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The Design blog

The Design blog

City in the Sky to offers earth’s inhabitants an escape from their murky surroundings

Posted: 25 May 2012 05:50 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

It may look like scene right out a sci-fi flick where humans have begun to establish settlements on other planets in the universe and that too far in the future where traditional architectural norms have become mere relics of history, but this future mega developed city concept called the “Megatropolis” project may just be what a British city of the near future may look like. this architectural utopia came into being as a collaborative project between a few London-based artists and companies though the city that the project's video depicts eventually ended up being NYC given how the production of the video was undertaken in the Big Apple.

City in the Sky
City in the Sky

Even though the original “Megatropolis” project was trashed, the “City in the sky” concept that came into being as a spin off though it offers a rather naked vision of the future where underneath the apparently tranquil oasis lies a planet overladen with dirt, stress, noise and pollution. The obvious symbol used in the concept is that of the Lotus flower that rises above muddy water and offers a vision of serenity and peace amongst its murky surroundings.

The airborne living structure, however, do not provide its inhabitants with an escape from the murkiness that they live in; instead they simply allow them to rise above it into a world where the traditional values of the cohabitation of nature and humanity are preserved with daylight infused structures, panoramic glass windows and tranquil, lush green gardens.

Source: Hrama

Bike 2 O is a cost effective way to fetch water for developing countries

Posted: 25 May 2012 05:48 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Clean water is precious, but many are not that lucky to get it in abundance every single day and have to walk for miles at a stretch just to get a few cans for everyday use. Developing countries, especially Africa, faces a lot of clean water related problems and efforts are being made to provide villages and other low areas a proper method to fetch as well filter water. Michael Young understood the plight of people living in these regions and came up with a brilliant design named Bike 2 O.

Bike 2 O
Bike 2 O

The designer found out that almost 20% of sub-Saharan Africa is a good 30 minutes away from a potential water source. It has been seen that on an average every woman carries 20 kg water by hand, which is quite tiring. Hand pumps, wells, tube wells, etc. are always a great option, but then these large items break down due to neglect. People are not ready to pay just to maintain these things as they are not personal and are public. Bike O 2 is a low cost solution that will answer a variety of problems in one go, which includes water acquisition, sanitation and transportation. It is cheaper to maintain than existing systems like stationary pumps or wells.

Bike 2 O is perfect for those individuals that fetch water from an above ground source, in turn improving sanitation plus decreasing travel time and all the effort that goes into fetching water. The design mainly comprises of a drill pump, filter, hose and 10 kg water cans that are all attached to the bicycle. It also has a kick stand that rests on the notch while traveling, but is held down by the leverage of the bike's weight. This keeps the water cans above the surface while filling them, which will save the labor of installing them on the bike when heavy and fully filled. While the bike and cans go up, the pump comes down at the same time to the wheel. Jerry cans are held together by a strap and can be easily removed.

The pump comes with a ceramic filter that will filter water even if it comes from mud puddles or sediment heavy drainage ditches. This may clog the filter, but there is no need to worry as the filter can be easily removed and scraped clean in water. When the wall thickness of this filter is greatly reduced (in a year's time or so) one can replace it with a fresh cartridge costing $20. The pump in the design also slides out without much effort and needs to be replaced every 3-4 months, which will cost only $4. Bike 2 O is a well thought design that will make fetching water and its filtration quite easy, making sure water borne diseases are kept at bay and time is also saved in terms of transportation.

[Cheers Michael]

ixperanto Video Conference System speaks a different story with it's ideal design

Posted: 25 May 2012 05:45 AM PDT

Sahil Khurana:

Teleconferencing can be really boring at times, even distracting to some extent. Given the different shapes and sizes available in the market, there is not much to choose from in terms of aesthetics and designs. However, the latest ixperanto Video Conference System speaks a different story altogether.

ixperanto Video Conference System
ixperanto Video Conference System

The body of the contraption has been built with rounded edges, letting one add an extra advantage of remaining focused on the screen only. The camera has been fixed at eye level, making the projections all the more clear and accurate. The added advantage of fixing the camera at this height has ensured that it can be moved about 10x in each direction, covering a greater span in terms of distance. Given the authentic display, it feels as if you are communicating with the other person not via the teleconferencing device but in person.

