Gavari violin fast forwards instrument design by 300 years

via DVICE Atom Feed by Michael Trei on 10/31/09

Gavari violin fast forwards instrument design by 300 years

Check out almost any classical violinist, and you might notice that the instruments they use are based on designs first created over 300 years ago. World class players are even willing to pay millions to own an original instrument from the great 17th century Italian masters like Antonio Stradivari.

If you wanted to cross an ocean at great speed you wouldn’t go looking for a 17th century ship, so why do we still use 300 year old violins? Surely by using modern design techniques and 21st century materials, we can create a better sounding instrument than a bunch of Italian guys using old bits of wood and some varnish.

That’s the thinking behind the Gavari Semiacoustic Violin from Austrian designer Gerda Hopfgartner. Working with a Viennese luthier, Hopfgartner took her inspiration from modern yachts, as well as “feminine curves and sundry corset outlines of the Baroque, Rococo, and Biedermeier ages” whatever that means. While the results certainly look cool and modern, I’m still waiting for a verdict on its sonic performance.

The Gavari violin is being shown this weekend at the Tokyo Designers Week exhibition.

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Hot Rod couch is one ridiculous piece of furniture

via DVICE Atom Feed by Adam Frucci on 5/14/09
Hot Rod couch is one ridiculous piece of furniture

This couch is, well, a one-of-a-kind object. It’s a hot rod couch, and it can be yours for a mere $45,000. What a deal!

Sure, there’s no way it’ll go with anything in your home, but come on, it’s so crazy looking! It sort of looks like a hot rod! Mixed with an uncomfortable couch! I’m sure this will sell in no time.

Reveal your inner secrets with a DNA Mini Portrait

via DVICE by Michael Trei on 11/28/08

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A skilled portrait photographer can capture the inner soul of their subject via the camera lens, but nothing can show your true inner workings quite like an actual image of your own DNA. A small company called DNA11 will create a portrait using your DNA, which can be colored to match your decor, and mounted in a glass frame. After you place an order, DNA11 sends out a kit that includes swabs to extract a DNA sample from your cheek. Return it in the provided envelope, and 4-6 weeks later your framed DNA portrait arrives in the mail.

DNA11 has been selling their larger DNA portraits for a while now, but the new 8″x10″ Mini Portraits are just as cool, and much more affordable at $169. That’s even cheaper than a kit we looked at that doesn’t even give you the fancy picture.

DNA 11, via Coolest Gadgets

But-On Koncept: the top-loading microwave

via DVICE by Travis Hudson on 3/6/08

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The But-On Koncept is the microwave design of the future. It’s an overly simple and colorful microwave. The entire design come from fancy artist talk about simplicity, but in all reality I just like how the microwave is top-loading. I’m trying to dig deep into my young mind to try and remember if a top-loading microwave has ever been made and I can’t recall.

The microwave includes the standard features like temperature control, a timer and removable inner lining that makes cleaning easy. Even though front-loading microwaves are likely more efficient and easier to operate on tall kitchen counter tops, the idea of a top loading microwave is one that cannot be reckoned with. It would also be a heck of a lot easier to watch Peeps expand and eventually blow up from above.

But-On Koncept, via The Design Blog

Minimal dual clock is overly simple, overly amazing

via DVICE by Travis Hudson on 2/28/08

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We’ve seen some pretty spectacular alarm clocks around these parts, but the Minimal Dual Digital Analog Alarm Clock concept by Daniel Jarr has to take the cake. Sure, it may not tell you the weather or other goods, but it does look simply beautiful with the dual faced analog and digital displays.

The pivoting nature of the clock allows for more unique functionality as well. Pushing down on the right side of the clock sets the alarm while pushing down on the left side would act as a snooze. Pushing down on the frame of the analog clock would also provide a light. I never thought I could get this excited about an alarm clock, but this minimal design dual-function clock from Jarr has done it. Timex? Sony? Anybody out there interested in getting it off the drawing board?

Via TFTS

Solar Dragonfly Flaps Wings Feebly, Makes Us Sad

via Gizmodo by Haroon Malik on 2/24/08

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James Watts spends his time putting together fantastic insect-bot sculptures, and the Solar Dragonfly is one of the best. The solar panels running down the body actually power the wings, which are then kicked into motion using a pager motor. Sure, it looks swell, but we can’t help but think the Solar Dragonfly would lose its balance whilst flapping its wings feebly, all the while wishing it was a real dragonfly. How would Disney have tackled that one? A solar powered dragonfly that wants to be a real insect—now there’s a cartoon we want to see. Pixar, hop to it. Hit the link for some more great shots.

[Clockwork Robot via Make]

NYC Installing Gigantic 120-Foot Waterfalls Under the Brooklyn Bridge, in th…

Now that i gotta see!

via Gizmodo by Adam Frucci on 1/18/08

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While this image of a gigantic waterfall cascading down from beneath the Brooklyn Bridge looks like some wacky photoshop, it’s actually something that’s being installed this summer. A new art project will have four waterfall sculptures installed in New York City from mid-July to mid-October, spewing water from heights of 90 to 120 feet, or about as high as the Statue of Liberty.

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The installations will cost about $15 million to put in place, but they’re expected to bring in over $55 million in tourist revenue. Because hey, nothing says “road trip” like going to see a freestanding waterfall in the middle of the East River. Which is where all of the waterfalls will be: one in the river under the Brooklyn Bridge, the other three just freestanding scaffolds in the middle of the river. Personally, I’m pretty excited about this as I see the Brooklyn Bridge every day as my train goes over the Manhattan Bridge and I’m always on the lookout for things to stare at so I can avoid eye contact with other people. Here’s to ambitious public art installations actually being funded and created!

[Yahoo News via Spulch]