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A New Game That Aims to Change How Kids Learn About Periods

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

We've got a new game for game night, and it's likely not at all what you're expecting— introducing The Period Game. This Kickstarter campaign (which recently ended, but now features a link for pre-order) aims to revolutionize how teach children about periods, turning a topic that is uncomfortable for many into an interactive game that makes learning about periods approachable. The game is based on the menstrual cycle and includes all of the challenges that young women may go through as they learn about their periods and how their bodies will react.

The board has four different spaces, each representing a different week in the roughly four weeks in the menstrual cycle, and includes an assortment of the symptoms associated with phases of the cycle.

Yes, the centerpiece of this game board is meant to represent the female reproductive system and yes, we think it's great. To move forward in the game, you'll twist one of the ovaries and a colored marble is released which indicates your next move. Got a red marble? You've got your period. Clear? Move forward one space and play a card. Purple? You leaked, go to the nurse's office and miss your turn.

A variety of cards will teach you about the different forms of leak protection and what PMS might be and how to deal with the symptoms.

Learning about reproductive health may be uncomfortable at times, but it is a crucial step in normalizing the body's biological processes and realizing it isn't the end of the world if you do leak during your period. Another thoughtful way this game is breaking stigmas is that it isn't just for women! The Period Game is designed to be an educational tool for all to normalize periods and the challenges that women face every cycle.

The Period Game Kickstarter campaign ended above their goal at $39, 412, now making it available for pre-order to be delivered by early next year.

Reader Submitted: A Wine Rack Inspired by Tongues

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

Tongue is a wall mounted modular steel bottle rack.

View the full project here

Design Job: IDSA is Seeking a Visual Brand Designer in San Francisco, CA

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

You are a talented, creative, detail-oriented and proven Visual Brand Designer whose portfolio of work shows a rich diversity of well-executed projects. In this role, you will uphold and express IDSA’s brand, mission and programs through the creation of compelling graphic design work for use in print, digital and environmental

View the full design job here

Currently Crowdfunding: A Smart Teapot, a Home Cheesemaker, and More

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

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:

Teplo aims to be your personal tea master. The connected teapot is powered by a database of hundreds of tea types, each with a custom brewing time and temperature. The on-button doubles as a heart rate sensor that will know when you're stressed and adjust your brew so you get a more calming cup.

From the designers who brought you the ultimate minimalist pen, here's a minimalist sketchbook with maximum impact. The Studio Sketchbook is made with durable Hanji paper and will always lay perfectly flat.

The first book to tell the story behind the 1972 Munich Olympics identity, developed by Otl Aicher and his design team, Dept. XI. Their immense output included designing everything from print materials and signage, to the stadium decorations and souvenirs.

Mozzarella, blue cheese, cheddar, feta, Swiss cheese, cream cheese, provolone—Fromaggio lets you make all these cheeses (and more!) right at home. After the initial investment, you should be able to make your favorite cheeses at a fraction of what you're used to paying in stores.

Kinflyte's three-piece set includes a wire-free bra, a built-in bra top, and high-rise underwear—a trio of better essentials that feature a hidden compression system to promote body alignment and help you achieve better posture.

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.

The New Tia Clinic is a Complete Reimagining of the Gynecology Office Experience

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

When history credits a man for introducing modern gynecology (yes, it’s true, his name is James Marion Sims, and he was known to experiment on enslaved women at that) it’s no surprise that OBGYN clinics receive notorious complaints as being a place of angst and uneasiness. Whoever decided that asylum-like patient rooms, harsh white lights, and cheap paper gowns would foster the cornerstones of a place where females get their reproductive health examined was probably not a woman. Let us introduce you to Tia, the healthcare clinic in New York City that opened just last week that's designed by women, for women.

All photography by Kezi Ban courtesy of Rockwell Group

What was once a popular digital health app, a high level of positive feedback from its users led Tia to open a physical extension of their brand with the mission of redesigning the sphere of women’s healthcare. Located in the Flatiron District, their in-clinic services include basic primary and gynecological care, as well as holistic healthcare like acupuncture. But there’s more—one of the most riveting aspects of the clinic is that every detail of the space, physical and experiential, were designed carefully to enhance a woman’s experience of the clinical process.

But what specifically does it mean when a space is designed by women, for women? Reduced waitlists, same day appointments, and evening and weekend booking availability are only some of the perks members can expect. Even more importantly, Tia's original app is thoughtfully integrated into the in-person experience; members can simply keep track of their health in the app's comprehensive wellness tracker, which doctors utilize for a deeper look into the patient's general health and habits.

