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03-11-2009 Nyhedsbrev november 2009
One could argue that luggage design hasn't kept pace with modern-day travel needs. Thus entrepreneurs Gaston Blanchet and Jesse Potash, both of whom travel a lot and were dissatisfied with current luggage offerings, set out to produce a contemporary, aluminum-and-polycarbonate carry-on and full-sized suitcase called the Trunkster line. Here's how they approached it:
Problem: Your phone battery's dying, leading you on one of those where's-a-free-power-outlet search across the airport.
Solution: On-board battery with enough juice to charge your phone nine times over.
Problem: You packed too much weight and got hit with overage fees by the airline.
Solution: Digital scale (both Imperial and Metric) embedded in the handle. Pick it up and the readout tells you the exact weight.
Problem: The airline lost your bag. They're not sure where it is.
Solution: Built-in GPS means you can see whether your bag is somewhere in the terminal and worth waiting for, or if it's back at Dallas-Fort-Worth and you should just expect it later.
Problem: Unzipping both sides of the front flap on the typical carry-on, then swinging the flap open, can be an awkward operation in tight spaces.
Solution: The Trunkster has a roll-top front that opens like a secretary desk.
I'm not totally sold on that last one, as the flap on a carry-on provides me with useful storage space, both on the inside and out of it. The outside pockets on the flap are where I dump the contents of my pockets during the TSA screening, and the inside pockets are where I sort my toiletries.
Another Trunkster feature I'm not 100% on is that they've moved the handle supports to the side of the suitcase, citing the following:
We can think of few worse elements of luggage than flimsy telescopic handles. They break, get in the way of packing, and are nearly useless when moving heavy bags. Trunkster features a robust, side-to-side handle that gives you absolute control and enhanced balance through many grip positions. Plus, the handle's special design allows for an uninterrupted cargo space for optimum packing capacity.
In my eyes, the channel for the handle supports take up the same amount of interior volume on the sides as they do on the rear.(more...)
Once again, we're pleased to present our annual gift guide for all of your gift-giving needs this holiday season. As with last year's guide, the list comprises 77 items—a lucky number if we say so ourselves—selected by our seven guest curators, each a luminary in his or her own right. The 2014 Ultimate Gift Guide is a collective effort from Randy Hunt, Creative Director of Etsy; Jill Singer & Monica Khemsurov, Founders/Editors of Sight Unseen; John Maeda, Design Partner at KPCB; Chris Wu, Associate at Project Projects; Richard Sachs, bicycle framebuilder; and Sam Vinz, co-founder/director of Volume Gallery.
From tasteful consumables and future heirlooms to ultra-contemporary apps and accessible art editions, our esteemed guest curators have compiled six lists of distinctive gift items, 77 in all.(more...)
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.