Industrial Design

McDonald’s Super Straw for Shamrock Shake’s.

So what do you do when you are the largest fast food provider in the world and you have just invented a layered two flavor shake that needs to have those flavors mix while eating? You hire a bunch of aerospace engineers to design a new straw for you, and that is exactly what McDonald’s did for the new Chocolate Shamrock Shake, one of four new seasonal McCafé beverages.

The new McCafé beverage has dual layers of chocolate shake below mint Shamrock Shake, and the new recipe presented McDonald’s with a unique challenge. How do you deliver the ideal flavor ratio of 50% chocolate and 50% mint in each sip, versus enjoying each flavor separately with a traditional straw. To solve the problem McDonald’s turned to highly-qualified engineering firms. JACE and NK Labs created the probably-more-revolutionary-than-actually-needed Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal strawThe STRAW’s j-shape provides optimal flavor flow dynamics.

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Due to the STRAW’s unique design, only 2,000 were produced in time for Shamrock Shake season and it will only be available in select participating restaurants with the purchase of a Chocolate Shamrock Shake. Visit mcdonalds.mwnewsroom.com/US to learn where and when the lucky few will be distributed. (I don’t want the shake, but I definitely want the straw). And, like the seasonal offering of the McCafé Shamrock Chocolate offerings, the STRAW is also available for a limited time.

“It was a puzzling assignment but one with an ambitious goal,” said Seth Newburg, principal engineer and managing partner at NK Labs. “From a physics perspective, it’s actually quite difficult to deliver a proportional amount of both chocolate and mint flavors with each sip. But that’s exactly what we did. It’s a marvel of fluid dynamics. Thanks Fibonacci sequence.”

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Panthella Mini

Verner Panton’s Panthella lamp, launched in 1971 and went on to become a design classic and is now being relaunched in a smaller version as the Panthella Mini. To help launch the new product and promote Panton’s iconic product, Frame. was commissioned by Louis Poulsen to create a spot for a lamp, and they nailed it. Frame not only captures the essence of the lamp design, they have created a look that mirrors the materials Panton used to create the original in this fun animated spot.

The legendary Danish designer Verner Panton is known for his use of powerful colors, organic shapes, and unconventional materials – designing everything from furniture to full art installations that looked, and probably felt, like an acid trip. Unsurprising, when you think that he completed a lot of his work in the 60’s.

As a starting point, we investigated Panton’s aesthetic universe and commenced designing a tour de force of lamps, eye-popping colors, and abstract shapes, inspired by the man himself. We were also encouraged by Louis Poulsen to give it our own personal touch so we had the freedom to interpret the unique style of Verner Panton with a unique twist and establish a lighter, more contemporary tone.

In the end, it was all about creating something warm, happy, alive, intelligent and playful – just like Panton himself. To create a setting for the lamps to shine (no pun intended) and allow the focus to remain on these beautifully designed objects.

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A 1955 Classic Reissued by Carl Hansen & Son.

Having spent the last 3 and a half hours working standing up, looking at a well-designed desk that you sit at is a refreshing break. Don’t get me wrong, I choose to work standing up, my desk can raise and lower, and I really do try to work standing for at least 4 to 5 hours a day. That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a piece of quality design, and a desk you sit at.

Starting this October you will be able to pick up one of Poul Kjærholm’s tables originally designed for the Royal Danish Academy of Arts in 1955. Poul Kjærholm was a master at blending steel and wood together to create a minimalist yet functional form. His design aesthetic  is expressed perfectly in these two tables. Both are characterized by clear forms and light grace, the tables made a significant contribution to the designer’s reputation as a pioneer of Danish functionalism.

