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Archive for the Industrial Design Category

Dodocase

Posted by Scott








Saw the Dodocase today on Engadget and instantly, for the first time, really wanted an ipad. A year ago I would have told you the idea of carrying around a giant Moleskine that disguises a giant iPhone was crazy, but here we are, and I want both. This seems like a pretty cool way to conceal the true geek within; kind of like putting a Triumph motorcycle shell over a Segway. Absolutely love the library card, been seeing that used a lot lately.

On a side note, how many of you are using an iPad? Do you use it solely for entertainment / productivity or are you finding any creative applications for it? I’m pretty sure I’ll be holding off on the iPad at least until the next generation rolls around and the music software matures a bit (really interested in the live applications of a touchscreen interface a’la the Jazzmutant Lemur).

Here’s a video detailing the build process, which is apparently done right here in San Francisco.


Dodocase | Images source

Moog Voyager XL

Posted by Scott






Moog just announced the new XL version of their Voyager synth. This is pretty exciting news considering the dearth of manufacturers these days willing to go out on a limb with a fully analog design. When I first saw the press shots I was really hoping it was going to be polyphonic, a modern Memorymoog maybe. But after checking the specs I was disappointed to learn that it’s just a mono synth like it’s Voyager brethren. What was even more disappointing was the price: $5,000 USD. While this is a beautiful piece of equipment and I appreciate the fact that they are produced on a small scale, that just seems like a lot for a larger — albeit still mono — Voyager with VX and CV tacked on. From what I can tell the same functionality could be had by getting a Voyager Rack and the expander boxes.

Also like the previous Voyagers, it’s pretty much in line visually with the original Model D design cues, which I adore. But I have a Voyager Rack and have always been disappointed by the body. The original Minimoogs had an incredible paint job and color scheme. Even the typography was amazing. The new stuff has a big sticker for the interface, as opposed to being screened directly on to the metal. It’s details like this that can really undercut an otherwise quality design. That being said, I’d have to say it’s still one of the prettiest synths out there, save for the Virus TI2 of course.

At any rate it’s still one of the most beautiful sounding musical instruments that you’ll ever hear.

And here are a couple of vintage Moog ads for good measure.



10,000 Year Time Machine

Posted by Alex

10,000 Year Clock Prototype


Did you know that The Long Now Foundation is building a 10,000 year clock?

The idea behind the Clock is to be an inspiration for long-term thinking, to help make thinking long term automatic and common, instead of difficult and rare. It is hoped to be an artifact to connect its visitors to the future in the same way relics from ancient civilizations connect us to the past. Such a clock, if sufficiently impressive and well-engineered, would embody deep time for people. It should be charismatic to visit, interesting to think about, and famous enough to become iconic in the public discourse. Ideally, it would do for thinking about time what the photographs of Earth from space have done for thinking about the environment. Such icons reframe the way people think. [link]

The clock may reside mostly underground, near Van Horn, Texas, and will tick once a year. There is a fascinating set of principles guiding the construction of the clock. I enjoyed the various options for timing the clock: piezoelectric oscillator, pendulum, orbital dynamics and etc. “Sounds made up” as my roommate is fond of saying. Currently there is a prototype design at the Science Museum of London.

By the way I titled this post “10,000 Year Time Machine” because any clock that will work for this period of time is much more than a clock, it is a giant MACHINE. Apologies if you were expecting a post on an actual time machine like a Delorean.

Holga D

Posted by Scott





This has to be the best concept rendering I’ve ever seen. Saikat Biswas designed these mock-ups to illustrate his concept for an open-source camera platform based on the original Holga camera. But unlike the original, Saikat has applied some tried and true Rams/Braun-esque styling to the exterior that’s sure to inspire lust in the hearts of design geeks everywhere.
Check his full post and you’ll see he’s really thought the whole thing out. Apparently he’s received quite a bit of interest so hopefully this thing makes it to production someday. I’m not sure, but didn’t Lomography buy the rights to the Holga a while back? Saikat might have an easier time if he gave it a different name.

Via Minimalissimo

Hulger Phones

Posted by Scott






Hulger makes some very well executed VoIP handsets with a nice retro slant. I’d have to say my favorite is the PIP*, it’s dripping with 80′s rich guy nostalgia. The Pappa is a little heavy-handed and leaning hard into 60′s Bostitch stapler territory, but it would look nice on the right desk if I had a second office that smelled of rich mahogany and a pipe was somehow involved.