The founders partnered with the LAB at Rockwell to help translate their online brand into a space—bright colored bricks, soft light, abstract fixtures and pastel murals commissioned by artist Alex Proba adorn the clinic's white walls, creating a warmer and engaging alternative to medical poster taped hallways.

"We interviewed all the women in our company and Tia's company to learn more about what their clinical experiences are like. Across the board, it was interesting to see so many negative experiences. We think a lot about how to connect people to their spaces, and there aren't many things out there in terms of women's care where there's a space created specifically for women by women," explained Melissa Hoffman, Studio Head at the Rockwell Group. "We commissioned artwork by women, and had women upholster the furniture that we chose. Everyone who played a role in building this clinic was a woman, who knew what they would want when going to the doctor," Hoffman said.

Each exam room is equipped with a closet for patients to hang their clothes and belongings, which afterwards they’ll have a comfortable kimono robe waiting to be slipped into. Patients can also say sayonara to the militant layout of the traditional waiting room, replaced with a “community room” that also serves as an event space during off-hours. Through an immersive and collaborative process, Hoffman’s team found simple design solutions to put hospitality back into the hospital, one of many ways women’s healthcare is improving, to which she adds, “I do believe this is a wave of the future, retail spaces around wellness especially are moving this way.”

Exploring the Dangers of Industrial Design Instagram Influencers

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

A few months ago, a video emerged of Kanye West giving one of his signature verbal fire hoses to the students at Detroit College for Creative Studies. As I watched, a smile slowly curled on my face, anticipating the silence he would receive at the end of his rant.

That didn't happen.

I started to dig around, and I was shocked to see that generally speaking, students and graduates admire Kanye West. Remember, there's a very key difference between working with designers, and being one. Kanye is not a trained designer, but he's a creative mind that has the ability to pay designers to work on and execute his ideas. So then how did Kanye West become a design influencer that can do no wrong in the minds of design students?

All illustrations by Connor Pelletier-Sutton

I have a real love/hate relationship with concept of the "influencer" as a whole. I think it's magnificent that an individual's work can be collectively appreciated on a social platform, validating that there are thousands upon thousands of incredibly talented people out there viewing and interacting with their work. But the game has evolved so much from the dream we had 10 years ago, and it's fascinating (or quite frankly, upsetting) to dissect.

So let's start by focusing on Instagram, the clear choice for all types of creatives to share their work and watch an appreciative audience grow in front of their eyes in 2019. I joined Instagram back in 2011 while doing my masters in Architecture. "This is awesome!" I thought—a way to share my architecture models and ideas without bothering friends who wouldn't care about that on Facebook. And those filters, oh boy those filters. How wonderfully they would cover up the crappiness of my photos and quality issues in the models (or so I thought). At the time, "influencers" didn't really exist. The audience was small, and hash tagging wasn't a thing quite yet. We would mostly share our handles by word of mouth to one another, and the focus was on sharing our work. It was awesome.


Inherently, that hasn't changed—Instagram is still for sharing images. But as the platform gathered more users and it felt more and more crowded, we evolved with it. Whether intentional or not, Instagram today is a tacitly competitive space when it comes to creatives. It's as though we're all fighting for an audience that in actuality, can and does consume content from everyone. And out of this innate human need to compete and be the leader of the pack, we birthed influencers.

Now, it's not all bad. One of the greatest things to have come from this evolution is the desire to push ourselves and create better content to share, making us all better and hopefully encouraging others to push themselves too. Even this has its pitfalls, though, which lies mostly on the shoulders of influencers.

The problem here is that we're painting a complete illusion of what we do to the next generation of designers and reduce the job down to some beautiful renders or sketches.

One thing that social media influencers experience far less than a more traditional celebrity is the rise to fame through an in-person audience. That in-person experience helps others understand the impact of their actions and words, (positive or negative) more effectively than through only digital means. As a result, they may not necessarily think about the impact of their actions and how they influence others.

Let's take a minute to remember we're talking about creatives here, not socialites, movie stars, etc. Our influence and impact is minimal in the grand scheme of things, but our actions can be damaging in many other ways. I am not an influencer by any stretch, but on a near daily basis, I receive a message from a junior designer, student, or teenager saying something to the effect of "I wish I had your job!" Or "I hope to do what you do when I'm older!". But what nobody ever sees is all the work and time it took to get to there in the first place, and that's the danger.

A number of professional industrial designers use instagram as a way to detox from the reality of being a designer in the working world by sharing wild concepts, and beautifully rendered but essentially unusable designs, which in my eyes reduces them to sculpture. The problem here is that we're painting a complete illusion of what we do to the next generation of designers and reduce the job down to some beautiful renders or sketches. After all, who wants to see a photo of you on a bad hair day struggling to come up with an idea or paying invoices?

Even in my own line of work, I am not a traditional industrial designer. I often work on projects that are at times ridiculous and over the top. But because of social media, people have the illusion that I work on those types of projects all day everyday. What they don't see are the behind the scenes hours of PowerPoint, strategic meetings and tactical reviews I often go through see if the projects I propose will be actually be approved.

Now imagine then, the impact that someone with an even more significant following has on their audience? Whether they like it or not, everything they share or do will be consumed, and most likely, emulated. So do influencers need to be more mindful and conscientious? Absolutely.

However, plot twist: this isn't about them—it's actually about you. The clue to the power you as a "follower" hold is in the name we've given these people: influencers. Do you want to blindly follow and be influenced, or do you want to stop, take a minute and think about what you just saw or read, and decide if it makes sense for you to emulate?

That's not to say you should unfollow every industrial design influencer you admire. But I am saying that, especially when it comes to your current or future career, it's important to be practical and pragmatic with the loads of information you consume on a daily basis, whether it be via Instagram, YouTube or even design blogs. Take in the information for what it is—not for what you want it to be.

Remember the Kanye anecdote at the beginning of this article? It's understandable if you admire Kanye in some capacity as an artistic and cultural influencer, but please take his creative rants for what they are and avoid worshiping his every move, especially in a design context. Same goes for social media influencers within the industrial design industry.

Design Job: Small Planet is Seeking a UI/UX Designer in Brooklyn, NY

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

The UI/UX Designer role at Small Planet encompasses both Interaction Design and Visual Design in the service of creating inspired mobile applications and other digital products. Our designers contribute to the entire product lifecycle, from problem validation and UX research, to UX/UI design and development, testing, and iteration.

View the full design job here

The Radical Innovation Award Looks Toward the Future of Transportation Design as it Relates to Hospitality 

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

If you're into exploring the future of mobility and/or hospitality, the Radical Innovation Award just crossed our radar and might be worth applying to. The annual competition, now open for submissions, challenges designers, architects, hoteliers and students to create new and innovative ideas for the travel and hospitality industries.

Since its founding in 2006, Radical Innovation has awarded nearly $200,000 to its international network of creative talents. Past winners include the Autonomous Travel Suite by Aprilli Design Studio and the Hyperloop Hotel by Brandan Siebrecht, which both focused on combining transportation and accommodation, saving time and money while on route to your next destination. A standout in the field was 2015 winner, Abdelfattah Soliman of Effat University in Saudi Arabia. She created "Adaptive Balloons," a concept that imagined pop-up refuges for people who have been affected by natural disasters around the planet. The inflatable vinyl balloons would act as living spaces and could be suitable to land or water for any inclement condition.

"Radical Innovation discovers and spotlights creative geniuses with the drive to create entirely new segments of the hospitality industry" —John Hardy, Founder of Radical Innovation and CEO of The John Hardy Group.

The panel is made up of jurors from a variety of different industries that evaluate entries based on originality, creativity, design and potential impact. Most importantly, judges are looking for feasibility, as the concept must have an action plan of how it can be achieved in the next three to five years. New for this year, they will distinguish between built and unbuilt and will highlight an innovator in 2019. Until teleportation can actually happen, Radical Innovation is churning out interesting ideas that we hope will come to life in the near future.

Yuliya Veligurskaya of Studio Cult Co on Ditching a Career in Architecture to Design the Brand of Her Dreams

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

Have you ever had a persistent itch to leave your corporate job to start your own business? You know, the kind that comes and goes in waves, hitting you hardest when your ideas get shot down by upper management and when you find yourself still in the office at 2am on a Wednesday? Well, maybe it's time you take a hint from Studio Cult Co founder, Yuliya Veligurskaya, and just go for it.

After working a corporate design job for a year out of school, Veligurskaya knew her life was meant to follow a different path—a path that lead to designing enamel pins and other small objects for designers who typically create things for others. From enormous PhotoShop pins to toolbar keychains, Veligurskaya designs and manufactures humorous, high quality artifacts that represent the trials and tribulations of the design process. Here she details the highs and lows of starting your own studio and gives advice for those considering a similar path:

How did your design career begin?

