23 July 2010

Tarp Surfing

Possibly the coolest hobby on earth...

Red Bull Racing Technology

Went out on a limb and watched this short clip all about Red Bull formula 1 racing engineering. Happy that I did in hindsight because this genuinely rules.

17 June 2010

Design For Life // Phillipe Starck

From the get-go I was very intrigued in the Design For Life series when I noticed how startlingly similar the studio critiquing scenarios for the contestants are to our own studio assessment. Starck probes for answers in the same way that our own studio tutors and assessors do. That feeling of discomfort when you have no answer to a question about an element of a design you have overlooked, and alternatively that feeling of pride and overjoy when you have nailed a presentation, is reflected in the contestants on the program. All studied designers worldwide would be able to connect with the show because of this. I certainly felt a sense of involvement brought about from a deeper understanding of the processes of designing that are being represented in the show. This made me understand and consider the universality of design and how its practice is mirrored internationally.

As per knowing the work of Phillipe Starck and from what was put forth in Design For Life, it was evident that Starcks design ethos constitutes very much designing from a holistic approach that embodies life and its desired ideals. He directly says that design should not be undertaken with design in mind, but with the desire to embody an ideal in an object, with a message to tell. I concur with this concept, and believe that most certainly form should be a eventuation of an initial, clear and concise idea.

Unsurprisingly and comforting to know, Starck recognises a push for sustainability. Environmental sustainability has become synonymous with the entire product design process and lifecycle now which is good as it is one of the finest examples in the world of an entire field that has altered its mind-set to make being environmentally sustainable the status-quo. Being environmentally unobtrusive is of utmost importance to designers and as represented by Starck, a push towards sustainable understanding in young designers from mentors, teachers and tutors is imperative to keep the importance ingrained and continued in design.

Given the final brief set by Starck, I understand that it clearly required a product that helps many people. I think this is what most designers aim to do, however it was interesting to observe this come from one designer notorious for some products that are solely form driven. I'm talking about the juicer, and although I have never used one personally, I have heard on numerous accounts that it 'functions' terribly. It was nice to know that Starck does not discredit functionality, despite being recognised by designs such as the juicer that apparently do. I am aware that Starck is responsible for a plethora of diverse products, however it is his more recognisable and flagship, eccentric and bizarre designs that have achieved his international notoriety. Starck pushed the young designers to create useful products.

One of the most magnificent ideals put forth by Starck as what he envisions design to achieve is to help humanity reach it's potential. I love to think of design as a means of enabling. The integration of good design into the lives of everyone to make them achieve goals as apposed to weigh them down and hold them back is, in my opinion, a very noble, concise and marvelously basic design theory to adopt, and certainly one I will consider highly in development of my own attitude and approach to design as a young and inspired designer.

17 May 2010

The Story of Studio Reflections

Some of you may be familiar with the virally popular internet hit video The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard. Well, Leonard has expanded her horizons, employing her technique to deliver us cyberspace geeks and freaks with more information about the tragically corrupt powers above us and the detrimental results that effect our natural world. Using infographic inspired cartoons to expresses processes and cycles that are peripheral to a ignorant human existence, Leonard puts the complicated into Lamens terms, letting us know what 'they' don't want us to.
The Story of Cap & Trade is another installment in the Annie Leonard prodigy which focuses on a few words we hear a fair bit and nod our heads in understanding, secretly hoping no one actually asks us to explain it, carbon trading.
I won't bore you with the technical definitions (why would I when Ms. Leonard does it so well herself: http://www.storyofstuff.com/capandtrade/)
Basically Leonard, in Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine fashion, gives us a peek through the curtains at the blaringly obvious corrupt system of corporate carbon trading. In a world obsessed with capitalising on everything possible, the human races apparent doom and demise from climate change is just another opportunity for the corporate accounts people to muster a bit of cash on the side. The system works in theory, hence it's popularity, as the masses of population are fed only the major details. However, the devil is in the details, and the details have some serious loopholes.
A major point of interest in the whole climate debate is who is ultimately responsible?
Should consumers make sacrifices and change their lifestyles to be more environmentally sound?
Or should designers overhaul their traditional processes and accommodate for the new variable of environmental sustainability in design?
Or should governments and powers commit to legislation and work on problems from the top down?
Well there's no correct answer, and the only ethos that is absolute is that only a collective effort of those 3 groups will dramatically hinder climate change processes enough to avoid environmental ruin encroaching on our existence.
We are gradually yet consistently working towards a point where environmental awareness in the first world is readily available enough that consumers understand that they can make minor changes to everyday life to reduce their carbon footprint. However, the problem extends much further than that. Unfortunately, governments, whether they work for their nations people or for ulterior false motives, have little power compared to people who have money. Oil companies are so wealthy that they can simply buy their way out of any situation and adapt any scenario to be convenient for them.
As for designers, we can take on messages like this one presented by Annie Leonard. We can adopt and apply sustainable mentalities to our designs. It is our responsibility to offer consumers a better alternative and incite an ultimate positive environmental revolution. So, conclusively, this knowledge presents itself in the form of opportunities for change, and should most certainly be seen in a positive light for designers.

