Product designer and sculptor Konstantin Achkov worked for three years closely examining the idea of puzzle-like assembled furniture. His Stack and Frame collection of furniture were exhibited during Sofia Design Week 2012.
Made from 18mm beech plywood using a CNC router, the pieces are assembled without glue or tools. Just piece them together like a big puzzle! Although at first glance it looks like it might be confusing, I bet it’s actually very easy, probably much less stressful and anger-inducing than putting together a piece from your favorite local Swedish store.
Four limited-run caps inspired by the Good Moods collection from NYC’s Reed Space and Hawaii’s KICKS/HI
Making a case for the value of a good collaboration is LA-based fashion brand Publish. After dropping their well-recieved “Good Moods” collection just two weeks ago the label teamed up with NYC’s premiere lifestyle boutique Reed Space and Hawaii’s world-renowned sneaker shop KICKS/HI for two limited-run joint projects for your head. Officially launching tomorrow, 13 July, the line will feature a snapback and a five-panel inspired by the retailers’s respective digs.
As an ode to the controlled chaos and artisanal history of New York City, Reed Space’s snapback features muted floral prints conjuring what might grow in the dark alleys if given the chance. The five-panel, on the other hand, features a bright, flowery pattern vaguely reminiscent of a cheetah, in homage to the concrete jungle.
While Reed Space finds inspiration in the dark city of cynics, KICKS/HI’s prints inspire with vivid colors and an unmistakably laid-back attitude. The five-panel seems like it was crafted from a swatch of Victorian-era wallpaper, rather than palm trees and hibiscuses. The snapback’s vibe seems more like digi-camo upholstery, marking a welcome departure from more traditional motifs.
All in all the four collaboration hats stay very much on-brand for the three influential companies. Find the American-made caps in store only at Reed Space and KICKS/HI tomorrow, 13 July. For a closer look see the slideshow.
With summer in full swing, your bike has likely become a constant companion. Giving your wheels some natural lo-fi charm, handcrafted wooden accessories also provide a supreme level of easy functionality. We scoured Etsy to find the best of the bunch, from baskets and grips to storage units, fenders and lights.
The Bike Valet by Reclamation Art Furniture
is a handsome and practical addition to any cyclist’s home—the wall-mounted storage unit features compartments for keys and a wallet as well a place to hang your bike. Made from urban harvest walnut and hand-rubbed with natural VOC oil finish, each Bike Valet is made to order, individually numbered and signed by craftsman Steven Tiller. Available for $185 on Etsy.
The wooden bicycle light from Sean Said Play is fashioned out of reclaimed walnut and attaches via a Velcro strap, relying on a common 3v coin battery to produce a bright flash. The designers utilize as much reused material as possible, aiming to make well-designed lights that compete with their mass-produced counterparts in price, quality and functionality. Available in both a red and white light, the wood can be customized on Etsy for $35.
Broken Board handcrafts these wood grips on a lathe in either Brazilian Walnut Hardwood or Cherry. They’re finished with a spar polyurethane commonly used for marine applications, enabling the grips to withstand the elements while enhancing the natural grain of the wood. Available for $50 from Etsy.
Combing a rustic feel with modern lines, REdesign Studio‘s RE-cycle wooden bike fenders offer a twist in the aesthetic of your ride. Handmade from reclaimed wood, the fenders are crafted in downtown Seattle by alums of the University of Washington’s architecture department. Available for $100 from Etsy.
For rear bike racks, the Wooden Bike Basket from Off Cut Studio is a handsome alternative to the traditional wire or nylon basket. Made from solid walnut and finished with four coats of marine oil, the Wooden Bike Basket’s mortise and tenon joints mean it’s built to endure the elements. Off Cut Studio also welcomes requests for custom sizes. The walnut Wooden Bike Basket
is available for $105 from Etsy.
For those who prefer a basket mounted to the front of their bike, the Classic Porter Crate by Bates Crates boasts the bonus of a cup holder. The crates are handmade from maple before being stained and polycoated to handle the environment. Available for $125 on Etsy.
Dutch design duo Wendy Legro and Maarten Collignon found inspiration for their latest collection in the industrial shipyards of Rotterdam that surround their office. Better known as Wendy Maarten, they came together in 2010 after successfully partnering in several design contests around the Netherlands. “We noticed that working together makes us better,” says Legro. “The one thing that really connects us is that we really share the same taste.”
Their newest project, “Lightness in Lines,” is a lighting collection inspired by the pulley systems of Rotterdam’s shipyards and serves as a testament to their formally driven design process. “The Dutch translation for the word designer is ‘shape giver’—we literally want to give shape to objects but it should never lose its function,” says Collignon. “The aim for the ‘Lightness in Lines’ collection was to create elegant and friendly objects with a big focus on aesthetic qualities and form.”
