Archive for the ‘product’ Category

ABC (Already Been Chewed) Cookie Cutters and Uniqueness

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

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Hoping that everyone had a great holiday season and a wonderful new year!

I was itching to make this post earlier, but couldn’t give away the gift I used for my family Secret Santa. So, here it is -adorable holiday cookie cutters by WorldwideFred that were found during holiday shopping in NYC. Oddly (or not so oddly), I found them at Henri Bendel, located at 712 5th Avenue.

Initially, I would have never expected such a quirky gift from a prestigious fashion retailer, but after being delighted to have found a unique gift, I made the connection –uniqueness. Retailers are constantly on the search to differentiate themselves and be trend setters. They need to offer clients and customers a reason to come back. Is that reason pure product quality? Affordability? Luxury? Variety? It’s a combination of a many differentiators which range from the convenience of a one-stop-shop or being a specialty store to selling the customer service experience. Regardless the exact strategy at Henri Bendel, I was happily surprised and excited to have found WorldWideFred products there and would certainly go back to find that ‘special’ gift. It seems like a mission accomplished for both retailer and gift-hunter.

Sushi as an iconic shape

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

Apologies for the lack of posts this past month! I’ve been busy doing some pre-holiday travel to Hong Kong and NYC to visit family and friends. Now, on with the post…

A recent giveaway on NotCot reminded me of some links I had been collecting. First off, Japanese food is one of my favorite cuisines and as I was catching up with RSS feeds saw this Do’s and Don’t of sushi etiquette. A few things I definitely learned here! Like, dipping the fish and not the rice into the soy sauce. Hmm.. this would make an interesting place-mat for a sushi restaurant…
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via TheWorldsBestEver

Sushi has been a constant trend in both the design and culinary worlds. As a very recognizable and iconic cuisine, the shapes, contents, and form of sushi is easily transferable to other objects. Even by changing the materials and contents of the ‘sushi’, we can still make the association through form and color… what do you think? See a collection of sushi toys after the jump and share your thoughts in the comments! (more…)

Hotel in a Bag

Friday, November 13th, 2009

hotelinabag.jpg This is such a brilliant concept- to make the inflatable mattress inviting, packaged, and easy to transport. Straps, like a sleeping bag, help to roll up the mattress in addition to towels and sheets. It doesn’t look like there’s any extra bag to use as a carry case, which the mattress is stuffed into (like the other products out there). Clever. You can have your own Hotel in a Bag for 198Euros (?!) via SwissMiss Anyone have special travel plans this weekend?? 🙂

2 collections of Dried Fruit Jewelry

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

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Love that artists explore with just about any medium and material.  Gorgeous, edible art! Reminds me a bit of RingPops.

Using only a silver ring and a dehydrator, a jewelery designer transforms fruit into wearable art. These rings are made with a simple silver ring that is then topped with slice and segments of various dried fruits. The results are completely edible and play with the notion of jewelery as a precious art. Each ring will slowly decompose and eventually disappear if it isn’t eaten first. The rings are made from fruits such as oranges, plums, kiwis, apples and beets.

More ‘dried fruit rings’ at DesignBoom

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the Pho experience

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

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A lovely connection between tradition, culture, and dining is the Pho tableware set designed by Omid Sadri for the making and serving of Pho. Simply beautiful and functional.

“Phở (fuh) n.Traditional Vietnamese beef noodle soup. Enjoy it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.”

Inspired by the form of a classical Vietnamese lantern, the bowl set here is designed to “simplify and enrich” the experience of the famous Vietnamese dish. The bowl set makes the entire Pho dish easy to carry, then creates a unique experience by revealing the dish layer by layer.

via Yanko Design

The Senses: links (videos) on Food-Related-Design

Sunday, September 6th, 2009


‘The best restaurant in the World,’ ElBulli is a 3 star Michelin in the little town of Cala Monjoi outside of Barcelona. And it looks amazing! Much more than visual eye candy, the gastronomical works of art must be a delight to experience. See the rest of Adam Roberts’ detailed account of his 30 course meal at ElBulli (with more videos and images) of his experience over at Amateur Gourmet and his El Bulli Recap (thanks to Allen the links!)
Wallpaper has a review and selection of pages from the book “ElBulli: Food for Thought, Thought for Food”. (more…)

Michael Graves + [yellowtail]

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

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Check out the interview with Michael Graves from DesignVerb. Some good insight into the similarities (and differences) between architecture and product/industrial design! Quite interesting. When I was in highschool I wanted to become an architect… and now, I often find myself comparing the two disciplines of architecture and industrial design. According to Mr. Graves, it’s all problem solving and human or environmental interaction, just on different scales.

