BERG, a London-based design studio, has just announced 2 new products: Little Printer and BERG Cloud. Little Printer is a thermal printer with a wireless connection to the Web. Each time you press the button, a neat little personalised package will be printed immediately. You can configure the messages with your smartphone, this is the part where the BERG Cloud will shine. Just watch the video and see how beautiful the graphic design is. Unfortunately it will only be launched as a “beta” product in 2012. Can’t wait to get one.
Contrary to sometimes-mistaken popular opinion, architects are not artists who create a new each time from scratch – they work with a palette of materials, techniques and tricks of the trade that build upon one another and evolve over time.
Hence WikiHouse, an open-source approach to sharing designs that are envisioned in Google SketchUp and can be sent to a plywood printer for construction.
CNC (computer numerical control) milling machines can cut what you need based on finished drawings exported from this simple and free 3D program.
The ten principles of the still-nascent WikiHouse project can be summarized as follows: be strategically lazy, building on and contributing to the work of others. Stick to efficient materials that are “cheap to buy, low-carbon and fully recyclable or biodegradable.” Use designs that are easy to construct without “formal skill or training” and don’t require power tools. Focus on year-round habitability, energy and water efficiency. Consider safety, security and health as well as climate, culture and economy. Share and share alike. Emphasize modular pieces and parts; design for mistakes, which are inevitable, during the construction process.
exhibition view at MAC’s (Museum of Contemporary Arts at Grand-Hornu), Belgium on view until January 29, 2012
Over the last twenty-five years Belgian artist MICHEL FRANÇOIS has built up a complex body of work using all sorts of materials and a range of methods, combining sculpture, photography, video, installations as well as performance.FRANÇOIS analyses and refers to everyday customs and habits in associative manner without detracting from their general validity. In his photographs, he finds his subjects in the real ordinary world but what is registeredby the artist is the unexpected in the familiar: L’ art, de toute façon, c’est la vie que l’on sculpte -MICHEL FRANÇOIS
Since 1994, for each new exhibition, a new large-format poster is created by the artist from his photographs and put on sale to the public. For the first time in Belgium, the Museum of Contemporary Arts at Grand-Hornu has chosen to republish them as a whole, with some 45 pictures (180 x 120 cm) printed in an edition of 1,000 copies.
While designers are often urged to think outside the box to create unique products, the Maru-like minds behind the Boxx scooter have ignored that cubic rubric and seem set on making it hip to be square. (Do not cue Huey Lewis and the News. Thank you.)
Recently revealed, the “one meter” machine - it’s about 39 inches long - is an all-wheel-drive electric commuter scooter that uses its small size and shape to its advantage. Weighing in at 120 lbs, it’s portable enough to bring inside for charging and storage. The aluminum bodywork conceals two compartments said to be able to handle a couple bags of groceries.
Speed is limited to 28-35 miles per hour (depending on your local regulations) which seems plenty fast, considering its size. Range is given as 20 miles in standard mode, 40 with Eco setting engaged and there is an optional battery upgrade that doubles those numbers. Charging takes four hours, but again, there is an upgrade that can reduce that to one.
The company is now taking orders for delivery in 2012. Price is set at $3,995, though if you tick all the option, um, boxes it can hit $5,541. The first 100 units are designated the “Designer Signature Series” and owners will receive free software and hardware upgrades and other benefits.
Remember the freaky, legless Curt Chair from Fabian Bernhard and Thomas Burkard of design studio Bernhard Burkard we showed you a few weeks ago? Well, the Symbiotic chair from designer Joong Han Lee of Studio Homunculus, outdoes the Curt Chair on the “what-were-you-thinking” scale. Another great example of how designers these days just can seem to be able to channel their creativity into pieces of furniture that would actually be useful for people, the Symbiotic chair is perhaps one of the most pretentious chairs of all time.
