Evolution of Storage

Curtis Spontelli via Gizmodo

Heads-up GPS for cyclists

Cyborg-style heads-up displays have always had a place in our techy visions of the future, but it's nice to finally see a practical application in development for the forseeable future. The ARider is a Japanese prototype which will utilise the iPhone for it's GPS. No doubt there are potential safety concerns about such a device, let's face it, it's dangerous enough cycling through heavy traffic in London with your attention entirely on the road, without dividing your attention with a small digital screen. Still, it's thought-provoking, I believe it's simply a matter of developing the interface and definately tieing-in stronger audio cues for the video display.

Peter Randall-Page

'Our most intimate understanding of three-dimensional form comes from our own and other people’s bodies. When we look around the world we see the outside of something and wonder what might be inside. I try to tap into this, implying from the modulations of a surface what may be happening inside – a delicate balancing act. The illusion has to be consistent, just like a fictional world. It’s a parallel world. The illusion I’m talking about has to understand itself and have a metaphorical relevance to our world'. Peter Randall-Page

The current exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture park is absolutely wonderful. From a design perspective, the shapes are bold with beautiful organic patterns. From a crafting/manufacture perspective, the accuracy of their construction teamed with the size and varied stone materials is astounding.

Platonic Solids: 3D Generative Art

Michael Hansmeyer's Platonic Solids uses clever and simple recombined algorithms to create beautiful art.

"In this project we explore three-dimensional subdivision algorithms. These have traditionally been used in computer graphics to produce smooth, rounded forms from coarse polygons. By modifying and expanding these established algorithms to include additional weights, one can generate forms with entirely different attributes. By varying the process' parameters, we are able to affect a form's topography, its curvature, its degree of branching, and on a further level its surface attributes. We recursively apply the subdivision process to a source form, which we restrict to one of the five platonic solids. These basic forms allow us to concentrate entirely on the scope of output inherent in the single generative process. "

via BoingBoing

Happy Clouds!

'Flogos' are flying logos made from soap foam and helium. According to their web site, "They can travel 20-30 miles and go as high as 20,000 thousand feet. They travel slow so they are very visible for a long time." via Everybodylovesfreestuff

A Computer system running on 8 watts

I'm deeply suspicious of Green Computing concepts which promise an end to the issues plaguing our paradigm of endlessly updating. Dell's latest 'Regeneration' finalists are all fine examples of this (Note: Dell's removal of some of the more scathing indictment comments). With no other realistic route of innovation, minimization is the only reasonable route to pursue, and this 8-watt PC is a fine example. Running a cut-down version of Linux with down-clocked hardware in a small computer housing, this machine fulfils most modern day PC requirements at a small fraction of the power consumption.

Chris Boardman: Intelligent Bike concept

Cyclist chris boardman unveiled his latest cycle concept to the world's media recently. the new 'intelligent' bike counts calories as you pedal, plays music and uses a solar-powered motor when you get tired.

the carbon fiber frame has an inbuilt computer system, which incorporates an 'unbreakable' locking device that allows only the owner to open it via fingerprint recognition. spoke-less wheels make the bike more aerodynamic while the tires will be puncture-proof with self-inflating tires.

via designboom


Hitoshi Matsumoto's latest utterly bizarre work to debut at this years Toronto Film Festival, here is a synopsis of the plot:

In the central tale, a Japanese man (Matsumoto) wakes up alone in a brightly illuminated white room with no windows or doors. When he presses a mysteriously phallic protuberance that appears on one wall, a pink toothbrush materializes from nowhere, clattering to the floor and setting in motion a genuinely bizarre chain of events. Soon the imprisoned man is engaged in absurd and hilarious attempts to escape the gleaming room, releasing random objects from the walls, creating a life-sized Mouse Trap game in which a rope, a toilet plunger and an earthenware jug full of sushi might just be the keys to his escape.

Meanwhile, in a dusty town, a green-masked Mexican wrestler known as Escargot Man prepares for an important match. His family gathers around him, worried about his seeming impassivity before battle. As the nameless prisoner appears closer to escape and Escargot Man steps into the ring, Matsumoto amplifies the baffling yet suspenseful atmosphere to a crescendo of ridiculous excess.

Works of art from mounds of data

Visual Complexity is a website featuring brilliant visualizations collected by Manuel Lima, a Nokia interaction designer interested in how complex data sets can be expressed.

CSM Product Design 2009 Show

The Central Saint Martins Product Design Degree show will begin on the 19th June, at the Southampton Row building. Stop by to see our exciting design projects, including a Nokia client project entitled 'Design a Green Phone'.

Annette Messager: The Messengers

I recently visited this fantastic exhibit at the Hayward in London. My favourites were 'Inflate/Deflate' and 'Casino' (pictured) where a movement of air stimulates a huge wave of red silk towards the viewer through a door-like opening.

It's quite intimidating at first; At one point you feel as if the wave will engulf you, it then subsides and small illuminated objects begin to surface from beneath the watery silk waves followed by peculiar black symbols descending from the ceiling, and then rising back up into the darkness. 'Inflate/Deflate' has an assortment of inflatable silk body organs, which 'breathe' and pulsate in a synchronized pattern creating a sense of being enclosed inside a body cavity.

Radiohead's Nude played on old computer parts

It's Radiohead's Nude being played on all kinds of computer parts. It was made by James Houston, a student from the Glasgow School of Art's visual communication program.

Note: the first minute or so is a classic computer tape deck loading audio/visual static, not to everyone's taste but fairly nostalgic for the retro video gamers out there, (Amstrad CPC 464 4ever!)

