Made Thought creates bold branding for world's first plastic-free supermarket aisle

London studio Made Thought looked to the style of old propaganda posters when designing its identity for the “world’s first” plastic-free supermarket aisle.

The aisle, which opened to the public today, is located within an Amsterdam branch of Dutch supermarket chain, Ekoplaza.

Here, over 700 products stocked on the shelves are contained within plastic-free packaging, which – although closely resembling the look, feel and strength of real plastic – is made using natural, 100 per cent biodegradable materials.

Each item features a logo designed by Made Thought, which was brought on board by environmental charity Plastic Planet to create the visual identity and branding for the aisle.

“In taking on this challenging brief, we wanted to look beyond the overused lines about environmentalism and altruism,” said Made Thought founding partner Ben Parker.

“The brief was all about fashioning a new way of looking at plastic and its place in modern life. It was about realising an inspiring vision of the future that transcends the limited modes of thought that have gone before.”

Inspired by propaganda-style motifs, the black and white emblem uses the words “plastic free” to form the three-dimensional shape of a packaging box, printed in a bold, plain typeface.

The word “free” is then reprinted underneath itself several times to form larger box shapes.

This bold design is intended to help shoppers quickly differentiate the products that are completely free from plastic packaging from those that aren’t, while also being simple enough for supermarkets around the world to replicate.

According to A Plastic Planet and Made Thought, the Ekoplaza plastic-free aisle is the first of its kind and represents a significant shift in consumer attitudes.

“Design can never be truly progressive unless it changes behaviour,” said Parker. “Plastic Free Aisles offer a vision of the future that consumers can get on board with.”

“They demonstrate that going plastic-free does not mean forsaking choice, convenience or quality. Instead, going plastic-free enhances all those things. [They] are the embodiment of design that changes behaviour for the good of the planet we will leave to generations to come.”

Ekoplaza plans to roll out the aisle over its 74 branches across the Netherlands by the end of this year, with a second plastic-free aisle set to launch in The Hague in June 2018.

Designers are increasingly focusing their efforts towards finding alternative and eco-friendly alternatives to plastic.

Dutch designers Eric Klarenbeek and Maartje Dros developed a bioplastic made from algae, which they believe could completely replace synthetic plastics over time, while Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Shahar Livne created a clay-like material using discarded plastic.

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Woods Bagot's self-designed New York studio features black fixtures and exposed concrete

Architecture firm Woods Bagot has used “New York City grit” as an aesthetic reference for the interiors of its Downtown Manhattan offices.

Plenty of exposed concrete can be across the workspace, located on the seventh floor of the Continental Bank Building at 30 Broad Street.

Woods Bagot Studio

Encompassing 11,000 square feet, the office was designed by Woods Bagot‘s head of global workplace interiors, Sarah Kay, and head of global hotels, Wade Little.

The duo used a palette of black and white, and splashes of greenery, against the concrete to create a look and feel they deemed suitable for its location.

Woods Bagot Studio

“The design mixes New York City grit – raw columns, exposed pipes, concrete floors with natural cracks and stains – with couches, soft drapery, and plants,” said a statement from the firm.

Woods Bagot Studio

At the entrance, a wall of black-framed glass includes a set of double doors. Beyond, tables topped with pale wood can be used for greeting visitors and casual meetings. Sofas and armchairs upholstered in grey form a lounge area even further in.

Woods Bagot Studio

The work areas on either side are occupied by huge tables, large enough for staff to work on desktop or laptop computers and have room to lay out physical drawings.

Partitions built from metal pipes like scaffolding incorporate shelves for storage and pin boards for displaying work.

Woods Bagot Studio

“The architects’ work is central to the layout,” said Woods Bagot. “Throughout, pin-up spaces and shelving showcase drawings and models that provoke everyday conversation, collaboration and critique.”

Similar pipe structures are suspended from the ceiling to hold potted plants above the tables, or bottles above the bar. Exposed ductwork and thin lighting fixtures are also painted black.

Woods Bagot Studio

Close to the lobby, an all-black kitchen is placed between two columns – opposite a large counter where employees can eat, check emails, or congregate socially.

An open area can be used for testing virtual reality design and presentation tools, while conference rooms and model-making facilities are tucked away in a corner of the plan.

Woods Bagot Studio

“The workplace is equipped with tools both pioneering and timeless – virtual reality and coloured pencils, 3D printing and flexible pin-up surfaces, video conferencing and soft furniture, and, most important, an industrial-strength espresso machine,” said the firm.

