Introduced this year by alessi, the pasta pot by Alain Ducasse claims to be a rediscovery an ancient cooking method used by olive pickers. Ducasse has brought to light a unique pot which produces a new and interesting flavor (i.e. the starches are not discarded with the cooking water but are totally absorbed by the pasta, and the same holds true for the ingredients of the sauce). First you put the dry pasta in the ½Pasta Pot ½, sauting lightly if you wish; then the various ingredients of whichever sauce you wish to make; then last comes water or broth, all at once or gradually, cooking everything together with the specially designed cover, stirring occasionally. in just a little more time than normally required to boil the pasta according to the classic method, your pasta with sauce is done and served directly at the table on the included trivet. a booklet containing a number of recipes developed by Ducasse himself is included. I am looking forward to trying this...some day
This technique seems like it would be the splinter-maker but it looks cool. I think that it makes more sense for larger utensils than it does for cutlery. Also, I think that I have heard that using bamboo in this catagory is not really all that responsible as it dries out and separates when washed thus limiting the number of uses. I do like the way they look like tongue depressors.
In case you forgot to buy for anyone that likes robots check these out. There are a bunch that have yet to be sold and although they are about $1000 a piece, they are also one of a kind works of art. I like this one. Scott, this seems like the kind of thing for which your father would be well-equipped and well-stocked.
I think that I mentioned Q tonic a few weeks ago after reading about it in Esquire. It was not easy to find but my case arrived right before the holidays. The bottle is awesome and the presentation is great but the flavor is a little too dry. The bubbles are nice and fine like champagne but I think that I actually like the flavor of Schwepps better.
Don really went way over the top with his gift of the Nuvi. (I am not sure that this is a photo of the right model but you get the idea.) Maybe he is sick of me asking for directions to his house? Maybe he is tired of having us call from the road because we are lost? Either way I am looking forward to firing this up. From what he says all I have to do is key in an address and this thing will talk me in...I can not wait to try it out. Thanks Don.
Mike and Kristina sent me this salt and pepper shaker set for Christmas. The rubberized black and polished chrome look great together and the form is even better in person. I have never owned a salt and pepper shaker so this is a first...I am not sure if I will leave them on the stove or on the kitchen table.
It looks like the beetle is going to force me to get a new car. I can not say that I am excited about anything that is out there right now. Nothing really meets my space/mileage criteria and I refuse to get a vehicle that sucks gas. I hate to sound like Scott but I am starting to believe there is collusion between the oil companies and the car manufacturers. I am sure that everyone has seen that while automobile manufacturers profits have leveled the oil companies are having a record year. It turns out they usually run in this sort of pattern. You know when we will see the car companies really switch to another energy source? When the oil companies figure out how they can charge $50 a fill up for whatever new energy source they come up with. Sure, I care about the planet and I am happy to minimize my carbon footprint by getting a hybrid but what I really care about it is not getting screwed by a gaggle of greedy bastards that think no one is paying attention. So, it looks like I am going to get in line for an Altima Hybrid. I know it is not the best of the hybrids and I am sorry, but I just can't drive a prius. To me the prius that looks about as good as the Greenbay Packers Cheese hats. I just wish I could afford a Tesla.
Why aren't there more biodiesel lawn mowers and why do the ones that are out there look like crap? People might not be ready to use biodiesel to get to work but for mowings lawns or throwing snow off the driveway I can not imagine anyone would care. I could see a chainsaw, hedgetrimmer and even a mini-bobcat in the line too. The Toro image attached is a professional fairway model, but still it could seriously use some industrial design.
I just made one of these for all of my favorite people at Ideavillage. Thirty small donomination gift cards attached to a small vase with clips, wires and low density floral arrangment foam. It was not cheap but I hope that people there will enjoy picking from the assortment of cards from my favorite stores.
According to Treehugger this is in the process of being destroyed. From Erickson's site:
The site for the house was a rock cliff dropping forty feet from the arrival level down a sheer cliff to a rock bench over the sea. The solution to this difficult site was the creation of a multi-storey house descending the slope in levels.
