As a small kick-off for my master's thesis I used a previously mentioned 3D scan of my head to create a robotic face with a movable jaw. The face is currently anything but jovial, but could be made to say anything, not just the zombie on screensaver mode as visible in the video below.
Looking at the intersection between man and machine, what is human and what is machine, I aimed to move towards mimicking the movements of the human face, starting with the jaw. Starting with a cleaned up 3D scan of my head I was able to manipulate it into a format which could be cut out on a laser cutter and glued together into a simile of myself.
The software Autodesk 123D Make was used to convert the 3D model into an array of slices, each the thickness of MDF which was available.
After getting the slices cut out, they were reassembled into a face once again. The jaw was cut out separately to ensure it could be mounted and actuated once the model was put together.
The ridges between each level of the face create an interesting, and somewhat confusing, resolution to what is usually smooth and ordered.
The face was animated rather simply using an Arduino Uno and a servo motor, hence the squeaky whirring sound which can be heard in the above video.
During an internship spent at Smart Design in San Francisco I had the opportunity to design and make a shield, which is essentially a circuit board which sits on top of a prototyping platform called Arduino, and offers features which the Arduino doesn't have by its own. In this case radio frequency communication.
The final shield was designed, manufactured and populated with third party components to form the finished item above.
Why RF-communication though? At Smart we were playing around with the Ninja Blocks platform, which is used to connect various items around your home to the internet.
As we wanted to make our own peripherals they needed to be able to communicate with the Ninja Blocks base unit, and as so happens that communication takes place over 433MHz radio frequency. Hence, if we could make the Arduino communicate on the same frequency we'd be able to create anything we'd want to. An added benefit was also to enable two way communication between several Arduinos, independently of the Ninja Blocks platform.
Work started very crudely, with hooking up the necessary components to breadboards making sure that the idea behind it worked, and then creating a more reliable, soldered, version of the same
Once the concept was proven to work the circuit board which would make up the final shield was drawn up in CadSoft EAGLE PCB designing program, and sent off to a small scale manufacturer called OSH Park for production.
When the circuit board comes back it needs to be populated with the right components, as well as having headers added so it can be plugged into the Arduino board.
If you want to create your own version of the Smart Design RF Shield you can download the EAGLE project files as well as documentation on how to get your Arduino to speak with your final shield at GitHub at the following link: smartInteractionLab/arduinoNinjaShield.
You can also read a more in depth article about the creation of the shield at the Smart Interaction Lab blog: Making a Custom Arduino Shield for Ninjablocks.
UID Cookie Box was a two week project together with Alexis Morin and Sharon Williams during the autumn of 2012 at Umeå Institute of Design (UID).
The cookie box was created out of a desire to give something to people at the school. 50% social experiment, 50% unexpected behaviour and 50% cube equals 150% deliciousness!
The actual box is made from a thick acrylic plastic and fiber board placed in an aluminium tray. Part of the reason of the split design was to make the refilling and service easier, although precautions need to be taken to prevent tampering of the insides.
After testing, and failing, to see how well and fast the rumor mill would spread the necessary information about the cookie box and the twitter hashtag required it was decided to put instructions of its usage on the side of the box instead. This was done through laser etching the surface of the painted fiberboard.
The insides of the box is controlled by an Arduino which talks with a computer wirelessly via XBee. The computer is running breakout.js and node.js to take care of controlling the Arduino and talking with the Twitter API. The way we managed to set it up means the lag between a tweet being sent to the machine pushing out a cookie can be counted in seconds, wheras in the first iteration of the cookie box it could at times be counted in minutes. The code for the project is available on github for anyone to take part in.
Since the lure of cookies is too strong for some people to handle some control functions were built into the cookie box. To prevent people from overfeeding themselves with cookies the box will not push out another cookie if you already tweeted within five minutes, instead it will blink red as a visual indicator that you should slow down. Also, to prevent cookies from piling up on the floor in front of the box due to repeated tweets the machine will simply ignore your request if there already is a cookie in the slot. This prooved to be an especially important feature as people not in the vacinity of the box started retweeting wondering what was going on with the new delicious hashtag in their friends' tweets.
