Archive for January, 2007|Monthly archive page

Green Lullay Cradle

Green Lullaby Cradle

This cardboard cradle meets all the usual standards. It’s flame retardant and meets the EU’s safety and performance for cribs and cradles. However, unlike traditional cribs, you won’t need any tools to assemble it and you can either store flat when done or recycle the cardboard. Keep this crib in mind for traveling as well. For infants up to three months old.

It’s interesting that the introduction blurb for this cradle starts off with a defensive statement by reassuring potential buyers that this thing is safe – they probably anticipate that the first reaction from most people would be the fear of their precious newborn would roll-over, crumble, tear apart or be injured in every scenario imaginable.

That said, this design  started me thinking about whether it made sense. Portability – well, okay it can be taken apart and all that, but I do not really see it as really useful (does it have to do with me never being a parent to a baby?). Being made out of cardboard, the recyclable aspect of it seemed an important point in this design, which  is also somewhat strongly correlated with treating the “baby” phase of a newborn as a relatively temporal one.

But babies would usually sleep in a crib for maybe 3 years or so – by then the next child in line could have arrived, and who’d take over the crib for another few years. So this crib is likely to be in the house for maybe five years or more. In that case, wouldn’t a more permanent crib be more relevant? Of course, this crib has passed all the structural tests etc., but ultimately, the semantics of this design seemed to make the point that it is temporary and functional, which is probably  just about the furthest emotion away from a parent’s attitude towards his/her child.

Green Lullaby Cradle, via swissmiss

Wireframe

Wireframe Room

This is yet another example of subverting virtual and reality – at first glance, this looks just like a typical wireframe as used in 3D modeling – until you realize that this is indeed in 3DThomas Raschke builds everyday objects out of wires – and from a certain perspective, they really would make you wonder if you have walked into the 3DMax scene or something.

Disney “Dreams”

Disney Beckham

Disney Scarlett

Disney hits again! Many (all?) of us grew up with Disney characters like Cinderella, Little Mermaid and Snow White, and these cartoons both crystallized and entrenched the entire notion of the dream life and world – the pretty princesses, the prince charming, the happily-ever-afters.

As I grew up, however, Disney’s magic seem to rub me the wrong way more often. Perhaps I have outgrown it – Disney and Disneyland seemed much more commercialized and crass – to me, it seemed like they’ve lost the edge in creating dreams amidst tie-ins with McDonalds on Happy Meal soft toys.

This new series of ads (appropriately titled “Dreams”) seems to be harking back at the dream world and fantasy. They roped in icons like David Beckham and Scarlett Johansson, who perhaps are among the best choices in portraying the roles of the Prince Charming and Cinderella. The artistic direction and the photography are also much more sophisticated, awakening the kid in adults (rather than treating adults like kids) of the old myths of utopia with stunning photography. Taglines go “Where imagination saves the day” and “Where every Cinderella story comes true”.

And there will be more of these to come – featuring more icons as Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and Ariel the mermaid.

[story and more pictures]

***Update 02 March 2007*** – Apparenty Disney are not allowed to use the tagline “where dreams come true” as it had already been trademarked – by a porn producer no less!

Broken Window

Tetris Windows

The Broken Windows Theory claims that small problems (such as broken windows in a building) should be fixed early and fast, and that this will not only help reduce incidence of minor problems, but also reduces the occurence of major problems. Well, in this case, it does seem like the broken windows are simply an outlet for creativity and expression!

Look closer again, and you’d realize that the vandal probably really loves Tetris!

[Flickr]

Nike Transformer

This is the year of Transformers – the movie is due out on 4th July – here’s a short clip from Nike that indulges in the robotic transformation as well. It’d be pretty cool if they really get a billboard or installation that really transforms!

Memory Card Eater

Memory Card Eater

Adorable aint it?

[link]

Linguine Cooker

Pasta (Linguine) Cooker

When I saw this over at Gizmodo, my mind went – “Finally someone has decided to make this!”. Not that I’d buy it even if it is reasonably priced – though everytime I try to cook linguine (linguine is the type of pasta that is long and thin – like the ones in the picture), I’d always think to myself – “Someday, I should design a pasta cooker where you didn’t have to put one end of the pasta into hot water and you wait impatiently for it to soften to twist the rest of the pasta within my small-ish pot. ”

Imagine my disappointment when I realized that it was not exactly a pasta cooker.  It’s more like a hot water flask, and has no powered heating element within the unit. That really brings pasta cooking into the kingdom of ultra-budget instant-noodle cooking or something.

Maybe I should still design the pasta cooker after all. With an easy-serving measuring feature included. And yes, with its own heater.

[link]

Tree-like Buildings

Air Tree

Stumbled upon this on the cool hunter:

Bad city planners can breathe a little easier now that clever designers have come up with a temporary building that will do the job of trees. Trees keep the air clean, provide shade and act as meeting and gathering points in open spaces. These ingenious contraptions apparently do the same. Made of steel, thermo textile and solar panels, the interesting-looking rotundas even create all the energy they need to light themselves. So, next time you forget to include trees in your plans, stick some of these in their place while the trees grow.

Unable to find more explanation on what it exactly is, or how it works, I’d resort to judging the book by its cover. On first impression, the aesthetic of this structure really doesn’t fit into its usage theme. Fresh air is it you want? Try looking for it under those giant cylinders that look like they may lift-off and roast you – or like a bundle of aerosol cans strapped together.

In terms of its “tree-like” feature – two of them can probably be achieved by almost any architecture feature that doesn’t bill itself as such (provide shade and act as meeting point). Keeping the air clean – well, having such a giant structure for that just doesn’t ring it for me.

Packaging Design

MacGyver Clip

Who says packaging isn’t important? Try selling that clip for any money! Or, if you’re inspired enough, you can probably buy this clip, and start exchanging it for a house

Head Bag

Head Bag

This is the reason I love molded felt. Carry your slain, beheaded enemy around! Let the people at Station Control go panicking over what to do with you! The designer, Yael Mer, says that the design was inspired by “biblical story about Judith and Holofernes and its visual representation from the Renaissance”. Well, whatever! Guaranteed to draw a more than a few stares.

(Mer is from Royal College of Art – more quirky products on her page – like a skirt that inflates into a canoe!)