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arcw Table by architecturew

07.21.12   |   Posted in: Art & Design, Modern Home   |   By: A. Salem Jones
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Great architects creating forms which enrich living. It is a natural evolution for an architecture firm to apply their sensibility and process to areas beyond buildings. Such is the case with the firm architecturew. You may recall their B House Remodel which reinvented a home as a contemporary dwelling.

The firm’s latest project is a modern coffee table which would be a fitting addition the the spaces architecturew is known for. The table is a result of experimentation with simple repetitive materials revealing unexpected patterns and structures. With a nod to classic forms of the past, the innovative materials and flowing shape result in a truly contemporary design.

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Desk Phone Dock for iPhone

04.13.10   |   Posted in: Tech   |   By: Kellis Landrum
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A few years ago we decide to ditch our landline phone and went cell only. While we’re not going back to landlines anytime soon, we’ve come to realize that they did have a few very nice features.
Hence we were excited when we saw the Desk Phone Dock for iPhone. Aside from the fact that this is a slick looking desk accessory, we realized long ago that an old school phone receiver is much more comfortable to hold to your ear. While an iPhone fits in your pocket much better that a landline phone, they are very quiet, and we often find ourselves nearly shouting to be heard.
While we’re not ready to get our old Cisco office phone back quite yet, we do miss being able to whisper into a receiver when necessary or put call on a speaker phone that’s loud enough to be heard clearly. We’re actually a little surprised no one thought of this sooner, and hopefully the design of the iphone wont drastically change to render this useless when the next model is released.

via We Heart

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AGENT designs a smarter ball- CTRUS

03.29.10   |   Posted in: Art & Design, Tech   |   By: Neu Black
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Thought this is still a concept in development, Mexico City based design firm AGENT has been working on an idea begging for implementation. Using a combination of GPS and RFID technology, AGENT has developed a soccer ball with a tracking system that can alert officials as to whether or not a ball is in-bounds or has crossed a goal line. Apparently this technology also includes accelerometer based velocity tracking to detect aspects of force and pressure (we assume this could measure when it’s time to replace a ball).
We like this concept for almost any sport involving a ball. But the first place we’d like to see this implemented is Major League Baseball, where the strike zone could (finally) be made standard and consistent rather than fluid based on the call of each particular umpire. Needless to say almost any ball based sport would benefit from this, so please AGENT, hurry up!

Biomimicry in Design

01.14.10   |   Posted in: Art & Design   |   By: Katie Weiss
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biomimicry

In this age of technology most people know by now that we get a lot of our medicines and fabrics from things we find in nature but did you know that a lot, if not all the items in your home were also inspired by something in nature?  This is called biomimicry.

box-fish

Biomimicry is when a man made object imitates or is inspired by nature.  You may be unfamiliar with the term but this is not a new concept, and it is growing in popularity. For instance have you ever been drawn to an item in a store but you have no idea why you like it so much?  Do you find yourself always looking at a particular building as you drive by on your way to work?  Chances are these things catch your attention because of some biomimicry in the design.

mercedes-bionic-concept

We are attracted to designs that imitate nature because they are subconsciously familiar.  Familiarity breeds friendly, happy, or content feelings.  Designs that utilize this subconscious response in consumers tend to do very well in sales.  It’s also why we tend to see a face in most designs.  For instance a light socket does seem to look like two eyes and a mouth.

Annette-Ferdinandsen-feather-ear-rings

Jewelry designers apply biomimicry more than any other industry.  The next time you’re in a jewelry store or at a jewelry website you’ll probably find something that looks like an insect, an animal, or a plant.  Even the clasp most jewelry uses to fasten was inspired by the lobster claw.

japanese-bullet-train

Designs that apply inspiration from nature tend to be more functional too.  For example the bullet train in Japan was inspired by the beak of the kingfisher.  This shape allows the train to move much faster with less air resistance.  This design also eliminated the loud boom the old trains would create each time they emerged from the tunnels.  Cars of all shapes, sizes, and functions have been using nature as a guide for years. Recently, Mercedes-Benz, applied the aerodynamic shape of the boxfish to their bionic car and as a result this vehicle has a 65% lower drag coefficient than other vehicles in its class.