Woods Bagot Studio

Woods Bagot has been established in New York for 10 years but moved into its new studio in July 2017. The firm operates 16 offices around the world, including a space in Melbourne that was also designed in-house.

Its other projects in the Australian city include a golden tower for Deakin University, a zinc-clad housing block and a brick-and-concrete apartment complex.

Photography is by Brooke Holm.

Project credits:

Interior design: Woods Bagot
Contractor: United Builders Group

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Stockholm Design Lab creates "digital-first" identity for Ericsson

Stockholm Design Lab has created a new identity for Swedish technology company Ericsson that prioritises text and logos on digital devices, rather than physical branding. 

Revealed at his year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the rebrand places an emphasis on functionality for mobile and computer screens.

Stockholm Design Lab‘s (SDL) new identity features a higher resolution version of the original Ericsson logo – three black lines with rounded edges – a clearer typeface, simplified iconography and a minimalist webpage design.

“The digital-first brand identity promises simplicity, trust, and enhanced productivity and SDL’s work is a response to the aim of making complexity a thing of the past with little space for ambiguity and meaningless decoration,” says Björn Kusoffsky, founder of Stockholm Design Lab

“The new brand identity focuses on functionality over aesthetics and aims to provide tools for simple communication and product performance, thus reflecting Ericsson’s technical expertise,” said the designers.

The rebrand forms part of  Ericsson’s plans to become a “truly digital brand”, with the company describing the changes as a “direct response to the business strategy and brand promise”.

To create a smoother identity, the geometry of the logo was altered to align with the pixel grid, meaning it would appear clearly rendered on digital screens.

A new easy-to-read typeface called Hilda – named after one of the company founders Hilda Ericsson – also features in the rebrand.

“Hilda expresses Ericsson’s business needs for today and is a versatile brand asset for tomorrow integrating across all company applications as Ericsson continues to evolve and transform,” said the designers.

The colour palette was also tweaked to feature bright and high-contrast shades, including blue, red, orange, yellow, green, purple and cool grey tones.

“Our approach to colour is born from digital interfaces and information design principles,” said the designers.

“The tones we have selected are digitally native, internationally bright and rich in contrast.  The accent colours are primarily intended to help guide the user towards key messages and interactions, rather than distract them through unnecessary decorative usage,” they continued.

The rebrand comes alongside a redesigned website, which is updated with clearer navigation and less text.  This contributes to an overall cleaner website design.

Noting an increase in the use of emojis on the internet and mobile devices, Stockholm Design Lab increased the number of icons used on the company’s website.

“The internet and mobile usage has fueled icon consumption and created a greater understanding of pictograms and emojis in general,” they said.

“This is reflected in the communications and user experiences of today,” they explained.  “Ericsson Brand 2.0 takes this into account by simplifying style as well as reimagining business metaphors and meaning for tomorrow.”

An increasing number of brands are opting for stripped-back identities, including dating app Tinder that replaced its text logo with an alteration of its flame icon and file sharing service WeTransfer that ditched the “Transfer” part of its logo for a more minimal “We”.

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Female co-working club The Wing's third outpost occupies old Brooklyn paper factory

Interior designer Chiara De Rege has aimed to create a cosy atmosphere at the Brooklyn location of The Wing, a women-only co-working space that is expanding rapidly across New York.

The Wing Dumbo

The Wing is the brainchild of Lauren Kassan and Audrey Gelman, who based the female co-working club and supportive community on the women’s club movement that erupted in New York during the 19th and 20th century.

The Wing Dumbo

After launching the first location in Manhattan’s Flatiron neighbourhood in 2016, the club’s popularity forced Kassan and Gelman to open a second in Soho just six months later. It is now embracing a growing membership outside of Manhattan, and its third hub in Brooklyn’s Dumbo neighbourhood opened last week.

The Wing Dumbo

“Expanding to Brooklyn was a no-brainer for The Wing,” said Gelman. “A third of The Wing’s current members call Brooklyn home, and it is consistently one of the most requested locations.”

The Wing Dumbo

New York-based Chiara De Rege designed the first two locations, and was enlisted again to apply the brand’s homely aesthetic to an old paper factory in Dumbo – last occupied by restaurant chain Bubby’s.

While The Wing’s other spaces occupy one-storey lofts, the Brooklyn outpost comprises two floors, a storefront and an atrium, giving De Rege a new challenge.

