Posts filtered by tags: Object Culture[x]


If Dieter Rams Designed an Xbox: Microsoft's Minimalist Xbox Series S

Microsoft has announced they're releasing a small, slick Xbox variant called the Series S. Designed to be used only for downloadable games, the console itself is tiny, as it no longer requires the hardware necessary to accommodate physical media. And the physical design, as you can see, owes a great debt to Dieter Rams' classic work for Braun: Pre-orders begin on September 22nd, and the $299 device will be available on November 10th.
Tags: Games, Design, Microsoft, Braun, Dieter Rams, Object Culture

German-Designed Domestic Underground Storage Elevator System and Garbage Hideaway

If you've ever visited Germany you know that they love order, revere engineering, and take pride in keeping tidy homes. As a prime example of this, check out German manufacturer Wöhr's Underground Waste Lift, which lets you store untidy lawn equipment, garbage and recycling bins, and the odds and ends you don't want cluttering up your lawn, driveway or garage.The bi-level solution lets you stop the lift at either of the two levels, of course. I must say, I'm a sucker for crisp German copy: "The ...
Tags: Design, Germany, Object Culture, Klaus, Wöhr

Apple's $400 Mac Pro Wheels Have a Major Design Flaw

I'd argue that in order to design effectively, designers have to live in the real world, rather than hunker down in carefully curated studios. The danger of achieving great success and wealth is that those things can isolate you from the experiences of common people, and particularly the imperfection of their situations.Apple has made their share of Ivory Tower gaffes. Remember the brouhaha over their HomePod speaker leaving indelible rings on wood surfaces? You couldn't help but feel the design...
Tags: Apple, Design, Object Culture, Ivory Tower, Marcus Brownlee

German-Designed Domestic Underground Storage System and Garbage Hideaway

If you've ever visited Germany you know that they love order, revere engineering, and take pride in keeping tidy homes. As a prime example of this, check out German manufacturer Wöhr's Underground Waste Lift, which lets you store untidy lawn equipment, garbage and recycling bins, and the odds and ends you don't want cluttering up your lawn, driveway or garage.The bi-level solution lets you stop the lift at either of the two levels, of course. I must say, I'm a sucker for crisp German copy: "The ...
Tags: Design, Germany, Object Culture, Klaus, Wöhr

Smithsonian Makes Images, 3D Scans and CAD Files from Archive Free to Download

More than a few museums have been making their image archives freely downloadable. The Smithsonian has done them one better, posting both images and digital 3D scans that you can download as CAD files and do whatever you want with. "This includes images and data," the Institution writes, "from across the Smithsonian's 19 museums, nine research centers, libraries, archives, and the National Zoo." The total number of downloadables is nearly 3 million.The portal for all of this is the Smithsonian O...
Tags: Design, Smithsonian, Object Culture, Black Star Line, Morse Vail

Yea or Nay? A Wristwatch That Conveys the Time Non-Visually and Silently

I'm generally down on new ideas for watches, which I often find too enamored of technology, but this here is a novel approach that I'm curious to get your take on.An object called Prompt, which its creators are branding an "anti-watch," is for those who need to be somewhat aware of the time, but are tired of glancing down at their watch every few minutes. It's also for people who interact with others a lot, yet need to maintain a schedule, and don't want to be rude or unintentionally give signal...
Tags: Design, Object Culture, Time Non

Philippe Starck Designs Spherical, Screw-less Eyeglass Hinges Inspired by Human Collarbones

Motor Yacht A. Image by Dstnfrey - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 Whether you love or hate his stuff, the sheer range of Philippe Starck's career has got to be the envy of every industrial designer. He's worked on everything from $300 million superyachts to wind turbines, from furniture down to the infinitesimal screw-less, weld-less, spherical eyeglass hinges that are about to hit the market."The SPHERE hinge, which has no screws or welds, offers unique multidirectional freedom of movement, a natural e...
Tags: Design, Philippe Starck, Object Culture, Biolink, Madison Avenue, CC BY SA, Starck, LensCrafters, Alain Mikli

Pop-Up Book Celebrating the Design of Immersive Sega Arcade Game Cabinets from the 1980s

In the videogame arcades of the '80s, the rank-and-file games were pushed up against the wall. But in the middle of the room were the special ones--larger, immersive cabinets that you climbed into, paying 50 cents rather than 25 for the privilege. For an extra quarter you got to sit in a cockpit, in a driver's seat or on a superbike.In the early 1980s, Yu Suzuki, a young videogame developer working at SEGA developed a series of groundbreaking arcade games – physically impressive, custom-built ca...
Tags: UK, Design, Sega, Object Culture, Yu Suzuki, Darren Wall

