Life at the cutting edge can get pretty exhausting – kept awake at night by genius ideas, burning through the shoe leather as you sprint your way too and from the patent office, wrestling frustration as things fail to fall into place just so – we thought we’d help out with a little selection of bits and pieces to ease the life of all you bright sparks hanging in there for the next great breakthrough.
Photography Benoît Banisse, art direction and styling facetofacedesign
1. The holy grail
Just when we thought it was high time we stopped going to client meetings in beat down high tops and, instead, start making our billion dollar pitches in more adult-looking shoes, we stumble upon new brand on the block Jojo. Designed in Belgium, the fresh-faced sneaker distinguishes itself from the rest through its wrap-around shoe lace as well as its playful colour pairings. With strong environmental sensitivities underpinning the brand (for each pair of Jojo bought, one tree gets replanted in Niger, or one year’s supply of drinking water is secured for a person in Sierra Leone), there’s not a lot Jojo can do wrong in Word HQ at the moment.
There you are, supervising the trial of an experimental gamma bomb for the US Defence Department one minute, and the next you find yourself transformed into a thick-skulled, mood-triggered mutant. Darn it, you’d think a genius scientist would be able to carry out his breakthrough research into nuclear weapons technology in peace without
having to turn into a Marvel comic book icon every time he got a little too excited. Remind yourself not to get ANGRY with this T – it even glows in the dark for that alluring hint of radioactivity.
3. The birth of cool
We’re far from being experts in watch wizardry, although we know good design when we see it. Perfectly proportioned and carved out to please, Swatch’s classic watch has recently been given an artistic makeover in the shape of its 60+1_2 (pictured on the right). Designed by David Benedek as part of the company’s Colour Code Collection, the
cool, composed and confident wrist wear – complete with lo-fi demeanour and engaging colour palette – ticks all the right boxes.
Swatch’s Purple-And-White (€38) and 60+1_2 (€43)
4. The ultimate breakthrough tool
When considering sheer force and the word “stiletto” (not to mention the onset of acute pain), one would probably think about footwear before hardware. The Stiletto TBII 15’s combination of low weight titanium material and leverage
both increases the strike force and allows for less user fatigue: it’s the kind of tool that will last forever. If the TBII 15 is the Prada stiletto of hammers, then Vaughan Manufacturing’s V5 is the new pair of Doc Martens. While less chic, it
is more durable (the Stiletto can only be used for wood framing, the Vaughan can be used in any situation) and more affordable.
5. Future’s so bright
Founded early last year as a Euro-centric variant on the American original, Wired has quickly laid claim to our magazine stack’s top spot. For most magazines, breakthrough content is all to do with style – format, delivery, image, graphics, interactivity. For Wired, breakthrough content involves finding out about the future before it happens. Which kind of leaves the rest of us choking on its dust.
Wired UK (€7,90)
6. Rep that Rap
We totally fell in love with design studio Unfold’s self-Replicating Rapid prototyper (RepRap) when it was on show at Z33’s ace Design by Performance exhibition. Their version was tinkered to print in porcelain, and hooked up to a nifty computer program that allowed visitors to throw virtual pots that were then built layer on layer by the RepRap over the duration of the exhibition. Created according to an open-source plan developed by Dr Adrian Bowyer, the RepRap is a financially accessible 3-D printer that can be replicated using parts that it can manufacture itself, coupled on to locally available components. This one was built at Sint-Lukas University College in Brussels from a kit bought online.
Darwin RepRap kit (€940)
Read more about Dr Adrian Bowyer’s RepRap Project here