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Design Job: Rise and Thrive! THRIVE is Seeking a Senior Design Researcher in Atlanta, GA
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HELLO! WE’RE THRIVE! We're a product development & innovation strategy firm. We help ambitious leaders build profitable brands through informed design. But this isn’t about us, It’s about YOU. THRIVE is growing and looking for world class talent. That’s why we

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Woodworking: Clever Japanese Technique for Getting Perfect-Fitting Joinery

A half-lap joint is good-looking, functional and, once you get good at it, quick to cut with hand tools. But even if you get the joint to fit snugly, the intersections may show ugly gaps due to slight imperfections in your sawing or chiseling technique.

Traditional Japanese woodworking has a method to completely erase those gaps, and to get the joint fitting so tightly that when removed, you can actually see the imprint of one workpiece on the other: 

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The technique is called kigoroshi, and here's how they do it. (Sorry folks, the creator has disabled embedding.)

See Also:

The Ultimate Wood Joint Visual Reference Guide

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An Exhibition of Crazy, Never-Built NYC Architectural Concepts
You might know that in the 1940s there were plans to build an airport right over Manhattan.But did you know that Buckminster Fuller wanted to build a climate-controlled dome over midtown in the 1960s?Or that in the 1880s, a pneumatic overhead railway was proposed for commuters?Or that I.M. Pei was commissioned to design a 1,500-foot skyscraper over Grand Central Station in the 1950s?These concepts and more are the subject of Never Built New York, an exhibition being developed at the Queens Museum. That's the location of the famous Panorama of the City of New York, a 10,000-square-foot scale model of New York City circa 1964. The cool thing is, the exhibition is currently having students in Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation actually build models of some of these concepts, and they'll then install them within the Panorama itself!In order to raise funds to complete the exhibition, the Queens Museum is holding a Kickstarter campaign: width="800" height="450" src="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1450389391/never-built-new-york/widget/video.html" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="height: 308.25px; width: 548px;"> There's just 30 days left to pledge, and they definitely need your help: At press time they were at $8,718 of a $35,000 goal. If the exhibition is funded, it will open in September of this year.[...]



Strain-Relief: Design Tips for Durability and Aesthetic Appeal
You reach over to plug in your phone, and you feel that spark—and not in a good "I love this product!" kind of way. The wire is broken, and yet another charging cable is about to make its way to a landfill, while you have to make a midnight run to the store to be ready for your 6 a.m. Skype conference with Japan.For such a simple idea, strain relief designs have a huge impact on users, right or wrong. And it's not only in consumer products where we can blame gorilla-like users; even NASA has these issues, as with a recent fire on a shuttle orbiter. When you need your cables to last a long time, how can you create a reliable connector? Can you do this without demolishing that beautiful aesthetic your team has worked so hard on? The following tips will get you the answers you need, and still have you out the door in time for happy hour. Why Do Good Cables Go Bad?Tight bends in the cable near the connector cause high stress, fatigue, and failure. The stiff connector interfaces with a very flexible cable, and the point of contact ends up taking the brunt of the movement. Every tug is concentrated on a single point.Strain is inversely proportionate to the radius of curvature – a fancy way of saying the tighter the bend, the more risk of failure. An easy way to visualize this is to take two paper clips out of your desk drawer and straighten them (for those who want a more detailed, scientific approach, check out the work done by The Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden). With the first paperclip, try bending the wire around a pencil, straightening it, and repeating this several times. The paperclip will bend easily, and is unlikely to break. With the second paper clip, make tight bends, back and forth, and see how many times it can be bent without breaking – my personal best is five repetitions. The lesson is clear: repeated tight bends = failure.The Solution? Strain ReliefStrain-relief on cables offers mechanical support to the cable, protecting it from tight bends and fatigue loading. But how much is enough?Of course, you can take the strain equations from bend radii, correlate the strain with stress using the modulus of elasticity of the particular cable material, look up values for maximum stress, figure in a safety factor for material variation, and arrive at a number predicting safe bending allowance for your particular cable. But unless you gain masochistic pleasure from second-order differential equations, I recommend something simpler: the 8X rule.For any electrical cable, multiply the overall diameter of the cable by eight, and use that as your minimum bend radius. Of course there are exceptions for shielded cables and multi-core shields, but this basic rule is accepted by the National Electric Code, and will get you the relief you need, without adding the cable's stress to your own.Okay, so now we know why we need strain relief, what strain relief is, and even how tight to make the bends. Can we simplify incorporating it into the design and get a shaken-not-stirred order on the way? Yes, yes we can.Common Strain Relief DesignsStrain on electrical cables has been around as long as humans have been channeling electricity for our own devious uses, and electrical strain relief designs have been around nearly as long. Today there are several common designs, each with some pros and cons.Metal Strain ReliefOlder designs involved the use of a metal spring surrounding the cable at the cable-connector junction. Simple and effective, just make certain when incorporating the springs into your design that the bend radius will be large enough when the cable is subject to common pulling forces. One of the great things about this design is its classic look, so this makes it a great option for cables in high-end consumer designs.Older designs involved the use of a metal spring surrounding the cable at the cable-connector junction. Simple and effective, just make certain when incorporating the springs into your design that the bend rad[...]



