Floating Ladle


Saw this design of a ladle and thought it was quite interesting – there is a hollow ‘ball’ at the stem. Due to the hollow ball the ladle always floats on the water surface, very much like buoys on the sea. This way, you can just leave the ladle in the liquid (think fruit punch tumbler) without worrying about dripping or even having to hang on to the side of the container. An added bonus will be the ease-of-washing when doing the dishes.

Here’s how it works:

USA Lapel Pin by Michael Bierut

There were some hoo-ha a year ago about the wearing of lapel pins as a sign of patriotism in the USA elections. The small metal accessory was suddenly cast into the spotlight. It became a marker of loyalty and patriotism – the absence of which signifies the absence of these values as well. For all its absurdity, it became a big talking point particularly between the Republicans and Democrats.

One year on, Men’s Vogue commissioned renowned graphic designer Michael Bierut to redesign the lapel pin, “which members of both political parties can wear into the voting booth and beyond”:


According to the blurb:

“I tried to defamiliarize a very familiar configuration of letters,” [Michael Bierut] explains, referring to his unconventional, interwoven font — inspired by the country’s history as a melting pot. “A flag is a corporate logo. A monogram is much more private.”

After nearly a decade of limited lapel options (you’re either with the flag pin or against it), sporting this one shows support for the true meaning of bipartisanship — pride in America.

The first thing I saw on the pin didn’t remind me of ‘melting pot’ and ‘multiculturalism’ though – the $ sign is definitely and unmistakeably the most prominent element on the whole pin. Perhaps this is what you can say unites America – the pursuit of wealth and capitalism?

The next, secondary element that I see is the A that has the horizontal bar removed, with a particularly wide stance. This to me looks much more like a chevron in the military ranking insignia – perhaps a subtle allusion to the US’s military might.

The article makes no direct mention of either of these symbols – even though to me they are quite readily apparent. While these are certainly facets of America that are quite distinctive, I’m not sure if they are integrative or ‘private’, particularly at this trying economic climate with war that has dragged on, where the positions on these issues are frequently much more divisive than unifying.

Or maybe I’m just seeing things with my tinted eyes?

3D Sketching

This, I think is one of the holy grails of 3D-design, be it product, character or others. ILoveSketch is an absolutely awesome program that straddles the sweet spot between sketching and 3D-modeling – sketching in 3D plane and turning those sketches into curves on 3D space on-the-fly, giving the quickness and agility of sketches, while also delivering multi-view perspective capabilities in 3D models.

Of course, nothing will replace a pair of good hands. No matter what software it is, if you can’t throw a line the way you want it, or even conjure aesthetically pleasing designs in your mind before sketching (proportion, form, weight, curves, etc.), software alone isn’t going to help. What it does though is to increase the sweet spot, and to reduce the turnaround time between a sketch-idea and a 3D-representation.

Now I’m just waiting for it to have a ‘paint’ function where you can render the views, and have it turn out 3D surfaces based on the shading (now I’m thinking too much). That would be the holy grail.

Am I asking too much?

Opus Design Award 2008

The Opus Design Award is an annual design competition open to conceptual designs of eyewear. Here’s the winner in 2008:


Switch, by Nick Jinkinson, is an eyewear that fully goes from ‘normal’ eyewear mode to ‘shades’ mode, and this won the Gold Prize. According to the designer:

Traditional photochromic eyewear suffers from the problem that the overall design of
the eyewear is usually biased towards one typology: normal glasses or sunglasses. When in tinted mode, normal glasses do not look like convincing sunglasses and therefore can appear compromised. This limits the appeal, which considering how practical it is, is a great shame. Switch addresses this by making a more complete transformation between states. Rather than just the lenses reacting to light, the arms and nose bridge do also, making a distinction between 100% normal glasses and 100% sunglasses.


