Product Design Archive

  1. Blind-maps-list

    Although Blind Maps is only a concept at this stage, it really is a remarkable one. The device, conceived by designers Andrew Spitz, Ruben van der Vleuten and Markus Schmeiduch during a 36 hour project at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, is a handheld interactive smart phone maps accessory made for the visually impaired. Using tactile-sensitive haptic technology, the interface has a perforated braille-like screen with pins which move to show navigation. Constantly receiving information and adapting, Blind Maps warns of changes to the user’s route, responds the user’s progress and gives options for bird’s eye or line view. Very impressive concept, let’s hope it becomes a reality.

  2. List

    There is something so brilliant about seeing a really simple idea executed to perfection, and Swiss trio Dimitri Bähler, Linn Kandel and Ismaël Studer have done exactly that with Fanion. The Swiss designers, who work together as BKS, have created a series of rugs which use simple asymmetry to make them look like three dimensional creating a fun optical illusion. Named after the French word for “fringe,” the quality of the craftsmanship is nicely high too, making the pieces more interesting than mere visual one-liners.

  3. Main

    Speaking from the perspective of a chronic hoarder, I can definitely confirm that the world needs beautiful objects. One of the world’s most skilled beautiful object makers is Italian design mastermind Alessandro Mendini. Together with his most trusted craftsmen, Alessandro has produced a heart-stoppingly laboured-over exhibition based around the small topic of time. The level of intense craftsmanship and honed skill is pretty breathtaking, made all the more impressive by the beautiful making-of shots of the objects.

  4. Bl-list

    London-based ceramicist Billy Lloyd has been making quite a name for himself since setting up his own studio in 2011. A graduate of Camberwell College of Art, Billy spent five years following education honing his craft through apprenticeships with local practitioners, improving his throwing skills and refining his design sensibilities. As a result his aesthetic is immensely polished for a relatively young designer, each piece handled with masterful care and attention.

  5. List

    There are two ways in which product designers can be game changers. Etiher they can introduce a new, unexpected model that takes the market in a brand new direction or they can apply their technological and innovative nous to an existing type of product and blow the competition away. It’s this second route that best describes James Dyson’s new project unveiled today in London. Building on his previous success with hand-dyers, he has taken on the all-in one tap and hand dryer which up until now has usually comprised a dribble of water followed by a waft of tepid air not dissimilar to a kitten’s burp.

  6. Main

    It’s fun to have kids’ drawings in your home, whether they’re drawn on sugar paper hanging off the fridge or scribbled on the wall by the upstairs bathroom, they tend to be pretty hilarious and could, one day, be sold for a lot of money. It’s a shame to store away these little nuggets of potential future artistic talent into a cupboard where they can’t be seen, so Crayon Creatures have invented a genius method of turning the images into objects using 3D printing technology to be kept as ornaments – a little sandstone souvenir of your child’s early, cheerful artistic habits. Very cute. One please!

  7. Main

    Difficult to know what to do when your toaster or cheap white kettle breaks, do you just put it…in the bin? The worst part is, these household appliances have usually broken in such a way that they could be very easily fixed, we just don’t know how. Enter RCA graduate Gaspard Tiné-Berès and super craftsman Tristan Kopp, who together are on a mission to clear landfill sites of small appliances by transforming old glass parts and cork into new, very beautifully designed toasters and kettles.

  8. Main

    There’s nothing quite like brand new stationery –unused rubbers, sharpened pencils, unused felt-tips, it’s giving me tingles just thinking about it. So when you think you can sap joy simply out of a colour-coordinated pencil pot, you may be surprised to see this absolute game-changer of a series by Australian designers Daniel To and Emma Aiston. More desk installation that stationery, this utterly beautiful set of objects are not just immaculately made, but are photographed so well they could be pieces of fine art.

  9. Rockingknit-list

    The association between knitting and rocking chairs is powerful and longstanding. It’s common knowledge that all knitting takes place next to log fires under the watchful but cataract-ridden eyes of octogenarian grandmothers as they rock gently back and forth. But the latest groundbreaking output from ECAL students Damien Ludi and Colin Peillex takes that stereotype and smashes it to pieces, removing the knitting from the hands of the oldies and mechanising it for ease.