king-fisher

According to Bob Little, the president of solidThinking-

“Designers are constantly looking to nature because they can find ideas that have some fundamental level of efficiency and robustness, and there seems to be a general hunger for biomimicry as inspiration.”
“Biomimicry allows innovators and problem solvers of all kinds to create more intelligent and sustainable design through the emulation of nature.”
-Designboom.com

The basic fundamental point is that nature has 3.8 billion years of evolution for us to pull inspiration from. Survival of the fittest is still alive today so we can see which concepts in nature flourished and which died out.  Nature has done most of the work for us already we just have to be smart and clever enough to make it work for us.  So the next time you find your eye drawn to something, take a second to think about why and maybe you’ll find that society isn’t as separate from nature as you once thought.

Spirit House Chair by Daniel Libeskind

01.5.10   |   Posted in: Art & Design, Modern Home   |   By: A. Salem Jones
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spirit-house-chair-libeskind-01

spirit-house-chair-libeskind-02

Sculptural chair by Daniel Libeskind in partnership with the Nienkämper furniture company.
-Via Dusbowl Via Daily Icon

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Latis Collection from Omvivo

11.2.09   |   Posted in: Modern Home   |   By: Kellis Landrum
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latis-omvivo

Latis (named after the Celtic Goddess of Water) is the lovely new collection shown above by the folks at Omvivo. It’s hard to go wrong when you use the right materials, and there’s few things that have a more timeless look than stone. Mix that with a modern sophisticate form, and you get a bathroom that makes all your friends seeth with architectural jealousy.

The Living Wall Project: Interactive Wallpaper

10.30.09   |   Posted in: Art & Design, Tech   |   By: Kellis Landrum
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Lisa-Buechley-living-wallIf your phone can have a touch screen with out actual buttons, why can’t your house do the same? The Living Wall project, led by Lisa Buechley at the MIT’s Media Lab uses conductive paint in wall paper. This allows for a flexible surface that can be used as a touch sensor and could control almost anything electronic via bluetooth (albeit within a certain distance). In the image above, LED circuitry is incorporated into the material and conductive paint stenciled as a design motif produce light directly from the surface.

From New Scientists interview with Lisa Buechley
“Our goal is to make technologies that users can build on and change without needing a lot of technical skill,” says Buechley.
To create the wallpaper, the team started with steel foil sandwiched between layers of paper that are coated with magnetic paint – acrylic paint infused with iron particles. Over this base they paint motifs such as flowers and vines using conductive paint, which uses copper particles rather than iron. The designs form circuits to which sensors, lights and other elements can be attached.
“It really is just a sheet of paper, and could be produced with existing printing and construction methods,” Buechley says.
Having exposed circuitry on your wall might sound dangerous, but Buechley says the system runs at 20 volts, drawing around 2.5 amps when fully loaded with devices. “You can go up and touch the wall and not even feel a tingle,” she says.

BMW Lovos

10.12.09   |   Posted in: Art & Design, Tech   |   By: Kellis Landrum
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bmw-lovos-3

The BMW Lovos (Lifestyle of Voluntary Simplicity) concept is an interesting solution to how to integrate solar technology into a car body. The scale shaped cell panels can lift and turn to adjust themselves to the angle of the sun and absorb the most reflective light. The “scales” can also affect handling by lying flat for maximum aerodynamic performance or lifting to create airfoil braking and stabilization.
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Ouef Guitar

09.15.09   |   Posted in: Modern Home   |   By: Kellis Landrum
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oeuf-guitar

This brings back some romantic notions of sleeping with your guitar by your side. Only with an actual pillow you don’t have to worry about rolling over on to sharp wires or breaking anything. Let your kids rock to thier hearts content and when they’re worn out they already have a pillow to crash on. You can get the Ouef Guitar here.

Objectified, Second Screening

08.11.09   |   Posted in: Art & Design, Events, Tech   |   By: Neu Black
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In case you missed the first sold out screening, Objectified is doing a second one this wednesday Aug 12th- 8pm at the Laemmle Theater on Santa Monica with an appearance by Director Gary Hustwit. Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them.

Get your tix here before hand, they will not be selling them at the door.