The clever use of Symbolism in Design

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Even with the Beoplay H2’s somber design aesthetic, there’s still an invisible energy to it. If you haven’t noticed, it’s because of the clever way they managed to put in an exclamation mark into the design of the headphone itself! Do you see it now??

The design makes it look that the wearer has an exclamation hovering near/above their head in a way that makes it look like the wearer is surprised by how good the music/sound quality is. It’s a neat trick industrial designers, graphic designers, and packaging designers rely on to promote a certain image along with the product while bringing a smile to the users or the viewers. Remember the delightful packaging for the Panasonic Note earphones from back in 2010??

Designer: Bang & Olufsen

BUY IT NOW: $218.17

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Putting the Nike Flywire in Focus

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Since 2008, Nike’s Flywire design has continued to evolve, but most have integrated the strategically placed cables beneath textile. Rather than hide this dynamic tech, the Nike Untitled 7 shoe concept highlights it as a primary footwear feature.

The Flywire is stretched and extends through the sole to the upper portion of the shoe, much like a suspension bridge. The cables wrap over the top of the foot onto the other side of the shoe, securing the foot to the sole and upper. So as not to mess with the delicate cable balance, an integrated zipper opening on the inside of the shoe along allows for easier access while refining the aesthetic.

Designer: Daniel Coric

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Introducing, ILA for Educators!

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ILA, the Intelligent Learning Assistant, was designed with classrooms in mind and aims to enhance both learning and teaching! Specifically, it gives teachers more time to actually TEACH by doing roll call, collecting assignments, distributing materials, finding and managing resources, and, more importantly, keep track of pupil progress and participation.

Harnessing IBM’s cognitive computing system, Watson, ILA collects, analyzes, and converts information into natural language. Not only does this allow educators to access, evaluate, and integrate new teaching material, but it also provides them with analysis and diagnostics on the progress of each individual student’s verbal skills and literary understanding. This makes it possible for educations to assess and tailor the learning behavior and path of each individual student.

Designers: Claire Puginier, Fabiana Valletta, Juan White, David Ricketts, & Joshua Tewes-McCoy

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“Through the collection of sensory data, her connection to the cloud, and her inbuilt projector and cognitive computing system, she can assist students and educators alike,” designers told YD.

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“Ubiquitous computing is not far out of reach and the new generations are already natives to the digital world. Mobile technologies and cloud computing continue to shrink the perceived size of the world, and we find ourselves encountering and experiencing foreign cultures and ideas every day”.

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“To effectively manage and evaluate what these ideas mean, and how they exist in relation to one another, the next generations will need to be open-minded and adaptive. ILA will offer them an education that transmutes language barriers, encompasses a well-organized understanding of the world, and gives them access to the most up-to-date resources.

Through ILA, students are able to become early adopters of break-through technologies and the computing systems that will allow them to navigate the connected world of tomorrow with confidence and ease.”

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Hello Cassette My Old Friend…

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On rare occasions, I come across a product that stops me in my tracks, and makes me all starry eyed like a little child. After a long time, the Elbow Cassette Player made me revisit that glorious feeling.

What happened inside cassette players has always been a mystery. While most CD players became pretty minimal (one must check out Muji’s wall mounted CD player), the cassette tape was long gone before minimalism ever kicked in as a design trend. What the Elbow does is innovative, geeky, kitschy, revivalist, and incredibly cool… all together! Developed by Lithuanian audiovisual art organisation BrainMonk, the small device (barely the size of a cigarette box) opens up, swivels, and snaps onto a cassette tape (almost like it was meant to be how cassettes were to be played!). The name for the product comes from how it looks like an ‘L’ shaped elbow when it sits on the cassette.

Unlike most cassette players that looked more like devices with the cassettes being the plug-ins, the Elbow is so petite, it looks almost like an accessory for the cassette tape! While it grabs the cassette’s spools in its elbow arms, the hinge sits against the exposed magnetic tape. A knob on the device allows you to control playback. The entire set-up is literally small enough to feel like you’re holding an iPod Classic. It even comes with a small magnetic clip, allowing you to attach it to your clothes, or a bag.

The Elbow comes with a 3.5mm audio output, allowing you to connect your earphones, or a speaker to it. It even pushes things a notch higher by including a MiniUSB port, not just for charging the Elbow, bot also for allowing you to digitally extract audio from a cassette tape to your PC! Looks like it’s time to bring the era of cassettes back!

Designers: Andrius Žemaitis & Marius Paulikas (Brainmonk).

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Hello Cassette My Old Friend…

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On rare occasions, I come across a product that stops me in my tracks, and makes me all starry eyed like a little child. After a long time, the Elbow Cassette Player made me revisit that glorious feeling.

What happened inside cassette players has always been a mystery. While most CD players became pretty minimal (one must check out Muji’s wall mounted CD player), the cassette tape was long gone before minimalism ever kicked in as a design trend. What the Elbow does is innovative, geeky, kitschy, revivalist, and incredibly cool… all together! Developed by Lithuanian audiovisual art organisation BrainMonk, the small device (barely the size of a cigarette box) opens up, swivels, and snaps onto a cassette tape (almost like it was meant to be how cassettes were to be played!). The name for the product comes from how it looks like an ‘L’ shaped elbow when it sits on the cassette.

Unlike most cassette players that looked more like devices with the cassettes being the plug-ins, the Elbow is so petite, it looks almost like an accessory for the cassette tape! While it grabs the cassette’s spools in its elbow arms, the hinge sits against the exposed magnetic tape. A knob on the device allows you to control playback. The entire set-up is literally small enough to feel like you’re holding an iPod Classic. It even comes with a small magnetic clip, allowing you to attach it to your clothes, or a bag.

The Elbow comes with a 3.5mm audio output, allowing you to connect your earphones, or a speaker to it. It even pushes things a notch higher by including a MiniUSB port, not just for charging the Elbow, bot also for allowing you to digitally extract audio from a cassette tape to your PC! Looks like it’s time to bring the era of cassettes back!

Designers: Andrius Žemaitis & Marius Paulikas (Brainmonk).

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