  10. L_l-list

    Between them, Swiss designers Loris Jaccard and Livia Lauber have worked with an awe-inspiring list of fashion and furniture clients including Martino Gamper, Tom Dixon, Established&Sons and Michael Kors, Nina Ricci and Prada. It’s testament to their remarkable skill that they’ve managed to keep such high-profile clients and collaborators over the years, particularly given their distinctly unorthodox approach to their practice.

  11. List

    Creative studios are really only as good as their ideas, and with that in mind Amsterdam’s Natwerk are absolutely brilliant. They’ve worked with a range of big name clients (like Diesel, Grolsch and Puma) to make interesting, fun and memorable brand experiences and eye-catching ad campaigns but it’s in their self-initiated work that we see their weird and wonderful collective mind run wild.

  12. Battin-list2

    Philip Battin is a design talent to be reckoned with. The young Dane has forged an impressive career in graphic design, art direction, strategy, web and product design that began aged 18 when he set up his own business selling web solutions. Since then he’s won numerous awards, kept his own business going strong and even held the prestigious role of art director at luxury street wear brand Norse Projects.

  13. Rli

    If you haven’t done it already, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? I’m obviously referring to the epic quest that is purchasing a Christmas tree from what is normally a highly inconvenient location, following the age-old tradition of dressing it up in all sorts of oddities, and then spending the rest of Christmas slowly watching it die. Fair enough, that last part sounded a bit brutal, but the life of a Christmas tree is one that normally ends up in the January heap of discarded packaging, making it even more important for us to dress them up well for their final wiggle in the spotlight! And here to dress these trees in their first and last glisteningly glorious frocks are the folks from Studio Badini Createam, who have dreamt up the Pantone Christmas baubles. They are stylish, classy, arty and fun and needless to say want, want want!

  14. Jaseprnijs-list

    Jasper Nijs doesn’t muck about. The 22-year-old Dutch designer has made it his mission in life to produce household products with extreme functionality that outperform even the most demanding user’s needs. His inspiration comes from a logical place; a personal enjoyment of walnuts hampered by obsessive tidiness. “I like to eat walnuts. What keeps me from doing so in most cases is the fact that cracking a nut leaves you with a multitude of shell and nut fragments, a thing I deeply abhor.” Jasper’s solution was to produce a nutcracker that split the walnut neatly in two, without mess – an easy task for 5mm of steel plate that can apply up to eight kilos of pressure.

  15. List

    New Zealand is going to be in the news a fair amount over the next few weeks as the release of Peter Jackson’s much anticipated Hobbit-fest will focus attention on the impossibly-beautiful island. But it’s not all about fantasy landscapes and Tim form The Office marauding round with hairy feet, and if there’s any justice in the world then there’ll be plenty of attention lavished on Pinokio as well. The brainchild of University of Wellington students Shanshan Zhou, Adam Ben-Dror and Joss Doggett this cheeky little chappie is seemingly aware of its surroundings, attention-seeking and determined not o be turned off. With the help of an Arduino circuit board, a webcam and some clever software the trio have produced a fun, interesting and charming piece of furniture that explores questions of sentience in a pleasingly Pixar-inspired way.

  16. Ls-list

    There’s no doubt in my mind that most people reading this aren’t in the market for expensive chromed bath ware from a specialist Italian retailer. But put that consideration aside for just a second while you enjoy the simple and effective graphics employed by LS Graphic Design in their enticing brochures for Mamoli – that aforementioned furniture retailer.

  17. Derekwelsh-list

    I’ll be honest, when I first started writing about art and design it never crossed my mind that the humble domino would be the subject of any of my articles. But the undeniably talented Derek Welsh has just produced not one, but two beautiful reimaginings of one of my favourite childhood pastimes, in collaboration with design studio Graphical House. Semaphor and Oblique both offer remarkably slick redesigns of the tabletop classic but with a rather more refined twist. So if you’re looking for a simple way of filling hours of festive downtime (yeah that’s right, it’s December already) then why not indulge in some designer-friendly dominos. After all, polkadots aren’t to everyone’s tastes.

  18. Arianeprin-list

    We’re all for taking time over creative projects, but Ariane Prin has to be congratulated for taking slow production to a whole new level. Inspired by public fountains around Polish cities, Ariane’s Water Cups Fountain is a generative kinetic sculpture that disperses ceramic over plaster moulds, slowly layering up a spontaneous structure as it spins. The results are certainly eye-catching, but it’s the process that excites us the most; the sheer technical ingenuity behind such a simple creation.

