Digestion

Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Inhabitat is one of my favorite places to discover new and inspiring design ideas. Just a minute ago, I saw the Facebook Inhabitat group has announced that they’ve been nominated for a Cooper Hewitt People’s Design Award. This award was founded by the prestigious Cooper Hewitt Design Museum and the competition gives people a chance to vote for their favorite examples of good design.

Inhabitat says “We’re honored to be nominated and we think it’s important to spread the word that good design is green design.”

Vote here and see all nominees here.

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What’s a Nubby Twiglet you say? It’s not a ‘what’, but ‘who’. This artist/graphic designer’s name made me giggle, so I want to share with you her blog, found here on Nubbytwiglet.com. I like her bold, clean, and slightly sexy work. Some is available for purchase, but she also gives away free stuff, like wallpaper.

From Black and White Graphic Insight: 2007:

Logo work for Lola London Photography:

and free wallpaper by Star St.Germain:

all via Free Design Goodies

At Surya in London, clubbers generate 60% of the energy needed to power the club. The piezoelectric dancefloor utilizes quart crystals and ceramics to help create energy. Blocks under the floor produce currents, which then feed batteries, and as these are recharged, more power is generated. 

But Surya can’t claim being the world’s 1st sustainable club. That right belongs to Watt in Rotterdam. 

via inhabitat

see more on ‘green clubbing’: Club4Climate and SustainableDanceClub.com

Would love to attend this – 6th Design & Emotion Conference: Dare to Desire. (It’s in Hong Kong, too far for my wallet.)

via future perfect

This solar-powered streetlight would be perfect for lighting in city parks, plazas, and sidewalks. The leaf-shaped lights, designed to be interwoven among tree branches, gives off light during the night from the energy it has stored during the day time. Not only is this concept sustainable, its design works with the tree, the ‘faux’ lamp stand.

The Seoul, South Korean designer of the light, Jongho Lee, says, “I’d like to make something naturally from our daily life and the way we respond to the world.” Like a lot of designers do, Lee finds inspiration from observing people. What really caught my eye in her bio was her further explanation of inspiration: “In their [people] life where joy and despair coexist, design is my way of conversing with them. I wonder where, in this lighting project, she found an element of despair. Was she thinking of the ugliness of typical street lamps clashing with the beauty of a park? Or did she consider the every-day ‘despair’ of energy-wasting technology?

I would love to see these lights illuminating Minnesota’s many parks and lake paths, but they would probably get more usage in a state that sees more yearly sunlight 🙂

via Inhabitat

Yesterday I spotted Mygazines.com via PSFK. This seems like a great resource for people who:

  • are magazine junkies (like myself) – Perhaps you can’t give up any more space in your office/home/bathroom to another stack and it pains you to toss out your 2005 VOGUE collection. Though the physical experience of reading a magazine is lost, Mygazines.com offers the content, including ads (benefit to advertisers!)
  • work in advertising, marketing, media, etc – though the quality isn’t perfect, this might be a handy tool for quick competitor reference (if you work in print)

Basic features of Mygazines include:

  1. browse – choose from 17 categories (arts & culture, home & garden, travel, etc.) And, for specific titles, try searching the sub-categories.
  2. upload – not necessary in order to browse, but helpful for sharing purposes
  3. archive – save an article, entire magazine, or bookmark (Del.icio.us, Digg, Technorati, etc.) However, there seems to be a bug with the saving option. At least, that is my user experience thus far.

When reading a story, actions you can take:

  • zoom (only once)
  • rate
  • comment
  • send/share

I’m using Mygazines.com on Firefox and the magazines pop up in a new window. Zooming is helpful, though sometimes it isn’t the best quality (even when enlarging text, it’s fuzzy). Depending on how careful users are when uploading magazines, the pages may or may not be cut off a bit (or crooked). One very smart feature is the “pages” option, which can be found on the right vertical toolbar, third icon down (specific direction for those of you, like my dear mother, who have difficulty turning on a laptop). “Pages” allows you to go straight to the articles you want to see, versus paging through the entire magazine including ads.

In reference to legality, PSFK writes that though it’s questionable, there is potential. “Mygazines could really provide a useful alternative outlet for publishers looking to reach more readers. When it’s free, your’e going to attract an audience.”

Overall, in my second day of browsing, Mygazines feels useful and fairly user-friendly. As far as the experience goes, it may greatly differ for users who are looking for visual stories (fashion/design inspiration) versus those needing a financial reference in a cut-and-dry article. But, you be the judge, as always.


“Meaningful design experience”. I had a good one the other day.

Do you ever have those? You’re going about your business and bam!–you encounter something (product or service) that you find works so well for you and you instantly feel happy? Maybe you even think to yourself, ‘Wow, why didn’t someone think of this a long time ago?’

The other day I decided to use one of the many bar soaps I have stocked in my linen closet. (Sometimes I use body wash, as bar soaps tend to dry my skin out. And as a side-note, I’m not necessarily a hoarder; I just like having options. Who doesn’t?) As I peered into my closet, I decided to break open the organic (and a bit expensive) Pangea Organics soap I had purchased a few months ago from World Market. (If you haven’t been to World Market yet, I recommend a visit. It is one of the best places in Minneapolis to explore ethnic snacks, furniture, homeware, jewelry, body care goodies, and more.)

The soap I chose, Malagasy Cinnamon Cassia with Cloves, is meant to ‘invigorate the mind and warm the body’. The packaging also told me that cinnamon acts as an astringent & antioxidant, and aphrodisiac. Cloves are supposedly antimicrobial & detoxifying and stimulating. Not automatically impressive as so many soaps claim to be these things. One of the main reasons I bought the soap was due to its aesthetics (simple, egg-carton-like packaging) and scent. The small circle cut-out on the top of the carton allows you to get a good whiff of the soap. The Malagasy must have yanked me out of my Sunday-shopping reverie because I recall it was fairly strong smelling and uplifting…

For some reason I did not read the label thoroughly before or immediately after purchasing. Usually I do this. So, it was only until the other day that I sat down and read the whole label. Now getting to the design ‘aha! moment’: The label told me that I can actually plant it. 

Is this a fairly new packaging effort by sustainable-minded companies? I’d never heard of this and was delighted — This company encourages consumers to be mindful of waste and actually gives us a small tool with which to take action versus giving us a top 10 ways to save the earth. Pangea Organics says “All of our product boxes are made using a new Zero Waste process with 100% post-consumer paper and organic seeds like sweet basil and amaranth. Simply slip off the label, soak the box in water for a minute and plant it in the earth. Ecocentric Bodycare: Always Beneficial, Never Artificial.”

I’m not sure what the general ecological benefits are associated with herbs or planting them, but it can’t be a bad thing. Maybe this would be trickier to produce and get consumers to act upon, but what if Pangea Organics (or others) made product packaging with vegetable seeds? Growing your own food is a small way to reduce your carbon footprint (think less driving time to buy veggies = less harmful emissions). 

Yesterday I told my parents about the soap and handed the package to my mom. Hopefully I’ll see some amaranth soon…

 

 


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