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Design

Does R&D spend equal greater profits?

Does R&D spend equal greater profits?

In a time of uncertainty with Brexit and questions over a potential decline in the economy companies will be looking over spend and working out where their money is best placed to future proof their business.

While investing in R&D itself doesn’t necessarily mean your company profits will soar, it does send signals to your staff and investors that you are serious about the future of your company.

And while Forbes make a compelling case for why R&D spend doesn’t necessarily indicate innovation, sighting other required factors like understanding your customers and business model, a quick double take at what Apple is currently up to blows that out of the water.

A look at Apples R&D spend

Strategy& at Price Waterhouse Cooper publish their Global Innovation 1000 Study each year in October, which investigates trends at the world’s 1000 largest corporate R&D spenders.

Apple is the leader of innovation, with the number one slot, and although they are 11th in the R&D spend table for 2016, their recent spend may see them edging higher up the spend charts when Strategy& release their 2017 report in October this year.

Over the last 9 months Apple spent $8.58 billion on R&D, 15% higher than the same period last year. Last quarter alone Apple spend $2.94 billion on R&D, making it one of the largest spenders in tech.

Now we don’t need to explain Apple products to you, I’m sure in your office a large percentage of your colleagues are Apple disciples. People who have Apple products love Apple with a fervour that’s not always found in consumables.

Apple know that to stay ahead of the competition, they need to develop products, create software, and ever faster manufacturing processes.

So has Apples increasing R&D spend resulted in more profit? Apple just released their Q3 earnings a few days ago and their profits have jumped by 17%.

R&D Company

And we can see here that as Apple's R&D spend grew, their income grew exponentially.  And Apple argues that even though it's R&D spend is massive, it is still more efficient than all its competitors.

R&D spend Vs. profits

We took a look at the top 3 R&D spenders in the Strategy& report and compared their spend with their current profits.

Volkswagen are the highest R&D spenders with a price tag of $13.2bn. Their announced first quarter profits are €4.4bn up from €3.4bn at the same time last year.

Samsung are second in the list with a R&D spend of $12.7bn and are expecting a 72% jump in profits for the last quarter. If true they will have overtaken Apple in profits for smartphones.

Amazon are third with a R&D spend of $12.5bn. Their story is a little more complex, while profits fell by 77% in the last quarter, Jeff Bezos temporarily became the worlds richest person, leap frogging Bill Gates (just for a little bit). So, Amazon is clearly making money somewhere!

R&D spend equals higher profits

Now we know that not all companies are the Apples, Samsungs, Volkswagens and Amazons of the world, but if we take these examples we can see that investing in your business does equal profits.

We’re not suggesting that upping your R&D spend is going to magically increase your profit share. These are big businesses, with lots of facets to why they are successful, but a common denominator is their high investment in R&D.

We'd love to talk to you if you're thinking about investing in R&D for your business. We're in a unique position as we're engineers and product designers, who also have experts in R&D, so we can take you through the whole process. Talk to us about R&D opportunities for your company.

2017 Global Innovation 1000 Study

We’re looking forward to Strategy& findings for 2017 when they release their next report in October. Keep checking back at our blog for our response.

Want to talk to one of our team about your potential R&D claim? Book a free consultation and we'll give you a call:

10 Beautiful Designs - October

10 Beautiful Designs - October

It’s Autumn now, right? Or at least it’s close. So close that I can already feel the cosy open fires, smell the chestnuts roasting and feel the crunch of the fallen leaves.

This month will feature designs from all manner of design routes, a bit like the miscellaneous blog from August, enjoy.

Horiz-ontal

First up is the Casa Italia project. Invited to create artwork for the Italian sports team headquarters, Davide D’Elia presents ‘Horiz-ontal’. This winding path of blue and white walls feature 17 installations of various objects painted in sync with the dividing lines. The corridor is surreal but yet immersive and inviting. You are guided down the path, led by the flow of the lines, the lighting and the bold colours.

 

A+Z Loft House

I just love it when old buildings get repurposed into beautiful living spaces and this is such a great example. Factories are always my favorite conversion projects, closely followed by barns and old unused churches. This ex-weapons factory in Budapest has become a wonderful home. Undertaken by a husband and wife who run A+Z Design Studio, decided to become their own clients and convert this industrial building into a living space. In total, they have spent two years on this project and the result is a combination of retro with contemporary. The space has four floors, plenty of natural light and lots of painted details. I absolutely adore the living and dining area.

 

WTF Lamp

These ‘WTF’ bare lamps come from Sergey Lvov of Ukranian Levantin Design. I’ll admit, I’m a bit smitten with these lamps, aren’t they lovely! Nothing is hidden, all the fittings are on show, the bulb is proudly sitting in the geometric wire shade and the exposed power cable trails down the structure. 

 

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Kenzo/Spike Jonze

Not product design, not architecture, not even interior design...though actually it kind of is all three. The new collaboration between Kenzo and Spike Jonze is probably the best advert i've ever seen. I absolutely love it. It takes everything you'd expect from a perfume advert and turns it on it's head. It's fun, bold and breaks from stereotypes. The setting is a beautiful grand building with wide open staircases, mirrored walls and beautiful chandeliers. Complete with elegant furnishings, beautiful interiors, amazing choreography and strong direction, it was impossible to leave this off the list. 

 

Impossible I Type

This beauty from The Impossible Project marries modern day tech with nostalgia. This striking industrial design screams modernity, from the matte black finish to the typography. There are few buttons or dials on this camera, the ring of LED lights at the front are controllable from the camera and there is also a switch for exposure compensation control. In manual mode, the camera takes it’s lead from an app, offering remote shutter control, artistic shooting modes and shutter and exposure control.

 

Mido

From the mind of designer Rasmus Warberg, comes the MIDO sideboard. The industrial pipes pair beautifully with the wooden case. This thoughtful construction is evidence of his fine craftsmanship and attention to detail. I love the black pipes, and how they enhance the brightness of the wood.

 

Turning Boxes

Hans Sandgren Jakobsen designed these turning boxes for the 2015 Cabinetmakers’ autumn exhibition. There will be 50 limited edition cabinets available, all of which are already pre-ordered. The single, interconnected drawers are connected by one single bolt allowing them to easily slide in and out of their location. The contrast between the American walnut and European maple is just beautiful and the tower is both a functional item and a focal point. ­­­­

 

Solight

This wonderful light is not only a great design, but it has practical and environmental purpose too. Designer Alice Chun has designed this packable, collapsible and floatable solar lantern as a lighting alternative to reduce pollution and give light to those in need. Made from recyclable sailcloth material and 10 LEDs, which re-charge in the sun, this eco-friendly product provides 8-12 hours of light. Withstanding most climates makes this a versatile design, very beneficial for those in areas with no electricity.

 

Monoliths

I really love these tables. Probably because they’re made of concrete… in fact, there’s no probably about it, it’s definitely because they’re made of concrete. Architect Murray Barker and artist Laith McGregor designed these outdoor table tennis tables for the University Museum of Art in Melbourne. With copper detailing and steel nets, these tables look heavy and yet sleek.

 

Austin Seven Boulogne

This gorgeous go-kart has been designed and created by Douglas Varey who started building them as a family project with his 11-year-old daughter. Using re-purposed and eco-friendly materials, Varey designs and builds vintage inspired go-karts and this is a truly beautiful example of his work. This Austin Seven Boulogne took two years to complete and illustrates how different elements come together to create truly fantastic design.

