A simple light bulb . . .

I really do love when people take something simple and tweak it ever so slightly to get something mindblowing! I’m not sure why but i think this is just far too cool . . .

The light bulb has been given a makeover by designer Barend Hemmes and the team at Suck UK to bring it into the 21st century.

It’s a bulb but not as you know it. Made from laser cut wood the Wooden Buld Lamp leaves a crisp burned edge which creates a waffle like glow within the room.  The bulb is a versatile light and can be laid on its side, hung from the ceiling or stood upright meaning it can work in many different spaces.  Adding a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour to the ‘usual’ lamp, the Wooden Bulb becomes a talking point in any room.

The contemporary light bulb with its unique and one off variations on this design can be produced by the designer in a variety of materials.

The Wooden Bulb is available from THESE GUYS! for a not unrealistic 100 quid 

Office for any occasion . . .

Our business is one of the relative familial variety so my father had always made a point that our family would eat meals together and we would never discuss business, he also believed there were more important things in each others lives and didnt want business absorbing this precious time. One day we were having a family lunch and the conversation turned to business between my eldest brother and I, as was customary my father would tell us to stop and discuss more enjoyable things, to which my brother replied “Why, sometimes we find discussing work recreational and we enjoy it!”

That seemed to stump him for a while but the truth is we did and we do.

The reason I tell you this is to explain two points about me. The one is that I don’t see a separation between work life and other, they have been so intertwined in my DNA for so long that I believe both sides of a person can function together. The second point is that I’m ever so slightly OCD. I don’t have to switch the lights on and off 17 times every time I enter a room but I just like my shit to be setup in a specific way and ready to operate fully.

With the amount I travel it becomes rather annoying to continually construct and deconstruct and ‘office’ every 10 hours in a different place, so you can imagine my excitement when I came across this . . .

No it is not a braai (or BBQ for my more foreign friends) but rather a travel office, granted designed more for campers, and the like, than people like me but I’m pretty sure there is a Louis Vuitton one on its way shortly which is more my style.

It is based on the brilliant kitchen design by the same team which is intended for those who have similar needs like all-in-one, portability and easy to use but of the kitchen variety but in more of an outdoor / camping / research / earthy way! It 120 weighs 37 pounds (17 kg) and sells for US$1,995. The 55-pound (25-kg) 240 will set you back $2,495. It has power packs, solar panels and is made from industrial strength composites so you can literally be in a plane crash and ready to read mails after you get that tree branch out of your chest! Oh yes, and of course it has detachable legs in case you have found a comfy tree stump to really set up shop!

All in all I think it’s the start of something really special – it just needs to be slightly prettier, designed on the outside by TUMI and have a lift up handle and wheels so I can take it as hand luggage and we are all set! In fact if the powers that be could have this bag and the TUMI ALPHA carry on could have a love child, that would be the ideal evolution for this thing!

What’s in a name?

Changing a company’s ‘look & feel’ is a tricky one anytime you decide to do it, but when you are one of the worlds most recognized brands it makes things slightly harder. Just ask the boys and girls over at GAP (and a few South African others) how badly it can go wrong!

So when Microsoft launched their new look and feel I felt like I did when I had my first car crash as a new driver. Eyes tightly shut too scared to look at the mutilation, then as I slowly opened them I tried to assess the damage while the world came into focus.

On first glance there doesn’t seem to be much change, except for the inclusion of the now famous multi-colored blocks (but whenever you think of MS you think of those in any case – well at least the stupid flaggy ones up until now!). They have sharpened the font a bit and modernized the symbol rather nicely. It’s plain and simple with nothing that you can really complain about.

Microsoft have never been the sexiest of brands (they possibly got that from their leader) so you can’t really blame them for staying firmly INSIDE the box on this one but I guess overall a decent modernization of what had become a parochial over played and over used icon and font.


This could even get me inside!

The best thing in the world for me is when someone takes something boring, old and stayed and repackages it in a new way. It doesn’t have to even be an appealing way to me but the fact that someone has taken something we are so used to and recreated it is enough for us to applaud.

So don’t get me wrong, I’m a tablet guy, I like to read my books in no other form than electronic (magazines different story). I don’t want to hear your, ‘it’s the feel of the book, smell of the book’ crap. Electronic wins in every way, sorry! Now added to the fact that I’ve never liked libraries to begin with, I’m not sure if I had a scarring experience as a child (unlike porn most of my librarians were very ugly!) but whatever the reason is, I truly hate going into libraries. I don’t like the way they smell, the seats are always uncomfortable and if I hear a person mutter Dewy F^%$ing Decimal system I want to stab them with a pencil.

Got the picture? Here’s the exception . . .

