves as a knee rest that wowed the jury: "Clever usage of something as economical as a belt makes this desk design more than a place to lay your books. It is a simple yet effective solution to rest in public space, allowing one to fully engage with others even if the interaction will last longer than your legs can hold out. This standing desk also gives new function to an existing furniture type with minimum alteration.

» Learn more about Dynamik Standing Desk


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Posted by core jr  |  31 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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This weekend saw the unveiling of the collaborative bicycle designs that are going head to head in the third edition of the Oregon Manifest, in which five teams in as many cities set out to create and craft the best urban utility bike. As of Monday morning, the public is invited to vote on their favorite one, which may well be produced by Fuji Bikes in the near future. We are pleased to present exclusive Q&As with each team so they have a chance to explain why their bicycle is the best before the voting period closes this Sunday, August 3.

Yesterday, we spoke to San Francisco's HUGE × 4130 Cycle Works; here's a few words from TEAGUE × Sizemore.

Did you and Sizemore know (or know of) each other before the collaboration? What was the matchmaking process like?

Roger Jackson (Creative Director, TEAGUE): Oregon Manifest did a great job pairing us with two incredible potential bike partners; we visited and spent time with both of them at their workshops. That alone was a privilege. To see true craftsmanship in the flesh, both makers had their own unique style and preferences for bike building. But this project was going to be a longterm engagement (nine months), so it was important that there was the ability to meet up regularly and a shared vision for what we wanted to achieve. Taylor Sizemore was a natural fit for our team, but was also excited to go beyond his own comfort level with the build, which excited us.

By its very nature, the design-fabrication relationship for this collaboration is far more intimate than your average designer's relationship with a contractor or manufacturer. To what degree did you educate each other on your respective areas of expertise? Has the collaboration yielded broader lessons?

Intimate is right! Taylor is now part of the TEAGUE family! We've been fortunate with just how much time and energy he's put into this endeavor. From the first brainstorm, he was there, sparing and inspiring us. As for the education, he was fascinated with just how quickly we could get into 3D CAD and spit out prototypes on our 3D printers. I would also say from a technology stand point, being able to quickly mock-up and test lighting and haptic feedback concepts using arduinos, was also something we offered Taylor. As for us, the advantage of Taylor building custom bikes is that he knows exactly what works and what doesn't from an ergonomic standpoint. Something that may look cool or unique could negatively impact the ride comfort and quality. It was truly a mutual learning experience.

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Posted by hipstomp / Rain Noe  |  31 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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Up above you see snippets of exotic cars. What you don't see are the faces of the Italian men, now in their 70s and 80s, who designed them. "Almost everything we know about cars, we conclude unconsciously from [the] silhouette, face, details," writes Gianluca Migliarotti. "Isn't [it] strange that people who shaped our dreams through design [remain] virtually unknown?"

Filmmaker Migliarotti and automotive historian Daniel Tomicic are trying to rectify that with Driving Dreams, their documentary focusing on the second golden era of car design—the one that came not from America, but from Italy. In addition to looking at the big dogs like Giorgetto Giugiaro and Marcello Gandini, the DD team seeks to lens lesser-known but influential designers like Tom Tjaarda (who designed the DeTomaso Pantera), Aldo Brovarone (Ferrari Dino Berlinetta Speciale), Paolo Martin (Ferrari Modulo) and others. Here's the trailer:

Like what you see? Then help fund it--the team is running an IndieGogo campaign to finance the doc here.

Posted by Christie Nicholson  |  30 Jul 2014  |  Comments (0)

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There are at least two big challenges with creating wearable technology. The first is to actually design something that people will want to buy and use, and the second is to keep the device in juice. Here we're going to look at the second.

The battery design and function of a wearable device is anything but trivial. We need to develop batteries that are flexible, thin, long-lasting and durable...a huge set of requirements that is very difficult to achieve. But one startup, Imprint Energy, thinks it's got a leg up with a printable, durable battery.

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