Tag Archives: industrial design

Bee9 Design

Students, young adults, or anyone living in a smaller space know how valuable it is if we had just a little bit more room in our studio, bedroom, or wherever. Maybe just 10 more square feet in the corner. A couple of of Unbranded members have found solutions to this problem, one being the Three in One  by designer Kai-ning Huang (read more about this design on our blog post). When dealing with a desk, it’s not difficult to figure out how to accomplish this task – restaurants do it all the time. Yet, it’s how you do it and how you present it, that makes the difference.

A UK (West Yorkshire) based design studio called ‘bee9‘ has created such a desk called Tablet Desk 2.0, which every college dormitory desperately needs. The mechanics of this product are essentially the same as any other fold-up desk you would see in restaurants. However, this one has its perks and is catered to people like us – students, professionals, workers.

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In its ‘standard’ position, you wouldn’t think of it as being special or different. It may even look more like a shelf than a desk. There’s a body, and a top surface that’s cut into the blocks so you can customize it however you want. Then after playing around with it you realize that this thing is pretty awesome. The body folds up and two legs come down. The applications for this table are pretty standard but essential to daily life. No wonder this company is called bee9, its product provides a gentle and benign experience with limited space.

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One Shot

It always brings a wonderful feeling to come across a product that’s functional and still materialistically lean. It inspires something inside to heighten the push to create bolder, cleaner, and simpler design solutions.

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Jasheng Wong, one of our Unbranded Designers, is the craftsman of the recently popular piece, One Shot. It’s sudden increase in likes from our community from jumping to one of the top three submissions is a testament to its wonderful design. The part that makes this piece incredible is the fact that the product is built with one piece of sheet iron. And on top of that, it only requires three simple manufacturing processes to complete it – laser cutting, metal stamping, and bending. It’s hard to get any better than that. From a manufacturing and production point of view, One Shot is golden. The design also holds a limitless number of smooth and clean lines and geometric shapes that are amplified or hidden depending on your point of view.

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From reviewing the comments, however, there are some worries that Wong’s design is more unstable than it should be. Our Unbranded Designer, Seizmic Design wrote, “Materials are certainly your biggest concern. In a close second is going to be the strength of that break at the bottom trying to support all the physics going on above. One solution might be to have two or three feet instead of just one. One way this could perhaps be done is by breaking the center foot only out of the back and breaking two feet out of the front. I think you will also wind up having to go from having a perfect radius at the bottom (which looks awesome) to having at least a little bit of a flat area (which wouldn’t look as hot, but would be more stable),” which numerous people agreed with.

Tell us what you think to help One Shot become the greatest version of itself!

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Nothing but What You Need

If you were given two minutes to design a table that was functional and aesthetically pleasing, could you do it? Two friends are the owners of a small Czech design boutique called Master&Master and so far there is only one product for sale, the Stackable table trestles.

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After a few seconds of just looking at the table, I realized that this piece is just extremely naked – there are two steel legs and a flat wooden surface. However, what makes this table interesting and beautiful is the way the legs are designed. If you’ve taken any physics or engineering courses then you’ll understand the mechanics of trusses (don’t worry, I won’t dive into explaining equations, forces, stress, etc.). Basically, these designers have utilized this common feature mostly found in architecture and engineering into this ‘simple’ table. As a result, they’ve optimized the table’s strength. Oh, and a perk to these tables are that they’re stackable!

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This design is also reminiscent of three of our Unbranded pieces – Akshat Ragava’s WM Coffee Table, Tracy Tyler’s Bent Plywood Table, and Alain Santos Monteiro’s Revi Table. Check them out!

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A Lamp that Makes You Clean the Floor

It’s always a fun experience when a piece of furniture or lighting allows (or perhaps ‘forces’ is a better word) the user to perform an action for it to properly operate. Designer Arthur Xin created a clever way for users of his lean and modern lamp to clean their floors.

