The Design blog

The Design blog


Quad is one of the most planet friendly of all Fisher Price Friends interactive toys

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 04:27 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Developed for the Fisher-Price Friends range of toddler friendly toys, the Quad is an interactive humanoid toy by designer Endrit Hajno. The toy's design explores the possibilities of making children's toys more sustainable and planet friendly. The Quad comes with an innovative solar and wind charger that can power the toy using nothing but natural air and sunlight.

Quad an interactive solar toy
Quad an interactive solar toy

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Quad an interactive solar toy
Quad is an interactive toy that uses solar and wind energy to sustain its life level.

With suction cups on its hands and feet, Quad can be attached to a window glass to expose the solar panel installed in its tummy to sunlight and charge the toy. The interactive toy comes with a friendly face and human-like features that make it easier for children to develop a bond with it. A modern day version of Raggedly Andy or Raggedly Anne dolls, the toy comes with built-in Bluetooth that lets tech oriented kids post their "scores" on social networking games and share with friends.

The toy also teaches kids how to take care of their toys by providing them with statistics on life level, wind points, solar points and general information about its health condition and the data can be accessed via Bluetooth and shared online. This makes the toy more contemporary and attractive for kids who can invent all kinds of games and stories around the doll-like toy and helps toy manufacturers promote sustainable charging solutions for toys that run on batteries.

Source: Endrit Hajno


Otter personal disaster pack prepares you for life after a flood

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 03:47 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

When a flash flood strikes, one hardly has the time to pack up and carry essential documents like ID cards, banking cards or passports in a regular bag, which would be essential for them after they survive the emergency. However, the Otter personal disaster pack by designer Benson Lee comes with built-in sealed pockets that can be used to quickly pack up a few essential documents when an emergency occurs.

Otter - Personal Disaster Pack
Otter - Personal Disaster Pack

With a built-in deployable life jacket, the Otter personal disaster pack allows users to survive severe flooding with the two built-in quick sealing storage pockets providing users with a safe and dry space in which they can carry their identification cards, baking documents or even cellphones etc. Since most of these documents are essential in starting life over after the disaster has been safely escaped, they can provide survivors with moral support when they need to rebuild their lives.

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Otter - Personal Disaster Pack
Otter - Personal Disaster Pack by Benson Lee

The Otter personal disaster pack is made up of three main components with the first being a pouch which contains an inflatable life vest that can be inflated using potassium nitrate and sodium azide. The second component is a frame that allows users to mount different bags or storage devices onto the pack via nylon straps. The third component is a dual compartment dry bag that facilitates quick storage of important personal belongings and features a polycarbonate protective shell that protects against sharp debris. Each of the three components can be inflated to keep the user afloat in case of a flood.

The Otter Personal Disaster Pack is inspired by the backward swimming sea otter and the inflatable safety jacket allows users to preserve their energy while they float in the water. The pack is devised to ensure that the victim's head stays above the water at all times. The pack also enables clustering of many packs together that helps people form mini groups in the water to prevent them from drifting away individually and makes it easier for rescuers and emergency personnel to spot and rescue them easily.

[Cheers Benson]


myBrother all in one device to scan, copy and print data anywhere, anytime

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 03:40 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

The Brother iPrint&Scan app made scanning and printing images and documents from the iPad, iPod and iPhone a breeze and the myBrother Portable All-in-One scanner, copier and printer looks to further enhance the productivity of the handy app. Using data acquired from the Brother App, the myBrother Portable All-in-One would be able to print out/copy/scan hard copies of images and documents.

myBrother portable All-in-one
myBrother portable All-in-one

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myBrother portable All-in-one
myBrother portable All-in-one by joao goncalves

The myBrother Portable All-in-One device is mainly targeted at traveling tradesmen or professionals who need to print copy or scan hard copies on the go. The device thus serves as a handy and portable accessory to the iPad, the iPod touch or even smartphones which can offer users the same level of functionality as a bulky desktop gadget. Using default settings, the pre-configured myBrother Portable All-in-One can be sued to access the data stored on your laptop or smartphone via Bluetooth or USB and scan, copy or print chosen data using the Brother app.

The myBrother Portable All-in-One device uses thermal printing and a specially manufactured fine thermal paper with a chemical coating that acquires a different color when exposed to heat. This liberates the user from the hassles of buying and changing the device's toners. Since each sheet of the thermal paper costs less than €0.10($0.1322), users are able to save money and contribute a little towards making routine scanning, printing and copying a lot more planet friendly also.

