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Tools & Craft #74: Colen Clenton's Fantastic Adjustable Squares

Colen Clenton is the maker of a range of really wonderful adjustable squares and other measuring toolsthat we have been proud to stock for many years. I've never met him in person but we have chatted on the phone about this and that for ages from our ends of the earth. When my son was born, Colen sent us a magnificent rattle made of she-oak. He's a wonderful craftsman and a wonderful guy.

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This video below shows Colen in his New South Wales, Australia, shed workshop. I'm writing this from a Manhattan high-rise but I can admire his very different lifestyle and of course the reverence for craft that we share. Colen began his tool manufacture by making tools for his own use that attracted the eyes of people who coveted them. He speaks warmly and encouragingly to others who would like to earn their livelihood with their crafts. And needless to say, his gorgeous tools are scene-stealing supporting players throughout the video.

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One of the things I find most interesting about Colen's tools is that while they do exactly the same thing as many other measuring tools by other makers, their combination of design, materials, and execution makes them feel wonderful in the hand and amazingly satisfying to use. Watch the video and see how Colen's values and life choices are reflected in his tools.

We stock the complete line of Colen's tool here.

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WeWork's Head of Interior Design Brittney Hart Shares Her Top 5 Office Necessities
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Hart includes some contemporary products like Max Lamb stools and HAY glass mugs, but she balances her list with classic items like a Braun analog alarm clock and Nest Magazine issues.

View the full content here(image)



Reader Submitted: Wireless Headphones x Earmuffs Keep You Warm and Eliminate Cable Clutter

Sound Huggle combines both headphones and earmuffs into one perfectly designed package. It offers warmth and Bluetooth-enabled audio that encourages you to explore the world around you with an industry-leading nine hours of charge.

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View the full project here(image)



Design Job: Procter & Gamble is Looking for a Razor-Sharp Senior Industrial Designer for Gillette in Boston, MA
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Work for the largest consumer products company in the world! 4 billion times a day P&G brands touch the lives of consumers around the world. We are seeking a passionate, talented industrial designer to join our Gillette and Braun global grooming industrial design studio, located in the heart of vibrant Boston, MA.

View the full design job here(image)



Today's Urban Design Observation: The Street Lounge Has Been Eradicated!

Looks like someone's gonna have a crappy Thanksgiving: The makeshift Baxter Street Lounge I've been writing about…

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…has been shut down! Passed it this morning to see this:

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So much for the holiday spirit. I though the "disposed of as garbage" part was a bit much.

Will keep an eye open around the neighborhood to see if the unknown lounge-makers find another spot and relocate.

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An Escape Room for YouTube Makers and Contractors

This is a fun watch. Lowe's created an escape room, but rather than being one where you need to solve mindbenders to get out, this one requires fabricating skills and an ability with tools. Then they threw a contractor, an electrician, and YouTube makers Bob Clagett (of I Like to Make Stuff) and Grant Thompson (of The King of Random) inside and started the clock:

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I'd love to see an escape room specifically made for industrial designers. (Maybe at the next Core77 conference, boss?) If you were designing such a room, what would your obstacles be? I'm thinking they'd have to eyeball some part and 3D-print a corresponding part, without measuring, that fits into it to unlock it. Or they'd have to go back and forth with a BOM and a CAD file to figure out how to get the price down. Or, my favorite idea, hand-to-hand combat with an architect using T-squares and drafting triangles.


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Leatherman President & CEO Ben Rivera's Practical Tools for Daily Use
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Ben Rivera is the president and CEO of Leatherman Tool Group, which includes Leatherman and Ledlenser brands. Ben graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in mechanical engineering. In 1991 soon after graduating, he started working at Leatherman Tool and has played a pivotal role in the design and evolution of category-defining multi-tools. He is the mastermind behind the first wearable multi-tool: the TREAD.

View the full content here(image)



Reader Submitted: This Redesigned Tea Bag Gives You Total Control Over Flavor

Aromea is a twist on the tea bag that gives you control over the strength of your tea. Its unique functionality lies in the innovative yet simplistic design of the packaging. Each bag features a two-axis, squeezing paper mechanism that allows you to extract the goodies without getting your hands dirty. Let it steep and then just give it a squeeze for an extra boost of flavor and aroma.