I studied architecture at NJIT and then worked as a junior at a large architecture firm in New York City for a year. However, it was always a dream of mine to open my own store and make cool little objects. After a while I couldn't ignore the itch, so I left my job to start Studio Cult Co. Growing up I was very inspired by museum gift shops and design stores, more so than the actual museums. I love collecting and enjoying the stockpile of chachkis I accumulated over the years, so what I ended up doing with my career makes perfect sense.

When did you decide to create Studio Cult Co, and what were some of the driving factors of branching out to start your own studio?

I feel that when you work for someone you are building someone else's dream. I'm very driven, but I never really found jobs that inspired me. I searched far and wide for interesting employment opportunities, but I either received no response or was confronted with very low salaries. So you see, the natural answer was to start my own business.

"I thought it would be a great idea to start a brand that creates gifts for people who committed their lives to making things for others."

I'm also a big personal development junkie and was aware of the booming e-commerce scene. Books like the 4 Hour Work Week were so fascinating to me and inspired me to make a business of my wild imagination. It was part situational, but I was up for the challenge. I wasn't going to wait for someone to give me an opportunity or settle, so I created one myself. This was the best choice I have ever made.

What is the inspiration behind your humorous, often sarcastic, designs?

The name "Studio Cult Co" is short for "studio culture." I noticed that there were no brands that were dedicated to celebrating the culture of the design community. I thought it would be a great idea to start a brand that creates gifts for people who committed their lives to making things for others. Whether you are a seasoned professional or an incoming design student, almost anyone can appreciate these funny trinkets. From pins that say "I don't get paid enough to put up with this" to keychains that look like toolbars we've used on a daily basis for the last 10 years, my goal is to capture the little moments in a designer's life into fun objects that celebrate our day to day. It's all about also finding joy in the ugly, funny parts of design. The brand celebrates the first and final draft, as well as the whole journey along the way.

What are some of the challenges and triumphs you've faced during the manufacturing process?

I experience a lot friction trying to create innovative pin ideas. Typically the process is straightforward for something more run-of-the-mill, which can be a bit off-putting with some of my peculiar requests. Also certain factories are better at a particular process than another, so it takes time to figure out who can deliver the best result.

For one of my designs, I had to approach about ten different factories to find one that would produce pins with my very specific instructions. It's very hard to change my mind on how I want something to be made. I have found that if you insist enough, more often than not you figure out a way to achieve the desired result. There was one time I decided to let go of a factory because they could not deliver the desired result, and the sales representative responded with 20 crying emojis... I wasn't sure how to console her.

When I first started I had another factory send me several beautiful samples. However after placing a large order with them, nearly half the inventory I received had to be thrown away. Finding your first manufacturer can be a bit of a shot in the dark if you have no references like I did. I think the greatest triumph is that I now I have great relationships with high quality manufacturers. They are critical to the success of the studio and are total rockstars.

"[Studio Cult Co] celebrates the first and final draft, as well as the whole journey along the way."
What's a product you haven't made before that you hope to make in the future?

I am currently developing a mid-range unisex jewelry brand called Components for Humans which I am very excited about. I like to describe the upcoming pieces as architectural interventions to the body. I plan to launch this brand in early May. As far as the Studio Cult Co brand, I've been itching to create a kitchenware line: silverware, towels, plates, small decorative dishes and so on. I envision it to be along the lines of the digital nostalgia theme that I love so much.

What have been some of your biggest challenges as a young designer in NYC starting your own business?

Honestly I think the toughest part was starting. It was difficult to acquire solid footing in the market. It was a delicate balance of what I am talented at, what I care about, what the market cares about, cost of production and healthy margins. It took a lot of research, and for a while I felt like I could only see 5 feet ahead at a time. NYC is an expensive place to live, so the pressure to succeed is very real. Although, if that pressure wasn't there I don't think the brand would be where it is now. I try to take my own advice and enjoy the journey. People in this city have been incredibly encouraging, and I think it's a great place to be a young designer. I have met so many talented people here fighting the same good fight.

Do you have any tips for designers looking to delve into getting some of their work made for the first time?

Being a good business person and marketer are essential to the success of an independent designer. Before you start coming up with any ideas, get really clear on who you want to sell to, how big that market is, who your competitors are and what would your market absolutely love to have at the right price point. Answer all of these questions first, and then let your imagination run wild.

Also, pick one thing and make it be exceptional. Something I hear quite often is that people want to hit the ground running and make several kind of products in five different variations. I discourage this, especially if you're planning on doing this alone. My advice would be to focus on making one phenomenal thing, get known for it and then expand from that point. Trust me it's easier that way.


Grab some Studio Cult Co gear for yourself here.

