November 26, 2011 § Leave a Comment
We’ve all been there. Standing wearily at the sink, washing our beloved apples, painstakingly removing the ever-persistent fruit labels from them. First, we gently pick at and peel back the label. If we’re lucky, the process ends here. If not, we find ourselves running the apples under increasingly warm water, rubbing off the paper. Then eventually, scraping at the fruit with our fingernails in the effort to remove the sticky glue from the fruit skin, before turning, with a sigh of submission, to the knife or vegetable peeler lying on the kitchen counter.
Now, it seems, Scott Amron, an electrical engineer in training now turned designer and “engineering atelier”, has a solution that not only removes the harmful pesticides and other residues from our apples, but also the pesky fruit labels as well. The solution: Fruitwash labels. These fruit label stickers effectively dissolve into an organic fruit soap when placed under water. With this solution, gone are the chemicals and the tiresome fruit labels.
“I’ve always been discontent with fruit labels and felt they could do more than just display product info and be difficult to peel off,” Amron told Gizmag. “We buy, wash and eat fruit. So, the wash step was the next thing the label should help with.”
Unfortunately, the product is not out yet, although Amron is selling a 10% stake in the fruit label patent as an investment opportunity.
September 23, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Bolthouse Farms and Crispin Porter + Bogusky have assembled a great satirical marketing campaign for baby carrots in the style of junk food ads. Entertaining and fun. And if that’s not enough, the campaign comes with its very own microsite, and iPhone app that boasts of being “the world’s first ever carrot-crunch-powered video game. Ever.”
September 5, 2010 § Leave a Comment
It never fails to inspire me when the seed of one person’s idea takes root and branches out into much more. It’s why I think it’s always so powerful to provide employees and customers the opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions on how to make status quo better in some way. There have been many examples of companies who have successfully tapped into the brain-trust of many to do this: Starbucks, Dell, and now eBay.
eBay recently held its annual Innovation Expo, which encourages all employees to contribute prototypes of ideas they have that they feel would benefit eBay’s buyers and sellers. This year over 250 employees forming almost 80 teams worked together to develop and submit their innovative product prototypes. The submissions were judged by the greater eBay employee base who were invited to show up to listen to the teams pitch their ideas, and to test the prototypes. The winning idea was called “simple green shipping”, and is now soon to be released to the market.
“Simple green shipping” is a specially designed reusable box that can be used by buyers and sellers over and over again. The idea is so simple, and perhaps that’s the beauty of it. With a service that sees many of its users playing the dual role as sellers as well as buyers, reusable packaging is a win-win solution for everyone.
Nicely done, eBay. A solution that helps your user base, reduces waste for the environment, and build employee morale around ideation and innovation.
August 6, 2010 § 2 Comments
Earlier this year, a video feature on Gary Chang’s ingenious convertible home made its way around the around the interwebs.
In another example of a creative solution to a tiny space, JPDA Architects have designed a solution for a 500 squarefoot loft studio that merges both design and utility without sacrificing either. The studio includes innovative ways of working coveted storage space and shelving into the home, and arranging the “rooms” of the loft in a way that maximizes the working and living space.
The space is also featured in Freshome.
June 2, 2010 § 1 Comment
At the time and for the weeks and months following, the announcement has been met with mixed reviews. In one camp, people have labeled it as being just an oversized iPhone that was not quite phone, not quite computer. In another, it has been heralded as something that can be expected to revolutionize the gadget industry and way we interact with technology in ways we’ve seen Apple products do in the past. Within Critical Mass, we also had many discussions about the potential impact of Apple’s new iPad. However, regardless of our discussions and each person’s opinion around the iPad, one thing was sure. There was a lot of excitement – especially at the prospect of designing some of the first iPad apps for our clients.
Rather than talk about the impact of the iPad on our industry and market (if you want a great read on the subject, see Neil Clemmon’s post on Experience Matters), this post discusses some of the things we’ve learned about iPad app design and development through our own experience with some of our savvy clients. Through the course of our work with iPad apps, six main guiding principles have surfaced.
April 26, 2010 § 1 Comment
Gary Chang, an architect decides to transform his 300 square foot flat in Hong Kong into a highly functional, space-efficient, and eco-friendly living space. I was completely inspired and blown away by Gary’s space featured in this video. With mobile room partitions that double as storage and shelving, Gary is able to fit 24 rooms in one.
Gary’s home has also been featured in The New York Times, and the architecture design blog Yossawat. He has been the mind behind reconfiguring hotel spaces such as the Suitcase House Hotel, as featured in Interactive Architecture.
Photo credit: The New York Times.