Art, process and design blog of an aspiring industrial designer.

Posts tagged ‘Industrial design’

Stop Motion Industrial Design Love

I saw this creative, cute video on linkedin this morning, posted by the CEO at IDEO, Tim Brown. So creative wonderful and personal because it shows how much the designer, Elger Oberwelz, really loved what he designed. And isn’t that all any of us ever really want? A project we love so much that we make a stop-motion movie about it in our free time? :)

Link Round Up

Images: LAPDESK //  Eiko Ishioka work here, here, here // awesome people hanging out together (Louis Armstrong and Niels Bohr, Copenhagen, 1959).

1. Inspired by this post at plentyofcolor, I remembered how much I actually love really arty, well-done music videos (example: Violet Hill by Coldplay. Stops me dead every time.)  Example 2: Try by Pink.  I was really pleasantly surprised at how much I think she pushed herself in this, and it was just so gorgeous to watch the dance and the colors.  Indeed, as plentyofcolor says, such a powerful use of color.

2. Found via Swissmiss, I actually really love this Vool wooden laptop stand.  It is the only ‘lap-bed’ thing I have not thought was mostly useless! (if only because it would make such a beautiful cookbook holder if I never actually used it in bed… )

3. Eiko Ishioka : graphic designer turned costume artist.  If that alone doesn’t intrigue you, then her work should, cause its freakin amazing and outta site.  You can kinda see her background filter into her costume design in the way that each piece is SO well balanced and organized, and definitely has a graphic almost pop-arty aspect to it.  To me its only really the silhouette, structure and the fine detail that makes it feel of-the-period; the actual designs seem so modern to me. Also how well does she use texture and layering?!

4.  James Lipton’s Inside the Actor’s Studio with Will Smith here. So fascinating. (Also, who doesn’t love Inside the Actor’s Studio? Dumb people who hate movies. …. Also, anyone that gets creeped out by all those personal questions, I guess….)

5. Photos of awesome people hanging out together :) here. (Example, Louis Armstrong and Niels Bohr!)

tape,symbiosis,glid,-jan-6Images: GLIF // Wes Naman SCOTCH TAPE // WALID AZIZ.

6. The glif.  Started on Kickstarter, and an indie-manufactured design, the glif is a tripod Mount & Stand For iPhone 4/4S and 5.  Looks so awesome and has gotten such good reviews.  Especially with this shift in photography from huge DSLR to iphone, this looks like a good buy.  Buy it here.

7. Absolutely, simple amazement in a dance. Choreographed and danced by Matt Luck and Emma Portner. Music by Ben Howard and Yael Naim.  So personal and subtle, so relatable and I love the style of the choreography. The way he does the ‘carving you up alright’, and the way she does everything (especially the start), and the tenderness in the dance is awesome.  The music choice is so good, too. I just feel like a dance like this could not exist in any other time; as cliche as it sounds, it just feels very 2012 to me. here

8. “New Mexico-based photographer Wes Naman has created Scotch Tape, an ongoing portrait series of people’s faces contorted by invisible tape. Jakob Schiller recently featured the series on Wired Raw File where he spoke to Naman about the inspiration behind the project.”  Really inspired by this series. here

9. Watch these amazing bio-chem looking animations by the artist and medical illustrator, Walid Aziz.  Here‘s Symbiosis. (Hat tip to my friend Bobby for showing me his work!)

Happy Holiday Season


Hey Friends!

So, I will be back to posting regular again very soon, but I’ve been thinking about things, and I’ve decided that I’d like to reorganize the blog a bit. I still want to take you all through the process of my transition to industrial design student, but I’d like to make the blog a little more focused SO, I’ve decided to have some regular columns that I will promise to never, ever miss!