Design Job: Descente is Seeking an Engineered Footwear Designer in South Korea

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

‘To Bring the Enjoyment of Sports to All’ Descente LTD is running an Apparel R&D center in Japan and a Footwear R&D center in Korea. Descente is determined to improve the competitiveness of its products and to become a global leader in athletic footwear.The state of the

View the full design job here

Reader Submitted: Snapboard: Magnetically Managed Measuring

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

The kitchen drawer containing the measuring cups and spoons is often one of the most cluttered. In an effort to keep measuring cups organized, they are typically stacked. However, the process of stacking and unstacking can be tedious. Measuring spoons are even more frustrating to deal with. Although the spoons often come attached together with a ring, using them while connected is incredibly clumsy and clipping them on and off the ring is, again, tedious.

Snapboard was designed to be the most foolproof and simple method to organize measuring cups and spoons.

Experimenting with layouts and various attachment methods.Exploring slots, into which measuring spoons would be inserted.The first magnetic prototype.The final prototype.View the full project here

A Step-by-Step Look at Cody Hoyt's Inlaid Ceramic Technique 

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

Trained as a painter and printmaker and entirely self-taught in ceramics, Brooklyn-based artist Cody Hoyt lets his experience with the two-dimensional inform his sculptural work. "When it comes to my process, I still feel like I'm living in a two-dimensional world," he says. "I'm finding a voice in three-dimensional form." Best known for his faceted ceramic vessels made of intricately patterned clay slabs, his latest body of work, currently on view at Patrick Parrish Gallery, includes his first foray into table design.

"I haven't done anything like this before," he told me in a recent email. To make it happen, he developed an intricate technique of pigmented, cut, and inlaid clay. Below, Hoyt takes us step-by-step through his process.

Hoyt started out his Flat Earth table by building up concentric circles of colored clay on a pottery wheel. He takes the resulting disc and slices through it horizontally to expose the precise cross-section hidden inside. Once the clay is dry, it gets placed into the kiln—but its survival is not guaranteed beyond this point. Firing is "a natural process and the work is subject to this sort of 'final judgment,'" he says. "A lot of things break, and a lot of things get weird and change."

In this case, things went wrong but the process didn't end there. "I painstakingly replaced every shard and broken piece back into the original form," he explained. "Once everything had been put back the way it was, I took a step back and thought about my life and choices I've made."

From there, he prepares to cast the piece in resin by taping up the remaining cracks. "The tape 'stops' the resin from bleeding everywhere," he says. "I put 'stops' in quotations because it doesn't work. Once the resin has cured, I remove all the tape and polish the fuck out of the newly Frankensteined slab of fired ceramic," he continues. "I use a Makita wet grinder and start with 80 grit and go up to around 800 or 1000. The surface gets very silky-smooth like marble and is irresistible to touch."

To make the Poincaré table, Hoyt first maps out a hyperbolic tessellation on two slabs of wet clay. "Then I cut out all the pieces and swap 'em together," he says. "Doing it this way I end up with two complete patterns."

After the clay gets fired, each piece shrinks by about 11%. The shrunken edges create a gap that Hoyt fills with epoxy. "I transfer the pattern piece-by-piece from the kiln shelf onto a plastic surface, cleaning up edges as I go," he says. "Then I dam it up with clay in preparation for an epoxy fill."

He mixes stainless steel powder into the epoxy to give the final result a metallic quality, seen in the detail shot above. By keeping the edges irregular, "the pattern nods at infinity. It goes in all directions," he explains.

The legs of both tables are made from stacks of colored clay that have been cut down to the proper shape and length. "The leather-hard clay legs get routed out so they have a hollow core. After the clay is dry and fired I put a threaded rod through the length of the leg and fill it with epoxy. After a lot of careful measuring and cutting, the legs can be screwed into the base in 3 places."

Both tables are included in the show at Patrick Parrish, alongside several new ceramic vessels and a series of intricate wall works inspired by the nine-square grid and made using the same inlaid techniques.

"Full Time, Non Primitive" is on view at Patrick Parrish Gallery through April 14, 2019.

Design Job: Don't Sleep on This Opportunity! Astro Studios Is Seeking a Senior Graphic Designer in San Francisco, Ca

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

Our goal at ASTRO as a design studio is to bridge the gap that exists between people culture and technology by designing meaningful products, brands and experiences that improve the human experience. Rooted in design empowerment, User Experience is the fabric that knits together our multidisciplinary practice. We collaborate with

View the full design job here

At SXSW, New Dutch Wave Presents an Optimistic View of the Future

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

For the third year in a row, a selection of top Dutch designers are representing the Netherlands at SXSW in Austin. New Dutch Wave brings together six cross-disciplinary innovators who are thinking through some of the world's biggest issues and presenting new ways forward. They all seem to ask the question: "If not now then when?" The selected designers (including our very own Dave Hakkens) were chosen based on the following criteria: impact, innovation, experiment, and originality. Some, like Hakkens, will be expanding on existing projects, while others will debut new work at SXSW. Read on to find out more about three of the projects.

