Inner Beauty


The Inner Beauty concept by Studiobility is a range of tables with as the name suggests inner beauty. The tables have a fairly generic outer shape, but it’s on the inside that they really take advantage of laser cutting. The inner space of the tables is filled with randomly selected sections with different layers of floral patterns. These layers create an interesting aesthetic that is unique to the manufacturing process. Unfortunately there is a price to pay. The “inner beauty” does take away some of the potential storage space.

Studiobility is the work of two Icelandic designers known for their playfulness and creative use of laser and water jet cutting. If you’re searching for some inspiration check out their website for some of their other products, like “one sheet”, “flower chair” and “the adventure”.

Via Inhabitat

Jewellery inspiration: Molly M


The new jewellery design competition is coming up, if you’re having trouble getting the ideas flowing check out the work of molly m designs for some inspiration. Molly m designs is a jewellery design endeavour which merges handcrafted design sensibility with a high tech production process. Her approach is informed by her background in architecture. Her process starts with a sketch, which she then drafts on a computer and sends to a laser cutter.

Molly M’s jewellery is inspired by both the built and natural landscapes — “a skyline, a bird in flight, an aerial view of a city, a shadow, water patterns, a composition of branches, snowflakes, a patch of concrete..” She focuses on earrings with two collections: “lines and circles” and “botanicals”, both are well described by the titles. She mainly uses simple materials such as wood and acrylic and turns them into some great pieces of jewellery. So check out her stuff if you need to kick start your creative process.

The future for manufacturers and makers


The institute for the future has put together a map to explain their forecast of making in the future. As most of you will already know there are social and technological influences that are changing the way things are being made. The DIY attitude is becoming increasingly popular and digital manufacturing such as Ponoko is allowing people to make what they want.

The institute for the future says “the Future of Making may seem overwhelming, but in many ways, the future is here for you to experiment with today. Like any map, our Future of Making map is designed to guide you through unfamiliar terrain. In this case, our map arms you with knowledge of drivers, trends, signals, and examples of how the future is being built, hacked, recombined, reused, rapidly prototyped, networked, and designed today. By providing foresight and insight, our map will help you learn the lay of the land now so you’re poised to take action in the future. Think of it as your do-it yourself guide to a future driven by DIY.”

See the map here.

Via Core 77

Drape Chair


John wrote a post about design democracy 08 here. DD08 called for designers to submit concepts and then the best ones were produced and displayed at the New York International Contemporary Furniture Fair in May. One of the designs selected was the drape chair designed by Eric Mackey. The idea is that perforated and laser cut steel is draped over simple CNC routed furniture structures. Seats are designed for flat pack and user assembly. Chair and bench use the same wood skeleton design. Users can customize colour and lengths. Additionally, customers can create personal “engravings” by having their marks laser cut into the steel, similar to engraving on a wooden park bench. There were a few minor modifications between the first design (below) and the final product. Really interesting to some hows those few little touch have greatly increase the chairs wow factor. As always you can’t please everyone and some of the comments on the DD08 site were quite critical of this design but I like it’s a nice design worthy of its selection.


Letter and number scarfs


A little factory called “Little Factory” has produced a range of laser cut scarfs for people who love letters and numbers. You have a choice of either upper case, lower case or numbers cut into the micro fibre suede. The scarfs are hot off the press (or laser) with the first batch of orders only being sent earlier this week. I wonder if there are any secret messages written into the scarfs or credit card numbers in the number ones.

Little Factory currently has two ranges the scarfs and some blankets. They started as a design website focusing on pixel graphics. They used the website to share ideas with others by offering free downloads of icons, wallpapers and screensavers. Their pixel work has been published in books and magazines and won several awards.


Little factory says their designs are based on interesting observations in their daily lives. They have the simple aim of bringing joy and delight to themselves and their customers through the objects they create, isn’t that nice.