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At first sight, you can’t tell that there is something different about this piece. But after a couple of days (or however long the power lasts) you’ll notice that the light will begin to dim as time goes on. There is no cord or charging mechanism. So what are you supposed to do? To make the lamp brighter again the user has to actually mop his floor with the lamp. The bending motion of lamp, the handle of the mop, is a source of kinetic energy which is then stored to as power. Clever, right? To mess with your mind even more, Xin wanted to portray a larger meaning to this product – wash away the bad to create positive energy.

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NOTE: There is a possibility that your lamp will smell….

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The Cradle Chair

At first glance, this hemispherical chair (if you can even call it a chair – it’s more of a curved bed) may seem like something whimsically pulled out of a child’s imagination. However, the Cradle Chair, designed by Richard Clarkson, is much more than just a ridiculously comfortable piece of furniture.

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The motivation behind the Cradle Chair is actually from individuals suffering from Autism and Rhythmic Movement Disorder (RMD). In his portfolio, Clarkson states, “It is about creating a safe, comfortable, and relaxing space in which the user can dissipate the overstimulation of their senses… We had a strong focus creating a solution for sufferers of RMD but the chair is not exclusively for them and will bring relaxation, comfort, and calmness to anyone who uses it.”

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This is Industrial Design at its finest. Clarkson not only created something for the masses that looks aesthetically pleasing and feels warm and inviting. But it is also disruptive in its form, which brings even more people to stare at it and eventually want to experience and buy it. But on another level, this piece serves a very specific purpose – it satisfies the needs of the the clients, who in this case are those with Autism and RMD.

What do you think?

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Nadia Anochie: Leading the Submissions Category

Nadia Anochie is one of Unbranded’s designers who graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in 2010, majoring in Industrial Design and minoring in Furniture Design. Her portfolio exhibits a wide range of styles ranging from her submission on UD, Falling Chips, to a translucent lamp in the shape of a human heart entitled Extracted Love.

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Unlike some of our designers who bases their pieces on the manufacturing processes or commitment to materials, Nadia’s inspiration rather comes from the desire for her product to connect to as many people as possible. A connection that is not just an understanding between the designer and consumer but rather some sort of heavier bond. She aspires for her pieces to reach the viewer on a personal note to create an immediate and subtle affinity.

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Read about Nadia’s design here and vote for it to get it to the next level of refinement! She only has 35% more to go!

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Luna Ikuta, Creator of the Line Light

With a mother who is a graphic designer, Luna Ikuta, like many of our other members, has been heavily immersed in some part of the design world since early on. However, Luna began her own path into the world of art and design at the end of high school. It was at that point that she moved away from engineering and towards Industrial Design. For Luna, design became a new form of communication; a way to express herself through the created rather than just the spoken. It was through Luna’s design that she began to showcase her bi-cultural background. Her Japanese influence not only shows in the product’s aesthetics, but dictates Luna’s approach and methodology.

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Luna’s first submission on Unbranded Designs is called the Line Light. The design demonstrates her appreciation of Asian aesthetics as she created a piece that takes moves in all 3 dimensions. The Line Light’s adjustable height makes the piece more intriguing as you struggle to identify its most beautiful shape. In any form, it has the ability to be the transformative piece in any space.

Luna is currently studying at the Rhode Island School of Design as an Industrial Designer. Her next project may be her biggest challenge as she strives to design and create an entire “room” beginning with just 4 white walls. Check out Luna’s personal website to see some of her other work www.lunaikuta.com and help her Line Light hit 100% on Unbranded Designs!

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Michael Powers, Unbranded Designs Top Influencer

Perhaps you’ve come across his elegant and simple design, non: the table, or maybe he’s commented on one of yours. Michael Powers is a part of our community who has been an essential member in keeping the conversation between all of us who are connected to Unbranded Designs smoothly flowing. Our mission is not only to help designers bring their product to life and to the market, but it’s also simply to connect like-minded (or different-minded) individuals to each other – to create a constant dialogue so that we can also create inspiration, drive, passion, and professional relationships.

Since signing up to be a member of our community last month, Michael and his table design, non, have jumped to the front lines. Currently, non is the third most voted design at 26% after Luna Ikuta‘s Line Light, which is in first at 38%, and Saana Hellsten‘s Slider Stool, which is trailing in second at 36%.