  19. Stool-list

    If you’re looking for a comfortable place to park your backside for the day (it doesn’t have to be for the whole day) then we thoroughly recommend the latest offering from Australian designer Timothy John; the Sidecick Stool. Crafted from powder-coated steel with a cork seat, the Sidekick reminds us of those glass beakers you used to find in school chemistry labs back in the day when you were allowed to mix chemicals in your hands and lick asbestos mats, and for that reason we’re pretty damn keen on it – even though we definitely can’t afford one!

  20. Listimage

    Fashions come and go, passing as quickly as my craze for tucking tracksuit bottoms into socks, wearing those whiter-than-white trainers while rocking the wet look hair – a somewhat brief and ill-advised fashion interlude I’d like to add! Well, thank heavens we can change and adapt, a principle not lost on Korean designer Jung Eunyoung, who responds to the adaptive nature of fashion and trendsetting by dressing furniture in a number of different outfits.

  21. Main_11-07-38

    We’ve featured product designer Demelza Hill’s work on the site before a few years back, showcasing some pretty brilliant reversible bags. We were impressed then but we’re even more impressed now, with the magnificent “Branch” — a wooden tree made just in time for Christmas that is both aesthetically pleasing and very beautiful two-fingers up to tradition. Demelza has also been busy creating a whole host of other new products since we last featured her, including resurrecting some scrap tools into desirable gifts, and making a pretty epic sofa out of tennis balls. #Bigfan.

  22. Stiff-list

    We’re not condoning pipe smoking (much), in fact we’d be inclined to suggest that inhaling tobacco smoke through a wooden receptacle probably isn’t the best idea you’ve had all week. But let’s just say for argument’s sake that you’re an enormous fan of this luxurious, effulgent pastime and you’re in the market for a new piece of hardware to meet your smoky requirements. Wouldn’t you like it if the pipe in your hands was as sartorially elegant and well-crafted as the shoes on your feet? We don’t know, we’re wearing Vans, but if they were a polished pair of brogues our answer would be “Yes, of course!”

  23. Photobot-list

    There’s literally nothing worse than having to take photos at a party – except maybe the people who enjoy taking them, push their cameras in your face and momentarily blind you. Nobody wants to be THAT person, herding their guests into forced lineups, making them smile unconvincingly for a group portrait. And yet you definitely want to be able to document your night, if for no other reason than to piece together some of the details the next morning.

  24. List-print

    Mmmmm felt tips: making the plain pages of sketch books colourful since pretty much forever, you can’t help but love a good felt tip! But imagine if you could transform that trusty old pen into something completely new?! Mind boggling stuff right, but that’s exactly what the talented trio of Amsterdam design students – Jaan Evart, Julian Hagen and Daniël Maarleveld – have done with their super-impressive PenJet printer. Taking an old inkjet printer apart and switching the usual ink cartridge for felt tip pens, not only is the concept incredible but it also creates seriously impressive and lovely looking pictures as a result. Cool!

  25. List

    Ohhh mother, here we go. McSweeney’s have just dropped a musical bombshell with their announcement of this extraordinary musical release from Beck. No doubt a little fed up with the lack of record sales (blah blah blah) rather than getting all uppity about it, Beck has taken on the beast that is illegal downloading by releasing his new album in the form of a songbook of brand new, unrecorded material.

  26. Made%e2%80%93list

    If, like us, you’re pretty partial to hand-crafted objects then it’s time to hold onto the seat of your selvage pants, because we’ve just come across the magazine for you. MADE is a quarterly journal from Published by Process and Hunt Studio that deals exclusively with artisanal objects, whether they’re fashioned from steel, leather or organic cream. As we plough on further into the digital age it’s reassuring to know that there are some seriously talented folks out there doing things the old-fashioned way, and MADE’s mission is to find out why they do what they do.

  27. List

    There’s always a project like this at The London Design Festival but it’s rare the names involved are this fantastic, and the results so good. Bench Years at The V&A is a series of one-off benches designed by the likes of Barber Osgerby, Martino Gamper, Konstantin Gric and Felix de Pass, one for each year LDF has been running.

  28. List-fb

    While you might well consider yourself inventive when it comes to food I bet you anything you have never considered turning cauliflower into a bobble hat or indeed broccoli into a handbag. But then again that is where you and artist Fulvio Bonavia probably differ.

