[easyazon-image align=”left” asin=”B002OLZJG8″ locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51aqUBZk7SL._SL110_.jpg” width=”87″]Futuristic design is not so much about creating original systems and tools but more to do with refining objects we already use. It’s easier to understand how practical a future design is if it is founded in our current landscape of industrial design. A pen that records notes to your Evernote account makes sense versus a new transcription device that records the rhythm of your writing and understands words from the different tones your writing makes, or something crazy like that. And it is often the case that common designs are ubiquitous because they’re cheap, not because they’re well designed.
For anyone who’s thought that the umbrella could use an update will be pleased with Quentin Debaene’s design for the Airblow 2050. A fabric-less umbrella, the Airblow 2050 uses a digital fan that blows up and out through the top notch creating a canopy of air off of which the water bounces. Instead of having to constantly adjust a fabric umbrella’s shade to prevent the wind from pulling it out, the Airblow is in a way, one with the wind.
Winner of the James Dyson Award, the Airblow uses a Dyson digital motor that inhales ambient air and then expels it in a uniform canopy shape over the user’s head. There is no risk of colliding with other people on the sidewalk, and no frustrating collapse-and-expand management of the fabric shade.
As technology improves the efficiency of objects, their form will reflect the technology used. Because the Airblow has no mechanical need for a traditional, tangible canopy, it is designed accordingly, with no extra embellishments or ornamentation. It’s a possibility that we will see a reduction of design embellishment with a preference for a simpler, more utilitarian form that reflects exactly what the tool does.
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Photo Credit: Quentin Debaene
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