Viewing entries in
Material

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. 

 

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 14.54.41.png

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

 

Apple iPhone 7 -This much we know

Apple iPhone 7 -This much we know

They've done it again haven't they. They've graced the world with another spectacular example of design, except as always, it's more than just that. Never have Apple made an announcement which hasn't been exciting, and that's part of the joy of their work, the hype, the anticipation, the big reveal. 

As per, the rumours regarding this announcement have been gaining traction for months... though basically it's been since the last Apple iPhone launch. We heard that the new iPhone will come in a few different colours, and blue would be one of them - they were wrong about the blue, and i'm glad, because i'm way too excited about the double black versions that have been announced. We heard that the headphone jack would become obsolete - they were right and there's these super sleek looking AirPods taking their place (though in the box there will be lightening connection headphones). We heard that the screen would stretch around corners - they weren't right (but for that one, personally i'm glad). 

Screen Shot 2016-09-08 at 09.47.35.png

Let's clear up a few of the other rumours and see if they were correct - 

Waterproof - 👍🏻

Dual 12MP cameras on the plus - 👍🏻

Increased storage models - 👍🏻

Replacement of home button - 👍🏻

Plus sized version - 👍🏻

Stereo speakers - 👍🏻

3D screen - 👎🏻

Longest battery life ever - 👍🏻

I've never been disappointed with an iPhone launch, but I have felt slightly underwhelmed in the past, and even as a complete Apple user, I have even been tempted to leave and try something new, but they always manage to reel me back in! I've got high hopes for this new camera technology, i'm impressed by their claims and I want to try it out! There's a few new features, including the waterproofness and the stereo speakers which has made this an exciting launch. 

iOS 10 definitely does not disappoint. Much the opposite. It's bigger, bolder and more exciting than ever. 

Just a few things to look forward to - 

  • Send a message in your own handwriting
  • Hide a message that can be swiped to reveal it
  • Send a 'reaction' back to a message
  • Draw over videos and pictures
  • Replace words with emojis 
  • Make table reservations through OpenTable or book an Uber all through Maps
  • Control your smart tech with the new Home app
  • Raise your phone to wake it
  • Apple pay in browser

Thanks Apple, you've given us lots to look forward to and it's exciting to see where the developments lead.

The new iPhone will be released on September 16th and you can pre-order on the 9th.

Tweet us and let us know what features you're most excited about. 

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.

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-11 at 15.28.29.png

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?

Top 5 Marble Designs

Top 5 Marble Designs

Here are 5 gorgeous Marble designs for you. 

STND

Bringing together natural materials and modern technology, STND marries the beauty of marble with crisp design. This beautiful iPhone holder is available in white marble, with a black version coming soon. The design looks beautiful enough, as an iPhone stand, and the fact it also charges your phone is an added bonus.

 

Affordances #1 (You only reincarnate infinitely)

Possibly the most exciting feature of this design, is that it is three modular pieces of marble and granite effortlessly joined together to make one side table which means that the possibilities are limitless as each table looks different to the last. Designed by Jonathan Zawada, Affordances #1 (You only reincarnate infinitely) is a strong design, defined by its uniqueness.

 

Riviera

The Riviera tables designed by Zurich-based designer Alfredo Häberli, take marble in a new direction. Designed to be transportable, Häberli reimagines this material in a flat pack design. Without requiring additional hardware, the table slots together effortlessly with thanks to crisp cut joints and using the weight of the marble to its advantage. This design challenges our perception of marble furniture, and gives it a fun new twist.

 

Marble Lamp

This table lamp from Novecento is a collection of LED table lamps. Designed by Davide G Aquini, the lamps are available in either black or white. Art Deco inspired, and crisp in appearance, these lamps make a statement even when the light isn’t on. The thick marble discs sit on a triangular metal structure, with either a brass or green-water finish.

 

Marble and recycled stone grinder

Designed by London based Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale, to create an alternative solution to the traditional pestle and mortar. This design works by rocking the marble section back and forth to crush the herb/pepper/salt. The base of this design is recycled stone, sourced from Dutch company, StoneCycling who create building materials from waste. The marble looks striking in contrasting colours compared to the stone, and with the shape, texture and colour combined, this is a really beautiful design.

If you're working on a new product design and are looking to resolve any issues our team of product designers and engineers are on hand to support you. We can support you with issues around appearance, performance, manufacturing processes or launching your product.

