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Design news, culture, events and resources. A daily must-read for designers world wide.

Tips on working as an independent designer – David Lewin speaks with Michael DiTullo

29 May 2020, 4:56 pm | Core77

David Lewin, a designer who transitioned out of corporate and now has years of experience in industrial design consulting in Portland, Oregon goes 1:1 with Michael DiTullo examining the nuances of working with clients in product development, the benefits of studio space, seeking diversified revenue within design practice and dipping into "almost famous" stories.

Guest, David Lewin

Host, Michael DiTullo

The Weekly Design Roast, #31

29 May 2020, 3:17 pm | Core77

"Someone once rearranged these to spell out 'OPEN PLAN SUCKS.' We terminated them immediately."

"My roommate has a permanent crick in his neck, so his books go in the middle."

"The blueprints got crumpled coming off of the plotter. The contractor did the best he could."

True story: This two-piece, high-end Squatty Potty alternative is designed to nest one inside the other to save space. It also gives you a fun activity to futz your way through right before you take a dump.

"Our research shows that most framers not only want the waffle head, but a slippery wooden handle and a nearly flat claw that's unusable for de-nailing."

"Limited Edish, yo."
"Our design firm specializes in ergonomics."

In the way that some people have a fear of clowns, I have a fear of this table.

"The design brief was to make it difficult to select the knife that you want."

"I wanted a front door that me and a flock of crows could all enter at the same time. It's also great for letting moths in at night."

How to Make Your Own Gnocchi Board, Plus a Mesmerizing GIF of How Gnocchi is Made

29 May 2020, 2:40 pm | Core77

Assuming you can develop the skill, gnocchi has got to be the most satisfying pasta to shape:

If you're the type of person who wants to make your own gnocchi, chances are you'll want to make the gnocchi board, too. Here's Chris Salomone showing you how he made his:

Not too shabby!

The No-Contact Menu System Adopted by Savvy Restaurants

29 May 2020, 1:33 pm | Core77

Da Enzo, a social-distance-observing restaurant in Rome's Trastevere neighborhood, has figured out how to do away with menus. The waitress simply holds up a sheet of paper with a QR code on it.

Diners capture it with their phone, giving them access to the menu.

Other restaurants, like Duke's in Thailand, simply post the QR code on a window.

There's no restaurants where I live, but I assume other place are doing this in America. And this is a practice that should persist after the pandemic is over. Printed menus are dumb. When I was a waiter, I hated cleaning them. Managers can't like having to reprint an entire batch every time there's a change. And the last time I went to a restaurant in the city, a combination of poor lighting and font size meant I could barely read the damn thing. I'd much rather have it in my phone.

The only downside is that diners without smartphones can't access them. But post-pandemic, at least, restaurants could simply keep a small stock of menus for such cases.

Industrial Designer Solves Problem of Social-Distancing Priests Baptizing Babies with Squirt Guns

29 May 2020, 12:38 pm | Core77

How does a priest baptize a baby while adhering to social distancing? Industrial designer Joshua Skirtich observed the new trend of using squirt guns loaded with holy water.

It's obviously disturbing to see an adult pointing any type of firearm-like device at a baby. Skirtich came up with something far better. Here's his project:

3:16 Magnum (Product Name)

In the Catholic Church, infants are baptized to welcome them into the Catholic faith and to free them from the original sin they were born with. This is usually performed by a priest who douses the child's forehead with holy water (water that has been blessed by a member of the clergy.

Recently, Catholic priests began using squirt guns loaded with holy water to baptize from afar. Photos of these Covid-19 Baptisms showcase uniformed men holding vibrant, plastic, toys for what is normally a serious, sacred ceremony. I initially thought to redesign the gun as a joke, but later realized it as a serious opportunity to design a premium squirt gun - something that has never really had a reason to exist.

The gun's silhouette is a cross, the most important symbol of Christianity. The red cross floating in acrylic doubles as crosshairs (to aim with) and another nod to Christianity. 

