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What is the industrial internet of things & how will it change business?

What is the industrial internet of things & how will it change business?

The industrial internet of things is a term that we’re getting more used to seeing.  But do we really know what it means and the effect it will have on business?

It’s been called the fourth industrial revolution and promises to disrupt and ultimately improve the way we as humans interact with machines and big data.

Google tells us that:

The IIoT is part of a larger concept known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is a network of intelligent computers, devices, and objects that collect and share huge amounts of data.

The Internet of Things

The internet of things connects machines, product diagnostics, software and analytics so the businesses can operate more efficiently.

The best example of this is with smart heating systems. 

Companies like Nest give consumers control over their heating through linking up via mobile devices.  We can turn them up, down, on and off from our mobile phones away from our homes.

Some devices can even tell if you and your smartphone have left the house and will turn the heating off automatically, or set it to turn off when it’s a sunny day.

The benefits of these types of systems in our home are obvious, we are becoming more economical with our resources and have more control over our lives and our homes.

Wearable tech is also becoming mainstream with people exercising; wearing smartwatches of wrist bands to monitor their heart and distance travelled.

And it’s not stopping at our home, there is talk of smart cities, where traffic signals monitor use and bins signal when they need emptying.

The Industrial Internet of Things

The Industrial internet of things (IIOT) is where industry starts to utilise this technology to increase efficiency, eliminate waste and improve health.

·       Manufacturing is furthest ahead with the organisation of tools, people & machines; tracking stages and process.

·       Farming is starting to use sensors to manage crops and cattle to boost production and the health of their animals.

·       Healthcare is also expanding with smart pills and monitoring patients health through wearable tech. Intel created a smart band which tracks how much a person shakes with Parkinsons and Sonamba monitors activities of older and ill people.

The driving force behind all this tech is that ultimately smart machines are better able to consistently and accurately capture and communicate data.

The downside could be that as we become more reliant on tech, breaches of security become more of an issue. And some companies have been accused of treating staff like machines, monitoring toilet breaks with workers being squeezed for more productivity.

Here are 5 facts you need to know about the IIOT from The Manufacturer

1 – This growth in the Industrial Internet will increase manufacturing profitability by 21%

2 – There are 1.5 trillion objects on this planet. Only 0.6% of them are connected.

3 – In 1822, Charles Babbage designed the first automatic computing engine and Ada Lovelace created the first computer programme in 1843. By 2022, there will be over 50 billion objects connected to the internet.

4 – The biggest impact of the Industrial internet will be in manufacturing.

5 – The digital transformation will boost business. GE estimates the Industrial Internet could be a £174bn market by 2020.

Industrial Internet of Things at G2 Innovation

The IOT is not new to G2, we’ve developed our own products and worked with clients to develop theirs.  We’ve produced hardware, software and the packaging and enclosures to make products user friendly and accessible. 

When we’re not developing IOT tech, we’re also teaching it.  Tom and James both teach Arduino programming at our local HackSpace.

We'd love to hear from you if you've got a project you're working on that we could support you with. Feel free to get in touch.

IOT resources:

https://www.themanufacturer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Industrial-internet-1.pdf

http://www.techadvisor.co.uk/test-centre/digital-home/12-best-smart-heating-systems-2017-uk-best-smart-thermostats-3583499/

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/may/06/what-is-the-internet-of-things-google

http://internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com/opinion/Manufacturing-embraces-the-Industrial-Internet-of-Things

http://www.alphr.com/news/390259/parkinsons-disease-to-be-tracked-by-wearables

http://sonamba.com/features-for-caregivers/daily-monitoring/

Top 10 Beautiful Designs - August

Top 10 Beautiful Designs - August

This month we’re doing things a little differently. It's nice to mix things up sometimes, and instead of just ten beautiful designs, here is a complete mix of product design, architecture and installations (all beautiful of course). I wanted to look at a variety of different designs with how they transform a space, so that’s what I’ve done. Welcome to the miscellaneous collection, I hope you like it!

Normal service will resume next month. 🙌🏻

The Floor Do Ho Suh

An installation in the Lehmann Maupin Gallery in New York, this flooring looks pretty regular until you get up close to it. Holding up the sheet of glass flooring are thousands of miniature plastic figures with their heads and arms upwards. Together the tiny plastic people hold up whoever is standing on the floor, this is a symbolic and thought-provoking piece

 

Rocket Coffee Table

This incredibly fun design comes from Stelious Mousarris. I am 100% in love with this table, it’s just so well executed. The five unattached legs represent rockets taking off, with the middle rocket taking off through the glass too, the table blasts you off into a sense of nostalgia as you are reminded of childhood toys. It’s such a fantastic idea and completely unlike any other design I’ve seen. Mousarris is known for his unique style, just take a look at his incredible ‘wave city dining table’ and you’ll see what I mean!

