While it seems almost sacrilegious ~ this is in fact, a post all about a sliced up Porsche. Or a few. Or a few in various stages, demonstrating the design process of a Porsche in the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany. “How very Damien Hirst!” ~ is the first reaction i got showing the pics to a friend… it’s also one of the most beautiful and concise ways i’ve seen car design summarized! Mixed with videos at each station about the process as well of course too! And fun that they managed to fit in 3 stages of clay refining in one slice even… absolutely mesmerizing to see even the seats and first aid kit all sliced straight through… and even more fascinating to look at the way it made people of all ages stare in wonder… see images of the installation on the next page!
Wow, what a week it was last week ~ volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, threw a little kink into what started to feel like a never-ending adventure across asia and europe, and early on in the trip, i decided to travel with only my blackberry curve, no data plan - only sms and international email - also, no iphone… and figured i’d be so busy, i’d survive just fine. Somewhere while i was diving in Indonesia, HTC contacted me and offered to send over an HTC Legend to try out (knowing i’d been lusting to try out the unibody phone and opitcal trackball in person)… they were even kind enough to send it over to my hotel in italy, along with an italian SIM card… with data! After 3 weeks traveling without using maps/internet/etc on my phone, i thought i was fine… good to disconnect a bit!
HTC Legend shows up ~ pop sim card in ~ start playing with maps and internet and gps and twitter and youtube videos and more… i’ll admit it, it made life 110% easier, nearly instantly. I’ve learned my lesson. Super snappy connection to the digital world 24/7 - it’s not an addiction… its convenience… like being able to go get lost and not need to ask for directions b/c your phone always knows where you are… or being able to go out to drinks, and keep checking in on the status of closed airports and volcanic eruptions and ash clouds and book/change flights while in the middle of an insane italian club? Excessive, but it certainly helped keep the panic of being stranded in europe indefinitely to a minimum… so, THANK YOU, HTC, for reconnecting me to the digital world when i needed it most! Things got a little stressful as people were hopping 22 hour consulate bus rides to London, rushing on packed trains to madrid and rome, booking private 737’s from newark to heathrow… but it’s good to be home!
And beyond the awesome functionality of the phone ~ the internet browsing seems FAR snappier than my iphone and i’m in love with the screen and trackball! Also, every designer i ran into at design week couldn’t help but comment how the phone was nearly more mac than a mac! It feels SO good in your hand, and the single piece body of the phone is just lovely… take a peek at the bunch of pics on the next page of it compared to my mac book pro at my last lunch in Milan at a cute little cafe in brera…
As with most car design studios, Mercedes-Benz’ Stuttgart Design Studio has a room with huge lustworthy displays, their Powerwall ~ which allows for 1:1 scale high res imagery of car images and renders, video conferencing with their studios around the world, and more. The most unique and beautiful aspect of their setup is their custom physical interface for Autodesk Showcase, which allows you to control the 3D renders! A light table with objects each encoded on the bottom… you can swap cars on the table to change colors, spin the car to spin the model, zoom/pan/tilt, and even change the clear acrylic blocks to swap the scenery… amazingly fun and beautifully executed! See more images of it on the next page.
p.s. Sadly, photography isn’t allowed in the studio (yes. they took our phones and cameras!), but we did have one awesome photographer indulging even some of my randomest requests… So images courtesy of Mercedes-Benz…
Aston Martin’s Rapide touts itself as “The World’s Most Elegant Four-Door Sports Car”… while it is certainly entering a growing market of 4 door luxury sports cars… and you can read quite a bit about it all over the web, what struck me most about it in person were the tiniest details. Some found on quite a few Aston Martins, others quite Rapide specific… if you’re ready, take a peek at the details that grabbed my attention… most notable are definitely the tiny sphere of a trunk opening button and the +/- cut matte metal and leather paddle shifters… and what an aggressive face it has when you look at it straight on! Also while from the exterior it doesn’t actually look all that much bigger than the others, yet once you’re inside its ridiculously spacious ~ and the rear seats fold flat! Anyhow, take a peek at all the best details on the next page from my tour at the Aston Martin Factory!
So, today was incredibly inspiring. Popped down to Oakley HQ in Foothill Ranch ~ and was quickly overwhelmed with everything from the beautiful view on the drive into the space… to the entrance… to the design studios… architecture… ejection seats… history… future… and secret bar… but, lets start outside. Between the Helipad and the Tank out front… POMEGRANATES! Tiny clementine sized pomegranates growing on the more adorable bushes lined the pathway between. And i was tempted to climb on the tank… but didn’t, and in retrospect, i’m now extremely curious what those little pomegranates taste like. But before we get inside the building… take a peek at at the fun outside Oakley.