Written by

Katherine Thomson

 

10 Beautiful Designs - September

10 Beautiful Designs - September

Hi there folks, the top ten design blog is here for September! Hopefully you'll love all of the designs, but let us know your favourite!

Alato Cabinet

Created by two students for their final project, this beautiful piece is both striking and creative. The paint finish creates a scaly effect, with the unfinished ash veneer at the top of the cabinet, down to the light grey and cool blue. Currently, the Alato cabinet is only a prototype but the future looks bright for it’s creators.

 

 

Coffee table number three

This table challenges your perception of a standard coffee table. Aesthetically pleasing and sculptural as well as practical. The wood contrasts with the minimalist alabaster and looks both rustic and elegant. Designed to fit into any interior, this is a versatile and beautiful design.

 

 

Billy BL floor lamp

This lovely brass footed lamp has been designed by Ilse Crawford for Australian design company, Kalmar Werkstätten. The lamp is supported by a rosewood stem and features an elegant matt black lampshade with a contrasting brass interior. The London based designer has completed several projects for brands and this is another example of her well executed work.

 

 

Earth table

Designer Renzo Piano has created the Earth table to symbolise the Twin Towers. The iron legs reference the tangle of reinforced bars left behind in the rubble and the wooden top is representative of a world map. The pieces of wood are suspended in clear resin and sourced from ancient trees preserved in New Zealand swamps.

 

 

Moooi Horse lamp

These lamps are a bit out of the ordinary and I love them. The collection for Moooi consists of full scale models of a horse and a rabbit with lamps on their heads and a pig side table. Initially unsure of how people would react to their new range, the feedback has been very positive, with the horse lamp in particular featuring in design magazines around the world.

 

 

Blubel

Urban dwellers rejoice, the Blubel is designed to make cycling around the city a lot easier and safer. Designed to work with your phone, the Blubel offers much more than a GPS device. This little bit of tech can be used to alert other cyclists to potential dangers on the road, in real time. The directions are displayed to you using a circle of LED lights and alerts are incorporated to warn you of hazards.

 

Stamp Pendent

Outofstock have designed this lamp for Danish brand Bolia, and have mixed soft and hard materials to create this beautiful pendant lamp. The body is made of two parts, blown white glass and industrial felt. The marriage of the materials and the shapes, creates a beautiful and striking design.

 

 

Maburu

Mob, a Mexican design studio, have created these two new table designs to rethink how marble can be used. Paired with either brass or wood, the marble is cut into geometric shapes. I really love the use of a contrasting material to provide an accent material.

 

 

Loft Hrebenky

I had to include this example of gorgeous interior design. This stunning flat in Prague is a great example of how a design can work in a difficult setting. 44 pieces of furniture had to be made to fit into the unconventional layout. Other furnishings were added, most of which were 1950’s items to complete the look. I really love this design, the use of materials and the muted colour scheme.

 

 

Dartmouth sofa convertible & table

This practical and clever design comes from Brandon Kershner who explored how to make the most of space in home furnishings. Not only does this sofa hide a very practical table in the back of the seat, but it also folds down into a double bed.

 

Written by 

Katherine Thomson

If you enjoyed that, why not check out our other blogs too

 

 

 

New technology releases 2016

New technology releases 2016

As we have crossed the half way line of the year (yes I know, where did the last 6 months go?) it’s time to look at what technology we’ve got to look forward to.

 

iPhone 7

It’s hard to know if what we’ve seen so far of the iPhone 7 is going to be a reality, because we never really know for certain until it is released. So far, we can speculate about what we are likely to expect from rumours and blurry images which have been leaked. So, what do we think we know so far? Well, the new iPhone is likely to be thinner, which would be achieved by ditching the headphone jack. It is likely that there will be a new colour option (which is highly speculated to be blue), a larger camera lens, a bigger minimum storage choice and it's possible that it will be waterproof too. The iPhone has some camera catching up to do when compared with other brands of a similar spec, yet the lens change isn’t likely to signify an increase in megapixels. With a release likely in September to coincide with iOS 10 and every other previous iPhone release, we won’t really know what expect for a couple more months, but let’s face it, no matter what it has, it’s likely to be a success.

 

Google Home

Google Home was announced in May at Google’s keynote event and didn’t have a specific date for release, yet rumours are that we will see it before the end of the year. Operated entirely by voice, Google Home will carry out services such as setting timers, alarms and sending messages. It will work in harmony with other Google services such as Google Play Music, Google Cast and Google Assistant. Google have worked hard to ensure that this voice assistant works in real life situations in the home, so that when there are other sounds, the far field voice recognition will still work effortlessly.

 

Nintendo NX

Before the years out, we can also expect details on the Nintendo NX. Though release isn’t due until March 2017, we do expect that the new Nintendo console will marry together the home and handheld markets. Some speculate that it will be a console for use at home, which will also allow you to take part of it away to continue your progress elsewhere. Likely to be as powerful as a PS4, it is set to be a major rival on the gaming market.

 

Pokémon Go

It's already been released, but with huge growth I think it would be naïve of me not to include the huge new Pokémon Go, because although this might not be technology like you’ve just read about above, it is a big part of popular digital culture at the moment and is changing the way people are interacting with their tech. 

For those of you who aren’t aware of this new/old craze sweeping the world, it is a free-to-play, GPS based, augmented reality version of Pokémon, which was once played with trading cards. Pokémon Go is worth talking about, because unlike other games, this game forces you to go to the outside world to play.

Pokémon Go had added $9 billion to Nintendo’s market value, taking it to a total of £22 billion...though this took a drastic plummet when it was revealed that Nintendo don't actually develop the game! 

 

So that's just a preview of what to expect for the coming months, check back after the iPhone 7 release where i'll be picking apart the new features. 

 

Written by 

Katherine Thomson 

Top 10 Glass Designs

Top 10 Glass Designs

This originally started out as a top 5, but once I started narrowing it down, I just couldn’t only choose 5…you’ll see why.

 

Limpid Lights

Hailing from Eindhoven, Sam Van Gurp and Esther Jongsma, partner together to create product design studio VANTOT. The latest work to come from this duo is a collection called Limpid Lights. The shades are hand blown, and treated to create a hazy hue from the LED inside. This beautiful collection comes in a variety of shapes and three different colours.

 

 

OP-Vase

This beautiful collection of vases comes from designer, Bilge Nur Saltik. The faceted glass creates the illusion of a bouquet from just a single flower, multiplying and magnifying the flower. The collection features thee different vases in different shades and sizes, each crafted from hand blown glass. I really love this idea, and how effective they are at achieving the look of a bouquet.

 

 

Well

Aptly named as it draws inspiration from traditional water wells, this table lamp from Medj Studio takes a fresh look at mood lighting. A wooden handle mechanism winds and unwinds the cord which changes the height of the bulb. The higher the bulb, the brighter the light as the glass is frosted at the bottom creating a gentle hue. The glass is blown into wooden molds and drilled to allow for maple handles and brass details. The bulb socket hangs properly due to the weight of the brass bulb socket and a textile cable holds the socket.

 

 

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Glass Tea House

Okay, so less product design, more architecture, but an incredibly beautiful design which I had to include.

Tea ceremonies are a deeply rooted tradition in Japanese culture. This stunning creation comes from Tokujin Yoshioka to allow people to appreciate the surroundings whilst taking part in a tea ceremony, bringing people closer nature.

