Nice packaging, although the leaf debossing is a little ham-fisted and redundant. I wonder, is there really a market for this and if so how soon will it be until yankee candle has it?


kitchen apron

I am sure that this Amy Butler 20's kitchen apron thing is going to get old at some point, but not yet. I think that this is available at IKEA.

Sound Machine

Yet another homage to the ipod, this time in red. This sound Machine is available on Unicahome which is a surprise. Someone that works there must have been involved in its creation. this is why enviromentalist loathe Industrial designers. I mean, come on, seriously?

Egon Schiele

In preparation for a new series of studies, I have been looking at the linework and composition of Austrian painter Egon Schiele. I think that I am one of the few that never really liked the creepy, morose overtones. It always feels cliche and forced even in his era, however, the linework is inspired and his use of color always surprisingly deep.


Like Porter and Cable and Hobart in the commercial food business these guys went for so long without any design that it is great to see them trying something...but this looks to me like it was done by either a less experienced industrial designer or a heavy handed marketing based team. Not that it is bad, I think it is quite good, it is just a little too black and Decker and when I think Milwaukee I think WAY tougher and more professional than BD. This looks to me to have lost a lot of that toughness.


I received this stainless steel beauty for Christmas and it is holding up really nicely. The case stay centered nicely, the clasp is hidden but easy to operate and nice and clean when it is closed. It does not snag arm hairs and it is relatively light. Also, it is thin enough to fit nicely under the cuff.


Preserve Kitchenware

It looks like we won another design award for the Preserve Kitchenware. It is in the green category of the International Housewares Competition. I have to say that some people may get tired of winning these things or they may get used to it or whatever. I hope to get to that point some day but at this point it is a thrill for me every time. I am hopeful that we will win the best of our category. That would be something. We find out tomorrow in New York.


I know that there are a lot of people that really love it and I have tried it enough to know that it is not as easy as it looks. Even so, I do not really get the thrill of snowmobiling. But if I did, I think that it would be cool to own one like this. The color palette is a little somber but the form is cooler than most. Still, as a sport it seems like a real waste of fuel...unless you are in that part of the country where you need one of these to get to work. This was designed by Carpenter Design.


Green Dot Awards

There is a buzz around the office today that we won a Green Dot Award for the Preserve products. I am not sure what level we won or if it was an honorable mention but the trophy they have looks nice so I am hoping that we get one of those. If anyone out there knows what place we got I would love to know.

Industrial Design history

One of the first pieces of Industrial Design, the Gestetner duplicating machine designed by Loewy for Sigmund Gestetner in 1929. According to the Evolution of Useful Things by Henry Petroski, Loewy convinced his client that a redesign was needed by showing him a sketch of a user tripping over the previously sprawling legs.


Rice Hull Pots

Not only is this a cool material but the forms and finishes they are achieving are also noteworthy. I think that they biodegrade after about 4 years and basically just crumble. It seems to me like there might be a lot of applications for this material. Their branding is really well done too.


By Italo Fotana

Bean Rockers

Yes they are environmentally friendly (sort of). Yes they have already won at least one design award (IF). But are they really good design? I am going to have to try one out but my first impression is that they look uncomfortable and are sure to be out of place in almost any home decor I have ever seen...except maybe the expansive loft Sienna Miller owns in the movie "Interview".


Best from CES

According to our friend Michael Lin, one of the best things to see at this years CES was the Asus Origami inspired laptop. Although it looks nothing like the image shown to the left, it is equally cool and you can see a video of it here: http://www.engadget.com/2009/01/07/video-asus-teases-with-folding-origami-laptop-concept/

It's Electric

Top speed of the i MiEV is 80 mph, with a range of up to 100 miles. This could be my next car.


Must See Movie 01

The documentary King of Kong is "the story of a middle-school science teacher and a hot sauce mogul who compete for the Guinness World Record on the arcade classic, Donkey Kong" according to IMDB. But it is way more than that. It is really an inside look at a level of geekdom that is fascinating and a little scary. The movie itself is well made and the real life characters are intriguing and even a little inspiring. Worth watching if for nothing else than to imagine that one of the main players in this movie achieved a perfect score on Pacman by completing all 255 levels and eating every dot, fruit, ghost and energizer.


Air Jordan

This is not new but it is certainly interesting. I am not sure if this feels "Jordan" to me. It seems to lack the athletic element. But perhaps it is time for that element to fade a bit especially given where the sport is at right now. I think that the "international" feel of the pattern is interesting and the amp'd up level of sophistication is right one. Pretty impressive even if it is not very wearable.

New Nike store concept

I just went back to the New Nike Store in West Farms mall. It was my second visit. No doubt that they are targeting a younger audience with the concept. It is almost like old NikeTown meets Hollister. The fixturing is as interesting as I remembered from the first visit, and based on what I am seeing from other brands this is a good local place to come to take a look at color and pattern trend. Particularly interesting are the combinations of jewel tones and the lack of an obvious line thread, clearly an overt departure that is bolder than usual for Nike.

Evolution of Useful Things

Henry Petroski's book is a little convoluted and tedious in places but overall it is a good read full of lots of interesting stories and great information on the evolution of products from the paper clip to the post-it-note. If you struggle through the first 50 pages it starts to pick up momentum.


Aluminum history?

To answer the phone call I just received, here is a small piece of Aluminum's interesting history: the cap of the washington monument as taken from a website of the same name.

"In 1783, a thankful U.S. Continental Congress passed a resolution to keep alive the memory of George Washington by authorizing the erection of a monument in his honor. In 1848 a consensus among many involved groups was achieved, and the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid. It took another 37 years for the monument to be completed and dedicated in 1885.

Just as the Washington Monument is an important symbol for the people of the United States, so also is the aluminum pyramid cap at its apex a symbol for the aluminum industry. Indeed, it was accorded this high accolade 50 years after its placement by Edgar H. Dix, then chief metallurgist of the Aluminum Company of America (now Alcoa) when he declared "the crown jewel of the aluminum industry is the cap of the Washington Monument." He made the statement as one of a very small group of experts asked to inspect the condition of the pyramid after 50 years of exposure during the first refurbishing of the monument in 1934 (pictured here)."


The history of Aluminum since its discovery is fascinating. And if you look at the 5 year curve on ALCOA I think that now is a great time to pick up a few shares (symbol AA).

Emeril's NOLA

There is a reason why the guy has a cookware line, TV shows and all the restaurants. His food remains impressive even after all these years. Some of the restaurant interiors could use a refresh as they are a little 90's but the food is still amazing and the service even better. Pictured is the bbq shrimp with cheddar grits. I think that my Dad may have ordered it on our recent father and sons trip to NOLA.