Rotary Mechanical

Great article over on Designboom  which looks at adding a mechanical old style telephone mechanism over a modern smartphone electronics. Very steampunk. 

It's an odd thing about such things, the designer in me hates it, but the artist in me loves it. But there is something deeper here. steampunk for me is like science fiction, in that it really isn't about the past or the future, but about the present, and our relationship to it being examined in a way that allows us to be creative. The rotary dialler and its mechanism attempts to put more life back into our everyday objects, life that has been smoothed away by a homogenised smartphone screen.

There is an even darker side about steampunk to me, in that we might be looking into our future, our post-apocalyptic future, where we cobble together the remaining bits of technology to make our day-to-day objects. 

Anyway, to cheer us up here are some more photos, but for more you will have to go over to Designboom and read the story there.

I seriously want this. I hope they manufacture it!

OK, now what do I do with this?

designboom has an article on a natural and organic cocoa drink product that is produced by the Bribri women of Talamanca, Costa Rica. The "hockey puck" sized patties, which actually don't look that promising on initial inspection, are actually 100% cocoa with no sugar or anything else added.
You use a little grater, which also acts as a stirrer, to grate up the blocks and add hot water to make the drink.

fuseproject spotted the opportunity and realised that all it need was a design kick to get it going, so designed the little sack that the patties come in, the logo and the little grater. The project is designed to raise awareness of organic cocoa production and hence help save the rainforest. 

More details on designboom and fuseproject

Engrain Keyboard

Designer Michael A Roopenian has made a wooden tactile keyboard that is designed to "strengthen the relationship between user and interface". 

Lovely looking keyboard. I would love one.

Cork Seems to be Popping up Everywhere

More over on Cool Hunting

Meanwhile over on Designboom I saw this cork stool "Senta" that looked interesting. 


Created by Fernando Brizio for a cork manufacturing company it is designed as a carry stool; you can pack the whole thing up and re-assemble it wherever you need to sit down.  Fantastic for picnics, or, combined with the above article, for use sitting whilst sketching in your cork covered sketchbook.