Three holes in the barrel signify " the father, the son, and the holy spirit," a doctrine used to explain the complex structure of God being three entities at once. During a baptism, the priest will say "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

Well done, Skirtich!

Downloadable, Customizable Files for 3D Printing Your Own Self-Latching Tool Holders

28 May 2020, 5:11 pm | Core77

If you've got a 3D printer and you're organizing your home/shop/garage, you could probably use some of these:

The files for these customizable latching tool handle holders have been posted to Thingiverse by Australian engineer and Prusa user Greg Frost. And you can obviously scale things up or down depending on what you intend it to hold. "I have used it for big things like a pool scoop, right down to little things like a pen," Frost writes.

Some pertinent details:

"It prints as one piece using its own parts for support. Where the hinges join, the model is weakened by leaving a blank layer and minimising the contact so that it can be broken free to actuate the hinge.

"Each hinge is designed to use a metal pin (three needed in total). You can use anything from a screw to a nail to a paperclip or a piece of coat hanger. I have been using nails with 2mm diameter in holes designed to 3mm so they slide in easily."

Download the files here.

Guy Comes Up With Clever Way to Flip Car On Its Side for Repair Work

28 May 2020, 3:20 pm | Core77

A particularly ingenious Redditor called Pyroblock is restoring a 1975 Camaro. Having removed most of the mechanicals, he now needs to strip some paint from the underside and weld new suspension mounts on--both tasks that would be far easier if the car were on its side, as opposed to up on a lift, with the work above you.

Well, here's how he solved that problem, using some dimensional lumber and plywood:

Video by Pyroblock


Watch the original video with sound here (we're having problems embedding it).

Origami-Obsessed Mechanical Engineer Turned Furniture Designer Develops Crazy Unfolding Chess Board

28 May 2020, 1:30 pm | Core77

Mechanical engineer Brian Ignaut is the guy who designed SpaceX's unfolding solar arrays, then branched out into designing and building origami-like unfolding furniture under his own company, Degrees of Freedom. While prototyping a new design for an expanding table, he discovered a new way to make multiple surfaces fold relative to one another, which he then adapted into a chessboard:

Ignaut's brief development story is below:

"In the design, four wood panels are connected by six stainless steel links, four of which are used in pairs while the last two are used alone.

"The link pairs keep the joined panels parallel during all movement, while the single links permit rotation between boards which is used when pivoting the board into its playing orientation.

"I originally tried using this mechanism for an expanding table concept, and only came across the secondary crossing functionality after I started playing with the first prototype. I've been dreaming about this design for well over a year so it was fun to finally see it take shape!"

Check out more of Ignaut's work on the Degrees of Freedom Instagram.

Space-Saving Solutions for Tiny Houses

28 May 2020, 1:02 pm | Core77

New-Zealand-based Variant Spaces is a design-build firm specializing in kitting out tiny houses--and thus, they're specialists in space-saving solutions. While some of their stuff are things we've seen before, like a pulley-based laundry rack, fold-out tables and a magnetic wall-mounted spice rack…


…I hadn't seen a DIY cable storage solution as simple as this:

What most caught my eye was this shot of a washing machine in a tiny house that they did for a client. Absent any free space, they tucked it behind the stairs to the loft.

If I was doing laundry every day, sure, flipping the steps up each time would grow tiresome. But the procedure doesn't look so bad if you're doing laundry once a week:

Alternatively, perhaps these Kiwis could get together with Aussie designer Zev Bianchi and his glorious disappearing staircase solution.

Reader Submitted: Laser Cut Wooden Sheet Bends to Create an Integrated Lamp Shade

27 May 2020, 4:05 pm | Core77

Lynx represents the research in the simplicity of form through the use of a few elements. A single panel of mdf wood, finished with a particular laser technique, and a single fixing element to maintain the shape. Few components to create an attractive, elegant and modern object.

View the full project here