 

 

 

Holy Tristan

These tables marry together my favorite material (concrete) with glass. Concrete is a minimalist material and allows the focus to be placed on the lit glass table top. Designed by Michael Neubauer, these tables look futuristic and sleek. The patent pending lighting system has a special touch dimmer, giving ‘table lamp’ a whole new meaning.

 

 

Glass Shoal

This incredibly beautiful design comes from Scabetti. Resembling a school of fish swimming together in formation, this three hundred and eighty-six fish lighting fixture has quite an incredible presence. Created using clear, kiln-formed glass, the light reflects off the glass almost resembling sunlight through water. Truly beautiful.

 

 

 

Uki

Mjölk, a Toronto based shop and gallery which focusses on Japanese and Scandinavian goods has released this lovely candle lamp which comes from Nichetto Studio. The Uki tea light lamp has a Murano blown-glass diffuser to create subtle angles and the two shade options of either white or grey sit on top of a brass or copper base creating a soft hue.

 

 

Quido

This wonderful glass orb has one purpose, to allow you to enjoy a drink in the sun, with your friends without attracting lots of little bugs along to the party too. This contemporary design, takes modern mixology to a gorgeous new level, combining a bulky black lid with delicate glass straws. This is both beautiful, and practical.

 

 

Bottle up

Glass waste is a big problem in Zanzibar, as tourism proves to be both a vital source of income for the island, but also a large driver of waste. The glass has begun to overtake the natural surroundings, and as a solution, six Dutch designers have turned their attentions to creating ‘Bottle Up’ by teaming up with local craftsmen to transform glass waste into beautiful, functional products.

 

Credenza

I’ve saved my favourite until last because I think this collection is a truly beautiful example of glass design. This modern stained glass, inspired by the stained glass windows found at holy sites marries perfectly the traditional beauty of a thousand-year-old art with contemporary design. The highly skilled Italian artists that product these pieces, still use an old manual technique.

 

 

Written by 

Katherine Thomson

Have you seen our Top 5 Marble designs?

10 beautiful designs - July

10 beautiful designs - July

There’s a lot of clocks this month...though that's no bad thing! 

Enjoy! 

Life in Progress Concrete Clock

I couldn’t keep concrete out of the blog could I? This gorgeous and simplistic design comes from Bertrand Jayr for Lyon Béton. The French manufacturer has a growing family of concrete products and I love it! The clean design is created by the absence of numbers and the clean white clock hands. Small enough to be a desk clock yet big enough to be a wall clock too, this is a versatile design with a big impact.

 

The Bradley Element

The Bradley Element by Eone is an innovative and practical design. Stylish and intriguing, this watch strips away traditional elements and instead replaces the hands with a dial ball bearing system powered by magnets. The Bradley line of watches were designed with the visually impaired in mind, able to match the position of the ball bearing to the raised marker on the watch face. This eye-catching design is made of tough materials making it not only a great design, but also a practical one.

 

Anima Table Lamp

Art Deco will never go out of style. The streamlined accents and pastel colours shine through to modern day designs, and this Anima table lamp from Atelier Sauvage is a key example of this. Composed of two contrasting woods, solid sycamore and French pear, this simple form is defined by its smooth curves, stacked structure and bulb placement. Delicate but bold, this piece is both a lamp and a sculpture.

 

 

ONEclassic

This beautifully designed speaker is constructed from acrylic plastic.  The clear casing isn’t just aesthetically pleasing; it has a practical reason too. The acrylic is perfect for damping which stops the sound from reflecting inside the speaker. Of course, this material comes at a higher price and it is 5x more expensive than wood. There’s no denying that this speaker comes with a hefty price tag, but the transparent design and uncompromising performance makes this a unique design on this months blog.

 

Tarxia Collection

These handcrafted wooden phone cases from Adrián Rosales and Rafael Ruiz Casares are influenced by Andalusian art mosaics. The Tarxia collection are crafted using a seven centuries old technique which involves creating geometric patterns out of inlaid wood. Each of the nine designs are finished using natural materials making them ecological and hypoallergenic.

 

 

Today

Another clock, I did warn you that it would be clock heavy this month. This one though, is truly beautiful, and comes from Scott Thrift. Instead of focusing on the passage of time through hours and minutes ‘Today’ makes a full clock rotation through 24 hours to represent dawn, noon, dusk and midnight in corresponding hues. This clock stretches the user’s perception of time and provides a reminder to live in the present.  

 

Time Pattern

Layered triangular components form the basis of this clock. ‘Time pattern’ is a wall clock which again, looks at time differently. Designer Jorrit Taekema uses the layered elements to represent the passage of time and how it is constantly changing. The triangles look striking against the black clock front and although you might not have this for practical uses, this is a lovely item in its own right.

 

Concreto

Probably my favorite design on the list and can you blame me? Look at it, it’s beautiful! Designer Daniele Ragazzo was inspired by the walls found in Liguria which feature glass frozen in cement. This gorgeous design might look frail, but composed of fibre-reinforced concrete, coloured glass, amber and brass, this delicate looking table is much more solid than it looks. I just absolutely love it!

 

Wooden Turntable Collection

Creative and beautifully designed, these turntables from Joel Scilley are created from old pieces of wood. Available for purchase through his website, each turntable is beautifully individual and ranges from the classic looking ‘Chirp’ to the elaborate ‘El Diablo’.

 

Connesso Chair

Take a look at this, isn’t it lovely. It’s so simple and yet bold. This striking armchair comes from recent design graduate, Caroline Eriksson. The sweeping arm, in contrast to the solid form of the legs and seat, making the design look both delicate and tough. I love the simplicity of this design and that it capable of making such a big visual impact.

 

Written by

Katherine Thomson

If you've enjoyed that list, then you're in for a treat, because there's a new one every month! Why not give the previous design blogs a read!

10 beautiful designs - June

10 beautiful designs - June

Hi!!! 🙌🏻 It's that time again, enjoy! My personal fave is the TWELVE lamp series! Tweet us your faves @g2innovation 

Elmer

Designed by Guillaume Delvigne, in partnership with French design studio Bellila, this lovely lamp, Elmer, is inspired by Elephant ears. The metal ears, combined with a sturdy oak base make for a soft and soothing design, which looks great in an array of playful colours. This clever and contemporary design means that the lamp can sit on it’s own, or be grafted to a shelf. I absolutely love the orange one!

 

Lagoon

Customizable and fun, this outdoors chair from Baldessari e Baldessari for Lagoon is inspired by lagoon colours from all around the world. Polypropylene-molded to give the impression that it’s comprised of two pieces, although the stitching doesn’t hold the chair together, it does fasten the cover into place which is removable and available in different fabrics, allowing you to customize the look.

 

Woolsey Ping Pong table

Designed by Sean Woolsey, this sleek and multifunctional Ping Pong table is perfect for design enthusiasts. Featuring a solid black walnut top sitting on solid walnut legs and paddles made from walnut and maple, this table is one that screams to be shown off. Perfect for an office environment, the powder-coated steel net can be easily removed, effortlessly turning this gorgeous table into a dining or conference table.

 

Mushroom Lamp

Versatile and functional, this fungus shaped LED lamp also acts as a charger and stand for your phone. A nod towards nature, particularly the varieties of mushroom that illuminate at night using bioluminescence, this lovely little glass lamp emits a soft and welcoming glow. When flipped over to reveal the maple base, this lamp is able to charge your phone at the same time as working as a lamp. Able either to illuminate a space for 8 hours or to charge an iPhone twice over before needing a little recharge itself.