Now having said all that if I were to live in the small town of Maastricht in the Netherlands and I  had the genius architects from Merkx & Girod taking over 13th Century gothic churches to build libraries, I would be in there every day!

These guys have taken this library to the absolute next level and they really deserve the most amazing credit – just have a look!

“The disorientation visitors encounter upon entering the contemporary building in the Netherlands is likely atavic in nature. The building that houses the store is in fact a Gothic church consecrated in 1294 by the Order of Predicators founded by St. Dominic. The church has not hosted a religious function since 1794, when the church was confiscated by Napoleon’s army for military purposes. Since then, the space has been used as a town archive, warehouse and even an inglorious site for bike storage. In 2005, Boekhandels Groep Nederland (BGN) decided to give new life to the building by transforming it into what is now one of the world’s most incredible bookstores.
The interior design creates retail space by taking advantage of the spatial magnificence of the church’s architecture. To satisfy BGN’s need for 1,200 m2 of selling space and given that the church’s floor area is of only 750 m2, Evelyn Merkx and Patrice Girod thought to insert an over-sized walk-in bookcase. The two upper levels therefore compensate for the lack of surface area, enabling the transversal use of space.”

“The imposing bookcase created by Keijsers Interior Projects is positioned on the right side of the building, between the central and lateral naves, and encompasses the stone columns. A series of stairs lead visitors up the black steel walk-in bookcase, providing an up close and personal view of the vaults of the nave, enthralling them with a nearsighted view of the frescoes and revealing an unknown perspective. In stark contrast, the left side of the church retains the original height of the building with low tables placed parallel to the central nave as if to lead the visitor toward a sort of hypothetical altar. The left nave features low, horizontal tables and vertical book shelves along the walls to create thematic islands separated by the steady rhythm of the columns. The lighting, which is an all but integral part of the store’s design, manifests itself in the chorus by way of a traditional chandelier above the crucifix-shaped table located in the café area. Here, with the left side housing the bar area, a series of tables, poufs and armchairs mimic the curved line of the chorus to a raised platform”



How do you get GEN Y to brush their teeth?

You see I’m part of a generation that doesn’t get the concept of long term reward or damage – that’s why we all smoke you see. It’s fun at the time but we don’t understand that it may kill us! Same with jobs – we want lots of money right out the gate because we just don’t get the ‘building a career’ nonsense.

We want the answer to a question, we GOOGLE it. We have an argument about movies and we IMDB it – we want things NOW! Simple as that.

So when it comes to your teeth you generally skimp on them because lets be fair, you have no idea what they look like, what damage you are doing and really in six months the dentist will fix any of the shit anyway!

So for mine and the disastrous millennial generations here is the solution – this things transmits images from the brush to your mirror so you can see where you need to hit, how long you need to brush and basically how disgusting you’re teeth are!


Why can’t more of the world be like this?

It’s time to take a bit of a break from the serious and look at the future a little. Now these guys get what I want (not a massive surprise that its ex Apple engineer Tony Fadell). I want my house to be a ‘living’ space, one that is constantly changing and updating based on my needs. Its constantly evolving temperatures, TV recordings, music downloads and the list goes on and on!

I suppose these guys did this to save some costs for the average user but for me I would pay a premium for this thing, this NEST LEARNING THERMOSTAT!


Let me tell you very simply how it works. It asks you a few questions on startup (things like do you like a ball tingling 25 degrees or more of a polar munching on your leg 8 degrees), it goes online to get the days temp updates so it can adjust itself to the needs of that specific moment and it can be controlled remotely so if you want your girlfriend to get home and have to strip down to lingerie due to your heat setting, you can!


Its simple to install . . .

And it just looks sensationally sexy!

To the team at NEST thank you for finally starting to push the world in the right direction!

Here’s a video of how this little superstar works!


When spare time and creativity overlap (plus a few Post-its)

When creative people have spare time magic can happen. Boring useless crap can happen too but mostly it’s the former.

You see if you were to say to me here’s a crap load of POST-ITs and a few hours off go play I’d probably be at a bar post-it-ing the number of bottles of wine I’ve drink for the next day or so but fortunately that’s not the norm!

First it starts out simple . . .

Then a little healthy competition . . .

And before you know it there is a full out creative war with only stupid coloured little pieces of paper and man’s ingenuity!

Gotta love the commitment!

From HERE!

Creativity is the future!

I love competitions like the Electrolux Design Competition because they give those who have incredible talent the ability to show the world a little portal to the future, without which the funds they need would be missing and so they’d sadly be doomed to menial jobs, probably forever.