 

Ox & Monkey Hot Tub

Hot tubs are great, but they’re not known for being kind to the environment. This outdoor hot tub from Canadian studio, Ox and Monkey addresses this problem. Designed to be eco-friendly, the hot tub is durable and made from high quality, locally sourced materials. Handcrafted, each hot tub takes between 6-10 weeks to produce.

 

Iceberg

I never rank the designs on this blog by order of favourites, but if I had to pick, this would be a strong contender for the top spot. French design studio, Harow, has created this seamless blend of art and design. Each box is handcrafted to create a unique finish. The pieces encapsulate the arctic landscape, representing the beauty of the ice giants which lie mostly under the surface of the sea. Crafted from fiber glass and epoxy resin, each ‘iceberg’ box takes a minimum of one month to craft.

 

Umbrella Table & Stool

Tadeas Podracky, a young Czech creative, researches different techniques from around the world. The beautiful design from Podracky is the ‘umbrella table & stool’. He explored traditional crafts from the Yuhang region of China, famous for it’s bamboo and bronze items. Using Bronze and an oil-paper umbrella, which was disassembled and reconstructed to create the table and stool.

 

Meier Road

Norwegian firm, Mork-ulnes architects have transformed this barn in California into a gorgeous residence/artist studio. The design perfectly marries together the indoors and outdoors by part filling the floor with compost and adding exotic plants, aloes and bamboo. I’m completely in love with the variety of ceiling heights in this barn. Each room is a different shape to the last. Click the link to view the barn in all it’s glory!

Secret Wood - Wooden Rings

Vancouver-based Secret Wood have crafted the most enchanting rings possible. These wooden rings hold forests, waterfalls and lagoons within their transparent resin. Once set, the resin is formed into angular shapes to give different perspectives depending on the viewing angle. Each ring is handmade, and takes around 5-6 weeks to be completed, meaning that each ring is completely unique. 

 

Ligomancer

The Ligomancer - where art meets functional design. Italian-Greek studio CTRLZAK, is the creative genius behind this wonderful design. The lattice of elastic bands wrap around the stainless steel tubular framework in an overlapping pattern, providing a surprisingly comfortable seating solution. This sofa has a seriously big visual impact and is like no sofa I’ve ever seen before. 

Versailles Installation

Olafur Eliasson transforms the Palace of Versailles into a surreal experience for visitors. The indoor and outdoor installations engulf the famous landmark and give it fame for a different reason other than its history. The outdoor ‘Waterfall’ is arguably the most impressive and most beautiful of all the installations. Suspended in mid-air, it really steals the show when looking out across the palace gardens. Other installations featured include a ‘Fog Assembly’ mist garden, ‘Glacial Rock Flour Garden’, ‘The Gaze of Versailles’ and ‘The Curious Museum’. The exhibition is running until October 30th 2016, incase you’re heading to Versailles anytime soon! 

The Grand Beedapest Hotel

Ahh, my two favourite things, combined into one design. Wes Anderson and Bees. Inspired by Andersons ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’, this Bee hotel has been modeled in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of Bees. Taylors of Harrogate tea company specifically want to highlight the role bees play in delivering the flavours found in their fruity and herbal blends. The hotel rooms are themed with different flavours, including a sour cherry bedroom, a peppermint leaf swimming pool and a lemongrass and ginger bar. I know I’ve said this already, but this is probably my most favourite design on the list, I just think it’s perfect. 

...Bonus design, because i'm nice like that.

Canal St Martin

I’m in love with the eye tiles, so I’ve added a bonus design for the list. This apartment is too stunning not to feature in this list of miscellaneous designs. Clean, crisp and yet bold, this apartment has statement pieces, muted colours and carefully considered touches (see the hand flush chain in the bathroom). I’m completely obsessed with this series of images. I adore the composition in each and every room, it’s just so well executed and could easily be the perfect setting for a film. Don’t even get me started on the colour coordinated books or the variety of flooring materials, I won’t be able to stop writing.

Written by

Katherine Thomson

Want to read about more beautiful designs? Let us tempt you with these.