 

Lift-Bit

The world’s first internet-of-things sofa has been unveiled and it looks lovely! The ‘Lift-bit’ designed by Carlo Ratti Associati with help from Vitra is a modular furniture system which can transform from sofa to bed to chair through gestures or a mobile app. Consisting of a cluster of upholstered stools, motorized using a linear actuator, the user has complete control over the form they want their seating to take, though the shape-shifting configuration will re-adjust when it gets ‘bored’ to keep users on their toes.

 

Solid wool

Solidwool is a British company that has joined the green revolution. The material, Solidwood, is made from two components- bio-resin and wool. Bio-resin is eco-friendly and without harmful chemicals, and wool is sustainable, renewable and natural and forms the base of this design. The sustainable ash wood legs offset the black powder coasted steel frame and would fit beautifully into any contemporary setting.

 

TWELVE

This lovely lighting system from Plato design is fully customizable thanks to its magnetic connections and modular design. The TWELVE collection consists of three different models, each with different finishes, and made from different materials. My personal favorite is the Basic TWELVE because it’s made from concrete and I’m sure my love of concrete is no shock to anyone who reads this blog regularly! The dodecahedrons with built in magnets let you join together up to seven lamps with only the need for one to be plugged in.

 

Concretus

Designed by second year product design student, Gražina Bočkutė, this gorgeous speaker is striking. Clean crisp lines, highlighted by the rough texture of the concrete and complimented by the metal accents, this contrast of materials makes it both contemporary and industrial. With Bluetooth integration and four control buttons on the side, this speaker turns traditional speakers on their heads. 

 

Molekule

Air pollution is a big problem, and indoor air is 5 times more polluted than outdoor as chemicals and pollutants accumulate and multiply over time. Designed by Dr Yogi Goswami, a scientist who has developed the Molekule, a system, which doesn’t just capture harmful bacteria, mold and viruses, but converts them into clean air. The contemporary design and clean cylindrical shape make this an elegant piece, which wouldn’t look, out of place in the home.

 

Louis

Sometimes you just can’t beat the grainy retro warmth of a vinyl record. The problems occur when you want that sound, but don’t want the heap of records stacked up next to your deck.  This beautiful little speaker, inspired by the iconic gramophone shape, is the answer to all of life’s vinyl problems. Designed by Paolo Cappello, this wooden analogue speaker mimics the sound of records when playing music off your smartphone. Available in neutral, graphite and yellow, what’s not to love? 

Enjoyed this months design blog? Why not check out the previous posts here

Written by

Katherine Thomson

10 beautiful designs - January

10 beautiful designs - January

Spurcycle

Redesigning the classic bike bell might seem like an impossible challenge, how much improvement can be made on a design, which has always seemed so effective and practical? Well, until now, I had thought very little, and then I saw this design. Biking is increasingly popular in urban areas and it is a popular commuter choice. The bike bell is necessary for alerting pedestrians and other cyclists that you’re there, however they are usually clunky, ineffective and either too loud or not loud enough. The Spurcycle bell is small and sleek and is made of a stainless steel casing with a brass clapper, which produces a ring 3x longer than other models and can be heard from further away. 

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Well Rounded Sound

If you’re listening to your favorite album, you want it to sound good; otherwise what’s the point of listening to it? Jerry Cmehil, founder of ‘Well rounded sound’, has a very aesthetically pleasing and eco friendly answer to perfect sound quality. Each element of the design has been designed with a purpose. For example, the solid wood stand found on the ‘Boxer’ (the speakers are named after dog breeds) helps to reduce bass energy transfer and provides a perfect near listening angle.

Shark Diver Kit

Brooklyn based designer Matt Cavanaugh has a fresh approach to bridging the gap between children and adults. Cavanaugh has created minimalist designs of a scuba diver and a shark, which requires origami style assembly. The puppet-like objects are both lovely toys and also a lesson in creative thinking, which is sometimes lost on more ‘serious’ adults.

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The Brink

Simple yet bold is how I would describe ‘The Brink’.  This is the smallest object in the Perimeter series designed by Jake Wright of Stockpile Designs. Each design in the series follows the same style, but in different shapes and sizes. Handmade in New York from white oak and steel, the single steel leg is adorned with a pale exposed wooden top, creating a fierce contrast. Sometimes less is more, and this table is evidence to that.

 

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Pipeline

Pipeline, designed by Bertrand Jayr brings outdoor architecture to the indoors. The delicate flowers offset the strength of the concrete and create a beautiful product. This is a very versatile design, which would fit in with both a modern or industrial style. Part of Lyon Betons Green Collection, this piece features with other products which make you ‘reconsider the place of nature in your home’. Other items in the collection include the ‘Nuclear Plant’ and a selection of Coffee tables, flower stands and a bench, which are all worth exploring as they are equally beautiful.

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EGO Armchair

Designed by Alegre Design in Valencia, Spain, the EGO armchair is one, which encourages users to sit how they please. When sitting on a comfortable chair, the need to readjust is lessened, as the user is more at ease. With the EGO chair, the design is comfortable and more relaxed and gives the user the options of slouching and lying down as though on a chaise lounge or sitting upright. This modern minimalist design has carefully considered both the practicality of this design, as well as the beauty.

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Meze Wooden Headphones

Both elegant and practical, the Meze wooden headphones are a well-designed product aiming to change the perception of headphones being a plastic throwaway item, to one that is a stylish piece for life. Each detail has been carefully considered. The ear-cups are made from walnut and finished with satin wood grain, the ear pads are made from memory foam for the ultimate comfortable fit. Besides the beautiful design, and high quality features, these headphones are unique in the fact that they offer unlimited warranty and are endlessly serviceable. With no plastic elements or glue, every replaceable piece is either a nut or bolt.

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Zung Ride Collection

Designed in house at Studio Zung in NYC, these surfboards make part of the Zung ride collection, which features both skateboards and surfboards. The boards are hand shaped in Southern California and made from polyurethane foam and fiberglass finished with either paint or resin tint. These boards look minimalist but distinctive and are designed to make surfing even better.

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The Mormor ceramics series

Textiles inspire the Mormor series by designer Gry Faber. The design incorporates the traditional character of older kitchens. ‘Mormor’ in Danish translates to ‘Grandmother’, which highlights the inspiration taken from revisited tradition. The collection comes in three different motifs each following the same style.

METIS Desk

This desk is named after the Greek goddess of wisdom, cunning and prudence. The compact desk complete with three doors and two lidded compartments helps you to utilise storage and minimize clutter. The amount of stoage is deceptive for such a sleek reduced form yet the cleverness is all down to the design.  Gonçalo Campos designed this piece for Wewood to maintain both mess and style, and that has certainly been achieved. This design is considered, smart and stylish!

Written by 

Katherine Thomson 

What can we expect to see in 2016?

What can we expect to see in 2016?

1 – Mobile Shopping via TV and connected devices

 

This year, we saw Amazons Dash buttons capable of ordering household favourites at the touch of a button when connected to the users Prime account through an app. The device works by instantly placing an order and sending an order confirmation to your phone so that you don’t have to go to the hassle of logging in, finding your product and ordering it. Some would argue this is sheer laziness, and others would argue that it has been made with convenience in mind. Which ever is closer to your view, this kind of shopping shows no slowing down in 2016 and in fact, it seems like it will increase! Programmatic video is probably going to bring mobile shopping to TV, from customised ad experiences to being able to watch your shows and purchase outfits that the characters are wearing or products that they’re using.

