Now moved over to WordPress

Due to some data sharing issues on Blogger, I’ve migrated the entire blog over to WordPress. Over the next little while you’ll gradually see some improvements in the presentation of this entire blog.

From here on in, the blog’s focus will also be changing to accommodate my new focus on training and education.

Enjoy the new show!

Jewellery and Practical Gadgets Inch Another Step Closer To Each Other – the Apple iRing Concept

It’s always fun to see what product designers come up with. It’s even more fun to think that we’ve now reached the point where music player technology is small enough to wear on a finger.

I discovered this on wordpressindeed.com’s list of futuristic design concepts. The link is extinct, unfortunately.

Update: It seems Apple is really planning to develop an iRing soon. It may not be this particular one, but it seems this was a logical next step after all.

Walk Through the World’s Greatest Art Galleries Via the Internet

From the brilliantly clever people at Google, we now have the Google Art Project.

With the help of a web browser and the Google Earth interface they developed for navigating maps at the street level, they’ve developed a wonderful system for navigating some of the world’s greatest art galleries. You can walk the halls, or stop and zoom in on a painting. With some famous images, more information is provided, and you can zoom in for great detail.
See for yourself (click on the image to go to the website):
Google Art Project, Uffizi Gallery, Firenze
Here’s a thought– could this be designed into a shopping experience?

Teaching Children to be Jewellers and Programmers Using Technology

(or, how to give your child a toy that is more powerful than the professional software you use in your day job.)

When I was a small child, parents would give their children LEGOs if their kids were interested in engineering or construction. They would give them a toy tool set if they wanted them interested in general contracting. Or they would give them a paint brush and palette if they never wanted them to leave home. (Only kidding.)

Silliness aside, making children’s tools to emulate what the adults do is as old a concept as toys themselves. I suppose it makes perfect sense, then, that once computers and user interfaces became sophisticated enough, developers would start introducing children’s toys that emulate professional design tools, to get them interested in similar careers when they grow up.

This new generation of computer games does just that, disguising some quite powerful design tools within a wrapper of fun.

Two particularly elegant examples are Microsoft FuseLab‘s Kodu, and Style Lab: Jewelry Design for Nintendo DS.

Style Lab Jewellery Design for Nintendo DS

Style Lab: Jewelry Design for Nintendo DS is a spin off from the rest of the Style Lab series, in which little girls are given a user interface to take a picture of themselves and apply virtual fashion designs and accessories.

What’s so interesting about Style Lab: Jewellery Design is that many aspects of the tools, basic interface, and component library are similar to what we see in a professional environment with software like Gemvision’s Countersketch Studio.

If that all sounds a bit far-fetched for a video game, perhaps it is. See for yourself:

(I’ll discuss Kodu after the break below…)

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How Virtual Product Design Will Affect Online Retail

I recently stumbled upon an article from Adobe’s Think Tank about the importance of virtual stock, and how it will affect both retail and manufacturing. Although it is an old posting, it’s worth repeating here:

image courtesy Adobe.com

Creative Gesture of Vapid Prototyping? The Importance of Fictional Products.

Contemporary Art Jewellers Who Work in CAD and 3D Printing

Rapid Prototyping (more recently known as 3D printing) has been available for industrial design for over 2 decades now, and it’s been in increasingly widespread use with jewellery for a little less than a decade. But even with that, there are only a handful of designers who use rapid prototyping as a creative medium in and of itself. Mostly designers seem to handle CAD/CAM according to the old cosmetics adage: “If it’s done well, you won’t be able to see it.”

There are at least two major universities which have worked hard to push the boundaries of what can be done with this medium (namely Tyler School of Art, and Jewellery Industry Innovation Center at BCU), but once designers leave these halls few continue on a track of innovation with this, even after all this time.

This explains why I find it rather exciting to run across designers like this:

3D printed nylon bangle by Joshua DeMonte