Another entry that I thought was quite interesting was ClearVision by Emil-Dragos Brogdan (winning one of the Special Prizes). Observing that wiping the lenses off dust/moisture/grease was a regular action for the bespectacled, the bridge of this design incorporates cleaning mechanisms as well so you’d not need to bring along any other cloth (or even your sleeve).

Paris Motor Show

The Paris Motor Show is a biennial affair showcasing production and concept cars from many major marques for automobile fans to salivate on. Here are just some highlights from the show:

Lamborghini Estoque



One of the highlights of the show was the Lamborghini Estoque – yes, Lamborghini is showing a car that you can actually enter/exit with reasonable ease! The four-door sports car is only the second in Lamborghini’s history. Personally I didn’t quite like the last third of the car from side view: it looked slightly awkward, like two cars were forcefully blended in the middle.

Some other interesting rides from the show:

Audi A1 Sportsback – Audi’s answer to a lower end, sporty and smaller car.


Mazda Kiyora – yes, yet another Nagare-styled Mazda concept.


Nissan Nuvu Concept – you’d either hate or like the cutesy electric car


Renault Ondelios Concept – Like a bird on the open roads



For more information about each of these cars, head here~

Transformer comes to Strollers

Strollers have come a long way in terms of baby care. It was once exclusive and expensive, and only the upper echelons of the society could strut their babies around on wheels. Today though, strollers are almost a necessity for every mom, and we’ve also seen innovations that tries to make it simpler to use – to push, to store, to keep the baby safe.

4Moms demonstrated the above stroller – ‘Origami’ – recently at a show, featuring a Transformer-like automatic folding, which simply takes the sweat out of this process (parents will know how frequently they’d have to do this). A one-button push initiates the sequence – and the stroller detects whether a baby’s still in the stroller before morphing. The battery is also rechargeable (about 300 feet of pushing will give you the power for 1 fold). You can also find it on Amazon .

VW Golf Design Sketches




Car Body Design has a great article/interview with the designers behind the VW Golf –  definitely one of the icons in Volkswagen portfolio. See how they explain the evolution of the Golf from its earlier incarnations to the present design, playing the balance between blending new changes and updating its image:

In the process, Walter de Silva, Flavio Manzoni (Group director for creative design) and Klaus Bischoff, (design chief for the Volkswagen brand), have not jettisoned the powerful design details of days past.

On the contrary: “We have assembled a selection of core elements, which can be described as ‘historical DNA’.

“Successful new Volkswagen designs – such as the one now realized on the Golf – will take on this DNA to create both a familiar impression and yet new feeling in the eye of the beholder”, says Walter de Silva.

Full article here.

Thoughtful Herb Pot



The Herb Stand by Normann Copenhagen (designed by Jakob Heiberg) is certain to give your kitchen a fresh lift! Nothing compares in aroma or effectiveness as fresh home-grown herbs, so perhaps this nicely designed pot will spur you towards some micro home-gardening?

What I liked most about it, however, is the scissors that is innocuously concealed as a green decorative motif. Tada – all the tool you need for your planting and harvesting in one coherent, complete design~


[Normann Copenhagen, via NOTCOT]

Goatee Shaver


I admire anyone who is willing and able to take the plunge in bringing their ideas/inventions to market – it definitely take a lot of guts and determination. But, this ‘goatee saver‘ still goes into the ‘Unreal’ book for me:

‘Tired of the constant struggle every morning trying to get your goatee to look perfect? Goateesaver revolutionizes the way you shave and trim your goatee. goateesaver can be customized to your face in seconds, with three easy adjustments. Just slide it over your mouth and shave to get the perfect look that women will admire and men will respect.’

The three knobs are extendable towards the side – this will help to define the outline of the shape. You then bite onto a mouthpiece, turn yourself into Darth Vader and then use any normal razor to shave along the perimeter. If that still doesn’t explains it, here’s the video:

What do I know though – there could be a ready market of goatee-wearers who always wanted something like this. If he really does make millions of it, it can probably join this honored list.