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Produced by Carl Hansen & Son, the tables will be available with tops made of Oregon pine or oak veneer, and with oiled, varnished or black-lacquered surfaces. The steel frame comes lacquered in black or grey. Each table can be fitted with a drawer of either oiled, varnished or black lacquered oak. The Professor Desk (PK52) is 28 inches high, by 72.4 inches long and 33.4 inches deep; the Student Desk (PK52A) is 28 inches high, 55.7 inches long and 33.4 inches deep. Both tables will be available for purchase in October.

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Roccbox Will Rock Your Pizza Craving.

I think I need this. No I know I need this. Not only does it look amazing, but the concept is simply brilliant.

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Roccbox name says it all, it´s a stone in a boxthat gets really hot very fast. This way you get stone baking properties. Not only that, this is portable thanks the compact size so you can take it pretty much anywhere. According to the video below you can bake a 12 inch pizza in just over 90 seconds thanks to an internal temperature of 932 degrees farenhite (500c). The special burner enables the inside to heat up in around 15 minutes, which is really quite fast. The stone on the inside is a refractory stone, which is ideal to preserve and disperse heat through out the cooking chamber. Roccbox features spatial insulation materials, and a silicone outer coating so you won´t get burned if you ever touch its surface. It comes with a wood burner, gas burner thermometer, a pizza peel and a recipe book. I love the part in the video where he is cooking a steak in a cast iron skillet in this thing. They reached funding on Indigogo so this thing is available for order in a handful of countries including the USA.

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Dock It.

One thing that has always baffled me about my iPhone is the why it comes with a wall charger but no dock. Actually I know why it is. It’s all about the money, and by not giving you a dock they ask you to buy one for 40 bucks. The thing is, when I am shelling out the kind of money Apple want’s for a phone, the least they could do is toss in a dock. I hate the wall plug with the power cord snaking out of the wall across my counter or desk.

Thankfully though, if you want a dock you don’t have to give your money to Apple or whoever made your smartphone. You can instead opt for Native Union’s which costs about the same and frankly looks better, especially when it is bundled with their belt cable. I also like the fact that this design gives your phone additional support so the weight of your phone isn’t placed exclusively on the lightning connector and the port on your phone. (I’m pretty sure this is what eventually caused my old phone to stop charging and the port to eventually fail)

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After 8, Razor Thin Lighting.

If I still had a kitchen island that faced out into the rest of an open floor plan, this is definitely a lighting solution I would consider. After 8 Pendant by Molto Luce is a line of illumination. At just 5mm wide (0.19 inches for non metric people) this razor thin LED light is compact, simple, minimalist fixture suspended by two this lines of wire that descend from ceiling mounts.

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The pendant is just over 48 inches in length, and 3 inches tall. Constructed with a refined metal black housing, and compact light source there is an elegant simplicity to the end result that adds a level of refinement to the space without detracting from it’s surroundings.

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Austrian design firm Molto Luce was founded in 1981. The companies Italian name is reflective of their design approach and philosophy.While Molto Luce  is generally focused on commercial lighting for work environments, their pieces are considered timeless thanks to their overall design aesthetic.

 

MNML Sisifo.

I’ve spent most of my weekend trying to figure out just exactly what the previous homeowners were doing when they finished the basement in my house. Nothing is square, the wiring is a fire hazard, and the plumbing is a joke. I was going to try and fix the problems, but instead decided to tear a section out and start from scratch. After 6 hours, it’s break time, and break time led to the Internet. The Internet brought me to Sisifo, a minimalist light designed by Chicago-based firm MNML for Artemide.

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Sisifo places a disc of light, balanced above a weighted base on an articulating pole. The pole allows for 360 degrees of rotation, and for the disc to placed at the most useful angle for the end user. Designed with a small footprint, the weighted base and double ball joint were designed for minimum resistance, allowing the lamp head to effortlessly float above the base and be adjusted. Sisifo also features an intuitive on/off touch dimmer control at the front of the base that invites tactile interaction. Using a fresnel pattern, the light source is diffused eliminating any harsh shadows, creating even uniform light. Yeah I kind of want a few of these.

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