1.Take In a Little Light Reading With This Book-Inspired Lamp
My latest post for Wired.com about a San Francisco-based architect who developed a collapsible, book shaped, lamp. The book concept is a little forced and using the idea of using it as an emergency light (as demonstrated in the Kickstarter video) is a bit far fetched, but the stunning photography and versatility of the design have helped it raise over $340,000 with more than two weeks remaining.
2. PillPack.com Rethinking Mail Order Pharmacy
Most designers don’t want to get their hands dirty with the world of regulation or industrial robotics, but the team at PillPack.com has written a new prescription that helps medicine go down much easier. Instead of fumbling with half a dozen bottles or buying one of those tacky “day of the week” pill boxes, PillPack puts all your prescriptions in personalized packets organized by time of day. It’s a simple, but potentially transformative, idea.
The company hasn’t officially launched yet, but is participating in the TechStars incubator and has a chance to massively change the way we take our medicine. Sign up for their mailing list, they’re one to watch.
3. Photos of Neatly Arranged Collections
Portland Photographer Jim Golden shoots pictures of neatly arranged collections that capture the compulsive character of their curators. Prints start at $90.00, a fraction of the price of starting your own collection.
HT: Nick de la Mare
1. Medieval Bookbinding
Alexandra Gillespie is an assistant professor at the University of Toronto, focused on English and medieval studies. She’s an expert on medieval manuscripts, early printed books, and is keeping a blog on medieval bookbinding techniques.
HT: Tim O’Reilly
2. The Reports of Retail’s Death are Greatly Exaggerated
Fred Destin, a Boston area VC, has a comprehensive post that pokes some holes in Marc Andreessen’s software is eating the world/death of retail. Basically, while retail has some structural problems, ecommerce faces plenty of headwinds as well.
HT: Nate Murray
3. Farm Hack
Farm Hacks is 4H for the internet age — Young farmers getting together to talk shop, gelding.
HT: Tim O’Reilly
There is a community of 26,773 Redditors focused on exploring the art of nail polish. While many would dismiss it as frivalous, 2012 saw $768MM in sales and 70% category growth. As with Pinterest and the Cricut, this is a booming DIY category that doesn’t get much focus.
Photo Credit: RainbowCutie
In April of 2012 I joined Wired.com writing for the newly launched “Design” section which is focused on the emerging trends that are redefining what it means to be a designer. It’s been an awesome experience, but I’ve neglected this blog for almost a year and want to change that.
Many of the things I used to write about here are now my focus at Wired, so I’ll be reorienting the subjects I cover while keeping the big themes intact. Here’s what you can expect on this blog:
Retail and Video: The 3-D printer and related developments are going to continue to have a profound impact on the world of design. As more retail sales go to Amazon, Kickstarter, other ecommerce vendors there is going to be a lot of vacant retail space.
There will also be more “noise” and a search for new communication channels. I think the most important development to come in world of DIY is not a new type of 3-D Printer, but the next Apple TV.
Links: Many of my favorite blogs use the “link post” as a regular feature. I love getting exposed to a few links with a bit of analysis and hope you will too (We also curate a lot of these over at Wired Design in the “Elsewhere” section).
Opinions and Edge Cases: I’ll also be using this space as a collection point for random data points and percolating ideas that aren’t yet full stories.
If you liked the type of posts I wrote about 3-D printers and other fab subjects, definitely check out my stuff at Wired.com (or on my Twitter feed). It’s definitely better written and more thoroughly researched
Thanks to everyone who has read, commented and shared over the past five years and I hope you’ll stick around for the next five!
The Making of Paranorman Ebook
Paranorman was produced using thousands of 3-D printed models. Laika, the studio behind the additive fabrication animation, has created a free ebook that gives some behind the scenes perspective on how plaster powder produced a popular picture.
Why Brits Lagged Behind Americans in Gadget Adoption
During the middle of the 20th century, Americans had a 10, 20, to 30 year lead in gadget ownership over our British buddies. Megan McArdle has some theories as to why.
Nine Real Life Pokemon Characters
Bizarre looking animals that would be right at home in the Pokemon universe.
Algorithmic Orange Juice
Fascinating story about how Coca-Cola engineers it’s Minute Maid Orange Juice.
“is definitely one of the most complex applications of business analytics. It requires analyzing up to 1 quintillion decision variables to consistently deliver the optimal blend, despite the whims of Mother Nature.”
The Black Book model includes detailed data about the myriad flavors—more than 600 in all—that make up an orange, and consumer preferences. Those data are matched to a profile detailing acidity, sweetness, and other attributes of each batch of raw juice. The algorithm then tells Coke how to blend batches to replicate a certain taste and consistency, right down to pulp content.
Also, there is an entire book about orange juice — Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice.
Unpainted Action Figures
One reason 3-D printers won’t be a viable replacement for most manufactured goods — Painting and surface decoration are incredibly important. This great gallery shows what iconic action figures look like before they’re painted in the trademark color schemes. Via.
1. Penny Arcade reports on the secrets of successful Kickstarter campaigns — ones that deliver on time, not those that raise a bunch of money and keep backers hanging.
2. “As Seen on YouTube” — Epic Meal Time is turning their fratty food show into a line of cooking gear.
3. Straight Line Designs does amazing things with plywood and CNC routers. Via.
4. Joris Peels’s essays on 3-D printing are always thought provoking. He’s written a great report on companies that have interesting patents in the 3-D printing market.
5. Megan McArdle provides an amazingly astute take on medical innovation:
It strikes me that medical research is haunted by the memory of penicillin, and the other antibiotics that immediately followed. For a period of ten or fifteen years, “miracle cures” were the stuff of everyday life rather than television movies and late night infomercials: you took a pill, and something that had previously been fatal, like pneumonia or tuberculosis, simply went away. Often, you went from death’s door to the picture of health in hours or days.
As a consequence, people think that this is how medical discoveries are supposed to work: you find a cure for a fatal or crippling disease, everyone gets better instantly, and the world is a better place. I suspect that this is Big Pharma critic Marcia Angell‘s mental model. The reason she’s decided that drug companies are about as useful as a third buttock is that they’re no longer delivering the miracle pills on schedule.
6. Sparkfun has become a victim of their own success. Their “Free Days” used to mean huge discounts of free products for customers. Now fear of lawsuits is forcing them to end the program.
7. Pictures of Ireland from 100 years ago — This is where my father is from. Doesn’t seem that different from when I visited in the 1980s.