Category Archives: customization

Radical Traceability

Small and independent producers can benefit from the Internet’s Long Tail and on-demand manufacturing to find supply and demand for their products. Now, they can also count on radical traceability in the form of, a website that combines user-contributed design with the ability to follow each step in the manufacturing process once a product […]

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Lego Papercraft

Goro Motai pointed me to this collaboration between Muji and Lego to augment plastic building blocks with papercraft figures. Using a custom paper puncher, sheets of construction paper can be made to clip onto the plastic nubs on regular lego blocks. Although the construction paper is treated as a flat medium, this merging of 2D […]

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magnetic chips

Ayah Bdeir launched ‘Little Bits‘ last week at Eyebeam: a kit of magnet-studded circuit components that naturally snap together with the right polarity. The idea is to make prototyping of simple interaction possible for those outside the electrical engineering profession – such as this example of a product designer experimenting with lights on a mock-up […]

Also posted in fabrication, lighting, materials, product design, tangible | Comments closed

cereal craft

Mass Customization is generally thought of as a technological triumph combining the quality of the made-to-order with the efficiency of the mass-produced. Recently, it has been proposed that mass customization could also be desirable in terms of sustainability. Custom goods are always made on-demand, reducing inventory and waste. They may also warrant higher prices and […]

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finger fun

Joe Colombo designed these ‘smoke‘ glasses in 1964, an original solution to hedonistic multitasking. In an age where most of the things we hold in our hands are plastic boxes, it’s nice to be reminded of a time when ‘usability’ wasn’t defined by how many fingers your multi-touch screen could detect. Colombo’s example reminds us […]

Also posted in human2.0, product design | Comments closed

political calculations

One of the Obama campaign’s web-savvy contributions to political discourse is this tax calculator, a website (and a badge) that allows anyone interested in calculating their taxes under his (or his opponent’s) proposed plan to find out which makes the more sense. Web-based calculators are nothing new, and I’ve written before about environmental footprint calculators […]

Also posted in blogogracy, marketing | Comments closed

watts up

Saul Griffith has just released WattzOn, a personal footprint calculator that allows you to account for everything in your life – including taxes and the embodied energy of the products you own. You can then compare your impact with other people in the world and start to understand how much alternative energy is needed to […]

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chair bake

Tokujin Yoshioka‘s PANE chair is made of a sheet of plastic fibers rolled into a cardboard tube and baked in an oven to retain its shape. It was the fruit of a three-year design process in which he aimed to invent a completely new chair unlike any other. He named it after the Italian word […]

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