On simple things that amuse and delight ~ De Vorm had a little plastic toy camera out ~ the single object on one of their tables they were displaying… of course we couldn’t resist picking it up… when a man emerged from behind a panel (while on the phone!) and said “Take it”… hesitating, he encouraged us further… then offered us another! How could we say no? And how could i not wear it? So in Milan Design Week seriousness… i totally wore this silly little toy camera alongside my real one… and inside it? Viewmaster catalog/press kit of sorts! Delightfully fun idea… so simple, so fun, definitely put a smile on my face. The camera is made by Plastiskop - “The Plastiskop models were patented from 1953 in Germany and turned out as the classic souvenir in the 50’s and 60’s, as with the upcoming mass tourism the Plastiscopes became the memory machine of a whole generation. As well in modern times our series for souvenir, animals, fairy tales keep up as a part of the german cultural landscape. Meanwhile the orignal models in their historical moulds are produced in third generation in north bavaria - hand made and almost in the same way as the first plastiscopes were done.” Amazing, right? See pictures of the camera, the press kit materials, and other Plasticopes on the next page!
Who doesn’t love brains and microchips? Especially extra large as coffee tables and ottoman like objects? And it was hard to resist a display with large brain scans mesmerizingly projected above the objects… These are the limited edition Brain and Microchips by Daniel Rohr! See more pictures of them (and a pic of them next to a person for some scale!) on the next page…
Hard to miss, yet so adorably cute ~ this cluster of crane suspended Mini Coopers are hanging out in Milan! And for whatever reason, i’ve been having far too many conversations about hoisting cars up on to roofs and what not with cranes, so had to share this display! See more pics from other angles on the next page!
Let’s face it, there are a lot of girly looking ipad cases out there. And if they double as a bag they often get a bit too man-purse like. And it’s really not a good look - regardless of gender! So, in light of the new iPad 2 (see our unbox here), we decided to take a peek at what new options are out there (and which old ones are iPad 2 updated)… From machined wood and thick hand-stitched constructed leather to stamped and CNC metal to ballistic nylon and even water repellent twill and tough canvas, there are so many well crafted gadget protector options these days. And most importantly, It should age well, do its job and make you look good! Browse over a dozen options on the next page!
The Minox Classic Digital Camera available at Photojojo… their email this morning got me lusting after this little digi-replica all over again… “The MINOX Classic Camera Collection are just like their timeless analog predecessors, except these beauties are digital and recreated at a scale of 1:3. The mini cameras are fully functional and take impressive photos too, with 5.1 megapixel hardware resolution, a 2-inch display and attachable viewfinder.They can even shoot video in AVI format and record onto external SD cards.” And the wooden box it comes in ~ gorgeous! And the accessories are even more fun! Swoon Take a peek at pics from Photojojo and Minox on the next page…
p.s. Just imagining how silly i’d look switching between 5DMKII and this at events…
In a TV near you, there is an upcoming TV show, National Geographic Expedition Week. Far, far away in a room… there is a tiny train track - that goes through the Himalayas, London, Ancient Rome, and Papa New Guinea… and on this track, is a tiny train… with a tiny camera. A camera that YOU control through the internet. And when you find artifacts while driving this tiny far away train… you can take pictures. Then a person in the far away room with the tiny train looks at your picture, and decides if you found something. And he tells you through the internet, and if you DID… he pulls a REAL life-sized artifact off the shelf, and packages it up, and it appears on your REAL doorstep. Where you might be sitting on the couch, watching National Geographic Expedition Week.
PHEW ~ did you follow that? so that’s… digital - physical - digital - physical - digital - physical - digital? How many layers of real world/digital interaction is that? I love Deeplocal. Oh, and if you do win a real world artifact, and then proceed to photograph it, and feed it back to the internet… bonus interaction layers?
So, to recap, National Geographic Channel and Deeplocal, the team behind GAP’s Project Reindeer, have teamed up to create Mission Expedition where viewers can go on a photo safari using telepresence cameras to explore miniature sets… and it’s AWESOMEly fun! See more about the project, the artifacts, and behind the scenes on the next page.
p.s. OH, and to know its real, when i had a call with them this morning pre-launch ~ they even waved their giant hand at me via the tiny train’s tiny camera while we were talking!
Since Lowe’s gave us an excuse to dive deeper and explore the world of home makeovers, remods, etc ~ we decided to kick it off by exploring the designer side of power tools! Thing we want, things to come, things i can’t imagine life without! And these certainly aren’t your usual power drills, sanders, saws and more… and to spice things up, have you ever thought of using your power tool as a regular instrument in your kitchen? Or in your bar? Or how about just to sharpen loads of pencils? Gorgeous, fun power tools await on the next page!
Exploring Lowe’s the other day to pick up epoxy, rope, and do some power tool “research”… i came across this pack of pencils… with a DRILL BIT PENCIL SHARPENER! The C.H. Hanson Pro-Sharpâ„¢ Finishing Pencil Carpenter is apparently the “world’s first chuckable drill powered pencil sharpener” and “produces a fast, consistent pencil point every time”. And so far it has lived up to its name. Honestly, it’s falling quickly into the, “how have i not had this my whole life?” category… it’s so FUN. It makes me want to sharpen through the whole box… totally understand how that reviewer on Amazon went through 144 pencils in less than 15 minutes. Anyhow, it’s fascinating, so stupidly simple, and has given my drill a whole new usage… pencils don’t stand a chance. See more on the next page, as well as a video of it in action!
I was curious. I couldn’t resist. And my dad has fallen for the iPad. So how could i not upgrade him today? Luckily we unboxed and got it all set up together! It really is fantastically thin. and there’s still something kind of magical about playing with vidchatting on such a portable (yet nicely sized) screen. And i’ll admit, the magnetic case was a draw… interesting to see how it worked, though in real life, it doesn’t work as well as i’d hoped. While playing with it and using the ipad normally, it awkwardly came off a few times! Anyhow… the form factor is the most fascinating change… i couldn’t help stacking it with the original iPad and my beloved Macbook air as usual! For some reason in a black and white kind of mood today… go check out the close ups and unbox on the next page!
There is a trend of impressive projection advertising going on in Germany ~ through both Mercedes-Benz and BMW. I love that both are not simply about being larger than life, but about eco-friendliness (in the case of BMW, the projections are mainly powered by wind energy) and environmentally aware (the Mercedes one helps you SEE through walls, at bikers, skateboards, and unexpected things coming around the corner) ~ both make fascinating and beautiful uses of the spaces around them. AND! Of course, videos of each on the next page to see them in action!
Hotels are where real life happens… and sometimes it’s dressed up like an escapist fantasy from your reality, but bottom line, they are a great way to explore the usability of objects and spaces… it’s like extended shopping? Staying in hotels begins to feel more like that childhood fantasy of hiding out/living in a department store or museum (From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, anyone?) ~ i’m waiting for the moment when i can buy the furniture, wallpaper, faucet fixtures, etc as easily as the bed, robe, and alcoholic minis… Hotel stays are experiments in living. Imaging designing experiences from the furniture to the layout to the closet filled with clothes (like The Tourist when they check into Hotel Danieli and open the closet door) to a living room and desk with gadgets for the perfect party (or meeting)… A way to slip right in and try on what your life could be like. And of course everything is purchasable. It’s one thing to have artists paint a mural… but another to create, could-be-real experiences…
A perfect example is this weekend’s adventure with the Four Seasons Los Angeles and Jawbone Jamboxes! This is the only location in California where you can live with a Jambox before you buy. While Jamboxes have made quite the splash over the holiday season across the design/trend/gadget sites ~ and the packaging is beautiful (see the full poolside unboxing here!) ~ it is a fascinating partnership that Jawbone and the Four Seasons Los Angeles have. Upon checking in to a suite, you are offered one to play with for the duration of your stay. They will even show you how easily it pairs and what you can do with it when you get up to the room! (Seriously, i’m impressed how easy pairing was with my various devices!) And it boosts an impressive 85 decibels ~ perfect for everything from relaxing on the patio, to blasting tunes from your laptop, or watching youtube videos from your phone… all via bluetooth (or headphone jack)… or you can use it as a super speakerphone when bluetoothed to your phone, since it has a mic too! It’s a fun way to try it before you buy… or in my case, fall for it and buy during my stay… luckily the front desk has them in a few colors ready for guests who decide they need one too!
