Sunday, October 31, 2010

Confluences by Philippe Nigro

furniture manufacturers Ligne Roset presented a collection of seating by designer Philippe Negro at IMM Cologne this week.

Each piece of CONFLUENCES seating unites varying seat heights and seat depths and offers new, entirely unstructured forms in the service of a great variety of sitting positions and personalisation of comfort, supported by a well-considered combination of varying densities of foam. The personalisation is so extensive that the left and right-hand versions of the 3-seater with lounge seat are not exactly symmetrical.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This Is An Idea I Had Long Before These Guys

...but one I've never got around to actually execute. Unless we count the time I haphazardly taped a moderately new camera to one of my moderately new remote control cars for footage. (I take better care of my stuff now.) However, my little contraption was birthed from one of those "wouldn't it be great if" inspirational moments when I couldn't figure out my left and rights; basically, when the car's coming back at you, turn right to go left! I still, for whatever reason, cannot stomach that little fact. Having a camera mounted device would be great! And having it mounted to a helmet display would totally be the bee's knees!

Fast forward to a few months ago and lo, this guy has gone ahead and built a whole track and tackled the wiring connection hell puzzle that would make any 15-year-old boy and me squeal with delight nod heads in approval. Why yes, I do want to shake this guy's hand. And play his game.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Global Rare Earth Elements Shortage

While it could pose a temporary dip in the quantities of electronics being sold/manufactured, you can bet the big electronics manufacturers aren't going to sit on their hands and hope that China opens up more mines to sustain the global electronics market. I've got a feeling that this could very well spur some new development in an area that dramatically affects sustainability: PCBs (printed circuit boards). In a typical electronic product, 95% of its environmental impact is a result of its PCB and various electronic components (all of which are made using toxic rare earth elements). This leaves a sad 5% for the housing, the area in which most 'green' products focus on.

If global supplies of these crucial materials are dwindling, it will demand new research into alternate (hopefully greener) technologies to drive the ever-growing electronics market.

Here's to hoping!

Edward Burtynsky: Deepwater Blues

Ana Kras, young designer

young aesthetic craft.
"Ana Kras bringing warmth and craft into your home"

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Connecting Products, Youtube Research, Justin Bieber

I was at a design company today sitting in on a brainstorm session their design and engineering team was having. Weirdly enough it's the first time the company has done anything like it in ten years. Twenty people sitting around a table sharing their ideas. Some good, some awful. It felt exactly like our classes. Some people had sketches, some power point, some nothing more than a verbal explanation. The one thing I noticed was that everyone was not only very receptive to every idea ( even though some were clearly not great ) they were also quick to jump on a twist or improvement to make the product better or different. If an idea sucked, they would tease the person, but then analyze the strengths that made the person think it had some merit in the first place - trying to relay those strengths in to a different product line or idea. Then the chief designer made an observation and request: he wanted his designers to start drawing out products, using language or pictures, side by side, and have them try to find links to connect completely opposing or different genres or product lines to try to come up with new niche ideas. The following is a link to something sent out by one of them after the meeting. It's a couple of guys who decided to make the old video game Tron in to a real life scenario using bikes. Make a computer game real. New game? Why not? Another interesting thing was that they all seemed to research new technologies and ideas using Youtube. Everyone had a Youtube link to support their research and express or explain an idea.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


A short article about Apple including letterpress in it's iPhoto software, and how to combine current technology to the old school ways of the letterpress - a subtle art form that is hard to mimic.

Da Vinci's Dream Comes True!

U of T students worked on this.

Human powered flight. For real, people.

Click the image for the video, and here for the article.

Tri Sled

Video of the Tri Sled recumbent style bicycle/vehicle. Looks very dangerous but fun.

Joining a Facebook Group is Not Activism

This article argues that the practice of "Clicktivism", or just signing internet petitions actually hinders positive political change because it takes support away from organizations that actually, you know, work to improve the world instead of just blogging about it and making angry comments in online groups.

An interesting read after the all the anti-Ford groups started prior to the Toronto election.

Amazing design store in the Junction (great blog too!)

Mjolk carries mostly Scandinavian and Japanese designs for your home. I visited this store for the first time today and I was inspired and blown away by the clean simplicity. Although the aesthetic is very Nordic all of the wood makes it feel somehow Canadian. They spritz the huge cedar feature wall regularly to keep it fragrant!

Designs that I think is cool

New mobility device for parapalegics

Originally developed for soldiers to be able to carry large loads for long distances, this mobility device is now being developed for residential use to replace wheelchairs.

You can view the video here.


Pictures of kids and where they sleep

Is Power Point Dead?
by sabine7 / October 27, 2010

Made of resin and fibreglass, Ukiyo-e is a hanging garden that allows a greater emphasis to be placed on the plants that grow at eye level.


Designed by Florent Coirier, Grégory Marion and Laurianne Lopez for Vertilignes, Ukiyo-e makes use of vertisol. This special soil developed by Vertilab is a mixture of an organic and a non-organic component to enhance the plant's time span. This soil allows the time between watering to be longer than usual.


In Japanese, ukiyo-e has three meanings:
Images of the floating world
Images of the world which passes
Images of the unstable world

These allusions to enigma are embodied by the planter, whose suspension offers a new perspective on indoor gardening.


Raising the garden to a new height adds both mystery and respect to the aesthetics and satisfaction provided by this patch of green.



Good idea for a herb garden.....


This is the fridge of a close friend of mine who has yet to learn how to grocery shop and prepare food. He's 30 so that's pathetic. A proper dinner to him consists of Cornflake end-of-the-bag dust and a hot dog he cooks rotisserie style in his toaster. It came to our attention one night after bong loads and video games that he has an egg broken in the back of his fridge. As I'm sure you can imagine, his disability to cook for himself also reflects in his inability to clean. The kind of guy who sits on his own dried up piss and whenever he has a girl come over begs for me to come up and clean his place - I always refuse.

Anyways, we noticed the egg, had a good laugh, closed the fridge and carried on. Every time I visited for the next month, I would check on the egg. He never opens his fridge so it didn't matter much to him. To my surprise the egg never got moldy, smelly, or rotten. It just sat discretely at the back of the fridge day after day, night after night. One day (about a month later) I decided that this needed to be documented. I brought up my camera and to my surprise it was all worth while. The pictures spoke to a different beauty that was not only aesthetically wonderful and rich with color but defied our previous assumptions about what a broken egg in a fridge for a month would come out looking like. Needless to say, the egg is gone. But the photo speaks for itself....

Monday, October 25, 2010


Welcome to the 2010 version of the OCAD U, Conceptual Tools & Techniques Blog. This will be a place for sharing ideas, research and interesting finds while searching for the end of the internet. Have fun with it, post often, comment and please...if anyone would like to take on a bit of a re-design let me know.

It is a living document. We can certainly change it up...and should.