The graphic is an interesting take on the count-down timer but I think that the controls are too fussy and in the wrong place for a cook. The crisp edges are also simple and contemporary but the cracks look like they would be hard to clean.


I saw on of these over vacation and the finish is exceptionally durable/high quality.


new favorite

I think that Cod is my new favorite book, although the Eco Design book I am reading now is also really interesting (thanks Karla). Mark Kurlansky's fact-after-fact-after-fact textbook style of writing is so enjoyable to read and he has a way of compressing long timelines to show connections that I do not get from other writers. I also like the recipes and I think that I am going to make one of the 300 year old fish recipes next time we go camping. I am sure that the boys will love it. I just saw that he has a new book out about Oysters.






These guys do a lot of things really well. But most impressive is how they maintain a clean simple brand look across all their products. Everything from material selection to their badge works toward a simple, clean but still visually compelling aesthetic. Functionally, they also perform really well. The only thing they need to work on is getting dissimilar materials to match. I just bought the green version of this opener and some of the parts are a little off in their coloration.



Taylor suggested Rosendales, a fine and creative restaurant in the Short North area of Columbus, Ohio. Brad suggested that we try the Surly Girl Saloon which happened to be practically right across the street. Both were great fun and unique. The sugar plum martini at Rosendales was excellent and the pizza at Surly girl was perfect at around 11:30. Both are worth a visit for sure.



For as long as I can remember Crown has lovingly embraced industrial design and utilized both in-house designers and consultants to craft a formidable leadership position that is also user friendly. The amount of time that is required to give such a functional product this refined aesthetic is not to be underestimated. And even if they have all the time in the world the organizational support is still quite impressive. Still with all the great design going on out there I wonder if the fact that they are a platinum financial supporter to the IDSA effects the award process at all. I suspect it does for two reasons, they win almost every year and they have not been sustainable or cutting edge in a long time. These tend to be two of the most important criteria for winning. It seems suspicious to me but it is also a very unpopular topic within the IDSA ranks. My opinion is that they are playing it safe now and should get back to their truly innovative and inspiring roots. No small task.

slow cooker

The photo does not do this beauty justice. In real life the finish is excellent and it holds up. Definitely presentation worthy and very smartly detailed. Judy, if you worked on this one you did a fine job. Having worked on Crock pots in the past I know how hard it is to get away from the electrics aesthetic and into the cookware/tabletop look. Nicely done. It makes me wish my slow cooker was a little older but I just made beet and potato soup in it this weekend and it is in great shape. So, I guess I will have to wait a bit longer to upgrade. Check it out at the housewares show if you have the opportunity.

Press Release

Here is a link to the press release for the show. Thanks again to Robert for all of his help with the show.


More from the opening

Thanks to those who called an wanted to see more images from the opening. I appreciate the support. Most of the paintings were part of smaller groupings painted at either the huge park in Montreal, the fireman's carnival in Thomaston, or around the Waterbury area.


This weekend was the opening of my third show. The title is "Human Nature" and it will be up until March at Carole Peck's Good News Cafe in Woodbury, CT. Along with the 14 paintings in the main room I also have two pieces in the bar area. Including one painted from a sketch at the Vi-Arms Tavern in Thomaston just before it was sold. Some people have asked me about the name of the show; they make you give it a name and of course a title for each painting. I am happy with the progress that I made with my technique and color work since my last show and I am looking forward to my next series which will be portraits.




Nokia used to have such a great understanding of how to simplify a product's lines and details but lately they seem to be losing it. It seems to me like they are have not been giving their tangible shells as much attention as their software. I used to look to them for sophisticated material, finish and surface treatment inspiration but now everything seems dated, heavy-handed and flat.


Thanks for another good web-find, Taylor. This is called www.modbabyboutique.com. They have a good variety of patterns and excellent colors. The wide range of pattern styles is impressive.


Here is the write-up on this really well done indoor ride-on. " It can be used as a speeding motorcycle, a galloping horse or even a balance beam (when mom’s not looking). the open ended design allows kids to bring their imagination to life and create an experience all their own. its large size allows for two kids to grab a hold and take off. it is constructed from durable molded ply as strong the log that inspired it. Get ready to rock."

