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After studying together at the Royal College of Art in London, designers Yael Mer and Shay Alkalay formed the collaborative design studio Raw Edges. Sometime after the formation they also had a young daughter together, and the child ended up being the biggest inspiration for their SmartLight bedside lamp series. Designed as an unobtrusive reading light for those nights when one parent has to wake up to care for an infant, the lamps manipulate and direct the light from the built-in LED of most smartphones, while doubling as a charging station. [via Designmilk]

The second annual Design Week Portland, set for October 7-12, does an admirable job of corraling and celebrating the City of Roses's diverse creative community without shoehorning presenters and speakers into preconceived formats. Organizers Eric Hillerns and Tsilli Pines gave wide berth to those heading up individual events, resulting in a mix of presentations, open houses and speakers that give voice to what makes the region so compelling. A letter press fair, Portland design auction, and the opening of the Portland Design Museum all run concurrently with an array of events, including "Blurred Lines," a exhibit of interaction design sponsored by the AIGA, and a speech by Etsy creative director Randy Hunt on design and entrepreneurship.

After talking with some of the organizers, here’s a list of a few of the events we’re excited about. The full list can be found at designweekportland.com.


Home Brewed by Design (October 10 at 6pm, One Grand Gallery)

"Most designers covet these types of projects," said co-organizer Jason Sturgill of his Home Brewed by Design showcase, which pairs 20 artists and 20 brewers to create custom labels for beers that, in some cases, didn't even have a name when they were first conceived. "We wanted to bring together two independent communites, design and brewing, and help connect other communities with Design Week." By the times the event occurs, each team's graphic treatment will grace 200 bottles of home brew, meaning there will be plenty of libations on hand to make connections. 



Brandcraft: Building a 21st Century Brand (October 10 at 4pm, Owen & Jones Partners) 

The challenges of branding mirror those of web design, as multiple format and continuity become keys to effective communication. Brandcraft, organized by Mark Rawlins and Rusty Grim of Owen Jones & Partners, convenes a panel of creatives to cover how traditional ideas of branding bleed over into everything a company does. "The world has set things up in silos," says Rawlins, "and we should torpedo those silos. Branding is everything you do." Participants include Nike's Global Brand Design Director Jeff Weithman, who talks about how to get smaller and relate to smaller tribes of consumers, and AJ Joseph, Executive Creative Director of Adobe Software, who talks about the emotional versus empirical measurements of how agencies perform.    


Domestic, a Showcase of American Design (October 9–13, The Janey) 

Curated by interior designer Jasmine Vaughan of design journal Made & State, Domestic pushes American products as a matter of taste, not loyalty, and wants to take a move beyond the "bearded and salvaged wood" to push a more modern aesthetic. Seven designers and stores, such as Beam & Anchor and Fig Studios, will each be given two rooms at the Janey, a boutique apartment complex in the Pearl, and free rein to decorate with American-made goods and clothing. The rooftop will feature craft cocktails and custom furniture by FIELDWORK, and a Saturday afternoon trunk show is being oragnized by Amanda Needham, Portlandia's Emmy-winning costume designer. 

Portland Design Week takes places at venues across the city October 10–12; find more info and register for events at designweekportland.com.   

Industrial designer Fabio Molinas makes a habit of solving problems using wasted materials and energy. For his OLTU produce storage concept, Molinas designed a "totem" of ceramic and metal containers for storing fresh fruits and vegetables, complete with small water reservoirs in each wall. When the totem is placed on top of a refrigerator, the heat generated by the fridge evaporates the water, which in turn cools the totem and keeps the produce fresh. [via Design Milk]

What's likely the most impressive collection of Braun artifacts in the world isn't found in a design museum or school, but instead in the private home of Dr. Peter Kapos. While not on public view, Kapos has made his collection viewable in an online exhibit he calls Das Programm. In an interview with Fast Company, Kapos explains the sometimes strange position of housing a design museum and raising a young family in the same space, "I have boys of four and seven who have learned not to touch anything made in Germany.”

His Braun collection, which spans nearly every decade of the industrial design giant's history, includes audio equipment, cameras and flashes, and household items such as kitchen appliances and clocks. The collection cuts off roughly around the time the company was purchased by Gillette and subsequently stopped producing audio equipment.

Almost every item in the collection is currently for sale, so if you've ever wanted a Dieter Rams original alarm clock or cigarette lighter, or maybe some original Braun ephemera, get it touch.

By eliminating the frame which pop tents require, "Walking Shelter" from design collective Sibling is quite portable. So portable, in fact, that it fits around a pair of sneakers. When the wearer requires some protection from the elements, the tent is removed from the elastic netting around the heel of the sneakers, pulled over the head and shoulders, and zippered in the front to protect from rain, snow, or sun. Sitting on the ground completes the pop tent effect by using the human form as a support system. 

Food Huggers were designed to be the simplest way to store leftover produce. The silicone caps seal the open end of the fruit or vegetable, while the natural skin keeps the rest fresh. If used correctly there's less food spoilage, no wasted plastic bag, and more fridge space. After the campaign reached its Kickstarter goal a few times over, the designers announced a stretch goal to fund the Avocado Hugger, a modified Food Hugger with a moveable center to account for an avocado's pit. [photos via Designboom]

You can still order a set though the ongoing Kickstarter.

Moments of information addiction are inevitable. If you find yourself stuck in a technology loop, endlessly bouncing back and forth between email and Twitter and whatever else you need to check, designer Chelsea Briganti's Blokket bag could help slow you down. The bag's fabric is made of a nylon and silver blend that blocks cell phone reception while keeping your phone out of sight. Although leaving your phone in the bag all day might drain your battery, a few minutes of peace wouldn't hurt. [via BLTD]

Chelsea Briganti is the co-founder of the New York product design studio The Way We See The World. Blokket is in stock at the MoMA store. 

Skilled procrastinators learn to silence even the most complicated bedside alarms while barely waking up. While some alarm clock designers have reacted by making alarms increasingly more difficult to silence, Victor Johansson's Tangible Alarm wants you to wake up when you want to wake up. The alarm is actually an accessory to use with a cell phone's alarm. It's essentially a finished piece of wood with three sectors that contain sensors to detect a phone. Moving a phone to the center segment makes the alarm active, one side is snooze, and the other turns the alarm off for good. [via Design Milk]

Ilaria Innocenti's "Adobe" collection of desk tools is somewhat of a geological history exercise. Using ancient brick building techniques, Innocenti formed the pieces using different proportions of clay, silt, sand, and plant fibers. The slight variation in coloring reflects the different qualities of soil in her native Italy. [via designboom]

You might think that everything that could go on a bike has been created already, but designers consistently come up with new wonders that can ride on two-wheels.

At its Savoir-Faire showcase at Milan's Salone del Mobile, ECAL (Ecole cantonale d'art de Lausanne) showed some such wonders. Its Savoir-Faire bike accessories included rain deflectors, a brake handle bell, a valve cap you can't lose, snow chains for tires, and cable-tie add-ons like a water bottle holder, bag hook, light, bell, and more. Unfortunately, they're not in production yet, but we'll take 'em as inspiration that the bike platform still holds opportunity for outfitting.

See more exciting design projects at ECAL.