1) Once a month I will show you guys some photos and dets about all the projects I’ve been working on.
2) I will also do my link round-up once a month (I, like everyone, just see so much amazing stuff over the internet, I can’t not share it. By the way, if you are not already, follow me on pinterest, Foo’.).
3) AND once a month I’ve decided I’d like to do a post on an field/topic that I’d like to consider and explore in design, and maybe write a bit about it, or how it might be applied to certain project. I kinda really like this idea, and want to take this chance to explore those subtle feelings that everyone has, positive and negative, because I think it will give a opportunity for self-expression and reflection and maybe noticing the little, interesting stories and bits that are not talked about too much.

Get excited!


ID: Cool Cubicles

So, (forgive me for mentioning it) back-to-school is looming!, and this will be my last back-to-school for my undergrad! (Therefore, in my mind, it will be my last back-to-school… ever!)  I am excited and stressing and nervous and cravin it.  The only thing is, I have a big exam coming up right before school, which effectively taints a lot of the good back-to-school stuff (e.g. it ruins ‘fresh bouquets of pencils’, getting to wear fall jackets for the first time, meeting up with friends you haven’t seen all summer!, settling into a new version of home once more, making and getting to eat soup, all things pumpkin-related, etc…)

Anyway, with studying on the brain, for the ID post this week, I thought I’d show you guys some desk enclosures, cool cubicles and study spaces.

Rewrite by Gam Fratesi here // Flatmate here // Secret ‘AIR by ObjetB Art here // OSTRICH pocket pillow for nap, 2011 by Kawamura Ganjavian here // “Woven”, function and private desk area by here

And two more, because I couldn’t leave them out..

Office Collar by Simone Brewster here // Green DESKSHELL by Kawamura Ganjavian here


Figure Sculpture

If you are trying to improve your drawing, one really great way to do so is to try your hand at figure drawing and figure sculpture.  I am doing both right now, and they are helping IMMENSELY!

A lot of people ask me what life drawing has to do with Industrial Design, and what I always say is: If you can draw the body, the most complex, dynamic thing ever, you can draw virtually anything.

In my life drawing class we learn different techniques of drawing and life drawing every class.  For example, we’ve done classes where we only draw by edges (contour), by volumes and masses, by scale and alignment, by gesture, by shadow and light, by 3-dimensionality, etc…  All of the ‘greats’ did figure drawing as well, and its really interesting to see their charcoal work and how their approaches were similar or different from their famous works.

Example 1: Georges Seurat

Seurat is very famous for his use of pointillism and  this painting, which you might recognize:
“A Sunday On La Grande Jatte”, 1884. here.

In these drawings he likely used soft charcoal on very rough paper. Although he doesn’t actually do pointillism here, his rough paper makes it appear as though he’s using a sort of pointillism.

Also, you can see how he uses light and shadow very effectively to create 3-dimensionality, but I would guess that he is not as concerned with realism or accuracy in his life drawings. This actually makes perfect sense with the rest of the image (the background, a prop) not being fixed in space, and being fairly undefined and unstable.. It is more of a question and a allegory to the background, than an actual drawing of the background itself, just like the details of the face are more general indications, with an emphasis of how the figure is formed out of the background.
Boy with hat here // Nude model here // Cat here // Crying woman reading here

-> Note: If you are lucky enough to find an entire book on the sketches or drawings of such-and-such artist, they are usually going to better than anything you find on the internet.  If you need some inspiration or guidance and don’t have anyone to ask, refer to these books in a library or in the library of a nearby art school… It really helps you improve when you know you have a long way to go to get to their level.

Example 2: Auguste Rodin

“The Thinker”, found here.

Rodin is most famous for his figure sculpture work, including the very famous “The Thinker”, but here we can see his relation to figure drawing.

As opposed to Seurat, Rodin was much more focused on edges and contour.  Almost all of his figure drawings are based on a thin wire-like edge around his figures, with cross-hatching shading applied on top.  This gives a clearer, more detailed image, but a more 2-dimensional effect.
Man curled on floor here // Minerva with watercolors here // woman and man here // seated female life drawing here

Seriously, applying these different techniques will really help your drawings.  Try them out on people on the bus or at a coffee shop, and you’ll see how much they actually help you see differently.


