Eric Johnson is a brilliant carpenter who designs and builds furniture out of completely salvaged materials. Armchairs from boat masts, rocking chairs from milk crates, lamps from moped scraps. A lot of “recycled” product design can end up looking not too different from the garbage it started out as, but Johnson does an incredible job of using clean, shrewd designs to make objects that stand on their own regardless of their history. The combination of his intelligent designs and recycled materials is inspiring in its own right too, quietly encouraging us all to see the potential in the mountains of discarded objects that overwhelm our modern lives. So kudos on three levels, Eric. Keep your eyes on Mr. Johnson, I smell a bright future.
Israeli inventor Izhar Gafni recently developed a bicycle that is pretty amazing in a lot of different ways. Not only is it made out of cardboard, it’s sustainable, durable, functional, super light, looks like a bike, and only costs 9$ to produce, which means he can sell it for $20 a piece. Everything about it is amazing. Not the least of which is his inspiring determination to realize such a seemingly impossible idea. I’m really crossing my fingers that this goes into mega production and opens some doors for a lot of people who wouldn’t otherwise have access to the wonderful world of bicycles and transportation. Watch the video after the jump to see his process; it’s a real day-maker.( via )
Bina Baitel is a French product designer whose takes previously distinct pieces of furniture–futons, stools, lamps– and combines them to make some wild looking objects. Like most great product design, they look more like sculptures than they do products. We could all probably use some more melting lamps in our lives. (via)
Kristine Five Melvær is a Norwegian designer who brings a really subtle, but affective approach to the table. This Bloom lamp series is great. Inspired by natural forms, the shades call to mind “buds, fruit, or water”. Each of the three lamps are a different height, which promotes a sense of organic incongruity. The shades are made of canvas, which, though a possible fire hazard, goes along nicely with the earthy vibe of each piece. (via)
Central Saint Martins MA candidates Anita Silva and Leslie Borg designed an incredibly creative interactive product for Icelandair entitled “_scape”. Inspired by a rock found in Iceland, _scape is a layered “book” containing “sounds, visuals, textures, scents and tastes” which can serve as a reminder of Iceland itself, or just a general internal escape. Intended to evoke lava rock and ice (two strong elements of the Icelandic landscape), the object is earthy-looking, meant to strongly contrast with the sterile environment of an airplane cabin. I’m not sure a flight time long enough to allow me to grow bored of interacting with _scape exists. (via)
Based in the Netherlands, Lise Lefebvre has accumulated a conceptually unique design portfolio full of surprising material selections. Really fun stuff that definitely pushes boundaries. A lot of Lefebvre’s work consists of experimental one-offs, but commissions can be requested through her website.
Annie Needham is a speculative designer, fiction writer, architect, knitter, and… empathetic attachment maker. Have you ever wanted to feel something, or some experience, that was completely out of reach? What could it be like to stand in a shark cage? Feel colors? Go Okie-Noodling? Well, with these “Empathetic Attachments,” you can. The devices create the experience for someone who wanted to feel the same stress, anxiety, and excitement of the event without necessarily doing it.
Ladies & Gentlemen Studio is a two person team with a love for vintage items. Looking at their serving utensils from their Superior Servers collection, their sensibilities are immediately apparent- use classic silhouettes in a new modern way. Their other projects share this clever and endearing quality.