The cookie box was placed in the school public during two events for testing and correcting of glitches and troubleshooting. The cookies ran out rather quickly, which is why wooden pucks were made with a message to contact the cookie administrator (i.e. either of us who worked on it) for restocking the box.
The longterm goal is to put the box permanently in the school and have it stocked with cookies as often as possible. Delicious cookies for everyone! Concerns about public health notwithstanding.
So next time you're in Umeå, Sweden, come by, tweet with #uidcookiebox and grab yourself a cookie!
The game 'Up, Down, Left, Right' was as experiment made during a course at Umeå Institute of Design where the aim was to learn how to interface with HIDs (Human Interface Devices) such as gamepads.
The simple purpose of the game is for you, the black square, to escape the red square. The red square gets progressively faster as the game goes on making evasion harder and harder.
'Up, Down, Left, Right' can be played in two different ways, either you hold down the buttons of your gamepad to move around in nigh real-time, getting chased by the red square. Or you do deliberate moves one at a time with the red square making one move for every move you do.
Every time you die, and die you will, a ghost is created that follows your previous movements. Every successive play generates a new ghost eventually making your playing field littered with past iterations of yourself, and their inevitable failure.
Morph was a service design project made during ten weeks in the spring of 2012 at Umeå Institute of Design together with Doris Feurstein and Shelagh McLellan.
Today, just as in ages past, people emigrate and immigrate around the world on a daily basis. Reaching new places and learning new languages always proves to be a hurdle, regardless if you're young or old. Is there something we could do to alleviate their problems through the society and with the technology and we have today?
Working closely with users who came to Sweden for different reasons, and from different ages, a solution was developed which follows with you from day one in your new country and helps you through the process of being proficient in your new language. This process relies heavily on regular practice in the language as well as participating in social events together with others that are in your situation as well as native speakers. It helps you to keep your learning active by connecting with things that you find interesting or are important to you.
The solution is called 'morph', and its purpose to connect you through activities with others.
The greatest learning is done through social immersion and the easiest way to reach is by doing things you have a self-interest in. It is in the intersection between language learning and social immersion that morph exists.
Morph consists of five parts: a greeting you recieve in your home land before moving, a welcome package with a map and a wireless router cube, a web/mobile portal and actual events organized by morph.
Morph is also a method of slowly changing the words in your language over from your native tongue over to your new one successively by replacing words in text you see through correspondance with morph or through digital devices.
Through the wireless router cube you can track your progress as well as the words you should practice on in your coming days. By having an incentive, which for example could be sponsored discounts by local companies, you have a stepping stone to reach on your way to mastering your new language.
With the morph web-service you can, after setting up your profile in your native language, follow the events that are going on around you. Events that fall in line with your interests are recommended to you to attend.
The core of the morph system is your telephone which you carry around you everywhere. The system helps you to get to different places of interest, helps you with your language learning, slowly changes over words which become familiar to you to create a mixture, a morph, between your native language and your new language, until eventually all words are in your new language.
Morph does not stop at the point of becoming proficient in your new language but rather continues with you giving back, in a sense becoming a morph ambassador, helping new people as you were helped. This is reinforced by the social network that is created by attending and socializing at morph organized events.
Morph is not about making people speak fluently, morph is giving people the tools to go out and connect with others and create situations where language learning can occur in a more relaxed way away from classrooms and books.
3D prototyping and manufacturing is on the rise with technology becoming ever cheaper to where you can have your own 3D printer in your own home without a huge investment. Copying is not limited to two-dimensional material any longer. Machines are even reaching the stage of self replication. Because of this I wanted to explore self replication and augmentation through 3D scanning and printing.
The process was fairly easy: firstly put a few dozen reflective dots all over your face. Secondly sit completely still and expressionless for about an hour while the 3D scanning operator points a big and menacing, vaguely weapon-like, laser device at your face. Eyes closed please!
The resulting 3D model is, out of the box, unfortunately not entirely usable. Many holes to be patched and a lot of unnecessary garbage, created by not being able to scan hair, needed to be dealt with. After a somewhat longwinded, manual cleaning-up, process through various software, augmentations in shape of antlers were added.