Now most of these, like concept cars, will never see the light of day, BUT they have given us an inkling of what’s possible. They have given us a small taste of perfection or rather ‘perfection in progress’.

Things like the blue tooth controlled ‘tap vacuum’. The brilliance is not only in the design of this sexy little pet of the future but in the simplicity of its usage. Just have a look at it.

Now I kinda get the fact that you won’t be wearing the Bluetooth earpiece on your shoes much and therefor it will take more energy to go fetch the stupid little thing and come back and tap the floor than to go fetch the vacuum in the first place, however there’s no disputing which is infinitely cooler!

Then there’s the portable convection plate. Now this is a very new age little thing and you see you can now take your iPhone which doubles as the Bluetooth control of this thing and fry a scrambled egg while having a picnic.

You can reheat last night’s soup at the table and even boil an egg at the football if you want. The problem here is that anything you want to do in any of these settings doesn’t exactly fit this portable stove (let’s call it what it is). You want to picnic with cold snacks, you want to braai (or BBQ for the offshore folks) rather than pan fry and you certainly don’t want to do anything with this thing at the football other than perhaps burn an oppositions face with it!

Next there’s the portable microwave. Now I think this is the coolest of all the gadget inventions, the only problem is I think this thing is so far from actual invention that you may as well be designing the portal that takes you to Thors home planet (sorry I’m currently watching it on the plane).

 Second to last there is the, what I think, is absolutely superb portable, foldable and curlable heating and cooling pad. This can be used to heat up a stew when wrapped around a pot or cool a bottle of wine if we do the same.

It can be used as a heating plate for pretty much anything.

And it can be controlled by some seriously slick little buttons on its side. This is why this must have come in as a VERY close runner up.

And finally the winner of it all is the very cool looking but rather boring appliance with the functionality of JIK. This racy little beast removes stains. Yes it removed stains, which proves once again how much spending power the housewife or househusband commands.

Sure it looks cute and I suppose if it works it will be brilliant for those who do washing, but really, this is what we gave the award to . . .


Next year why doesn’t someone just design an automated ironing board and save everyone the trouble of entering!

For all the videos of these design – GO HERE

This is just plain cool!

So some things are just blatantly, heroically, undeniably, unfathomably, outrageously, unfathomably COOL!

This bike is mind blowingly so! Can you imagine Lance on this thing cruising his way up Montfort on the Tour de France (yes I know it’ll never happen but he is just the perfect combo of cool for this bike!)

Now, while I generally applaud designers who take the traditional design of things and strip it down to then create something that is so perfectly different that it only a genius could do it, I also like to give praise to those who take the simple and make it so cool that all you want to do is go out, mortgage your house and buy one!

I mean I don’t ride anything unless it is stationary it has a row of female steppers in front of it and a massive LED screen in front of them but if I had one of these – things may be different!

Have a look!

It has the obligatory iPod doc on the top for all the beautiful things iPod apps can do!

It has three modes.

The first is pure battery for if you want to look like you are working off your ass but you are just interesting in staring at the one in front of you, the second is a bit of half and half if you are trying to scale a mountain and you need a little extra boost and the last is if you haven’t realized it has a battery pack and you want to peddle like it’s a penny farthing!


Bravo to these GENIUS DESIGNERS! Check them out here!

I want customized EVERYTHING but I’ll start with retro appliances!

If you are anything like me, you want to be able to buy pretty much anything your brain can create?

Now as someone who tore a house apart and redid it back up again you start to get rather pissed off by the small things, things like light switches that all look like they were designed by a visually challenged accountant (even the le grand stuff) and appliances that have looked the same since the chick in the 50’s was cooking dinner for her man after a long day (thank goodness I found ONE cool fridge in the end)

What I don’t get is why there are not more companies like these guys? (I mean sadly I do get it – there is not enough demand to support these businesses – but I wish it weren’t so!)

These brilliant individuals have taken the concept of boring home appliances and given it the finger! FINALLY someone has realized that people want fun, they want creative and most importantly they was uniqueness!


Check out their work!

Solar is the future . . . here’s hoping!

So my fellow STMer is rather green (in the environmental sense) well apart from the fact that his car contributes a fair amount to global warming, but in his honour I’ve decided to post the greatest solar powered inventions!

Now if we are going to save this world we are going have to go about it similarly to the old saying ‘how do you eat and elephant?’ well, one bite at a time!

Here’s a bite . . .

Solar Powered Camera Strap

What I’m trying to say is that if we work out a way to substitute electricity for solar in as many products or services that we can, it can only help!

Solar Powered Glasses

So I thought it important to show you a few samples of just how easy and brilliant it can be to take a normal every day product and use solar as a solution . . .