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How to Get Bentwood Results Without Steaming: You Can Buy Bendable Hardwood

Want to design a furniture piece or interior that incorporates bentwood, but don't want to deal with the hassle of steaming? A company called Pure Timber produces Cold-Bend™ hardwood, which lets you skip right to the clamping/bending step. Check this stuff out:

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So how is that possible? Is this stuff real wood? As the company explains,

Cold-Bend™ hardwoods are…indistinguishable from clear, straight grained hardwood because that's what it is. It has just been subjected to carefully controlled, but intense, longitudinal thermo-mechanical compression. The hardwood has been engineered to be extremely flexible (as long as it is moist). Once cold-bent by hand (or with jigs, clamps and fixtures), Cold-Bend™ hardwood is dried to fix the shape.
Why does it work? It works because it can stretch. When wood bends, it has to stretch on the outside of the curve, which gets longer. Wood can't stretch, so steam benders use a steel backing strap on the outside of the curve to force compression to the inside of the bend (the inside gets shorter, but the outside stays the same length). With Cold-Bend™ Hardwood, the wood is compressed before it is bent. Therefore it can stretch on the outside of the curve during bending - no steam or backing strap needed. Since the wood is first plasticized in an autoclave and then compressed in a hydraulic press, very tight radiuses can be bent. We can bend it in any direction, make S-curves, twist it, and bend it on edge.

You can learn more about the stuff here.

h/t Popular Woodworking

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An Animated Visualization of the Porsche 911's Design Evolution

The amazing thing about the Porsche 911 is that it's essentially had the same form for over 50 years.

At least, in broad strokes. With this animation from Donut Media, you can see that what we think of as subtle design changes were actually rather significant, spread over time. It's an impressive feat on the part of the designers, who have managed to modernize the car while maintaining the unmistakable form:

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Design Job: Travel Asia, Hang with Professional Athletes and Design for Nike as JR286's Golf & Baseball Product Designer
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As a Category Designer for Baseball/Golf, you would be designing Nike Baseball and Golf accessories. It would entail start to finish design work. Anywhere from future planning of the line to high-level design decks all the way down to nut and bolt design. As a Category Designer, you would be responsible for being the voice and vision for Nike Baseball/Golf equipment. You would be asked to attend high-level meetings with executives at Nike HQ, Insight trip meetings with MLB players and PGA Golfer

View the full design job here(image)



Save the Date: The Core77 Design Awards is Open for Entry Starting January 9
Attention, designers—mark your calendars because the 2018 Core77 Design Awards will officially be open for entry on January 9! Now in its eighth year, the Core77 Design Awards continues to champion the principles of inclusivity, innovation, and excellence. Our annual collection of awarded projects have solidified the awards as a showcase of groundbreaking design over the years, granting awards to successful products such as the Nest Thermostat, the Biolite Stove, the Oculus Rift VR Headset and much more.In recognition of the broad spectrum of the design field, our Awards program offers 14 distinct categories, each further broken into dedicated sections for professionals and students. Each category is judged by esteemed Jury Captains and their chosen team members, which grants designers the opportunity to present their work to the best of the best in their respective fields. Past Core77 Design Awards Jury Captains have included industry leaders such as Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia, Project H founder Emily Pilloton, and LAYER design lead Benjamin Hubert.Here are just a few of the projects that took home awards last year:Suzy SnoozeSuzy Snooze is a smart nightlight that also acts as a sleep trainer and a baby monitor. The product is built to grow with the child. From Farm to MarketOne team in the "Farm to Market" course utilized cider press leftovers to create a healthy snack for hikers and long distance sports enthusiasts.3Montana State University's "Farm to Market" course took home the Design Education Initiatives award last year for its educational ingenuity—in this class, students from industrial design, graphic design, and business backgrounds were teamed up with farmers around the state to tackle problems related to farm food waste and using design thinking, figure out how to turn the waste into a profitable product. SimprintsSmart Design's design of the apparatus used by the startup Simprints allows the globalization of more advanced medical technology, even in developing countries. With Simprints, doctors around the world can more easily and intuitively identify an individual's medical records to ensure accurate medical treatment.BlinkBlink is a physical-to-digital experience that allows families with sick children to communicate through the language of light when separated during medical treatment.VOLTA BikeVOLTA is a stealth an elegant e-bike equipped with features such as anti-theft GPS tracking and smart lighting. What are the benefits of winning an award?In addition to being recognized as an outstanding designer in your field, winners of the Core77 Design Awards receive personal feedback from design leaders, exposure to large media audiences, and are awarded a coveted Design Awards trophy. To reflect the multitude of people involved in shaping winning designs, the Core77 trophy was crafted as a tool for recognition, both symbolically and literally. As a functional mold, the trophy can be used to manufacture additional casts, allowing each member of the team to be individually honored for their contribution.The Core77 Awards trophy2018 Core77 Design Awards ScheduleDesign Awards Open for Entry: January 9, 2018Early Bird Deadline: January 31Regular Deadline: March 29Late Deadline: April 6Winners Announced: June 12Have any questions before January 9th? Feel free to email us at awards@core77.com. Want to stay up to date on awards news, discounts, and deadlines? Subscribe to our newsletter in the orange box directly below. [...]



