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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
Sitting Is The New Smoking
This project was born within FUSE during the time when became widely recognized that standing was better than sitting. This period saw the advent of work surfaces that raised and lowered. These were expensive desks and the other thing is it’s hard to love a desk or at least want to spend big money on a desk. We know you can make a desk from an inexpensive door and sawhorses and most importantly you can put the desk up high to support standing. What is needed is a chair that can support this posture. Even better would be a chair that can go from traditional task height to stool height, maybe even allowing a worker to perch or lean against that chair. Easily done with locking a few casters!
Also, for the facilities managers who must purchase chairs for an organization the Crane chair supports all the work surface heights a facility may have.
We submitted this design to premiere office seating manufacturer Herman Miller (HM) and they picked up on it, flew our principal to HQ and launched a project to build a prototype. The project hit a snag when the HM design manager went on maternity leave but this led to our participation in multiple projects at HM.