All items tagged with "design"

Design guru Dieter Rams says Apple built his dream PC

Legendary designer Dieter Rams. Photo: Wikipedia

Legendary designer Dieter Rams. Photo: Wikipedia

Braun’s lauded designer, Dieter Rams, has long been cited as an inspiration behind Apple’s classic design. Nearly everything Rams touched, from calculators tape recorders, radios, and even infrared emitters, have inspired Apple’s products, and according to Dieter himself, it’s a huge compliment.

In a recent interview with Fast Company, the prolific designer said if he had to do it all over again, he “would not want to be a designer.” However, if he were forced to take out his sketchpad and design a computer, it’d probably look just like Apple’s.

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Step up to 10 incredible, Apple-worthy staircases

The Apple Store on Boylston Street in Boston boasts a remarkable spiral staircase. Photo: Joseph Thornton/Flickr CC

The Apple Store on Boylston Street in Boston boasts a remarkable spiral staircase. Photo: Joseph Thornton/Flickr CC

If you’ve ever walked into a flagship Apple Store unconvinced of the magic of Cupertino’s products, a wondrous curvy, glass staircase might have softened your psyche.

Apple’s retail outlets are almost as well known for award-winning architecture and eye-catching staircases as for the MacBooks, iPads and iPhones on sale. But Apple Stores aren’t the only places to make vertical trips seem like a magical journey.

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Use these wallpapers to spend less time on your iPhone

Playful design with a serious message. Photo: Molly McLeod

Playful design with a serious message. Photo: Molly McLeod

Designer, artist and feminist Molly McLeod has an iPhone problem. It’s one we probably all share: We spend too much time staring at it. Imagine how much worse it’s going to get when we replace our neurotic iPhone obsession with an Apple Watch.

McLeod created four delightfully playful designs that we could use to remind us (with a healthy dose of irony) to stop staring at our tiny screens for a moment.

“I find myself habitually looking at my phone when I’m commuting or idly waiting for something,” she writes on her website, “so I thought I would make my phone give me this gentle reminder. There are always other interesting things to look at if you look up!”

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How the Apple Watch is made

If you care at all about how Apple makes things (and you should, because the care Jony Ive brings to Apple's products is one we should all be trying to emulate in our personal lives), you owe it to yourself to spend the weekend reading this post. Photo: Apple

Apple put an unbelievable amount of care into crafting its smartwatch. Photo: Apple

No Apple fan is oblivious to the huge amount of science, technique, expertise and care that Apple puts into every product. Apple doesn’t design its products the way it does because it has to, but because it is compelled on a profoundly spiritual level to do so.

For the Apple Watch, Apple has taken that care to the next level. And if you want to see just how much artistry, skill, craft and passion has gone into creating the latest revolutionary Apple product, there’s no better way to spend the weekend than reading about the behind-the-scenes manufacturing process of the Apple Watch.

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Apollo program inspired Jony Ive to make a ‘spacesuit’

What would a Jony Ive spacesuit look like? Photo: Sotheby's

What would a Jony Ive spacesuit look like? Photo: Sotheby’s

When you’ve designed some of the most successful consumer electronics in modern history, where else can you look but up?

One of the many interesting tidbits in The New Yorker’s 17,000-word profile of Jony Ive surrounds his fascination with the Apollo space program and, yes, designing spacesuits. It doesn’t sound like the spacesuit itself was what inspired Apple’s top designer as much as the process that went into it.

Ive mentions he’s been watching the old Discovery channel series Moon Machine about the challenges facing the Apollo program. NASA designers had no idea what goals they even needed to meet for the suit, but built up to the final design with invention after invention until they got it right.

An anecdote from The New Yorker’s time in Ive’s hallowed design studio (emphasis added):

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Here’s how Apple should reinvent the address book

There's got to be a better way. Photo: Frank Costa

There’s got to be a better way. Photo: Frank Costa

The address book is outdated. On the iPhone, while most of my contacts reside in the Contacts app, I rarely go in there. Instead, I connect with people on Facebook, via SnapChat, WhatsApp and more.

