“the beginning is the most important part of the work.” – plato
all of us are really wanting a fresh new year! this video made in 2019 by tbwa/paris for the national society of french railways (sncf) captures what our mind’s eye was seeking: a celebration of new life, a feeling of hope and optimism. may all your plans bloom and blossom beyond your wildest dreams.
the video was a way for the sncf to give thanks to those “preserving the planet” by traveling by train. according to the sncf, trains give off 30 times less co2 than individual cars and 20 times less than planes. thus, the national railway body is positioning itself as a healthy alternative to other modes of transport.
to illustrate this sentiment, the successive blooming of flowers – a time lapse that covers 200 hours. to capture each one of the 50 varieties included, every flower was photographed once every five seconds, day and night, which accumulated in 14,000 images per flower.
in the film, every flower that blooms is accompanied by the wheezing bang of fireworks, to illustrate the celebratory nature of the campaign. the sncp aims to transition from diesel-powered rail to developing stations that are autonomously powered by 2035.
the idea for the domus trimaran concept started from a simple question: why not?
‘just because superyachts are what they are now, it does not mean they should stay this way.(…) we were constantly looking at every aspect of the design and saying, ‘i know we do it this way normally but is there a better way?’ the designers share. ‘therefore, we truly believe that this project will redefine what a multi-hull sailing superyacht can be.’ they add.
after calculating the smallest vessel size that can host a one-floor layout without it being too bulky, the designers started forming domus as an amalgamation of different innovative ideas. domus is a perfect example of a unique design combination of solar power, hydro regeneration and hydrogen fuel cells that give the concept unlimited range with zero emissions. prioritizing speed, space, and sustainability, the domus concept aspires to become the first-ever truly zero-emissions superyacht.
above> the top deck allows for solar panels to supply the battery bank with all the necessary energy during the night
above/below> while sailing, the windward hull will come out of the water reducing the drag through the water resulting in more speed
here’s what you get — standard all-wheel drive, striking proportions, timeless and instantly recognizable design, and a perfect blend of performance with everyday usability.
offering three versions — the new taycan gts and taycan gts sport turismo charge the porsche electric driving experience with even more intense emotion.
[ vitals ]
driving range (epa estimate) 272 mi** (amci testing range) w/ performance battery plus
performance 155 mph top track speed (performance battery) 3.8 s 0 – 60 mph with launch control (performance battery)
charging 9.5 hrs charging time for alternating current (ac) with 9.6kw (0 to up to 100%) (performance battery) 93.0 min charging time for direct current (dc) with 50kw (5 to up to 80%) (performance battery)1) 22.5 min charging time for direct current (dc) with maximum charging power (5 to up to 80%) (performance battery)2)
motor 390 kw/522 hp ac permanent synchronous motors 79.2 kwh performance battery 8 year / 100,000 mile high voltage battery warranty
2-speed transmission on the rear axle
porsche traction management (ptm)
porsche recuperation management (prm)
instruments 16.8″ curved display for driver including external touchscreen control panels for lighting and chassis functions
center console with direct touch control
nissan is partnering with nasa on a computational approach to developing all-solid-state batteries that don’t rely on rare or expensive metals, the ap has reported.
to get there, the company said it’s opening a pilot solid-state battery plant in 2024. many of the battery concepts have been demonstrated in laboratories time and again, but making the leap to manufacturing often reveals unexpected problems.
building a pilot plant shows that nissan is confident enough in its current solid-state battery tech. the 2028 target for mass production is similar to competitors like solid power. that suggests the industry is feeling confident in the timeline for when all-solid-state batteries will be ready for automotive use at scale.
the nissan-nasa partnership, which also involves researchers from the university of california, san diego, is likely looking beyond those first cells. while today’s solid-state battery designs change some fundamental parts of lithium-ion batteries mostly by doing away with flammable liquid electrolytes—they largely leave others in place, including the use of rare or expensive metals like cobalt and nickel. by eliminating such metals, future batteries would not only be cheaper but also have potentially cleaner and more ethical supply chains. cobalt mining, for example, is rife with human rights abuses and environmental hazards.
according to the associated press, the partners said they’ll be creating an “original material informatics platform” consisting of a large database of materials that can be mixed and matched to determine their potential properties.
the all-solid-state battery is stable enough to be used in pacemakers. when finished it will be about half the size of the current battery and fully charge in 15 minutes instead of a few hours.
