April 16, 2014

Pop-up furniture that folds easily and warms your seat

Filed under: Design by Orangemaster @ 12:07 pm

Screen shot 2014-04-16 at 12.09.14 PM

Soullmate, a Dutch product by Design Studio BOMM and Sit & Heat, is pop-up furniture for two that can be folded away in seconds and warms your bum if it’s cold outside. They say cold is 0˚C, but then again they are Dutch and that’s considered cold here.

“The bench, table and pallet together have a dimension of 120 x 120 x 110 cm, which can fold to a height of 35 cm, making the Soullmate easy to transport and store. In a short period of time you can create an event space with a great atmosphere.”

I love how quickly it folds and I encourage you to find out more about the seat warming aspects.

Folding the Soullmate from Sit & Heat on Vimeo.

(Link:, Photo: screenshot Soullmate)


April 5, 2014

Foam carpet by Nightshop

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 9:38 pm


This carpet by Rotterdam-based designers Nightshop is made to look like a classic oriental carpet—from a distance—but when you look closer you’ll see it is actually made of foam.

foam-carpet-nightshop-2Mocoloco says the carpet (called Showdown) will be on display next week at Ventura Lambrate during the Milan Design Week.

Nightshop is the design studio of Ward van Gemert and Adriaan van der Ploeg. They are keen on “investigating the boundaries between good and bad taste”. I don’t know if this carpet will be for sale and for what price—why not find out for yourself by contacting the makers at

(Illustrations: Nightshop)

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March 15, 2014

Marjan van Aubel’s table harvests electricity for mobile devices

Filed under: Design,Gadgets by Branko Collin @ 1:52 pm


Why not make your table top a solar cell? Add in a couple of USB ports and you’ve got a cell phone charger that you could eat off. And that is exactly what London-based Dutch designer Marjan van Aubel did.

Writes Dezeen:

Inside the glass panels is a dye-synthesised solar cell that uses the properties of colour to create an electrical current, in a similar way to how plants use green chlorophyll to convert sunlight into energy. [...] Charging times vary depending on the amount of sunlight present. “One cell needs about eight hours to fully charge a battery, and there are four cells for each USB port,” the designer said.

This reminds me of the bookcase with a memory by Ianus Keller and the table shaped case-mod by Marlies Romberg (story here).


(Link: Bright; photos: Marjan van Aubel)

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March 11, 2014

Supportless, magical 3D printing of metal

Filed under: Design,Technology by Orangemaster @ 7:42 am


The Joris Laarman Lab, located in Amsterdam, is known for experimenting and tinkering with the new possibilities of upcoming technology alongside craftspeople, scientists and engineers. Their latest feat includes a technique for large-scale 3D printing of 3D objects made from steel, stainless steel, aluminum, bronze or copper on any work surface that does not require any additional support structures. “The MX3D-Metal method combines a robotic arm typically used in car manufacturing with a welding machine to melt and then deposit metal, to create lines that can be printed horizontally, vertically, or in curves without the need for support structures.”

Back in 2010 we wrote about Joris Laarman’s solo exhibition in New York featuring ‘bone chairs’.

Watch the video to see how it is possible to create metal structures in mid-air, as it has something quite magical to it.

(Links:,, Photo of freeform metal lines from

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March 10, 2014

Giant Red Saunders photo made into picnic bags

Filed under: Design,Food & Drink,Photography by Branko Collin @ 8:22 am


As part of the celebrations of the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht, the local centre of the arts (UCK) commissioned British photographer Red Saunders to create a large piece depicting the signing of the treaty.

The 200 square metre photo was displayed in front of the city hall, but when it had to come down there was no place large enough to continue to exhibit it. The photo banner was given or sold to Jongkruit, a company whose sole business seems to be to turn festival banners into bags. According to Oranje Flamingo, you can buy one of these for a picnic at the festival on Liberation Day later this year. (It would appear that only some buyers will get a Red Saunders bag.)

The Treaty of Utrecht ended the War of Spanish Succession in 1713 in which a great number of major European powers were involved.

(Photo: Metro Imaging / Red Saunders)

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March 4, 2014

Dutch boffins create the world’s smallest drone

Filed under: Design,Technology by Orangemaster @ 3:56 pm


The DelFly Explorer, the world’s smallest drone, has flapping wings and can fly around by itself, avoiding obstacles, according to developer Guido de Croon of the Delft University of Technology. Weighing 20 grammes, the robot dragonfly uses two tiny low-resolution video cameras, reproducing the 3-D vision of human eyes, and an on-board computer to see its surroundings and avoid crashing into things. It can fly around for up to 9 minutes without needing external control.

