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03-11-2009 Nyhedsbrev november 2009
Today saw the unveiling of the collaborative bicycle designs,/a> that are going head to head in the third edition of the Oregon Manifest, in which five teams in as many cities set out to create and craft the best urban utility bike. With this morning's launch, the public is invited to vote on their favorite one, which may well be produced by Fuji Bikes in the near future. We are pleased to present exclusive Q&As with each team so they have a chance to explain why you should their bicycle is the best before the voting period closes this Sunday, August 3.
Core77: Did you and Thomas know (or know of) each other before the collaboration? What was the matchmaking process like?
Mark Prommel (Pensa): We had seen Horse Cycles on various design and local maker blogs, and were already really into his work. When we were invited to participate as the NYC representative for The Bike Design Project, Thomas Callahan was definitely at the top of the list of bike craftsmen we were interested in talking to. After meeting a few builders, the choice was easy.
By its very nature, the design-fabrication relationship for this collaboration is far more intimate than your average designer's relationship with a contractor or manufacturer. To what degree did you educate each other on your respective areas of expertise? Has the collaboration yielded broader lessons?
One of the things that really made this relationship work well was the fact that Thomas is an established designer in his own right, and we at Pensa are also accomplished makers and fabricators. So it wasn't just a "we design it / you build it" relationship—it was a fully collaborative from the first day. All of our concepts were born out of our first few weeks of open collaboration workshops. Thomas was very open to our approach of establishing the big picture story of the bike first, ensuring it was unique, compelling, and based on real insight about the New York City urban rider. We had to make sure that we were looking at the full range of possibilities for the bike and that the foundation of our concept would have enough layers to make the end result truly special. In developing our early concepts together, Thomas lent a wealth of experience and expertise that prevented us from going down paths that would have been wrought with insurmountable challenges.(more...)
Vacheron Constantin timepieces have been worn by the likes of Harry Truman, the Duke of Windsor and even Napoleon Bonaparte. So when the luxury watch manufacturer needed a special case built to house a one-of-a-kind watch (a "tourbillon minute repeater," buyer unknown), they couldn't exactly buy off-the-rack. Instead they turned to UK-based Method Studio, a highly specialized manufacturer of one-off furniture and cases, to create something truly unique.
Method Studio, which is comprised of the husband-and-wife, cabinetmaker-and-architect team of Callum Robinson and Marisa Giannasi, along with the input of Callum's master-cabinetmaker/woodcarver/designer/builder father David Robinson, is located on the east coast of Scotland. But they were able to source some "rare old-growth brown oak" from a woodlands in Northampton as their starting point.
The Department of Energy just selected 20 Universities to compete in building a solar-powered house and Parsons School of Design made the cut for the 2011 competition.
Parsons is teaming up with the Stevens Institute of Technology to provide solar-powered Habitat for Humanity housing for residents of the low-income Deanwood neighborhood of Ward 7 in Washington, D.C.
The design consists of two modules that unite to form a functioning solar duplex. Each module is sustainable on its own, but they achieve peak efficiency when joined together. Module One will be assembled in Deanwood, and Module Two will be displayed on the National Mall for Solar Decathlon 2011. After the competition, the two modules will be connected to form a duplex that can house two families.
According to Parsons, "the duplex's primary power is generated using hybrid photovoltaic thermal cells, which produce electric energy and collect thermal energy to boost overall efficiency."
The dean of Parsons, Joel Towers, tells me that the Solar Decathlon projects involves dozens of classes in architecture, urban planning, design and technology.
When I began the Most Innovative Companies annual survey with BCG's James Andrew, nearly all the top 50 companies were American. This year, more than half of the most innovative companies in the world came from Asia and Europe. Despite all hoopla and blah-blah about innovation among CEOs in the US, the actual building of the rituals and processes that produce innovation is increasingly taking place outside America. With the S&P 500 stuck at 1999 levels, the profit proof is in the pudding. There has been an innovation mirage in the US over the past decade, perhaps two.
The new story lies in the BRICs--China, India and Brazil. Last year Greater China (including Taiwan) was 46 out of 50 in the survey. This year it is tied with Japan. Lenovo, BYD, Haier, China Mobile and HTC are on the list.