5 great pieces of geeky design

Upcycling, resource re-allocation and a bit of animated fun is where it’s at in design at the moment. We look at the possibility of a biofuel that uses recycled newspapers, a raincoat that gathers and stores the water, and typewriters that get a second chance.

Biofuel from newspapers

Scientists at Tulane University in New Orleans have found a novel bacterial strain, dubbed “TU-103”, that can use (news)paper to produce butanol, a biofuel that works as a gasoline substitute. TU-103 is the first bacterial strain from nature that produces butanol directly from the organic compound cellulose.

Sticky story

A scene from the film Tron has been recreated as a stop-motion animation using duct tape. Made by Ryactive, rolls of blue, red, orange and yellow sticky tape feature as bikes racing around a grid in the 37-second film. At the end of the video we meet Jay Maynard, or the Tron Guy, wearing his Tron outfit.

Typewriter recreations

High tech for the fingertips and low tech for the mantelpiece, Jeremy Mayer’s sculptures are made entirely from old typewriter parts. The California-based designer turns these relics into full-scale, anatomically correct human figures. These sculptures are cold assembled 100% typewriter — no soldering, welding or glue binds the different parts together.

Rain catcher

A raincoat that gathers, purifies and stores water has been designed by Hyeona Yang, a student at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. The rain is collected by the collar, filtered down the back by charcoal filters and sent to the wearer’s hips, where the storage facility can be found. With the storage area around the wearer’s hips, it makes for a more ergonomic way of carrying this life source around.

PC pals
Japanese design outfit Nendo has added two wireless laser mouse devices to its family of computer accessories for Elecom

The Orime mouse is constructed entirely from flat surfaces like a folded piece of paper, rather than the usual curved look. Its unconventional look makes it neither digital but analogue, but somewhere in between.

Also a wireless laser mouse, the Kasane has its side buttons and left-and-right click buttons randomly stacked. It’s meant to look like papers scattered around desk. The design of the Kasane becomes complete once the user places a (reassuring) hand on the buttons.



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