Ok. I’m super excited about this one. I got a little obsessed with Flexicords when i ran by and saw their booth as CES 09 was closing then they finally made it into production and sent a few over… and they have been in my bag no matter where i end up ever since. They are bendy! They come in nice short sizes, and super long ones… and they have fun cables for everything: all forms of USB, HDMI, S-Video, RCA, and more. Apparently Flexicords are a big a fan of NOTCOT as i am of them ~ and they’ve given us 5 bundles of their popular cables to give away to you!
Additionally, Craig and Linhchi have been working hard on a new contest platform for us to play with, so we thought this would be the perfect chance to test it out! SO, this becomes one part contest, one part testing out a new experiment we’ve recently been playing with! Ready to enter to win a Cable Makeover? Help us debug and poke around with this new section?
Here’s the deal ~ To win one of the 5 Flexicord Bundles [Each one containing: - 1 6ft HDMI, 1 10ft CAT5e, 1 6ft RCA, 1 6ft S-Video, 1 6ft USB 2.0 A male to mini-B male, 1 6ft USB 2.0 A male to B male, 1 6ft USB 2.0 male to female, 1 6ft USB 2.0 A male to A male, 2 12in USB 2.0 A male to A female, 2 12in USB 2.0 A male to mini-B male, and 2 12in USB 2.0 A male to micro-B male.] SUBMIT A PICTURE (up to 3!) OF YOUR CABLE MESSINESS! Have your friends come vote for your entry! See all the details HERE!!!
Also see more close ups of the fun packaging and goodies to be won on the next page!
I’ve been thinking of a million and one ways to start this post over the last year… So, here goes! In Nov 2008, i was in talks with Aston Martin’s London agency and it came up to have a post looking for someone UK local to go to the Aston Martin Factory in Gaydon for NOTCOT. That was supposed to happen a month or two later… and between scheduling and the economy shifting and Aston Martin’s tumultuous year… a lot changed for them, and for the winner… and so, it’s been a year and a bit, but they happened to have a last minute opening around their customer tours, and we were finally able to squeeze in a visit to the Aston Martin Factory while i was in London. And Tom, thank you for being so understanding!
Ok, so all that aside ~ how sexy is that curve where the One-77 body flows to the side mirror? Putting the iridescent color shifting periwinkle/grey aside, there’s something very batmobile aggressive to the look of the One-77… even more so in person than those initial press shots. Not yet in production, and already sold out for its limited run of 77 customizable supercars priced at $1.5-2 million a piece… it was fun to get to take a look at some of the design details of this prototype up close… take a peek at my favorite details on the next page… as well as a video of it in action!
Going through pictures from the London trip… i have so many i’ve been meaning to share from Aston Martin. Sadly, i wasn’t able to take pictures inside the actual factory other than some super glarey diagrams on the walls… and the lighting for most of the cars was a bit difficult, but lots of details and overviews to share! Unsure of where to start, this saddle jumped out at me when i was going through the pics… it’s like a picnic basket meets a horse saddle… for the hump in the backseat of your Aston Martin DBS… Apparently each saddle is individually handmade by Robin Coleman in Warwickshire. Each saddle takes two craftsmen 28 hours! It has room for everything including your bottle of wine! See more pics on the next page.
On fun additions to the world of the Standard New York ~ their new store is like a wonderland of practical and playful designer goodies. Greeted by a giant ALL FOR YOU made of ring pops ~ you discover a hotel store filled with everything from forgotten amenities like meds and toothpaste in card catalog drawers to power adapters and magazines… and then fun gifts like the beautifully bound penguin classics to giant dunnys to glossy apples and stunning jewelry… and of course there are even naughtier gifts like vibes and condoms that you can wrap in raunchy double sided wrapping paper and pair with chocolate! See lots of pics on the next page!
Oh, Incase, you’ve done it again. Your surprise packages always blow me away… and now i’m terribly jealous of your amazing TAPE!!! Matte black with the Incase signature topographic pattern in gloss… you’ve taken packing tape lust to a new level! AND its on a soft touch rubberized feeling matte black BOX. Yes, i couldn’t help rubbing the box before i even got to opening it.
Of course, once inside the box, there is one of the 3 new Evan Hecox (Incase curated by Arkitip) sets of iphone cases and laptop sleeves ~ this one is the Tokyo edition (there is also London and New York!)… Beautiful details, take a peek at the artwork and unboxing on the next page…
And as always ~ love the Incase motto “A better experience through good design.”
