The WarkaWater Tower: Drawing Water From The Air

WarkaWater Architecture And Vision 2

When I was working on a now cancelled socially conscious news show, I was responsible for producing a few segments that were high tech shows-and-tell that showed how technology can benefit the developing world. This meant that I was constantly trolling design websites to find objects like Yves Behar’s Kernel Diagnostic and Olafur Eliasson’s Little Sun, doing my best to get my hands on them to share. This was often a difficult, frustrating task but the results were always remarkable.

This has left a special place in my heart for design projects with good intentions, ones that seek to offer solutions through creativity. While reading Wired recently, something caught my attention that certainly fit into this world and, thankfully, I don’t have to worry about flying a prototype out to Los Angeles: Architecture and Vision has created a “water tower” out of bamboo that extracts water from the air, harvesting the resource for those in dry environments. It’s a novel idea executed in an exceptional way.

The WarkaWater Tower: Drawing Water From The Air

The WarkaWater Tower: Drawing Water From The Air

The tower—which they call WarkaWater, after the Ethiopian Warka tree—is composed of bamboo poles wrapped in a thin mesh net that catches water from rain, fog, dew, etc. It all funnels into a water tank and, apparently, it can collect almost thirty gallons of water a day. It requires no electricity, requires less than a grand to build, and is even designed to keep birds away.

The project is literally huge and has gone through many design incarnations, their most recent being the most viable, useful effort. Yet, like many designs for social good, the funding for clever projects like this is quite minimal and the creators have turned to Kickstarter for funding. They’re raising money through mid-February and, if successful, they should be able to start more serious testing of the tower this year—and they hope to employ the towers in Ethiopia in the next three years.

KYLE FITZPATRICK

January 14, 2015 / By

Brye Kobayashi Gives iTunes The Redesign It Desperately Needs

Brye Kobayashi Gives iTunes The Redesign It Desperately Needs

Brye Kobayashi Gives iTunes The Redesign It Desperately Needs

I was complaining on Twitter yesterday about the sad state of iTunes, lamenting the fact that it’s current state is confusing and makes me feel like I’m inept. TFIB reader Keorattana Luangrath in response sent a link to a well-done redesign by Brye Kobayashi, a Honolulu based designer. His efforts focus on more intuitive navigation, an expansive, editorial iTunes Store, and a simplified library view.

I think what he nails is the proper hierarchy of information. A left navigation bar is a web standard but as you can see it’s so much more intuitive to browse. You click the nav on the left which adjusts the nav at the top in the right pane. Simple. I also enjoy that he’s applied the iOS styling overall, feels fresh and new.

You can see more of Brye’s process and additional imagery by clicking here.

Bobby Solomon

January 6, 2015 / By

My Favorite “Ceramicists”: Cody Hoyt, Ben Medansky, & Eric Roinestad

An interest of mine that has been rekindled over the past year is the area of ceramics. There’s something about the tactility and the unknown nature of the craft that makes it seem like such an incredible challenge. That’s why I’ve chosen to share a few of my favorite ceramicists, to highlight some of the great work that’s happening in this world.

Cody Hoyt - Ceramics

Cody Hoyt
I knew Cody Hoyt in a previous life. Back in 2009 he was an LA based illustrator and he made this beautifully chaotic wallpaper that I was obsessed with. There was such complexity and depth to the piece and I was madly in love with it.

Nowadays he’s a Brooklyn based sculptor who makes the most amazing ceramic vessels, embedded with swirling, abstract patterns that clearly reference his previous sensibilities but perhaps in a more refined form.

Cody Hoyt - Ceramics

Cody Hoyt - Ceramics

Ben Medansky - Ceramics

Ben Medansky
Ben Medansky is an incredibly talented guy who has an extremely unique view of the world. This sensibility rings throughout all of his work, usually as some sort of abstract, off the wall piece that you can’t help but smile about. As you’ll see below he’s incorporated a lot of Yves Klein-esque blues, golds, and silvers, that pair so very well with the more neutral colored glazes. Drinking your coffee in the morning could only be more fun with Ben’s mugs.

Ben Medansky - Ceramics

Ben Medansky - Ceramics

Eric Roinestad - Ceramics

Eric Roinestad
Back in July I interviewed Los Angeles ceramics artist and designer Eric Roinestad because I had recently became obsessed with his work. What makes Eric’s work stand out for me is his use of Southern California plant life but also objects like the “shot up tin cans” which hint at the unnatural aspects of desert life. You can visit his site to see the full range of amazing vessels he’s currently working on.

Eric Roinestad - Ceramics

Eric Roinestad - Ceramics

Bobby Solomon

December 17, 2014 / By

My Favorite “Coffee Shop”: Go Get Em Tiger

My Favorite "Coffee Shop": Go Get Em Tiger

As designers we tend to glamorize coffee. It’s the “fuel” for our projects, it’s the drink that keeps us motivated late at night. Perhaps you could even say we fetishize it. I’d add to the cult of coffee that we all have our favorite places we love to visit. That one shop that knows you, that knows your drink of choice, that with a glance makes you feel at home.

For me that spot is Go Get Em Tiger, a newish coffee shop that only opened last June but is already seen as one of the best in LA. It’s also the sister site of G&B Coffee which is located in the now trendy Grand Central Market which was named one of the Hot 10 places in America by Bon Appetit. Together they’re doing coffee a little differently, and it’s the little things that really matter.