The Wing Dumbo

Across the space, walls and concrete floors are tinted with the company’s “Wing pink” colour, and pale oak flooring is used to “add warmth and cosiness”. A mix of private and open-plan workspaces are decorated like living rooms, featuring an eclectic range of chairs and sofas in contrasting pastel and bold tones.

“The goal was to help The Wing open its doors to the Brooklyn community by designing a timeless, engaging, cool, fun yet professional space,” De Rege told Dezeen.

The Wing Dumbo

Pendant lights hang above the main open-plan area, which is designed for meetings, and to host the club’s programme of talks and events.

Seating in the space ranges from a plush, sunken green couch to pink, tubular chairs. Tall built-in wooden shelves, filled with colour co-ordinated books, feature hidden doorways that swivel open.

The Wing Dumbo

“What is consistent throughout is the work/lounge like furniture arrangement,” said the designer. “It is conducive to event programming and networking, as well as if someone were to bring their computer to work from there every day.”

“All the elements work well off of one another, and I hope establish a fun but chic and inviting tone,” she added.

The Wing Dumbo

A staircase with a golden handrail leads up to first floor. Here, sofas encircle glass tables set on angular terrazzo legs and a long wooden desk decorated with headphones and flowers provides a communal work desk. Arched windows offer elevated views of the surroundings.

An in-house cafe called The Perch, pink photobooths and dressing rooms with individual alcoves are among the other facilities available to members. De Rege also set up a private meeting space like a dining room, featuring a table and chairs, pink wallpaper decorated by black line drawings, and a thickly woven rug.

The Wing Dumbo

There are also two spaces that are new to The Wing: a ballet studio with seating pads for mediation and a radio room for recording podcasts, which De Rege describes as “retro without being too retro”.

On the ground floor, a curved, slatted wooden desk forms the reception desk, in front of a merchandise display arranged on pegboards.

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Corn factory in Mexico by Atelier Ars includes memorial garden for facility's founder

A memorial to the founder of a corn-processing facility in Jalisco sits at the heart of this complex designed by Mexican architecture firm Atelier Ars.

Novasem by Atelier Ars

The Novasem factory complex in the western Mexican state includes several buildings that the architecture studio designed to have very different appearances.

The facility controls everything from harvesting to sorting, packing and storage, and these functions are divided between the structures.

Novasem by Atelier Ars

They include a production tower, a laboratory, barns, silos, and an entrance building – all separated by various landscape features that act as a space for contemplation.

“We realised that we had to understand the project as a landscape where the buildings, the open spaces, and the countryside were considered simultaneously,” said Atelier Ars.

Novasem by Atelier Ars

A set of rectangular volumes arranged next to each other at different heights form the large processing building, which is clad in polycarbonate to give a reflective sheen.

Novasem by Atelier Ars

Close by, a garden and water fountain is designed to commemorate the facility’s founder, who recently passed away.

A tall masonry enclosure houses the water, which passes along a canal formed by a steel I-beam to meet a shallow pool and planted area.

Novasem by Atelier Ars

The memorial takes cues from stone-building heritage and is modelled on a menhir – a tall upright stone that was erected in ancient times in Europe.

“The first element of the memorial is a vertical little enclosure that we consider as a primitive menhir, a mark on the territory as a signal of a sacred space,” said the firm.

Novasem by Atelier Ars

Another I-beam canal channels the water to a drop-off, where it falls into an underground chamber. The buried area is evocative of the founder’s grave, and houses a buried patio and stairs that looks out onto the waterfall and an underground pool.

Novasem by Atelier Ars

Inside the dim chamber, the founder’s ashes are kept in a steel box recessed in the masonry.

Surrounding the memorial garden are lavender bushes and a series of Golden Rain Trees, which will turn a bright yellow in the spring. Gravel beds line the outdoor space.

Novasem by Atelier Ars

Flanking the garden are two substantial barns clad in a red-coloured steel, with an outdoor path in between that frames a vista.

The barns take cues from American artist Mark Rothko’s colour fields. “We learned from these paintings about deepness and in-between spaces,” the firm said.

Novasem by Atelier Ars

At the far end of the factory site are a guardhouse and nearby parking lot. The entrance has a dramatic angular roof that appears to slant from the attendant booth down to a mound of gravel.

The roof becomes a deep V in section as it angles, allowing rainwater it collects to flow down towards the grassy soil.

