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YouGoods

Design

Meet Us at World Maker Faire

September 21, 2010

If you’ve ever wondered where you can shop UncommonGoods in person, wonder no more. This weekend, we’re putting together an uncommon living room at World Maker Faire, a gathering of makers, crafters and DIY folk at the NY Hall of Science.

We’ll be showcasing all our past YouGoods winners along with a great assortment of our newest and best in handmade, eco-friendly, DIY-friendly, and modern design.

So come sit down in a seatbelt chair. Scribble a note on a chalkboard pillow. Make faces at our Tengu USB-Powered character. Bring your kids– we’ll have plenty of toys.

Seatbelt chair

And tell our CEO David Bolotsky about your product ideas. We’re looking for innovative and new product designs, and we want to hear from you, Makers! Stop by to share your ideas, and we just might help you bring your product to market.

UncommonGoods at World Maker Faire
NY Hall of Science, Queens, NY
Saturday, September 25: 10 – 7
Sunday, September 26: 10 – 6
*Product Pitch Hour: Sunday, 2-3 pm*

And once you’ve shared your ideas at World Maker Faire, come down to Times Square on Sunday at 6:00 P.M.  for Love In Times Square, with our friends at IndieFlix. They’re showing a sneak peak of the new movie game– Film Festival in a Box– and they’re inviting you to play. Four award-winning short films will be screening on the Jumbotron at 47th St. Don’t miss it!

Design

YouGoods: Put a new twist on old greeting cards

August 30, 2010

“Pass me the White-Out!”

Christy Eichers had just realized she had no card for the birthday girl, so she quickly fixed up an old card of her father’s.

The result was fairly tacky, but she was certain there was a business idea there somewhere.

And regreet was born:

With regreet, you can upcycle your old cards in style, and take away the stigma of passing along a card that’s been doctored with whiteout or eraser marks. Christy’s even thought of a way for you to track your card’s journey, and see just how many times it gets regreeted.

According to Christy and the Encyclopedia of American Industries, the greeting card industry is a $7.5 billion business with 90% of households purchasing cards each year. The typical household purchases 30 cards annually.

So regreet kits, made from earth-friendly materials with a minimum of 30% post-consumer waste and printed with soy inks, can have a huge impact on reducing the amount of paper we waste each year.

Christy is winning a $1,500 cash prize, along with the chance to show off her designs at World Maker Faire NYC and sell the regreet kit at www.uncommongoods.com.

Leave a comment below to congratulate her on her idea– eco-friendly, clever, and well designed.  A perfect YouGoods design for National Inventors Month!

Design

And the Finalists Are…

August 26, 2010

Last night, a group of us met with the YouGoods guest judges at the Tribeca Grand in downtown Manhattan to pick our finalists among all the great entries we received.

And the finalists are:

The Grocery’minder by Francene Pisano Dudziec. With a wet-erase front, this bag is perfect for making your grocery list, checking it twice, and heading off to the market. . Judges thought the concept solved a basic problem; sure, everyone tries to be a good person and bring their reusable bag to the grocery store. But it’s hard to remember every time. With your grocery list stuck right on the front of your bag, the grocery’minder tote makes it hard to forget.

But the judges did have some questions.
1. Would you be more likely to use the grocery list if the bag were easily attachable to your refrigerator?
2. Are there enough blank spaces for you to fill in your personal shopping list?

If you’re a fan, you can vote for the grocery’minder tote through Sunday, August 29 at 11:59 PM ET.

The Double Wall Tea Cup by Endrit Hajno. The judges admired the basic concept of this tea cup made of glazed porcelain or ceramic. Each cup has an insulated double wall for keeping your drink warm, but not burning your hands. The bottom strip of color is notched, allowing you to tuck the string of your tea bag out of sight. While the judges expressed some reservations about how difficult it could be to make this cup and the choice of materials, they all agreed that with a little tweaking this tea cup had a lot of potential!

If you enjoy the idea of a Double Wall Tea Cup, vote for it through Sunday, August 29 at 11:59 PM.


And last but not least, regreet by Christy Eichers. regreet offers you a way to reuse old greeting cards without the stigma of seeming cheap. Judges thought of this entry as a great social concept. These greeting cards make “regifting” cool and give senders a way to reuse last year’s greeting cards. The designer even included a way for you to track your regreet-ed card’s journey using Google maps.

Judges were curious to know what the environmental impact is of using additional paper to regreet an old card.  And judges also wondered if after seeing the idea of regreet, you wouldn’t just use your own scrap paper to reuse your stack of birthday and holiday cards. But everyone acknowledged it was a great way to inspire us all to be more sustainable during the holiday season.

If you love the regreet gift card set, vote for it now through August 29 at 11:59 PM.

If you like them all, don’t worry. You can vote for each entry once, through August 29.  And feel free to leave a comment if you have a question or idea about the designs. We’ll announce the winner on Monday!