Finally the 3D model was sent off to Shapeways where it was printed in high quality plastic and sent back. As unnerving as a clone of yourself, even one heavily altered, is it is equally as interesting as a snapshot in time. It is much like a three-dimensional photograph of a moment which will never come again.
An infographic created as part of an experimental course called Prototyping the Future at Umeå Institute of Design. A course where both students and staff get a chance to explore different fields, both design related and not, during one week of the year.
This image was made during a infographics segment of that course.
For full size PDF click the following link: whatthetweet.pdf (1,7mb)
While Processing (info) is a program in which you can program a wide variety of things I have found it highly interesting to dive into the area of generative graphics, creating graphics parametrically both within the actual program and through reading values from external files such as images or coordinate files.
Here are some examples, and likely more will be added in the future.
A spiral galaxy plotted star by star showing the slow, though explosive, spreading of the galaxy mass.
A simple visualization of an audio-file creating positive or negative values (the spikes) while traveling around a circle.
Continuing the experimentation with audio and processing, and tying in with the "Voices of Umeå" project a Processing program was developed to analyze audio, either through prerecorded audio or directly from a microphone, and paint that out on a canvas. At the end of the recording cycle an image file is saved to be able to keep the result. Though, arguably the experience of creating, watching the painted blobs visualize your voice in real time, is much more interesting than watching the static result.
The code for the program is largely based on Nicolas Coronado's Audio Painter and a big thank you goes out to him for his help in this process.
For anyone who has ever lost their USB stick, with its often precious cargo, the process of getting it back, even if lost in familiar territory such as at school or at work, is less than smooth. People don't know who it belongs to unless it's marked, and chances are it ends up forgotten somewhere, "inherited" by whoever finds it or even thrown away.
From a quick idea jotted down during a meeting a simple solution to the problem formed. Since "Lost & Found" boxes exist almost anywhere, why not create one specifically for USB sticks in areas where losing them is common, such as copy rooms, common computer rooms and so forth?
A holder of sorts, custom made to fit USB connectors, was made and put up in the common copy room at Umeå Institute of Design, an area where many a USB sticks have been lost over the last few years. No more than a week later the rack had already amassed a small collection of USB sticks, of many I have been told already have found their way back to their owners. Since then the holder has been living its own life with sticks coming and going, lost and found, in cyclical motion.
Voices of Umeå is a project together with the local composer Anders Lind in which he is going to put together a musical piece featuring the citizens of the city of Umeå, Sweden for the year 2014 when Umeå is the European capital of culture. The five day project was intended for pitching an idea of how the recording of Umeå citizens could be done.
To achieve his aim, to record several thousand voices, over the span of a few months Anders has plans of creating a device or portal where people can approach and record themselves with minimal effort.
The inspiration of the project came from another field where people both feel comfortable to interact and use their voices in as well as an area that is instantly recognizeable; the common phonebooth. Phonebooths from around the world were referenced and all had one theme in common: privacy, or at least the illusion thereof.
Drawing upon the arid climate around Umeå in winter the final portal was created. Its edgy structure reminding of the ice and snow that surrounds the north of Sweden come wintertime. The wings on either side both invite the user as well as shield from surrounding noise, making sure that the recording is as clear as possible, privacy as high as possible while keeping claustrophobia to a minimum.
The recording device would eventually be touring schools and public institutions around Umeå and should therefore work independently regardless of the environment it is placed in.
Since the device will be independent care needs to be taken about its accessibility, people of all characteristics should be able to access it. The wings and screen therefore lowers and raises depending on the height of the person approaching so no one has to be left out.
The final portal would have a easy to use and understand interface where you are explained the purpose of the project in simple terms as well as what is in it for you; to receive a visualization of your own voice. After the recording the possibility to delete it should also exist in case the user has changed their mind about participation at any point in the process, or would simply want to have a retry at the recording.
A video of the concept from beginning, through interface and recording and ending the interaction.
A more detailed look at the actual audio visualization can be seen in the Processing Projects section.