Novasem by Atelier Ars

Overall, the corn factory includes natural colours and raw materials that relate to the grassy mountain surroundings of Jalisco.

A second phase of the project has yet to be completed, and will include an office building, a greenhouse, two buildings for drying grain, and temporary workers housing.

Photography is by Onnis Luque.

Project credits:

Project architects: Alejandro Guerrero and Andrea Soto
Collaborators: Andrea Alvarez, Juan Carlos Perez Albo and Alexis Castillo

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Organizing around the world

The Power of the Organizing Habit by Connie Jeong

Last year I had the opportunity to attend the NAPO conference. While I was there, I met organizing and productivity professionals from many different places. Some of these professionals are NAPO members, others are members of associations in their own countries.

It was very interesting to discuss perspectives on organizing and productivity with people from all over the world. Here is what I learned.

Ingrid Jansen from the Association of Professional Declutterers and Organisers (APDO) in the United Kingdom, informed me that while their association was formed in 2004, many people are very private and still reluctant to hire an organizer. However, now it is becoming more accepted and organizers are being recognized for the value that they bring to their clients. In many cases, adult children no longer live in the same area as their aging parents and organizers are called in to help people downsize. It is beneficial for families to have an impartial advisor when making decisions about possessions.

In the Republic of Korea, the Korea Association of Professional Organizers (KAPO) have a great philosophy — they promote Freedom of Emptying, Corrective Filling, and Joy of Sharing. In Korea, organizing and productivity professionals are recognized more and more as a valuable resource in restoring work-life balance. Organizers help their clients build their “clean muscle” so the clients are able to organize on their own. They teach their clients to think like “space gardeners.” Just like a gardener routinely extracts weeds from a flowerbed to keep the plants flourishing, we must keep our homes uncluttered by removing items that are not used. Additionally, KAPO’s professional organizer training program requires members to volunteer their services to sectors of the population that normally would not be able to afford professional organizing services.

Isabelle Lamy is an APDO member originally from France. She indicated that many of her clients do not know where or how to dispose of items. Charity shops may not accept certain goods and municipalities may not accept them into their waste streams. Professional organizers can help because they have built a network of charities and business that accept items for donation or disposal. Professional organizers research storage solutions and can provide best options for your space. It is great that many people have the “do-it-yourself” attitude and but they can save themselves much time, effort, and money by consulting with a professional organizer for advice.

Japan Association of Life Organizers (JALO) was founded in order to help people in Japan to improve their social lives, to be healthier as well as to create better and higher quality living spaces. Their president, Mayumi Takahara, indicated that the minimalist movement is building. Younger people especially have realized that shopping is not a solution to their problems and they want to clear space in their homes for a more meaningful life. Marie Kondo’s book is very popular and clients request assistance in the Kondo method of organizing.

I spoke with many organizers from around the world who are also members of the Institute for Challenging Disorganization (ICD). These organizers are specialists in helping clients who chronically disorganized or facing other organizational challenges such as hoarding.

Most of us think of uncluttering and organizing as something we do with the stuff in our kitchens and closets but organizers help their clients with technology as well — from uncluttering and arranging computer files to digitizing family photos. They can also recommend apps and websites to keep their clients productive whether at home or at work.

It would appear that people everywhere need assistance with uncluttering and organizing — at least some of the time. For those do-it-yourselfers, we at Unclutterer have over 1000 posts with organizing tips, almost 900 on home organization, well over 300 on office organizing and over 200 on time management. For those needing a little more assistance, consider hiring a professional organizer for a consultation.

Post written by Jacki Hollywood Brown

Riding Solo Never Looked So Good


Meet the mouthwatering Racer Fourteen. The latest from designer Ahmed Ghamloush, this stretched out supercar looks like the offspring of a Lotus 2 Eleven and a BAC Mono. Like the Lotus, it’s got a predominantly flat hood, full fender body coverings and exaggerated wheel arches. Like the Mono, however, it sports a central, open-air seat for one driver tucked neatly in front of a dramatic overhead scoop.

Despite being a concept, its form is almost more believable than the previously mentioned supercars. According to the designer, its realism is a result of soft fluid-like surfacing interrupted only by scoops, antennas, and venting. In contrast with its bold curves and body shape, details like LED headlights/taillights and air intakes are minimalist touches that keep focus on the overall form. No word on specs but one thing is for sure… it’s a whole lotta car for one driver!

Designer: Ahmed Ghamloush









Let sunlight be your wallpaper!


