As an industrial designer, one of those skills in which one should have achieved a certain amount of fluency is the ability to create a three-dimensional object out of a series of two-dimensional shapes…and vice versa. This is something I have yet to master. So, is it any wonder that my attention is fixed on these drawings of disassembled objects? Just from looking at them, I can guess at what their final shapes are. But in order to be sure, I’d have to cut and fold. Of course, from Agence Eureka.
Just to be clear, I’m not trying to be lewd here. To explain: One weekend before the holidays, I went into the local upstate Farm and Garden store to see if I could find some canning jars, and somehow ended up in the farm animal feeding section. There are implements and objects on the shelves that I have never seen before. And, furthermore, have no clue as to what purpose they serve. However, it wasn’t a big leap to guess at what these are. (One of the best experiences of the past couple of years was bottle feeding our friends’ baby goats. OMG!) Anyway, as I did a little more digging, I realized that there is an entire industry devoted to animal feeding nipples. All shapes and sizes. Each suited to a different species. As usual, the range and variation in shape of a single item is what’s got me hooked.
I don’t even really like snoballs. And goodness knows they aren’t exactly part of a healthy diet. But I was somehow saddened to hear that Hostess, the parent company that makes Twinkies, Ding Dongs, HoHos (my personal favorite of the bunch) and yes…the ever nutritious snoballs, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. While the company has enough inventory on hand to keep the product on store shelves for the moment, who’s to say what will happen down the pike. I remember one particular milestone birthday when my friend Carol assembled a care package and had it waiting for me at a hotel in ICELAND! The parcel contained custom party hats, a homemade banner spelling out happy birthday, various small licorice candies, the requisite birthday candles and, you guessed it, a pack of bright pink snoballs.
It’s a little thing, I know. But it’s near to perfect. This soy sauce dispenser was designed by Masahiro Mori back in 1958. It’s won untold numbers of awards, is still in production and nearly ubiquitous. If you’ve ever used one of these pieces you would have noticed that there is nary a drip from the spout. The lines are elegant and the piece itself fits the hand with no distraction. To me, it’s a kind of benchmark for the design world. I’d like it if the realm of mass production accorded the same amount of respect commanded by this little soy sauce bottle (shoyusashi) to the rest of its mighty output. Imagine. To purchase one for yourself, click here.
No sense denying the warmth and beauty of these Russian camera schematics. I have spent an unhealthy amount of time on ussrphoto.com. But there is so much to look at. And, inexplicably, I’m feeling a little nostalgic for The Cold War.
I am deep in the middle of that end-of-the-year-clean-off-my-desk thing and came across a clipping from the NYT. It’s a little story about how Switzerland, in an effort to strengthen its animal-welfare laws, has a new regulation on its books regarding the ownership of guinea pigs. Apparently, the little rodents are quite prone to loneliness, so it’s now illegal to own a single guinea pig. As with any new law, there are unforeseen problems that crop up. For instance, what happens when one dies? Do you buy a new one? That could go on ad infinitum. Or do you seek help from Pridska Kung, of Hadlikon, who rents the little guys (castrated males) for as long as you need them? A vexing problem, I daresay. Video via fuckyeahguineapigs.
Agence Eureka has such an amazing and extensive collection of ephemera that I could probably post something from their archive every day for the next year and still have plenty to spare. Scrabble anyone?
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