DesignApplause is honored to be a gia awards judge for the past 11 years, and i looked forward to selecting the best of the 2022 product design – thank you for submitting your product. the judges used the following criteria to select all submissions:
the gia awards criteria > appearance
> user benefits
> ecological responsibility
> market impact & positioning – note: this judge’s interpretation for example, if you’re making an ecological statement you’re letting the end-user know via the point-of-purchase (pop) packaging and/or product website – why? consumers are wanting planet saving products. how do we know for sure? give credit to the automobile industry’s dramatic shift to electric cars / if you’re making a design statement you might mention on the (pop) packaging, etc., that you’re entering your product and winning in other design competitions by displaying an award logo, i.e., a red dot award or german design award winner / if you mention that you’re product was mentioned in design-centric media, let your audience know because they want to make a statement too.
thirteen housewares suppliers ranging from well-established brands to first-time exhibitors were honored as global honorees of the iha global innovation awards (gia) for excellence in product design today. the global honorees in each of 13 categories were announced during the invitation-only gia dinner on the first evening of the inspired home show 2022, and the winners as well as the finalists were on display at the show. this is the first in-person gathering of the industry’s premier marketplace since 2019. the global winners are:
[ note: this post a work-in-progress as info comes in… ]
> bath + personal care:madesmart, drying stone™ toothbrush tray
designed to be used – and reused the new sky drinking bottle is available in both a stainless-steel version as well as in four elegant shades made from bpa-free tritan plastic: blue, pink, green, and gray. it is designed to be used time and time again, helping you limit the consumption of disposable bottles. designer: aurelien barbry
> tabletop:gourmet kitchen works llc, olipac filare
the 65 finalists in all categories are featured in the new product showcases in the buyers club in each show building and the 13 category global honorees are on display in the hall of product innovation in the grand concourse lobby in the north building.
br> br> br>
this is my 11th year as a gia innovations award judge. today was judgement day to scrutinize five product design finalists in 10 categories. that meant a visit to mccormick place and an attempt at a pre-show peek of this year’s the inspired home‘s 2022 show. i didn’t go into the great halls however because i didn’t bring a hard hat. the photos give an idea of a very different presentation, a refreshing new experience.
the global innovation awards (gia) program was launched in january 2000 with the goal of recognizing and honoring excellence in home and housewares retailing on a global scale. in the 20 years since its inception, the gia program has expanded to recognize innovation in four different facets of home and housewares excellence: retail excellence, product design, booth design, and student design. the photo below may be the display case build-out where the winners will reside. in 2022 over 250 entries were viewed by 20 judges to select the 2022 gia awards winners:
discover design is seven years old in 2022 and is a destination of more than 100 design-centric exhibitors from around the world. the confines includes the discover design gallery – the photo below may be the display case build-out featuring the products submitted for the gia awards; and design debut, an incubator program within discover design, featuring new companies.
on the way out after judging and in the great concourse we find, well not really, you have to pass the pantone booth to get to the great halls or the buses. this venue is way better than their previous location in the lakeside building. here, though the architecture is a bit busy, an abundant amount of natural ambient light means a correct color presentation, a rarity seldom realized in a trade show environment.
this sunday leatrice eiseman, director of the pantone color institute will speak sunday – check your inspired home app for more details. leatrice is also the creator of the annual pantone color forecasts illustrated in the colorwatch display. color is such a vital component to good design, we recommend taking this opportunity to hear what this highly esteemed color expert has to say.
i also met this year’s student winners. this category is one of my favorite happenings and manages to showoff amazing talent and their winning effort.
below > we see the six winners and in the foreground vicki montranga. i’ve known her for over 20 years. vicki is a chicago product design historian without peer. she’s also an advisor to the chicago design archive. she conceived the student competition in 1993 and 2022 is the 29th year. i’m told there’s a box of anniversary booklets on site and one has my name on it. please do not miss this special opportunity to hear their presentations and share ideas of what does good design mean.