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 

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

Earth Day 2016

Earth Day 2016

Happy Earth Day everybody! 🌍

Earth day, is a day, which highlights environmental issues. The mission is to promote a healthy and sustainable environment to combat climate change and protect the Earth. Through education, awareness and campaigning, this day brings environmental issues to a world stage and engages people all over the planet to stop and think about the environmental challenges we face.

Today, I’ll be looking at 3 fantastic designs, which are eco friendly, and sustainable. I hope you like them!

 

Seabin

Fully funded on Indiegogo, the Seabin comes from Australian duo, Pete Ceglinski and Andrew Turton. Designed to filter and collect rubbish from water in sheltered bodies of water where winds and currents move debris around. The Seabin floats on the surface of the water and separates rubbish and other liquids such as oil and detergents. The collected liquids are filtered and added back to the ocean in a continuous process. The bag, which catches all of the litter, is made from natural fibre and can be manually emptied every day, easily removable by just one person. This is such a fantastic design, and others have found great uses for collected ocean plastic, such as eco-friendly trainers, clothing and furniture.

 

Sustain Packaging

London Bio Packaging manufacture packaging that is eco-friendly and sustainable. They have two brands of Eco food and drinks packaging, Sustain and Revive. Sustain is made from plants and is compostable, whereas Revive is made from recycled materials and is recyclable. Sustain packages use bio-plastic, which is made from plants such as corn. Regular plastics are made from oil with is finite, whereas bio-plastic sources are easy to re-grow and are a great renewable resource. Revive uses old water bottles and papers, which end up in landfills, to create recycled packaging.

 

The Moss Carpet

Designed by Nguyen La Chanh as a final project for her degree at ECAL Switzerland, this lush green bath rug made from recycled vegetal latex foam is populated with three varieties of moss. This low maintenance, natural product is now available for purchase from HoO Design who pride themselves on their use of sustainable manufacturing methods and recycled materials. Many species of moss have antibacterial properties, and this living material regulates itself and fights off disease, which is much more hygienic than using a regular fabric bath mat.

Written by 

Katherine Thomson 

 

 

Top 5 Concrete Designs

Top 5 Concrete Designs

Finally. 👌🏻

I’ve been dropping concrete items into the monthly design blog now pretty consistently, it’s about time I dedicated a whole blog post to my favorite material.

Renate Vos Concrete Table Lamp

...and so the obsession continues, concrete and lamps! The best of both worlds!

I’m a huge fan of this lamp! The tough concrete and soft silicone work in harmony to create an industrial lamp with a soft glow. The line where these materials meet is jagged, showcasing the contrasting materials.  Dutch designer, Renate Vos, has created this beautiful lighting collection.

Concrete Chair

It’s exactly as it sounds and it’s fantastic. Swiss designer Stefan Zwicky has taken on recreating the iconic LC2 armchair by Le Corbusier.  We associate armchairs with comfort and relaxing, and in contrast the concrete armchair, emphasises the cold nature of the material. The armchair looks visually heavy with stacked concrete and wrapped in reinforced steel.

Falt Lamp

The Falt lamp, part of the FALT series comes from German designer Tim Macherodt. The lamp is made from fibre reinforced concrete, which is rolled out and formed over molds to create shapes that are not achievable using conventional concrete casting methods.  The lamp itself has a material thickness of only 2.7mm and weighs less than 1.400 grams. The contrasting yellow cable looks great with the dark grey concrete and could not be left out of this list!

Hocker Heinrich Concrete Stool

By combining a sealed concrete exterior with a steel and fiber frame, this stool is lighter weight than similar fully concrete pieces, making it a more practical item. Saying that, it’s still a pretty hefty 79 pounds, but lighter than most similar designs and enables the user to move this between rooms and change the position of it with more ease. The sealed geometric surfaces completely hide the reinforced interior structure. Available in two colours, light grey or anthracite and a dark grey wool stool cover is available to add extra comfort.

Delatour Design Béton 1

Possibly my favorite design in the list! I love the fact that this design has a built in book holder, it’s such a nice feature. This whole collection gives a nod to Art Deco whilst staying modern and minimalist. Often a harsh material, the concrete is softened by the pale pink and black doors. I really love this piece! 

 

Written by 

Katherine Thomson

Check out the other design blogs, here.