05 May 2010

The weather outside is weather

BOM is the bomb. It's good for finding out whether you're going to get rain pissed down on you when you go outside. Whether you'll need a coat or simply venture outdoors in the nude.
Have a go:


This is fun too:


It's been a long day inside in case you cannot tell.

More Hayon Lounger

Funny how chairs are the staple of design. This one is one of my favourites. By my favourite designer. Jamie Hayon is so flipping cool. Awesome lounger chair, aptly named lounger. I've already blogged about this so I won't rant on too much. Some design porn ensues:

04 May 2010

Gnarly Studio Assignment

Just finished and presented probably the most full on studio assignment I've ever had to do. Was a bit of an anticlimax and I feel I probably could have done something better in hindsight. But I really and honestly tried my hardest on this one and learnt from mistakes. Just another part in the diary of a student industrial designer. Here are some of the bits:

25 April 2010


A vimeo of the manufacturing process of one of my favourite chairs of last/this year. The dimensions and their precision are immaculate and furthermore exemplified by the fact it's made from wood. It speaks of modernity and successful pseudo bespoke-ism (yes, I made that word up). For me, undoubtedly one of the most stylish chairs I've ever seen. And I love how each one is manufactured and sanded by hand by the French designer Noe Duchaufour Lawrance in a North Carolina factory, instead of produced by a 5-axis CNC router. This adds so much personality which is special from an object so refined.
Introducing... Corvo.

Corvo Chair by Bernhardt Design from Sight Unseen on Vimeo.

09 April 2010


Be bothered to watch this. So goddamn cool. And amazing how many recognisable logos there are in the world.

Logorama from Marc Altshuler - Human Music on Vimeo.

05 April 2010

STUDIO Charette II Reflection

In class we dismantled a standard household kettle. We discovered that the incredibly complex design was compiled of a many little pieces. This was confronting as it led us to consider the extensive amount of manufacturing required to produce the individual moulded parts. Our task was to analyse the kettle and make suggestions regarding the manufacture of the kettle and it's use.

We brainstormed various approaches that involved minimalisation of the manufacture process and maximisation of the lifespan of the product in use. It was interesting to observe kettle evolve into a more reasonable product facilitated through simple ideas that did not sacrifice functionality and aesthetics. In hindsight it raised questions for me about why the company responsible for the manufacture of this product used such methods in the first place. Although further research and understanding would have to be conducted to reach sound solutions, it seems like the design of the original kettle was vastly more complicated than necessary and had an apparent disregard for the trend towards more sustainable and innovative design processes.

Our final design addressed manufacturing processes the most. As I said before, disassembly of the kettle revealed a multitude of small plastic mouldings. With an understanding of the kind of processes involved with injection moulding, we took an approach that minimalised the need for a lot of this. The handle, base of the kettle (which houses the element and other electrical components) and the top (which incorporates the flip lid) were all consolidated into one polypropylene part that is moulded as 2 halves with a vertical part line running down the handle. The two halves formed around the spun steel body. This dramatically reduced the amount of small individually molded parts that made up the kettle. This saves a huge amount of energy required for manufacturing processes as well as money required for tooling and production. We also believe that it would add strength and robustness to the design which will in turn increase lifespan.

The following are some data infographs that were derived from the greenfly design website for product impact analysis. We entered the data from the original kettle followed the hypothetical yet calculated data from our suggested redesign to see how much the impact is reduced.

01 April 2010

Marcel Wanders // Designer People

Here's an episode of Designer People. Not the one aired on Australian TV, but an American version. Anyway more importantly this episode showcases one of my personal favourite designers, and certainly one of Europe's greatest contemporary design superstars, the Dutch Mr Marcel Wanders.

Full length episode so it might take it's toll on your download limit, but worth a go if you can find somewhere to steal free wireless. (I suggest finding somewhere within the vicinity of a real estate office.)



big-ass message

A super cool little bit of user interactive web design. Simple and existential idea, but I can't get my head around how a unique url is generated for each message. Anyway, don't be shy, this is a little bit of fun...



Adman Rory Sutherland

In a midst of all this marketing I've been studying at university at the moment, I've started to form quite an indifference to the field. Here is a great TED talk from the Briton Rory Sutherland, an apparently very knowledgeable ad man.