How to Restore a Truck's Torn, Trashed Seat

Kim Buckminster's path as a craftsperson was shaped early: He was "introduced to needle and thread by my mother at age four," he writes, "with many people influencing me in upholstery, arts, craftsmanship and education." Today he runs Buckminster Upholstery, a Nebraska-based business that specializes in antique restoration and conservation. If you've got a Charles Limbert Arts and Crafts furniture piece circa 1900 that needs fixin', Buckminster's your guy.Which is not to say he only takes on ant...
Tags: Design, Cars, Nebraska, Object Culture, Buckminster, Charles Limbert, Kim Buckminster

More Product Disassembly Animations from Disillusioned Industrial Designer Dina Amin

A couple of years ago we spotted the work of Dina Amin, an industrial designer who ran into a paradox:"I realized that I am not very fond of a huge part of Industrial Design," she writes, "the part where we consume insane amount of resources and energy to design things that eventually people throw away."Amin began creating stop-motion animations of her hobby, which is disassembling consumer products to learn about their construction. In the two years since we last checked in on her, she's done a...
Tags: Design, Object Culture, Amin, dina Amin

Social Commentary: A (Probably) Fake Company Offers "Face ID Compatible" Respirator Masks

I've seen this circulated as news (thanks, social media) but I'm pretty certain this is an artist having a laugh. A website called Face ID Masks claims that they make "N95 respiratory masks that work with facial recognition software. Our masks are custom printed with your face making phone access easy during viral epidemics."I know most social media users don't bother going too far past the headline, but it doesn't take much scrolling on Face ID Masks' website before you reach this telltale part...
Tags: Design, Object Culture

Engineer Creates Functional, Practical Rotary Cell Phone with ePaper Screen

Justine Haupt is difficult to summarize. Her official job title is Instrumentation Developer for Cosmology, Astronomy, and Quantum Networking at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, where she's been for ten years; she's run Sky's Edge Robotics, her own company, for the past year; she's an engineer for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which when complete will "produce the deepest, widest image of the universe;" and she's Director of Radio Astronomy at the Custer Institute, an observatory on Lo...
Tags: Design, Long Island, Object Culture, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Haupt, Radio Astronomy, Justine Haupt, Edge Robotics, Custer Institute

Design vs. Disposability: The Icon Approach

The folks over at Freethink have put together a killer video on Jonathan Ward's Icon. This one isn't just drooling over the cars and Ward's legendary attention to design detail; instead they ask the larger question, what if this level of thought, design, future-proofing and craftsmanship were applied to all products? What would that do to our perceptions of disposability and long-term use?"They're taking a 40 year old car," says a familiar voice in the video, "and essentially preparing it for it...
Tags: Design, Object Culture, Ward, Jonathan Ward, Michael DiTullo, Freethink, Jonathan Ward Founder of Icon Ward

Watch This Enormous Mobile Crane "Self-Assemble"

The Liebherr LTR 1220 is a telescopic crawler crane with a 220-metric-ton (242 U.S. ton) maximum load capacity, with a boom arm that can hoist things 101 meters (331 feet) into the air.Although it can move around on jobsites under its own steam, it of course moves too slowly and takes up too much space to drive it there; so like a stationary crane, it is broken down into pieces and trucked to the jobsite. But it is designed in such a way that once it arrives, it can "self-assemble," with some hu...
Tags: Design, Object Culture

Where to Buy Used Equipment, Tools, Vehicles, Medical Supplies, Furniture and More on the Cheap

At a website called, you can buy a wide variety of things the government's getting rid of. Twice a week they hold two-day auctions with relatively low starting bids: $5,000 for a Humvee, $25 for a pair of plasma cutters, $25 for a box of air tools, $105 for a "Surgical Field Light," $25 for a stationary belt sander, $125 for a 2015 Ford Taurus Police Interceptor that is mysteriously missing two doors.Pelican cases, firefighter jackets, office furniture, combat boots in lots of 90, ...
Tags: Design, Ford, Object Culture, Army Navy

A Thoughtfully-Designed Litter Box for Cats Finds Kickstarter Success

While most dog owners don't need an elevated pet feeder, everyone who owns an indoor cat needs a litter box. The designers at a Michigan-based pet supply company called Tuft & Paw gambled that cat owners would pay $99 for a designey one--and they were right: The Kickstarter campaign for their Cove design, which sought $10,000 in funding, just passed $140,871.Aside from making their litter box look, I say again, designey, they did address some functional issues that I'm surprised most litter boxe...
Tags: Design, Michigan, Object Culture