  29. List

    European Union border agreements might not be the most obvious starting point for a design showcase but when you think about it they have been integral to the new generation’s creative education. With such free movement between European countries, designers have been able to absorb different cultures and approaches far more easily than their predecessors, boosted by exchange programmes like Erasmus.

  30. Oplist

    It may be at the second time of asking as this has been around before but there was literally no way we couldn’t post this amazing Ostrich Pillow by Key Portilla-Kawamura and Ali Ganjavian. I am blessed in that I can fall asleep literally anywhere thanks to a teenage holiday when I learned to sleep in essentially nightclub conditions in the caravan we were staying in, but if you aren’t so lucky then this is definitely the product for you. Shut out ambient noise and light and joy 40 winks anywhere, all the while looking both cuddly and futuristic – what more could you ask for?

  31. List

    For the past few years one of the highlights of the London Design Festival has been Tom Dixon’s Portobello destination The Dock bringing together not only new work from one of the godfathers of the UK design scene, but also interesting and unusual collaborators.

  32. List

    The only enviable light bulb of last year is back. Light bulb envy sounds petty, but when Brit Insurance Design of the Year winners are involved, it isn’t. The inevitable phasing out of traditional lightbulbs with ugly eco replacements was all getting a bit dull yet Samuel Wilkinson and Hulger’s curvy, stylish Plumen 001 was an unexpected design solution to new EU regulations and obviously welcomed happily last year. “It’s a bulb that doesn’t need a shade and so goes a long way to make up for the loss of the Edison original,” said Design Museum stpremo Deyan Sudjic.

  33. List

    Anyone who’s ever won a goldfish at a funfair or bought one off a man in a pub will know they’re pretty dull pets. Owners try lots of things to ramp up the wow factor with models of castles and scuba divers but at the end of the day these little swimmers are able to resist all such attempts. But hang on a minute (or double the length of a goldfish’s apparent attention span) as Sheffield studio Psalt Design may just have found the solution.

  34. List

    The phrase “ideas man” has become warped by its overuse as a middle management staple, the meaningless cover letter boast. But it’s time to reclaim it we think as Dominic Wilcox is an ideas man in the purest sense.

  35. Benpawlelist

    Don’t worry, we’ve not swapped editorial teams with Nuts magazine for the day, this is an actual piece of design with very noble intentions. Ben Pawle has created a condom wrapper that can be opened with a single finger-clicking motion. Initially designed for people with hemiplegia, the paralysis of one half of the body, the wrapper is intended to make this everyday (!) task simple for those with the condition.

  36. Dysonlist

    It’s amazing how often the best design solutions are based on the simplest ideas. There’s an awful lot of (justified) handwringing over the issue of overfishing and politicians and campaigners are wont to debate how to make the industry more sustainable until the cod comes home. But recent RCA graduate Dan Watson broke the problem down to its basics – how could you help fish that weren’t meant to be caught get out of the industrial nets?

  37. List

    If there’s product designers on more of a roll than Japanese studio Torafu right now then we’d love to see their stuff because these guys are absolutely on fire (not literally). Whether it;s installing 800 wind chimes in a Tokyo department store or producing a shelf that doubles as a secret hiding place drawer, they have amazingly good ideas which they execute with that often-elusive combination of style and charm.

  38. Nju-list

    Anyone who consumes magazines with the voracity that we do will, at some point, have encountered the problem of what to do with your subscriptions once you’ve read them. You can’t throw them away of course – suppose you suddenly need to lay hands on a vital piece of information that’s long been shredded and mulched? Unacceptable! But you can’t just leave them hanging around the house either, taking up valuable space that should really be full of potted plants and stylish furniture.

  39. Deanbrownlist

    I’ve not got much experience when it comes to furnishing a house or flat, as my accommodation arrangements thus far have never allowed much creative freedom to choose my own functional objects. If the landlord likes a fake leather sofa then I’ll put up with it, if she’s a huge fan of ornately patterned net curtains then heck, maybe I like them too (I don’t).

  40. 3d-printing-list-maybe

    Once upon a time for six months, I lived opposite a construction site, and enjoyed seeing a whole house go up bit by bit – the different levels, the roof-beams, the plastic-y material flapping around on the wind as roof-tiles were added on top. Anyway, the gradual process was interesting for an observer but must have been unpleasant and occasionally frustrating for the workers, scaling various heights and battling the elements. But that usual building scenario may be about to take a turn, if Professor Behrokh Khoshnevis of the University of Southern California has his way.