Umeå Institute of Design was approached by the regional Swedish police with a project in which they were planning to build a new command center. The task for the students was to look at the environment of the operators who receive calls from the public, dispatch police patrols and keep things organized.
Their current working environment consists of a large room populated by a vast amount of screens. Each operator uses 3-5 screens to control the various systems they need. The physical work environment is an ergonomic disadvantage to the employees as well as the layout of the computer system being a cognitive strain.
The concept developed through this five week project severely reduced the amount of screens required for the operators. The system has been condensed and features that are never used have been removed, seldomly used features hidden but still accessible and the features that are used on an everyday basis are out in the open offering easy access.
The concept focuses on the map as a central focus. Most of the work the operators are doing are tied into the map in one way or another; locations of incoming calls, location of patrols, route maps and so forth, so it was only natural to design the system around the map itself.
This project is subject to further updates in the immediate future.
The bachelor level degree project at Umeå Institute of Design is a ten week, self initiated and driven, project focused towards product design and together with a partner company a final concept is developed.
Cycleurope was chosen as a partner company due to their long experience in the bicycle industry, launching their first Monark bicycles over 100 years ago. Making them as much a bicycle manufacturer as a Swedish institution.
Bicycle theft is a problem that most people have had to face at some point or another. Where it can be both a loss of property and a loss of transportation it is at least always a hassle, one large enough that many people do not bother reporting the theft to police or insurance companies.
About 70 000 bicycles are reported stolen every year in Sweden alone, approximately 300 000 in the United States. The cost to bicyclists and insurance companies are mounting whereas the bicycle lock industry is booming. Considering the amount of bicycles reported stolen every year, and the vast amount of unrecorded thefts, this is an issue that needs to be dealt with, sooner rather than later.
A survey was carried out among both casual bicyclists, biking enthusiasts as well as among people who regularly did not use a bicycle at all. The results were were interesting in that a lot of people had a low level of trust in their locks, even the ones with highest security ratings, while also being afraid of having their bicycles stolen when left in a public space.
What is even more interesting is the amount of people who does not report the theft of their bicycle to law enforcement. One respondee to the survey even considered bicycles to be merely borrowed from the universe until they inevitably get stolen again.
Upon starting this project several insurance companies were contacted but interest from their side was low. Over the last ten years Swedish insurance companies paid at average 70 million Swedish crowns ($10 million) to people who had their bicycle stolen. Realizing their annual budget it is a small drop in the sea, and the effect it has in loyalising customers is worth a lot more.
A lot of time was also spent researching current bicycle locking systems, their strengths and their flaws. Some locks are easier and some are harder to either pick or to force open, but no lock is impossible to open in some way. Most cable locks can be cut rather easily, U-locks can either be picked with a simple BIC pen or forced open with a small car-jack or battery powered angle grinder. There are many videos online that expose the faults in even the most secure looking locks. The best locks, the ones that give the most time, are the ring locks that are attached to the bicycle frame, common mainly in Europe. They are notoriously hard to pick and hard to access with other tools.
Though locks only buy time, not safety. If a thief really wants to steal your bicycle your bicycle will be stolen, eventually.
Law enforcement sees bicycle theft as a low priority crime mainly because most bicycles do not cost a lot of money and because the thief rarely left enough evidence to be tracked from the scene of the crime. In fact, in Sweden, less than 2% of reported bicycle thefts ever get solved.
There is also an attitude from the public that "it's not my problem" when a bicycle gets stolen. Bicycle thieves can steal bikes in broad daylight without anyone from the public caring. It's never been made more apparent than in the video above made by the Neistat Brothers in which they steal a (their own) bicycle from a number of busy locations with a number of different tools.
So what if we could make something that both keeps your bicycle safer, helps you keep track of it, helps law enforcement in the case of a theft and engages the public? Is it possible?
Since the problem was split on one side the user and on one side the system that would support the device the work was split accordingly. First and foremost to create a device that would fit existing bicycles, have a high ease of use for the user and be hard for the thief to manipulate. Secondly it had to be able to fulfill an information flow both to the user, to the law enforcement and to the general public.