Genetically Engineered 'Glow in the dark' Cats

South Korean scientists at Gyeongsang National University say they have bred white Turkish Angora cats to glow red under ultraviolet light. Tinkering with fluorescence protein genes could help unravel mysteries of some 250 genetic diseases suffered by both humans and cats. The findings also could be used to clone endangered tigers, leopards, and other animals, the report said.

Film the Blanks

Think you know your movies ? Have a go over at Film The Blanks. The cryptic and graphic clues aren’t easy to work out, but these stunning images will keep you enthralled eitherway.

New, more eco-friendly Z-Power batteries

After seeing mounds of discarded cellphone and digital camera batteries at the SWEEEP Waste electronics plant, not to mention the billions of Lithium ion mobile phones batteries still in circulation, it isn't hard to see we've got a big problem on the horizon. Li-ion batteries are very unsustainable, whereas the new Silver-Zinc Z-Power batteries might be a solution to the problem. Not only are they made from 95% recyclable primary elements, they also offer around 40% more runtime than Li-ion used today.

How to build a Canon mock-up with balsa wood

For the full tutorial click here

Laser tagging in Vienna

Nokia Headset Competition Winners

Nokia recently created a competition to design headsets inspired by the designer's favourite songs. My personal favourite winning entry is 'Robot Rock', a Daft Punk inspired headset by G Smith. All of the winning entries are on display in the Nokia flagship store on Regent Street.

Objectified Poster by Build

Build have designed the official poster to accompany the documentary Objectified by Gary Hustwit. Michael C. Place, the founder of Build, has always had a place in my heart for shear beautiful minimalism, and it's a pleasure to see such a great link with the product design world. To see some of his earlier work with the seminal Designers Republic, check out their website here.

(It's interesting to see how much the agency's style has changed since Michael Place left)

Daito Manabe Dancing Faces

Daito Manabe decided it was time to torture four of his friends by connecting them to his Face Visualizer—a player which stimulates facial muscles using electrodes. The facial expressions are perfectly choreographed to the beat of the music using the stimuli from the electrodes.

Touch by Provoke

A concept future phone designed by Finnish-based Provoke, on behalf of Nokia. Certain haptic elements are sorely neglected by modern digital communication, this concept seeks to address the 'physical' nature of a phone conversation. As a demonstration it puts on a great show, but I'd like to see the same dynamic effects present on something as small as a mobile phone, as I suspect this proof of concept involves machinery significantly larger and deeper than the constraints of an objects which fits in your hand, hence the embedded shape in the table surface.

Yves Béhar Unveils the World’s Fastest Electric Motorcycle

Recently Yves Béhar has unveiled the Mission One, the world’s fastest electric production motorcycle. The fantastic looking bike is the brainchild of Mission Motors and Fuseproject, and is designed to have a top speed of 150mph, with a range of around 150 miles. Yves Béhar’s projects have always exhibited a deft balance between stunning aesthetics and sustainable design, and this latest opus is no exception.

A Clockwork Orange

I recently re-watched and read Anthony Burgess's 'A Clockwork Orange'. Both Stanley Kubrick's direction and the rich textured 'nadsat' language of the book are both very compelling. I've included a shot of Alex's bedroom because I think it demonstrates, not unlike many of the other scenes in the film, fantastic attention to the style of it's era. Check out the Ettore Sottsass typewriter!

Light bulb speakers

A fantastic concept, utilizing existing household connections instead of cumbersome cables trailing over your floor.

click here to find out more.

And you can check out my concept (ahem) here

Richie Hawtin's 'Cube'

In the words of Richie Hawtin, the founder of the collective Minus, the Cube explores “how technology allows us as artists — and the audience — to make further human contact than would have been possible in the past.” The device uses RFID, allowing fans to 'clock in' at the start of a show with membership cards and then receive 'who's on next?' mobile phone messages and free email downloads.
It's interesting in its current form. but much more as a stimulus for greater projects based on the idea. I can imagine that witnessing the cube in real-life would give it an aura of mysterious sentient technology, LED patterns which change depending on the level of user interaction, hopefully even develop as the user's experience with the object increases i.e. more complex patterns indicate you're a dedicated fan, (because ultimately it's nice to let those in your immediate surroundings know how much you love the music). In a sense it's an ideal way for users to feel a part of something, create a sense of belonging, crowd-buzz. However, if you've dedicated yourself to the scheme in the first place you're probably a dedicated fan, therefore receiving track names via text might be redundant; you know all the tracks anyway, so is this demeaning the idea to tech-savvy geeks who love gadgets or will it truly exhance the experience of the dedicated fans? I guess it depends upon the creativity of the content.

I'd like to see it have a greater sense of identity, make it more alive. Allow people to approach the cube somewhere in the venue instead of 'in your face' at the door, allow like-minded fans to congregate around it like some kind of abstraction of an office water cooler, make each user's experience with the cube unique i.e. unique flashing LED pattern when the user approaches. You could tie it into Pandora, create a unique colour spectrum which indicates the user's personal taste in music, therefore when someone else approaches the cube, you'll know if your taste's match up, seems like a nice way to bond. Make it react to the music being played, does it particularly like the current track and how would it display it's affection? It would look fantastic if you could adjust the brightness of the LEDs, make it go supernova when the song hits the peak of its build-up.

My Chumby's fish

Bruno Fosi has created an interesting 'hi-jack' of the chumby device, allowing the user to monitor and maintain a goldfish from afar. The Chumby's built-in accelerometer and microphone also allow the user to lovingly interact with the fish, making the fish all the happier!