NED (NOT BREAD)

A few summers ago we were on a camping trip with another couple and one of the partners  had a gluten allergy. We had stopped  at drive-thru for a quick refuel on the way back. The gluten free friend (GFF) had ordered a vegan burger with a lettuce wrap to avoid the bun. What a mess! There were condiments all over her hands and  subsequently, my car!   Not only is the gluten a problem, it’s also the high carbs of that bun. A typical burger bun is some 40 grams of high glycemic index refined white flour. There had to be a better way.

When we got back to or studio, I grabbed ( hang on, not physically)  a colleague and  we brainstormed. I always loved the genius of the edible ice cream cone, especially the  one inaccurately named the “cake” cone.  I did a little research  and these wonders of industrialization, a literal injection  molding  of water and flour are only 6 grams of carbs and that’s with rice flour. And, it gets better…, if you use almond flour, you can bring the carb count down to zero! Not to mention how brilliant the whole  family of edible  packages are!  Taco shells! Sushi! And then.. wholly cow ,  and  start digging in more,  and  did you know  the average common restaurant – remember those , burrito  flour tortilla  can be 80 grams of  carbs!!!

The big idea was to make a small edible piece of luggage, kidding, not luggage but a bread or tortilla  replacement that could be gluten free if needed  and lower carb. This is good for celiacs, diabetics and everyone that wants to lower their ingestion of high glycemic  index carbohydrates.  By the way,  the term “Keto” was Google searched for more than Subaru in the Pacific NW.

In terms of design,  this concept  allows  almost infinite shape, color, texture and flavor. This concept can replace anything where bread is simply a carrier. Think pizza, tacos, burritos, all the bread shapes,  even low carb snacks like crackers can be NED. Best of all if you were brought up by TV like some of  us were, then  you’ll love  the brand-ability of this concept. See the images above.

Knowing there’s a fair amount of tooling (though relatively inexpensive per mold) to make these things, we approached the Joy Cone company with NED. They are biggest  ice cream cone maker in the U.S.  with plants in Pennsylvania and Arizona. Joy makes special branded cones for  some of their largest customers.

I don’t  want to say we’re brilliant, but I think  given the hand friendliness, this qualifies as thumbelievable!

Ok, shutting up now –  have a look!

 

ARIEL CHAIR

When they go low, we go high.

The Ariel chair is an update to the Crane chair. This new version  adds a visually thicker mold-able cellular structure that conforms to the  users’ body.

The Ariel Chair  features that same elastomer powered lift mechanism that allows users to set up standing desks and sit only when needed. Users can sit and lean against the Ariel with its easily locked casters. Ariel’s more minimal i-Back encourages active postures.

Complex only 3D printable structures are super intriguing, but really hard to make. At the moment, 3D printing while compellin,g is unbelievably slow compared to modern injection molding. This design  creates a thermally neutral  cellular surface that is cleanable and most importantly, mold-able.

SofStick

After a friend’s kid got  hurt while playing with a stick, we had an idea. Why not make a safe stick? All kids love sticks, right?! SofStick is that safe stick. Made from elastomeric bead foam (think  that molded packing foam that protects your new iMac), Sofstick provides all the fun of a real stick without the stabbing risk. Also, SofSticks float so can easily be a replacement for a foam pool noodle and be an all season toy. We designed a 46″long sword size SofStick and a thicker SofLog version.

MO’GRO’ FITNESS MOWER

FUSE had done alot ot work with FISKARS’ Gerber knife and tool division and then Gerber’s president became the head of FISKARS US operation where they did all the School, Office, Craft (SOC) and Garden products under the FISKARS brand.  We were tasked with designing a few SOC products but we had this notion that FISKARS garden division needed to do a Mower. Not just any Mower but a fitness Mower.   We’ve all have had   experience with these crappy steel mowers that seem to be rusted after only one season and thought: what if we could marry the technology of thermoplastic composites to the simple reel mower. Sort of  a TREK OCLV  of mowers.  FUSE Designer Ahren Laurinate had a good idea of making the mower self-fertilize the lawn by grinding and spreading compost while mowing. This would make the lawn grow faster and thus, you’d need to mow more – perfect for a Fitness Mower. Tory restyled this concept and Lori Katz did the Alias model. What’s shown here is what was presented. FISKARS liked but was afraid of the cost.