On cell phone obsessions ~ i love a great button. I used to love my old Sony Ericsson joystick. There’s something about my blackberry’s trackball thats just so fun to spin. That indentation of the iPhone button just feels good to click! Latest button lust? On the new HTC Desire and HTC Legend phones launching today… they feature a brand new OPTICAL TRACKBALL! In the conference call announcing them they said trackball, in the press release it says joystick… really you can call it what you want, basically they’ve described it as a little optical sensor ever so slightly depressed in the center of a single solid ring of a button. I can’t wait to try this physical interface in person!
Perhaps one of the most enticing aspects of HTC, beyond their hardware that feels SO good in your hand… is their dedication to great UX ~ above and beyond what is provided through Android and Win Mobile! At the Mobile World Congress today, they are not only announcing new phones, but also the latest iteration of HTC Sense - “HTC Sense is a user experience focused on putting people at the centre by making phones work in a more simple and natural way. This experience revolves around three fundamental principles that were developed by observing and listening to how people live and communicate. These core tenets of Make It Mine, Stay Close and Discover the Unexpected continue to be the key to the new HTC Sense experience.” The new version adds more features that are focused around your most important people with the HTC Friend Stream (pulling in from facebook, twitter, flickr, and more). See more details on the next page!
Fresh in from Artecnica, the latest in their Design W/ Conscience program with MAL / Media Arts Lab part of TBWA\, Artecnica to find designer solutions to recycling their large format billboards. Remember their Artecnica + TBWA\ Recycled Stretch Bag? Well, these new Laptop Cases are lined with black neoprene to add softness and protection to the case, and come in 13” and 15” sizes. See more images of the case on the next page.
This post is the last in a series of 4 posts sponsored by Syfy’s Caprica focused on Future Technologies. As usual, our fun advertisers enable us do our thing around a theme by trusting us when it comes to content! OH! and it starts tonight! (I’m excited!)
So on future possibilities ~ perusing DesignBoom this morning, i became totally fascinated by the possibility of living in a turbine… or vacation in one… as a floating island… just imagine the views! And the bizarre potential of such a structure? On Office has been researching and visually exploring the potential of Turbine City to perhaps live off the coast of Stavanger, Norway. Apaprently Norway has the best conditions in the world for utilizing offshore wind power with its longest windiest coast! Don’t mock, but this world feels very Waterworld meets scandinavian design meets dubai architecture at the moment… See more images on the next page!
This post is the third in a series of 4 posts sponsored by Syfy’s Caprica focused on Future Technologies. As usual, our fun advertisers enable us do our thing around a theme by trusting us when it comes to content!
Wow. Reading PopSci this morning, mesmerized by this video from my alma mater, UCSD about how “Bacteria Transformed Into Living, Blinking Clocks Could Provide Preciseley Timed Drug Delivery”. Apparently UCSD researchers have used E. coli to synchronize blinking “genetic clocks” - “Programming living cells is one defining goal of the new field of synthetic biology,” said Jeff Hasty, associate professor of biology and bioengineering at UCSD who headed the research team with Lev Tsimring, associate director of UCSD’s BioCircuits Institute. The video on the next page visually demonstrates their research by showing bacteria reading for the gene of a flourescent dye ~ and it looks much like a wave propagating through the bacterial colony. PopSci proposes the scenario… “swap out the dye gene for one that makes drugs, and all of a sudden you get a yogurt that releases exact medication dosages from within one’s own body based on real time feedback.” Can you imagine the possibilities of where this could lead? Or as the research develops further, what complex systems you could “program” in to these living cells? Which could further develop into living organisms and more complex beings? Take a peek at the video on the next page! (Beyond scientifically fascinating, its beautiful too!)
The super sweet folks of Ultimate Ears (an irvine based Logitech company) ~ reached out and invited me to visit them at NAMM ~ and little did i know that when i arrived at their booth, i’d be sat down in an ominous white leather chair, while Dr. Noy in white lab coat and all would make me bite down on a piece of foam while he filled my ears with mysterious blue quick drying goo. Ok, so to be fair, that’s the creepier way of wording it, basically they took impressions of the inner workings of my ears for some custom fit earphones by Ultimate Ears - while i’ve never been much of a headphone connoisseur, they’re catching me up quickly… i’ve been using their 700s since the unboxing and the sound quality has been awesome… but people can’t seem to stop raving about the customs… not to mention i’m fascinated by the idea that they can be customized to your heart’s content (color, graphics, etc) and they fill fit perfectly into your ears (and only your ears! unless you find an ear twin?)… more to come once i actually figure out how i want to customize my customs (any suggestions?) ~ but for now, take a peek at the fun Ultimate Ears NAMM booth! It had quite the crowd, but i tried to sneak a few fun pics of the ear molding process and some of the examples that were out!