Kristy Fair

The Nest Horizon Table

The Nest Horizon Table

Another team of designers, Brooke Lichtenstein and Yiannos Vrousgos of Input Creative, took a totally different approach to creating their technology-infused table for the living room. Their expression, The Nest, reminds you of the Russian nesting dolls and Chinese puzzle boxes that efficiently use space in an elegant envelope. We’re fascinated by the three different interpretations on the assignment…create a table that showcases Horizon’s interpersonal features.    Q. How did you approach this assignment and decide upon this concept? A. When we were first tasked with designing a table that would integrate the Horizon, we looked closely at both the computer’s features and Lenovo’s brand identity. We kept coming back to the idea that the Horizon is an all-in-one PC; meaning that it can be used for gaming, watching movies, Skype, as a tablet and can replace all other PCs in the household. With this is mind, we decided to design an all-in-one table that could stand on its own with integrated seating.  Since Lenovo is a Chinese company, our next step was to research the history of gaming in China. During our research, we came across Chinese wooden block puzzles which look like a solid wooden block, yet when deconstructed, are actually made up of a lot of smaller, lightweight pieces. We implemented this concept into our design and arrived at a compact all-in-one gaming table. Q. Design is often about the little...

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Francois' AT-UM Horizon Table

Francois' AT-UM Horizon Table

Nearly ten years ago, UM Project owner François Chambord found his life’s calling: to design and create modern and innovative furniture. He applied his fervor for user-centric design to AT-UM, his fusion of Horizon with the traditional desk for a new kind of collaboration station – part easel, part studio desk and part table. In this post, François gives us some insight into his creation from when the sample we shipped him arrived at his workshop to its debut at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair.    Q. AT-UM. That’s an interesting name. Tell us about it. A. I have always liked short names, hence the name of my company UM Project and many of my products like the NGL table or the SMPL table. They are strong and memorable; punchy sound bites. I also like when names have a certain amount of geekiness and a technological feel, as well as mystery and poetry. AT-UM could be the name of a computer or strange machine, but also the name of a friendly robot. AT-UM also works as an acronym that means the “Activity Table by UM Project,” which is the perfect description of this piece. The name is also a subtle reference to Star Wars AT-AT, one of the many incredible machines of the saga. Q. Your design allows people to use Horizon in both modes – tabletop and all-in-one. Talk about the design process for accommodating this. A. I was immediately seduced by the versatility of the Horizon, working...

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What’s the power of an hour? In 2012, the promise of a more environmentally-conscious planet inspired individuals in nearly 700 cities in more than 100 countries to take part in an hour of powering down around the world.  In the past six years, the Earth Hour movement has grown from a national event in Australia to an international conversation to raise awareness about Earth’s precious environment and how global citizens can collectively make a difference.  People this year will celebrate Earth Hour on March 23 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. in local time zones.  For all the ins and outs on how to participate, check out Earth Hour’s website. I am going to power down this year. The last time I did happened when my family lost power in one of those rare but crippling winter storms atypical for North Carolina. Armed with a headlamp and a book, a new awareness crept inside my consciousness – if everyone really did sweat the small power savings, collectively it could make a big difference. And that’s the power of Earth Hour. I’m no energy efficiency expert. But I know one who is when it comes to PCs. So I asked Lenovo master inventor Howard Locker how to squeeze out as much energy efficiency from PCs and how much it could save. Together we came up with a shortlist of best practices: Buy the most efficient desktop...

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Change in ThinkPad design typically evolves rather than making radical moves. Talk to stewards of the brand, David Hill or Aaron Stewart, and each of them will tell you that any tweaks to this hallmarks’ design come only after hours of excruciating and detailed thought. You’ll be hard pressed to find anyone who says we change for change’s sake.  So when we do, it’s deliberate and for the better. That said, it’s hard to make everyone happy. Any time we make the slightest change, we get reams of comments – some “thank you” and “I love this,” and some, “What are you doing?” and “Don’t mess with it.” We truly appreciate those strong voices because it shows us your passion for technology and ThinkPad.  To reach the top, products and companies continually reinvent themselves – just look at eBay or Amazon. We’re doing it too by moving from a PC company to a PC+ technology company with new products like smartphones and smartTVs in many countries across the world. To take it back to ThinkPad, we want to retain the right amount of ThinkPad-ness that satisfies our loyal customers who’ve always valued it while modernizing ThinkPad under the influences of consumerization’s focus on simplicity, interoperability and connectedness. We’ve pinpointed that important balance with the new ThinkPad T431s, a laptop that answers the question, with...

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When indie filmmaker Michael Suan set his sights on creating a silent action movie, ThinkPad laptops came into play – not just as high-tech props but as the engine to slice and dice thousands of hours of raw footage and then the tool to stitch the digital frames into the master art form that Suan had continually imaged and reimaged in his mind. In the following Q&A, we delved into the mechanics of his latest creation and how he transformed the abstract into a 114-minute long piece of film noir. Q. Tell me about the film – what’s it about and why the name AKP: Job 27. A. AKP: Job 27 is one of those things that I've talked about doing since film school. Every time I mentioned the idea people would tell me how crazy I was. The notion of shooting a feature-length film without a single line of spoken dialogue in a modern setting seemed far-fetched to say the least. But having seen Luc Besson's "Le Dernier Combat" and Kim Ki Duk's "Bad Guy" I was certain that, given the right story, the film could be done. You see, unlike traditional silent cinema that contains no sound and uses title cards for dialogue, AKP: Job 27 uses a form I call modern silent which contains sound but no dialogue at all. The film plays the same as any other film with sound, but the characters do not speak on screen - ever. This is a style of filmmaking that I've been exploring throughout my career, and only now have I placed it into a feature-length form....

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