Unfortunately this just is not how kids have played in at least 50 years...if ever. I think it is hopelessly optimistic to think that a kid is going to have that active of an imagination and I am not sure of the idea that it is inspired by a log. Do kids still play with logs? It would have been a lot more reasonable for them to say that it uses materials that look more comfprtable and sophisticated in the home and provides fun play without crapping up the parents aesthetic.


what a guy

This is an excerpt from a recent interview with retiring general manager of the Buffalo Bills. Impressive.
That’s the short, simple answer on why he is leaving his GM post. “Really about midseason of this year, I decided it wasn’t fulfilling enough for me,” Levy said in an interview Wednesday. “My heart was out on the field. I decided there’s so many other things I’d like to do.” The 82-year-old Levy agreed to be interviewed Wednesday in order to clear up some possible misconceptions about his decision to leave the Bills. It’s not about his health, he said. “There were some speculations that I wanted to address after a day or two,” Levy said. “One was that I had a serious illness. Absolutely, unqualifiedly no. That wasn’t it at all.” Levy said the hours were not too long for him. “It really wasn’t the demands of the job,” Levy said. “That wasn’t it at all. In fact, it was a piece of cake compared to coaching, and it’s almost what I didn’t like about it.” “So I’m not stepping aside to slow down, I’m stepping aside to speed up,” Levy said. Levy will hang around for the next couple of weeks while the Bills evaluate their football department. Levy does not think there will be a rush to fill his position in the front office. How does he plan to speed up after that? “There are radio and television possibilities,” Levy said. “I’ve already had very, very preliminary contact on that. I like to write. Just for the fun of it, I want to write. Even if it’s fiction, I want to write. I really want to immerse myself in that. And I want to do some traveling. “I have an agenda, possibly mostly television and writing,” Levy said. “If there’s other things, great. Travel, exercise, learn a new language, and all that stuff.”



We just received a bunch of samples from these guys. They are doing some innovative form and feature development and the color work is nicely positioned...although probably fairly polarizing. Also, some of the details are wanting particularly in the area of clean-ability. Still they are doing a lot of innovative things and the packaging presents the products well for the category.


ready for design #4

Giving this a new form would be a great project.


activity center

I think that this would be a great starting point for an activity center or entertainer. Both in the play and in the way it encourages cognitive development this has a lot going for it. The materials and color palette are also compelling and imply there is integrity in the play.

recycled products

Ben, Eric and the team at Recycline did a great job making this happen. It really makes you realize how difficult it is to do something differently.

same difference

This photo from wikipedia really shows how similar everything is.


Check out the new Gordon Rush catalog. These boots are one of the best of the new line and would be first on my list of footwear to order but the last pair I ordered from them was too narrow, stiff and hot. I love the design of all of the Gordon Rush shoes but they all seem to have these issues.


I recently read an article that described a products move from innovation to commodity and back towards innovation again. One of the interesting points was how the proliferation of subtle variations was often an indicator of a product catagories readiness for innovation. I think that this is a perfect example.

The first bristle brush was invented in the 15th century by the Chinese, using hair from the neck of a boar for its bristles. This design has come a long way from Boar's hair. According to the Centers for Disease Control, "Even after being rinsed visibly clean, toothbrushes can remain contaminated with potentially pathogenic organisms."

VIOlight's UV light kills 99.9% of the bacteria that thrive in your toothbrush. The sanitization process takes just 7 minutes, then the bulb automatically shuts off and your toothbrush is fresh, clean and safely stored for the next time you brush.Designed specifically for travel, the small case takes up minimal space. I think that this company is going to be a 200 million dollar business by the end of 2009.

New Years Day Project

Here is an interesting and tedious New Years Day project. If you are looking for a center piece bowl and have some magazines to recycle this could be perfect. You can see the whole step by step here: http://alittlehut.blogspot.com/2007/09/recycle-project-no-7-magazine-bowl.html