Whether it is for home or office I am always looking for simple a simple storage solution for all of the small knick knacks such as pens, clips, and the like. These stacking boxes designed by Perrine Vigneron for a Y’as Pas Le Feu Au Lac called Hives are perfect.
I have always tended toward the functionality of a carabiner for carrying and containing my mess of keys. That said I have recently been looking for a slightly more refined alternative to utilize in the, albeit rare event of having to dress up and attend a more formal event or gathering. Unfortunately for me arriving fashionably late to the party this time means I missed out on the perfect solution. The Wilson Keyring from General Manufacturing Concern had sold out before I came across it. GMC, please create another run of these lovely little key organizers.
Best Made Co really stands up to their name by designing and producing beautiful handcrafted items. So it stands to reason that a sharpening stone by these guys would also be of the highest grade. These Japanese style wet stones called Bester Sharpening Stones emulate the simple vernacular and palette of their classic counterpart.
More often than not I find the simplest ideas to be the best. They seem to cut through all the misconceptions of what a website or web application need to be. The Maker Map is a most prime example. It is an open source mapping project with the goal of creating a comprehensive database of the “makers” of the world. A maker can be anyone from a fabricator to an architect and everyone in between, next to or near.
Pencils are often the disposable cousin of the pen for many people. Conversely the Cluth Pencil by German company Fürst are durable clean graphite stick pencils. The bright colors remind me of the Swiss colored pencils of my child hood from CARAN d’ACHE. One of my favorite features is a sharpener integrated into the push-button.
Of all the cool new interface experiments out there Google Glass is in my opinion the one with the greatest chances of disrupting the norm. It is also one of the most different marriages of product and interface that has been unveiled in the past few years. Through the super powerful and realistic point-of-view capturing people will be able to to see the world through each others glasses. If in the future viewing the world through other peoples eyes becomes more of a convention it will have some interesting potential effects on social disparity and anthropology. If you are interested in trying to get your hands on them you can hashtag a tweet to #ifihadglass or a Google+ post on +ProjectGlass telling them what you would do if you had a pair.
Squarespace has helped to redefine how small display and consumer oriented websites can be built, implemented, and maintained. Their product is simple, beautiful, and easy to use. So of course anything else they launch would by proxy share these sensibilities, right? Surprisingly they were even able to simplify functionality and goals of their new app further. Squarespace Note is a beautifully elegant way to record ideas. Open the app type in an idea and swipe to send it to your email, Evernote, Dropbox, Facebook, or Twitter. Definitely me new favorite app download for my iPhone.
Sketches and wireframes are one of the most important steps in strong web design and user experience. Especially when we are talking about responsive design and designing for a wide range of devices and potential viewports. UI Stencils has made it their mission to create tools to make the analog sketching process more aligned with the language of the web and computers. Their most recent creation has me nerd’ing out something fierce. The Pixel Ruler is a nice heavy weight machined steel ruler which measures pixels instead of inches or centimeters, and the scale is 150 pixels per inch.
Simple, utilitarian, beautiful. Those are the first three adjectives that come to mind when I saw these tools designed by Kacper Hamilton for Swiss ski company Zai. Both the name and design pay homage to the Japanese Higonokami (“Higo”) crafted by metal smiths for centuries. The design and manufacturing follow in the footsteps of the original Higo craftsmen, with the utmost attention to detail. Another element that Zai requested was for the entire tool to take up the least amount of space as possible, or order to make the tool as efficient as possible for skiers and backpackers to stow.
A rerelease from Eberhard-Faber the 1930s the Palomino Blackwing is an amazing writing and drawing utensil. The Blackwing is known to have been used by some greats such as John Steinbeck, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, and Chuck Jones, who used it to sketch Bugs Bunny. That’s a pencil with some history.
For the 2012 London Olympics the Associated Press has integrated some new DSLR robotic systems allowing them to capture images never before possible. The rigs controlled remotely using joysticks can pan and zoom and shoot multiple frames per second, making sure they snap the optimal shot. These setups were developed completely custom by AP for these events and venues of the Olympics, but I am sure some of the technology will trickle down to open market soon.
The new Friedrich Airconditioning App is a great example of how software is more regularly being applied to the control of a physical interaction. I am unsure of my feelings on the subject, but I am definitely interested to see it in action. The coolest part is the ability to access and control the unit remotely through wireless. I know we all would relish in the ability to save energy by not leaving our AC on all day, but still be assured that after a sweltering commute home our apartment is sufficiently refrigerated.
Finding a good drawing or sketchbook app for the iPad has been an ongoing and annoying search since I got my iPad nearly 8 months ago. Finally Paper has emerged to fill the void. Created by the awesome folks over at Fifty Three, the app has a multitude of great features including an array of drawing and painting tools which all work amazingly well.
I always keep a pen on my for sketching ideas that come to mind or taking notes, but I have never been able to compel myself to keep a ruler on me at all times. Pen Type-A solves this problem by not forcing me to carry another object. Both are a singular entity until you need to use them and the pen simply unscrews from the cylinder within the ruler. Designed by CW&T is definitely one of those objects that I could justify purchasing because I know I would take it everywhere and use it every single day.
The UI Toolkit is definitely one of those things I have been waiting for. Both simple and comprehensive it is far more than a texture pack, but also leaves plenty of space to be creative with the elements. The toolkit is the debut product from the wonderful folks over at UI Parade, so make sure to purchase a copy to help support their awesome site(it’s only $8 dollars).
Dimitris Ladopoulos is a Greek director making a short film series about people who work and make things with their hands. One of the first shorts from the series is this one entitled The Carpenter, with beautifully simple motion graphics and a true craftsman at work lathing a dowel into it’s nearly finished form. It brings me back to my childhood and the countless hours spent watching and helping my dad in his wood shop.
Lookwork, because Ben Pieratt is a genius and starting one revolutionary web app (svpply) isn’t enough. Lookwork is part feed reader, and part searchable stream of inspiration. Similarly to svpply you can filter your stream to find something more specific and even follow other folks to keep tabs on what they are looking at.
Part of why Ben Pieratt’s work in web applications sets a gold standard is due to the fact that he understands a complicated or rich UI should never take away from a user’s ability to complete the their goals. I think everyone designing for the web can and should take some notes from Ben on interface design, and also the problems his apps solve.
Doxie is preordering their new scanner the Doxie Go now. A fresh mobile approach to scanning the go can scan directly to your computer, iPhone, iPad, post directly to Flickr, or even into Dropbox. The future of scanning is here!
The Stamp Sheet Wall Planner is another beautiful piece from the brains over at Present & Correct. This amazing wall calendar is a beautiful new way to count down the days in a year, and also to be inspired to make something everyday.