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Though at first glance you may wonder how non has advanced all the way to third in just one month, it becomes clear after reading its background and life-story. In his ‘About the Design’ section, Michael writes, “non is an exercise in using as little material as possible to make a piece of furniture. non is made from seven pieces of scrap steel. powder coated. non. what does a table have to be?” – non is a table that cost Michael nothing, perfectly exemplifying Michael’s style of design: “Products which harness complexity to reveal simplicity.” He embraces the challenge to create his designs using materials that have been thrown away as he says in one of his replies to a comment about non – “In the past couple years I have been increasingly getting into ‘upcycling’ as it were, and looking for opportunities for reusing old materials has become part of my daily observations as a designer.”

So, check out Michael’s design and vote for it if you want to see it on the shelves! If you want to have a profile on our blog, vote more, comment more, and submit more pieces! We’d love to see you join the conversation and get involved in the community.

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The Guerrilla Truck Show in pictures

2 weeks ago Morlen Sinoway Atelier held his annual Guerrilla Truck Show in Chicago’s West Loop. The Truck Show is the local  maker showcase that goes on in the shadow of Neocon that we compared to New York’s Wanted Design earlier this month. This year’s event was bigger and badder than ever, attracting more Neocon visitors and Chicagoans than before. Check out some of our pictures from the night:

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The line of trucks started forming around 3:30

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We filled the truck with the R2 Coffee Table, ISA Chair, and something coming soon 🙂

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The traffic was consistently heavy from 5:30-9:30. Great attendance and interest and no time to rest

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We asked the visitors to give us their feedback on products we’re considering developing. Thanks to all who participated!

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Designer Adele Cuartelon stopped by to hang out and get some shots with her ISA Chair 

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The end of the night came really fast. We didn’t even have a chance to see the other 60 incredible trucks

The Guerrilla Truck Show exceeded our expectations once again. It is by far the best design event in Chicago and it’s unfortunate that we have to wait an entire year for the next one. If you missed it, don’t make the same mistake in 2014.

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Even Virgil recommends it

Special thank you to Global A+D for supporting DIFFA and sponsoring our truck.

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NY Design Week in Review (Part 4), An encouraging design trend

Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of our review of NY Design Week.

When someone hears “flat-packed furniture”, why are people immediately turned off? Consumers can point to the big box retailers that have utilized it to great success for decades. They could also think to the poor quality and self-assembly that comes with it.

It’s not difficult to understand why designers are as turned off by flat-packing. If you’re a designer, why would you want to spend a significant amount of time creating a design that ultimately lacks the quality to last? And why would you put your name on a low-quality piece? It would only hurt your personal brand.

When we started out, we met a number of people who were adamant about this position and understandably so, but that hasn’t consistently been the case recently, especially at ICFF. More and more, designers are embracing the flat-packing and for a number of great reasons:

  1. Production efficiency: Designers are beginning to understand the production benefits that come with flat-packed products and are beginning to embrace those processes. This includes building good processes, managing inventory, and leveraging advanced technologies. Just having a better understanding improves how designers can interface with manufacturers or utilize their own facilities to maximize output and efficiency.
  2. National and global customers: Logistics is a problem that has not yet been solved for furniture. Even the big boys won’t deliver to every ZIP code in the country. How many customers can afford to pay hundreds of dollars in shipping in addition to the cost of your products? Flat-packing allows you to go from a white-glove service to UPS or Fedex. How many more customers could you reach if you could easily ship your products?
  3. More interesting design challenge: Designing a high-quality product to be flat-packed is an even greater challenge than just designing a great piece of furniture. Not only does it have to be well-designed when put together, it has to be broken down and easy to assemble.  Hitting all these goals in one design is a major achievement that many designers are beginning to strive for.

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Even this is sent in a flat pack!

We’re very encouraged by this trend given that Unbranded Designs is a web-based company and we hope to reach customers in different regions. In no way are we proclaiming that we are a flat-pack company but we fully understand the complexities in trying to reach customers everywhere. In fact none of our current designs could even be packed in the ways we discussed with designers at ICFF. We’re just glad to see that there’s a large contingent of talented designers that are embracing this mentality to create amazing products and you should too!

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