Book a free consultation with one of our experts:

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 

 

 

10 Beautiful Designs - April

10 Beautiful Designs - April

 

Hello!  

I've got a lovely new list of beautiful designs, just for you! 

Enjoy 🙌🏻

Why not tweet us and let us know which you really love! 

LA table – Lagoon

I’m in love with this design, it’s such a fun concept and ties in nicely with the upcoming ‘Top 5 Marble Designs’ blog, as it is made from marble and resin. The design, aptly named ‘Lagoon’ resembles the coast and likely influenced by the Caribbean island of St Martin where designer Alexandre Chapelins studio is based.

 

Metamorphosis Shelf

Created in collaboration with Horm, this hand carved wood design from Sebastian Errazuriz is simple and beautiful. Using only panes of glass to add functionality to his work, this shelf focuses on the natural beauty of the tree shape. Sourced from fallen branches in forests in South America, the shelves keep the trees’ original shapes. This shelf is part of a series that includes coffee tables, which are equally as stunning.

 

Matter of Motion

These beautiful stools come from Israel based designer, Maor Aharon, who has explored materials, motion and shape to achieve this design. Focussing on centrifugal motion, Aharon looked at how velocity, acceleration and radius of rotation have an affect on different materials, the results are beautiful.

 

Atmo Sfera PlatterLess Design Turntable

The iconic design of the turntable has remained largely unchanged for almost a century. Atmo Sfera has constructed a design that changes more than just the aesthetics. Eliminating reverberations allows a superior sound to shine through without any distortion. The built in RIAA phono preamplifier and built in Bluetooth connectivity allow for ease of access to your music and the contemporary design is a welcoming addition to modern living spaces.

 

Omata One Analog Speedometer

Omata has created an analog speedometer, designed specifically for cyclists. The company believes that “great design and meaningful products come more from what you leave out, rather than what you add in” and this is certainly true in this case. Omata have stripped this design down to the very basics; speed, distance, ascent and time. Beautifully simple, the Omata One records a vast amount of data, which can be transferred to your digital device for you to view. Currently on Kickstarter and will be available in grey or white.

X Diamond 3/60

By joining 60 three-foot maple wood bulbs together using cast brass joints, the X diamond 3/60 is born. This celebration of hexagonal and octahedral forms in nature looks spectacular and encourages viewing from different perspectives to reveal the multiple layers and hidden shapes.

 

Mygdal Planter

A fresh and innovative take on modern lighting design, the Mygdal planter is a self-sustaining eco system designed to never require maintenance from the owner. The glass vessel features LED light which replicates sunlight, creating an environment where plants can perform photosynthesis. This minimalist design effortlessly transforms spaces otherwise unable to sustain plant life, into beautiful green areas.

 

Jarvis Boards

Designed by Tony Smith, founder of Austin-based Jarvis, these beautifully crafted boards are as environmentally friendly as possible. Born of the simple idea of creating the best boards possible whilst living consciously, these boards are made from recycled foam core, sustainably sourced wood, reclaimed lumber and natural resins from recycled bio-waste. Light weight, but strong, the boards emphasise the careful craftsmanship and care which bought them to life.

 

The Mashrabeya Cabinet

The Mashrabeya cabinet, a name derived from the Arabic term Maschrabiyya, which refers to decorative wooden frames seen in traditional Arabic architecture. This design comes from Nina Mair Architecture + Design. The punctured panels keep the cabinets contents partially hidden and, if need be, ventilated. Available in different colour combinations, there is a choice of two wood effects and panel colours.

 

MOON

Humanity has been fascinated by the Moon thoughout history. Using NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter topographic data and modern 3D printing techniques, Oscar Lhermitte and Kudu have created the most accurate and detailed lunar globe to date. Their Kickstarter campaign has already exceeded their target and so we can expect to see this project come to life soon. The detail in the globe is very beautiful and I can’t wait to see this in production! 

Written by

Katherine Thomson

If you've enjoyed this, why not read our other design blogs

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.

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 09.56.35.png

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!

 

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 09.57.51.png

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…


Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 10.09.08.png

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

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 10.44.52.png

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-07 at 12.25.26.png

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 11.50.44.png

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 12.26.10.png

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 09.37.43.png

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.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 09.46.34.png

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

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

Top Ten Amazing Materials

Top Ten Amazing Materials

 

Do you want to know the top ten amazing materials?

