Form & function

Play for Creativity

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Everyone has their own tools and methods for getting out of creative ruts. Disruptus is a great new game, made purposely for clearing up cobwebs in the brain. Based in principles of disruptive thinking, players roll dice to either: Create; Improve; Transform; or Disrupt. Then, 2 cards are chosen, and players apply the verbs to the images, coming up with the most creative and original ideas possible in under a minute. Could be a great way to train your brain, whether for work or pleasure.

Print Stack

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Never worry about filling your printer’s paper tray again with “Stack,” Swiss-Japanese designer Muji Yamamoto’s minimal solution to bulky, ugly printers. The simple machine sits atop a stack of paper, feeding itself from below by pulling each sheet up, printing, and resting the finished print on top. Looking to minimize and improve on an electronic device that would not become obsolete, Yamamoto designed Stack to easily fold away in a drawer when not in use, or become a interesting addition to a workroom, with its consistently dwindling pedestal of paper.

Mini You

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Ten lucky Muji shoppers can soon have their very own little action figure of themselves, through a contest the Japanese shop is holding. Customers purchasing will be entered to win the chance to have their family scanned and 3D printed in miniature form. One lucky grand-prize winner gets a free trip anywhere in the world, to be met at their destination by the models of themselves.

Seeking Hugs

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Sometimes all we seek is that simple, comforting moment of human contact – a hug. Artist Keetra Dean Dixon recognized this, and as part of her ongoing series of projects, “Methods & Apparati for Social Facilitation and Mood Elevation,” she created an anonymous hug wall. A giant pink wall of fabric provides a backdrop and barrier, with two arm-length gloves centered in the middle. Passers-by who need a quick squeeze, handshake, or high-five walk away with a better day.

Seeking Smells

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Scent can be one of the most trickiest senses – often fleeting, and sometimes only noticeable when you are looking for it. Madeline, a new camera-like machine from London designers Amy Radcliffe and Helene Combal-Weiss, claims to “capture” smell, helping to identify and pinpoint the molecular makeup of scents, and making them last. Using perfuming technology termed “headspace capture,” the device extracts the odors from a source placed under a glass cone, sending them through a tube and into a resin trap of sorts that collects molecular data. The data can then be applied to oils to replicate the original scent.

Unknown Inventors

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In case you missed the great “Innovations Issue” of the Sunday NY Times last month, you can check out their wonderful interactive version online, “Who Made That?”. In a perfectly engaging and simple format, users can navigate 48 stories of origination on products, services, and traditions (like brunch). Learn how Earle Dickson invented the Band-aid for his accident-prone wife in 1920, or how cheerleader George Henderson created the “Wave” we all participate in at baseball games.

Sip a Rainbow

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Dutch Designers PS Studio have created a delectable line of porcelain coffee cups in 26 colors. Orange, Pink, Yellow, Green and Blue all come in 5 shaded options, each imbued with its color with porcelain dyes rather than glaze. The designers focused on the tactile quality of the small cups, giving each a unique “Taped” surface of porcelain strips. Any combination of the 26 colors can be made, giving the user the ability to create singular sets.

3D-Printed Cast

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The healthcare industry is turning to 3D printing for potential future solutions to health issues, whether using it to print cell structures or human ears. After breaking a bone, designer Jake Evill decided to look to the technology to replace current clunky, annoying casts. His resulting design is a possible huge leap forward – breathable in its open structure, made of durable, lightweight plastic, and washable as well. He based the structure on the natural patterns that make up bones, expadable and adjustable to fit perfectly to each person’s arm, with extra support and density where a fracture occurs.

Cité Radieuse

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Le Corbusier’s iconic Cité Radieuse apartment complex, in Marseilles, is being newly updated and interpreted by a few designers. Industrial designer Konstantin Grcic recently completed the interior design of an original apartment there, furnished with several of Grcic’s own designs and large-scale black-and-white print-outs of a punk fanzine. And French designer Ora-Ito recently purchased the roof and solarium space of the complex, turning it into an exhibition space. It opened in June with an exhibition of large sculpture by architect Xavier Veilhan, on view through September.

Exploration of Time

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An exhibition of Norwegian designers explores the concept of Time, and how it relates to Space and Place. “On Time,” showing at DogA in Oslo from June 20th to August 25th, presents the work of 17 designers, addressing interpretations of specific moments in time. All are beautifully minimal, like Marianne Andersen’s lamp duo “Just Sleep on It,” and Kristine Bjaadal’s wood “Siska Coffee Grinder.” The exhibition will also be shown for Paris Design Week, in “Now! Le Off” September 9th to 15th.

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