Industrial Facility
 
 

04

03

05

Project

Surround Sound Eyewear

 

Client

Royal National Institute for the Deaf

 

Production

2005 (not in production)

 

Regardless of sight capabilities, glasses have become as popular as watches, having been absorbed into accessorised culture, so it is conceivable that someone who is hard of hearing but with perfect eyesight would prefer to wear glasses, even though the lenses prescriptive benefits are not involved. However, this project was not simply thought of as a way to overcome aesthetic stigmas. Technologically, the product followed the experiments of Professor Marinus Boone of Delft University and his notion of superdirective beamforming as the basis for a highly directional hearing aid. By involving a set of four microphones on both side-armatures, it increases hearing capability dramatically and gives much better speech intelligibility than conventional hearing aids. The result is a type of 3 dimensional hearing similar to that found in certain animals such as coyotes.

Hearing glasses have existed before. But they disappeared primarily because of the combination of two functions that were articulated in an awkward, in-cohesive and problematic manner. Instead, Surround Sound Eyewear made an attempt to create a more holistic object not intended to hide the hearing aid, but to incorporate it with Professor Boone’s superdirective concept.

 

Exhibitions

Hearwear, 2006, V&A Museum, London

Design and the Elastic, 2008, MoMA, New York

Beijing Biennal, 2012, Beijing

 

Further Reading

V&A Hearware: The Future of Hearing

 
 
 

02

03

04

05

06

09

Project
Picturemate Printer

Client
Epson Japan

Production
2006 —

Representing a significant shift in design approach for Epson, Industrial Facility created a small home printing unit that is portable and beyond being a peripheral to computers. With liberating features such as battery power, integrated handle, and adjustable LCD screen, it takes up a sympathetic position for domestic use, rather than merely migrated office machinery. Photo printers tend to be used occasionally, with most of their time spent in a state of idleness. For any manufacturer, that realisation can be hard to swallow, but Epson accepted it. The lid acts both as a protective cover and a paper tray. The paper exit door reveals camera card inputs.

Compact, simple, storable and not shouting for attention, the design went on to become the first Epson production printer to be designed by an outside design company, and one of their most successful. Its production continues to this day, some 6 years after its introduction.

Designed in Collaboration with Epson Design.

 

Awards

IF Hannover Gold Award, 2006

Japan G Mark Award, 2006

 

Permanent Collections

Israel Museum, Jerusalem

Exhibitions

Some Recent Projects, Design Museum London, 2008

Margaret Howell, London, 2011

Found, Made, Thought, Israel Museum, 2005

Love & Money Ozone Gallery, Tokyo, 2006

International Design Biennale, Saint-Etienne, 2006


 
 
 

02

03

04

05

Project
View Projector

Client
Epson Japan

Production
2006 (not in production)

A productive relationship with Epson Japan led to the proposal to consider the combination of an LCD projector with an integral DVD player. It was clear that LCD projectors, unlike their forebears, had been so successful in their formation of a typology – becoming lost boxes in a world of changing lifestyles. The project was really about transforming what was initially business equipment into a useful tool for the home environment. Even more so, the integral DVD player and speakers, meant that it had no need to rely on other euipment to function. A white wall and an electrical outlet is all that is required. 

Its design reference was obvious – that of cine projectors, partly because of making the LCD projector upright rather than flat. The result was a product that felt as though it was meant to play movies, giving some pride and enjoyment through its use. Seeing the spinning DVD also contributed to the ‘atmosphere’ of playing a film.

Designed in collaboration with Epson Design.

 

Exhibitions
Some Recent Projects, Design Museum London, 2008

Margaret Howell, London, 2011

Found, Made, Thought, Israel Museum, 2005

 
 
 

02

03

04

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06

07

08

09

Project
Core 7 and Core 4 USB Hubs

Client

LaCie

Production

2008 —

The Core 7 and Core 4 USB Hubs represented the second project for LaCie - the first was the Little Disk program of external hard drives that set the course for a very different design attitude applied to computer peripherals.

It made clear that a hard drive could be viewed not as a product but a piece of media, in the same vein as a DVD or Cassette, and so remove all superfluous details, flashing lights and power cords. Even though the launch in 2007 was derided as mere boxes with no design credentials, it became one of the most succcessful product ranges ever developed for LaCie. Like the Little Disk Program, these USB Hubs were viewed similarly to extension sockets used on the floor, allowing several USB's to be plugged in, when the computer has limited sockets.

The Core 7 Hub can be used on the desk or wall mounted. At the rear, two compartments house regular and mini-USB cables, along with 6 USB sockets. The 7th is on top, allowing for fast in and out of data sticks. The Core 4 Hub is a mobile device that provides 4 USB inputs.

 

Awards

Red Dot Award, 2008

 

Exhibitions
Less and More, the work of Dieter Rams, Design Museum London, 2011

Some Recent Projects, Design Museum London, 2008

 

International Sales

LaCie France

 
 
 

02

03

04

05

Project
Lite Plug

Client

IDEA Japan

Production

2008 —

The studio finds it more and more rewarding to examine the types of objects where design is either ignored or heavily compromised so it was our choice to examine the world of emergency torches. It’s a particularly popular product in Japan, due to the country's earthquake proximity. The existing configurations of these types of product are often illogical and also visually too brash for something that spends most of its life in a wall socket. 

The Lite Plug is plugged into a wall socket to become a nightlight, with the front lens pushed down to reveal both a light and motion sensor. As the room gets darker, a single LED emits a soft glow. When someone walks past, all 3 LED's light up, making the room a little brighter.

In an emergency, the Lite Plug senses power failure with all LED's turning on. The nightlight can then be pulled out to become a torch, with the front lens being pushed up for extra brightness.

Exhibitions

Less and More, the Work of Dieter Rams, Design Museum London, 2011

Turn, Twist and Branch Off, Aram Store, London, 2011

Some Recent Projects, Design Museum London, 2008

International Sales
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