Core77

Design Job: Studio Red seeks a World-class Designer/Director in Menlo Park, CA

Candidates should have an Industrial Design degree, 7+ years experience, and will be responsible for producing concept sketches/refined concept renderings of a wide variety of tech and non-tech products. They'll be directly responsible for successful aesthetic outcomes of multiple projects and will oversee and guide concepts from research through development.View the full design job here

Two Cooperative Kids Figure Out an Awesome Way to Share One Bike

When I was in Hue, Vietnam, I met four schoolteachers who all lived in a single-room shack. The four women could only afford two bicycles between them, so the way they commuted was two to a bike–with the one sitting on the rear placing her feet on the pedals alongside the driver's feet and pedaling in sync. It seemed they'd been doing this for years. "More faster," one of the teachers cheerfully explained to me, "less tired."I can't tell what country the following video was shot in, though it also looks to be somewhere in Southeast Asia. In any case, these two clever kids have also figured out a way to share a single bike between them:I am dying to know A) How they thought this up, and B) How they get started!

Objects You Can Attach to Your Head

When Google Glass was announced in 2013, I figured we'd all be wearing them on our heads by 2016. Instead they were canned last year. But as you look around, you'll notice there are plenty of other technological items you can wear on your head, either for on-head usage or mere storage.A Single GoPro CameraThis is perhaps the most obvious one, and it's not just for extreme athletes. It's not uncommon now, at least in New York City, to see an otherwise unremarkable-looking cyclist zip past you while wearing one of these. You can opt for center-forehead-mounted, side-mounted, chin-mounted or the all-important selfie-mounted.Two GoPro CamerasFor those who can't make up their mind.Two GoPro Cameras on a Rotating Swivel MountWise manufacturers have discontinued this product, and GoPro not only doesn't produce one, but distances themselves from it. Sure it can capture some cool footage, but it's dangerous. Imagine the leverage this could place on your neck if, say, you slid into a copse of trees while skiing.Seven GoPro Cameras and a Canon 7DAgain, not something you want to be wearing on your head in the event of an impact. An iPhoneAnd the iPhone 4, by the looks of it. I can't think of a single reason why you'd be wearing a helmet and needing to have your phone float in front of your face, but apparently this thing is for sale.An LED HeadlampI was first introduced to these on a camping trip, and I now occasionally use one during sewing machine repairs. As a side bonus, wearing it makes you look like a complete tool.Night Vision Monoculars and GogglesSoldiers have of course been wearing these for years, and nowadays they even have quad-lens panoramic models.Display Night Vision GogglesHelicopter pilots now have access to NVGs like these that also feature a display to relay vehicle information.Night Vision Goggles, a Communications Headset with Batteries and a FlashlightThat's a lot of gear, isn't it? That's why they sell, to prevent your head from getting unbalanced……Helmet CounterweightsAt the end of the day, I'm glad my jobs and hobbies do not require me to wear a helmet.

Using Design and Technology to Produce a Safer Football Helmet

As the devastating effects of football-related concussions become better understood, many are worried that one of America's great sports is in danger. Non-football-fans likely don't care, as it's easy to dismiss football players as knuckleheads; but to the American communities and youths who are bound together and individually shaped by football—read H.G. Bissinger's Friday Night Lights, or see the stunning, 96%-on-Rotten-Tomatoes documentary Undefeated—it's a big deal. Yet American sporting goods companies have not been able to create a helmet that can adequately protect the braincase of a 300-pound man being crashed into by other 300-pound men.The problem may be intractable, but now a Seattle-based startup called Vicis is attempting to tackle (ahem) the issue by integrating better design and technology into their Zero1 helmet. The company reckons that by pulling together a superteam of doctors, designers, engineers and manufacturing experts, they can produce a cutting-edge—and extremely expensive—helmet that better protects the brain. Image courtesy of ArtefactFor the design part, Vicis enlisted Seattle-based consultancy Artefact Group, who "understood the critically important need to merge safety, form and function into the design of our new helmet," says Vicis CEO Dave Marver. "When we review our helmet designs with current and former NFL and NCAA players, they are consistently impressed by the look and the feel of the ZERO1." Here's what they've come up with:The LODE SHELL – Absorbs impact load by locally deforming, like a car bumper. Automotive safety engineers have used local deformation to protect people for decades. We're the first to bring this proven innovation to football helmets.The CORE LAYER – Employs a highly-engineered columnar structure that moves omni-directionally to reduce linear and rotational forces. The columnar geometry used in our CORE Layer is based on principles first described by Leonhard Euler, a Swiss physicist in the 1700s.The LODE Shell and CORE Layer work together to reduce impact forces, leveraging well established engineering principles and materials long-used in stringent aerospace and automotive applications. Tested to withstand multiple seasons of play, the VICIS ZERO1 delivers 21st century innovation built on bedrock scientific principles.Even if Vicis has gotten it right—thus far the testing has been limited to laboratories and simulations, with independently-executed field tests forthcoming—the Zero1 will initially be out of reach for most, as the $1,500 asking price is well beyond what your average high school can afford. (A typical youth helmet starts under $100.) But the price will be a drop in the bucket for the National Football League, for whom each team is worth roughly $2 billion, and Division One colleges will also likely be able to muster up the scratch. And "eventually," Bloomberg reports, "[Vicis] hopes to develop lower-priced models for high school and youth ball."Sorry to hit this point again, but if you are not a football fan and cannot understand the culture, I highly recommend you watch Undefeated. It will change your perspective by introducing you to the little-seen, positive effect on character in young American males.