10 beautiful designs - February

10 beautiful designs - February

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1. Antek Light

The Antek light comes from Otoprojekt design studio based in Krakow. Their focus is on industrial and product design and they work to create an array of sleek and sophisticated products. Previous undertakings have included modular hospital furniture, and specifically designed office furniture. “We like to design functional and beautiful objects” state the designers at Otoprojeckt.  The Antek light is handmade using ash wood and merges the traditional manufacturing methods with minimalist design. These lamps would fit with a variety of styles, making them a versatile and clever design!

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2. The Carati Collection

Carati (Italian for “carats”) takes the inspiration for the collection from the mounting of diamonds onto rings. As a diamond is held in place by opposing horizontal forces, so too are the tabletops in the collection. This clever design is really rather beautiful. The collection looks effortless, when it is actually very carefully considered and that is what makes it so special.

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3. Bolt Lightening protection Tent

96% of people, who are struck by lightening, are done so in an open environment, including those who are hiking, climbing or camping. Even though it’s a rare occurrence, it’s a very serious problem, and designer Kama Jania has created the ‘Bolt’ tent, which addresses this. Regardless of whether it is rare or not to be struck by lightning, this tent removes all risk. This tent is not only safe and practical, but it also easy to set up and is lightweight to transport.

4. Kaaja Collection

Spanish designer Carlos Jiménez, has created his debut furniture collection for Swedish firm, By.Enströms. Jiménez has taken influences from Scandanavian and Japanese design for this collection, each piece has been finishing and assembled by hand in a small factory in Sweden, resulting in a truly unique set.

5. The Caruso Wireless Gramophone

Paolo Cappello has reimagined the iconic phonograph for Italian company, Miniforms. Handmade in Venice, this design is both stylish and functional. The Bluetooth speaker with a ceramic horn, creates a unique listening experience. I really love this design, because it conceals the speaker functionality within what could be mistaken for a cabinet. Though the design of it, does enable internal storage, so this design has dual function. 

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6.  Wireless Omnidirectional Speaker

Industrial designer, Joey Roth, has constructed this gorgeous speaker from steel, aluminum and maple. The omnidirectional speaker amplifies sound through geometry. At the bottom of the enclosure, is a hardwood ball, which acts as a natural diffuser compared to the upper port, which has been designed to enhance the bass. This is such a minimalist design, yet looks bold thanks to the tower of steel.

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7.  COSMOS

Huzi design has created COSMOS with the intention of letting people of all ages play and create. This series of wooden pieces with magnetic connections, form a shuttle, rocket, satellite, lander and planet. Made from beech wood, some exposed and sanded, some given a smooth matte white finish and some finished with black. This is a fantastic set with multiple construction possibilities, fun for adults and children.

8.  Moss Clock

Entirely handmade from Baltic birch plywood, this clock looks as sleek as it does rustic. Completely handmade, this item demonstrates an appreciation for traditional craftsmanship.  The circular frame contains a selection of reindeer moss, which brings the outdoors, inside. This charming clock is enhanced by the presence of orange hands, which contrast perfectly with the green moss.

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9. Modular Marble Bookshelf

This design by Archea Associato for Luce di Carrara made its debut at the Marmomacc International Trade Fair. The subtle angles are playful, and due to it’s modular assembly, enables the user to have multiple structural possibilities. Made from solid marble, and available in an array of colours, it is possible to make this truly your own and they even made one from terracotta. A truly beautiful design, cleverly constructed and considered. 

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10.  D’Hauteville Concrete Chair

Oh come on, you didn’t expect I could make it through a whole list without at least one concrete item did you? Well, here it is, and I love it! I’m a big fan of concrete designs, especially when they are designs for practical uses and this chair by Lyon Beton does not disappoint. The reinforced steel legs, give this smooth concrete chair an industrial look. Able to fit with a range of interiors, this chair is versatile and is sure to stand out in its surroundings.

 

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 - 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 

Tech for Cold Weather

Tech for Cold Weather

Dark, cosy nights, hot chunky soup, jumpers on while sitting in front of a roaring fire. Sounds pretty dreamy right?

What I’m neglecting to tell you, is that getting out of the hot shower in the morning is about to become a vicious test just to make sure you’re awake enough for the day, defrosting the car windscreen means you have to get up 15 minutes earlier than usual (later defrosting your fingers in front of the car heating system which only seems to get to an adequate temperature when it’s time to get out), commitment to after work plans dwindle as the call of the cosy slippers is too difficult to turn down and the transitional period from summer jacket to winter parka almost always means that on certain days, you’ll either be sweating or freezing as the weather decides if it’s getting cold or not yet.