ARMA CHAIR

After the  Herman Miller RED Orbiter  project, we had this idea about a way to better the Ready To Assemble / IKEA  idea.  I mean, who really wants to spend the time building furniture if you don’t have to? How cool would it be if you could still  flat pack that piece of furniture,but then its already assemble and all you need to do is “pose it”  and then just lock it down? It would be not only flat packable but also  transforming and poseable into different postures.  We thought it would be really cool and started with a chair- the Arma Chair like “armature” –  get it?! Clever, right?

 

BikeBark

This was a proactive project  providing a solution to the problem of bike parking since  most bike have lost kickstands. The problem is  you lean your bike against paint damaging poles and then  your bike suffers  more than cosmetic damage.  We got this into Wired magazine and sold into REI. The rubber manufacturer who was pressing  BIKEBARK bought the product a few months after we premiered at Interbike.

Bipets

Hybrids are the future.

Furilla had some moderate success in that it was optioned by toy maker and purveyor Kid Robot. FUSE principal, Tory Orzeck,  has this ongoing chicken love and had this idea for a line of toys based on the offspring of 4 legged mammals getting together with chickens.  Of course, single eyed  creatures are also close to heart. This would result in these bipedal animals  he dubbed BIPETS. He pitched  the idea to KidRobot but got a big “Meh”.

 

Steady

A Multitool That Takes Selfies

With our experience  in designing tools and knives for GERBER  we end up dreaming of  versions of  these products all the time. Most of them are not so great, but some are so simple and good they need to be realized. The multi-tool tripod was one of them.  We put our noses to the grind stone and created a series of sketches, a wooden model  and a presentation that could show how this new product would be appealing to a demographic  new to the multi-tool world. This demographic included women and urbanites more familiar with Instagram than deer hunting.  We presented and GERBER said “ME WANT” or the equivalent for a big corporation.  FUSE did not do the industrial design but we do own the IP.

We were awarded the utility patent in 2014.

GoGo Transporter

The  G0G0  Transporter  was an internal FUSE science project  seeking to solve 2 problems: 1. What’s the most ecologically friendly way to take advantage of Portland’s 20 minute neighborhood concept? And 2., what happens to the expensive strollers that children certainly grow out of ?

Answer number 1 is the wagon. With a wagon you can haul almost  anything while on foot. That is :a 50 lb bag of dogfood, groceries, kids, even a large potted plant.

The question  then became  “is a wagon enough?” Would other people share this wagon love? So we thought more, and  I had colleagues that were about to become parents and  his or her colleagues would pitch in and buy them a really cool expensive stroller. This got me thinking about what happens to these strollers beyond being used for a younger sibling. No one wants a pooped-on,  barfed-on second hand stroller or at least  there did not seem to be a robust used stroller market.   So, what if the stroller could be  built more like a  roof rack system where you could evolve the product to transform it into some-thing or things more useful once the child gets out of infancy?

This turned into the GoGo Transporter System whereby adding or subtracting components, you can make a variety of wheeled products.

Air Footscape

Air Morphous

The Footscape was designed around an anatomically correct foot form, not the normal Last. A Last  is the form shoes are built on and they are part anatomy and part art. This project was initiated by FUSE principal, Toren Orzeck, while in Nike’s Advance Product Engineering group.  Birkenstocks were coming back into the mainstream so building an anatomical correct foot form seemed like a good idea.

A neutral runner with laces running down the lateral side of the shoe.  The design of the upper enhances comfort by moving the laces away from the superficial tendons and arteries that run on the peak of the dorsal side of the foot. Instead the Footscape puts them on the lateral side. This eliminates the point loads caused by the laces.  Not only is the shoe more comfortable, but it is also is visually different telling  the running consumer there is something going on.

This shoe has gained “classic” status and is still made in a variety of materials and colorways in Nike’s Sportswear line.