Angela May

Exploring Product Design

January 2011

INSPIRATION – Industrial Origami

Via Core77: a very interesting new production method:

Steel is a ubiquitous material, often used for its strength. Unfortunately, as a result it’s a challenge to assemble – you’ve either got to bolt it, weld it or bend it.

Industrial Origami has a new technique: with these curve-shaped cuts in the metal, it’s easier to bend.

The bending points are pre-assigned (you can’t bend it in the wrong place) so you’re able to ship it flat to a separate assembly floor where they can more easily form it into the final shape.

Obviously it has its limitations… but it has some very interesting advantages. Flat-packed steel plates can be shipped in much higher quantities and then more cheaply assembled.  It could support lower cost products… could even be interesting for pop-up architecture and interior design (imagine a bunch of these as chairs or tables).

I’d be interested in studying the strength properties of those bends at various angles… how much can you rest on an edge? How much can it support in cantilever?

Posted: January 25th, 2011
Categories: Inspiration
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INSPIRATION – Vertical Lunchbox

Via Designboom

I really dig this vertical lunchbox design by Japanese design firm Metaphys

Most lunchbox are designed to lay flat. As a result, whenever it’s tilted, contents that aren’t perfectly packed tend to roll around and cause a mess.

Instead, this lunchbox is a series of narrow, vertical containers designed to slide easily into any bag. (and check out the adorable collapsible chopsticks!)

I wonder how much space is wasted by the separations. While I can see how this would be ideal for a Japanese-style bento (rice + toppings + salad… tiny pieces of things) I wonder how an “american style” lunch would cope. Apples and sandwiches… Everything would need to be sliced into tiny pieces, I guess!

It’d be great if you could be separate middles… add vertical space as required! Perhaps you can, I can’t tell from a brief glance.

Great concept, beautiful design.

[update] Oh! look what just popped up on Lifehacker! (Tiffinbox) very clever.

Posted: January 17th, 2011
Categories: Inspiration
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INSPIRATION – Flowerpot Building

(And we’re back, after a bit of an extended holiday :) )


I’m not sure how I feel about the giant red squares, but I love the ways plants are incorporated into this building. As we urbanize more and more, we’re going to have to use every available method to bring living things back to our spaces.

I really dig the variety of shapes and plants and especially the way they evoke pipes (almost like Super Mario!).

Via Inhabitat

Posted: January 15th, 2011
Categories: Inspiration
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