|Joey Roth Planter.|
Yesterday I ranted about techno-utopianism. Today we’ll get back down to earth and take a look at three elegant and simple design interventions I found at this past weekend’s Dwell on Design convention.
Joey Roth Planter
|How Roth’s planter works.|
Joey Roth has a very clever take on a very old idea: a pot with a built in olla he calls simply Planter which is avaliable on his website for $45. Ollas are ceramic jars buried in the ground to deliver a slow drip of water to plants. Roth’s design is elegant, simple and effective–take an olla and make it integral with a pot. Particularly on a hot day, conventional ceramic pots dry out quickly and Roth’s planter would be great on a hot balcony or porch. His teapot is also an object of great beauty.
|SR Raised Garden Kit|
Scout Regalia’s design team, architects Benjamin Luddy and Makoto Mizutani, had two nice items at the convention. Their “SR Raised Garden Kit” is a set of metal brackets that turn lumber you provide into an atractive raised bed. At $95 it’s a bit over my price range, but it does look a lot better than Simpson ties.
The Scout Regalia bicycle is smart looking and practical. They describe it as a combo of an “English/Dutch town bike, a cycle truck, and a mountain bike.” Looks like the perfect whip for LA’s potholed streets.
The U-Socket is a standard outlet with usb charging ports. What more is there to say other than they’ll probably become ubiquitous in the next few years. Clever idea.
Design Like You Give a Damn 
Unlike the reams of purely theoretical CAD renderings that a lot of architects churn out, some designers are actually getting off their duff and building things. Design Like You Give a Damn : Building Change from the Ground Up catalogs efforts by a non-profit, Architecture for Humanity, to “bring design, construction and development services where they are most critically needed.” There’s some really nice projects documented in this book which also functions as a how-to for anyone interested in humanitarian design.