 

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2 – Hyperloop

 

Elon Musk unveiled in 2013 that he had been working on a design for a Hyperloop solar-powered supersonic pod-train, capable of accelerating to 335mph in as little as 2 seconds. In Summer2013, it seemed like some sort of futuristic dream, but fast-forward a mere 2 and a half years and Musk has announced plans to start work on an open-air test site in Nevada. The aim for 2016 is that the 2-mile long tube track will levitate a pod and accelerate it to over 700mph.

 

3 – Batteries

 

This might not sound like the most exciting development, but when you take in to consideration that we use batteries in some form every day, this could have a big impact! In particular I want to talk about Sodium-ion batteries and foam batteries. Sodium-ion batteries that use salt have been used in laptops following the creation of a prototype by French network, RS2E. The battery is one that would be suitable for use in electric cars as well as laptops and the 6.5cm battery can manage 90 watt-hours per kilogram. The other exciting development comes from Prieto who is the first company to develop a battery, which uses a copper foam substrate. There are multiple benefits to these batteries including their longer battery life, faster charging ability and safety, which is due to having no flammable electrolytes. There’s a good chance we will see these developments in 2016, but if not, they’re not far away!

 

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4 – Drone Delivery


Amazon have already announced ‘Amazon Prime Air’, which is a new delivery system designed to get packages to customers within 30 minutes using unmanned aerial drones. This form of delivery has not been done before and if implemented will change our expectations of ordering online forever. This isn’t something, which is going to happen overnight. The testing for Amazon Air has already begun in the UK, USA and Israel, but more development is required and this will not launch until all safety features are 100% complete. Amazon is not the only company interested in developing this feature; Google, Alibaba and others including a burrito company are also experimenting with this form of delivery. The initial deliveries to be made via this method will be of low value due to the delivery from the drone to the ground…


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5 – Smart Clothes

 

Yep, that’s right, Smart clothes. Let’s look at Project Jacquard for instance; this is an exciting and rapidly developing project. We live in an increasingly interactive world, and there are many items, which have remained the same for hundreds of years, such as clothing. Sure, the styles change, the colours vary and the materials fall out of fashion, but the overall principle stays the same. Project Jacquard changes that and makes it possible to weave interactivity into any textile using standard industrial looms. These new conductive yarns have been created in collaboration with industry partners and combine thin, metallic alloys with natural and synthetic yarns. The end result of doing this is to create garments, which have gesture sensitive areas or sensor grids, which can create interactive surfaces. The electronic components are engineered to be as discreet as possible, and intend to be no larger than a button and make it possible to capture the gesture data to wirelessly transmit to mobile phones or other devices. This is a very exciting step for developers, designers, and consumers and adds a whole new level to the connected world. 

Written by

Katherine Thomson

10 Beautiful Designs - December

10 Beautiful Designs - December

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1 – Grovemade Tabletop Collection

Kevin Do, Grovemade industrial designer describes the tabletop as a ‘vehicle to enjoyment’. This collection is an example of sleek yet practical items, which are aesthetically pleasing and minimalist. This perfectly weighted dishware, is crafted from porcelain and looks beautiful sitting on the collection of wooden placemats which are not a traditional rectangle shape and feature a subtle geometric pattern. All products are made in house, and attention has been paid to all of their pieces, from the curved edged plates to the salt and peppershakers. This is a full and beautiful collection of tableware.

2 – Sennheiser Orpheus System

Sennheiser are known for their beautiful design and perfect sound quality, but this time, they’ve really gone an extra mile and achieved a design, which looks sleek and if I’m honest, I think is absolutely perfect. The Orpheus headphone system is housed in an Italian marble body, which is offered in a range of colours, and offers a new concept of amplification, which combines elements of both the transistor and tube amplifier. No expense has been spared in choosing components fit for this gorgeous design and as a result, not only does the Orpheus offer stunning audio quality, it provides visual quality too!

3 – The Aron Chair

This is a subtle yet beautiful piece of furniture from Mexican artist, Luis Luna of Namuh Studio. Handmade from walnut, this is a gentle construction with sweeping contours and fluid connections. The short back provides the unobtrusive support that you would expect from a chair yet the long legs are typical of stool.

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4 – ELMA

Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without a lamp! Designed by Tommaso Caldera, this beautiful lamp features a metal diffuser to radiate a gentle glow in the surrounding space. The design draws inspiration from traditional nomadic lamps, creating a simple form. The milled plywood creates support for the lamp in a contrasting natural wood. Available in a selection of colours including dark red and sea blue, this is a gorgeous piece of design.

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5 – ODO

This clever piece of design comes from Brussels based design studio, NAB. Constructed from powder coated steel and solid ash, this interesting design resembles a dragonfly face. The rolling steel tabletop curves under to resemble eyes and the solid ash joins the curves together and completes the face.

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6 - Giàcolu

This is more than just a lamp.  This design comes from Italian Studio, Delaneo Design and encourages interaction and engagement. The user has complete control of the form they wish their lamp to take, and can be adjusted to suit almost any function or aesthetic. I think the beauty in this design, lies within the fact that it compromises of so few elements, that the range of possible shapes are even more impressive.

7 – Hummingbird Bike

Imagine a bike which weighs less that 15 pounds but yet is 5X stronger than steel. Designed by Peter Craciun, this bike is both practical and beautifully designed. Being light weight and foldable means that is ideal for taking on the bus, the train or the trams so is ideal for urban commuters and people living in smaller spaces. The chain tensioner can be removed to make it safer and cleaner so that it won't fall catching on the bikers leg and getting chain dirt on you. The hummingbird bike is a carbon fibre frame which makes it shock absorbent for a smoother ride. Available in four colours and two wheel sizes, this is a practical design, which is also stylish.

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8 – Stop the Time Watch

Swiss company, ‘What?’ recently stopped to think why we keep track of time in the first place. Launched in Brooklyn, their collection has re-conceptualised the purpose of a watch and allows the wearer to ‘stop time’. By stop time, I don't mean in some sort of superhero way, the stopping time feature allows you to send a ‘timestamp’ to a supporting app whenever a noteworthy moment had occurred. Pressing the red button on the watch lets you expand upon the moment which you've deemed noteworthy and let's you add photos or notes etc. This company are essentially reinventing the wheel when it comes to watches. You are allowed five noteworthy moments a month which may not seem like a lot but when you consider how new technology is being integrated into classic designs like the watch, this is a clever new play on an old technology and its exciting to see where it could lead.

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9 – Beeline, Intuitive Navigation

For all the cyclists out here, I'm featuring this simplistic yet beautifully designed navigation system which strips back the tech and makes a design which leaves only the essentials. Based on a compass’ naturally occurring movement, this piece of design lets you find your way to your destination and tells you the distance to go. With an accelerometer, digital compass and gyroscope, this smart little device gives you just the right amount of information for you to find your way home. Waterproof and with a battery which lasts for months, this is such a versatile design which has thought of lots of practical features. Currently funded on Kickstarter!

10 – Pewter Cast Desk

This Pewter desk from Max Lamb is his largest cast to date, and he molded it on a Cornish beach using only a kitchen knife and a metal rod. At 4.30am, Lamb began carving his mold to coincide with the tide, as he knew he needed at least 6 hours to complete his work.  By 10.30am, the Pewter was ready to be melted (which took 30 camp stoves and several assistants). Lamb poured the Pewter into the sand mold and an hour later, revealed this stunning piece of geometric design which is decorated by the raw texture of the sand. 