Since time immemorial, a chair has been something that you sit on. However, the brilliant mind behind this monstrosity decided that the comfort provided by the four-legged seat was way too luxurious for modern folks and thus he decided to remove two of the chair’s legs. This effectively means that the person dumb enough to want to sit in this chair will actually have to use the strength in his own two legs to support this thing parallel to the ground. And the logic behind doing so? Well, the designer thinks that we treat our chair like mere objects and we need to be more sympathetic towards the emotional and physical trauma endured by our furniture when we use them. We wonder if the designer feels the same way about the plants and animals he eats for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday!
Zander Olsen’s Tree, Line project is almost preposterously simple. He wraps segments of tree trunks in white linen so that, when photographed from a particular distance, this negative space echoes the horizon line or the curve of the mountaintops in the background. The result, however, is mesmerizing, lending a distinctly pleasing visual harmony to the natural world. See some of our favorite photographs from the series, shot in rural Britain, after the jump, and visit Olsen’s website for more.
wemakeit.ch: Erste Schweizer Crowdfunding Plattform für Kultur
Anfang 2012 geht mit wemakeit.ch die erste Schweizer Crowdfunding Platt-
form für Kulturprojekte an den Start. Auf wemakeit.ch können Kreative
ihre Projekte präsentieren, um diese gemeinsam mit ihren Gönnern zu
finanzieren und lancieren. Somit ist wemakeit.ch ein idealer Ort für
Kulturinteressierte, spannende Projekte aus allen Sparten zu entdecken
und sich an deren Realisation zu beteiligen. Hinter wemakeit.ch stehen
drei bekannte Namen aus der Kunst- und Kulturszene: Rea Eggli, Jürg
Lehni und Johannes Gees. Ab sofort können sich Kreative und Kultur-
schaffende mit Ihren Projektideen auf wemakeit.ch melden.
Der Erfinder der CAPTCHA und reCAPTCHALuis von Ahn erklärt sein neuestes Projekt: Duolingo. Der Professor für Computer Science an der Carnegie Mellon University fragte sich, wie man das ganze Internet übersetzen kann, ohne dass dies Unsummen Geld verschlingt. Mit Duolingo ist das kostenfrei möglich, hunderte Millionen lernen sogar noch eine neue Sprache dabei.
(Credit: Detail of the image from JoeInSouthernCA / CC BY 3.0)
TOPICS:VIRAL, UC DAVIS, JOHN PIKE, OCCUPY WALL STREET If you want to vanquish the enemy, render him absurd. Most recent case in point? The viral stardom of University of California, Davis, police Lt. John Pike. A week ago, you didn’t know his name. Now, he’s Pepper Spray Cop. And Pepper Spray Cop is considerably more entertaining than Lt. John Pike.
Lt. John Pike, as the world was made painfully aware last Friday, is the officer who pepper sprayed a phalanx of peacefully linked protesters who refused to move from the university’s quad. The gung-ho Pike, it should be noted, was swiftly joined by several of his similarly pepper-spray-happy cohorts. But it was the image of him and his confident, casual, almost bored delivery of a torrent of orange that ignited outrage — and then, inevitably, parody.
By Monday, Pike was rocking more memes than a Weezer video. Behold @PepperSprayCop, the man who says things like “just sprayed a can of Right Guard in my dog’s snout” and “PSSSSSHHHTTTT!” on Twitter. There’s also advice columnist Lt. John Pike, currently dispensing wisdom like it was mace on his own blog. The only downside to our latter-day Dear Abby? His repertoire of methods for dealing with a mailman who delivers after 5 p.m., for subduing feral cats, or for deciding what kind of car to buy all tend to run toward the singular theme of “Try pepper spraying him until his eyes bleed.”
But easily the most Facebook wall-ready appropriation of Pike’s moment of infamy has been his sudden, often hilariously Photoshopped appearance “cracking down on so many famous moments in history.” The cleverest have already been neatly gathered on the Pepper Spraying Cop Tumblr, which depicts Pike unleashing his orange rain in the midst of Picasso’s “Guernica” and “Washington Crossing the Delaware,” upon a noble George Bailey, and, of course, the deeply troubled star of Munch’s “The Scream.” Sample caption, accompanying an image of Pike going to town on Rosa Parks: “Sitting is a perfectly peaceful form of activism. What are they gonna do about somebody calmly sitting down to make a pointAUUUAHAHAGHAGHAGHGHGHGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.”
