Valentine’s Day approaches. You can’t give them chocolates because they are on a diet. Flowers die so quickly. Tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway? Yeah, right! Why not try Grids & Guides (Red): A Notebook for Visual Thinkers instead? This type of gift says,”I know you are a creative, thoughtful person, who needs to express yourself. Write it down, then share it with me later over cavier and souffles.” Or something like that. Ideal for architects, designers, or anyone who likes to sketch, the 160-page, cloth-wrapped notebook includes eight repeating graph paper patterns (including some new grid designs) and a variety of useful charts covering knot-tying, logic expressions, perspective projection, a world map, and more. $16.95 from Princeton Architectural Press and other book sellers. Images courtesy Princeton Architectural Press.
Two new Bluetooth-enabled speaker skateboards from the San Francisco-based audio technology maker Boombotix and the Australian board brand Globe were designed to help eliminate the isolation of skating with headphones and let users more easily share their music with others. The GSB Blazer, a mini cruiser board and GSB Pinner, a long board, are outfitted with a custom wireless speaker module that plays continuously for two hours with a full charge and at full volume. At 70% volume, the music lasts for up to six hours or more. The dust, water, and standard-impact resistant boards were engineered to retain their rigidity, while allowing for the audio components. The boards feature a vibration easing system and a high-impact ABS construction. They charge with a 6′ USB cable and work with any Bluetooth-enabled device. A custom 5W amp with an integrated passive radiator lets users feel the bass as they ride. Can speaker-friendly snowboards or surfboards be far behind? $249.95, Blazer; $299.95, Pinner Images courtesy of Globe.
Walnut Studiolo‘s line of handmade accessories and games are produced in the company’s Portland, Oregon workshop. The latest addition to their growing line of travel games is a lightweight, portable set of dice ideal for players of any game using six or less die. The dice are secured inside the brass tube with a brass-beaded chain that can be worn as a necklace or carried as a keychain. The solid brass square tube perfectly houses six (6x) 7mm travel dice. A chain secures the dice in the tube at one end, and inlaid walnut wood closes the other end. Over time, the brass will develop a patina from hands and scratches. The die are available in either white or black and the chain comes in two lengths. $25. All images courtesy Walnut Studiolo.
Last week I got to get a sneak peek at the new products available at the MoMA store in New York City and through its online shop. Here, in no particular order, are my five favorite new gifts, gadgets, and gear now available through the store. 1. Amish Scooter This scooter-bicycle hybrid has been crafted by the Stoltzfus family, an Amish family in Pennsylvania, since 1978. This substantial scooter lets adults move on two wheels without worrying about balance and knee strains. It comes with a kickstand, basket, and rear brake and handbrake with black or orange powder-coated steel frame and fenders. I’m partial to the orange myself. Black, $360, Orange, $320. 2. Porthole Infuser Designed by the Chicago-based design firm Crucial Detail, the shape of this table-ready infusion vessel was inspired by submarine portholes. It can be used to create and hold 13 ounces of cocktails, infused oils, dressings, or whatever you want to conjure. Made of tempered glass, ABS, stainless steel, and silicone, the Porthole Infuser is dishwasher safe and comes with four recipes to get you started. 2” wide x 7″ …