A Chemical-Free Way to Preserve, and Beautify, Wood: Set It on Fire
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In the Manhattan blocks surrounding us are a Maya-Lin-designed museum with exterior wood cladding, a French restaurant with exterior wooden planters, and a bar with an outdoor wooden bench. These wooden surfaces looked great when they were first installed--then went to hell after just one or two NYC winters. If wood is going to sit outside, it needs to be treated in order to weather the elements.

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Reader Submitted: A Simple Brush Design Tweak that Makes Cleaning Toilets Slightly Less... Gross

Since its conception, the toilet brush has been prone to creating less than desirable conditions, including a build up of residue and wastewater when stowed away. Through some very simple design changes, the Balance Brush provides an effortless solution to this.

A perfectly weighted redesign allows the Balance Brush to sit up and drip-dry over the toilet bowl after cleaning, disposing of wastewater down the toilet and preventing a build up of swampy waste when stowed in its holder.

While some toilet brush holders do provide drainage or suspend the brush to help with the drying process, this merely transfers the wastewater and residue from the brush to the holder. The Balance Brush's simple redesign provides the much-needed mechanism to rid itself of waste before it even leaves the toilet.

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View the full project here(image)



Spotted On Coroflot: A Cube of Coffee

Coffee gear can take over a counter quickly. Is integrated storage a reasonable solution? In a world where pour over coffee takes several discreet tools and a cubic Nescafe unit the size of a microwave is an acceptable appliance, Sam Cho's Coffee Cube suggests a return to the blocky but efficient design of a bygone era. 

Just last week I mentioned my hesitation around concept work, but when it scratches an itch, what can I say? It's a product idea I'd want to tinker with. 

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At heart, the Coffee Cube is a drip machine with storage bins. The angular maker would like to do your brewing, hold your grounds and filters, and fit it all in a shape that's mindful of counter space efficiency. 

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It may sound simple, or unnecessary, but it's an optimistic idea. Stashing a week's supply of grounds and a full package of filters immediately at hand would make a sleek and snappy coffee station. I know I'd just be happy to reduce the number of half full boxes of filters and mostly-gone containers of beans that seem to reproduce in my kitchen. 

But while squares might work into a counter lineup more neatly, the current angularity of the internal storage containers could make for a poor user experience. Would grabbing a filter be hard? Can you retrieve grounds from a rectangular box with a normal spoon? Would a square-cornered carafe be hard to produce and clean? Plenty of room for awkwardness there, but I can already imagine a few satisfying adjustments that would smooth things along. 

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The Cube design has plenty in common with vintage coffee tools by appliance makers like Rams-era Braun, who regularly combined function and storage. Is it time for an integration revamp, or should we stick to Ebay auctions?