My Favorite "Coffee Shop": Go Get Em Tiger Photo by @alwaysjudging

I would say the immediate difference between GGET and other coffee shops is the general vibe of the place. Rather than wait in line you belly up to a bar, first come first serve, which makes it a much more casual affair. It also helps if you’re a regular, and within seconds someone can swing by and ask if you want your usual. They’re also seating inside and out, dogs are totally welcome, most of the time the doors are always open, and it’s pretty consistently bright inside the space thanks to the big, west facing windows.

My Favorite "Coffee Shop": Go Get Em Tiger Photos by @candacesmkim & @lifeserial

Their ability to pull espresso shots is impeccable, in fact their barista Charles Babinski recently won the 2015 South West Regional Barista Competition, so you can only imagine the level of quality that’s being served. I’m a purist personally and only order the sweet latte. It’s what you’d think it is, a latte, hot or iced, that’s been sweetened with agave, which gives it a much more mild sweetness compared to artificial sweeteners.

My Favorite "Coffee Shop": Go Get Em Tiger Photos by @ccllim_jy & @jarliek

My Favorite "Coffee Shop": Go Get Em Tiger Photo by @monicais

Overall, Go Get Em Tiger gets all the details right. The perfect drinks, the perfect space, the perfect staff who know how to make you feel welcome. The next time you’re in Los Angeles, this is the place to go.

Go Get Em Tiger
230 N Larchmont Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90004

Bobby Solomon

December 16, 2014 / By

My Favorite “Design Studio”: Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

You’d think choosing a favorite design studio of the year would be a challenge but honestly it wasn’t. In my mind there was one studio that stood above the rest, who with every project released fascinating, exhilarating, envy-inducing work again and again. For me the obvious choice was Mexico based Anagrama.

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

In the last year they’ve finished 37 projects (that I can see on their site) and each is of such a high caliber that it’s nearly impossible to pick favorites (but I will). You have projects like their work for Very, a real estate brand that feels like pure luxury. It’s minimally branded with a custom serif logo that’s quite beautifully paired with a shiny copper and lots of black. Or take a look at their work for Vivana, a super foods brand that they created packaging for. Yet again they took a (super) minimal approach that features the ingredients front and center on white which communicates clearly the purity and naturalness of what’s inside.

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

A recent favorite is the work they did for a Mexican beer company Cervecería de Colima. The type for each of the bottles gives each it’s own unique vibe, but the muted color palette for the labels ties the brand together. Literally topping off each bottle is a vibrant bottle cap that comes in stunning shades of turquoise, magenta, and yellow. Their restraint with color is found in many of their projects though I feel that this one is done superbly.

I’m excited to see what the next year hold’s for the team at Anagrama. The work they’re doing inspire me to push further and to experiment with branding in design, showing me that I should push my team and the teams I work with to try new and exciting things. If the world had more studios like Anagrama our lives would be filled with so many more beautiful things and places.

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

My Favorite "Design Studio": Anagrama

Bobby Solomon

December 15, 2014 / By

My Favorite “Designer as Teacher”: Aaron Draplin Builds A Logo In 10 Minutes

Aaron Draplin Builds A Logo In 15 Minutes

Portland based designer Aaron Draplin is well-known for his straightforward attitude and no-nonsense sense of design. You could even describe him as a “champion” for the design community, a person who has an immense output of quality designs, and by all accounts I’ve heard, one of the nicest and most supportive folks on earth.

Last week he took Lynda.com‘s logo design challenge, creating a really simple, strong mark in less than 10 minutes. He walks you through his process and his reasoning which gives you a fascinating look at how he gets from nothing to something. His confidence and the easy way he demonstrates his work makes you feel like you should go out and make 100 logos on your lunch hour. Love this guy.

Bobby Solomon

December 15, 2014 / By

Miito Reimagines The Electric Kettle Into An Artful Object For Your Kitchen Counter

Miito Reimagines The Electric Kettle

Nils Chuda and Jasmina Grase have taken an interesting way to boil water, induction heating, and applied it to their creation, Miito.

Miito is an innovative product that heats liquids directly in the vessel to be used, hence eliminating the heating of excess water. Simply fill your cup with water, place it onto the induction base and immerse the rod in the liquid. The induction base heats the rod, which then heats the liquid surrounding it. Miito works with non-ferrous vessels of any size, for example a pot of tea when inviting guests. Miito can also heat your soup or milk for a coffee. The clean shape of the rod allows it to be cleaned easily.

Miito Reimagines The Electric Kettle

While not being a new concept the application of inductive heating with the elegant form of Miito is what excites me. There’s nothing more you need for an idea like this. The base and metal stem are elegant forms that achieve the goal of boiling without any other pieces necessary. In my mind it’s almost so elegant that it presents itself as a piece of art for your kitchen counter.

Unfortunately this seems to be only a prototype for now. I know if it were a real product I’d definitely snag one of these.

Miito Reimagines The Electric Kettle

Bobby Solomon

December 5, 2014 / By

Pantone’s 2015 Color of the Year… Marsala?

Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year... Marsala?

Pantone has released their color of the year for 2015, Marsala. Here’s how they describe the color.

Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.

To put it ineloquently… yuck. This reminds me of the late 90’s, mandarin collar button-ups, vineyard themed kitchens. It’s dried blood, it’s wine stains, it’s the color of regret. I’m also not a fan of the name which makes me think of Chicken Marasala. While it’s a delicious dish, it’s quite ugly from an aesthetic standpoint.

Also, what’s going on with the scandalous photo shoot below? This is taken directly from the Pantone site. Does the idea of a ménage à trios help to sell a color?

Pantone's 2015 Color of the Year... Marsala?

Bobby Solomon

December 5, 2014 / By

Google+