Archive for July, 2007|Monthly archive page

A Living Room in the City

Living Room in the City

Wow, count me impressed!

This is an outdoor space, in the center of St Gallen in Switzerland. Known as the Stadtlounge (City Lounge), it’s a massive bold move to put furniture and all right amidst all the buildings. Born of a design competition in 2005 to create a “living room area” in the financial district, this red carpet treatment flows all around, even onto some fake cars on the street.

Amazing, and I wish where I live they have the audacity to liven up a place like this!

[via deputydog]

MINI Clubman – Awkward Adolescent?

I loved the new MINI that was unveiled some years back. While paying homage to the original MINI with its classic and yet playful lines, the design was modern and alluring. That car proved to be very popular indeed, reviving the MINI brand, which I suppose was the raison d’être for this new expanded MINI Clubman, which unfortunately did not gain my affection.

BMW MINI Clubman

Perhaps extending a tiny classic would necessitate some compromise in its design or spirit – after all, you can’t just chop the car in halves and extend the middle section (like what Top Gear people would do to make a limousine). The proportions aren’t quite so endearing, but the thing that really killed it for me was the rear.The silver plastic frame looked really squarish and squashed-up – it seemed like it was transplanted from some other cars, like a small Daihatsu van or something.

The car actually has five doors – but it’s not your typical configuration though. The barn door design at the back counts as two, and there are two front doors, so what’s left? One short door on the side, of course! It’s on the right side of the car (see the first picture), more like a half-door that allows more access to the back seat. For instance, where the driver seat’s on the left (non-British systems), this would allow the back passenger to get off onto the pavements on the safe side of the road. One of the griefs though, is that the back seats seems to be the non-folding kind, which means you’re very much screwed if you want to chug some bulky stuff around.

Overall, for me it’s really like seeing MINI grow up and entering the awkward adolescent age. It’s got bigger, and are pretty much still uncertain what to do with some of its parts. The cuteness that carried it in the tender years cant really pull it through, and yet it hasn’t muster enough sophistication for adulthood. Haha, am I thinking too much?

[Jalopnik gallery with more pictures]

Celebrity Caricatures

Celebrity Caricature

Stumbled across some rather well-done caricatures of famous people – usually caricatures are limited to pencil sketches or maybe paintings…but these have a much more 3D feel to them! Not sure who’s the artist behind them though…[Edit: The artist is David O’Keefe – I have modified the link above to point to his site; Thanks Joe]

No prizes for guessing who are the celebrities – though I must say the second one looked rather more like Michael Moore than the supposed Elton John.

[Nicole Kidman, Elton John, Hillary Clinton]

OXO Corn Stripper

OXO Corn Stripper

Just came across the OXO Corn Stripper designed by TODA – looks like yet another trademark OXO product – neat, safe, good grips and all. It also actually got me wondering – so before this thing came along, how did people get corn-in-a-cup?

Vinyl Dance Floor

Vinyl Dance Floor

A pretty cool concept – the music plays as you walk or run on the projected vinyl (it also responds to the direction you’re walking – you can play the music either forward or backwards). My immediate thought was, this would make a really interactive piece if people started “scratching” and synchronizing their dance moves to the music – and it turns out this is indeed in the works, and would be released in the next edition.

Stay tuned here!

Sustainable Dance Club?

This really smells like greenwashing to me, but for what it’s worth here’s the story: the movements of the clubbers and dancers on the floor are harnessed as electricity by the floor (loaded with springs and such?) – the electricity garnered are used to power itself (the music, the lights, etc).

I am deeply skeptical about this – given the exorbitant amounts of energy that these hundred-decibel, bass-thumping, strobe-flicking, juice-guzzling contraptions uses in any typical day, versus the actual amount of electricity that can be harnessed: it just doesn’t seem logical at all.

And yet it seems that these are some of the most visible or publicized ways to achieve the green agenda – massive undertakings (think of the installations and how much extra energy/resources are required to produce them) with questionable actual effect: my take is, everyone just want to feel good that they’re doing something. Whether it’s really green, well – that may not be so important after all.

[The Dance Club]

Suicide Awareness Ads

Suicide Awareness Ads

The visual impact of these Suicide Awareness posters are already very high – but what I really liked about them are also perhaps the depth behind. The core message on the posters read: “Help yourself”- and it’s so cool that the falling men/women were rescued by the outline that they were cut from – the concept here isn’t simply a superficial visual trick to grab attention, but gels really well with the message itself.

[By Leo Burnett in Sau Paulo, for CVV Suicide Prevention Center in Brazil, via designboom]

IDSA 2007 Gallery

IDSA 2007 Gallery

The winners of the IDSA 2007 are out – here’s the link to a gallery of goodness in product design – see if you get inspired by some (hopefully many) of them!

[Some winners shown above in the picture: The HomeHero Fire Extinguisher – the stylish and yet functionally expressive design encourages home owners to display rather than hide them, ensuring its reachability when seconds matter; The Aliph Bluetooth Headset packaging, which highlights the product instead of hiding it in layers of packaging; The Universal Toilet, a student design concept that aims to remove the excessive maneuvering a wheelchair user has to go through even in current toilet designs].

The Perfect Movie-Waiting Game

I know the title doesn’t make sense, but really, someone should implement this in ALL cinemas – how often do you see people so excited about this usually-boring time? That’s probably an even more engaging experience than the movie itself!

Poo Poo Training Video

How do you teach your young kids with toilet training? Maybe this clip would help – or maybe not?