 

Of course you do. There are so many incredible materials in the world, it was a tough call to only choose ten, but here you go, I hope you like them.

 

 10 - D30 Impact Protection – This amazingly clever material is a substance used in impact protection. Now used in phone cases, body protection and electronics, this material is made up of D30 molecules. The material in it’s raw state is soft and flexible, much like ‘Play-doh’ to touch; however on receipt of shock, the molecules lock together to absorb energy and disperse energy to provide protection before returning to it’s flexible state.

 

9 - Fungal Foam - Environmentally friendly and cost effective. This foam is made from agricultural crop waste- plant stalks, rice and wheat husks, which are then bonded together with mushroom roots. The company is now developing this material to be an alternative to petroleum-based plastic foams which though convenient, threaten the environment

 

8 - Sweating Rooftops – Now, I know that this doesn’t sound extremely appealing but give it a chance. This new material from researchers at ETH-Zurich is really rather genius. Much like humans sweat to shed excess heat, this rooftop material absorbs water when it rains and only releases it when the temperature is raised to a certain point. Thus, keeping the house cool.

 

7 - Graphene – This is a remarkably strong material, in fact, it is about 100 times stronger than steel. In it’s pure form, pure carbon, one atom thick Graphene is an almost transparent sheet. It conducts heat and electricity with great efficiency.

 

6 - Gallium – Discovered by Lecoq de Boisbaudran in 1875, Gallium is used in industry every day. Though Gallium does not exist in a pure form in nature, scientists have found a way to extract it from Bauxite and Zinc ores. The product, Gallium (III) is a soft; silvery metal which when held on the palm begins to liquify in 5-7 minutes. (Pretty cool yeah?) Well, this amazing metal is used in a variety of ways every day such as, thermometers, mirrors, and solar devices.

 

5 - SilIca Aerogel – This is the lightest solid in the world, with a composition of 99.8% carbon dioxide and 0.2% silica gel. Aerogel is the best thermal insulator available with a melting point of 1200 degrees Celsius. Due to its impressive properties, aerogels have many uses from thermal clothing to spacecraft. The Glenn team is currently working on a NASA project called the Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD). The HIAD is an inflatable vehicle, which is stowed inside the launch vehicle. Prior the entering the atmosphere the HIAD is inflated; this helps the spacecraft slow down and land safely on it’s destined location, which has an atmosphere. Covered by a thermal protection system, aerogels are used as an insulator.

 

4 - Self-Healing Concrete – This may sound like something out of a Sci-fi film, but self-healing concrete is a huge breakthrough in structural damage. Repairing cracks in concrete structures is time consuming and costly but necessary. Researchers have come up with a solution that involves creating a concrete mix that contains bacteria in microcapsules. When in contact with water, the bacteria will germinate, producing limestone as they go, thus sealing the crack before any damage to the structure can occur! (Amazing right?)

 

3 - Hydrophobic Metal – Scientists have developed a metal, which causes water to bounce off it. (as if by magic) Unlike chemical coatings like Teflon, etching microscopic structures into metal with the help of lasers creates this surface. This development is amazing, yet just to pattern a 1x1inch of this can take up to an hour, so don’t expect to see it in any consumer products any time soon.

 

2 -  Metal Foam – This is the substance you get when you add foaming agents and powdered titanium hydride to molten aluminum and then let it cool down. This is an incredibly strong material, which is also extremely light, making it a favorable substance with 75-95% empty space. It has been suggested that this material could be used to make space colonies and floating cities. (How very futuristic!)

 

Still reading? I hope so, because I’ve saved the best until last!

1 - (Drum roll please) E-Skin – Imagine a world where your health can be monitored, constantly and discreetly throughout your average day. A health monitor that continuously checks your blood pressure, pulse, monitors your sleep pattern and stress levels. A thin layer of electronic skin which then uploads the information to your smartphone and allows you to track your wellbeing. Well, with E-skin, this doesn’t have to be imagined. This amazing material (and well deserved of the top spot) has been designed for multiple uses. We could see wallpapers doubling as touchscreen displays and dashboards, which allow drivers to adjust electronics with the wave of the hand. 

Interested in talking to us about Product Design? We're on hand to offer advice on any issues you're looking to resolve with current product design; around appearance, performance, the manufacturing process, or if you are looking to launch a new product.

Book a free consulation below and find out how we can support you to bring your ideas to life.