Through the survey many users expressed a need to be able to track their bicycle, even if only to make sure that it still is alright. There are already tracking systems for vehicles, even pets, but their size restricts them to attaching externally if being used on a bicycle. Since anything placed on the outside of the bicycle is an easy target for manipulation and violence focus shifted instead to fitting something inside the bicycle, camouflaging it from sight and from mistreatment.
A device was developed that fits inside the seatpost tube and is held in place by heavy duty rubber wings against the inside of the tube. Concept testing was made with a weighted working model to ensure the device would stay put no matter the abuse caused by either vibration or violence.
Inside the device sits a RFID reciever which talks with your bicycle key for the purpose of locking and unlocking your bicycle depending if you're near your bike or not. A new lock was not developed due to project constraints but existing locking technology was instead adapted to fit this concept. A ring lock was chosen for its outstanding track record and was modified to allow for automated locking and unlocking. In the event that batteries run out between charges the lock can be unlocked manually with the key, although in such an event the tracking functions will not work.
The device also contains a GPS reciever and a SIM-card. If your bicycle is being moved without having been unlocked the device wakes up and checks its status and location. If it is indeed being moved (as opposed to someone just having bumped it) it notifies you via text message that you probably should check up on your bicycle. If it senses further movement it updates you with location data either accessible raw through your mobile phone or with a map on your smartphone.
Once you have verified that your bicycle is indeed stolen you can simply tag it by forwarding the text message to the police. When the police have recieved the message they can, through the GPS reciever constantly updating its location, track and apprehend the thief. A vast improvement over today's method of not being able to act as first responders, at all.
Further a community for owners of this device would be set up in which the status would be updated as well. The device could update towards that community, towards Facebook, Twitter and other social media, to make sure that your friends who possibly could be nearby could also either check on your bicycle or even aid in its recovery.
As long as you carry the key with RFID-chip in it with you the bicycle is locked and unlocked automatically as you leave or approach your bicycle. The rod-like unit goes inside the bicycle frame and is held in place by the rubber wings, staying there, anonymously, as the brains of the bicycle. A thief would be none the wiser if a bicycle has one of them or not. Finally, the ring lock attaches to the frame and fits around the back wheel. Since it is obvious even from afar if the bicycle is locked or not you do not have to worry whether it's locked or not when you leave your bicycle.
A normal day with the lock would require no time manually locking and unlocking, your bicycle is always ready when you approach and safe when you leave.
The parts of the final concept side by side.
The Village in the Trees was the result of a short three day workshop held in Aviemore, Scotland, by Highland Birchwoods and funded by the European Union. The aim of the workshop was to find new and exciting fields where the Scots Pine could be used.
Tree-top houses are certainly nothing new, some cultures have revolved around them, they've been put together by children (and their parents) for some time. The aforementioned Ewoks of Star Wars had their own take on them and they have even been made into exclusive, high priced, hotels in the north of Sweden.
Many places in the Scottish and Scandinavian wilderness are only accessible by hiking quite some distance, too far to make it back to your point of origin in one day alone. When you pass the threshold of needing to bring shelter with you you also pass a point of easiness both in terms of planning and in terms of carrying weight. What if you could have premade shelters set up at strategic hiking spots for hikers to use as overnight accommodation to either continue their hike or to return the next day? Mountain huts for climbers and mountaineers already exist but the hiking segment is largely forgotten.
The huts are stripped down to the bare necessities with only a bed, a table, a chair and a first aid box inside of the hut to underline the closeness to the surrounding nature. The big windows lets in light and maximizes the panoramic view for the visitor.
Two simple experiments with physical interaction vs human psychology. The urge to explore the unknown, within limits of safety, and the need and use of having habits, even at the smallest level.
Just as in Family Guy, the assumption was made that if a person is presented with a button he or she is more than likely to press it. Sheer curiosity will take the upper hand unless the button looks overtly menacing. From this premise a simple device was created, an old breath mint container fitted with a vibrator from a cellphone which activated when the (purely coincidentally placed) button was pushed.