(image) KMM 1 and KF 20, by Florian Seiffert and Hartwig Hahlcke for Braun
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IKEA Head Designer Marcus Engman on How Their Team is Working to Fight Climate Change
Since taking the role of head designer at IKEA several years ago, Marcus Engman has led a great effort to match the most well-known furniture company in the world with the best designers working in the business today. Why? Because he believes that high-quality design should be accessible to anyone. The desire to spread quality design to the masses, however, does not stem simply from promoting a sophisticated aesthetic; this also has to do with IKEA's progressive efforts to run a sustainable, ethical business dedicated to fighting climate change at a corporate level. As head designer of one of the largest global retail giants, Engman has a lot of responsibility sitting on his shoulders, not only to create beautiful objects but to manufacture them in the most sustainable way the company can manage while also creating something of quality that can last over time.This week, Engman will be discussing IKEA's Democratic Design model and the impact of their sustainability efforts at the What Design Can Do conference in Amsterdam, this year's speakers focusing on the topic of climate change. Prior to his upcoming lecture, we spoke with Marcus Engman to learn more about what IKEA implements into its current design strategy to fight waste as well as the advantage a large company has in challenging corporate sustainability status quo. Why is IKEA concerned with sustainable design efforts?We want to have a positive impact on the planet. It´s not only about IKEA being a good business in the way we produce, it´s also about IKEA being a good business in what we offer people. Products that are produced in a sustainable way is one aspect, products and solutions that help people lead a more sustainable life is another. products and solutions that help people lead a more sustainable life is another. This sometimes takes bold and daring decisions. Like when we decided to go 100% LED. Most people agree that energy consumption must decrease if we are to reach the climate target we are aiming for. So in 2011, IKEA decided to phase out all other light sources and by 2016 IKEA stores only sell energy-efficient LED-lighting. To do that properly, we needed to give everybody the opportunity to make a sustainable choice. And how to do that? By offering as great LED bulbs as possible, at such low prices that as many people as possible can afford to buy them. Since energy consumption must decrease, volume is key. And a low price is the enabler. So the challenge was to develop a one euro LED bulb, which we did. And it was good business, both for IKEA, our customers and the planet.customers and the planet.Ilse Crawford Collection for IKEA, 2015 According to Pacific Standard, IKEA uses close to 1% of the world's commercial lumber supply—that's a staggering number that incidentally assigns IKEA significant responsibility when it comes to leading sustainable efforts within the global market. How do IKEA's designers work to address environmental issues, and what kinds of sustainable plans do you hope to implement in the future?At IKEA we have developed a method for how we develop and design our products. We call it Democratic Design and it´s about truly good products. To include form, function, quality, sustainability and a low price in everything we do. So our foundation for design includes sustainability, and it´s both about production and how IKEA, through our products can inspire and help people to lead a more sustainable life.Speaking particularly about wood, which is a fantastic renewable material, we are working globally with responsible forest programs. We have our own foresters to secure good forest management which of course also included regeneration of forest. We also work with certification programs, at this time 100 % of our forest is responsible sourced and on top of this almost 75 percent of our wood com[...]