But hey, don’t despair. I’ll admit, I love it, even with all of those negatives I listed above I still live for the colder weather! Though I do understand that some people actually just wait for these months to pass until Summer is back again and so I’m going to offer a helping hand (kinda), the helping hand comes in the form of five pieces of technology/design, which will make the cold life easier, I promise.

 

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1. Hot Rod Heated Travel Mug

Yeah, that’s right, a HEATED travel mug, running off the 12V power outlet in the car. What better way to get through those frosty mornings than to have a beverage which stays warm for the duration of your journey, well, unless you use public transport where this becomes irrelevant (sorry).

2. Nest Thermostat

This smart bit of tech, could save you from those reluctant cold shower departures and instead make getting out of the shower an easy, pain free experience. Nest learns your routine after only a week. If you like being cosy when your alarm goes off, but cooler while you’re sleeping, then Nest will learn. Being able to remotely control your central heating adds another layer of convenience and connectivity to modern day life, and is likely to even save you money.

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3. USB Toast Hand Warmers

If, like me, you always have cold hands, then this might just be the solution for you. Those times that even when the heating is on and the rest of you is toasty, you notice that you’re typing away and you’ve got ‘bath hands’ (the name I like to give to hands which are so cold that they’re wrinkling up like you’ve been in the bath for too long). Those times are the worst, but here is the solution. Voila.

4. Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2

This 14MP camera is perfect for getting those snaps on freezing cold winter days. A very durable little camera which is waterproof and freezeproof making it the perfect winter device. This versatile piece of kit may be more willing to brave the elements than you are, but incase you get brave, it’s right there with you.

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5. Cuisinart Soup Maker

Winter just screams soup, and soup is just waiting to comfort us on those days when it’s so cold that we’re frozen to the core. Imagine a world though, where soup making requires no waiting around for the veg to cook, no messy transfer from the pan to the blender and pretty much no effort… this is a world I want to live in. Perfect for smoothies, ice crushing and making chutneys too, this is one multi-purpose blender!

 

 

 

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 Beautiful designs - August

10 Beautiful designs - August

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1 – Full Grown - Square Pendant Lamp 

I chose the square pendant lamp because I think the shape is very unique, though in all honestly I could have chosen any product from the Full Grown range, as each of their designs is exquisite.  The nature of Full Grown is just that. Nature. This art form challenges how we create. By making their products from manipulating living trees into their desired shapes, their work requires months and years worth of dedication, making it a slow but beautiful process. 

2 – Davide Oppizzi – Floor lamp large square

Available in three sizes and shapes. These LED lamps are a metal structure finished in real wood oak or white Carrara marble. This lamp is part of the 'eau de lumière' collection which takes it's concept from luxury perfume, playing on the shape of perfume bottles.

3- Gianluca Mingolla  - The sound of technology

This particular piece, not only is it a beautifully designed table, it also pays tribute to the process used to construct and make it. Mingolla recorded the sound of the CNC machine cutting a prototype and converted the sound waves into an image, which he transferred for the CNC machine to follow accurately for the tabletop. 

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4 – Danielle Ragazzo – Liaison Table

This 15mm pane of glass tabletop is supported by angled thin stainless steel legs, which resemble sewing pins. A different colour powder-coated steel base resembling the ball-head of a sewing pin supports each ‘leg’. This is a beautifully designed piece with careful consideration for both practicality and style. 

5 – Patricia Urqiola – Shimmer 

By employing an iridescent multi-chromatic finish, Uriqiola adds an ethereal element to her ‘shimmer’ collection of tables, mirrors and shelves. Refracted hues and tones transform the pieces when exposed to different lights or when viewed from different angles. This is a gorgeous collection of work and definitely couldn’t be left out of this list! 

6 – Anne Boysen – Toward, Balanced Blue 

This sofa is not just a sofa. This is an Anne Boysen sofa. Joking aside, this really is a beautiful design which allows the user to choose their seating style. Whether that be a chaise lounge, an armchair or a traditional two-seater sofa based on the position they want to sit/lay. The clever design of this sofa makes it a versatile piece of furniture while still being aesthetically pleasing and functional. 

7 – UNSTUDIO – Standtable  

This table addresses an important fact: That standing is better for us than sitting. The design of this table is perfect for arranging your office equipment to be at a level that suits you thanks to the surface being on three different levels. The standable is practical with built in shelves and is aesthetically pleasing

8 – Dackelid Form – Wooden Cloth

Effortlessly combining form with functionality, the table is easily adjusted in size to accommodate the space available. Designed like a caterpillar track, the table extends by using the beams stored beneath the top pushing the batons one by one, creating a larger surface.