Upon giving this to countless users the vast amount of them pushed the button within the span of ten seconds, often after debating with themselves whether to push it or not, having some trepidation over its purpose. Yet the following vibration still came as a surprise, the tactical feedback not being expected. Elation followed in the seconds thereafter, much in part with the realization that the device was safe and that their action did not cause any damage, only surprise.
Another small device was created shortly thereafter, one even more analogue. The idea born from sitting in a meeting where more than one person incessantly were clicking their pens, even after politely being asked not to. Just as in the previous example, clicking the button becomes too tempting, and if there is no actual reward aside from a regularly returning click sound that click becomes easily habituable, even subconsciously.
The clicker itself is just a simple toggle switch perched at the top of a hollow aluminium tube. The clicker had to be removed, sometimes forcibly, from test subjects who would not let it go. The sensation of clicking became too addictive, one test subject liking it to a child's "security blanket" in how it made it easier for him to focus and listen when his hands were occupied elsewhere.
How can we create opportunities for the city-dweller to explore new interesting areas as well as the urban visitor to find their way around the city?
This project was initiated as part of a form course at Umeå Institute of Design but developed into a device which spans beyond just form into interaction and spatial exploration.
There is a great challenge where new meets old, where the consumer culture of "here today, throw away tomorrow" meets the devices that still work after decades of cherished use. Much of the inspiration for the city navigator came from just these vintage devices, especially so vintage cameras. This combined with both current and future technologies such as smart phones and tablets to even The Guide from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Various form explorations were rigorously tested with users to understand what worked the best to handle, carry and interact with. Results shifted towards a medium sized product, about the size of a smartphone, to combine both adequate space for touch screen interaction and small enough form-factor to still be comfortably portable.
Interaction with the device would include an initial setup phase where you can feed in your interests and as much or little personal data as you wish you offer. Combining with services like Facebook or Foursquare additional data could seamlessly be updated into the navigator. Based on the inputs the navigator suggests new paths for you through the urban landscape, routes that pass by places which it thinks you might like.
The interface of the device changes depending on which direction the user is facing. When the device is facing the ground the screen shows a map view with an overlaid route, as well as markers where you are, where you are heading and other locational data, much like a standard GPS navigator or application.
When pointing up at the world around you the device changes and shows a camera view with overlaid information about your route, where you are heading and what interesting things may be near you. Like an augmented spyglass at the world around you.
The final device is machined from a solid piece of aluminium, covered in leather (or pleather) both to give a trustable weight as well as a surface that is both comfortable to touch and durable to make the navigator last.
It's a device that gives an urban experience out of the ordinary, a device that lasts, that you can cherish over time. The more you use it the more beautifully it wears. While a designer cannot control how a product is used or how it wears we can still give it the best possible circumstances.
During the spring of 2010 IKEA contacted Umeå Institute of Design because of an event they were planning during the Swedish royal wedding in the beginning of the summer. They were planning a city-wide exhibition in which one part would be different Swedish design schools showcasing themselves and Swedish design. Each school was allotted a 2x2x2 meter volume to do whatever they wanted with as long as it fitted the exhibition theme of "togetherness" (Tillsammans).
A group of six students from Umeå Institute of Design got together and thought about what the visitors to the exhibition would like to experience and the consensus was to create something that promoted togetherness between strangers, something that represented Sweden and something that was hidden under the surface - a metaphor that everyone is so much more than they seem on the surface.
The final exhibit was a 2 by 2 meter hut in traditional Swedish style with red walls and white corners. Looking, scale aside, like it could have been lifted straight out from the Swedish countryside.
The lower part of the hut was separated into four booths, with different height to be accessible for different people. Each booth had a hole cut where visitors could pop up their heads. This obviously garnered a lot of curiosity, with children and adult alike crowding around to see what mysteries were hidden inside.
Inside we brought the 1970s disco experience back again. The inside was adorned with a working disco ball, strobe lights and a animated disco floor. From a speaker hidden in the ceiling some of the greatest disco music ever written played.
Every visitor who left the hut did so with a smile, and many who left came back with their father, mother, sister, girlfriend, friend, grandparent or random person in tow. Many visitors even tried the different holes to see if there was another experience in there.
The most interesting was no doubt when people who didn't know each other looked in through different holes at the same time and got face to face with each other, even if no words were said they still shared a smile, a togetherness.
Two weeks after the inaguration the exhibition was torn down, but I'd like to believe they were the two grooviest weeks during the Stockholm summer of 2010.
In the spring of 2010 Umeå Institute of Design, and the second year bachelor students, were approached by Swedish packaging company Tetra Pak who wanted to find new and innovative solutions to their packaging.
Minimizing waste and maximizing user satisfaction were the two most important focal points in the project. Since Tetra Pak is one of the largest packaging manufacturers in the world the potential to affect a lot of people on a daily basis is highly possible. Much care therefore needed to be taken to accommodate the users and their individual differences.
Research focused on one side on finding new, emerging, markets where current packaging is either non existent or arcane and on the other on opening up new areas and uses for the packaging. Soup packaging is something which largely uses both old fashioned packaging methods, cans, and where expansion could easily be achieved with the right packaging.
A new package was developed over the course of five weeks. The new package, dubbed Tetra Taper, still retains the qualities of the most basic of Tetra Pak's current packages, namely to be created completely from one continuous sheet of laminated paper, thus creating no manufacturing waste. Due to the volumes of packaging material manufactured by Tetra Pak on a daily basis even a little waste per package quickly mounts up to vast amounts.
Tetra Taper features a tapered form with chamfered back edges to make handling easier, especially for users with less hand strength. By pulling the large tab the whole top surface of Tetra Taper is removed and the contents accessed. For other applications than soup Tetra Taper could easily be fitted with more conventional tear off tabs or screw caps for resealing.
Due to advances in packaging material Tetra Taper is also safe to microwave, making it possible to both buy, cook and eat your soup from the same package, perfect for lunch boxes. No dirty dishes and while still being completely recyclable a clean conscience to boot.
Tetra Taper is highly customizable with large surfaces for graphic design and colour choices making optimal use of its space in the store. It does this while also minimizing empty air around the packages during shipping due to its interlocking design, helping to save further on shipping costs and CO2 emissions.
A look at integrating wind power into rural areas together with the Umeå company Energytower AB and their newly developed wind turbine. The mission was to improve the design of the wind power turbines while at the same time changing its function for the better.
The Energytower wind turbine as it looked when the brief was received.
Wind turbines have always been an eyesore for people living in rural communities. Wide spread belief that it scares cows, causes grain to grow slower and spooks birds have long been arguments against the establishment of wind turbines. Luckily with private ownership of wind turbines this suspicion has started to ease up and where there before was just an ugly tower users are slowly starting to see a symbol of green energy and of a way to gain revenue.
Still the wind turbines need to be made more attractive for the land owners both in terms of aesthetics and in terms of function. The Energytower wind turbine is already much lower in noise as well as more discrete, though more work can still be done with the integration into the rural landscape and its architecture.
The final proposal is a 15 meter tall tower, still keeping the internal core tilted as per Energytower requirements, designed to blend in with the rural architecture with its barns and silos.
The exterior of the wind turbine is replacable, giving each owner the opportunity to personalize their turbine to make it stand out or blend in more with its surroundings. The turbines could even be branded for both advertisement as well as brand recognition for rural companies.
Final concept, walk-around.
From a short project aimed mainly at learning workshop machinery at the Umeå Institute of Design came a computer mouse so retro thumbs spontaneously dislocated upon touching it, callouses developed on the hands of even the most devoted console gamers.
Inspiration for the computer mouse came from the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) which was produced from 1983 to 1995. An iconic console which made not only gaming something of everyday life of many people but also set the standard for games to come. The NES gamepad has made permanent impressions on many young people's minds and hands.
The final mouse breathes the language of 1980s Nintendo, albeit with some provisions for roundness to create a not entirely displeasing ergonomic experience. The right and left click buttons are the same as the NES gamepad as well as the directional pad which is located on the side for scrolling, much like the scroll wheel on many current mouses.
Engadget dubbed the NES mouse as "the most amazing piece of industrial design in the history of humankind" and Gizmodo called it "the stuff dreams are made of".