Parents and gadget-lovers alike need not fret about making a list and checking it twice this holiday season, for when it comes to function, design, durability, safety, and play value, the toy experts know best. With a diverse, award-winning line, WowWee, an Optimal Group company, products have been recently recognized as safe, creative, and fun finds.

These innovations include gadgets that walk, talk, crawl, fly, purr and enable remote telepresence and communications -- something for every member of the family.

FlyTech Bladestar(TM), a revolutionary indoor flying machine, is the first flying toy with sensor- based navigation, using two wings that spin with helicopter-like movement to propel itself through the air. Built-in infrared sensors allow the flyer to detect and avoid ceilings, walls, and other obstacles autonomously. Innovative design coupled with infrared technology also allow for dueling capabilities, enabling two FlyTech Bladestar flyers to faceoff in aerial combat.

The FlyTech Bladestar flyer was one of only 20 products awarded with an "Editor's Choice Award" by Popular Mechanics magazine at CES 2008 as a technologically advanced innovation.
Creative Child Magazine also named the FlyTech Bladestar flyer a winner of the 2008 Preferred Choice Award in the R/C Indoor Flying category. The flyer was also recently named one of Dr. Toy's Best Products Picks for 2008 and a Parents' Choice Approved toy by the Parents' Choice Foundation.

For more information, click here.
Here is an excerpt from Debbie Millman's interview at I encourage you to get to know Debbie, her insights and her amazing design innovation and brand sensibility.

As a branding consultant, Debbie Millman has worked for a long list of high-profile clients, including Unilever, Gillette, the NBA, and Kraft. As the host of the weekly Internet radio show/podcast Design Matters, she has interviewed an even more impressive list of designers and design thinkers, from Stefan Sagmeister and Steve Heller to Malcolm Gladwell and Seth Godin (and me). Her book How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer features conversations with 21 leading lights. Debbie is not only a good listener but as interesting as the people she talks to. She was kind enough to let us turn the tables and have her answer the questions.
Click here for the interview with Debbie.

It's that time of year when images of turkey and its Thanksgiving accouterments come and dance delightfully in our heads. Today, I wanted to focus on specific designs present and past to see how far we've come in our "Design of Thanksgiving." I encourage all of you to join in, submit your favorites--or even design your own!

The New York art and design world will big a fond farewell to Paul W. Thompson this Friday has he leaves for a new post in London. Mr. Thompson has been a force within the art and design spheres and he will be sorely missed. Farewell and good luck!

Paul W. Thompson, the director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, is stepping down to become the new rector, or president, of the Royal College of Art in London.
“It’s such a wonderful job in the art and design world, I really couldn’t say no,” Mr. Thompson said in an interview on Thursday.
The Cooper-Hewitt, which is part of the
Smithsonian Institution, is expected to announce Mr. Thompson’s departure on Friday.

Looking for a perfect way to market your designs whilst supporting charities? Check out Designgive for innovative, yet heartfelt ways to get your designs to the public.

Designgive is a web site for designers, by designers. We are here to give artists like us opportunities to create, to promote themselves and to better society by contributing designs for apparel that can be purchased on our site. A portion of the proceeds from each item sold will go to a charity of the buyer's choosing. A cause for design, plain and simple. As artists we were given a talent to create, it's up to you to use those talents to try and make a difference in the world.

Here is a full listing of their charities:

Looking for socially responsible gifts with great design? Check out a new find, Olio United. Based in Oregon, they offer handmade gifts made with love. If I weren't on the opposite coast, I'd head over there after work! Luckily for me, they've got an amazing website that I encourage you to check out.
From their website:
The Heart of our business
1. We partner with socially responsible designers and artists and share their story with you.
2. We work everyday to discover the most inspiring and innovative products to carry in our shop.
3. We want to connect our local community with our global community of artists.
How awesome!


Morrison said that the idea for “Citizen Death” now is to invent a new genre, which he calls “pop art noir”: “very colorful, but with lots of sex and violence.”

Pop art noir--how very interesting! Lichtenstein meets Hammett?

What do you think? What other mashups to you see happening?

I'm constantly looking for little hiding places for the stuff that I accumulate over my daily commute. From my iPhone, keys, chapstick, pens, digital recorder, notepad, watch, extra earrings, Tide to Go, Kleenex tissues, etc--its gets to be a hassle finding the items when I need them in the crowded subway. That's why I was fascinated with this new bag over at the MoMA store. Of course, its a bit touristy--but its practical and quirky.
Any other suggestions for cool bags with a myriad of pockets?

Mrs. Obama, the forceful, graceful partner to our 44th has been effortlessly in the news lately with her mainstream yet chic fashion sense. From practically saving J.Crew to sporting off the rack dresses at big appearances; Michelle Obama has brought the American every woman who works to the forefront of fashion and to the globe.