below >les mendelson, founder of umbra, said these student competitions are the future of design. he shared his story of his company’s history and had two of his design managers do a walk-thru of the students booth.
below > evan dash, left, founder of storebound, outlined his company’s history and design determination. dash and mendelson have both hired past winners of iha’s competition. dash hired an arizona state student who then grew the design department and manages production in china.
formerly the international home + housewares show, the inspired home show is north america’s largest housewares trade show! we connect not only buyer to seller, but also product to lifestyle and the industry to the consumer mindset. every year, more than 52,000 home and housewares professionals from more than 130 countries converge upon chicago to discover new housewares products and industry trends, meet face-to-face with executives from top retail and manufacturer brands, and gain the insights, leads and exposure to jump-start a successful year. the show is owned and operated by the international housewares association (iha), which has a rich history within the housewares industry dating back more than 80 years.
above> ice dancers piper gilles and paul poirier wear the beijing 2022 opening ceremony uniform by lululemon
in the 80s i felt chicago and toronto had more differences than similarities: the size was comparable but toronto was cleaner and hipper – they have vidal sassoon you know. what i didn’t know then was that sassoon’s mix of style and performance made it the obvious choice as official hair consultant to the athletes participating in the los angeles olympic games in 1984. sassoon and his international team conducted months of research with 100 athletes to determine which haircuts performed best during different sporting activities. a huge campus salon was set up in the university of california to cut and care for the hair of 2,500 athletes. today, both cities seem equally clean and hip, so enough!, let’s talk about 2022 winter olympics fashion statements.
in october 2021 canada debuted it’s winter olympic uniforms and announced a six-year run with relative newcomer in athleisure lululemon. today, ralph lauren debuted its latest Olympic designs, the label an olympic mainstay in their uniforms since 2008, did the same. regarding style, lauren is known for and again presents a traditional statement. lululemon presents their familiar chic. but let’s not forget that we may only be looking at opening night(?) apparel and we’ll have to wait for the events uniforms which can be a little more aggressive – as they should be! opening ceremonies to be held on 4 february in beijing.
regarding style, lauren offers red white and blue buffalo plaid puffer jackets, parkas, american flag turtlenecks emblematic of ralph lauren, and fleece leggings or pants. lululemon offers an all-red or all-cream motif paying homage to the maple leaf that appears as a simple icon as well as an abstracted print which includes parkas, down jackets, joggers, trapper caps, bucket hats and zip-ups, with plenty of opportunities to modify: the parka can be zipped off into three different lengths, and the down jacket can be worn like a backpack if it gets too hot. lululemon also presents a transformer-like modular look including a vest that turns into a pillow or scarf.
we’re appreciative the brands made sustainable and technologic statements. lauren’s effort on sustainability is with recycled polyester made from plastic bottles, recycled down and responsible wool standard (rws) wool – the company press statement explains that the brand is committed to using 100% rws-certified or recycled wool by 2025. lauren also includes a tech-driven detail for their jackets which include a smart, honeycomb-like fabric layer built-in that expands or contracts in response to temperature changes — all without the use of a battery or wired technology. lululemon’s tech-driven effort is with smart textiles that are insulated, sweat-wicking, bacteria-inhibiting, breathable, resistant to water and wind, and light on seams.
above/below > photos courtesy of ralph lauren
above> athlete jason brown (figure skating) / below> athlete hilary knight (ice hockey)
below > photos courtesy of lululemon
above> liam hickey wearing the uniform for on the podium
all-in-all DesignApplause likes lululemon’s design focus on function, such as multiple layered parkas. during the opening ceremonies, athletes can be on that journey for four to six hours or waiting to perform and the temperature can go from minus-10 degrees celsius to plus-10. the uniform is based on a dynamic dressing system, athletes will be able to shed – or add – individual pieces.
also the human-led design utilization where over an 18-month period lululemon takes athlete insights from a number of sports and creates an innovative nurture campaign so team canada olympic and paralympic athletes can feel their best to perform their best. the vancouver-based lululemon scanned the bodies of a number of athletes, consulted them for subjective feedback on aesthetics and comfort and also simulated beijing winter conditions. the design team studied areas of bodily heat loss and engineered appropriate compensations into the garment, through innovative 3d engineered knitting. read: q&a with the designer of the beijing 2022 olympic collection.