“I want a house where I can feel the sky” sounds more like poetry than a design brief, but then again, the resulting product also feels like visual poetry rather a regular skylight. Built by Satoh Hirotaka Architects to let the sky paint the insides of your house, the Message From The Sky is an interactive skylight that changes with time and weather, turning your wall into a piece of art that’s seldom the same. Based on the season, time of the day, cloud cover, precipitation, and general color of the sky, the house’s wall looks completely different. Pair it with the moving slats that create mesmeric parallelogram patterns and you’ve got a room that’s beautifully decorated by sunlight! I can just see myself reaching for the Instagram icon!

Designer: Satoh Hirotaka Architects






Design Job: Mix Art and Culture with Sport and Style as a Sr. Designer for New Era Ca

The Sr. Designer is a core member of the Marketing Creative Services Team, who are themselves responsible for conceptualizing, generating, guiding and approving all creative and visual marketing elements of the brand. This role sits squarely within that function and is about enhancing storytelling, visualizing concepts, harnessing creativity and being immersed in all of the external expressions of the brand.

View the full design job here

How Digital Fabrication has Disrupted the Gun Control Argument: People Can Now Build Their Own AR-15s and Other Firearms

The gun control debate may be over. In order to understand why, we need to look at the anatomy of the AR-15, the assault rifle that’s currently dominating the headlines.

One reason that the AR-15 is popular among gun enthusiasts is because it’s infinitely customizable. Owners can select from a variety of different barrels, stocks, upper receivers, scopes and sights; the Ballistic Advantage blog refers to the AR-15 as “LEGO kits for adults.” Those parts can be purchased from a variety of manufacturers with little difficulty.

If all of those parts can be swapped, then what makes an AR-15 an AR-15? Technically, it’s this:

That’s called the lower receiver. The lower receiver houses the grip, the trigger assembly, the safety, the magazine and the magazine release button. The lower receiver is the only part of the rifle with a serial number on it–because it’s the only part that the government regulates. If you want to manufacture, import or sell the lower receiver, you need a Federal Firearms License, or FFL.

To skirt this, a variety of companies manufacture what are called “80% lower receivers:”

These are cast and partially machined billets of aluminum or polymer that are, as the title implies, roughly 80% of what a finished lower receiver is; they lack the final machining to accommodate the moving parts that would make it work. There is no legal obligation to put serial numbers on these and they can be purchased for as little as $50. In the eyes of the law, this is not a firearm, just a chunk of metal. The images below are how the ATF defines them:

With a drill press, a milling machine and some patience, one could pocket out the space for the trigger, the fire control cavity and the holes for the pins, bringing the part to completion. This is legal, if you’re making it for yourself. According to the ATF, “Firearms may be lawfully made by persons who do not hold a manufacturer’s license under the GCA [Gun Control Act] provided they are not for sale or distribution and the maker is not prohibited from receiving or possessing firearms.”

Previously, someone would still need some mechanical aptitude and access to machine tools to complete a lower receiver. But now Defense Distributed, the “anti-monopolist digital publishing” company founded by Cody Wilson to promulgate the efficacy of DIY digitally-fabricated firearms, has largely removed that last barrier by creating the Ghost Gunner.

The Ghost Gunner (now in its second iteration) is a highly precise, $1,675 desktop-sized open-source CNC mill with a horizontal spindle. With this machine, virtually anyone can turn 80% lower receivers for AR-15s and M1911 pistols into finished, functioning parts.

In the first half of the video below, you’ll see just how easy this is to do. In the second half, you’ll see a 3D-printed-gun hobbyist who has managed to design and print a firearm with a lower receiver made from PLA plastic. Plastic was previously deemed not durable enough for firearms applications, but said hobbyist estimates he has fired roughly 5,000 rounds with his and it’s still ticking:

In the video below, Wilson explains what led him to create the Ghost Gunner, and the answer was not the typical pro-gun rhetoric that I expected:

Lastly, here’s Andy Greenberg from Wired, a man who admits he has no experience with tools, seeing if he can build his own AR-15:

It goes without saying that this makes our current gun legislation, and the debate we’re so evenly split on, kind of moot. We already don’t know the precise number of assault rifles currently in circulation in the U.S. And that refers to just the ones that have serial numbers and were legally purchased. Now that virtually anyone can build one without reporting it, tracking these guns, let alone regulating who can and cannot have them, seems virtually impossible.