Source: Joao Goncalves


Kuaray Solar Charger and Case makes charging easier on the go

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 02:43 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

One of the finalists at the 2008 edition of the “Feel the Planet Earth” Cifial Design Contest, the Kuaray Solar Charger and Case by designer Ruben Freire is created to serve as a sustainable and portable charger for portable devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones. The portable charger can be attached to the outer surface of portable devices and can even be stretched out over a glass window to capture and harvest maximum sunlight.

Kuaray Solar charger and case
Kuaray Solar charger and case

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Kuaray Solar charger and case
Kuaray Solar charger and case for portable electronic devices by Ruben Freire

The basic elements in the design of the Kuaray Solar Charger and Case for Portable Electronic Devices are a PowerPlastic PV panel developed by Konarka, an efficient Li-Ion battery and a lightweight aluminum structure that allow the charger to capture maximum sunlight and harness energy from natural light even when the device isn't directly exposed to the sun. The Kuaray Solar Charger and Case for Portable Electronic Devices is compatible with a range of devices which makes it the ideal portable solar charger for all kinds of gadgets that one may need to keep powered on the go.

What really makes the Kuaray Solar Charger and Case for Portable Electronic Devices different from other similar portable solar chargers in the market is the fact that its design uses non-traditional materials like corn, wasted soda cans and organic particles that makes it more sustainable to manufacture and replace.


Rinspeed reinvents Smart Fortwo ED with two extra wheels and a cargo hauler

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 02:40 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Swiss tuner Rinspeed is renowned for churning out automobile concepts that can best be described as eccentric or outlandish. However, this time they seem to have come upon an idea that can actually be pretty neat if it can indeed by be turned into a real life vehicle. The Smart Fortwo ED-based mod is dubbed the Dock+Go and reimagines the existing EV with two extra wheels and a covered cargo hauler at its back.

Rinspeed Dock+Go
Rinspeed Dock+Go

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Rinspeed Dock+Go
Rinspeed Dock+Go provides bolt-on solutions for small electric cars

The perfect combination of a city EV and a mini delivery van, the extra space that the Dock+Go carries at the back can be used to install a hot box for food deliveries, an ice box for delivering groceries or other perishables or even housing a pair of extra speakers when the owner of the meek looking two-seat electric car wants to "live it up" by throwing an impromptu rave or organizing a flash mob.

With an extra axle added to its hind quarters, the hind hump on the Dock+Go can also be used to house an extra battery cell to give the mini EV additional range should you want to take it out for a trip in the great outdoors. On the inside, the Dock+Go comes with a few cabin upgrades as well including a smartphone dock built into the steering wheel, gesture control and Aha radio enabled Harman infotainment system and a massive 12.1-inch display built into the dash.

Via: Engadget


Willow RuN A Bout makes a case for wooden urban vehicles

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 02:35 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

Created for the bicycle friendly traffic of the city of Amsterdam, the electricity powered Willow RuN-A-Bout Concept by designer Eric Strebel is a zero emission vehicle that can seat two passengers. The frame of the vehicle is fashioned from reclaimed metal and laminated wood is used to fashion the body. The baskets at the front and rear of the vehicle are weaved using local flexible manufacturing and made from locally sourced European willow.

Willow RuN-A-BouT
Willow RuN-A-BouT

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Willow RuN-A-BouT
Willow RuN-A-BouT by Eric Strebel

The hubless front wheel of the Willow RuN-A-Bout features dual electric motors while the rear of the vehicle features a simple independent suspension. The entire structure of the innovative vehicle is made using recycled materials like laminated wood and metal with recycled plastic being used to make the airless tires.

The three wheeled vehicle however, comes completely 21st century ready with a clever iPhone integration allowing drivers to navigate the streets via smartphones while an iPhone app can be downloaded to keep an eye on the vehicle's battery status. The lamination on the body provides adequate protection to passengers against the elements of nature while high intensity LED lamps provide ample illumination for the vehicle at night. The cabin of the Willow RuN-A-Bout too is completely customizable and users can choose any color or material to create their own bespoke interiors for the vehicle.

Via: The Forge


Swingo Walking Aid offers a spare leg during injury

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 02:32 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

For anyone with a temporary leg injury below the knee, walking around with a brace and a cast can be the most challenging task. Such patients are asked not to put any stress on the lower leg, though their knees and thighs are perfectly capable of supporting their body weight. In such cases, an innovative handsfree walking aid like Swingo can help patients walk and keep the thigh and hip muscles from the injured leg in shape.

