WOW DESIGN: 5

“There are three responses to a piece of design – yes, no, and WOW! Wow is the one to aim for.”  Milton Glaser

Asus is among the many Windows hardware OEM’s that are beginning to invest more in quality design. The Zenbook 3, recently unveiled at Computex 2016, is an engineering and design marvel. It looks strikingly similar to Apple’s new MacBook, but I admire the designers at ASUS for taking a different approach with the color and material design. I love the deep navy blue with the gold trim. Its both elegant and minimal. I am a sucker for two tone shades that seem to change color depending on the lighting and angle. Its also incredibly sleek and the bezels are quite small which is always appreciated. Asus did something great aesthetically with the Zenbook 3, but what really knocks it out of the park is the fact that its lighter, thinner, faster, and more powerful than Apple’s MacBook, with more key travel! I’m not a huge fan of thinner is by default better, but if you pack it along with extra power and speed, I will praise you for it. Wow.

insulated_water_bottle

S’well, a Harlem based water bottle company. But they don’t make any water bottle, they make pretty water bottles. These are extremely environmentally friendly and have been tested and proven to insulate significantly better than most of their competitors. I am always on the lookout for products that are simple, effective, and beautiful, and swell almost perfectly fits that criteria. The bottles have a very clean form, with no dramatic curves on the body. The tops are a clean layer of metal that unscrew from the body, nothing fancy. The bottoms have a slight curvature reminiscent of a coke bottle, but not over exaggerated. But my favorite characteristic is the variety in skins. S’well has done a tremendous job at differentiating its water bottles from the industry by hiring artists to come up with new designs every month which are sold in limited availability. The genius of this is that the bottle you pick up will be so incredibly unique and rare, which makes it feel more personal. I love these bottles, and I cant wait to pick one up in the near future. Just wow 🙂

incase-icon-pack-slim-front-grey

Incase is another company that has a simple product line with great functionality and fantastic design. They make bags and cases. They are mostly known for their Apple product sleeves and cases, but I wanted to highlight the Icon Backpack. Its a very simple exterior with only two visible pockets and at most 4 zippers in sight. I really love that they’ve made every component of bag the same color, with the exception of the logo. There is also a really particular symmetry that I appreciate for the sake of atheistic simplicity. But don’t be fooled, this thing packs a punch when it comes to functionality. There are two dedicated laptop and tablet cushioned side pockets, which leaves a ton of space in the main and secondary cavities for books, folders, clothing, shoes, or anything else you can think of. There are two side pockets for extra gear with a hole incase you’d like to throw an external battery in there (no pun indented). This backpack is a dream come true for a tech enthusiast who appreciates minimalism and pristine organization. Wow.

The ZEISS Otus family continues to grow

The Zeiss Otus even if this is not the best lens to use at this time of the day you  cannot wage weather or not this is the right thing to dolenses are easily the sharpest group of manual focus lenses on the market to date. They retail for more than most DSLR’s, but they are absolutely beautifully designed. Most lenses tend to look quite similar in the design: jagged edges, all black with some white, and a crazy amount of ring layering. Zeiss, to their credit, took a much different approach with the Otus by smoothing out the edges and forming a very calmly curved body. The curvature continues seamlessly into the lens hood, and to top it off they splashed it with yellow instead of the typical white for the specs printed on the sides. Its a really beautiful lens. It may not seem too special to the average person, but for photography geeks this thing is real eye opener 🙂 Wow!

Tesla Motors is electrifying the tech and car enthusiast communities with their luxuriously designed fully electric cars that manage to far outlast its competitors in battery life and kinematic performance. But the one thing holding the company back from really expanding and snatching up market share has been the luxury price attached to the cars, until now. The long anticipated Model 3 was recently announced, and besides its 260+ miles per charge and its sleek compact design, its starting price retails at 35k, which is fantastic given the spec. I am a huge fan of consumer friendly design. I think there’s a common misconception that great design by default should carry a luxury price with it. Not only is that a lie, but its incredibly disingenuous to the customer, who deserves amazing design no matter the circumstances. Tesla has proved that they can deliver with shorter resources. The Model mimics the Model S in its low profile elongated side windows. Bu its compact form gives the Model 3 a more subtle feeling, less intimidating. I appreciate the attention to curves and the mineralization of gaps along the sides. The rear is stout and if you look closely it seems as if the trunk was cut off using a butter knife. Every curve is rounded, and I think that was a fantastic choice to welcome in the more consumer friendly crowd. Luxury and consumer simultaneous. Wow.

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