Link About It: This Week’s Picks

Skateboarding Afghanistan, a bird's 3D-printed beak, Bill Moggride's legacy and more in our look at the web this week

This Week’s LAB is Sponsored by Dos Equis


1. Bill Moggridge Dies at 69

Celebrated industrial designer and technology pioneer, professor, creator of the interaction design discipline, founding partner of IDEO, Director of the Cooper-Hewitt, author and digital illuminati Bill Moggridge passed away this week. Among his legacies are the invention of the laptop’s now ubiquitous clamshell format; his 1979 design for Grid’s Compass computer was used on NASA space shuttle missions from 1983 to 1997. We’re humbled by his legacy.

2. Pearl Suit

Phil Oakley, the lighting specialist and window designer for Richard James’ Savile Row shop, sets the tone for London Fashion Week with a bespoke suit painstakingly made of pearls from historic charitable organization Pearly Kings. The three-piece affair is complete with a matching newsboy cap and will soon be on display at Richard James.

3. Define Bottle

At a mere 14-years-old, Carter Kostler is already a step ahead of designers twice his age. Inspired by fruit-infused water found at spas, the ninth-grader leveraged Kickstarter to raise $10,000 and is set to produce a run of portable bottles by December this year. Called Define Bottle, the design cleverly keeps ice and fruit away from the spout while allowing you to infuse water with fruit while on the go.

4. Photorealistic Ballpoint Pen Drawings

Using just a handful of ballpoint Bic pens, 29-year-old Portugese attorney Samuel Silva creates wonderful photorealistic drawings without any thought of fame. Described as just a hobby, Silva says the impressive illustrations can take anywhere from five to 50 hours to finish.


5. Mushroom Story

Cow patties, psychedelic mushrooms and a paper plane bombing raid are among the caveats told in a humorous story by Vans rider Christian Hosoi. Adding even more entertainment to the anecdote is animation done by Jim Dirschberger and Jay Howell for their series “Classic Tales,” which gives life to comic interviews with the Vans skate crew.

6. Cerv Concept Bike

Always one’s to push the envelope in bicycle frame design, Cannondale introduces the CERV, a futuristic ride with a highly adjustable headset that actually changes as you ride to constantly keep you in the optimal position. The bizarre looking bike moves forward and down to reduce drag and increase aerodynamics and when climbing moves up and back for leverage. The future is here, on two wheels.

7. Skateistan

Founded to encourage the disenfranchised youth of Afghanistan to be free and have fun, Skateistan offers around 400 teens—nearly half girls—the chance to skateboard and attend free classes on art, leadership and more each week. While the uplifting story is documented in full in the new book “Skateistan: The Tale of Skateboarding in Afghanistan,” this week we saw a horrific reminder of the harsh realities of Kabul after a deadly suicide bombing shook the program.

8. Cassette to iPod Converter

Those hoarding obsolete mixtapes and albums on cassette get sweet redemption from this crafty, pocket-size converter. Pop your iPod or iPhone in on one side, the cassette on the other and play the tape’s tracks as instant mp3s.


9. Analog Instant iPhone Camera

Print you favorite iPhone snapshots on Polaroid-like instant paper with The Impossible Project’s new Film Processing Unit. Now on Kickstarter—and already 175% backed—the FPU works with an iPhone app to properly calculate film exposure time, ensuring each image will process clearly and accurately, exactly like it should.

10. 3-D Beak

Shot in the face by a poacher, it looked like Beauty the bald eagle would go beak-less for the rest of her avian life. Thanks to 3-D printing and the gumption of raptor specialist Jane Fink Cantwell, the wounded bird escaped the threat of starvation with a new beak made of nylon polymer.

11. John Derian for Paperless Post

The New York-based decoupage maestro John Derian forays into the digital world with a new collaboration with e-card service Paperless Post. The designs follow Derian’s patina-touched color schemes and ephemeral motifs with vintage skeleton prints for Halloween and autumnal botanicals for just about every occasion that may come up this season.

12. The Man Who Fell To Earth

Offering an in-depth look at the early years of famed musician, composer, writer, producer and visual artist Brian Eno, documentary “The Man Who Fell To Earth” covers years 1971-1977. The lengthy, two and half hour doc delves deep into the inspiration and significance of Eno’s early solo material.