More shots over at the Hulger site

Kee Desk Phone Dock

Posted by Scott





Update: Sangki Kim of Kee Utility writes: “Desk Phone Dock has been modified to fit iPhone 4. The product will be available from July in some countries.”

With iPhone-Frenzy-2010™ in full swing I thought I’d add some fuel to the fire with this beautiful, yet suddenly obsolete, little peripheral from Korean design firm, Kee Utility. Of course, it will never see the light of day in this form — for some reason, concepts never do — but at least we have this nice model to salivate over. Couldn’t find any word on pricing or availability other then that it was supposed to have debuted at the China Sourcing Fair in April, 2010.

While it’s definitely a looker, there’s not much in the way of originality going on here — the dock looks straight off the cutting room floor of Apple’s design lab and hits all the cues from Cupertino pretty much on the mark. Kind of unfortunate timing to be releasing something like this when they did; apparently they don’t read blogs. I’d like to see Kee do a redesign based on the more angular aesthetics of the iPhone 4. The current base seems a bit overwhelming, I think it could do well without the curves.

Via Geeksology

On a side note, after trying to act all hard saying I was going to defect to Android for the past 2 months, I used Beamer’s iPhone 4 today and immediately purchased one for myself. I couldn’t resist, that thing is incredible. I also bought a pair of rubber tongs to hold it with in light of recent developments.

Jubulani: How They Make The Ball To Hate

Posted by Scott





I’m not following the World Cup (sacrilege, I know!). Partly because I’m American and not much of a sports fan to begin with, and partly because I just can’t seem to muster the strength to pretend I like a sport every four years and then watch a bunch of guys roll around on the pitch holding their knee in agony only to pop up a few moments later and sprint around like a fucking gazelle (seriously, what’s the deal with that? I swear that’s the number one thing holding me back from appreciating football, this theater of feigned injury). I’ve honestly tried to like it, my friend Jorge Calleja took me to a FC Barcelona game while I was there a few summers back. I had a blast and Ronaldhino even scored a goal (which is apparently sort of rare these days). The crowd was amazing; every movement of the ball (even movements that, to my untrained eye, didn’t seem to have any kind of significance) was met with a rush of electricity that filled the entire stadium. Sadly, this feeling has yet to carry over to the TV viewing experience for me.

But I digress, this isn’t about sports, or football, or even pretending your leg has been amputated at the hip when a stiff breeze from the guy running by ruffles your jersey. This is about the fact that despite having watched exactly zero World Cup games, I somehow have an intimate knowledge of the ball used in them. This is because no one will stop talking about it (or those plastic horns for that matter). I found it rather intriguing that it’s being roundly panned by the players — both the winners and the losers. It made me think about all the R&D that must have gone into designing this ball only to have it be put on center stage and incessantly ridiculed. Designing high performance sports equipment has to be the most difficult gig in industrial design. It’s a sort of alchemy of engineering, physics, and craftsmanship that, to fulfill it’s intended purpose, must perform equally well for an extremely diverse range of end users. Just designing a jersey probably involves a few parts rocket science, so imagine designing the central element of play for a game, the results of which can make or break the hopes of entire countries. I don’t envy these designers.

So after hearing about this ball for the better part of a month, my interest was piqued when I came across this video detailing the ball’s construction on Abitare. I’m always a sucker for manufacturing videos and this one is exceptionally well done. I really enjoy the style and tones and it’s always amazing to see these giant, purpose-built machines doing such specific tasks. It always makes me wonder how mechanized manufacturing is ever cost effective.

So I know we have a pretty internationally diverse readership (hence the fact I haven’t used the word soccer once, until now), who are you rooting for? Also be sure to remind me of what a terrible human being I am for not liking soccer (yes, after the disclaimer earlier in this paragraph, via an obscure UN sanction, I am now legally entitled to call it soccer).

Also, the first year I moved to San Francisco some guy with a bus put up a gigantic LED screen (seriously, like stadium sized) in Dolores Park and played the World Cup on it. There were like 30,000 people at the park and it was completely awesome. If that guy comes back this year I will watch soccer.