alessi announces the recognition of four key projects designed by as many prominent figures of the international design scene in the 2021 good design® awards: with twergi by ettore sottsass, 100% make-up proust by alessandro mendini, plissé by michele de lucchi and sweetheart by jim hannon-tan
above> designed by michele de lucchiplissé collection features an electric kettle, a blender, a hand blender, a toaster, and a citrus juicer. the refined design of these small kitchen appliances perfectly embodies the alessi essence of objects conveying art and poetry, functionality paired to sophisticated aesthetical research that heightens them to domestic sculptures. echoing the fifties and sixties fashion, plissé collection covers with pleats and folds domestic objects, transforming them into contemporary objects to exhibit in all kitchen environments as modern sculptures.
above> designed by jim hannon-tansweetheart is a nutcracker inspired by the tale of the australian crocodile carrying the same name. at nearly 6 meters in length, sweetheart had a curious penchant for attacking outboard motor propellers. in 1979 he accidentally drowned by getting tangled in a net; his stuffed remains are preserved in a museum. inspired by a late-victorian model, this nutcracker is a tribute to australian wildlife. made of cast aluminum, it is a resistant and practical object to use, suitable for opening all types of dried fruit.
above> part of the alessi 100 values collection too, 100% make-up proust designed by alessandro mendini celebrates art as a crucial component in making design, and as an intrinsic and signifying value of alessi products. an extraordinary object originally crafted in two pieces for a show in bonn in 2000 whose title was “italy-germany 4:3. fifty years of italian and german design”, now re-edited in a numbered edition of 999 pieces. the vase ideally joins the collection coordinated by alessandro mendini in 1992, titled “100% make up”, which saw 100 authors, hailing from diverse creative fields, imagine a personal decoration for the same vase designed by the designer himself. this charming object provides a new interpretation of a pattern dear to mendini, born during a trip to france in the places where the writer marcel proust lived.
above> created in 1989 with the hope of revitalizing the ancient tradition of wood turning, at the beginning of 2021 the collection twergi by ettore sottsass has been relaunched with a new color palette as part of the 100 values collection that celebrates alessi anniversary. the collection includes jars, a corkscrew, a table centerpiece and salt, pepper, and spice grinders. these are must-have objects interpreted by sottsass with his distinctive signature juxtaposition of colorful overlapping shapes, typical of his poetic vision. all the pieces are made in italy with a semi-artisanal wood turning process in compliance with strict environmental, social, and economic standards.
now in its 71st edition, [ good design ] is one of the most prestigious and recognized design awards in the world, conferred annually by the chicago athenaeum museum of architecture and design in collaboration with the european center for architecture, art, design and urban studies and metropolitan arts press, ltd. founded in chicago in 1950 by architects eero saarinen, charles and ray eames and edgar kaufmann jr., the good design® prize is awarded evaluating over 900 design, graphics, and packaging projects from more than 48 countries, based on criteria such as innovation, sustainability, creativity, branding, shape, functionality, materials used, usefulness and aesthetics.
above> mca chicago’s virgil abloh 2019 retrospective “figures of speech”
social media best informs us of visibility and reach and virgil abloh‘s passing gave us a pretty clear picture of who he touched. he reached dizzying levels of cultural success in a dizzying short timespan. with engineering and architectural degrees, within a decade he created two fashion brands, pyrex vision and off-white, whose market was youth, hip-hop, “the street”, and grew to interning at luxury fashion pillars fendi to becoming the artistic director of louis vuitton.
in july 2021, lvmh, vuitton’s parent company, announced its acquisition of the off-white trademark in a landmark deal that gave abloh an unprecedented new role working across lvmh’s vast portfolio. though he started creating fashion he also dabbled with graphics with jay-z and kanye west and products via ikea, nike, mercedes-benz, and rimowa. but without question his biggest statement was the runway.
he also liked “words”, “isms”, a lot of quotation marks. he liked the word “readymade,” a term coined in 1915 by marcel duchamp, the french-american artist best known for taking found objects (most famously, a standard-issue urinal) and re-contextualizing them as art, which abloh interprets as a way to birth new ideas with recognizable parts.