Why has Pepper Spray Cop become so popular, so quickly? Maybe because like Disaster Girl, Pike is so easy to insert into any situation. Or maybe because there’s something inherently so-wrong-it’s-right about Cindy Lou Who getting the business end of a can of whup-ass. But there’s more to it.
There is nothing at all funny about the nightmare events at U.C. Davis on Nov. 18. One of the protesters allegedly suffered nerve damage and has yet to find out whether the effects will be permanent. Another was reportedly taken to the hospital after the spray triggered an asthma attack. And beyond the physical injuries to a hoard of nonviolent individuals gathering in protest, the shock, disgust and institutional distrust many individuals around the world feel right now will linger long after the eyes of the victims have stopped burning.
But as Megan Garber pointed out Monday for the Nieman Journalism Lab, there’s power in the way that instantly iconic image of Pike — so cool, so brazen — has become something unto itself. It’s something that “demands, in trending topic terms, attention.” And whereas once the old maxim used to be that comedy is tragedy plus time, who has time anymore?
Instead, what we have is the meme. And yes, it’s dopey and pretty juvenile. But for as long as we’ve been human, we’ve had satire. We turn to the Onion after 9/11 to make us laugh at one of the worst human disasters in our nation’s history. We cling to Colbert and Stewart, groping to make mockery of the bad news of the day. Even Harry Potter had to learn a “riddikulus” spell to chase away the boggarts. Humor gives us context. It shrinks the monsters down to size. It can’t make a guy with an itchy trigger finger and an inflated sense of purpose any less real a threat, but it diminishes his power to scare us. And when we’re not afraid, that’s when we find the courage to stand up again.
We don’t laugh at the Pikes of the world because we are not incensed at their abuses of power, or because we don’t take their actions seriously. We do it because we take them very seriously, indeed. But without billy clubs and guns and tear gas, sometimes, laughter is the only weapon we’ve got.
Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of “Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream.” Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub. More Mary Elizabeth Williams”
22-year-old UC Davis student W. (name withheld by request) was one of the students pepper-sprayed at point-blank range Friday by Lt. John Pike while seated on the ground, arms linked and silent.
W. tells Boing Boing that Pike sprayed them at close range with military-grade pepper spray, in a punitive manner. Pike knew the students by name from Thursday night when they “occupied” a campus plaza. The students offered Pike food and coffee and chatted with him and other officers while setting up tents. On Friday, UC Davis chancellor Linda Katehi told students they had to remove their #OWS tents for unspecified “health and safety” reasons.
“Move or we’re going to shoot you,” Pike is reported to have yelled at one student right before delivering pepper spray. Then, turning to his fellow officers and brandishing the can in the air, “Don’t worry, I’m going to spray these kids down.”
Large, quick, high-quality prints. What’s not to like?
Ultimaker kits only started shipping in May 2011, but it has already gained a loyal following. Most recently, a dozen or so local hobbyists brought their Ultimakers to the 3D Printing Event during Dutch Design Week just to show them off (images below).
And who can blame them? The Ultimaker has a large build area and produces high quality prints remarkably fast. If that’s not enough, it’s open source (due to the fact that it’s an offshoot of the RepRap family). The only downside seems to be the fact that it’s somewhat more expensive than its most similar competitor, the Makerbot Thing-O-Matic, at 1200 euros (~$1625 right now) compared to $1299. On a side note, a helpful Thingiverse user, Steinbex, has uploaded Ponoko-ready lasercutting templates for the Ultimaker for anyone wanting to alter or customize the lasercut parts.
What do you, our loyal readers, think of this new entrant to the DIY 3D printing world? Is it the new king of the hill?