Taming the Kitchen and Dresser Drawers 

Anyone who's tried to find one specific item in a large, crowded drawer will appreciate how drawer organizers can help make things easier. DrawerDecor from KMN Home is one cool way to provide that organization, with a silicone mat (which can be trimmed to fit) and repositionable pieces. It's easy to install and easy to clean—and it makes it extremely easy to find things. It can be configured as needed by each end user. However, not everyone has enough drawer space for this approach.The Dream Drawer Organizers from Dial are spring-loaded, so they're easy to install—no tools required. They come in two sizes to accommodate different drawer sizes. These organizers subdivided the drawers while still allowing a group of kitchen tools, for example, to overlap.One concern: A number of purchasers have complained that while the taller-but-shorter dividers are supposed to expand from 12 inches to 18 inches, they didn't actually compress to 12 inches, and therefore didn't fit into some shorter drawers. The expandable drawer organizers from Axis are also spring-loaded. One added feature are the notches which allow for horizontal pieces to be added to subdivide the rows into smaller sections—a nice option. However, purchasers noted these dividers, like the Dream Drawer Organizers, didn't fit drawers on the shorter side of the given range. And one purchaser had a drawer destroyed when the compressed spring let loose.The OXO drawer dividers come in two sizes; they provide the same ease of installation as the spring-loaded drawers, but use a different mechanism. The end user pushes down on a button to expand the organizer to fit the drawer. However, a minority of purchasers have reported problems with the dividers staying in place. The slotted interlocking drawer dividers from Sorbus are also easy to install and configurable to the end user's needs. Each set has three strips that snap apart without the need for any tools. Using these dividers will require the end user to do some pre-planning and measuring, though, to get the configuration right before snapping the strips into pieces. That may sound trivial, but for some end users it will be a challenge.The custom drawer organizer strips are another fully-configurable design. As The Container Store says, "You just measure, score, and snap dividers to the length you need; then slide them into the self-adhesive mounts in whatever configuration you want." However, some purchasers found the "score and snap" part to be somewhat difficult. The honeycomb drawer organizer from Whitmor is intended for small things such as socks and underwear. The pieces just snap together; purchasers agree the installation is simple. But they also note the sections are pretty small, and work better for a child's items than for those of an adult man. (Any organizer like this, with set compartment sizes, can't possibly work for everyone.)Some organizers are designed specifically for tall kitchen drawers. The Tra-Sta Deep Drawer Kit from Omega National includes three prefinished maple dividers and six predrilled mounting rails. They can be trimmed to fit various drawer depths, but the height is not intended to be altered. (Trimming the bottom would remove the finish from the edge and void the warranty.)The deep drawer inserts and the kitchenware and plate organizers from Häfele use a base plate and posts. This seems like an effective way to store plates in a drawer, but no one I've worked with would care about organizing pans that way, especially since it would seem to reduce the number of pans that could fit in the drawer.The Hettich Orgastore 100 kitchen drawer storage set, designed specifically for Innotech drawer systems, uses yet another configurable approach: a rail system with dividers.Some drawer organizers are designed to meet a very specific need. That's the case with the diagonal cooking utensil divider from Diamond Cabinets, which gives the end user space for large utensils that might not fit in a drawer with standard dividers.

