Why is a Raven like a Writing Desk?
It seems that Cory, who designed this concept piece for TokyoFlash, is also a big fan of the Cheshire cat. I'm delighted with the decision to turn the popular character into a pocket watch. There's something wonderful about pocket watches — as antique as they are, there's a timeless magic to them (if you'll forgive the bad pun). Check out some more magical tech below. Before anyone comments (not that anyone does), wondering why less conventionally magical items are listed, it's because I'm interpreting the spirit of Lewis Carroll's classic satire, rather than the strict letter. Certainly, some of these next items lack the initial whimsy of the Cheshire cat pocket watch, but I think you'll agree, as concept pieces, they are a lovely hypothetical lark, and a bit mysterious in their own right. The Wizard photo frame misses its mark, however, and achieves a creepy effect rather than magically bringing still photos to life.
There's nothing that delights me more than a powerful and functional piece of technology seamlessly blended with a beautiful form. Form factor is nothing new, nor is the emphasis or desire for it. Still, many manufacturers seem to lean towards function over form, or erroneously capitalize on cliché design ideals, rather than truly thinking about the importance of design as it pertains to the function of their product. Not only can it be challenging to find a product that works reliably well, one that is successfully designed to appeal to our aesthetic senses is even rarer. Some of the following pieces transcend beyond beauty and into the realm of art. Enjoy!
From Left to Right:
The Apple iMac I would be remiss to create a post like this and not include an Apple product. Apple is a company noted for its devotion to form factor and user interface design. Blending a unique aesthetic with high-end materials, Apple is, if nothing else, a market innovator.
The Seiko Electronic Ink Watch This beautiful watch designed for women, is more of a bracelet than a conventional watch. These days, watches tend to be more of a statement about our status or aesthetic, rather than a functional tool for telling time. Indeed, watches have almost always been beautiful. So then what is the Seiko watch? Is it art that has become technologically innovative, or a beautiful twist on old technology? Either way, good luck getting your hands on it; Seiko has produced only 500 of the watches to date, and with a price tag of approximately $2000, it's an expensive addition to your wardrobe.
The O.R.B. by Hybra Whether the O.R.B. truly delivers on its many promises when it debuts next quarter, the concept is more than sufficient to earn it a spot on this list. Your ring vibrates to alert you to a call, look down and watch as E Ink caller ID text scrolls across the display. Simply remove the ring and twist it into an S shape that hooks over your ear as a bluetooth device.
LaCie Xtreme Key I fell in love with this device when I first saw it. Conventionally ugly or fragile USB keys are prevalent. As storage space grows cheaper, so too does the production of USB keys and their price tag. The LaCie Xtreme Key is different. Not only is it highly resistent to damage (water, freezing, impact, etc.), it's a beautiful art piece designed by Constance Guisset. With its sleek metal alloy and solid weight, it ceases to be simply a USB key, and becomes something more. Wear it as a necklace, use it as a keychain, or keep it at your desk. When set upright, it has a whimsical wobble to it, as its base is not flat.
Practical Handbooks for Everyday Life
Every once in a while, I come across an idea or a book that intrigues me. This time, I've come across a whole genre presented in a cute and clever way. This genre that I speak of is what the Japanese call "Urawaza," or "secret trick." But these tricks aren't so much secrets, as old and somewhat forgotten solutions to everyday problems. Our grandparents came up with most of them, but they're still very applicable today. Many of the authors below have updated their selection as well. You may think this is a fancy way of saying I've discovered the "how to" or "self help" section of the book store, but what separates these books from those is that they aren't new and revolutionary, and they aren't advertising new products to solve old problems.
Whether you want to master the art of buying food for yourself, (admittedly a basic skill that should be a lot easier than it is), get permanent marker off your wall (or face), or unshred a piece of paper, these books have you covered.
(And they're also available on amazon.com)
I'm a complete sucker for all things office related. Put me in a stationary store, give me a roll of tape or a few pens, and I'm in heaven. Enjoy some art masquerading as office supplies that you probably won't find at Staples:
Do you have a little geek in you?
… Would you like one? Hey, don't let my terrible jokes get you down – check out these sassy shirts from ThinkGeek: