Designs from California bag outfitter Booq tend toward the highly unorthodox and original; the last time I wrote about one of their bags I even made a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that the company’s gear was designed by folks from outer space.
But with its square-jawed, establishment lines and pockets that open conventionally, Booq’s new $150 Boa brief laptop bag seems like it would look much more at home on the set of Mad Men than it would on the set of Battlestar Galactica.
Apple’s clever iPad mini ads that have been featured on the back covers of Time, Wired, the New Yorker, and Surfer, were just awarded one of the most prestigious advertising award in the world today.
The Apple iPad mini campaign by TBWA Media Arts Lab won the Grand Prix in press even though the iPad mini has been viewed by many as the device that will eventually kill newspapers and magazine. To get the top prize, Apple beat out strong competition from Dove and Beijing Sports.
Marcello Serpa, chief creative officer at Almap BBDO presided over the judging and had the following explanation for why Apple won:
One of the saddest things about tech is that unlike other fashionable things, the aesthetic trend that might dictate what gadgets look like for a few years never gets a chance to come back into style. The most we ever get is the chance to be nostalgic about the look of an old gadget, not to fall in love with the aesthetic behind its design all over again, as if new.
For example, debatably thanks to AMC’s period drama Mad Men, Danish mid-century design has really come back into style. A whole new generation of people have come to discover and love a design trend that a mere two years ago, all but a few people would have, at best, only known by a couple musty old relics collecting dust and mouldering in their grandparents’ garage. Watching Don Draper slip into an Eames lounge chair, or pour himself a drink from a gorgeous teak sideboard, or turn on a tulip lamp designed by Eero Sarinen, though, rejuvenates these items by allowing us to see them as they were meant to be used and experienced. It removes real, living objects from the obscurity of textbooks and turns them into fresh ideas, ready to be used again.
It’s for this reason that I love seeing wood in a gadget. It takes a trend that was ubiquitous in the 70s and 80s, when home electronics were big and bulky enough to be mostly considered a kind of furniture, and presents it as a refreshing anecdote to a modern trend in tech design that puts the emphasis on more impersonal and space-age materials like plastic and metal, silicon and glass.
For me, wood can imply an intimacy — a device is yours, it was made for you — that makes it a perfect material for a smartphone: a device that is, by definition, the gadget with which most of us have our most personal relationship. And while Apple understandably doesn’t make iPhones out of wood, I’m delighted that a company like Monolithdoes, by offering a stunning line of natural wood backs for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S that are as practical as they are beautiful.
Which phone would fictional advertising genius Don Draper from AMC’s Mad Men use? No surprises here: as this picture of Jon Hamm from the set of the hit television proves, only the phone with the best and most convincing advertising campaign on Earth, an iPhone, would do for Draper.