Now… interesting from a design side, they had custom cases made for the Jamboxes, a simple discrete little zip pouch carrying the Jambox and all its cables, as well as instruction manual… take a peek at the Jambox in Four Seasons’ context on the next page!
There is a beauty to twitter’s ability to connect you instantaneously with people/brands that fascinate you… it’s almost magical. It’s how i “met” Jawbone, who then introduced me to Four Seasons Los Angeles… which led to chats about the Jamboxes being available to their suite guests… which has led to me curled up in a big suite bed tonight having one of my first little vacations in Beverly Hills. (Silly as it feels to be a few minutes from home!)
Now, before i get to the Jawbone Jambox service at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, you first need to see the poolside unbox! Slightly out of order, i had so much fun playing with the in-room Jambox, i decided i needed to own one to bring home, and since you can buy them from the front desk, i had one sent up to the room! And being Jawbone, of course the packaging is physically, ecologically, and graphically gorgeous ~ so naturally an unbox was called for! The Jambox made quite a splash this holiday season, and it claims to be “simply the smallest, best sounding wireless speaker and speakerphone on the planet.” And while that sounds bold, it does in fact sound impressively awesome, and it’s ability to be shared with hotel guests proves just how easy it is to pair! But more on that later, for now ~ unbox! Click on to the next page…
Since i’m missing the screening in NY tonight, surprise DVD just arrived from the lovely folks at Bentley, and i just lost about an hour totally engrossed in their factory process. Who doesn’t love Ultimate Factories on National Geographic Channel? There’s something beyond mesmerizing about the tiniest details of how these larger than life objects are made! Tomorrow’s episode focuses on how the Bentley Mulsanne is made, and takes you from the sketching, to the clay, to the wood shop, paint shop, leather shop, details of how the engine is assembled and tested, to the assembly line, customization shop, on the road and more. It really is quite incredible how much detail goes into each step, and how many facts and digits they manage to throw at you in a mere 50 minutes, and nice to see how much pride their craftsmen take in their work!
I couldn’t even figure out which parts to show you pics of… so decided to show you a sneak peek of my favorite part! The WOOD! From 3’ diameter root-balls of nearly hundred year old trees… shaved paper thin… to show some incredible marble like patterns, which are then cut and hand matched (magical stacks cut perfectly and mirrored to blend together)… before going through being fused to the panels… Anyhow! Check out the Bentley Mulsanne Ultimate Factories on National Geographic Channel tomorrow night, and take a sneak peek into it on the next page!
Ah, nothing like a nice dose of morning car lust. Porsche always has such dreamy photos of their cars, for some reason this one feels like it fell out of a Hardy Boys cover. I’m also a sucker for Porsche special editions, especially in black… this is the latest limited special edition with 320 hp - Only 987 cars: Porsche Boxster S Black Edition! “The colour concept of the Boxster S Black Edition is consistent in every detail. The rear side air intake grilles are painted in black as is the twin tailpipe of the exhaust system. The model lettering painted in black on the rear luggage compartment lid identifies the Black Edition as much as the embossed Black Edition model designation on the side of the fabric hood. The roll-over bars are painted in black, too.”
Also noteworthy, their microsite for the car is a fun take on automotive photography. It allows the viewer to step behind the camera, tweaking settings to take the perfect shot of the stunning car with a beachy backdrop and big lights… See screenshots and more of the beautiful pictures on the next page…
Sorry i went quite a few days here, internet has been a bit frustratingly spotty, and between all the snow and running around catching up with people, this week has been a little bit more working offline than on! BUT, this post is a fun unboxing of the new Jawbone Era in my Bowery Hotel room! As always, beyond their product design and engineering mastery, the packaging of all things Jawbone never ceases to amaze… this one practically unboxes itself and presents the new headset to you! I had to make a little video to show you just how fun it is! New in this latest bluetooth headset model, shake and tap controls ~ the latest in Noise Assassin technology ~ ability to listen to music/calls and more in HD ~ and more apps and updates to play with through MyTalk. Check out the video on the next page as well as more details!