Nike Golf’s R&D Facilities, The Oven, in Fort Worth, Texas are a little golfing haven all on their own (far from the Beaverton, OR Nike HQ!) ~ Amazing to hear the stories all of yesterday about how Nike has broken into the more traditional golf industry moving from apparel and footwear to balls and most recently to clubs the last decade… and their shift into clubs didn’t start from scratch, they acquired the 5 man team of IMPACT, lead by Tom Stites ~ an impressive golf focused engineering team with years of experience working with top brands and athletes… and they let them continue doing their thing in Fort Worth! Now here’s the part that i found most fascinating at the facilities ~ their testing space is essentially like an indoor putting green equivalent to a 6+ car garage, and on a nice day, you just open the three large garage door/windows and instant driving range clear out into their own short course complete with water features! What i’m hearing from all of the golf fanatics on the trip is that Nike takes a very technologically focused approach to product development and are one of the most daring with visually innovative designs in contrast to the traditional companies… so when it comes to testing, no wonder their set ups are fascinating! Between endless heads and shafts to mix and match in this one room ~ you have an incubator (a fridge FILLED with golf balls), walls of premade clubs to test, the robotic golfer, and a putting lab. More to come on the putting lab next, but first take a peek at the testing facilities on the next page!
This post is a sponsored series that takes a fun peek at the gorgeous details of modern life. The irresistible design details that enhance our lives… Gillette is the sponsor… but, as always, the post and ideas are 100% NOTCOT
Fun on so many levels ~ let’s start with the packaging on the latest Jawbone bluetooth headset ~ the Jawbone ICON! Touted as the World’s First Intelligent Headset ~ it’s been great having it able to literally TELL me how much talk time is remaining, who’s calling, etc ~ i can even change voices and add apps! Their new MyTalk system allows you to Personalize & Update your headset. But back the packaging ~ seldom does packaging tell you about itself and its creation process like this one… apparently “Jawbone ICON’s compact eco-friendly package is 100% recyclable, and took many months of research, design, & engineering to perfect.” And when you see the close up pics of the way it unboxes, it’s impressively efficient with space and materials, and an incredibly beautiful box! From nice matte sleeve, to the box “lid” of molded paper holding the various ear piece options… to the pull tab to free the charger/cable from the paper lining below… it’s fascinating to see how it all unfolds. See the details on the next page as well as a peek at the Bombshell itself! Tiny, golden, functional jewelry of sorts…
Firstly, Incase ~ THANK YOU. (They were so incredibly nice, and while i was chatting with them about ipad cases and where all this touch goodness is heading, upon hearing my ipad might travel naked to NY/London, they just messengered over a sample Convertible Book Jacket case to help protect it before tonight’s flight!)
Secondly, this case is awesome! (I posted it as the most tempting case i’d seen so far on notcot.org earlier.) Feels great, super solid quality of course ~ and their signature topographic pattern in the microfiber lining! Best part of all, is after having the ipad around for a bit. i’ve found its great to leave around the house and in the kitchen when friends stop over and either need toys to play with, or start talking about some website ~ so much easier to have them use that to pull it up, rather than hand over my laptop or try to view it on a tiny phone… only problem has been not having a nice way to tilt it ergonomically to share and poke at it simultaneously, so definitely needed a case that allowed for the different viewing angles! While it does add a little heft to the ipad, i actually like it better with the case, versus how it feels naked, its just so slippy and uncomfortable to hold/use in most situations! Anyhow, need to pack and get to the airport soon, but take a peek at close ups of the Incase Convertible Book Jacket for iPad on the next page!
p.s. while preparing for #ObjectHunt ~ and cutting sooooo many stickers the last few days, couldn’t resist adding a little NOTCOT one to the spine of the jacket!
Another incredible installation at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart (first i showed you the sliced up porsches)… I stood and watched this wall a few times over. Mesmerized. It’s a wall with the outlines of 7 models of 911s overlayed. And that is QUITE the jumble, but then the projection fills in one outline at a time, and you can watch the evolution between the models overlaid. It’s amazing… to see how things tweaked, expanded, shifted, and more over time… See the video as well as pics on the next page…
… as well as a peek at the spinning platforms of 911s and this absolutely stunning 356 on the next page!
On unexpected packages that arrived ~ a Polaroid SX70 Original from the Impossible Project ~ as well as a pack of the PX 100 Silver Shade / First Flush… The IMPOSSIBLE Project - “In October 2008 The Impossible Project saved the last Polaroid production plant for Integral Instant film in Enschede (NL) and started to re-invent and re-produce a new intant film for traditional Polaroid Cameras.” ~ in addition they’ve been fixing up vintage polaroid cameras… “Polapremium SX-70 cameras are NOT new, but we did our very best to make them look and function like unused cameras. Nevertheless we cannot avoid that some cameras will have some minor cosmetic signs of their former usage.” and i couldn’t resist trying it out… so here’s a first look at the details and a test pic of the first flush on the next page!
p.s. there’s something fun about having a polaroid camera ~ since polaroids were an inspiration in the design of NOTCOT.org…
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.”