The only balks seemed to be at her appearance election night in a couture dress by Narciso Rodriguez--and that may have been just for the cost. Mrs. Obama is now an icon for women who are successful, a little bit mainstream and no-nonsense; yet the fashion/design industry are claiming her to be something new and fresh. For us, she represents what America is now. America is cost effective, still stylish, still hard hitting--but no longer stretching budgets to afford luxury goods.

I ran across this interesting article from The Big Money that discusses how marketable she now is because of her fashion. But I think they go too far in claiming her as a thing instead of a person. She makes fashion marketable--affordable fashion marketable; and that's what the fashion industry thinks it needs now.

The problem with seeing her as simply a symbol or as a icon is that Mrs. Obama, the first African American First Lady is so much more than a mannequin for fashion.

What do you see are the effects of Mrs. Obama's choice of fashion? Do you see a trickle down effect with new design?
From MarketWatch today: Fashion Accessories First, Inc. (FAF), one of the leading suppliers of fashion jewelry and accessories to retailers worldwide, today announced that it has acquired Manhattan-based Catherine Stein Design, which designs and markets fashion jewelry.

According to the press release, the companies state that this move will enable FAF to expand into a wider range of markets. Perfect timing for Holiday shopping.

Read more here.

Want a piece of great Modern furniture but the current economic climate has put a dent in your expendable cash? Check out this amazing first time buyers auction at Sollo Rago Modern Auctions!

Sollo Rago Modern Auctions presents REAL MODERN, its first auction for the young buyer who wants to furnish an apartment with style without breaking the bank. The sale, on February 14 and 15, 2009, will consist of a large selection of affordable furniture and decorative arts for home and office by leading designers of the 20th century.

Online catalogue at in late January 2009. For more information visit or call 866-724-6278.

Be sure to peruse the auction prior to the startdates for ideas on what you'd like to purchase and to set a budget. We'd love to go!

This post on designer-daily blog asks the age-old question of should we listen to music while working? Thinking of design terms, I believe that it sparks creative juices and allows work to come out freely. Others believe that music can lower productivity because serious projects require a high-level of concentration. What’s your take on it?

Sean "Puffy" Combs got a little huffy in his attempt for birthday party decorated all in white. Mr. Combs reportedly paid upwards of $12,000 to turn a Chelsea club into a white retreat for him and his guests. Unfortunately for Mr. Combs, he chose poorly with regards to the designer. After creating a white room filled with luxurious fabrics and flowers per Mr. Comb's request, the designer surely felt that he was truly headed for big time design stardom. After Mr. Comb's viewed the white splashed room, he reportedly began to tear the decorations down in a rage and demanded all the money be returned to him. The designer nor Mr. Combs have not released statements. For designers, this is all too common. We'd love to hear your horror stories.

I’m a little obsessed today with these cutsey yet practical teapots by everyone’s favorite designer, Jonathan Adler. Perfect for wedding/anniversary presents or even for yourself (that’s if you’ve got expendable cash these days). Check them out at FredFlare.

Disney has launched a new lifestyle brand that is high on luxury and low on Mickey Mouse. The NYT had a great article on this today--with slideshow! It looks like cartoon branding is now no longer for kids and old cat ladies, Disney has gone couture!

We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Our faves above
I came across this great concept for a rollator called Freeroll by Heikki Juvonen on this latest post at The Design Blog. The interesting thing here is that unlike a standard rollator or wheel chair, it allows for free and effortless movement. The Freeroll comes with canvas seats instead of hard plastic ones, thus making it incredibility lightweight and user friendly. The Freeroll, designed for the elderly people, positions the user as part of the rollator instead of being an extension of it. The neat thing here is that the rollator is so compact that it can fit virtually in any room or space!
Many of you may be interested in one of our sister blogs, The Front End of Innovation. Today, they've begun a new poll concerning the future of innovation. Because of your interest in design, we'd love to have your input.

Check out the innovative designs at this year's past Woonbeurs Amsterdam expo. I especially love the lighting fixtures and simple/stylish nuevo-mod furniture.
These chairs are some of my favorites, too. I'd love to find out their materials. It looks almost plastic--lawn chairs, anyone?
Any great expos coming up? Let us know!

Take some time to take a look at the some of the new videos and content we’ve posted on the Fuse homepage. You’ll find some interesting testimonials from attendees, sponsors, and speakers from last year’s event as well as a clip of some the highlights you might have missed. Don’t forget to connect with us either on LinkedIn or Facebook as we will continue to keep you informed on the latest updates on design and brand strategy as well as our design related events.

This year’s Fuse event is going to be held on April 22-24, 2009 in sunny San Francisco California. Hope to see you all there!
I picked up a political button the other day from a corner store near work. It was handmade and obviously made to quickly capitalize over the Election 2008 frenzy. There is something funky about the handmade quality of this button in this overly designed election. So I thought that I'd share some of my favorite historical buttons with you today. Look at them from a design standpoint, seeing them for what they represent about the past culture. I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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