 

Written by

Katherine Thomson

10 Beautiful Designs - November

10 Beautiful Designs - November

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1- Frame Chair

This gorgeous chair has been designed and made by Dublin based studio, Notion in collaboration with Mourne Textiles. Made from naturally finished, CNC machined ash wood and handwoven upholstery, this design blends contemporary and traditional techniques. I love the curved shape of this chair, and the black legs work beautifully with the outer yellow fabric.

2- Mobi Customisable lamp

I love lamps; though I’m sure you know that from previous months design blogs. The thing I love most about this one is that it’s customisable. Designed by James Dieter, this design explores different dimensions and form. I love the fact it can be reconfigured without tools because it enables the user complete freedom to restyle it whenever they please. 

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3- Ecocapsule

The Ecocapsule is an innovative new approach to living arrangements. With the surge of interest in Glamping, this design addresses peoples desire to travel with their creature comforts. Highly portable this capsule is only 4.5 metres long by 2.25 metres wide and a mere 2.5 metres tall. Perfect for the eco friendly traveller this ecocapsule is more than just a tiny home. The retractable wind turbine and integrated solar panels mean that the pod is designed to withstand adverse weather conditions. I think this is a fantastic design and is the perfect solution for wanderlust travellers and it also has scope to be used as temporary housing in disaster areas.

4- Bender Chair

Aesthetically pleasing and simplistic, this chair almost looks like a doodle with it’s curved corners and single outline. I absolutely love it; I love its reduced form and modern design. Unlike modern office chairs with complex mechanisms for comfort, this chair is designed to support you by bending and flexing to prevent rigid sitting.

5- Thousand Bike Helmet

This is such a sleek looking design. The idea behind this helmet was to design a product that people would actually want to wear, and I think they’ve done exactly that! The Thousand helmets boast rubberized matte finishes in three colours (with a limited edition gold version) and include a magnetic buckle on reinforced vegan leather straps. Through innovative PopLock technology, the Thousand helmet secures effortlessly to the bike providing an anti-theft system. In fact, they’re so confident with their new technology, that if it is stolen, they’ll replace the helmet for free! Available to pre-order now on Kickstarter!

6- Calcarenite Concrete Furniture

You’ll have noticed in precious months top ten design blogs that I’m a bit obsessed with concrete, whether it’s concrete furniture or lighting, I think concrete is pretty versatile and looks great when done well. ‘Calcarenite’ from Italian designer, Cosma Frascina takes on minimal design inspired by Frascina’s hometown of Salento where there is an abundance of stone and mineral deposits. Each piece is completely unique and explores concrete in it's raw form as everyday furnishings.

7- Polite Table Tennis Co

This Ping Pong table is just a bit lovely! Handmade from natural materials such as wood and steel, they are rustic and neutral in colour resulting in a versatile and durable table. Designed by California brand, Polite Table Tennis Co, they offer two models as well as custom options. 

8- Bubble sofas

These fantastic bubble sofas look incredibly comfy. Resembling childlike drawings of clouds, this collection looks both modern and cosy. The colours available are bold and available in grey, yellow and red. From a distance, the upholstery looks like a solid soft layer, but upon closer inspection, it is revealed that there is a mesh layer, which adds even more interest to the design.

9- Fire Vase

The Fire vase from designer Martín Azúa and ceramist Marc Vidal is a beautiful example of a tabletop fireplace. Designed to burn twigs, it is super easy and convenient to use! This fire vase kicks out some serious heat and light - perfect for dining outdoors. Available online in two sizes.

10- Spun Birdfeeder

This birdfeeder is both practical and beautiful. Designed by the sustainable Canadian studio, Urbanproduct, the birdfeeder is handcrafted from hardwoods such as Maple. The design features a top dish for water and a covered dish for seed. The feeder is both weather resistant and safe for birds after being finished with a VOC-free rub.

Written by

Katherine Thomson

Designs for Halloween

Designs for Halloween

It's time to get your spook on, here's 5 points of inspiration, enjoy! 

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1 - DIY Geometric Halloween Masks

Wintercroft sell their masks on their Etsy shop. There’s no two ways around it, their geometric designs look cool. They look different and provide a Halloween alternative to the standard plastic masks adorning shop shelves year after year. The masks require self-printing and self-assembly, which they recommend you do using recycled cardboard and paper. Not only will you have an amazing mask by the end of it, you’ll also have a brilliant Halloween costume and will have had hours of fun making it.

2 -    Forms in Nature Lightshade

This beautiful lightshade transforms the space, adds character and casts bold shadows to the walls and ceilings. I’ve chosen this for the Halloween list because those dark, twisting shadows remind me of Tim Burton's spooktastic film, Sleepy Hollow.  The Forest, which is cast upon the walls, consists of gnarly trees and winding branches, perfect for a Halloween theme but also all year around, as this is such a beautiful piece, which looks fantastic with the light on or off.

3 – Piero Fornasetti Plates

These wall plates are both beautiful and a little un-nerving. Italian artist Piero Fornasetti designed the plates based on operatic singer Lina Cavalieri. When asked what inspired him to create more than 500 variations on one face, Fornasetti replied, “I don’t know, I began to make them and I never stopped”. Working in black and white with occasional flashes of colour, these wall plates would be a beautiful addition to a gothic themed Halloween.

4 – Anatomical Heart Vase

This Anatomical Heart vase features the words ‘Til Death Do Us Part’ in a scroll across the centre. Bright red with ventricle holes for your flowers, this vase would make the perfect centerpiece on a table filled with Halloween treats and other spooky decorations. This website is fab for décor which is perfect all year round, and fitting for Halloween themes too. Other points of Halloween interest include the faux animal skull, the wing display dome and the child ceramic vases!

 

 

5 – Faux Taxidermy

It’s not all ghouls and ghosts at Halloween, sometimes it’s good to get that eerie feeling and channel ‘The woman in black’ set. If you want to fully commit to a Victoriana style Halloween theme, then you’re going to need to add some antlers to your walls. This is where faux taxidermy comes in. There’s so many amazing designs out there from the realistic fox from Broken Hare, the glitter antler moose head from Wall Charmers or half create your own with Elkebana!

 

 

 

Written by

Katherine Thomson 

10 Beautiful Designs - October

10 Beautiful Designs - October

1. Times 4

Inspired by a pie chart, this piece designed by Gonçalo Campos for French brand Polit, is a highly organised piece of furniture. The table is divided into four colour coded interior sections, which are exposed by rotation. The tabletop and legs are made from natural finished beech wood, and the quarters and frame from white metal.

2. YC1 Chair

Japanese designer, Mikiya Kobayashi has designed a chair that is both sleek and functional. This aesthetically pleasing piece is made from rope and leather woven into a wooden frame, making it entirely unique. This is a beautiful piece, which is functional and still offers a balance between comfort and modern design.

3. Winnie

Winnie, a lighting concept by Finland based Nikolo Kerimov, is a lovely design inspired by honey pots in Winnie the Pooh.  This clever collection has several different sized pieces, each with different cork sizes and one with a cork light fixing too. 

 

4. Reverb Lamps

Crafted entirely from metal except the cord, Alessandro Zambelli draws inspiration from carbide lamps. Available in red, beige and turquoise, they are a contemporary take on an antique lamp.

