All posts filed under: innovation

Behind the Scenes: Mudshark Studios

On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, I got to tour the production facility for Mudshark Studios, a one-stop shop for developing and producing ceramic objects, with CEO and co-founder Brett Binford. Binford, a well-known ceramicist, is also the owner and curator for the contemporary Eutectic Gallery, located in a storefront attached to the studios. In their 10,000-square-foot facility (an additional 7,000 square feet upstairs is mostly for mold and gallery storage), Mudshark offers model making, mold making, and production services for projects ranging from custom designed plates for Eleven Madison Park in New York City to lighting fixtures for Portland-based Schoolhouse Electric to technical parts for the aerospace industry. Other clients include Cedar and Moss, Barn Light Electric Co., Rejuvenation, and many more. After my tour, I couldn’t wait to head back to my friend’s house (ceramicist and painter Nicole Curcio), where I got to spend some time playing around in her pottery workshop. I won’t be showing a photo of my endeavors, but let’s just stay I tried and it wasn’t very good. …

Tiwal 3 Inflatable Sailboat

You don’t need to have ever stepped foot on a dock to know that sailboats don’t normally fit in the trunk of a car. That’s what makes the TIWAL 3 such a game-changer. Available now at the MoMA Design Store, the TIWAL 3 inflatable sailing dinghy can be packed into two bags for easy transport and storage and assembled in less than 30 minutes. Retailing for $6,195, it’s a much more affordable option than a standard (non-inflatable) sailboat. According to the financial blog mintlife, the cost of a 22-foot-long model would average $20,000. That’s in addition to the mooring costs, which depending on location and footage can run anywhere from several hundred annually up to a thousand dollars per month. “We were absolutely stunned when we came across the TIWAL 3 Inflatable Sailboat,” says Emmanuel Plat, director of merchandising, retail at MoMA. “We were impressed by the ingenuity of the design and the quality of the materials used, not to mention the adjustable sail, which adapts to the wind.” Today, more than 800 Tiwal 3 boats are sailing in more than …

Rollbe Compact Rolling Ruler

Rollbe is a super compact measuring tool around the size of a quarter that comes in a small leather carrying pouch you can slip in your pocket. Does the market really need another ruler? Well, Rollbe has been on Kickstarter for just a few days and has already raised almost $20,000 – far beyond the initial goal of $6351. I’d say there’s a huge market. Designed for both the Metric and Imperial systems, Rollbe’s rolling design allows it to measure both straight lines and curved surfaces by rolling from point to point. It’s handy for home owners, architects, engineers, interior designers, fashion designers, decorators, art students, or anyone who needs to precisely measure irregularly shaped things on a regular basis. Rollbe comes in two versions, the coin-size 4”  ruler and the 8” ruler for more professional use. To use it, you simply place the start mark on the starting point of the surface or line you want to measure, and then roll and count full rotations by following the ”radius indicator”, then add remaining units. …

Kikkerland’s China Design Challenge

At an event held last month at the company’s shop in Manhattan, Kikkerland presented finalist designs from the Kikkerland China Design Challenge, an competition held in collaboration with Beijing Design Week Organization and Redstar Design Fund. Held during Bejing Design Week 2014, the theme of the challenge was “A Passage Into Design,” which encouraged young talented Chinese designers to present unique ideas based on Chinese heritage, history and mythology. The ideas also had to exhibit the quirky sense of humor and wit characteristic of Kikkerland Design. Nearly 1,000 design submissions were received, from which 30 were selected and prototyped during a workshop with professionals. Ultimately, 17  finalists were chosen from the challenge. During the New York event, an award was presented to challenge winner  Zhou Yi, who designed the Hutong Eraser, an eraser that represents the disappearing traditional architectural style that was once prominent in Beijing. “As the streets of Beijing are filled with more and more high-rise buildings, there are less and less Hutong style streets left,” says Yi. “The eraser will disappear as you use it, like the the disappearing Hutong.” The eraser, along with eight other finalists’ designs, will be produced and sold worldwide …