Smaller ‘flapping’ drones exist, such as the RoboBee developed by Harvard University students in the US, but they are not autonomous. “The Explorer has its own small lithium polymer battery that allows it to fly for around 9 minutes, while it ‘sees’ with its onboard processor and a specially developed algorithm to make instant decisions.

The drone’s predecessor, the DelFly Micro, was declared the ‘smallest camera equipped aircraft in the world’ in 2008 by the Guinness Book of Records.

(Links:,, Photo of the DelFly Explorer by

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February 14, 2014

Fish drives itself in a small tank on wheels

Filed under: Animals,Design,Technology by Orangemaster @ 2:39 pm


Made possible by Studio diip in Leerdam, South Holland, a goldfish is able to swim in a small tank on wheels and drive itself around the room. It can swim towards something shiny and the small tank on wheels will go in that direction. The device is powered by a camera and computer vision software, putting the goldfish at the wheel. We’re also told that the fish gets to go back to a normal tank after going out for a spin.

Although not a proper comparison, it does remind of a cat on a Roomba.

(Photo of Goldfish by angs school, some rights reserved)

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February 13, 2014

Rietveld Schröder house in Utrecht gets immortalized in Lego

Filed under: Architecture,Design by Orangemaster @ 1:53 pm


British Lego fan Nick Barrett, who is into making his own creations with Lego, has completed a lovely version of the famous Rietveld Schröder house, located in Utrecht, including its interior and furniture, Rietveld design chairs and all.

Tons more pics by Barrett of the house here.

Have a gander at other Lego creations we’ve written about:

(Link:, Photo by Nick Barrett)

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February 10, 2014

Temstem app combats hearing voices

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 2:47 pm

An app that helps paracusia sufferers deal with the voices they hear has won the Rotterdam Design Prize 2013.

I did not know this, but apparently there are many people who hear voices in their daily lives, either voices that aren’t there or background voices that get amplified. Sometimes these voices are benign and just part of the noises around you and sometimes they are negative or threatening. Parnassia Groep claims their free iPhone app Temstem (the name is a pun meaning ‘tame voice’) can help you learn how to control these voices.

The jury report says about the app: “The jury believes that Temstem is a brilliant example of the impact that design can have on real problems. The joint research by the health professionals of the Parnassia Groep and the Reframing Studio designers has resulted in a genuine tool that can have a major impact on the lives of its users.”

The audience award was given to a display for railway station platforms that tells travellers where the first and second class carriages are, which carriages are crowded and so on. Dutch Rail had a similar system before but only in app form. The new system has displays suspended over the trains.

The first five prizes of the audience award were:

  • Dutch Rail display system
  • Temstem
  • Fairphone (ethically sourced smartphone)
  • Pal-V (flying car)
  • Mine Kafon (anti-personnel mine detonator)

(Link: Bright; photo by William Hook, some rights reserved)

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November 14, 2013

Philips logo goes retro while pay-off moves forward

Filed under: Design,Technology by Orangemaster @ 3:45 pm

Dear big cheeses at Philips,

You do realise that your new logo is just a revamping of the old one, with elements from back in the days when you guys were making radios and light bulbs. Sure, retro can be cool, but one wonders about how much work was really put into this as opposed to how well it was pitched to you as being new. In other words, it kind of looks as if you’ve been had: the logo looks like it belongs on a football jersey and the redesigned waves remind me of Pepsi Cola.

Your last pay-off, ‘Sense and Simplicity’, sounded too much like the novel ‘Sense and Sensibility’ by Jane Austen, but I’m sure you got that a lot. ‘Simplicity’ was never really a good idea since you make very complicated products for medical purposes and not just coffee machines for the masses. I could speculate that you were more concerned with trying to convince yourselves than your intended consumers.

Your new pay-off, ‘Innovation and You’, tells me you’ve figured out that ‘simplicity’ was not the way to go and that everyone should benefit from innovation when they buy your products. I like that. However, your retro logo seems to contradict your pay-off: you are trying to move forward while clinging to the glories of the past. That is what hipsters are doing and it’s not really working for them either.

(Link and screenshot:

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