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5. Aeris Air Purifier and Planter

This dual function air purifier and planter from Lab Fabrici purifies the rooms atmosphere with a high speed fan and a terracotta-coloured substrate of expanded clay and activate carbon. This piece is in two parts and the aerated planter sits perfectly in the base. Stylish and practical, I’m a big fan of this!

6.  Gabbia Lamps

Portuguese designer, Rui Pereeira and Japanese designer Ryosuke Fukusada envisioned these ‘inverted basket’ shaped lamps. Perfect for both ceiling and table, these lamps are designed to be used with LEDs. Handcrafted in Kyoto by a studio that works predominantly with bamboo, these lamps combine bamboo weaves and colourful acetate.

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7. Toon Chair

This chair combines characteristics of other projects from Redo Design Studio. Created by Polish designer Radek Nowkowski, this chair continues the brands style in a beautiful way. Joined together with metal fittings where the legs meet the bent wooden back, the result is a very light piece, both physically and visually.

8. Buster Bulb

The Buster bulb by Buster + Punch is the worlds first designer LED bulb. I’m a big fan of this new collection and love how eco friendly it is. This bulb uses just 5% of the energy burned by a conventional bulb and promises 10,000 hours of life, which means it could last around 5 years.

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9. Skurniture

Skateboard inspired furniture by California based studio, Swenyo. I’m a really big fan of this design! It’s so simplistic yet looks so good and I especially love the black skateboard with white legs combination. This is a fantastic design because you can buy the legs separately and play around creating your own designs perhaps upcycling an old deck of your own.

10. Stick Modular Shelving

This entirely customizable shelving creates storage for whatever you need it for. Whether it’s clothing storage or for displaying your items and ornaments on, this shelving creates a sleek solution. Designed by eco conscious, Jan Plecháč and Henry Wielgus, the construction is completely organic which they classify as “Soft Minimalism”.

Written by

Katherine Thomson

 

Designs in the Developing World

Designs in the Developing World

1. D-Rev Brilliance

Newborns are often born with jaundice, as the various systems designed to remove bilirubin from the body are not yet developed. There is often no cause for concern and often resolves itself naturally. However, over 6 million babies require treatment for severe jaundice each year, particularly in the developing world. Without receiving the treatment they need, resulting consequences can include disability or death. D-Rev’s ‘brilliance’ range are all low cost, high quality phototherapy devices, using UV light for treatment. So far, 1,168 units have been installed in 15 countries, 83,388 babies have been treated and 70,288 of those would have otherwise not received effective treatment. It is hoped that these machines will provide accessible treatments, significantly reducing the number of deaths and disabilities resulting from untreated jaundice.

2. Mazzi

Global Good – collaboration between Bill Gates and Intellectual Ventures have created Mazzi to help smallholder dairy farmers and other low-income stakeholders in the dairy business to maximize their yield by reducing spillage and spoilage. The container is durable, and is made of food-grade plastic which can be dropped without breaking. The milking funnel attaches to the top of the container to help farmers capture the milk, identify signs of udder infection and reduce contaminants. Thanks to the sieve-like opening on the funnel, spills are limited if the container is kicked over or dropped.

3. Arktek

Vaccines are sensitive and can easily spoil if not kept at a precise temperature from manufacture to use. Preventable deaths are due to life-saving vaccines being hard to come by. Rural areas such as Sub-Saharan Africa are the most difficult to reach with vaccination due to poor infrastructure and unreliable power. Working with Intellectual Ventures Global Good program, scientists and engineers at IV lab have developed a device, which can keep vaccines cold with no need for external energy. The device, Arktek, can keep the vaccine at the appropriate temperature for a month or more by using insulation techniques similar to those used to store cryogenic fluids.

4. Pelican - Newborn Pulse Oximeter

In 2014, a campaign on Indiegogo raised over $20,000 to launch the creation of Pelicans pocket pulse oximeter, a tool to diagnose babies with pneumonia. In 2013, a UNICEF report revealed that the leading cause of child death worldwide is pneumonia. 1 in 4 childhood pneumonia deaths are newborns and newborn technology has been overlooked. A pulse oximeter is the best way to identify newborns in need of oxygen but most pulse oximeters are unsuitable for tiny newborns. Currently in design, here is an opportunity for a durable, affordable pulse oximeter capable of saving many, many newborn lives.

5. SALt – Sustainable Alternative Lighting

The majority of the 7000 islands in the Philippines don’t have access to electricity. SALt wants to eliminate the cost in areas that rely on kerosene/battery lamps and candles as their main sources of light. Powered by 1 glass of water and 2 tablespoons of salt, this product is environmentally friendly and safe to use, as there are no components that risk fire safety. Easy to use and if being used near the coastline, ocean water can also be used to power the lamp. This cost effective light source used for 8 hours a day with give a product life of 6 months, and using this as an alternative light source will increase product lifespan to 12 months or more.

6. Evaptainers

Electricity free mobile refrigeration technology to keep food fresher for longer, using only the sun and water. 45% of produce grown in Africa spoils before it reaches the consumer; the purpose of this product is to provide affordable refrigeration solutions to address the needs in developing markets. As this refrigeration runs only on sun and water, it is dependable without relying on costly infrastructure. The benefit of this product is that it will help small rural farmers to increase the percentage of their crops that get to market, thus improving their living standards.

7. Lifestraw

Using water filters and purifiers, Lifestraw makes contaminated water safe. Ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, trekking and camping, this product requires no electricity or batteries. For every Lifestraw product purchased, one school child in a developing community receives safe drinking water for a school year. The ‘follow the liters’ program began in October 2014 in Kenya and provides students with safe drinking water in their schools by using Lifestraw purifiers.

8. SunSaluter

The SunSaluter is a solar panel, which rotates throughout the day to follow the sun. This method boosts efficiency by 30% and is 30% less expensive than conventional motorized solar panel rotators as well as being more reliable and consumes no electricity. Families without electricity often spend 10-20% of their income just on kerosene gas for light at night, which is both dangerous and inadequate and over 750 million individuals lack access to clean water. Combining solar energy with water purification makes perfect sense. The water acts as weight slowly draining through a filter all day, and collecting as clean, drinkable water in a sealed container. As the bottles get lighter, the solar panel rotates, following the sun and increasing efficiency.

 

Written by

Katherine Thomson

10 Beautiful Designs - September

10 Beautiful Designs - September

1. D’Hauteville Concrete Chair

This midcentury inspired concrete chair by Julie Legros and Henri Levallard Boget rethinks traditional chair design. Consisting of steel legs and a concrete seat the chair is being touted as‘surprisingly confortable’. A striking piece which makes a statement both indoors and outdoors.

2. Inactivité

“Inactivity seems to be the disease of today,” observes designer Benoit Malta. Altering the sedentary nature of modern life has inspired the Parisian designer. We are obsessed with this idea of making everything as comfortable as possible, we’ve neglected the fact that it is really bad for us to be less and less active. The aim of this chair is to create a ‘bearable discomfort’ used to put the body in motion and out of the stationary poses which most of us sit in all day.

3. Concrescence Concrete Planters

Iowa based designer Vakhtangi Darjania has created these efficient concrete planters inspired by his native home, Tbillsi, Georgia. Made from a pourced cement sand mix and birch plywood, these planters have character and raw simplicity.