Special thanks to our guest judges: Becky Stern, editor at CRAFT and Make: Online, Debera Johnson, Academic Director of Sustainability at the Pratt Institute, Allan Chochinov, Editor-in-Chief at Core77, Coroflot.com and DesignDirectory.com, and Graham Hill, founder of Treehugger.com.

Design

Announcing the YouGoods Guest Judges

August 11, 2010

Update 8/12, 1:18 PM: Meet Allan Cochinov, Editor-in-Chief of Core 77.com and our fourth YouGoods judge.

Update 8/11, 5:52 PM: Meet Becky Stern, an editor at CRAFT and MAKE: Online, and our third YouGoods guest judge!


We only announced the YouGoods “Inventors Month” Design Challenge last week, but already, we’ve seen some really clever and sustainable product ideas.  And there’s still a few more days to enter. In fact, we’re extending the entry deadline to August 23!

So be sure to submit your great ideas to the YouGoods Design Challenge today.

In other exciting YouGoods news… I’m thrilled to introduce two four of our guest judges.

Allan Cochinov is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts. He is the editor-in-chief of Core77.com, the widely read design website, Coroflot.com design job and portfolio site, and DesignDirectory.com design firm database. He has been named on numerous design and utility patents, and has received awards from Communication Arts, The Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, and The One Club. He teaches in the graduate departments of Pratt Institute and the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and serves on the boards of the Designers Accord and Design Ignites Change.

Continue Reading…

Design

YouGoods Inventors Month Design Challenge

August 3, 2010

Inventors month

Do you have what it takes to become the next Thomas Edison or Benjamin Franklin? Are you sitting on a genius design or invention that is sure to be the next big thing? Then we want to hear from you!

In honor of National Inventors Month (the month of August), UncommonGoods is issuing a wide-open design challenge to find our next Uncommon Inventor or Designer. The fourth of our YouGoods product design challenges, this contest is looking for a product with a spark of inventive genius, a flash of innovation and something that makes us say, “Why didn’t we think of that?” Oh, and did we mention there’s a $,1500 prize and a chance to showcase your design at Makerfaire NYC?

Click here for more details and how to enter.

Check out some of our past YouGoods winners for inspiration.

The Uncommon Life

Happy Inventors Month!

August 2, 2010


August is National Inventor’s Month!

Here at UncommonGoods, we have always valued the “Aha!” moments, the midnight brainstorms and the people who see everyday problems as opportunities to make daily life a little bit better. And so to celebrate all those inventors, designers and dreamers, we are planning a month-long celebration on our blog with posts about Uncommon Designers and Inventors, cool green inventions, giveaways and updates on our latest YouGoods contest.

Happy Inventors Month, everyone!

Design

YouGoods: MultiBlocks Mania

April 26, 2010

UncommonGoods is proud to announce the winner of our first YouGoods product design contest – Brad Singley and his amazing MultiBlocks!

With inspiration from his father, a civil engineer who built toys for his children, Brad Singley decided to pass on the love for analytical and creative thinking by building simple, fun wooden blocks.

blocks

“I can still remember the frustration of playing with building blocks as a young child,” Brad says. “I wanted to build BIG, but it was impossible to make a skyscraper out of triangles, semicircles, cylinders, and small cubes. When I was five years old, my dad made me a set of building blocks out of some lumber scraps from our garage. He cut them into four sizes. The smallest blocks were 1.5” cubes, and the others came in lengths of 3”, 6”, and 12”. Finally I had some dimensional lumber! I played with those blocks more than any other toy from my childhood.

“In college, while sitting in structural engineering classes, it occurred to me how many engineering concepts I had learned as a child from playing with my blocks. Cantilever beams, moment arms, centers of rotation, friction forces, etc., were all fancy names for what I had learned from playing with my blocks.

“I decided to make a set of blocks for my daughter, and she has been playing with them since before she could talk. At age four, she recognized that if she lined up 8 of the smallest blocks, they were the same length as 1 of the longest blocks. We started referring to the different sizes as ‘ones, twos, fours, and eights.’ I thought it would be helpful to route these numbers into the side of the blocks with notches at each unit increment.”

Brad Singley Multiblocks

Brad lives in Seattle with his wife and three children. He loves design, Ben and Jerry’s and Ray and Charles Eames (I tried to get some juicy information out of him and that’s all he would reveal when I asked about celeb crushes). Last week he and his wife Meg flew to NYC to tour the city, eat some delicious…albeit gluten-free food, see some beautiful sites and finalize his deal with UncommonGoods. It was exciting to meet the designer, hear the back story of the blocks and see the contest come full-circle. We are thrilled to announce that MultiBlocks will be hitting the site soon! Click here to see the MultiBlocks (previously known as Brainy Blocks) in action – Brad has built some pretty cool stuff with them!

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