Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Wine Labels: rebirth of authentic Chinese design?

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

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I must admit (and ashamed that), I’m not well-versed in Chinese (or Asian) art/design history, but this short article from PSFK, got me connecting some dots. It looks like China’s on the verge of a new design revolution (of course, among other things), where the Chinese embrace their cultural heritage and contemporize it.

Not too long ago, Chinese wine connoisseurs had a diverse range of wine selections with amazingly intricate and detailed design packaging. But after foreign imported wines began entering the Chinese market, many of these wine brands died off, along with their special wine design aesthetic.

Just look at the ingredients of these wines, there’s grape, rice, sorghum, millet, and even more rarely seen these days are Chinese gooseberry, sweet-smelling osmanthus, cherry, longan, apple and tangerine flavors.

The thought of these unique labels and ingredients remind me of an LA Soda Pop Shop, who carries over 500 varieties of naturally sweet and flavored sodas, free of high-fructose corn syrup.

As creativity and confidence creeps back into the minds of Chinese designers, it’s possible that a distinct Chinese wine label aesthetic will once again bloom and quench the thirsts of those who remember when wine had flavor and beauty.

Ditto.

via PSFK

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…)

vintage travel posters: love the graphics

Monday, November 9th, 2009

vintagetravelposters.jpgHunting in Poland c1961 – Design by Wiktor Gorka  Paris-Orly for Air France c1962- Design & Illustration by Jaques Nathan Garamond 

How about [a] virtual tour around the world to start off the week? I dug up a handful of travel related posters from 1950s-1970s for all the desk jockeys that are itching to get out of town.

Love these gorgeous, old school graphics and totally itching to get out of town! It’s fun/ funny to interpret the message of the posters. In Poland: our deer will hunt you, you can’t hunt the deer… And the vibrancy of Paris expressed as beautiful stained glass in historic architectural buildings. As much as I enjoy photography, vintage imagery is refreshing in comparison to today’s photographic/ photoshop advertisements.

via Flavorwire and see a couple hand fulls more at GrainEdit

off topic: A Better World by Design ’09

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

The Association for Community Design has posted my article about “A Better World by Design” conference that happened last month! Re-posted below:

The 2nd annual “A Better World by Design conference” hosted by RISD and Brown University from Oct 2-4, 2009 in Providence, RI surpassed expectations, particularly for a first time attendee. The conference was fully organized and run by students, who are already actively engaged with projects that change our world. With a diverse speaker list and panel discussions, conversations ranged from affordable housing and architecture in the developing world to clean energy, emerging markets, and social entrepreneurship. As described on the website, “A Better World by Design brings a global community of innovators to Providence, Rhode Island, to reach across disciplines and unite under a common goal. [The event] is an immersive experience that deepens our understanding of the power of design, technology, and enterprise to reshape our communities and sustain our environment.” Themes of cross-disciplinary collaboration, contextual projects, and the future of community empowerment were apparent.

(more…)

the future of food by Philips Design

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

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Looking at how we currently source and eat our food with today’s social trends, Philips Design conceptualized the possibility that could exist in 15-20 years. The first of 3 concepts shown above is the “Nutrition Monitor” which helps visualize the amount of food each person in the household eats and the nutritional needs of the individual. It tells the user the amount to eat based on the their health and body requirements.

These beautifully simplified concepts from Philips Design address our societal issues of obesity, the food we choose to eat, and sourcing food locally. Next 2 concepts after the jump.

(more…)

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

Food Styling and CGI

Monday, July 27th, 2009

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I was recently doing some personal research on food photography and styling and had no idea that Boston University hosted a Conference on Food Styling and Photography back in June. So sad to have missed out! Coincidentally, the other day I also came across a post on PSFK.

Images above show the post and mid-process of Computer Generated Imagery. Watch the Vimeo video of this transition from wireframe to enticing fries and burger done for Bernstein Rein Advertising.

As you will see, this is an entirely CGI spot. We used photo modeling techniques adding dimension to real studio photographs of a Big Mac and the the fries. The fry box, Dr. Pepper, ice, bubbles, smoke, straw, environment, etc are all entirely CGI.

The real reason to do this spot as CGI was to be able to choreograph the camera move in limited time and budget.

Wow, technology and amazing computer graphics with realistic rendering. Will this put food stylists and photographers out of work? Although, the graphics are based off studio photographs. Hm…the photo industry is certainly changing due to digital, any thoughts on technology changing the food styling industry?

via PSFK

Patent: Airline Seat Configurations go Vertical

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

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Emil Jacob of Cambridge, MA patented this idea for airline seating in 2006.

“step seat principle” It involves elevating alternate rows of seats, from one to five steps above the cabin floor, to give passengers more room to lean back in economy class and enough space in business class to lie down, either by sliding their legs under the seat in front of them or stretching out in pods stacked on top of each other – no sweater on the floor required.

The simplest version raises every other row of economy seats by 7 inches, a standard step height, allowing passengers to recline seats at up to a 45-degree angle (a few inches more than the 3 to 5 inches that’s standard in economy, Daimler said) and elevate their legs on a foldable footrest that takes advantage of the space underneath the seat in front of them. It’s a more “sleepable position,” Jacob said.

The staggered vertical seating allows for more individual passenger comfort and room, but also increasing carrier capacity, all while using the same amount of space that currently exists in airplanes. Jacob is currently discussing with a few airlines… I wonder if it will come to fruition.

via Boston.com

[Update: check out some computer render concepts on Core77 here, here and here]

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.

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