Fake News of the Day: Check Out the Hydrogen-Powered Superyacht that Bill Gates Didn't Buy

Starting a couple days ago, everyone from major news organizations to design blogs began reporting that Bill Gates purchased a $646 million hydrogen-powered superyacht. People are even congratulating or criticizing him on Twitter. Only problem is, Gates didn't really buy it. Notice printed on yacht architecture firm Sinot's homepageThe Aqua, as the 370-foot vessel is called, is a concept shown at last year's Monaco Yacht Show. Designed by Netherlands-based "yacht architecture" (yarchitecture?) f...
Tags: Design, Bill Gates, Netherlands, Bill, Object Culture, Melinda, Sinot, Monaco Yacht

In a "Flying Wing" Airplane, Would Passengers Sit Facing Forwards, or at an Angle?

I was just thinking about those "flying wing" airplane concepts like this one, where the plane is shaped like a V because that apparently improves fuel economy, and wondering: If these things go mainstream, what are the interiors going to look like, in terms of seat orientation?In subways, trains and buses you always sit facing forwards, backwards or sideways relative to the direction of travel; in civilian aircraft you always face forwards, as I imagine the thrust of takeoff is less pleasant in...
Tags: Design, Boeing, Object Culture, Delft, TU Delft, SLEEPING Research

Amidst Toilet Smashing Trend in Japan, Officials Reject Stainless Steel for Hilarious Reasons and Opt for Cast Iron Toilets

Japan is a super-safe, orderly country, but petty theft and a form of littering are surprisingly common there. When I lived in Saitama, a safe suburb outside of Tokyo, my bicycle was stolen from in front of my building--twice. And in Tokyo proper, I observed that passersby would often throw trash into the baskets attached to the front of a parked bicycle. Totally rude! But you'd see bike after parked bike with their baskets filled to overflowing with discarded bottles, wrappers and tissues.And a...
Tags: Japan, Design, Tokyo, Association, Object Culture, Saitama, Nerima, Hikarigaoka Park, Ito Tekko, Asahi Shimbun Since, Metropolitan Park Association

Yea or Nay? A Self-Lining, Bag-Sealing Trash Can

Take a look at this: via Gfycat I have to put this into the "Looks cool--oh wait a sec, this is dumb" category. As pleasing as it is to watch a mechanical contraption conduct a fairly complicated (compared to what a toddler can do, say) task, nothing about this appeals to me.First off the can is tiny by U.S. standards; whereas the average kitchen trash bag here is 13 gallons, this thing's capacity is 15.5 liters, or about 4 gallons. You could argue that smaller trash cans might prompt you to g...
Tags: Amazon, Design, Object Culture

Drinking Mugs Designed to Protect Moustaches Were Once a Thing

We all know Vikings had beards and moustaches, and if we look at the tankards they drank from (often made of horn, see below) we can see no provision to protect their facial hair from getting soggy. Unsurprising, as the Vikings were known more for their nautical brilliance than their hygiene.The British, however, are not the Vikings. When the British colonized India in the 19th Century, they were clean-shaven, whereas Indians typically sported moustaches, according to Atlas Obscura. And "account...
Tags: Europe, Design, India, America, Vikings, Object Culture, Adams, Harvey Adams, Ben Husmann

Amidst Moustache Mug Comeback, Someone Designed a Retrofittable Version for Booze

After writing about the colonialism-based invention history of the moustache cup, which went out of style in the 1930s, I should've figured the hipster groomed moustache crowd would have recently reinvigorated the market. And in fact they have. While you can still buy 19th-Century versions on the antiques market, like this one for $62… …you can also find brand-new ones for sale, like this $18 one on Etsy, handmade in Serbia:In fact, on Etsy it's its own freaking category.And of course, someone h...
Tags: Design, Etsy, Serbia, Object Culture

So Here's What the Surface of the Sun Looks Like

It's childish, but one of my favorite Ali G. moments was when he asked Buzz Aldrin "What was it like to be the second man to walk on the sun?" Well, now we actually know what the sun's surface looks like. The National Science Foundation pointed their ginormous Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, the largest solar telescope in the world, directly at the sun to capture images of an area 36.5 kilometers across: Sure, the bubbling plasma surface looks like little more than a screensaver, but accordin...
Tags: Design, Ali, Object Culture, National Science Foundation, Science News, Daniel K Inouye, Ali G moments

Who Knew? Motorcycle Hearses are a Thing

Until I saw the photo below, it never occurred to me that hardcore bikers want to ride until the very end: Image credit: PrezzyPutin Image credit: PrezzyPutin Yes, motorcycle-based coffins (hearse-cycles?) are a thing. In fact, a longtime rider named Garland Crabb has been running a motorcycle hearse service out of Colorado since 2006. "After going to several friends' funerals," Crabb writes, "I came up with this idea to send a fallen loved one out the way they lived: With a motorcycle! And Bla...
Tags: Design, Colorado, Object Culture, Crabb, PrezzyPutin Image, Garland Crabb, Black Diamond Motorcycle Hearse Image, BDMHS, Delmarva Motorcycle Hearse Company Image, Delmarva Motorcycle Hearse Company

Atari is Opening…a Chain of Hotels?!?