Urban Safety Kit by Bas Timmer

Bas Timmer was inspired to create the Sheltersuit—a coat that doubles as a sleeping bag—after his friend's father was turned away from a maxed-out shelter and ended up dying of hypothermia on the streets. He used sleeping bags gathered from the aftermath of music festivals to create the first samples and launched Sheltersuit in 2014. Since then, Timmer has distributed 5,100 coats to refugees and homeless people around the world and picked up the Dutch Design Award in 2017 and the German Design Award in 2018.

In addition to being wind and water-proof, the Sheltersuit is insulated and comes with a hood, an integrated scarf, and large pockets. The bottom portion zips on and off to give the wearer mobility and a seamless transition between the coat's two functions. The suit also comes with a backpack that can be used to store the coat/sleeping bag as needed.

At SXSW, Timmer is introducing the latest evolution of his project: an Urban Safety Kit comprising the tools one would need to ensure their safety on the street: access to medical help, protection from violence, and connectivity. With support from various industry and research partners, Timmer has developed a prototype that embeds smart technology to tackle these issues. He's added sensors that pick up heart rate and body temperature and emit alarms if hypothermia is detected, as well as a proximity alert sensor that will react if a person is robbed, or worse. Timmer also integrated solar panels into his latest design which will allow wearers to charge their devices and remain connected to society.

Precious Plastic by Dave Hakkens

You're probably already familiar with Dave Hakkens' long-term project Precious Plastics. A few years ago the Dutch designer and Core77 contributor decided to take a grass-roots approach to the complicated process of large-scale recycling and developed simplified, DIY versions of industrial recycling machines that anyone could replicate. Maker spaces, workshops, and designers around the world have used the open-source instructions to build their own tools, recycle plastic and manufacture new plastic products on their own.

Fundamentally a project about social engagement, Hakkens continues his movement at SXSW in a workshop developed alongside Andre Amaro. Together with 25 students from Texas University, they will pick up plastic waste around Austin's Waller Creek and immediately turn it into various one-of-a-kind products that will be available for sale.

KozieWe and KozieMe by Tom Kortbeek and Roos Meerman

The KozieWe is an interactive wall tapestry that reacts to motion and allows users to generate their own musical compositions. When you touch the wall, you'll hear an instrument playing. If another person starts interacting with it, another instrument will be heard, and so on. Tapping into research that shows a link between music, sound, and the recovery of memory, KozieWe has been used to help dementia patients living at home and in care facilities. The sounds can be personalized to better suit individuals. For example, a soundtrack of forest sounds might help a nature lover reconnect with those memories.

Whereas the KozieWe was designed to foster connections between multiple people, Kortbeek and Meerman's latest design, the KozieMe, is more intimate. Inspired by research into multi-sensory environments, the design is a simple plush pillow with built-in speakers that are activated by touch. Highly intuitive, it has an SD card slot so it can be customized with personal messages.

March 12 is Dutch Design Day at SXSW and participating designers will host a full day of events, including lectures and performances.

Reader Submitted: What if Google Assistants Used More than Voice to Communicate?

Core 77 - Sun, 2019-03-17 15:27

Conventional smart speakers work with voice and allow a conversation with the user. However, Those products have limitations since they are only using voice to communicate and exchange information.

Our idea of 'visible artificial intelligence' takes a step further into shaping our relationship with products that surrounds us. It uses Google's artificial intelligence, speech recognition and space recognition technology.

Google Visual Assistant is a new 'AI projector' concept that combines sound and visual information to create new possibilities.

View the full project here

Tesla's New Model Y Is More Like a Car Than SUV

Design News - Fri, 2019-03-15 15:11

With a low center of gravity and a low drag coefficient, the Model Y will be more car-like than many existing SUVs. (Image source: Tesla, Inc.)

Tesla, Inc. CEO Elon Musk showed off the next piece of his plan to bring electric vehicles to the mainstream, unveiling the Model Y battery-powered crossover at the company’s design center in Hawthorne, California.

