designandinspire

Minox C ‘Spy Camera’

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Admit it, who didn’t want to be Special Agent 007 James Bond, except maybe, when strapped to a table with a 10 foot diameter rotating saw fast approaching.

The Minox-C is a high-quality subminiature camera, small enough to fit in the palm of a hand which was no small feat considering the year it was manufactured. With an all aluminium body, it was built by Minox in Germany, a company world famous for their spy gadgets and was in production from 1969 to 1978.

The phrase ‘small is beautiful’ was definitely coined for this camera, while you could say owning it gives one a ‘licence to shoot!’

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April 13, 2011 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Camera

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Treehotel Mirrorcube

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Now you see it, now you don’t…

Just 60 kilometers south of the Arctic circle , in a place called Harads in Sweden, you will find the Treehotel. It’s not big, in fact it consists of only four  rooms, with the Mirrorcube, designed by Swedish Architects Tham & Videgard, being one of them.  The 4m cube is covered on all sides in reflecting glass, making it almost invisible within its environment but also offering guests a full 360 degree view of the forest.

My one worry… do birds fly into it?

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April 8, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Evian Prêt-à-Porter bottle by Christian Lacroix

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Every year French water company Evian launches a special edition bottle and eminent designers have been invited to work their magic. So how cool would it be if the phone rang and a brand as famous as Evian asked you to come up with a design for a range of exclusive bottles. I suppose when you are as cool and famous as Christian Lacroix, Paul Smith, Issey Miyake and Jean Paul Gaultier these things do happen.

My pick of the bunch is this lace pattern design by fashion designer Christian Lacroix – it is chic and elegant and provides the bottle with a classic frosted feel reminiscent of an icy window pane. Oh, and if you were wondering, Prêt-à-Porter translates as ‘Ready to Wear’ or ‘Off the Peg’.

 

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April 7, 2011 at 2:55 pm

Posted in Packaging

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RPM 9V from Pro-Ject Audio Systems

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I have always been drawn to the simpler things in life,  and with the RPM range from Pro-Ject I’ve found a soulmate. Why overcomplicate?  Why overdesign when underdesign can say much more. The genius of this product is its purity; purity of form delivering purity of sound.

Based in Austria, Pro-Ject Audio Systems is currently one of the world’s leading suppliers of record players. The  Pro-Ject RPM 9v turntable (shown above) is teamed with the equally beautiful Pro-Ject 9cc,  a 9″ precision tonearm with carbon-fibre armtube/headshell.  The AC motor is mounted in a separate metal housing to eliminate vibration transmission, the deck  has a resonance-optimised platter and the arm damped via a Sorbothane® counterweight.

Be warned though, as I’m informed it doesn’t have an automatic turn-off feature, so if you have a tendency to drop off while listening to music then this record player may not be for you!


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April 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Posted in Hi-Fi

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Millau Bridge

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First things first this ‘bridge’ is technically a viaduct as it has more than one span. The Millau Bridge was designed by the British architech Lord Norman Foster and French structural engineer Michel Vierlogeux and was opened in 2005. The bridge is located in southern France, crossing the river Tarn in the Massif Central mountains. At 300m high and at 2460m long its road decks are the highest and the longest of any cable-stayed bridge  in the world.  The tallest of its pillars is higher than the Eiffel Tower and only a shade less than the height of the Empire State building, however, bragging rights aside, this bridge (sorry viaduct) has to be one of the most stunning ever built.

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April 4, 2011 at 9:26 am

Pagani Huayra Supercar

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Where does one start?…easy to get silly and go overboard with superlatives but then words wouldn’t do justice to this masterpiece. What I will tell you though is that Horacio Pagani’s latest creation is named after the Andean god of wind, Aymara Huayra Tata. Designed to replace the much hyped and loved Zonda series (a big ask!) the Huayra carries much softer lines and is less raw than the Zonda, however it is evident the two models do share a similar DNA. For the record the Pagani Huayra sports gullwing doors,  a carbon-titanium monocoque frame with carbon fibre body panels and tips the scales at 1,350 kg, its also probably pretty fast!

Right then, I’m off to buy myself a lottery ticket, lets hope its a rollover week!

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April 3, 2011 at 8:28 am

Posted in Cars

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‘Black Edition’ watch by Botta-Design

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Ok, double take, where’s the small hand? …not needed, you see the watch face is divided into 24 hours with a horizon showing which half of the day you are in. I’ve always liked the watches by Botta-Design but this particular model, with its clean lines  in ‘designer‘ black particularly appeals. It may take some getting use to at first and it certainly helps if you know your 24 hour clock, but just remember noon is at the top and midnight is at the bottom you’ll soon get the idea.

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April 2, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Posted in Watches

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