Product designer Frank Costa feels the same way, but he went one step further than simply banishing the Contacts app to an unused folder on his Home screen and designed this address book replacement concept, something he calls an Invisible Address Book.

While having a list of phone numbers might be silly, he says, there is benefit to having information about the people we contact frequently in one place.

“Therefore, as a design exercise,” writes Costa on Medium, “I elaborated on a couple of ideas to turn that seemingly static list of people into a slightly more ambitious project.”

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Standing room only: Startup office of the future promises ‘end of sitting’

No chairs exist in the office re-imagined by artist Barbara Visser and architects Erik and Ronald Rietveld. Photo by Jan Kempenaers

No chairs exist in the office of the future, as re-imagined by artist Barbara Visser and architects Erik and Ronald Rietveld. Photo: Jan Kempenaers

The research reads like a Surgeon General’s warning: Prolonged periods of sitting can lead to obesity, heart disease, blood clots and spinal compression, according to the latest medical studies.

To combat this modern office horror, an artist and an architecture firm from the Netherlands have re-imagined the office with all the chairs pulled out from under us. The exhibit, called The End of Sitting, is a geometric landscape of surfaces of varying heights on which to lean.

“The chair and desk are no longer unquestionable starting points,” Erik and Ronald Rietveld, partners at Dutch firm Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances, told Cult of Mac. “In our society, almost the entirety of our surroundings have been for sitting while evidence from medical research suggests that too much sitting has adverse health effects.”

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12 design secrets spilled by Jony Ive

The world's most famous designer, Jony Ive. Photo: Apple

The world’s most famous designer, Jony Ive. Photo: Apple

Jony Ive made a rare public appearance at the Design Museum in London yesterday, where he discussed a range of topics with museum director Deyan Sudjic. Everything from the future of design, to Jony’s work at Apple popped up in the conversation, but the most intriguing parts where the insights into Jony’s design process.

Sir Jonathan told hopeful designers that great design requires you to reject reason and comes with an enormous amount of failure, but he also shared some insights on how he’s become so successful as Apple’s Senior VP of Design.

Here are 12 secrets for designers Jony spilled last night:

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Review: The iPad Air 2 is so good, it almost disappears

iPad Air 2 Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s iPad Air 2 is so good, it almost disappears. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Pity Jony Ive. The poor bastard just can’t catch a break.

Ive and his design team at Apple have just released a pair of exquisite iPads — the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 — and yet are getting grief because the iPads offer nothing “new.”

“New” being things like face-tracking cameras, heart-rate monitors or — god forbid — a stylus. These are the kinds of things that get called “innovation.”

Instead, the new iPads look a lot like last year’s models, and those from every year before. This makes many tech reviewers yawn.

Largely unnecessary,” says The New York Times’ lukewarm review. “More of the same,” writes Business Insider. “You might think I’d be pretty excited about them — but I’m not,” says Walt Mossberg at Re/Code.

Indeed, instead of adding new hardware features, Ive’s team has even removed them. The mute/lock button is gone on the iPad Air 2. Who removes features?

Well, Jony Ive does.

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Meet the origami kayak that makes adventure easy


Taking the Oru Kayak for a ride. Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

I consider myself to be “the adventurous type” but I’ve never once kayaked, thanks to two big hurdles: I live in the desert, and I drive a tiny Fiat that barely fits four grown humans in its cramped interior.

Water activities in these parts of Arizona require a gas-guzzling truck and a garage big enough to store your boats, putting kayaking out of reach for most urban dwellers. Oru Kayak destroys both those necessities with a foldable boat that’s strong enough to take on a lake or river, while also compacting into a box small enough to fit in your closet.

Before the Oru Kayak glided into my life, my go-to outdoor activity was hiking. Point me to a waterfall 15 miles away in the desert and even if that AZ ‘dry heat’ was boiling the tar on the highway, I was totally there. Now that there’s a boat that fits in my car, everything’s changed.

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