The Model Y, essentially a taller hatchback version of the Model 3 sedan, is considered by many to be an important step for Tesla because it provides the larger form factor desired by broader swath of today’s consumers. “It has the functionality of an SUV but it will ride like a sports car,” Musk told a cheering audience of enthusiasts on Thursday. “This thing will be really tight in corners. We expect it will be the safest mid-sized SUV in the world.”

Musk suggested the vehicle would have a low center of gravity, unusual among sport utility vehicles, which typically ride high. He also claimed it would have an extremely low drag coefficient of 0.23, enabling it to slip through the wind with greater efficiency.

During a brief on-stage appearance, Musk explained that a version of the Model Y with a 300-mile all-electric range would reach the market in fall of 2020, and a shorter-range version (230 miles) would arrive in spring of 2021. The long-range version would start at $47,000, while the shorter-range would have a $39,000 price tag, he said.

Referring to the company’s product portfolio designations, which will now contain an S, 3, X, and Y, Musk told supporters, “We are bringing sexy back, quite literally.”

Industry analysts were careful in their praise of the vehicle. “This could be their most profitable model, particularly if Tesla doesn’t fall into the traps it fell into with earlier models,” Mike Ramsey, senior director and analyst for Gartner, Inc., told Design News. “It doesn’t appear to be overly complex. And the deadlines for production, while not totally realistic, are not completely bonkers the way they were for the Model 3.”

The Tesla Model 3, which is now the country’s biggest-selling electric car, was plagued by numerous delays before it finally creeped into production in July, 2017.

Given the current consumer desire for SUVs and pickup trucks, the Model Y is taking a sensible direction, noted Sam Abuelsamid, principal analyst for Navigant Research. “In retrospect, this is the vehicle Tesla should have built first, before the Model 3,” Abuelsamid told us.

The Model Y most likely would go head to head with European electric SUVs, such as the Jaguar I-Pace and the Audi e-Tron Sportback, which is expected to hit the market later this year. But it is smaller and more car-like than some of the conventional gasoline-based SUVs, such as the Toyota RAV4 or the Honda CR-V, analysts said.


The question now is where Tesla will build the Model Y. Musk suggested in January that it would be produced in the company’s Gigafactory near Reno, NV. But the Gigafactory to date has been set up only for production of batteries and drive units. As a result, Tesla would need to install a body shop, paint shop, and other types of transfer lines. Such facilities could run into the billions of dollars, which might be difficult for Tesla to raise in its current state.

In that sense, the Model Y may depend heavily on the success of the Model 3, which has posted lower sales in the first quarter of 2019, Abuelsamid said. “If demand for the Model 3 stays low, then Tesla will struggle to reach profitability and positive cash flow,” he told us. “And that would make it harder for them to build the Model Y.”

Senior technical editor Chuck Murray has been writing about technology for 35 years. He joined Design News in 1987, and has covered electronics, automation, fluid power, and auto.


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'Meta-Crystals' Make Materials Tougher and Lighter

Design News - Fri, 2019-03-15 07:00

A group of UK-based researchers has found a way to create more damage-tolerant architected materials by mimicking the more irregular microscale crystalline structure in strong metal alloys. The breakthrough could give way to materials with entirely new properties such as greater strength, lighter weight, and resistance to damage from material stress.

In materials science, mimicking nature in the form of architected materials can often yield improved results such as more strength and lighter weights. Typical architected materials are constructed from “unit cells” that are arranged so they all have the same orientation, like a grid with repeating nodes and struts (similar to the arrangement of a metallic single crystal: the nodes in the lattice are equivalent to the atoms in the single crystal, and the struts are equivalent to the atomic bonds).

Lightweight and damage-tolerant materials inspired by crystal structures for a low-carbon future. (Source: Dr. Minh-Son Pham, Imperial College London)

While this type of single-crystal material is ideal for high-temperature applications, it’s not so good for resisting mechanical stress. When the material is overloaded, localized bands of high stress can occur (“shear bands”) that result in highly localized deformations of the material in the form of cracks, ultimately leading to a collapse.

The team’s research report, “Damage-Tolerant Architected Materials Inspired by Crystal Microstructure,” was published in the January 7, 2019 edition of the journal Nature.

Mimicking the Crystal Microstructures of Metal

The crystal lattices of metal alloys are unique structures. At the atomic level, they consist of unit cells of the same type and orientation, but housed in many domains, each of which contains a lattice orientation that’s different from the orientation of nearby domains (unlike in single crystal arrangements). Researchers from the Department of Materials at Imperial College London and the University of Sheffield have found a way to mimic the crystal microstructure of metals and alloys on a macroscopic scale by constructing a lattice unit cell that consists of an ordered arrangement of nodes connected by struts.