SWINGO Walking Aid
SWINGO Walking Aid

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SWINGO Walking Aid
SWINGO Walking Aid by Yonathan Halim

Created by designer Yonathan Halim, the Swingo Walking Aid can be attached to the mid thigh and knee of the patient. This would allow them to eliminate the possibility of putting any of their body weight on the injured ankle, shin, toe or foot while allowing them the freedom to use the prosthetic in the same manner as they would use their uninjured limb.

The Swingo Walking Aid helps patients walk more naturally and helps them maintain the muscle tone of thigh and the hips of the injured leg which tend to lose strength when they aren't exercised through the duration of the recovery process. The use of Swingo Walking Aid also helps maintain the blood circulation through the entire leg which also boosts recovery of the injured areas.

Adjustable in size and height, the Swingo Walking Aid is fitted with shock absorbers and a curved base that mimics the natural movement of the leg and feet and helps users "walk" in the correct posture while their injury heals. The prosthetic can also be easily folded to facilitate easy storage during travel.


Oil Silo Home: Recycling bleak oil refineries into self sustaining housing

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 02:27 AM PST

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

The concept Oil Silos are used to store compressed LPG, which is fully pressurized and water resistant. But, what happens to all those oil silos, once the world runs out of oil? Fret no more, as these can be used for housing purposes. PinkCloud.DK has come up with the Oil Silo Home, which is not only sustainable but also 100 percent self supporting. The structure is not only a great example of reusing existing designs, but is very stable and is easy to assemble/disassemble. It will further reduce the carbon footprint and is a great way of giving a recycled status to silos that have been abandoned. Oil consumption is at an all time high and this is because of the rise in population. The increase in population also means the need of more housing units and recycling oil silos will definitely contribute towards it.

Oil Silo Home
Oil Silo Home

The Inspiration

The inspiration comes from the fact that once the oil level comes to an all time low, almost 49,000 silos will be abandoned and left to die a sad death. These spherical storage containers are quite spacious and can be swapped into multi level buildings. These homes can be powered by harnessing energy from the sun, which is definitely an eco friendly trait. Non renewable sources are being consumed at a fast rate and people are coming up with ideas that use alternate sources of energy. The awareness to save the planet from harmful gases and using thrown away as well as ditched stuff is encouraging people to come up with ideas that use every bit of what is available.

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Oil Silo Home
Recycling bleak oil refineries into self sustaining housing

Eco Credentials:

Oil Silos are fully self sustaining units, which have been fashioned in a way that makes them water resistant, bullet proof as well as airtight. The attention grabbing housing options will make apt use of renewable sources of energy. Their spherical shape supports sunlight capture, hence making sure that solar energy is used to the fullest. The passive design makes it energy efficient. The structures come wedged with walls and roof that are green in nature. This further improves air quality and can also absorb carbon dioxide. Solar energy is used to heat the floors as well as water, hence saving electricity. The presence of rainwater harvesting system, superior insulation and photovoltaic panels makes good use of all the available resources and too in an environmentally friendly way.

Feasibility:

Living in the Oil Silo Home is very much possible. The housing solution is self sustainable and makes optimum use of solar energy. The walls and roof won't let water seep in and the structure is very stable. The usage of oil silos will bring down wastage and is definitely a carbon positive design.

Related trends:

1. Cement Factory Ruins Transformed Into Castle-Like Home

Transform castle home
Transform castle home

What looks like a beautiful home was once an abandoned cement factory, which was purchased by architecture Ricardo Bofill. It resembles a castle and originally consisted of huge engine rooms and a good 30 silos. Presently it serves as an architectural office, an exhibition space, model laboratory and a sweet abode for Bofill. The awe-inspiring building also has guest rooms and gardens that are a real treat. The face of the factory was swapped into surreal gardens that comprise of olive trees, eucalyptus and palm trees. On the other hand, the silos were converted into the Cathedral by planting ivy. The inside of this green building is simple and looks anything but disoriented.

2. Old Shoe Factory Converted Into Bright & Colorful Architecture Research Center

Transformed Research Center
Transformed Research Center

The Architectural Research Center, a part of the University of Nicosia, has a very colorful facade and looks absolutely stunning. But before you blink your eyes in surprise let me tell you that this academic building was originally a show factory in Engomi, Cyprus. The absolutely wonderful building has been conceived by Petros Konstantinou along with Yiorgos Hadjichristou Architects. The building is very spacious and just perfect for studying architecture. The outer skin was peeled and smothered with colored polycarbonate panels, which help transmit light inside the structure. The inside gets illuminated by natural light, which saves energy. The building boasts of walls that are movable and can be opened or closed by the action of sliding. This showers the space with a lot of flexibility and it can be tweaked as per the requirements at hand. The building is transparent which helps form an instant connection with the surroundings.