Bentley's New Trim Package for Falconry Enthusiasts
I don't mean to complain, but there's a lot of times when I'm driving around in my $229,100 Bentley SUV and I still feel like something is missing in my life. While I can distract myself by pursuing my passions, like hunting human beings for sport—they really are the most dangerous animal—or desert falconry, it never really quite solves the problem. I've often wondered how I can fill that void, but the answer has eluded me.Until now, that is! Bentley has announced that Mulliner, their in-house customization shop, has developed something that's right up my alley: The Bentley Bentayga Falconry package.…Designed to house everything you need for a successful falconry expedition, fitted into the boot of your Bentayga. Hand-crafted by Bentley's bespoke commissioning division; it is at once practical while delivering the pinnacle of luxury that Mulliner promises.Each Mulliner Falconry set is made to order and features two bespoke unites [sic] which fit seamlessly in the rear of Bentayga and keeps every piece of equipment you will need for a successful falconry outing to hand. It features two bespoke units – a master flight station and a refreshment case that are fitted to a moveable tray for easy access.Both the Refreshment Case and the Master Flight station are trimmed in luxurious yet practical natural cork fabric. Crafted from thin sheets of sustainably harvested cork, its pleasing natural patterns draw they eye. It is extremely easy to maintain and is very durable, making it the perfect choice for harsh, rugged environments. Inside the refreshment case are three metal flasks with durable cups, for tea, coffee or other beverage of your choice. There is also warm blanket and refreshing face cloths for your comfort.Inside the master flight station, you will find a stowage tray with individual compartments, which can hold your GPS bird tracking unit, binoculars and hand-crafted leather bird hoods and gauntlets.A beautiful Piano Black veneered drawer features a striking Saker falcon crest. This stores your own GPS tracking antennas, along with various tools and tethers for your birds.The exquisite Hotspur hide-trimmed cabin of this special Bentayga is finished with a sweeping desert scene, featuring a Saker falcon. Revered today, the breed has been used for hunting for thousands of years. This exquisite feat of marquetry has been created over nine days from 430 individual pieces of wood sourced from around the world. The cork fabric boot-floor and rear-sill protection cover is neatly integrated into the rear of your Bentayga. This reversible feature, together with the in-car perch, gives you a safe and comfortable space to prepare your bird for flight, with everything you need in easy reach.There is also a removable perch and tether that fits on the central armrest inside the car, making transporting your falcon safe and comfortable. I'm told they may also develop an NYC-specific variant dedicated to the burgeoning pursuit of pigeonry.[...]



Design Job: Steak Your Claim! Weber-Stephen Products LLC is Seeking a Principal Industrial Designer in Palatine, IL
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Provide Industrial Design leadership and hands-on support for New Product Development Programs. Essential duties and responsibilities include design leadership and hands-on execution in all phases of the Industrial Design Process—from concept development, 3D concept modeling, digital rendering, and definition of Color/Material/Finishes, provide perspective of design concepts based on the development of user experience maps to identify actionable consumer insights and design opportunities, develop

View the full design job here(image)



Three Key Trends Spotted at Sight Unseen OFFSITE 2017
Set up as a gallery exhibition on the ground floor of 100 Avenue of the Americas in SoHo, Sight Unseen Offsite showcased some of the most innovative designers working today. Unlike other NYCxDesign shows, the editors of Sight Unseen almost dictatorially command who gets to participate or not. The result is a focused presentation of the best new design talent. Here are the three key themes observed at this year's show:Everything CircularStark rendering-like shapes and colors were accompanied with all things round and rounded. Anything one could imagine to bend, did end up bent. Round lights, round mirrors, round tables with round cutouts, round vases, round stools—a most condensed celebration of roundness. Mirrors and tables by Slash Objects Mirror by Slash ObjectsLamp and chair by New Tendency Display by Norway x New York Lighting by GrainLighting by GrainSide tables by Norway x New York Lighting by Crosby Studios Lighting by Iacoli & McAllister Light box by Atelier de Troupe Wallpaper/Carpet by GrainClash of MaterialCombining materials contrasting in color and texture is a common design approach. At Sight Unseen OFFSITE, the combinations bordered on stark, unexpected and almost uncomfortable—though infinitely novel. Chair by Nun x Office GAStools by Areti Tall table by Slash Objects Table by Home Studios Table by Home Studios (detail)Mirrors by Another Human End table by Simon JohnsMirror by Slash ObjectsMind GamesIn a way of playing tricks with perception, designers tried to amuse the eye by moving the unmovable, bending the unbendable and turning the unturnable. Object by Atelier de Troupe Rotating Shelving by Crosby Studios Lighting by Ben & Aja Blanc Side table, lamp and chairs by Eny Lee Parker Mirrors by Robert Sukrachand Want to see more NYCxDesign events worth attending? Visit our Core77 "Navigating New York Design Week" Map[...]



Save the Date - 2017 Core77 Design Awards Results Celebration

We're kicking the summer off right.