Using a computer-aided design package, the team was then able to 3D print the “meta-crystal” material, resulting in samples more resistant to cracking and bending than typical materials, but also stronger and lighter. The team found that it could increase the strength of the meta-crystals by reducing the size of each grain-like lattice region within the structure. The materials could also be created in a way that directs damage along specific, predetermined structural paths to minimize and halt damage.

“We’re aiming for high strength and lightweight materials and an ability to control damage in a desired manner, and even direct damage to a specific location we want it to be, then arrest the damage by some mechanical mechanisms,” Dr. Minh-Son Pham, assistant professor in the department of materials at Imperial College London, told Design News.

The technique could be used to create parts and components of multi-functional materials with desired properties that could, for example, decrease the weight and increase the fuel efficiency of vehicles without sacrificing safety, or orthopedic devices that eliminate the stress-shielding problem and enable better rehealing of bones. Other applications could include artificial hips, sports helmets, better crumple zone in vehicles, fan blades in aeroengines or turbine blades.

Crystal Lattice Architecture Strengthens Materials Many Times Over

For the purpose of the research, the team created samples using fused deposition modelling, vat-polymerization and powder-bed fusion. To date, the researchers have printed three types of polymers, as well as metals including 316L steel and Ti6Al4V. In principle, printed lattices can be created with a wide variety of materials, including tungsten, nickel alloys and even bio-materials. Essentially, if it’s printable, the crystal lattice approach can be used on it to increase the strength of architected materials many times over. Dr. Pham told Design News that it’s not only about an increase in strength, but also to control any damage to a part by tailoring the lattice orientation.

“The “orderness” (lattices) varies from domain to domain; but within a domain, the lattice orientation is uniform, or poly-oriented. We are developing a computational platform to achieve the optimal strength for poly-oriented lattices,” said Dr. Pham.

For now, the technique is a promising way to create complex and customized components that don’t need to be produced in mass, but have high added value, such as medical devices or expensive parts for aircraft. The team also believes the new approach to creating crystalline metallic alloys will lead to new experimental and computational research to improve understanding of the possibilities afforded by varying both the intrinsic microstructure and the designed mesostructure of meta-crystals.

“This approach will offer a unique way to realize the full potential of 3D printing,” said Dr. Pham.


Going forward, the researchers hope to use the technique to develop a new class of materials that are lightweight, mechanically robust, and smart. 

Tracey Schelmetic graduated from Fairfield University in Fairfield, Conn. and began her long career as a technology and science writer and editor at Appleton & Lange. Later, as the editorial director of telecom trade journal Customer Interaction Solutions (today Customer magazine), she became a well-recognized voice in the contact center industry. Today, she is a freelance writer specializing in manufacturing and technology, telecommunications, and enterprise software.


The nation's largest embedded systems conference is back with a new education program tailored to the needs of today's embedded systems professionals, connecting you to hundreds of software developers, hardware engineers, start-up visionaries, and industry pros across the space. Be inspired through hands-on training and education across five conference tracks. Plus, take part in technical tutorials delivered by top embedded systems professionals. Click here to register today!

Design Job: Chill Out: YETI Coolers is Seeking a Senior Industrial Designer in Austin, TX

Core 77 - Thu, 2019-03-14 14:04

At YETI, we believe that time spent outdoors matters more than ever and our gear can make that time extraordinary. When you work here, you’ll have the opportunity to create exceptional, meaningful work and problem solve with innovative team members by your side. Together, you’ll help our customers get the

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Celebrate International Women's Day with Our 'Designing Women' Series

Core 77 - Thu, 2019-03-14 14:04

Without resorting to Google, how many 20th-century female industrial designers can you name? We're hoping that most of our readers have no trouble thinking of Ray Eames, Florence Knoll, Eileen Gray, Charlotte Perriand, Eva Zeisel and perhaps a few others. But we're guessing that very few of you came up with more than six or seven names total. Not that we did a lot better ourselves—the unfortunate truth is that women designers' contributions to the field just haven't gotten much exposure and cele

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Reader Submitted: A Floating Tea Infuser that Gives Your Tea Bags a Second Life

Core 77 - Thu, 2019-03-14 14:04

Fill the Lippa with your favorite tea leaves and let it float in your cup. When your tea is ready, just lift Lippa from your cup and turn it upside down on the table. Lippa catches the drips. When you want a second brew, just re-fill your cup with hot water and re-insert the tea infuser. No more wasted leaves and tea bags.

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