4. Inside out table lamp

Okay, there’s a lot of concrete this month, but it’s all justified because each of the the designs are really beautiful. This design is no exception. This concrete structure lamp comes from Milan based Daevas design and features a brass lampshade. The design, which is based on the Fibonaci spiral, looks solid from one side however when viewed from the other side, the concrete reveals a completely new shape.

5. E1 4K Video Camera

This is a fantastic design for anyone out there who wants a professional camera but wants to ditch the bulk. Sitting somewhere in the middle of professional gear and portable HD/4K, the E1 is the smallest 4K professional camera with an interchangeable lens system.

6. Seletti Monkey Lamp

If you’ve read my previous months top ten design blogs, then you’ll know I’m a BIG fan of lamps and the Seletti Monkey lamp is not getting left behind. The range designed by Marcantonio Raimondi Malerba comes in three different poses; sitting, standing and hanging. Made in Resin and finished in white, these monkeys are quirky and contemporary.

7. Marshall London Smartphone

If you only need one reason to love this phone, let it be the fact that it has double headphone jacks. Made for music lovers, this smartphone is way more than a phone; it’s the loudest phone on earth. The London, looks like a classic Marshall amp with the black alligator like texture on the back and has two speakers on the front, one on the top and one on the bottom. There’s no need to scroll through your apps for your music player because a very convenient ‘M button’ requires a single press to provide you with access to all of your installed music players. Take my money Marshall, for the scroll wheel alone, I love it.

8. Wall Elements Birdhouse Collection

Vincent Bos has designed this collection with durability and versatility in mind. The modular system can be uniquely assembled to work in any space and the mount is sturdy enough to be used on a wall or a fence. This playful yet functional design is designed to bring nature into urban spaces.

9. Camp Champ

Camp champ brings the luxury of a kitchen to the raw nature of camping. Austrian designer Franz Moser has designed a product that is practical, yet stylish. The compact box unfolds to provide a bin holder on each door, a flip down counter top, a four-burner gas stove, a knife block, grater, a set of pots and pans, a colander, a plate and spice rack and a set of plates and utensils. It’s basically, everything you could ever need for a gourmet camping trip! Come dine with me - camping edition anyone

10.  Epiphytes – Organic Pendant Planters

Created by Italian studio Dossofiorito, Epiphytes takes its name from a type of plant that grows on the outside of things, such as trees, instead of in soil. This home garden design is intended for use with Epiphytes as it lets their roots hang down, looking almost wild and overgrown.

 

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Written by

Katherine Thomson

Bringing Ideas to G2

Bringing Ideas to G2

If you are reading this blog page right now, then chances are you have heard of G2, and are aware that we offer Design & Development services as well as a few other things. 

I am Ed- I head up the design process and am here to briefly summarise how we go about turning your ideas into tangible products, nice to meet you. 

We offer all kinds of services in every aspect of the design process, each case will be and always is different, but ultimately our end goal is to help or advise you on how to develop your ideas. 

We understand more than most that an idea can come in many forms. Sometimes our clients have a tightly squeezed brief that a product has to fit, others have used their expert knowledge in a particular field to identify gaps in the market and want us to do the rest. 

I’ve got an idea I would like to develop, what’s next? 

Of course all the best design projects start with a pot of freshly brewed coffee and a friendly chat. At this stage we are looking to loosely establish a brief- so who the product is for, its purpose, context and the deadlines which our deliverables would need to meet. 

We would look to understand exactly what you want from the project, do you just wish to see some concept ideas or do you need a product taking to be production ready? Do you have the technical basis of a product, but need this translating to a CAD model and/or 3D render? Do you have the core electronics/ mechanical design working but need a package which is fit for purpose and looks cool? These are just a few scenarios which we are very familiar with.

Then we can work with you to establish which tools of the design process we would need to use- for example sketching, CAD modelling, prototyping and rendering are the most commonly used. These tools will be detailed in future design blog posts from the team very soon. Product design is not a linear process, so we expect to use any and/ or all of our processes to reach your deliverables. Some clients like to give us their brief and leave us to it, others like to get involved in the design process themselves and share their input, being flexible allows us to adapt. Once all that has been established, we can begin turning your ideas into reality.

At G2 when we are not working on client projects, we are coming up with ideas ourselves and testing and developing them in house. We work across all sectors, for example we currently have a couple of live agricultural projects, but then we also have consumer focused electronics projects ongoing as well. Keeping our work varied means that we learn about new technologies all the time, and the research we do from contrasting projects often informs others in unexpected ways. 

So regardless of how developed your idea may be, its industry, its technical background- we can help. We are ultimately here to help companies profit from innovation and to make that process as easy and as pleasurable as possible.

Written by 

Ed Jones

If you think we might be able to help you, please get in touch. 
Call 0115 824 0402 and ask for Ed. 

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for more blog posts from the design team…

10 Tips for Design Students from a New Industrial Designer

10 Tips for Design Students from a New Industrial Designer

About 6 months ago, I had the realisation that after four long years, I would finally be graduating. Not returning to university after summer, or ever; I was being kicked out into the big wide world. And I would (hopefully) be working for someone who wanted me to design things. But who? How do I find these mystical companies that wanted to employ me? How do I make myself stand out from the sea of new design graduates? And how do I make the jump from being a student designer to being a proper designer with a proper job and a salary and all those grown-up responsibilities?!

1. Be organised

Write a CV. Build an online design portfolio. Get a LinkedIn account. You never know when opportunities will pop up, and you want to be able to easily send your information over and look professional and prepared.

2. Get some experience

Obviously, experience looks good on your CV. But make sure it is experience in a related industry, otherwise you won’t be exposed to the real-world design processes that university simply cannot teach you.

3. Network

Get to know as many companies as possible, and you never know what opportunities may arise. Speak to lecturers, family friends, go to networking events, and create opportunities yourself. I organised a mid-year exhibition where final year students could showcase their work, and companies were invited along to meet the fresh talent - and that’s how I first met Ed and Alex!

4. University teaches you the technical skills you need

But its entirely up to you to use these skills to experiment, learn and be creative. The worst thing you could ever do is limit your design because you’re not sure how to make it on CAD. 

5. Practise your weaknesses

If you struggle with sketching, follow some industrial design sketching boards on Pinterest. If your weakness is CAD, find online tutorials. Identify what you struggle with, and improve on it.

6. Time scales are different

Projects in industry may need to be turned around in days, rather than weeks or months like student projects. Learn how to work quickly.

7. Learn to make decisions

You’ll arrive at a far better design in the same amount of time.

8. Share your ideas

Collaboration isn't encouraged at university — lecturers want to see what you can produce as an individual. However, industry is all about teamwork, so find a way of sharing your ideas, receiving criticism and editing your design based on feedback.

9. Work hard on each project

You’ll only get out what you put in. You’re not going to change the world with every design, but work hard and you’ll learn something new from every project, no matter how mundane it seems.

10. Stay relevant

You might not be lucky enough to land a job before you graduate. But while you’re living back at your parent’s house with time to kill, do something productive. Practise sketching, catch up on design-related news, and update your website and CV.

Hopefully, alongside a big dose of hard work and talent, this advice will help you in landing your first real-life design job. Those tips have helped me get the most out of my university course, progressed me as a designer, and helped me get this wonderful job as an industrial designer at G2 Innovation! (And I'm still here 7 weeks on, so I'm hopefully doing a few things right!?)

Written by

Emma Hartley