Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Happy 2012! All the best to you and yours in the year ahead.

In an odd coincidence, this also marks my 100th post, which hardly seems possible to me. Thanks so much to everybody who stops by here, especially those who take the time to provide comments and feedback either via comments, e-mail or Twitter. I learn a lot from those who share their thoughts and ideas as a result of something I’ve posted either here or on Twitter — all those interactions are truly appreciated.

The following are a few odds and ends accumulated over the holidays, things that caught my eye amongst the bustle of the season.


My daughter bought a Perplexus for her big brother on a bit of a whim this Christmas, and it turned out to be the hit of the season. The most frequently heard phrase here over the week following the 25th was “pass the Perplexus”. It seemed like everybody who got their hands on it found it pretty addictive. There was a piece about this “interactive sculpture” in Wired UK a while back with some interesting design background:

Good design takes time. Michael McGinnis, based in Santa Rosa, California, first came up with the idea for his Perplexus puzzle, in which you guide a ball bearing through a three-dimensional labyrinth, when he was 17. That was 31 years ago, and he has been tweaking the game ever since. “A lot of people get frustrated early on when they can’t complete something to their satisfaction, and they give up,” says McGinnis. “To me, that’s just another step in a process.”

Admirable persistence, which also is exactly what is needed to solve McGinnis’ puzzle.

Quadror Joint

An interesting concept from Dror Benshetrit’s Studios for what is described as “new type of joint”. Quadror is essentially a collapsible, yet self-standing structural system that seems as though it might have wide application. I suggest watching the video to most quickly grasp how this works. More than a hint of Buckminster Fulleresque design here.

1995 – The Year of the Internet

This short audio piece from the CBC’s excellent science show Quirks and Quarks was originally broadcast on December 30, 1995. It’s fascinating to hear 1995 being described as the “year of the internet”, with the World Wide Web gaining ascendancy as the means of accessing the internet. Also interesting is how Java was heralded as the answer to a hugely fragmented market with few established standards. These were the wild west days of the internet. Well worth your time to listen.

Making a Shell Chair

Don’t know about you, but I’m always up for a manufacturing process video. This one documents the creation of the moulded fibreglass seat from a Modernica shell chair, using the original equipment and craftsmen from the 1950s.

via: @swissmiss

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