DV:
What elements and methods in your architectural profession bring value to the product/industrial design discipline?

MG:
I don’t really view them as separate, actually. I’ve always fashioned myself a general practitioner, not as a specialist in any one area. I feel that too often, people become too specialized. Just as a lawyer should be well practiced in case law, an architect should have the same fundamental knowledge of their craft. And if your business evolves into an area of specialty, then that’s great – but it shouldn’t define the extent of your expertise.

DV:
What differences do you find between an architect and a product designer? Strengths, weaknesses.

MG:
Certainly, there’s a difference between the scale and complexity of a building and an artifact. However, we take the design of both equally seriously, and take into consideration their functionality, how people relate to and use them, how they each influence the continuum from the scale of a city to the building to the interior room to the object on the table. When looked at broadly rather than in isolation, buildings and products reflect our core values. If people intuitively understand how to use them and gain joy from their visual appearance, we’ve made a difference.

More insight about the design intent and process of [yellow tail] wine glasses on YouTube.

Read another interview on Architechnophilia

Bakus Table Mat: clever semi-DIY

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

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A simple, elegantly designed stainless steel tray to be filled with your own, used wine corks. Then, replace the corks as necessary when they’re worn out. Such a lovely way of reusing… and extending the experience and memory from which the wine was enjoyed!

Learn more about the Bakus Tray by Ciclus via Wired

Cooktop concepts vs. Real tabletop cooking

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

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Coincidence. I came across some interesting cooktop concepts featured at YankoDesign earlier this week and last night I happen to go to Kaze, a ShabuShabu restaurant in Boston for dinner with a friend. For those who don’t know what ShabuShabu is, you can read more at Wikipedia, which states:

Shabu-shabu is a Japanese variant of hot pot. The dish uses thinly sliced meat and vegetables, and usually served with dipping sauces. It is considered a winter dish but is eaten year-round.

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This communal way of eating is an experience on its own, similar to the better known Fondue experience. The Asian style of eating through a shared experience is one of variety and complementary flavors. Now, my question is, for such an elegant experience with a culture where visuals in food presentation and tableware are emphasized, why isn’t the center piece of this experience just as appealing?

Above concepts certainly bridge that gap and are able to connect the beauty of food with beauty of tabletop cookware. At the restaurant, the electric cooking surface is built into the table, almost hidden. The pot used is purely utilitarian. We spend a good deal of money on other kitchen accessories like blenders and mixers, that guests rarely see. Why can’t the centerpiece of a sharing, fondue-like experience really be emphasized and celebrated?

Designed for Tots

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

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I was doing some research and inspiration hunting a while back and came across Boon, a design studio focused on designing products with babies and parents in mind. Above image are Benders (Adaptable Utensils), where the scoop of the utensil can be bent to accommodate the child’s grip. In addition to the great form factor and colors, the basics of function have been well considered too!

Boon offers a wide range of products that help parents all over the world. We’re committed to creating nothing but the most innovative gear—and keeping it affordable. Our design studio is always in motion, tackling one parenting challenge after another. And don’t forget our commitment to quality and safety.

A couple other infant sites that I’ve come across, who carry well thought out designs:

  • Fawn and Forest carries a great collection of products from various designers.
  • BabyWit with some cool graphics.

CraftBoston 2009 highlights

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Craft Boston featuring 200 Contemporary Craft Artists was held at the World Trade Center, Boston on March 27-29, 2009. A great show of independent crafts people and artists. Below are a few of my favorites.

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InsectLab

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Boxed Water is Better

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

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Boxed Water is Better rids the concept of plastic water bottles with renewable packaging and donates 20% of profits!

via CoolHunting