9 – Revés Chair 

The perfect chair for cocooning into your own space, and then also for bursting back out if you want some company too. This chair looks both cosy and comfortable and combined with two-tone quilted fabric by Trevira, the back of this chair can fold up and down effortlessly, similar to a shirt collar. Currently in development with an unmentioned furniture company, this chair should be available for sale in the future. 

 

10 – Sebastian ErraZuriz – Wave Cabinet

This fluid cabinet has transformed a traditionally functional piece of furniture into something that delicately opens in a non-traditional way. This cabinet almost looks like a sculpture yet constantly able to change it's form and shape. As beautiful and delicate as this is, I can’t help but feel that all it would take is for my cat to jump on top of it for chaos to unravel. Overall, a very gorgeous piece, and a strong contender for my favourite on the whole list. 

 

FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP MAKE YOUR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MORE PROFITABLE

CALL US ON 0115 824 0402

Written by

Katherine Thomson

10 Beautiful Designs - July

10 Beautiful Designs - July

Hello July, it’s nice to see you.

Hasn’t it come around fast? It feels like we’re hurtling through this year at an alarmingly fast rate.

So today, lets pause, take a step back and appreciate the genius of ten of my favorite, recently discovered designs.

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1 – Book Lamp

This gorgeous minimalist looking lamp is made from an iron rod, which is painted bright red. The design is basic, yet clever. The top of the lamp acts as a room lamp or reading light and the bottom of the frame, doubles up as a stylish bookmark. Perfect next to your favourite sofa/chair that you like to settle down and read in when it’s dark outside.

2 – 3ANGLE

You may be the only one able to determine the time from your watch, but the crisp design and smooth motion of this watch is sure to catch people’s attention.  The smart watchface presents time using a triangle, which effortlessly changes shape every 5 seconds. With a variety of colours changeable in the watches settings menu, there is a 3ANGLE to suit everyone.

3 – CatCube

What better than a geometric cave for cats?! I can assure you, I’m being completely serious. This cardboard cat dome would be well utilised by feline friends and would act as the perfect retreat. Speaking from personal experience, I could buy my cat the fanciest bed in the world, and he would still choose a tough, cardboard box. This cat cave offers a retreat for your cat, whilst remaining an attractive item in the home.

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4 – Origami Bird Lamp

Folded paper, meets brass, meets light. This delicate looking bird made from paper and brass, illuminates through connection with the brass perch and fills the room with light. Perfectly weighted, this light rocks back and forth when touched.

5 – Origami Door (Drehplattentür)

This elegant design, transforms opening and closing a door into a beautiful, hypnotic process. You will see if you visit the link that the door folds effortlessly at the slightest touch, mimicking folding paper. Currently a prototype and an addition to his artistic practice, this door is unfortunately not available for purchase, though I am very hopeful that one day it will be.

6 – Cosmic Dinnerware

Winner of Wallpapers 2015 design award, the cosmic diner collection from Italian brands Diesel living and Seletti. The 11-piece set represents our solar system and beyond, each made from porcelain, beautifully designed with a realistic image of outer space.

7 – Modular Emergency Homes

24-year-old Australian, Alastair Pryor has created a compact shelter, which is wind, and rain resistant and can be put together or taken down in under two minutes. The idea is that this design could be used for emergency aid relief in a crisis to be able to keep families together whilst providing them with space and privacy.

8 – Slash Lamp

Yes, it's another lamp, I’m a big fan of lighting!

This concrete lamp is pretty unique. A stone comes with this lamp so that the user can smash the shade (or not) and reveal the steel mesh behind it. The lamp allows the user to decide how they want it to look, whether leaving it un-smashed, or smashing different sections of it.

9 – Zero Scooter

Inspired by the design of the Italian motoretta from the 60’s, Bel & Bel have been working on re-designing the look of the Segway. The growing popularity of Segways is what led the designers to completely re-design the product with a fresh, retro design while embracing new technologies. 

10 – Puphaus

This sleek looking dog house turns traditional plastic kennels on their heads. Easy to assemble without any tools in just 5 steps, this house is maintenance free and has a raised roof for ventilation. Made from Western Red Cedar, this Puphaus will naturally age and stain, which is encouraged and is designed to last 20 years.


FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP MAKE YOUR PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT MORE PROFITABLE

CALL US ON 0115 824 0402

Written by

Katherine Thomson