A green roof for a bus designed by Marco Castro Cosio. Inserting little bits of green back into the city wherever they can fit.
Archive for the ‘ideas’ Category
Those clever fellows over at Blu Dot have done it again. Remember their Real Good Experiment? Now they have a new project called the Blu Dot Swap Meet. The idea is simple. Pick a piece from their collection you’d like to own and post a reasonable trade on their site. Folks can support your campaign and if your entry is deemed awesome enough, Blu Dot will swap you for it. So far winning swaps have included a sofa for a popsicle stick motorcycle, a spork collection (shown) for a chair and a Texas BBQ feast for a couch. The Sock Monkey chair above is still vying for a swap.
The New York Times just wrote an interesting article on graphene, the subject of this year’s winning prize for the Nobel in physics. Graphene is a form of carbon that has been slimmed down to one atom thick, resulting in a substance that is extremely flexible. It is also incredibly strong and able to conduct both heat and electricity. All of this makes graphene a material that will likely pop-up in numerous future applications, everything from computer chips to bendable, foldable, 3-D screens. The video above (note the sound is horrible) shows just how graphene will shape our world.
Eco-adventurer David de Rothschild set off from San Fransisco for Australia with a crew of five people on a specially built boat called the Plastiki. The entire vessel is made out of re-purposed plastics, from PET boards to a hull composed of 12, 500 carbon dioxide filled soda bottles. In addition to showcasing the design possibilities of plastic, the voyagers are hoping to focus attention on the health of the world’s oceans. Their website has a journey tracker, videos and sketches, including boats inspired by the Palstiki made by schoolchildren (bottom).
At this year’s Milan furniture fair, the iconic collective Droog will be presenting Everything Must Go, a showcase of 5074 items that had been lost in bankruptcies. Each piece has been ‘revived’ by one of 15 participating designers. The display will include everything from dog baskets to salt shakers – folding chairs to wallets. This will definitely be a stop for me – designers transforming existing products instead of churning out needless new ones is very appropriate given the times.
Another highlight from this year’s Brit Insurance Design of the Year nominees came from Evan Roth. In April, 2009 Roth photographed over 2,400 graffiti tags throughout the city of Paris. Afterward he sorted, labeled and analyzed each of the tags’ letters and identified the ten that were most used. Roth created an online system where the visitor can scroll through these letters, which are, “not intended to display the best graffiti tags in Paris, but rather the aim is to highlight the diversity of forms ranging from upper case to lowercase, simple to complex and legible to cryptic.”
One of my favorite products of last year came from Aldo Bakker, the Dutch designer who created this beautiful collection of porcelain tableware. What makes these pieces so fascinating is that when you first see them, you might not know what they are used for – the function only becomes evident when you hold the object in your hands. As Bakker describes it’s, “a new language of form in a field where everything has been done and shown many times over.”
An exciting addition may soon be coming to Washington DC’s Hirshorn Museum. Director Richard Koshalek is making plans to commission a 145 ft. inflatable bubble installation in the museums’s massive courtyard. The bubble would be filled up twice a year, creating temporary space for special events. In addition, a smaller dome would extrude from the building’s lower level to house a public lounge/cafe. The project, being designed by Diller Scofidio & Renfro, would cost around $5 million to construct – an innovative and inspirational idea to make a traditional museum space much more engaging.
The clever folks at Blu Dot recently put together a great marketing campaign. The Real Good Experiment left 25 of Blu Dot’s iconic Real Good chairs on the streets of NY and monitored who picked them up. Using a built-in tracking device, the chairs tweeted their whereabouts for several days. Finally the Blu Dot team came a knockin’ and interviewed some of the lucky owners in the video above. Good job John and Maurice!
One of the more intriguing presentations at the Kingston University degree show was Mia Azar’s Plugging Beirut Politics. Azar found that the streets of Beirut are often unmarked, leaving people to find places based on stories surrounding local landmarks. As a solution Azar created a system that puts, “orientation and navigational information into the infrastructure of the city by using manhole covers as markers of political conflicts that have occurred…”