So James Dyson is a person with whom I feel is THE COOLEST. (NOTE: He is British so he also probs writes/talks with more right grammer. And spelling.)  He is on my list of top favorite people.  And I know that by saying that ‘out-loud’ that decreases the probablity that I will ever work for him (never let them know you are a fan! Because if you are a fan, you are not their equal!), but it is the truth, AND he probably has people to read my blog for him.  Since he is really busy, his secretary summarizes my blog posts, so he’s always up to date.  He does look at all my pictures though…

OKAY! back to serious talk. His commercials, oh his commercials.  As a future industrial designer and almost-engineering graduate, it makes me emotional when he says, “I just want things to work properly.”  James, that is all I have ever really wanted.  I just want things to work properly.  His company-approach and values.  How his business began -with strife, with people that stole his idea, and then with lots of patents.  The engineering of his products – there is metal inside those vacuums and lots of centrifugal force.  How he gives back to students (he has a school now!).  The fact that his products all are designed around use and purpose and engineering, and goes outwards towards industrial design – the way design should be done, in my opinion.  The fact that after his initial success, he continued to PUSH BOUNDARIES, research, try new things, make interesting, risky, products – his fans? Come on. Awesome. All of his other types of vacuums, new and different and cool and I want them.  And last but not least, his industrial design and color choice.  Sporty and mech-y, but never cheesy. Dude knows how to work, and how to hire good people, clearly.

To me, Dyson is the Apple of home-wares.  Doing business and making their product their way, and still being financially successful at the end of the day.  Anyway, if you are into ID check out James Dyson, I guarantee you wont be disappointed.  Read some stuff about him, watch some youtube videos, and love him as a role model as much as I do.

DC23 Motorhead vaccum. here and here.
The Dyson Airblade, hand dryer here and here.
The DC30, handheld vacuum. here and here.
Dyson Air Multiplier fans. here and here.
DC29 Multi Floor vacuum. here and here.

And if you have some time, check out some of these videos. Ahhhhh… “Solve the obvious problems.”  Duh, but so necessary to say.

Artist/Designer Round Up: Dieter Rams!

Dieter Rams (born May 20, 1932 in Wiesbaden, Hessen) is a German industrial designer closely associated with the consumer products company Braun and the Functionalist school of industrial design.”  Rams is largely considered one of the most influencial industrial designers of the 20th century.

Braun TS 45, TG 60, L 450 (Germany, 1964/1965)

He most well-know for his work while he was the head of design at Braun (from 1961 to 1995), during the company’s most successful period, and also, for his design systems approach. “Together with his design team, he was responsible for many of the seminal domestic electrical products – and some furniture – of the 20th century.”(here) During his time at Braun, Dieter Rams created the ‘Ten Principles of “Good Design” ‘ which has greatly influenced the education and approach to the design process.

Deutsch: Steuergerät (Receiver) Braun regie 51...

Deutsch: Steuergerät (Receiver) Braun regie 510 von 1972, Design: Dieter Rams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At the time when Rams was first appointed as head of design at Braun, a new movement in design was changing the way the modern physical world was built and being perceived. This was driven strongly by the Bauhaus School popularity and the many famous architects that were promoting this new idea of minimalism.

Instead of copying this approach, Dieter Rams took it one step further. In the past, electronics were made with wood casings and were often made to look like old, classically made, honest furniture out of natural materials (wood, wood-looking plastics, etc.). Even throughout Mies Van Der Rohe’s famous minimalistic work, simplistic, minimal spaces were enriched with heavy, lush, elaborate natural materials.

Rams moved forward to make machines look like machines. Using new and industrial materials, like plexiglass and metals, he used a similar minimalistic approach to Mies Van Der Rohe or Adolf Loos, but without rich and deceiving heavy materials. His work embraced new technology, instead of hiding it. Instead of following Mies’, “Less is more”, Rams’ said, “Less, but better.”  Rams’ design approach and ‘Ten Commandments’ were so strong that he was able to apply them to almost every household product that he designed while at Braun.