The result is a line that’s both delicate and streamlined, consisting of long porcelain lamps balanced out by custom counterweights. The counterweight and the working pulley system allow one to easily adjust the height of each lamp. The collection comes in a variety of colors ranging from the industrial all-black iteration to the softer-looking gradient lamps that come in colors like grapefruit and yellow. “We use pigments to color the clay, the matte result almost makes it look like rubber which is perfect to reflect the industrial beauty of shipyards,” says Legro. “Working with ceramics means being challenged all the time. Close to our office we now have our porcelain workshop where we make every single lamp by hand with a lot of care, frustration and joy.”
The pulley lamps start at 375 € and can be ordered directly from their website.
Ceramicist Robert Siegel and artist Aaron Hawks joined forces to create a unique, limited-edition collection of handmade objects made from fine porcelain. Torn features everything from pieces in a table setting, to a chandelier, to fetish items, and everything in between, including the table they are all sitting on. Each object is made and torn by hand, making them all slightly different. With a nod to all things imperfect, the pieces are, as they say “‘tearing’ the line between art and craft.”
North Kingdom project — This spring I was involved in a really fun project for a Google Maps and LEGO® as a Art/Design director with focus on the build section. The whole concept is about you building LEGO creations on a map of Australia (LEGO turns 50 years in Australia this year), where you claim your own spot on the map. It´s called “Build with Chrome”. I have always been a huge LEGO fan so it was a great project to be involved in! The result was pretty OK, specially the “builder” that rocks big time with an amazing programming solution, but the limitations of how we could use/hack the Google map pulled down the result a little, I think.
A rough mock up by Alfredo Aponte, our User Experience Designer. He was the guy solving the seemingly impossible.
LEGO Digital Designer is a program you can download for free to build complex LEGO models. A program that became a close reference about what we was going to build. However, this program was in our eyes to complicated and to hard to use, so our focus was to make our “builder” much more easy and playful to use.
Klas Kroon, our programmer and the brain behind the builder, made lot of different prototypes and developments. These prototypes helped us to early see what we could do and not. The client described his work as ‘like Christmas morning waking up to see what North Kingdom had delivered next’.
“Having recently worked with particles, my mindset was set to that.. So my initial idea was to treat the LEGO bricks as particles or several particles makes up a brick, etc.. The idea is to use a sprite/particle of the smallest brick and so on. 1 vertex = 1 sprite. So this is not “real” 3d, but more isometric/ortographic, no perpective. Here´s the first test, so you can see what I mean:
One of the early ideas was to have some sort of terrain variation, here´s a test of that:
(Mousedown and drag left/right to rotate, arrowkeys to pan) Isometric 5 (flipped)
… So I tried with the more classical approach, that is more on par with the LEGO Digitial Designer, which is really nice, but it’s more advanced and more “cad” than what we were aiming for here. Builder 2
One that tested autosaving with local storage. Builder 4
Above are my first mock ups on the same screen. We all wanted a very simple solution regarding “the builder”, therefor I thought a clean open design would match that idea when we also had Google to think about. Some big juicy LEGO bricks would make it more playful and interesting, we still want it to feel LEGO right?
Final interface design by Jonas Eriksson.
We also did a LEGO version on the Google mnemonic; a 3 seconds 3D animation. Conceptually; very simply idea with a Google logotype explode into LEGO bricks that would go around its core, but it was for sure little tricky to get correct. Above you see my rough direction of how I saw it would work.
Mathias Lindgren, our 3D artist, put it alive in 3D Studio Max.
“Drawing the Passage of Time” by Niek de Snoo; photo by Ray Hu
When What Is Natural for Some Is Not for Others: Culture and Design
I was in Asia, giving a talk. I was given a remote controller for advancing my slides. This one had with two buttons, one above the other. I dislike traditional slides with long streams of text that the speaker reads to the audience, so I have a rule: “No words.” Most of my slides are photographs. I was all ready for the first photograph, but when I pushed the upper button to advance to the slide, I was flustered: I went backwards through my slide set, not forward.
“How could this happen?” I wondered. To me, top obviously means forward, bottom backwards. The mapping is clear and obvious. If the buttons had been side-by-side, then the control would have been ambiguous: which comes first, right or left? It isn’t clear. But this controller used the correct mapping of top and bottom? Why was this control designed incorrectly?
I decided to use this as an example of design for the audience. I showed them the controller and asked: “to get to my next slide, which button should I push, the top or the button?” To my great surprise, the audience was split in their responses. Many thought that it should be the top button, just as I had thought. But a large number thought it should be the bottom.
What’s the correct answer? I discovered that as I asked this question around the world that some people firmly believe that it is the top button and some, just as firmly, believe it is the bottom button. Each is surprised to learn that someone might think differently. Who is correct? Both are.