The whole device has been crafted out of Corian, and carries forth a design which makes it look like one piece only. Such is the technology imbibed in the ixperanto Video Conference System, you will never realize how many pieces have actually been fixed together to form the perfect shape and size. The base of ixperanto has been fixed with Class D amplifier while all the cables have been neatly ensconced within the pedestal giving the whole idea a very neat, yet soulful look.

Via: Proctrl

Furnish your house with the Symbol Audio line of music players

Posted: 25 May 2012 05:38 AM PDT

Radhicka S Saxena:

Audio playing devices from furniture designers are unheard of but Tovin Design Limited surely didn't go down the beaten path when they churned out Symbol Audio. The collection consists of three devices; Tabletop Hi-Fi, LP Storage Cabinet and the Modern Record Console. People madly in love with melodies will love these pieces and will definitely want them for their own pad. The atypical design of this line has a wooden facade that is gilded with gadgetry and mechanized gear. And though the pieces have a vintage-ish appeal, they still pass off as trendy.

Symbol Audio
Symbol Audio

Coming in solid Walnut and an array of lacquer finishes, the Tabletop Hi-Fi is a set of subwoofers priced at $1800. It is designed like the traditional speaker system sans any software. You can link a record player, iPhone or even your turntable to it. The 2.1 class D amplifier at the back gives off a full range blast. Its cabinet holds the 4 inch drivers that have titanium cones.

Now, if you've got a horde of LP's to show off, then you will not be thinking twice before going for this LP storage cabinet. It's hopper drawers swivel and are available in storage sizes of 320 or 640 LPs. If you still need extra storage space for your LP's, then you can even opt for optional drawers that have a capacity of 320 CDs.

But the trademark product in this line is the heftily tagged Modern Record Console for $15000. The artsy piece holds hand built tube amplifiers and a turntable set on its patinated steel foundation. The sound booming out of its hidden amplifier and subwoofer is mind blowing. It also has a built in wireless router for playing digital tunes. The body handcrafted from solid American Walnut rests with all grandeur on its metal base.High in quality, exclusive and long lasting - every music lover with a beating heart is dying to own a piece from this collection.

Via: Symbol Audio

American Red Cross Thermometers for easy temperature reading

Posted: 25 May 2012 05:30 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

Checking someone's temperature had long been an exact science when mercury-based thermometers were in vogue. The digital thermometer has made it very easy for even the most untrained of medical practitioners to get an accurate reading of someone's body temperature. However, it is much more difficult to ensure that the thermometer has extracting the correct reading when the patients in question are extremely young children, people with upper limb disabilities or someone who is unconscious and cannot grip the thermometer with their lips. For such patients, Jefftung Design has created the American Red Cross Thermometers line up that is intended to be used by the America Red Cross operations across the globe.

Red Cross Thermometer
Red Cross Thermometer

The American Red Cross Thermometers are offered in two different usage kinds- an oral slide thermometer and a forehead thermometer for reading the temperature through the traditional backhand-to-the-forehead gesture. The oral slide thermometer is for people who are conscious and can grip the thermometer in their mouths while the forehead thermometer is created for people that do not have the ability to do so at a given moment.

Both the oral slide and the forehead thermometers come with a baby icon at the back that indicate that these thermometers are oral and external use-only devices and should not be used in rectal probes.

Source: Jefftung Design

Compact Computer Desk is sleek and smart

Posted: 25 May 2012 05:28 AM PDT

Jaspreet Kaur Walia:

Laptop stations never come clubbed with a lot of fun and functions, which makes them practically useless and dull. But, injecting some peppiness into such monotonous designs is the stylish and sleek Compact Computer Desk with Speakers. The design will answer all your demands of a fully featured laptop station that too in an attention grabbing way.