Levi's Head of Design Jonathan Cheung on Productive Procrastination and Foolproofing Product Ideas
After hearing Jonathan Cheung give an insightful speech on the future of branding and retail at WGSN's Futures conference, we were inspired to speak with him in depth about his career history and current role at 164 year old denim company, Levi's. Image Credit: Matt EdgeHow would you describe your current occupation?An orchestrator of ideas, a joiner of dots. I have the honor to work on the most iconic designs and in one of the most iconic companies in the history of clothing. The job of the design team here is to design better, beautiful clothes that are culturally relevant and that push this grand old company further—into the future. For that to happen, we need great people, so I'm lucky to work with wonderful talent. My job is to make sure we work with the best. What was your first design job? I spent most of my holidays from Fashion School working for different companies, and during my 3rd year of school I had a freelance job designing motorcycle jeans for a company called Frank Thomas. But after graduating, my first real, full-time job was at Moschino in Milan—working for Franco Moschino. The dream job. Moschino was the Vetements of its day.What projects are you currently working on at Levi's?So many! The main part of the Levi's line is my 'day-job', and we're just starting prototype development for Spring 2019. And then there's lots of side projects—from launching a new workwear line to the collaborations we do. I remember when we started working with Vetements and Off White in 2015, they were relatively unknown. It's been immensely satisfying to see them really become cultural icons. They are so talented and nice people too! What projects are you most proud of from your time at Levi's so far? Any time I get to work on our icons like the 501 and Trucker jacket is a proud moment, but I think what I'm most proud of so far is how Levi's has become relevant and cool again.What is the best part of your job? Worst part? The best part? Where do I start? I get to do the profession I chose, the one I love in a company that really has meaning—deep cultural significance—and it's based in San Francisco, California! There are things going on around this city—in tech and biotech—that are from the future!The best part is when you get those eureka moments, the epiphanies that literally cause you to jump up and down. That and the opportunity to meet and work with very talented people.The worst? Not that much really—like with any big company, we can be slow. I generally get frustrated when people look backwards too much, are too risk adverse and can't see that the future isn't just a linear projection of the past. But I don't see that as a Levi's thing—more of a human cognitive bias thing. What is your favorite productivity tip or trick? Get up early and be in the office (or just start working) around 7.45. That gives at least an hour of quiet, productive work before the meetings start. The trick I've found that really helps productivity is fasting 14-16 hours a day, which means basically skipping breakfast. I think there's some evolutionary evidence for this. As Nassim Taleb says, "does a lion hunt to eat or eat to hunt?". I've found it really helps focus in the morning, as well as making a positive difference to my general health. That and make lists. What is the most important quality of a designer? Curiosity. Because that drives learning, which is the key that unlocks so many things. My definition of creativity is imagination + knowledge + action, and curiosity stimulates all of those things. Curiosity should drive to change, to try new things, to not settle for the status quo—to go out and taste all that life has to offer and bring those experiences back w[...]



Announcing Core77's 2017 Ultimate Gift Guide Competition

It's that time of year again! The holidays are coming up, and we want to know:

What's on your design wish list?

This year, Core77 is asking you to Pick 5. Whether you're a tech junkie, a wood shop whiz, or an outdoorsy dad, select your top 5 gift ideas, share them with us between now and December 15th, and you'll be in the running for some amazing prizes.

Here's how it works:

1. Create a Gift Guide
2. Get your friends to vote for you!
3. Come December 15th, one community choice winner, one winner selected by our editors and a few runner-ups will take home something exciting

WEEKLY WINNERS

Each Friday, our editors will pick 3 Weekly Winners to receive prizes ranging from gift certificates to MOO and Areaware to goodies from Hand-Eye Supply and Wintersmiths

THE TOP DOGS

One Editor's Pick will win a set of double-ended Prismacolor markers.

One Community Choice Winner (the guide with the most votes) will also take home something exciting—we'll be announcing this prize soon. 

And three Runner-Ups will score handy multitools from Leatherman.

Winners will be announced on December 17th.

Get Started!

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Today's Urban Design Observation: Unnecessary Signage

While they clearly did not hire a graphic designer to lay out the type, this sign cost the city money to design, produce, distribute and install.

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And it's completely needless. The entire point of these two symbols…

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…is that they don't require an explanation and can be understood by those who cannot read English. Depending on your age you may not remember, but these signs used to look like this...

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...and the current design is a clear improvement.

Anyways, so here we have unnecessary signage tackling a problem that was already solved by good design.

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