Joy Rides! from Chris Luomanen on Vimeo.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Joy Rides! from Chris Luomanen on Vimeo.
Friday, October 23, 2009
The SF Mobile Museum is on the prowl, people. Like the entrepreneurial foodies who insert themselves into the fabric of the city with their pop up food cart food courts, the SF Mobile Museum is taking its message directly to its audience, with no walls to keep them out or the work in. I especially like that the current exhibit Genius Loci, works about places with resonance, is doing its part to make the locations it visits a bit more resonant.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Italian designers are renowned--especially the great masters from the magical third quarter of the 20th century. Folks like Achille Castiglioni, Enzo Mari, Ettore Sottsass and Marco Zanuso were revolutionary thinkers. But to bring those thoughts to life, they needed model makers. Giovanni Sacchi helped all those guys, and more, bring those thoughts to life with his hands. Designers today have unprecedented control of surfaces and forms. With CAD, I can, all by myself, take a concept from a thought to a ready to mold database. But that way of working is missing something. Its missing guys like Mr. Sacchi. He interpreted 2D drawings into 3D objects. And his very human touch--the way he broke an edge with sandpaper or worked a form with his chisel, necessarily left the hand of the model-maker in the design. Today, the person who ends up doing the CAD for the lead designer does the model maker's job. They interpret. They figure out the detailing. They ultimately build the surfaces that will make of break the overall effect. But for all the power and precision of CAD, there's something about an object that has been touched by a hand, and considered not just virtually, but actually. That feels good. At least it feels good to me.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Something amazing is happening in San Francisco. And I hear its happening all over the country. People who want to make a little cash in this depressed economy are turning their passion for food into a small business. But how do you find customers? The answer is they find you. By connecting with customers through social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook, food carts (mostly they're folding tables) connect with their clientele in real time. And it works. This little gathering in our neighborhood park was PACKED. And our good friend Ana Carolina (second photo from the bottom) and her Brazilian Bites cart was sold out before the crowds dispersed. Cheap, delicious, unusual, capricious food on the fly is fun! Look for Brazilian Bites (of course), but don't forget to follow Soul Cocina, the Lumpia Guys and Smitten Ice Cream (made on the spot with liquid nitrogen!).
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
I love stickback chairs. If you are using solid wood (as opposed to metal or plywood or plastic), its probably the lightest, strongest way to build a chair. And, as is so often the case, that kind of efficiency exudes elegance. That's what good modernism does--express a synergy between materials, structure, form and people.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Wow. That looks super fun. 126mph is the new worlds record for sailing on land. And I thought I had the only proa land sailer! And not only is theirs a proa, but it uses aerodynamic ballast! To keep it from flipping over, the heeling force of the wing is counteracted by a horizontal foil shaped strut between the main body and the outer wheel, that's generating negative lift. So as the wing is trying to tip it over, the foil shaped strut is trying to push the outer wheel into the ground.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Dutch design collective Platform 21 has done something you don't see that much anymore--they wrote a manifesto. Manifestos tend to be a bit petulant, and hence have a short life span (the communist one not withstanding). But this one has legs. Maybe its because it's good old fashioned stinginess repositioned as a mentality. I love it. I especially like #2, about designing for repair. Its no secret that durability is a far more potent sustainable practice than recyclability or even being made from recyclable materials.
At long last my website has been updated to include some more recent work (or at least recent work that I can talk about publicly). Thanks Ed! So I'll preview one of the goodies from the site (click on "one offs" and then "hannes bridge" for more pix.
My friend and long time guitar tech Stephen White introduced me to Roland Hannes around 2002. Roland had invented a very clever bridge for electric guitars that was revolutionary in a couple of ways. For one, the individual saddles sit right on the wood top of the guitar—not a metal plate screwed to the top of the guitar. And there are a lot of other cool, painstakingly thought out features. I hooked him up with a machinist friend of mine, who helped him get a prototype built.
Roland licensed his invention to Schaller, an instrument hardware manufacturer in Germany. And in January of 2008 I had a chance to play one of his bridges myself. I was absolutely blown away. Unplugged, the guitar had a resonant, ringing, quality that I had rarely heard in a guitar. I decided on the spot that I needed to build up a guitar around the bridge. I had been jonesing for a telecaster anyway.
The only problem was, I didn’t like the aesthetics of the anchor block of the bridge. It just didn’t look right to me. The saddles and anchor don’t speak the same design language. The saddles are boxy and the anchor in Roland's version was blobby. And there is NOTHING blobby about a telecaster. So I redesigned the anchor. The result is a bridge that looks A LOT better, and is more comfortable to play. Too bad I didn’t have a chance to redesign it before it went into production.
But at least mine looks right.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
“At a stand-up desk,” Ms. Seekel said, “I’ve never seen students with their heads down, ever. It helps with being awake, if they can stand, it seems. And for me as a teacher, I can stand at their level to help them. I’m not bent over. I can’t think of one reason why a classroom teacher wouldn’t want these.”
“We just know movement is good for kids,” Ms. Bormann said. “We can measure referrals to the office, sick days, whatever it might be. Teachers are seeing positive things.”And don't even get me started on kinesthetic learning.
“We’re talking about furniture here,” she said, “plain old furniture. If it’s that simple, if it turns out to have the positive impacts everyone hopes for, wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?”Design nerds have always thought that plain old furniture could have positive impacts. Its nice to see some regular folks joining the fold.