Spherical Solutions Looking for Problems

Oh this is an absolute classic…


Because we all know that the first thing… THE very first thing, that anyone is going to do when they invent an antigravity device, is they’ll solve that problem that has weighed so heavy upon the human soul for so very, very long… they’ll solve the problem of getting up and going to the fucking kitchen to get a glass of water.

Although to be fair… if you’re the sort of person who’s so lazy they’ll actually go out and buy a flying tennis ball (or better still, get a flying basket ball to go out and buy one for you) so you don’t have to get up off the sofa to get a drink of water… well you’re probably not that into “water” are you? No, you prefer to drink coca-cola with an extra couple of table-spoons of sugar in it, or pure lard, straight from the mini-vat etc.

Still. Never mind. It’s the Electrolux Designlab Competition for inventing inventions that will never in a million years actually get invented. Oooh shiney etc. Products.

That said, I quite like this:

It’s a little robot made out of an upturned coke bottle, that carries a plant around until it finds a suitable spot, and then (presumably) it plants it. I’m rather enamoured of the concept that in the future, every tree will have its own gardener… and this goes some way towards that… or at least it would, if it weren’t just a cartoony drawing. Maybe I should make one myself. I’ve got an upturned coke bottle somewhere. The walky bit with the massive eye could be tricky, but what the hey. You’ve got to start somewhere.

So um… don’t get me wrong. I’m all for designers dreaming dreams etc… what really gets up my goat though is the way this stuff is replicated across the web as though it’s actually real. It’s link-bait… let me see…

… let me see… let me see if my favourite eco-bullshit-artist site has anything on it… www.ecofriend.org, the spiritual home of “made up stuff that might be a bit green”…

… oh yes, there it is… momentarily dipping its toe into the waters of uncertainty with “[designer] has tried to make”… (italics mine) but from then on in, it’s all present-tense as though this thing actually exists, and as though the energy required to make a ball fly around collecting raindrops is somehow less eco-angry than simply leaving a fucking cup out in the rain.

Rant over etc.

Still spherical robots. Marvelous.

Looks like someone’s actually attempting to make one of those scary spherical police-state-bots off The Prisoner.

A Spy Zorb.

Speaking of spheres, here’s a nice take…

A quater-sphere projector screen for playing games in.

There’s a nice poetic juxtoposition between inventing a zorb who’s job it is to wander about… “watching” people in actual reality, and inventing another one who’s purpose is for people to sit inside their own little reality, and never see beyond the skin at all.

edit : further to the rant at the top, check out this video from Microsoft