his approach juxtaposes hip-hop and the omnesiac culture of the internet, where the past is impossible to forget; always just a few clicks away and open to constant referencing. “it’s called hip-hop, it’s called sampling. you take a record and you make this new format of music from these adjacencies,” he explains. “we don’t exist devoid of the artists and thinkers that came before us: mies van der rohe, rem koolhaas, kanye west, pharell, caravaggio. they give us soil,” he continues. “it’s dangerous when you start naming yourself as the oracle.”
this approach is illustrated by what he calls the “3 percent approach,” the notion that you only need to edit something three percent to make it seem at once familiar and completely new, a winning proposition for abloh. “you notice a lot in my work the referencing or taking a thought and adding a component,” he explains. “duchamp is my favorite. duchamp is my lawyer.”
he is described as a visionary, trailblazer, cross-generationist, rule breaker, and genre-bender. he gets compared to karl lagerfield.
abloh was often quoted saying that everything that he did was for the “17-year-old version of myself.” “i would sort of agree i’m not a designer; that term seems like it’s for traditionalists,” he says. “tbd the new title.”
on tuesday, 30 november 2021, he was expected to present a louis vuitton runway show in miami ahead of art basel to mark the opening of a dedicated men’s store. vuitton will present the show in his honor.
above> photography by delfino sisto
above/below> 2019 mca chicago – “figures of speech” offers an unprecedented survey of abloh’s creative work over nearly two decades and pulls back the curtain on his process. in the exhibition, prototypes are presented alongside finished artworks, product designs, and fashion to reveal his myriad inspirations – from centuries-old painting to commonplace signage at construction sites. running throughout the exhibition is an emphasis on dialogue, which abloh creates through his inventive use of language and quotation marks, turning the objects he designs and the people who wear his clothing into “figures of speech.” editor’s note: the takeaway from this installation – this guy is indeed special.
above/below> louis vuitton chicago flagship showroom during george floyd 2020 summer protests // million dollar glasses
above/below> 2021 mercedes-benz project gelandewagen unveiled – artistic, track-spec g-wagen with full race car cabin. the project that bears the name ‘geländewagen’ was supported by gorden wagener, the brand’s design director, in which despite being a conceptual creation that simulates a racing version, all the details of the suv were carefully thought out. abloh, in a statement to mercedes-benz, sees his contribution as a sculpture that meets the profile and habits of those who consume the brand and that is ready to hit the art market.
above> 2018 / off – white little black dress
above> 2018 / abloh’s first louis vuitton mens’s spring-summer 2019 collection
above> his final louis vuitton collection // editor’s video note: hip-hop befits vuitton indeed
at 232 pounds, the beautifully designed model eleven is the lightest full-suspension, dual motor scooter in the micro-mobility scooter space. and it’s smart!
while the scooter isn’t autonomous, with an onboard advanced driver assistance system (adas) just like a car, the scooter knows the difference between a stoplight, stop sign, person, car or inanimate object, and provides both audible warnings with its integrated audio system, as well as visual warnings on the display.
the round touchscreen display provides turn-by-turn navigation and with its integrated led ring that animates in different colors to alert battery, collision detection, lane departure warning, adas, signaling, and other functions. the audio system provides instructions and warnings during navigation and if you’re not using the gps navigation feature, riders can connect to the scooter via bluetooth to play music.
gps is also built into the scooter as a theft deterrent. if the motion-activated alarm doesn’t stop a thief, the gps tracker displays its location and riders can remotely lock the scooter via the scooter’s smartphone app.
the mechanical side of things – the frame, forks, and handlebars – boasts the first two-wheel object to use a space age material designed in switzerland called long carbon composite that allows molds and shapes traditional carbon fiber is incapable of.
the wheels are unique – the motors are integrated into each wheel-well and each tire is hot-swappable making replacement seamless. the tires are foam-filled and puncture resistant.
the version with an adas for object detection will be $2,500, while the simpler model starts at $2,100. both come with different color options including stealth black, electric yellow, a matte black, mint green, and desert sand.