Between a Rock and a Hard Face

 

 

So, I'm stretching format here because I ran across a really amazing museum in Japan named

the Chinsekikan (which means hall of curious rocks).

It's chock full of 1,700 jinmenseki, or rocks with a human face,

including celebrity lookalikes like Elvis Presley(!). 

Some require a little (or a lot of) imagination, but know that

only rocks that are formed by nature are allowed to grace the museum's shelves.

If you visit, you'll see 50 years' worth of collecting!

See more photos and the story here and here.

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Brave New Bookshelf!

What's this?  Another reading-related post?

Well, who doesn't love functional art! 

From Designer Marc Scimé, here's an innovative and award-winning idea

which started as a grad-level class assignment at

Pasadena's Art Center College of Design.

Ever tried to reach the top shelf to get that dusty book

you've been putting off?

Now you don't have to teeter on a chair or upside down bucket to get it.

The oddly-named Huxley’s Ladder Bookshelf lets you actually

climb on it to reach your intellectual heights.

Fun for kids of all ages!  Barefoot spreadeagled model not included.

For more images, grouping possibilities, and info, check out Yanko

or the A' Design Award and Competition page.

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Bend it like Bookmark

For those of you out there who still read, or, even stranger,

favor the paper variety of reading venues,

here's a nifty little item that makes my techie heart sing.

When flat, the Bookmark Light functions as a high tech bookmark.

But bend and bring the ends together and, viola, it lights up!

Still trying to determine if you have to keep holding the ends together with the lithium coin battery in between, which would

be a major utilization design flaw in an otherwise great product.

Check out the cool Images from Yanko here 

so you, too, can read a blank book.

Available through CKIE:  Bookmark Light.

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Not your Father's Fire Extinguisher

So maybe it looks a bit like a (fire) truck ran over it.  But for architects and designers, a whole new world of fire extinguisher freedom has emerged!  Consider the lowly round extinguisher that, if not downright hidden

(generally frowned upon by the local FD),

is a bright red eyesore that people are constantly running into.

Oval Brand not only flattened our little red friend out, but patented a mounting hook that allows the extinguisher to move out of the way and not fall.

And it looks really cool! (That's coming from an architect...)

From Oval Brand Fire Products.

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Not to be Mist...

Designer Yu Zhuang apparently thought it was too much trouble to check the Weather Channel or even look outside and, thus, The Weather Cube was birthed.  An ingenious device with built-in ultrasonics,

this functional objet d'art mimics the external elements to visually indicate

foggy, sunny, rainy, and other variations, plus displaying the date and time!

In truth, we all know how overrated windows really are... 

From Yanko Design (http://www.yankodesign.com/2016/02/19/a-new-way-to-weather/).

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Not Too Creepy Crawly

Coding has always been like a foreign language to me.  (Come to think of it, so has English.)  However, coding appears to be the language of the future for techies-to-be. 

So, Fisher-Price has developed a learning toy, Code-a pillar™, that allows youngsters to arrange and re-arrange segments of a cute plastic critter's body to produce an endless array of moving and flashing light combinations.  FP says: "This learning toy encourages experimentation while developing important skills like problem solving, planning & sequencing and critical thinking."  Where were you when I was 5?  Maybe I could've skipped first grade.

From Fisher-Price.

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Suffering from Iron Deficiency?

This amazing folding travel iron is ready to go with you in a very small package.

A really hot (sorry) product designed by Apostol Tnokovski, an industrial designer in Macedonia(!), operates with 2 plates separated by a spring mechanism..

You can place a shirt collar between the plates and gently toast it flat! 

And it operates with both a standard electric plug and batteries!  Wow! 

A perfect gift for the travelling Iron Man (or Woman) in your life.

From Behance.

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Is that a Phone in your pocket, or...

The Drasphone by R&D CORE Limited tries to combine the clamshell trend of the 90s, and the present touchscreen display trend.  Pioneering flexible display technology, this conceptual smartphone bends at not one, not two, but at three points!  This allows you to make the Drasphone compact in two ways.  Do a half fold, and you have a Squarish MiniDras, or a complete fold, and you get a MicroDras. If you haven’t noticed, a small section of the display is exposed when in MicroDras mode. This nifty feature allows you to have all your notifications and relevant data visible to you.  From R&D CORE (http://rndcore.com/).

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Get a Grip.

TREWGrip.  You hold the mobile keyboard and see the screen on the inside of the unit.  They say: "TREWGrip is a new form factor, or hardware platform, for enterprise mobility that enables mobile workers to be both mobile and productive."

We'll see when/if it emerges in 2017, as promised.  Still, it looks fun!

From TRUEGrip, LLC (http://www.trewgrip.com/).

 

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Taking a stand for Cubism.

Cubebots!  Inspired by the Japaneses Shinto Kumi-ki puzzles,

these wooden sculptures are a non-traditional take on the toy robot by joining

ancient Japanese traditions with contemporary toy culture.

And best, perhaps, is that they neatly fold up into unassuming perfect cubes.

From the David Weeks Studio (http://www.davidweeksstudio.com/).

 

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What's all this Hub, bub?

This desktop USB Hub was designed for Kikkerland to help battle the work-day blues.

The elegant peripheral brings a bit of cheer to the

often isolating experience of hacking away at your computer.

The glow of the hub reminds us that we are never really alone.

Windows and Mac compatible, four 2.0 hi-speed USB Ports.

From the David Weeks Studio (http://www.davidweeksstudio.com/).

 

 

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Wood you take me home?

These beechwood, unstained creatures bring a bit of animal fun into your world.

(http://dailydesignjoint.com/A_collection_of_fun_products/12313).

Simply carved and with rubber band joints,

they are flexible enough to fit into any environment.

From the David Weeks Studio (http://www.davidweeksstudio.com/).

 

 

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Snack Wabbit

This, perhaps provocative, bunny sticking its spoon tongue out is part of a pair of utensils from the Fred & Friends design team (http://www.fredandfriends.com/).  

Kind of hate to pry him away from his carrot love!  

(Well, you know what they say about rabbits...)  

Great for kids' lunches (maybe).

 

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Holy Cow!

The Fred & Friends design team (http://www.fredandfriends.com/

develops some really fun products from time to time.

This Calf n' Half Creamer proves that milk pitchers can be udderly exciting!

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The Fun Blog

Here’s our first blog post.

Throughout the year we’ll be bringing you news on fun products and happenings from around the world as well as info on the exciting creations from DudaWerx.

Bugg (right) sez Hi!

Stay tuned!

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