Ciclope reading lamp

“Ciclope” the table lamp created by designers Maria Stella Aloia and Orietta Ceccato and produced by the Italian brand ILIDE.
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3D Printing Plastic Fisher-Price Records


Many of us born in the ’70s grew up with these Fisher-Price Record Players, which used plastic discs to play music-box-sounding analog music. I was surprised to see they had recently been re-released—and disappointed to learn the new ones aren’t the same as the old, but instead play the music electronically.

Earlier this year a UK-based tinkerer named Fred Murphy got his hands on some of the original units—you’ll see them pop up on eBay now and then—and decided to make his own records. Using a CNC mill and sheets of acrylic, Murphy successfully produced workable discs.


For his first effort, Murphy mapped Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” on one and the “Star Wars” theme on another. Have a listen:


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yuri suzuki + technology will save us: denki puzzle

by exploring communication systems in consumer electronics, a bespoke printed circuit board is used visually represent individual parts and functions to form working appliances such as a radio or lighting products.

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grand-central – online guestbook installation by thibault brevet

the experimental social exploration combines art and machine where an audience can contribute messages online that are then printed out by a specially fabricated device.

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A’ design award winners 2012

the annual juried competition is divided into 80 categories covering a range of topics including packaging, chemical products and consumables, transportation, cookware, toys, banking and finance instruments.

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Design Exchange Fall Exhibition: Vertical Urban Factory and Considering the Quake

dx_fall-blogs_2.gifbreathingfactory_osaka.jpegBreathing Factory, Takashi Yamaguchi and Associates. Osaka, Japan, 2009.

On September 13th, the Design Exchange proudly presents the opening of two unique exhibitsVertical Urban Factory and Considering the Quake—both on view through December 9th.

Vertical Urban Factory will study the history of factory design, considering important developments such as Henry Ford’s Highland Park Assembly Line. Receiving high praise at New York City’s Skyscraper Museum (where it was on show November 2010 – June 2011), the exhibit begs the question, “Can factories once again present sustainable solutions for future self-sufficient cities?”

DX_cotton_web.jpegBuckminster Fuller, Automatic Cotton Mill, 1952, model designed with North Carolina State University students. Courtesy North Carolina State University, College of Design. Photograph by Ralph Mills.

The accompanying exhibit, Considering the Quake delves into seismic design and the science of architecture. How, for fear of being exposed to seismic hazards, engineering and technological advances has often surpassed the importance placed on aesthetics.

Throughout late Fall and into December, the DX will accommodate samples of superior projects in technology and research, including Cast Connex’s seismic technology which is to be included in NYC’s World Trade Center 3 design, among others. In addition to how architecture is changing because of these advances, the exhibit will examine post critical disaster shelters from an architect’s perspective rather than the traditional engineer’s point of view, led by Dr. Effie Bouras Postdoctural Fellow and Professor Ghyslaine McClure, P. Eng, of McGill University, Department of Civil Engineering.

Vertical Urban Factory and Consider the Quake
Design Exchange
234 Bay Street
Toronto, M5K 1B2
September 13 – December 9

DX_PhilippeRuault.jpegShenzhen Stock Exchange, Shenzhen, China, by OMA. Image courtesy of OMA; photography by Philippe Ruault.

DX_vannelle_night.jpegVan Nelle Factory, Johanne Brinkman and Leendert van der Vlugt with Mart Stam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1925-31. Photograph courtesy of Van Nelle Ontwerpfabriek, c. 1932.


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Student Work – Collin Cummings

Designed by Collin Cummings | Country: United States

“I fell in love with the idea of repackaging honey because of the timelessness of honey production. The process employed by honey bees hasn’t changed. To reference this highly industrial procedure, I chose a typographic direction that felt sterile. To counterbalance the type, I designed a few complicated and emergent patterns that hide behind the color of the honey when the bottle is full. As you use the product, the elegant patterns are revealed in a second layer as a homage to the beauty and timelessness of such a refined and perfected practice such as honey production.”

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A Copernican Revolution in Digital Fabrication: Handheld CNC for 2D Applications


As with many of my fellow fledgling philosophy students, I was awed by Kant’s so-called “Copernican Revolution”: in order to reconcile the epistemological conflict between rationalism and empiricism, Kant determined that we experience the world from a point-of-view, as dictated by a priori categories of space, time, causality, etc. Thus, our unique ability to know and learn about the world as it is given to perception comes at the expense of the naïve belief that we could somehow discern its essence.

Just as it’s only a loose (possibly even backwards) metaphor for the dawn of modern Western philosophy, we’re taking some liberties with both the Renaissance astronomer’s hypothesis and its Kantian canonization here. Where Computer Numerical Control (CNC) devices have long been restricted by the size of a multiple-axis stage, a team of engineers and designers are looking to put digital fabrication tools squarely in the hands of the users. Don’t the let academic title fool you: “Position-Correcting Tools for 2D Digital Fabrication” by Alec Rivers (MIT CSAIL), Ilan E. Moyer (MIT MechE) and Frédo Durand (MIT CSAIL) might just represent the next step for digital fabrication. Per the abstract:

Many kinds of digital fabrication are accomplished by precisely moving a tool along a digitally-specified path. This precise motion is typically accomplished fully automatically using a computer controlled multi-axis stage. With that approach, one can only create objects smaller than the positioning stage, and large stages can be quite expensive.

We propose a new approach to precise positioning of a tool that combines manual and automatic positioning: in our approach, the user coarsely positions a frame containing the tool in an approximation of the desired path, while the device tracks the frame’s location and adjusts the position of the tool within the frame to correct the user’s positioning error in real time. Because the automatic positioning need only cover the range of the human’s
positioning error, this frame can be small and inexpensive, and because the human has unlimited range, such a frame can be used to precisely position tools over an unlimited range.

PositionCorrecting2DCNC-USAUSA.jpgMade in the USA

In other words, they’re looking to combine the best of both worlds: “our goal is to leverage the human’s mechanical range, rather than decision making power or guidance, to enable a new form factor and approach to a task that is currently fully automated.”


Before we dig into the short but dense paper [PDF] that Rivers, Moyer and Durand published for SIGGRAPH 2012, here’s the video:

A bit of nitty-gritty after the jump…


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Strek Collective’s Norwegian Modern

Norwegian design at its finest! You know how much we love clean, Scandinavian design. It’s a winner because it always has a calming simplicity to it, but yet a level of rich, sophisticated detail. The work of brand new creative collective Strek Collective is a wonderfully modern mingling of contemporary and Norwegian design.

“Strek is a creative collective founded by four Norwegian designers with a dedicated approach to exploring the unknown and improving the known. The four designers met in Oslo and Akershus University College and began working together in 2008. The strong ambition to always improve has made it possible for Strek Collective to establish their work in the international market. Strek Collective is Stian Korntved Ruud, Fredrik Wærnes, Nicolai Gulliksen and Jørgen Platou Willumsen.” More on Strek Collective’s website.

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