The formal idea of the piling up of hovering beams was the basis of the composition. These enclose the major living areas, which step down the embankment for four storeys from the carport to the bluff over the sea below. Each area opens onto a roof terrace over the living quarters below, so that there is maximum access to sunlight and view. Because of the ruggedness of the site, the outside living areas are confined almost entirely to the roof areas of the house itself.
A texture difference is achieved between the walls and box beams by using flat siding on the beams and a deep board and batten on the walls. The house is treated with a simple oil finish and the only other materials used in conjunction with the wood are used brick and a Welsh quarry tile.
Kind of a bummer but all of the debate over whether the owner can destroy it seems misplaced...I mean, he does own it right?
Maybe Dyson is having an affect on other categories but it seems like more and more forms are moving from solitary fluid integrated volumes to a series of connected smaller volumes. The result is a more techinical/mechanical look that can be a little SciFi. This handheld seems to pull it off but the material and texture changes are a little too much.
I just saw an ad for the Kone vac by Dirt Devil. I hope that they did not pay Rashid too much for this design. Not only is it a terrible vacuum and awkward to hold but the claim that it is at home in the home is absurd. A shiny plastic cone sitting in the corner of the room? Who wants that beside Karim? I think that the hypothesis is great but the execution is feable. I think that it reduces the legitimacy of the entire profession when crap like this becomes so high profile. Dirt Devil should know better. Last time I heard they have some pretty talented in house designers.
We rented a summer cottage in Damariscotta, Maine for the Thanksgiving weekend. It was one long ass ride but it was worth battling the traffic for some nice relaxing time away. Although the lake was starting to freeze I took turns paddling the boys around the lake (which is much bigger than this picture indicates). It was cold but they both would have stayed out there all night...as you can see the moon is coming up in the background. http://www.damariscotta.com/
Not only had I never seen my the Bills lose before (in ten home game visits) but I got to witness the worst beating in team history. Still, even with that, between the tailgating and the weekend away with my brother and his sons it was a good time for all. As always we had a great time shopping at Wegman's before the game and I got a new jersey as seen in this picture with my nephew Anthony.
If you know someone that is looking for a humidifier I think that this design should get a look. We designed it for the Bionaire brand but the home decor aesthetic was the result of a terrific hypothesis by Don Bryce and Carl Engelbourg. The result took vision and Perseverance by many whose names I do not know. Given the aesthetic of the rest of the category this is a huge step that we tried to take without alienating consumers or completely removing the functional cues. Great project.
Our friends at Recycline were thoughtful enough to send us a truck load of products from the first run. I gave a couple of the colanders away thinking that what my designer friends would love is the soft, subtle form and the bold colors but what is getting all of the rave reviews is the sturdy construction. People are thrilled with how beefy and stable the design is...as shown in this great photo by Marshall Troy.
I am not sure that this works from a cleanability standpoint but getting the standard stubby electric stump handle down to a form that is closer to a traditional wet-shave stick handle seems like a trend that everyone is jumping onto. I wonder what the rechargeable base looks like?
Patrick Thrailkill and Evo won an award a few years ago with a concept very similar to this and better looking. I can not remember the name of the competition but I think it was japanese. This one is called Wattson. Here is what Wattson does, with both numbers and colors, wattson shows you how much electricity your home is using at any given moment. Wattson can also store up to 4 weeks of energy-use history which can be downloaded to your computer and viewed using software soon to be available from our website. I think that they copied Patrick.
If you have the opportunity check out the drilling episode of the History channel series Modern Marvels. I watched it while I was home sick last week but they re-air old episodes all of the time. They cover the invention of the drill bit, Black and Deckers revolutionary handheld version, the drilling of the seven mile hole in Russia and new laser drilling techniques that are the key to unlocking the potential of geothermal. They also talk about sideways drilling (used in Oil and water), good stuff.
We worked on a project all summer for a high-end window covering manufacturers sample book. It was a really interesting project about creating an informative and enjoyable user experience while also upholding some lofty brand expectations. In the process it occurred to me just how hard it is to create a good pattern that is appealing to a large variety of consumers.