Tag Archive | Portable

Eye On Design: A to Z 1993 Living Unit By Andrea Zittel

A to Z Living Unit
All Photos By Gail

The A to Z Living Unit (1993) designed by Andrea Zittel (B. 1965) is fabricated from Steel and Wood, and is shown here with the following accessories:

Two mirrors, four hangers, sweater, towel, soap container, calendar, filing cabinet, pencils, two notepads, folding seat, folding bed, four glass jars, two ceramic cups, two glasses, two ceramic bowls, digital clock, electric lightning system, hot plate, pot, and toaster oven.

A to Z Living Unit

The Living Unit is a modular, portable living environment that includes a place to sleep, a modest kitchen, and storage — the essentials of daily life.  Inspired by the limitations of her own 200-square-foot Brooklyn studio, Zittel began work on a series of functional living units that could be customized to meet individual needs and shape behavior according to different ideals.

A to Z Living Unit

Interested in what she describes as the “fine line between freedom and control, and how people often feel liberated by parameters,” Zittel’s living units can be viewed as simultaneously constraining in their austerity, and freeing in their utopian rejection of materialism.

A to Z Living Unit

Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.

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Eye On Design: RCA Victor Special Model K Portable Electric Phonograph

Portable Electric Phonograph
All Photos By Gail

Designed by John Vassos for RCA (Radio Corporation of America) circa 1935 the Model K was relatively lightweight, being made out of aluminum, and the suitcase-style design featured its own speaker, a classy and reflective protective plate, and pockets inside the lid  to carry records.

Portable Electric Phonograph

Note the little design touches such as the tabs for the record slots, and the rounded cutouts (behind the metal plate) so you could easily get to the records themselves. The semi-domed, built-in speaker at the front of the case is a nice design touch.

Portable Electric Phonograph

Today, aluminum is taken for granted as a lightweight, inexpensive material that has many applications However, is was only in 1886 that an American, Charles Martin Halm discovered the process that made commercial production possible. Over the next forty years, aluminum evolved from a laboratory curiosity to an industrial staple

Photographed in the Brooklyn Museum.

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Drinkman: The Walkman Shaped Hip-Flask

Drinkman Walkman Hip Flask
Drink in The Nostalgia

Hey Oldsters, who out there remembers way back when recorded music was first made “portable” through SONY’s invention of the Walkman cassette player? Let me repeat that: Walkman. Cassette. Player. Who knows what any of those words even mean, right? It was so long ago, and you probably weren’t even born yet.

But despite its relegation to the status of antique music listening device, the Walkman’s impressive girth has advantages over micro-thin iPod thingies in that, if you were to transform its shape into a container for alcohol, it would hold enough to get you sloshed.

Drinkman Hip Flask

Enter, Drinkman, the Walkman Shaped Hip-Flask, here to solve all kinds of needs. Created by UK design firm Mustard, (purveyors of fine pop culture-inspired gift items), Drinkman is the ideal hip-flask for those who love a bit of old school cool. Perfect for festivals and nights out, the reusable device holds 5 ounces (150ml) of your favorite boozy concoction.

Drinkman sells for just $12.95 and is available at This Link.