Architectures of Control, which provides some very interesting analysis of products that are “designed with features that intentionally restrict the way the user can behave” in order to encourage the user to follow certain practices and behaviors, has posted Slanty design, which is a great introduction to the concept and bridges design in the physical world and design for the Web. It’s a quick, well illustrated article that I encourage everyone, not just designers to read.
For non-designers, it may shed some light as to why some of yoru favorite products and services act as they do.
The Urban Cup Holder by Up to You is an amazing idea that transforms your environment on the go. In a large metropolis, it could shift the usual travel patterns, hopefully slowing life down by encouraging people to use the space around them and communicate. Or, as one commenter noted, it could be a nice way to extend the footprint of a cafe, something that could prove important to smokers as more and more cities enact non-smoking ordinances.
I think it will get the most usage (at least here in Austin), as a beer holder. Whether you need a spot for your brew when you’re on a party barge, or on the patio at one of your favorite night spots, the Urban Cup Holder would be pretty damned useful. The built-in hook would be handy for jackets or grocery bags, though I’m not sure how much weight it could hold.
I can’t find a product page, nor any photos beyond the one I snagged from swissmiss, so I have no idea if this is anything more than a concept. I’m going to contact Up to You in order to learn more, as I’d love to see these in use.
Se the comments for an update.
Garrett Dimon’s review of For the People by the People, a book about architecture (buildings not pages) has prompted me to add it to my Amazon Wishlist. Sadly I missed the Campfire chat he had set up to discuss it, leaving me with just a small taste, and ultimately causing me to want to read it even more. It isn’t very often that you hear about online reading groups spontaneously occurring…
I’ll leave you with the quote that Garrett highlighted as that is what truly piqued my interest:
So it is inevitable that as the work of building passes into the hands of specialists, the patterns which they use become more and more banal, more willful, and less anchored in reality.
DNA 11 creates high quality prints from your DNA or fingerprint. The geek in me cries out to hang (at least) one of these pieces on our walls.
Adding a small stack of books to the invisible bookshelf hides the hardware, creating the illusion that the books are floating in place. Look ma, no hands!
flavour design co. produces some beautiful, creative furnishings.
Creative Home Engineering integrates “silent, automated hidden passageways” into your home. How cool is that?! Beyond the standard “pull on a book” or twisting a candlestick, their custom switches give you the ability to activate the passage entries any way you want. The “triple-redundant safety features includ[e] optical sensor arrays, overtorque protection, thermal sensors, infrared sensors and mechanical obstruction detectors” as well as biometrics (fingerprints, optical and voice). They apparently have pre-fab kits ($150+) available for those who can’t afford a complete solution ($10,000). Link via one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman.
On a Roll: Children’s Paper Chair is “made out of drawing paper rolled up like a pair of toilet rolls, and as a child uses paper, it’s scrolled from the back roll to the front one on which the child sits. As the child uses more paper, the chair gets taller and taller, conceivably getting larger as the little tyke grows taller.”
Velocity Art And Design: Molo Softwall 78 ” is a beautiful, lightweight, freestanding [paper] wall that can be arranged into almost any shape, or easily compressed into a compact sheaf and stored away. softwall dampens sound and can both absorb and transmit light”.
Time & Style is a beautiful kitchen island with a sink and range top built in. The metal and wood combine perfectly.
Kevin Kelly’s site, Cool Tools has posted a great tip about one of my favorite tools: white boards. As a geek, I love the ability to quickly sketch out a flow chart, rough UI design or a task list on my office white board. While I have a small white board in my home office, I dream of a day that I can have an entire wall covered with marker board.
The post provides a great amount of detail concerning the options available, breaking it down into two options, “cheap” and “best”. The latter option is made of metal coated in ceramic, so it becomes much more useful as you can utilize magnets, eliminating the need for a separate cork board.
Picture taken from the Official Aluma Designs Web site
Aluma produces framing systems out of perforated aluminum, which provides an amazing amount of creative flexibility. I would love to get a several frames, in varying sizes (and perhaps colors) when Sarah and I have bought our house. The style wold match my computer desk perfectly, establishing a modern feel in my office.
Trendir, an interior design magazine, posts some amazing products, from inspirational designers. I truly wish I had some time to explore the entire site. But, for now, I will simply point you at:
Photo taken from Engadget
I love the Voodoo Knife Rack made by Viceversa. They have taken a rather utilitarian tool (an object to hold knives) and designed a fun, yet useful piece of working art. Granted, I’m not keen on the exposed blades, but perhaps the danger of cutting oneself is part of the fun. Hrrrm, perhaps not. Either way, it looks cool, even if it isn’t something I would choose to use.