Live and Dine Young

Here it is… the Livdin Sofa!  Now shortlisted for final judging for the Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2011!

Livdin’s design is motivated by the constraints of tiny urban dwellings, and the desire to create a pleasing, playful piece of furniture, but functionality and flexibility are the heart of the piece!

Stay tuned for results!

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Live. Leaner.

The typical seating and table heights for both a lounging and dining arrangement are fairly standard.  From here, I explored how a sofa could transform into a dining configuration (some of the design sketches are shown below).  I found that a pivoting action for the table seemed like the best solution.  This mechanism seemed to be the simplest with respect to both mechanical hardware and ease of conversion from a sofa to a table.

I moved the design from sketch book to computer for further development.  Studying the design using a 3D model revealed some complexities that weren’t evident in the hand sketches.  The pivoting action of the table surface doesn’t clear the back of the seat, requiring the seat to be moved out of the way as the tabletop pivots (see video below).  This adjustment is somewhat cumbersome, and I disliked the amount of effort necessary to convert from sofa to table.  Also, in converting from sofa to table, the orientation of the furniture piece is reversed… another downside to the design.  Lastly, I don’t like how the tabletop is adjacent to your feet in sofa-mode… seems unhygienic.  Overall, however, I like the direction of the design.  Lemme know what you think!

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Art Underwater

Image by Jason deCaires Taylor

Xian has its Terracotta Army and Cancun has The Silent Evolution, an underwater installation of 400 concrete figures created by Jason deCaires Taylor.  The installation is part of the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA), an underwater sculpture gallery off the Yucatan Peninsula.  Snorkelers and divers can delight in the mob of surreal life-size sculptures – a nun, chubby kid, a pregnant woman – before they are subsumed by marine life into an artificial reef.

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Where’s Waldo?

Remember that stealthy illustrated character Waldo?  If you’ve ever had trouble finding him, this new object tracking system developed by Zdenek Kalal may be able to help.  Using an advanced algorithm called Predator, the user can select the object he/she would like to track.  On the fly, the software then locates and tracks the object on video.  The potential for this new technology are both exciting and scary.

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That’s Shweeb

Living in New York City, I can spend upwards of two hours a day commuting underground in the Subway. Cycling to work gets you outside, but has its own downsides (think Crazy Taxi). I’d rather Schweeb!

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Double Duty

No other piece of furniture comes through in a pinch than the sofa bed.  It’s transformable qualities are especially welcome when couch-surfing guests or the in-laws pay a visit.  This machine for domestic living also serves as the last refuge from the incorrigible snorer.  The wonderful duality of the sofa-bed recently struck me as awesome.  It also made me contemplate other sofa-something combinations. 

Sharing a one bedroom apartment in New York City with my girlfriend makes me appreciate every square inch of living space.  Fitting the equivalent of a living room, dining area, and home office into one tiny room was daunting.  Even selecting a dining room table was agonizing for our lack of space.  But what if sofa and dining table could be integrated into a compact elegant solution?  Like the sofa-bed, the sofa-table (needs a better name) could free up space while providing needed functionality for tight living spaces.  Stay tuned for more!

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Table for four… I mean eight!

Ever throw a dinner party when a few unexpected guests show up?  Not really?  Well, if it’s happened to you, this is your table!  These bespoke tables by DB Fletcher Design ( delight in their expandability.  Like time-lapse photography of a flower in bloom, these beautiful creations transform before your eyes.  You may appreciate the workmanship, the geometric precision, or even the mechanical ingenuity of these tables.  Or you may simply appreciate not having to rub elbows with Aunt Ruth at Thanksgiving.

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