With increasing regularity, the journalist of today must check to see that it isn't April 1st when reading through press releases. The latest I-bet-I'm-being-punked bit of news that needed a sniff test was: Atari, the video game giant of the '70s and '80s, is apparently opening a string of "video-game-themed hotels" in Las Vegas, Denver, Chicago, Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, San Jose and Phoenix.The once-relevant brand is promising "a unique lodging experience combining the iconic brand with ...
Tags: Design, Phoenix, Object Culture

A Look at Kobe Bryant's Helicopter, the Sikorsky S-76B

I was shocked and saddened to learn of the death of Kobe Bryant and his daughter yesterday. I was also surprised to hear that a total of nine people were killed in the ill-fated helicopter. While I'd heard that Bryant took a helicopter from his Orange County home to the Staples Center for games (a medical necessity, according to this GQ interview; a lifetime of injuries makes sitting in L.A. ground traffic unbearable for Bryant), I didn't know what kind of 'copter it was.The cause of the crash w...
Tags: Design, Nike, Secret Service, Kobe Bryant, Orange County, Staples Center, Trump, Object Culture, Bryant, BLACKHAWK, Phil Vabre, Interior of Trump

A Review of the Nebia by Moen Atomizing Showerhead

I was excited to try the new Nebia by Moen showerhead, a water-saving design that "provides 2x more spray coverage while also saving 45% of the water used by standard showers." After a week of using it, I cannot wait to de-install it and go back to my regular showerhead.Perhaps winter was the wrong time for them to launch this product. The central flaw of the Nebia's patented "H2Micro atomization spray technology" is that the mist-like water that comes out of the head hot, turns cool after just ...
Tags: Design, Walmart, Object Culture, Moen, Nebia, Moen Atomizing Showerhead

East Africa's Two-Wheeled Taxis Get a Visual Makeover

In east Africa, cars are hard to come by and mass transit is non-existent. However, motorcycles can be purchased--even on credit--so a number of entrepreneurs in the region have invested in a bike, and offer taxi service with it to generate income. Image credit: Simisa Locally referred to as boda bodas, these motorbike taxis are ubiquitous; CityLab estimates that "there may be as many as 300,000 boda bodas in Uganda alone." To attract fares, boda boda drivers need to stand out in a crush of traf...
Tags: Design, Africa, Uganda, Amsterdam, Kenya, Object Culture, East Africa, Nairobi, Bobbin, Boda Boda, Jan Hoek, Devil RiderMad Max RiderMachete RiderJan

WaPo's Hilarious "Illustrated Encyclopedia of Sleeping Positions on a Plane"

I really shouldn't be cut-and-pasting another publication's images, but I did want to urge you to click their link, so figure I can get away with a few. The Washington Post has commissioned a hilarious series of illustrations to create their "Illustrated encyclopedia of sleeping positions on a plane." "These contortions have been carried out by actual travelers ?— seriously," states writer Natalie B. Compton. Credits: Editing by Dayana Sarkisova. Illustrations by Anthony Calvert for The Washingt...
Tags: Design, The Washington Post, Object Culture, WaPo, Natalie, Anthony Calvert, Natalie B Compton, Dayana Sarkisova, Washington Post Design, Rachel Orr Art, Kat Rudell Brooks, Christine Ashack, Dayana Sarkisova Illustrations, Christine Ashack Written

Disproving an Industrial Design Professor's Rule: Dishwashers Have Gone Invisible, Why Haven't Toasters?

While urging us to design unobtrusive objects, one of my Industrial Design professors used to say "No one wants a toaster. What people want is toast." It took me years to realize that that wasn't true. If you look one of the more popular toasters on the market……you can see that these have enjoyed success because they announce their presence. People are plunking down $160 for a toaster that doubles as a "design accent" and has its brand prominently featured across the side, as if a toast-eater wi...
Tags: Design, Siemens, Bosch, Object Culture, HANNAH

July - 2020
August - 2020
September - 2020