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my_ducks3

Ever thought of a rubber duckie as high design? That distinction may be an over rating since most of them annoyingly can’t even float in water upright. I know this because I sort of have a collection and I float them from time to time. Most of them would drown if I didn’t rescue them. My favorites are with sailor caps.

The history of the rubber duck is linked to the emergence of rubber manufacturing in the late 19th century. Sculptor Peter Ganine created a sculpture of a duck in the 1940s, then patented it and reproduced it as a floating toy, of which over 50,000,000 were sold.

REALLYparking

Seattle has blown it. A Pacific Northwestern cityscape that in the past was of uncluttered venues, a fringe of evergreens and recycled debris bins on many street corners.

In the brief span of the past couple of years we have lapsed into a parking-pay-system mania. Complicating itself every step of the way… how could it be when the idea was to streamline, make it green, user friendly, and efficient?

The result has been 6-foot hulking towers, 1 to 3 of them per downtown block, enough instructional signage to bewilder, and enough add-ons to create an eyesore. We now have an obstacle course of signposts and equipment. Each site has hundreds of instructional words incorporated into it… it’s informationally numbing.

We may just fall into apathy about our streets, or it may inspire us to ask for better… design for a solution that will make our streets a desirable intersection of urban culture.


We’re back from the Vancouver Winter Olympics! Great international time for all!

From a design point of view…
The fashion was HOT and the mascots rocked. The overall volunteer color, and there was lots of it, was called “chill”. It coordinated well with the Olympic logo’s “winter ocean”. The leader of the mascots was Quatchi, a shy and gentle giant, a Sasquatch… he’d be a great hockey goalie. Here he is with Sumi on the side of a financial tower. I like blue AND fur… so I was happy. Read the rest of this entry »

Being designers we appreciate a good package, almost as much as what awaits us inside. It’s the drama maybe. Christmas wrapping paper has been in our designer lives since day one… so we have a fascination for these unfurling designs on commercial-grade paper.

We’ve assembled a small sampling from our Christmas wrap archive to share our enthusiasm this season. Funny thing… the wrapping paper has been saved, but who knows what the gift was in these colorful wrappings. Let’s open the flat-file and see what we’ve got…

left Our dear friends Sue and Marian were inspired by the rest of the “make your own” clan one winter, 20 years ago. Read the rest of this entry »

It would be great to be able to congratulate the designer of the Lego spruce tree, in production for 30 years. But I can’t. I’ve cast a wide net for clues, but it comes back empty. The designer’s story will remain shrouded, yet we can still cheer the elaborate form of green plastic. I think it must be lauded as a toy icon—one of Lego’s brand-defining moments—a sculptural wonder and an engineer’s folly.

Though in my search a story did emerge, more of a tale of lineage and predecessors, a timeline of a botanical oddity. If all things Lego enchant you, then you may enjoy this nice hike through the near-monochromatic forest.

Read the rest of this entry »

bocce_game

I’ve read that Bocce is about to explode in this country. Those of us on the Bocce court are looking around and laughing to ourselves. It would be great, but me thinks it may be the over zealousness of Bocce equipment marketers and fashion. Now we’re really laughing… Bocce fashion? Oh yes I’ve seen Bocce Bikinis. What do you think of when you hear the word “bocce”? Total blank, or are you thinking little old Italian men tossing balls on a dusty court? It may be America’s newest sport, but it’s on of the world’s oldest games. If you can imagine first played with round rocks, or even coconuts, now played with composite or metal balls. A game of skill and strategy. Simple to play and very social… better than Facebook. Multi-generational, and can be played by anyone of any physical ability level.bocceball

There’ll be more bocce talk on this blog in the future. So I’ll cut this short now. Just wanted to throw out the pallino to see if there were any other enthusiasts who are getting the bocce bug.

bocceIn my old neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights this is what’s going on there, they’re a feisty bunch… I learned to play in Seattle, we play on lawn bowling courts. Don’t get me started about the difference between the sports… it’s huge! But mostly in the head.

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