This year, to add a little spice to the end of the Design Awards season, Core77 is inviting you to join us for an inaugural Results Celebration party on June 8th at A/D/O in Brooklyn, where we'll be celebrating the 2017 Core77 Design Awards honorees, and toasting to another stellar year for the field of design.

Designers, design lovers, and everyone in between are encouraged to hop on over to Greenpoint, Brooklyn for a night of drinks, activities, and conversations, set against the backdrop of the 2017 winning projects, which will be digitally showcased in all their glory. The kicker? Every guest will be in the running to win one free Microsoft Surface Studio. Seriously, have you seen this video?

Excellence in design will be the theme of the night, but any and all are welcome to share in the festivities—we only ask that attendees RSVP before June 8th.

Space is limited and is sure to fill up fast. RSVP as soon as possible to make sure you're not left out in the cold (okay, heat).

RSVP Here

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A Floating Shelf To Get Hung Up On
There are enough "floating shelf" designs floating around the internet to make a whole separate Pinterestesque website dedicated to them and their unstable storage promises. Raketa's Circulum shelf offers top-down storage with few of the standard flaws.Hanging shelves are prone to a few flaws: the swinging effect that can spill your goods, the lack of bookends or firm sides to trap your goods, and large visual footprint. The Slovenian architecture and design team knows how to balance aesthetics and structural needs, and this project tackles each of these pretty elegantly.The central design element that makes the Circulum shelves appealing is the way the circular platform is weighted from below. Adding a pendulum-like weight to the base, the symmetrical tabletop gains stability and interesting visual balance. Harder to set the whole thing spinning if you put your book down a little too enthusiastically.The collection takes on shelving security in a couple ways, depending on the materials chosen. Offered in a range of hardwoods, metals, leather and marble, the base is shaped into either a gentle dish or a lipped tray. The curve/lip is dramatic enough to trap even small and skittery items (earrings, pills, vintage marbles bought at haunted estate sales) and keep them stashed in minimalist decor/maximalist style.Lastly, the fine wire hanging system lets the "floating" shelf really appear to float. The narrow steel line leaves the thick base and shelf materials to pull nearly all of the aesthetic weight, hovering like a minimalist midair spinning top. A bit of an understatement compared with the floor to ceiling rope hanging that similarly named designs fall back on.The point blank visual simplicity is obviously not simple to pull off, and the team's smart use of materials and weight fairly earned them a 2017 Red Dot nod. More on Raketa's Circulum tables and other architectural work here.[...]



A Tiny Yet Powerful Radio Designed for Emergency Workers in Extreme Conditions
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GoTennaPro is the world’s smallest, lightest, most affordable tactical mesh networking radio, and it works with any smartphone. It is designed and engineered for ultimate water/dust/impact-proof durability (MILSPEC/IP68); has swappable antennas; and the most powerful and private mesh-networking for text-based convos and off-grid geo-tagging, without WiFi or cell service. goTenna Pro is 12X lighter and 10X smaller than legacy comms systems. goTenna Pro represents a true paradigm shift for tactical communications. This is all compactly concealed within the smallest, lightest, sleekest, design of anything within the category. The Pro design is inspired by the needs of the rescuers and emergency workers who will need it in the most demanding conditions.

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This Invention Lets You Make Perfect Chopsticks By Hand

At first I thought this was silly, but it's actually awesome! John Economaki, inventor and founder of Portland-based Bridge City Toolworks, has invented a contraption that allows anyone to make their own perfect chopsticks, completely by hand. Here he is unveiling the device at an event in Asia:

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Consider that wooden chopsticks are more than just skinny blanks. The handle side is square in cross-section, then all four faces must taper down to a point that transitions to octagonal in cross-section, plus the butt end is faceted:

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I just had to know how Economaki's device worked, and here he shows you:

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The Chopstick Master, as he calls it, sells for $195. If that sounds pricey to you, consider that if you brought it to any kind of fair or festival and set up a make-your-own-chopsticks booth at $10 a pop, I bet you'd pay the thing off in a single day easy.


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