Compact Computer Desk with Speakers
Compact Computer Desk with Speakers

The workstation will prove to be the best laptop desk you have ever owned. It comes complete with two integrated speakers, which will fill the room with your most loved musical tunes. These fine speakers have been well concealed under the surface of the desk. The smart design also comprises of USB hubs that will juice up your laptops, phones and other gadgets. The laptop may turn hot when used over a long period of time. Keeping the CPU of your laptop at low temperatures will be the cooling fan that is present in the design, making sure all the data remains safe.

The amazing laptop desk comes complete with a side panel that has a switch for switching the fan on or off and another one to control the volume of speakers. The well crafted desk can be either powered using the AC adapter or with the help of your laptop. The desk is easy to assemble and comes complete with double wheel casters that give it complete mobility; hence you can drag it wherever you want to in the house. Compact Computer Desk with Speakers has a height, length, width and weight of 30 inches, 29.75 inches, 16 inches and 20 lbs, respectively.

Via: Sharperimage

PressurePen stylus for iPad makes drawing on your tablet less bothersome

Posted: 25 May 2012 05:27 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

Drawing on your iPad, as many of us have sadly discovered, is not as easy as the TV commercials make it appear. Especially if you've worn out the screen a bit with usage and it needs to be calibrated every few days to keep it working smoothly. Most of have end up using rubber coated matchsticks or other homemade pointing devices to serve as styli for the must-have tablet though some of us do end up purchasing as-seen-on-TV products too that end up scratching our iPad screen beyond repair. For those us that aren't blessed with the resources to keep buying these tablets every few months or replacing their screens with the help of tech wizardry, Charles Mangin, web developer extraordinaire and noted hardware “artiste,” PressurePen is a cool new stylus made especially for the iPad that delivers you from all your stylus woes once and for all.

PressurePen Stylus
PressurePen Stylus

The unseemly looking PressurePen cones fitted with an audio-signal producing heart that lets your iPad's screen discover how hard you're pressing down on your stylus so your iPad can, via the audio jack of course, sense whether to draw a deeper or a lighter line. The PressurePen is designed to deliver over 1000 levels of pressure information to the iPad via the audio signal which makes it one of the finest drawing tools out there in the market today. For now, the PressurePen is available via the tinkerer's Kickstarter projecting, pledging a fund to which will get you one of the first shipments of the product.

To get the PressurePen in a DIY kit form (where you can print your own 3D body shell and tinker with the open source software to customize the stylus to your own needs) you will need to pledge $30 towards the $10,000 fundraising goal before May 31st or pledge $60 to get a fully assembled, ready to run PressurePen whenever it is ready for production.

Via: Technabob/ Kickstarter

Panasonic’s Interactive Plasma Display lets 4 People write in different colors at once

Posted: 25 May 2012 05:25 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

Developed by Panasonic, the 65-inch digital blackboard aka the Interactive Plasma Display is not just a stunning replacement for the boring old slate and chalk routine but it also helps up to four people write on it at the same time distinguishing their pen strokes in different colors. Most interactive plasma displays show an error when an accidental input like a brush of the user's sleeve occurs though the new models only accepts inputs produced by digital pens created especially for the Interactive Plasma Display that negates the possibility of accidental input.

Interactive Plasma Display
Interactive Plasma Display

The Digital Pen System created for the digital blackboard allows pixels on the screen to light up at great speeds and utilizes this feature of the plasma display panel itself to create full high-definition (HD) picture by popping each pixel display where the pen has been positioned and detected up to 60 times a second. Perfect for business presentations as well as university and school discussions, the display can be hooked to both a wi0fi connection as well as USB inputs hooked to multiple computer systems.

A multipurpose button on the digital pen itself lets users quickly change modes and offer other writing modes by switch from the drawing menu to the toolbar without accessing the toolbar being displayed on the screen. Set to be launched in 65-, 85- and 103-inch models, the Panasonic Interactive Plasma Display will be available in the market by end of the year though the smallest unit will be up for grabs as soon as the end of July, 2012.

