design insights: week 49



Dakine introduces a backcountry backpack called the Altitude ABS40L, that is fitted with an optional floatation system which when activated inflates and enables you to ether float above the deadly chaos in an avalanche or provides an air pocket for you to temporarily breath in if you get buried.


This is a good quote to have posted after the Dakine concept right?

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Finally…Volkswagen introduces a Hybrid which features a 7-Speed automatic transmission. Historically the diesel has been the option of choice for Euro rides. VW was committed to that format for decades. Factually, one barrel of crude oil makes 19 gallons of gas, but only 9 gallons of diesel fuel. This VW uses both clean diesel technology and electricity…getting the owner the best highway mileage and city mileage while maintaining a fun drive, but the jury is still out as to what is best for the global environment. Perhaps incentives that encourage less dependency on our cars.


Treehouse…a new alternative to the big box home improvement options…was born in Austin and continues to add impressive product lines to their program…I wonder if stock is available?


Hardware company Richelieu introduces this center lift concept for overheads.


Garage overhaul by Edwards Moore. Proof that there should never be a cast off space in a home. I found this article at dezzen.


I could not resist the title to this post at cool+hunting: The Best of CH Booze and Snacks 2012. Dean Martin would be proud.


Walker Art Center is admirably addressing the need to maintain kids’ creativity as they progress through the life stage process…a skill that is applicable no matter what they end up doing.


Thrive Furniture re-introduces a line of seating inspired by our countries past leaders. The association of the chair with the person is a bit puzzling but fun to review.


The “X” house in Barcelona, designed by Cadavel & Sola-Morales and found at *wallpaper, represents other area’s of the world’s ability to embrace different building materials over those typically used in America. We tend to respond to poured concrete as to cold and harsh…but note how well proper lighting and foliage warm up this setting.


The full length cantilevered, storage trunk caught my eye in this article at Not only would it be simple to do, it is a detail that adds continuity and direction of flow to a the space with one incredibly versatile solution. This dwelling designed by Triple D was intended to create a bright warm airy space without over dominance of white. Note that there is nothing wall hung…except the cabinet.


The Designer Pad is featuring an article on fabulous posters.


Behind the scenes at a Walt Disney development…is it surprising that there are no signs of real life? This and several other photo essay’s can be seen at


A friend of mine and I were just discussing how odd it looked when people at the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop Party in Times Square were holding up their iPads as camera’s.  We concluded there is a need for a GoPro accessory from Apple.

office-curtain has nice article on forgotten ways to use curtains…low-cost walls, great transition details, rich historic cabinet closures, etc. Almost a lost art.


Re-establishing the simplicity in storing things in a “box”…is this concept from Standtnomaden.


I did not know they offered seating surprisingly…but Poliform Italy introduces the Ventura Lounge designed by Jean-Marie Massaud. Wonderful form manipulation.


Our friends at Wolverine still offer the classic “Logger” boot…these and on of my many Patagonia’s and I would be a real poser…as much as I love a good boot.


Porsche Design takes a spin with BlackBerry. I still use a classic black Motorola Razr and a iPod…will this help BlackBerry? More on this collaboration at




Alessi introduces several new products…this flippable item called “trayscape” was designed by Urbanus. Although their product is delightful and you will recognize many innovative items, I find the website a bit awkward to negotiate.


An acquaintance of mine, Rob Forbes (formerly of DWR but now Public Bike Company) wrote a good article on his blog about how the aspirations of transportation and mobility have changed. It is a short article as all good blog posts should be but it gets you thinking about how design reacts to the events in society and in vise versa.



While in downtown Chicago over the holidays…I was reminded what incredible job of reinvention Burberry has done with pretty much all its points of customer contact…they are not the plaid scarf company anymore. I don’t know how they light this place but it is pretty fantastic to see in real life…on Michigan Ave.


1671557-slide-memoto-rendering-pen3-large is featuring this article on a new “life camera” called Memoto which captures pictures continually throughout our day…as the author of the article Mark Wilson indicates…for better or worse.


Floating climate proof pavilion in Rotterdam. Full article and more pictures of the climate change fighting concept designed by Deltasync and PublicDomain Architects can be found at


Tracking refreshing graphic trends at


Presented as the world’s greenest home. The Antillia House, this 1 billion dollar home was designed and constructed for Mukesh Ambain and his direct family. He is India’s richest man and on the Forbe’s list as 4th. This article at inhabitant highlights the question of how green is it to be consumed by this much consumption?


Designboom is featuring this Teikyo University Elementary School, Tokyo…bringing translucent in the education process to a new level. What do you think kids whose education has been enabled by facilities like this will want in their homes when the grow up? With the internet you can see around the world…with facility design like this you can see around your community…share, learn, help, collaborate and be accountable.


Your call…love it, hate it or confused as to why. The Veliero Shelving system offered through Cassina (Italy) was designed architect Franco Albini to mimic ships rigging. According to dwell, this piece will now be available in the U.S.A. beginning in May.


This modular storage system is in a category called “tidiness” with this company. Schonbuch has many fun and effective solutions.


I have often wondered if I live vicariously through the play of my kids. If you swap out the punching bag with a vintage Roger’s drum set, this represents a very desirable room…it’s not to late I suppose. See several other ideas of merit and limitless budget at this location on

By Jon King

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