Design Job: Yarn-ing for a new job? Join Warrior Sports as their next Knit Technician in Warren, MI

Seeking an experienced knitwear technician with programming and hands on knowledge on flat knitting machines. High level of competency in fully-fashioned programming and knitwear machines is required. Ideal candidates can manage large and complex 3D knit development projects. Extensive knowledge of yarn selection, gauges, stitch techniques, patterns and layouts required.View the full design job here

How a Traditional Korean Inlaid Lacquer Box is Made

For those of us who are beginner or even intermediate level woodworkers, making a delicate box with a perfect finish is hard enough. Imagine that you get all of that done, and then the real work starts.If you've ever been to Korea, you may have seen some of these lacquered boxes inlaid with what looks like pearl or shells:In fact they're shells, and while a purist might say the techniques used to get them in there aren't proper inlay, well, watch this guy (master craftsman Lee Kwang-Woong) make one and see if you'd find it any less difficult:"I was about to ask how much one of these boxes go for," writes one commenter on the YouTube page, "but then I saw it takes one year to make one of them so I think I'm better off not knowing."

Slow/d: “The First Distributed Design Factory”

At first glance, this design for a stacking chair called the RJR might not seem like much:It's simple, clean, consists entirely of 90-degree cuts and looks like anyone could make one. But that's actually the point. That's because Italy-based industrial designer Mario Alessiani designed it for Slow/d, an Italian outfit that bills themselves as "the first distributed design factory." What Slow/d is shooting to be is, in essence, a production company with no warehouses, no inventory and no fabricating facility of their own; instead individual craftspeople and artisans scattered throughout Italy are their production arm.Under Slow/d's scheme, designers submit their designs to the Slow/d site for approval. Consumers peruse the chosen designs, and when they purchase one, an artisan local to the consumer that's been pre-approved by Slow/d is then tasked with building and delivering the piece. "In this way," explains Alessiani's entry to the VModern Furniture Design Competition, "everyone works and we have less transportation and pollution."The aim of the designer was to make a wooden chair that can be [built] by the most number of carpenters in order to make the net of artisans capable of doing it as big as possible. The idea was to create a design that could be done with base carpentry tools but with something more that makes the chair recognizable and functional.Thus far Slow/d claims to have some 1,300 designers and artisans signed up, but I could only find 20 products currently for sale on their site. Some examples of the furniture currently being sold are Nicola Dalla Casta's Woodrope, a flatpack stool with structural stability being provided by rope in tension:FareDesign's similarly flatpack Join coatrack:Mess+Simoni's Cullatonda cradle:All of the designs feature straightforward construction similar to Alessiani's. While design snobs might sniff at what they perceive to be "idiot-proof" construction designed to attract producers of varying talents, I think the idea of distributed manufacturing has merit, and the long-term environmental benefits, if such a thing were to work, are undeniable.Less clear are some of the details of the precise payouts offered. First off, the site states that designers score a 10% royalty on each piece sold—if that percentage sounds low to you, it's still far higher than what you'd get from an established furniture brand—and the initial fabricator who helps them prototype that design gets a 5% royalty. Those numbers seem fine to me, and is a particularly good way for a fabricator to continuously earn a little coin after a one-time job.Where it gets murky, at least for me trying to puzzle through the badly-translated English description, is that once a particular design's "manufacturing license" is sold to the fabricator who will ultimately build the exact version going to a consumer, the designer gets 65%; is that a one-time fee, and who determines the price of the license? Furthermore, that last-mile fabricator is said to receive only 5%. The website is not clear on whether the fabricators are also paid for the actual materials and labor, but I imagine they'd have to be; otherwise the payout in building a €280.60 (US $305) RJR chair only amount to €14 (US $15.25) per unit for the last-mile fabricator, which hardly seems worthwhile for what is likely several hours of labor.In any case, here is Slow/d's pitch, and I hope they can hire a proper translator in the future to make the financials a bit more clear: Slowd connects designers and artisans to redraw the furniture supply chain from Andrea Cattabriga on Vimeo.

Reader Submitted: ‘Painful’ Chair: An Original Approach to Traditional Woodworking

A handmade wooden chair not only demonstrates the beauty of the wood, but through stylistic choices also reveals the cultural influences and elements behind it. "Painful" doesn't mean that you feel painful when sitting in this chair. Instead, "painful" refers to the material language of this traditional "Ming" chair—the inspiration behind the chair, Chinese acupuncture, is translated into the form through the 800 hammered wood nails that make up the seat of the furniture piece.View the full project here