BBC Future recently invited Conran’s Jared Mankelow to rethink the camera for their series on “redesigning the everyday,” Imagineering, in which “top designers rethink common objects and offer 21st Century solutions.” The Senior Designer at Sir Terence’s venerable company did away with the screen-based interface, hearkening back to the “retro joys of analogue photography”—namely, “that old-school feeling of waiting for your photographs to be developed before seeing how they turned out.”
Mankelow’s concept consists of a simple square, roughly the size of a Post-It pad, featuring a distinctive central aperture that serves as the lens and viewfinder, “with two rings at the front for the imaging sensors (black) and a ringflash (white).”
The square snapper may only be a mock-up—made by the UK’s Complete Fabrications—but it includes many of the attributes Mankelow would like in a finished product. Firstly there is the weight—the design’s reassuring heaviness harks back to the chunky character of models from the 1970s, when old-school film cameras arguably reached their golden age.
The lack of screen, of course, is the most radical departure from existing digital camera design. Noting the availability of wireless screens—smartphones, tablets, etc.—Mankelow has opted to relegate preview images to mobile devices via Bluetooth instead of in the camera itself. Not only does this add the element of surprise, as in film photography, but it also serves to reduce battery usage.
Gino Sarfatti is possibly the most important lighting designer in the history of Italian design. Between founding the beloved Arteluce in 1939 and selling it to Flos in 1973, the self-taught designer had over 600 lamps…
FreeFly Systems is a company dedicated to designing camera-supporting tools that enable revolutionary cinematography. Their top-of-the-line product is probably their CineStar Heavy Lift, above, an eight-rotor flying camera platform; but it is their handheld MoVI M10 model, below, that is currently enjoying a press explosion.
It’s easy to see why. The MoVI is a wicked piece of engineering, featuring a 3-axis gimbal that automatically, gyroscopically, digitally stabilizes the camera. Yet despite the presence of onboard motors, the thing operates completely silently and weighs less than 3.5 pounds. While a single person is meant to support it, shooting duties can also be split by having a second operator control the camera remotely via joystick. This frees the first operator up to focus on, for example, running or keeping a close eye on their footing on tricky terrain.
In 1996 a palm tree appeared almost overnight in a suburb of Cape Town. This was the world’s first ever disguised cell phone tower. Since then these trees have spread across the city, South Africa and the rest of the world. Invasive Species explores the relationship between the environment and the disguised towers of Cape Town and its surrounds.