3. Abandoned Beret Factory Transformed Into a Stunning Multimedia Center

Transformed  Beret Factory
Transformed Beret Factory

This two story multimedia center, named Oloronais Intercommunal Multimedia Center, is definitely one of the greenest buildings as it originated from an already existing beret factory that was no more in use. The architectural marvel is situated in Oloron Sainte Marie and has been erected at a point where rivers Ossau and Aspe meet, giving it sheer grandeur. The river environment makes the creation vivacious, which further gets underlines by the presence of green terraces and skylights. The structure is very inspirational and comes injected with a lot of serenity. The presence of light wood screen in the design will bathe the inside with enough natural light.

4. Abandoned Soviet-era Fish Factory Transformed into Vacation Home

Transformed vacation home
Transformed vacation home

This beautiful modern residence was made from an abandoned fish factory pumping station that tags back to the Soviet era. Situated in Easter Island, Kaltene, Latvia, it is nothing less than a posh living structure. The landscape as well as architecture features were kept in mind while swapping the factory in a housing option by architecture Zaigas Gailes. He tried to conserve every bit of the island's landscape, while implementing various ideas and injecting an all new life in this vacation house. The inside is quite spacious and bows down to all the needs like a normal house.


Compact Urban Bump Car comes with a front door and no dashboard

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 01:30 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

An all-electric vehicle, the CUB AKA the Compact Urban Bump Car by designer Ayelet Fishman is a two-seater city ride targeted at young urban couples who like to travel light. The interior is also designed to accommodate routine commute and light shopping and thus comes without a dashboard. The most unique feature of the design, however, has to be the fact that it boasts of a door in place of the dash. The front door opens by sliding upwards and the two side doors open by sliding to the front that makes for easy entry and exit no matter how tight the parking space is.

CUB Compact Urban Bump car
CUB Compact Urban Bump car

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CUB Compact Urban Bump car
CUB Compact Urban Bump car by Ayelet Fishman

With no side mirrors, the CUB utilizes around view monitors to look at the traffic around it while a side joystick controls the “drive by wire” mechanism. A head-up display eliminates the need for a dash and both sides of the vehicle are fitted with electric chargers for greater charging efficiency. Thanks to the use of electric motors, the vehicle is able to remain environmentally friendly and the engineless design also allows the interior and exterior to be reorganized for better functionality. The compact vehicle offers a smoother and different driving experience than traditional engined and fuel run vehicles with its petite frame allowing users to navigate through narrow streets and congested traffic conditions with ease.

The vehicle was primarily created to address the needs of the city driving conditions and thus was made sans exterior frills to ensure a better driving experience even in the most stressful and jam-packed traffic and parking situations. With its form being drawn from the bumper cars that are a staple at amusement parks and carnivals, the CUB is able to retain a playful and youthful element in its design language with the exterior being fully armed to meet minor bumps and parking scratches with ease. The bumpers used in the CUB can be can be taken off and replaced separately and are made of energy absorbing material to dampen impacts.

Via: Cargo Collective


Make A Wish Foundation builds drivable R2D2 for boy living with leukemia

Posted: 21 Feb 2012 01:23 AM PST

Asmita Prasad:

The good folks at the Make-A-Wish foundation helping hundreds of seriously ill children across the world realize their dearest wishes since 1980. Though each and every wish that the do-gooders fulfill is priceless to the recipient, every now and then this blessed bunch produces something so spectacular that it makes serious waves across the blogosphere. This time the foundation roped in the services of design studio Little Mountain Productions that specializes in creating unique products for children and youth, to fashion an enormous drivable R2-D2 model. The wish for the incredible creation was made by Matthew Grammer, a 7-year old suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Giant Drivable R2-D2
Giant Drivable R2-D2

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Giant Drivable R2-D2
Giant Drivable R2-D2 by Make-A-Wish Foundation

Matthew was diagnosed with the illness in '09 though he has responded well to treatment and could potentially be cancer-free as early as March. In a bid to encourage Matthew in his fight against the illness, the Make-A-Wish Foundation commissioned the larger than life R2D2 replica. Fitted with massive on/off buttons inside and a simple joystick drive mechanism, the R2-D2 comes with a cushioned driver’s seat and operated on a proprietary software run computer that is powered by a couple of rechargeable gel batteries.

The motorized droid is an exact replica of the iconic character from the Star Wars universe and comes with a kill switch on the outside for safe shut down when its little driver is having too much fun for his parent's liking.

Via: Geekologie


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