B&T 30 under 30 finalists by CircleTect

b&t awards - paper moose - josh flowers - designer giant 10 cent coin sculpture
josh flowers designer giant 10 cent coin paper moose

A small team from Paper Moose and I were nominated as finalists for the prestigious B&T 30 under 30 awards for our giant 10 cent coin sculpture erected at Circular Quay last year. 

At 3.8 metres tall, and constructed from more than a thousand recycled bottles and 300kg of laser cut steel, the coin sculpture was built to help promote a new 'cash for containers' scheme that would see 10c from every bottle being returned to the user when recycled. Such a scheme would reduce bottle litter significantly in NSW.

We were hugely honoured to be included in the prestigious award list. You can read more about the coin project here

USB-C vs Lightning: Size Comparison And Possible iPhone Integration by CircleTect

I was interested in how the size of the new universal USB-C connector compared with Apple's existing Lightning connector, so I looked up the dimensions and drew up the graphic below. I also included a standard USB type A port for reference - you can see that USB-C and Lightning are quite similar in size.

Click image to expand

I was also interested to see whether Apple might use USB-C in the next generation of iPhone, especially considering new rumours regarding the removal of the headphone jack, so I have included an overlay over an iPhone 6 wireframe. 

As 9to5mac point out in this article (where they link this graphic), the USB-C port is about the same height as the headphone jack, meaning little would be gained by switching to a USB-C only solution. 

This could mean that USB-C might remain Mac specific, and Lightning might remain iDevice specific - which would make sense in order to avoid breaking compatibility with the entire ecosystem of Lightning accessories.

Experimental Electric Driverless Car Design - MKI by CircleTect

Note: This project was developed only months before major driverless car concepts were unveiled by Mercedes and IDEO

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This project was designed to determine what a driverless electric vehicle could look like without the bulky interfaces required for human control. The concept developed heavily around the premises of increased safety, comfort and sociability that automated systems provide. The collaborative consumption model the design focuses on is an automated 'swarm' fleet model which can be interfaced through smartphone APIs.

Car1.100.jpg

 

I would like to pay tribute to a similar concept from 2007: Ross Lovegrove's 'Kyoto Concept' vehicle, pictured below. It is humbling to discover a similar vision from a world renowned designer. 

For more on this design project, click here 

Ross Lovegrove's Kyoto car concept

Crystal Container project complete by CircleTect

Say hello to the Crystal Container, a simple, clever, lightweight and re-usable plastic jar for dry goods. It is designed to have a significantly lower total environmental lifecycle impact than equivalent glass containers. It does this by utilizing a simple gasket lid and aesthetically patterned body, creating a collectable object that is easy to open and re-use. 

If thrown out or recycled, its bio-PET construction ensure that it can be recycled in traditional PET collection streams, whilst at the same time reducing petroleum based plastic usage by containing a high percentage of bio-polymers.  

The significant advantage of this design over glass is its weight and material reduction, which dramatically reduces distribution impacts. Total palletised weight is similarly reduced, as is accidental handling breakages. Being tall and narrow, you can also fit more units per pallet. 

To find out more, visit the new project page.

Coin Sculpture installed at Circular Quay by CircleTect

A sculpture I designed with a small team at Paper Moose has recently been installed in front of Customs House at Circular Quay, Sydney. 

The design process was a fascinating exploration of materials and manufacturing techniques, extensively making use of laser cutting and welding of the carbon steel components. See the project page here

Two New Projects by CircleTect

Two new projects have recently been completed. One, a minimalist bathroom vanity with an innovative 'floating drawer', the other a low-cost disposable digital camera for a music event. 

Both projects use innovative materials and techniques. The vanity utilises a Tyvek screen for the storage cabinet, that functions like paper but is water and damage resistant. The camera uses a PLA frame and a flexible clear vinyl shell that holds the internal curvolinear camera body in place. 

Have a look at the dedicated project pages for more: Horizon, Crystal Camera

Flower Chair and Field Trip win awards by CircleTect

The Flower Chair design has won a small competition with Street Furniture Australia. They called it 'original, marketable, and easy to manufacture' and even hinted at wanting to work further on it. Thank you SFA and looking forward to further collaboration. You can see the Flower Chair project here.

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Also announced is a prize received from Watermark International for the Field Trip concept. They called it 'a perfect fit for its target market', and complimented the 'beautiful model'. A big thank goes out to them as well. Project here.

Four semesters down, four to go by CircleTect

Lately I've been focusing on honing my design detailing, that is more time spent on refining the small details of a simple idea. It's an interesting approach in that working on details can un-intuitively help to steer the direction of the overall concept.

With Field Trip, I came up with a relatively simple idea (an amenities kit that looks like a book) and spent most of my time making physical models. The benefit of this was an incredibly refined idea of what worked and what didn't, and ended up with a model that I could use to scan textures for the above rendering. 

In other news, I've been chosen to present this idea to Watermark International next week.  I'm also presenting my 'Flower Chair' concept from last semester to Street Furniture Australia.

Spiral Saucepan Update by CircleTect

I had an interesting experience designing the Spiral Saucepan, mainly because the shape was very difficult to achieve with traditional workshop techniques. The whole concept was to make a spiral shape that created a whirlpool in boiling water, a response to a brief calling for an emotive reflection of a dining ritual. 

Opting in the end for 3D printing for the presentation model, I used my experience to shape the limitations of the form. I went about a vigorous prototyping process using a 3D printer - going through about 40 different prototype shapes before I picked one to print on a larger scale.

It was tricky getting the printer to work reliably. I went through a long trial and error process of tuning it, but when I did get it working properly, I was able to print out ideas in as little as 15 minutes.

I ended up printing the display model on an old BFB3000 which created its own host of challenges, including incorrect machine calibration, slicer settings, print times (over 14hrs), and failed parts. In the end I had to print the handle in 3 sections and connect them together with wire and glue.

Below you can see the result before attaching the handle. 

The 3D printed model