Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

designing for posterity

i really enjoy this very simple design element that has been in most of the apartments that i have lived in. The slot in the bathroom cabinet is designed for depositing razors after their usefulness is up. However, it only deposits them into the wall, somewhere. It makes you ponder exactly what our opinions are about our next generation.

while i'm on the topic of bathroom medicine cabinets, the doorcatch is an enjoyably simple, elegant solution.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

worm bin!

So, i believe this is my first post about the worm bin as project grow. In an ideal world, it would be in this post that i discussed my thought process and reasoning for choosing this as a design problem, as the act of choosing a design problem is a design problem in itself. However, i want to devote an entire later post to this discussion, and will exclude it from the current post, which is focusing on the first three dimensional iteration of the the worm bin. The scale of the bin is about 11 1/2 inches square, and 20 inches tall. I want to work with a worm bin the scalable, and the scalability of this bin will come from differently sized middle sections, while keeping the top and the bottom the same. That way, I can focus on the complexity of the "working ends" and avoid unnecessary material waste while exploring issues of pure volume. I calculated the volume to be 6.5 gallons not accounting for the round corners, and found online that the minimum recommended size for a worm bin would be about 3-5 gallons. To increase volume, the middle section (where the worm reside) can be increased.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

another round won by the bottle

In an attempt to improve the functionality of the last edition, I moved from cable to metal rod. Though the possibilities with detailing the joints becomes more interesting, the aluminum did not stand up to the bottle test. Steel might work, and I want to try it next, but I really liked the idea of the product being made of 1 metal that is highly recyclable. Here are some pictures:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

a five hearted beast

if you want to learn about worms, and have information told to you like you are in grade school, check out this website: Worms. I actually kind of like the graphics.

Friday, October 16, 2009

a revelation, maybe

After hours and prototypes spent trying to figure out how to have the cable fit easily around the neck and still be able to tighten, i finally though to myself, why does the cable need to go around the neck?

now to resolve the unique detailing challenges while trying not to break more drill bits.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

changing the pivot

I'm beginning explorations in changing the pivot of the tool to hopefully achieve a better mechanical advantage to open the bottle. Here's one stream of thought:

power of a product

I've been thinking about the grow assignment and am trying to articulate the problem that I want to solve. I've been thinking a lot about waste cycles, and how broken they are in the current food system. My focus is currently on the kitchen food waste type of cycle, and though an expanded frame of reference (including all household waste, including waste water systems) is not out of my mind, it is outside of the scale of this project. However, I'm having difficulty determining the power of a product, does a product have the power to change a broken system? Does it have the power to change peoples frame of reference, to make them think outside of their current realm of daily activities if they are not themselves searching for it? How can a product do this? Can the product an instigator as much as a solution provider?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

setting the frame

here is a really good website that states the global impact of and need for urban agriculture, as well as some of the policy issues that need to be overcome before it becomes a worldwide solution: Growing Better Cities

Saturday, October 10, 2009

tough economic times

While perusing the internet looking for local urban farming resources, I was excited to run across Pistils Nursery. I found that most websites on this topic are somewhat lacking in their graphic appeal, but Pistils seems to go against this trend. While looking at the section on urban chicken farming, a blaring contradiction struck me squarely. As the text referred to raising chickens in these 'tough economic times' while simultaneously advertising for a $1,300, I began to ponder the target market for urban agriculture products.

Friday, October 9, 2009

truck farm

food for thought, here is the link to truck farm by wickedelicate, i found it is actually better to watch the videos on youtube directly.

searching for the right tool

They say 'a designer is only as good as the tools they use:'

I'm in process of searching for the perfect tool to perfect my design.
photo from

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

an open bottle

after a hard days work, the bottle opener opened the bottle. The black eye was a result of one of the cable crimps slipping off which I carefully mended with a hammer. I may still need to find the right tool for this...

more prototypes, more problems

A little bit of progress in the shop and a couple of realizations.

MDF is not a good prototyping material, even if it is in the scrap bin.
My current design is inherently flawed, no matter the articulation of the tip

Monday, October 5, 2009

thinking about curves

I've been thinking about curves lately, and how that handle can take on a more interesting, comfortable, appealing shape, when I ran across these:

designed by Kristrun Hjartar, taken from

Sunday, October 4, 2009

round two

still unable to open a bottle with the originally conceived method, however, I believe that with a little tweaking I can combine the original concept with the concept used in the following two methods (that actually work to open a bottle) invariably increasing the complexity of the form, but not unduly I hope.


working from the home kitchen workshop

Friday, October 2, 2009

If you want to get dumber,

google "ways to open a bottle."

More DIY videos at

anyhow, more prototyping scheduled for tomorrow

Thursday, October 1, 2009

round one

WIth the aide of various tools to create the same pressure as the intended tool, I was able to move the cap up far enough to release pressure and create a hissing sound, but unable to consume the contents of the container. Unscathed, I applied more pressure and created tiny chips of glass, a highly undesirable result I believe, though I do not know the nutrition value of glass. I was eventually able to remove the cap, but only by incorporating a prying motion. It seems the bottle has won this round...

time to regroup, reconsider, and discover the rogue.

the exploration of an idea

the idea being to use the geometry that is provided by a bottle to open itself. If that isn't entirely clear, then to use a compression force to interact with the lip of the bottle, sliding up the slope and uncapping the cap.

Inspiration comes from an oil filter tool (shown below thanks to

The Problem

An imposing problem that has been solved in multitudinous ways, uncapping a bottle is a satisfying experience. But how do I approach this in a novel way that still revels in the experience of opening a bottle that has been so carefully prepared?

Púca, defined

A little history on the name of the blog, it's a word that I ran across today and found interesting and appropriate. I found the definition on what I thought was my computers dictionary, but turned out to be my computer consulting wikipedia. So the following is from wikipedia, maybe the púca has shapeshifted into wikipedia and is playing a trick on me, but that is open for interpretation.

Morphology and physiology

According to legend, the púca is a deft shape shifter, capable of assuming a variety of terrifying forms. It may appear as a horse, rabbit, goat, goblin, or dog. No matter what shape the púca takes, its fur is almost always dark. It most commonly takes the form of a sleek black horse with a flowing mane and luminescent golden eyes. [1]

If a human is enticed onto a púca's back, it has been known to give them a wild ride. But unlike a kelpie, which will take its rider and dive into the nearest stream or lake to drown and devour him, the púca will do its rider no real harm. The púca has the power of human speech, and has been known to give advice and lead people away from harm. Though the púca enjoys confusing and often terrifying humans, it is considered to be benevolent.

They generally have green eyes. Like dragons, they have a fondness of riddles, but unlike dragons, they are very sociable. Phookas are witty and have few family members, but hundreds of friends which they enjoy getting together with. (Especially if it is to play a prank on any unsuspecting humans.)