April 21, 2009

Open Source car

Filed under: Automobiles,Design,Technology by Branko Collin @ 10:14 am

In 2005 the well-known Stichting Natuur en Milieu foundation (Foundation for Nature and Environment) asked students of the three technological universities (Delft, Eindhoven, Twente) to invent the car for the year 2020. This is what they came up with, called the c’mm’n, and the first thing you will notice is that it doesn’t fly. The car that is, not or not necessarily the concept.

So, for the car geeks out there, here are the dirty details (Dutch):

  • Thermoplastic exterior
  • Aerodynamic shape
  • Mega-iPhone-like dashboard that lets you play GTA IV while the auto-pilot drives the car
  • Configurable driver’s seat that makes it impossible for other drivers to seek eye contact
  • Memory foam back seat
  • Active suspension (makes the car stick to the road better)
  • Frame that doubles as a shockabsorber
  • Fully electrical powertrain
  • Optional diesel range extender (the so-called engineering booth makes it possible for you to compose your own car and calculate the effects of your choices)

They seem to have put more thought into the ‘car of the future’ bit than into the ‘open source’ bit—the c’mm’n people still have to decide on the license. I understand that can be a tricky thing but on the other hand even Ford, which isn’t in the business of giving away its products, at least opened up its press photography.

(Link: Springwise.com. Source photo: cmmn.org.)

Tags: , ,

December 24, 2008

Ecological font

Filed under: Design,Sustainability by Branko Collin @ 2:55 pm

Utrecht based ad agency Spranq made a font environmentally friendly by making holes in the glyphs. The result is called Ecofont, and according to an article by NPR, this will save its users up to 15% in ink. The idea is that you set this font, a free download, as the standard font for printing drafts and e-mails and such. Ecofont is based on the liberally licensed Bitstream Vera font.

Tags: , , , ,

August 20, 2008

Looking for open source furniture

Filed under: Design by Branko Collin @ 6:55 pm

Dear lazyweb. As I am a complete troglodyte in matters of taste and style—something I am obviously trying to mask by using fancy words for “caveman”—and I need to make myself a small cabinet to keep magazines in and drinks on, I find myself looking for “open source” furniture. And finding none. Indeed, the closest I am getting so far are the designs of De Stijl giant Gerrit Rietveld, who apparently created some designs for cheap furniture made out crates during The Crisis of the 1930s.

The Rietveld-Schröderhuis website mentions a brochure made by Rietveld for the Commission Concerning Household Education and Family Leadership called Meubels om zelf te maken (Furniture You Can Make Yourself), created around 1943, 1944, but probably never published. Oddly enough, Paul Ket has low-res scans of this brochure on his website, and Brian C. Keith has even created detailed plans for some of Rietveld’s furniture (some of Rietveld’s designs are public domain in the US, I don’t know about the legality of the rest). If you’re too lazy, Rietveld’s grandchildren sell some of the designs as construction kits.

But to get back to my question: do any of you know open source furniture that I could use?

Tags: , , ,