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The Week In Design: A Cobbled-Together Incubator and a Knitting Clock

selection of this week's designs
The Web is teeming with the unrealized ideas of both students and established designers who set out to produce astonishing renderings and prototypes for unusual products. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time, money, or technology, many of those products never progress from the planning stages to the mass market. But that doesn't mean we can't salivate over them, nevertheless.

While you've been stuffing your face full of turkey, we've been ignoring our families and Aunt Bea's "special" Jell-O salad in order to slake your thirst for design. You probably can't cook a bird with it, but the incubator made from car parts is one of the more innovative concepts we saw this week. On the other side of the spectrum, we found a pendant lamp/microwave contraption that looks like it would quickly send the entire family to the E.R. with radiation burns. (Not good eats, and not good design!) Read on after the break to see what else we found this week.

NeoNurture by Design That Matters

neonurture incubator
Currently on view at the Cooper-Hewitt museum's National Design Triennial, the NeoNurture incubator by Design That Matters is getting some high-profile attention. Both the New York Times and Time magazine have featured the concept, which is built from used car parts. NeoNurture is designed for impoverished areas in the developing world, where old car parts are more easily found than pricey equipment from medical suppliers. With repurposed headlights and air intake filters, Design That Matters is trying to keep the NeoNurture as open as possible, instead of designing around a specific make or model's parts.

365 by Siren Elise Wilhelmsen

365 clock/calendar
We've seen many alternative/sculptural/literal clocks and calendars before, but we like Siren Elise Wilhelmsen's 365, which is as functional as it is quirky. For each day that passes, the 365 knits a bit of a scarf. Controlled by an Arduino processor, it knits a single mesh every half hour. After a year, you'll have a 6.5-foot scarf, a wearable testament to the 365 days it took to create. Sure, the clock doesn't tell time as clearly as your iPhone, but you iPhone doesn't know how to knit scarves, either. At least, not yet.

Document Extractor by Byeong Min Choe

document extractor
Byeong Min Choe's Document Extractor not only claims to be a combined printer/scanner and monitor (which it is), but also a "solution for saving our precious working times and natural resources." We're not exactly sure how any printer conserves resources, since they will all use paper and toner (no matter how green they may be). The interface is rather cool, though; Document Extractor posits a touch-screen UI, with which you can simply zoom, crop and select your image/document/whatever for printing. A sheaf of paper sticks out of the back of the monitor, which appears to handle various size standards. We're also not sure where the necessary full-color toners and scanning hardware would fit into the already anorexic profile, but we guess that's up to the engineers of 2070 to decide.

Electronic Sunglasses by Chris Mullin

electronic sunglasses
Inventor Chris Mullin seems very eager to protect your eyes from the painful glare of the sun. His Electronic Sunglasses digitally pinpoint and reduce the bright light in your field of vision with the help of the LCD displays embedded in the frames and the light sensor on the bridge. (See a video demonstration here.) Mullin admits that the prototype isn't much to look at, but he will hopefully condense and streamline the style if he meets his Kickstarter funding goal. We'll hold off judgment until we see the final design -- but, Mr. Mullin, please stay away from Oakley-style wraparounds. Please.

Delicious Wave by Kyu Hyun Lee and Hae Won Jo

delicious wave
Have you ever wondered why you've never seen a hand-held Microwave Wand at your local Bed Bath & Beyond? It's probably because microwave cooking technology hasn't changed all that much in 65 years, and it still requires a magnetron and a metal box to direct the flow of food-cooking electrons. So the Delicious Wave (which we propose is rechristened the Delicious Radiation Burn, or the Delicious E. Coli Poisoning) has some fundamental design issues. Looking like a cheesy '90s pendant lamp, the Wave descends from the ceiling to cover your grub where it sits on your countertop, and cook it with microwaves. This is dangerous and terrible! But, it gets worse. The idea is that you prepare your meal the night before, cover it with the Wave, and then set it to automatically cook in the morning. You lazy bastard, you just left your food sitting in The Zone all night! Now, you can roll out of bed like a sloth at noon, sicken your entire family, and burn the hell out of your grandma's dining room set.

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