Tag Archives | Design

Japanese Love Hotels

Via Trendland, photographer Misty Keasler examines the strangest places on Earth, Japan’s themed love rooms, which resemble everything from gigantic bird cages to outer space to subway cars. In the future, they are where all romantic activity will be conducted:

The Love Hotel is an intensely unique Japanese institution. The themed rooms [are] rented by the hour. There are an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 of them in the country and they are so prevalent that the Japanese take them for granted.

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Joint Stockings Are Eerie

joint-stockings-are-creeping-me-out-20203-1309986702-9As androids/dolls/CG figures become more lifelike, flesh-and-blood humans may desire to head in the other direction. Girls (and boys) can now pick up chic joint stockings to give themselves the look of a robot/figurine attempting to mimic a human being. Asiajin provides some explanation and unsettling photos:

Kyutai Kansetsu Sutokkingu (Spherical Joint Stocking) is a coterie stocking sold at Bungaku Furima (literature flea-market), a dojinshi sale dedicated for literature-related things only, by circle Ojosama Gakkou Shojo Bu (preppie school girls section). The stocking has globe joint painted on knees, to make your leg like real figure.

The stockings, 2,000 yen(US$25) seems sold out on their online shop, currently on order.

But why? I guess some people might love figures too much so that now they want to become like that. It is interesting because those joints originally showed their incompleteness of mimicking human beings.

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Band Presses Vinyl Record On Chocolate

1The glitch-y electro tunes by Scotland’s Found seem perfectly fine, but the real treat is their groundbreaking edible, playable vinyl pressing. Ah, art meant to be consumed with all five senses — is this the future of physical product for the music industry? Via DesignTAXI:

This record can easily go from turntable to coffee table. Scottish band Found, looking for an inventive new way to release a new single, baked up a sugary idea: to press the 7” record on chocolate.

The band enlisted the help of a friend, baker Ben Milne who, after several failed attempts, managed to successfully created the Willy Wonka-like treat; the entire record, including the paper label, is edible. While not audiophile quality by any stretch, the chocolate disc plays a decent version of the band’s “Anti-Climb Paint” single.

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An Origami Phone You Can Fold And Use

Photo: Weii Designs

Photo: Weii Designs

Via Inventor Spot:

The Origami Handset is a sublime expression of lightness crafted by Chengyuan Wei (魏呈远) of Weii Design.

Currently living and working in the city of Hangzhou, Wei has been putting his education at Zhejiang University to good use, designing a number of esthetically pleasing items such as a self-balancing, Segway-style scooter for the INNO company and the eco-friendly, solar powered Light Gap clock.

It’s Wei’s minimalist telephone handset, however, that perhaps most succinctly expresses the artist’s rejection of “a unified system… created by big commercial corporations.” After disassembling a telephone handset one day, Wei discovered that “all the functional parts only took a small space inside the handset. So I thought maybe I can design a unique handset which has a light and material-efficient structure.”

Looking at the Origami Handset, you can see that these kinds of electronic devices really have very few parts and most of those are comprised of thin, flat circuit boards.

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The Gadgets We Never Heard Of

Did you know that the iPod is basically a ripoff of a German transistor radio from the 1950s? Via the Atlantic, selections from Bill Buxton’s collection of little-known gadgets (such as early touchscreen devices, the first robotic chess game, and a “mindblowing Casio watch from 1984″) which sadly are in the secret dustbin of history:

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Pepsi Unveils Plastic Bottle Made Entirely From Plants

plasticPepsi is trumpeting its creation of a plastic bottle made entirely from plant matter. Great — now we’ll be filling our landfills with plastic forever, even after we run out of oil. Via Gizmodo:

Soda’s bad for you, but plastics—especially the petroleum-based PET plastics used widely for bottles—are bad for everyone. Thankfully, after millions of dollars and years of research, Pepsi thinks it’s cracked the code on a 100% plant-based PET bottle.

It looks…just like the old bottle. “It’s indistinguishable,” says Rocco Papalia, PepsiCo’s senior vice president of advanced research. But instead of drawing from our planet’s diminishing supply of petroleum, it’s made entirely from plant waste—currently switch grass, pine bark, corn husks and eventually incorporating orange peels, oat hulls, potato scraps and other materials leftover from its food business.

Pepsi’s going to test the bottle with a run of a few hundred thousand in 2012, and if all goes well they plan on converting all their products to the new bottles thereafter.

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Do You Know What These Objects Are?

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is into historical inventions, including the revolutionary, strange, and ill-conceived — everything from primitive 45 rpm record players to radiation monitors. However, some items in their fascinating digital archives defy explanation — no one is sure where they came from or what their functions are (time travel dial? witch detector?). The government is asking for your help in identifying mystery machines:

Do you hold the key to solving some gadget mysteries from the last century of U.S. science and technology? Visitors to the site can view the items and offer clues about the history and origins of some of these important artifacts.

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Inflatable Crowds For Rent

In need of a massive crowd of people, but don’t have thousands of adoring followers at your disposal? Why not go with Inflatable Crowd? The company rents out blow-up versions of giant masses of humanity, for use in films, political rallies, or other needs. When decked out in clothing, wigs, and masks and viewed from a distance, the blow-up denizens are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing, and are far cheaper than paying large numbers of extras. Their Flickr is pretty disturbing.

The Inflatable Crowd Company was created for SEABISCUIT in 2002. Since then, our Inflatable Crowds have been seen (but not noticed) in over 80 feature films & many TV shows & commercials.


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Augment Your Body With Brainwave-Controlled Cat Ears

Completely real and available for purchase now from Japanese startup outfit Neurowear. Being a bionic cyber-feline has never looked cuter. Via Wired UK:
The ears twitch through a range of different positions, which correspond to different brain activity. So when you concentrate, the ears point upwards and when you relax the ears flop down and forwards. Mind control isn't new, but lately advances have been made to make mass market control devices at affordable prices.
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