This can be seen in one of his most famous works below:

Dieter Rams put in the clear cover. So simple and obvious, but so new for the time and totally brilliant.

When he first began working at Braun, the company was undergoing a total company re-design, and this new approach fit in exactly with Dieter Rams’ uncompromising approach. After a very successful first exhibition of Braun’s new radio designs, Dieter Rams’ beliefs were confirmed that good design would help a company sell products.  Because a good design, would already be marketable.

Stylus Force Gauge – Design Dieter Rams – 1962

Stylus Force Gauge – Design Dieter Rams – 1962 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rams’s Ten Principles of “Good Design”

Good Design Is Innovative— The possibilities for innovation are not, by any means, exhausted. Technological development is always offering new opportunities for innovative design. But innovative design always develops in tandem with innovative technology, and can never be an end in itself.

Good Design Makes a Product Useful—A product is bought to be used. It has to satisfy certain criteria, not only functional but also psychological and aesthetic. Good design emphasizes the usefulness of a product while disregarding anything that could possibly detract from it.

Good Design Is Aesthetic—The aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products are used every day and have an effect on people and their well-being. Only well-executed objects can be beautiful.

Good Design Makes A Product Understandable—It clarifies the product’s structure. Better still, it can make the product clearly express its function by making use of the user’s intuition. At best, it is self-explanatory.

Good Design Is Unobtrusive— Products fulfilling a purpose are like tools. They are neither decorative objects nor works of art. Their design should therefore be both neutral and restrained, to leave room for the user’s self-expression.

Good Design Is Honest— It does not make a product more innovative, powerful or valuable than it really is. It does not attempt to manipulate the consumer with promises that cannot be kept

Good Design Is Long-lasting— It avoids being fashionable and therefore never appears antiquated. Unlike fashionable design, it lasts many years – even in today’s throwaway society.

Good Design Is Thorough Down to the Last Detail— Nothing must be arbitrary or left to chance. Care and accuracy in the design process show respect towards the consumer.

Good Design Is Environmentally Friendly— Design makes an important contribution to the preservation of the environment. It conserves resources and minimises physical and visual pollution throughout the lifecycle of the product.

Good Design Is as Little Design as Possible— Less, but better – because it concentrates on the essential aspects, and the products are not burdened with non-essentials. Back to purity, back to simplicity.

(Taken from here.)

I cannot think of anything more true, or more self-supporting or self-encompassing, about product design. (Or really, about any sort of design-type thing.)  These intentions, I think, are the things that make the entire difference between a good and bad designer. It is this simple.
(………And, of course, is not really simple at all… But, it is kinda this simple.)

This is the design bible!  If ever stuck, read these again, and ALLOW yourself to get out of your design rut!  Let these help you edit, but also let these ‘commandments’ help to dictate your solution.  Constraints or limitations in projects are often SO helpful.  So when you are at a loss, give yourself limitations, or let these be your limitations.  It can give a new sense of freedom.

His approach to design still is used and seen in so many different media:

– a weather iPhone app built based on Dieter Rams’ 10 Principles. (

-SFMOMA (that is, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) did an film series called INSPIRED BY DIETER RAMS on pieces of design, art and industry that were immediately, significantly effected by Dieter Rams. SFMOMA also currently have an exhibit called LESS AND MORE which includes more than 200 models and objects by Rams and his team, as well as contemporary designs influenced by his Ten Principles of Good Design, such as Apple computers.

-All the products on this great pinterest board.

-“The Braun Digital Watch BN0076 is based on the original DW30 that was designed by Dieter Rams and Dietrich Lubs in 1978. Only 3000 units of the DW30 were ever produced and this design hasn’t been available in 30 years. The BN0076 features a stainless steel face, black leather band, and a 12/24 hour digital LCD with light.” (

Fabulous interview:

For more info, check out these sources: here, here, here.
Look into these awesome Dieter Rams flickr sites!: here, .

(Click on all images to go to their original webpages.)

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