Solar Powered lounge Chair

Now true you may say that these are nice Photoshop examples of a good idea, but really, isn’t that were all brilliant things start? Isn’t the idea and the vision the most important part?

Solar Powered shower

If so then these are the perfect start, now it’s up to the rest of us to make them a reality! If nothing else can someone PLEASE invent the bikini one because it would be ideal to be able to stare and have the excuse of admiring a great product to fall back on!

The COUP DE GRACE - the Solar Powered Bikini!

Here are the rest of the ideas!

Small things, small minds . . .

My mother used to say small things amuse small minds (and you wonder why i ended up marrying a shrink) but I’ve realised that its actually Small things amuse bored minds!

One of my fetishes (not sexual you sick bastards more like stationary & blazers) is wrapping and i just couldnt pass this thing up – far too cool and just like bubble wrap gives hours of fun!




Via the brilliant TOXOL

The thinkers . . .

I posted an article a while ago with the great apple advert on ‘here’s to the crazy ones’. It was a brilliant tribute to the thinkers, the creators and those who took chances in pursuit of human advancement regardless of society’s perception!

Now this person may not have created the most ground breaking experimental thing that will propel society forward BUT i would really love to see the world through their eyes!

I’m a big picture sort of thinker, it’s been tested, I’m a stock standard Myers Briggs ENTJ (which basically means I’m a loud bastard as per my PA) so unfortunately I do not see detail very often but when I see something like this I try to imagine how this person sees the world. I mean to take something so insignificant and be able to actually SEE IT (mostly I would walk past and not even notice a bike chain) and then to go on and design something so simple yet such a perfect solution to such an ugly problem at very little extra cost – if only the world had a million more people like the designer  Sono Mocci (you have to go check out some other designs! You have to see the Salt and Pepper ones!)


Looking at it differently . . .

So often when we have a problem we look to the most practical and conventional way of solving it. We try to be logical and look at all the variables trying to make sure there is the least chance of failure.

I suppose if you are building a space station or a defibrillator that’s the best course of action but when you are trying to tackle problems of human behaviour there really is no ‘best method’. Human beings are so unreliable in their behaviour and their reactions that in order to control them by the ‘logical method’ you would have to design a solution to ensure each individual person complies to due to a unique solution.

So what do we do when confronted with trying to control the masses? We could invent religion but that’s a whole other discussion.

Now generally throughout history punishment has been the best way to keep people in check. If you steal you go to jail. If you don’t pay tax you get a penalty and so on. But the question must remain – does it work? Well I guess you have to play the odds and mostly it keeps people on the right track, but this works best for major indiscretions because the punishments are harsher, less so as we go down the scale the penalties work less and less.

One of the best examples is that of speeding fines.

Do they REALLY stop people speeding?

(The only place I have ever seen them work is in a small English town called Thame I was working in. The residents took the council to court and got the courts to rule that all traffic cameras should be painted bright yellow so motorists could see them and thus slow down – brilliant place!)

Most of the time you can’t see where the hell the bloody camera is in which case OF COURSE it doesn’t slow you down because you don’t even know you are being monitored! Even when you get the ticket chances are the camera has moved to a new location by the time you go back.

Here’s where the lateral thinking comes in!

This guy entered a competition for fun and based on his theory of reward AND punishment for speeding – he won and if you watch this you really get why.

The solution is so simple yet so affective as you will see in the trial!


How creativity should inspire life!

Design is one of the most inspirational things on this planet, I think.

Pushing the boundaries of what we have seen has been the most important thing driving human civilization since the beginning of time!

When I saw this video the reason I watched it was really to see the brilliance of this technology that’s being created all around us, but after I watched I couldn’t help but hit replay with my eyes closed! Not because the creativity combined with technology didn’t blow me away but because I wanted to hear the words again. I wanted to imagine what we could achieve as a people if we took them with us when we woke up in the morning and killed to see them get done!

There are so many brilliant lines in this video. Not just about design and creation, but about life and about how we should live our lives, about how we should use our gifts to make something of value. As the video quotes ‘Creativity is no longer reserved for the musician or the artist – it’s something you can find in anyone’

The tragedy is most people don’t want to create something of value, or believe the cant. They don’t want to contribute to the universe, they just want to build something for themselves! They don’t want to put in but see how much they can suck out to gorge themselves on!

People who create, people who can stretch our definition of possible should be praised, they should be rewarded and they should be used as inspiration for what humanity should be achieving rather than wallowing in greed, lies, deceit and everything else that we find going wrong with the world!

Kristian Ulrich Larsen is one of these people and if you want to see how some people are changing the world around us while most of us are sitting here on our asses watching it pass us by – go look at this!