Product design junkies will be in awe of Patented, a thick tome featuring 1000 design patent documents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The one-of-a-kind field guide includes patents from well-known names such as Louis Comfort Tiffany and Buckminster Fuller, to more surprising entries from celebrities such as Francis Ford Coppola (packaging for beverages – wine perhaps?) and Prince (guitar, obviously.)
Author and architectural designer Thomas Rinaldi offers readers and future patent makers more than a century of product and industrial design that’s been organized chronologically from 1900 to 2020. The uniform aesthetic of the patent drawings means all 1,000 designs are illustrated in the same style — from bottle openers to bicycles. If you don’t have a shelf big enough for Patented, don’t worry. You can just go and design a patent for one.
$35.95 U.S. Order from your local independent bookstore or at Phaidon
Inflatable soccer balls are hard to maintain in impoverished communities because of the unavailability of air pumps or the deterioration and damage of the tube inside the ball. In response, Japanese design firm Nendo has designed a non-inflatable soccer ball that gives the same kicking sensation as a standard ball.
Inspired by the structure of the traditional Japanese woven bamboo ball, the My Football Kit is assembled with three types of components and includes a total of 54 parts. The instructions for assembly are designed like a picture book in easily understood illustrations. Instead of relying on internal air pressure, the ball uses the resilience of its surface material, soft, recycled polypropylene and elastomeric synthetic resin components, to bounce.
The material won’t hurt bare feet and is unlikely to develop a sharp fractured surface that might cause injury, even if broken. If a component comes off during play, the interlocking structure ensures the ball will not disassemble. Components may be shipped in disassembled states in compact packages, potentially cutting shipping costs.
The ball comes in multiple colors, allowing children to create their own personal color schemes. Nendo also designed a packaging sack to be used to carry around the ball like a backpack.
There is potential for businesses and organizations to print original logos or develop brand-specific color schemes, which might encourage contributions to educational institutions and club teams.
Muji’s stripped down aesthetic might seem basic to some, but many find it a refreshing change. For those looking to update their work-at-home and school-at-home spaces with some Muji style, here are some new options.
Many restaurants, cafes, and other food providers have done away with disposable plastic straws and plastic cups to help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our waterways and landfills. With that in mind, the Japanese design firm Nendo designed the My-Lid reusable coffee cup lid for the convenience store chain Lawson.
The My-Lid coffee cup lid not only reduces waste for take-out drinks, but is designed to create a more enjoyable drinking experience. The main feature is the partially domed space on the opposite side of the lip. The drink’s aroma rises through ventilation holes and is briefly captured beneath the shell, to be enjoyed while drinking. Made of silicone rubber, a heat-resistant, and hygienic reusable material, the lid is double grooved on the inner side to grip and seal the rims of two sizes of cups sold by Lawson. A special washable lid carrying case made of Tyvek also serves as a sleeve for hot drinks.
The project aims to reduce the disposal of approximately one billion plastic coffee lids, the equivalent to 2,000 tons of plastic that is provided annually at convenience stores.
Images courtesy of Nendo. Photographer: Akihiro Yoshida
Design fabrication company Kapsel has launched a face shield dispenser kit for frontline workers. Designed in response to personal protective equipment (PPE) shortages, each kit contains the parts for up to 100 face shields which can be easily assembled on-site in under a minute.
While pre-assembled shields take up more space and are prone to get scratched, the small footprint of the kit makes it easier to transport and store, keeping the shield parts safely enclosed until needed. Lightweight and adjustable, the shields can be worn with glasses and are made from three high-quality components: an anti-fog PET visor, a velcro strap, and an adhesive-backed closed-cell foam.
The full-length visor extends a full 12” from above the forehead to below the chin, and 9 1/4” around the front of the face. All of the parts and pieces of Kapsel’s face shield dispenser kit are made in North America. Available in 10-unit ($68), 30-unit ($174), and 100-unit ($480) sizes.
It’s summer and the living is … mostly at home. If you are looking for a new way to keep your family busy (and sane) during social distancing, you might like to check out these new puzzle designs available through the MoMA Design Store.
The 500-piece Andy Warhol double-sided Marilyn puzzle is actually two puzzles in one, featuring two different versions of Warhol’s iconic Marilyn Monroe silkscreen, with a matte side and a glossy side. Several versions of Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe artwork are in MoMA’s collection. The puzzle greyboard contains 90% recycled paper and it measures 18” x 24”. $16.00
The Architecture Building Set was originally designed by Italian artist, designer, and inventor Bruno Munari in 1945. Made in Italy, the new edition allows players to create miniature buildings in 66 wooden blocks made from unhewn beechwood. The enclosed booklet has over 60 building examples to try to replicate. Recommended for ages 12+. $80.00
The 1000-piece Moon and The Earth puzzles were designed by Toronto-based puzzle maker Lindsay Stead in collaboration with NASA Image. The Moon Puzzle commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing and features the clearest image of the Moon to date, displaying even the smallest craters. The Earth puzzle was produced to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and is printed from one of the clearest photos ever taken of the Earth. Ten percent of all sales of The Earth puzzle will be donated to wildlife and habitat conservation. Both measure 26.5” in diameter when assembled. $25.00 each.
The Viva La Vida Frida Kahlo puzzle, designed by Petra Braun, is a vibrant homage to the Mexican surrealist artist. The 100-piece puzzle is made of 90% recycled greyboard and features illustrations that feature many details from her work in MoMA’s collection. $20.00