Via Core 77

A different way to flat pack


These images might look familiar to anyone who made models as a kid. Remember how the pieces for your car or plane came in one panel so that you had to break the tabs to get each piece out. Now you can get your furniture like this too. Designer Keiji Ashizawa has made chairs and stools that come flat packed like a giant model car. The range is made from sheet metal and has an industrial look but is still very elegant and beautiful. The designs have an element of playfulness and user involvement in separating the pieces making it more fun to assemble than your average flat pack design. Plus it ensures you won’t loose any pieces. The best thing about this is how the design has turned a negative into a positive. Keiji Ashizawa has reduced costs by getting users to assemble the products however by leaving the pieces connected it turns it from a mundane and possibly annoying process into something fun and playful. Everyone’s a winner.

Via WebUrbanist



Workshopped is an Australian exhibition to show the work of Australian designers to help them move from prototype to manufacture. Since 2001 it has been featuring the work of emerging Australian designers. David Knott is one designer who has regularly exhibited at workshopped. In 2007 he showed his pendant light that features laser cut acrylic blades. He chose digital manufacturing to reduce the cost of each unit and allow more customization than other production methods. Knott nicely explains the benefits of the chosen materials and manufacturing processes: “the benefits of a locally designed and manufactured product are further enhanced by the ability of the consumer to easily and fully recycle the light at the end of it’s useful life. The pendant is designed to ship flat with assembly on site, so the manufacturing and shipping procedures are kept to a bare minimum. A feature of the design is to allow a certain amount of customization for each customer which benefits from reasonably small local production runs”.


Birch Plywood Jewellery


This is a range of rather unusual and bulky jewellery by Bethan Laura Wood. The “link” range is laser cut from 3mm birch plywood. She makes the most of her materials by minimizing waste in the design. The designer says “The range is made from a repeated series of links, which decrease in scale, allowing for all subsequent links to be cut from the space inside the largest.”. She didn’t have to go far for her inspiration; the octagonal links were inspired by the joining mechanism of her drawing board. The links are used to form necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and key rings. She embraces the burn marks left by the processes and uses it as a feature of the jewellery. The splashes of colour on selected links help to create the bold, bright and playful look.



Via treehugger

Too many choices? Nope, not enough — we want mass customization


There’s a new article at suggesting that some companies offer so many variations of their products that they should just make the jump to mass customization. There is an interesting take on how humans make decisions:

Offer shoppers a choice between two jellies for their toast, they’ll pick one. Offer twenty, and they keep on walking, suffering from paralysis by analysis — too many choices. Forget it. But go to the deli counter and offer a custom sandwich with all your favorite ingredients on board, and everybody’s ready to eat. That’s because the choice belongs to the customer, and it doesn’t involve a predefined group of products whose differences are too complicated to discern. Therein lies the difference between ready-made choices and something you’ve designed for yourself, building something especially for you.

Companies such as Garmin, for example, are already offering so many GPS units that you need a product matrix just to sort them out. Might as well just make their line all-custom, letting you choose screen size, Bluetooth capability, street name call-outs and traffic-reporting capability for yourself. It’s the difference between offering 60 models and maybe 200 different combinations.

Read more here

Does light shine out of your seat?


Danish designer Ninna Helena Olsen has created a hybrid piece of furniture called Osso Buco, she uses CNC machining beautifully to create the lively piece of furniture that acts as a sculpture, stool and light. While I’m not 100% sure that seating should be illuminated, the stools look undeniably cool. The amazing sculptural form is inspired by something I would not usually consider to be beautiful “the structure of bone and muscle.” This piece adds to the growing trend of drawing inspiration/knowledge from nature. The lights are integrated into the stool to create an interesting play with the internal space and structure of the stool. I can’t see any cords in the pictures so I’m not sure where the power comes from.


Ninna designed the stool in 2007 as one of her projects at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. The first prototype was displayed at last years Milan furniture fair, since then she has fine tuned it to produce the final prototype.

Via dirtymouse