Interactive Plasma DisplayInteractive Plasma Display Where 4 People Can Write in Different Colors at Once

Via: DigInfo

400 hours in the making, bizarre Ping Pong Table doubles up as insane looking dining table

Posted: 25 May 2012 05:24 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

We're not sure whether this will qualify as one of the most beautiful ping-pong tables currently on the planet, but the Pingtuated Equilibripong table is definitely one of the more special one's we have come across so far. Created by design firm Akke’s Axel Yberg, the design came into being as an evolutionary investigation into the development of design into a form of functional art that can serve as a significant fast forward for the design of ping pong tables.

Ping Pong Table
Ping Pong Table

Based on the Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium proposed by Stephen J. Gould and Niles Eldredge which says that until rapid and rare events generate noteworthy alterations, most of the history of most species exhibits little evolutionary variation. We're not sure how a having a ping pong table that can also double up as a dining table will jolt the design of the playing surface for the Olympic sport but the 400 man hours that went into its making do make their presence felt in the, er, resourcefulness of the design.

The 108″ L x 60″ W x 30″ H Pingtuated Equilibripong ping pong table is a one-of-a-kind piece that comes with an unfinished, industrial look contrasting with a high-gloss lacquer coated top surface. With a hollowed out heart, the table features a regulation Edison bulb in its center that may be distracting for anyone trying to play a real game of table tennis on the thing but adds to the bizarre scheme of aesthetics of the overall design. Retailing at $56,000, the Pingtuated Equilibripong table was fashioned out of reclaimed materials like Edison reproduction light bulbs, an aircraft cable, steel, mirror, glass, reclaimed plumbing fittings and pipes and a selection of reclaimed woods such as ash sassafras, holly, cherry, black locust, red oak, sycamore, black walnut, Chinese chestnut and mulberry.

Via: Gizmodo

Open source Piano Box made using drinking straws, copper tape and a paper box

Posted: 25 May 2012 05:21 AM PDT

Asmita Prasad:

Portuguese designer Catarina Mota made her presence felt when her hackerspace team entered a Brooklyn, NY competition with a toy piano made from Jell-O. The designer has now topped that outrageous design with a paper box Piano that comes with some awesome LED lights and a 12-key touch piano/synth that is fitted inside a fabric and paper box. Dubbed the Piano Box, the kick-ass creation allows people to make their own paper synthesizers by downloading some custom codes for free and use the design to make their own kind of music.

Piano Box 12-note paper synth
Piano Box 12-note paper synth

The Piano Box features paper-covered copper tape that serves as capacitive keys, twin speakers, Tone and CapSense libraries and an Arduino Mega board that lets the paper creation run all these awesome features. The innovative music player was developed by Mota in collaboration with her other NYC Resistor team members Astrida Valigorsky, Mimi Hui, Will Byrd and Ranjit Bhatnagar, and allows users to experiment with any kind of conductive materials including fruits and jell-o. The team has previously demoed the prowess of their polyphonic JelTone piano and the codes for the Piano Box were written by Mota in collaboration with Will Byrd who taught his students about using Arduino to create polyphonic instruments at Indiana University.

In theory, almost any conductive material should work well in the construction of the Piano Box though Mota and her team made each of the touch sensors/keys using paper-topped copper tape. Mapped to LED lights, each sensor was then mated to the micro controller (Arduino Mega) board and connected to the speaker. To allow as many as five tones to be played simultaneously, five of the six available hardware timers are used by the Piano Box to make the Arduino-backed Tone library output a specific frequency square wave that is generated as a predefined tone that the speakers output. Even though the petite amp produce sufficient sound via its own little speaker, Mota added the two speaker on the side "for symmetry" and is currently working on making the paper box more resonant to improve the overall sound quality.

Mota says that, at least in theory, modders should be able to make their own Piano Boxes with more keys since the current version her team has created is simply a single-octave toy piano. The build requires creators to invest a little money into purchasing the Arduino Mega micro controller board though the rest of the stuff is relatively cheap (including a pair of speakers, a small amplifier, drinking straws, paper LEDs, resistors and copper tape) and can be easily scavenged from flea markets, home tool boxes and local hardware stores.

Via: Gizmag

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