Author Archives: Ulla

Design in the Wild Photo Contest Deadline Extended until July 1st

Photo contest entries

We have some good news for all the new-comers and late-bloomers: we have extended the deadline of Design in the Wild Photo Contest 2009 until July 1st!

“Design in the Wild, eh? What’s in it for me?”

PRIZES! The Grand Prize is an original Eero Aarnio Pastil Chair (retail value $1500).  And, each Sponsor can grant one honorary mention to any photo submitted to the contest within the limits of the rules, and reward the photographer with a surprise prize! FYI, those gracious sponsors are: Arabia, Eero Aarnio, Iittala, Martela, Tapiovaara Design, and Woodnotes.

“Okay okay. That’s a pretty serious bounty. What do I have to do?”

The Jury is looking for inspiring images of design in real life settings. The photos should illustrate design at home, in the office, in public, or in nature. They can include people although that is not required. We’ve attached some of examples of what’s been submitted so far.  The picture may be taken by the contestant at any point in time anywhere in the world – or even the International Space Station. The jury will select the grand prize winner from among the ten most voted photos.

“Easy peasy – nobody stands a chance against my genius photography. How do I enter?”

Click this invitation link to create your Thinglink account, if you don’t already have one. Once you’ve logged in, click “Upload photos” and upload your favorite shots. When they are finished, you will be able to find a “Submit this photo” link on each photo’s detail page. Last, but not least, invite your friends to vote for your photo! I mean, that’s what friends are for, right?

For more details, don’t hesitate to contact us Thinglink at

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Video preview of the beta

Here’s a short video preview of the Thinglink beta. It gives an idea of what it’s like to browse conversations, products, designer profiles, and photos on the site.

We’re updating the site almost daily, so expect the features and look & feel to keep evolving.

Thanks to everyone who’s sent back feedback on the beta so far. If you’d like to participate, request an invitation here.

(Thanks to The Good News for permission to use their track ‘Backstage Underage’!)

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Design in the Wild photo contest launched in Milan

designinthewild1Greetings from Milan, where thousands of designers, design enthusiasts, journalists and bloggers gather this week for Milan Furniture Fair, the main design event of the year.

I’m doing two things here: officially launching our private beta with 10 design brands; and announcing Design in the Wild, a photo contest for all Thinglink beta users.

Upload your most fabulous photos to Thinglink and submit them to the contest by June 1st. The judges are looking for fun, surprising & striking images of design objects in real life settings.

The grand prize of the contest is a true design classic: an authentic Pastil chair conceived in 1968 by Finnish designer Eero Aarnio. I ran into Eero at the fair today, and he told me he’s uploading selected photos from his archives dating back to the 60s to Thinglink — something to look for if you’re browsing the site.

We’re pushing new updates to the site daily while whittling away at a backlog of 1000+ invite requests. Check out the feedback on Twitter and if you haven’t signed up for the beta yet, request an invitation here.

The fair’s bursting with new launches. To pick two, FastCompany’s Cliff Kuang has a piece on Shigeru Ban’s new collaboration with Artek; and David Nicholls writes about Tom Dixon’s new line in the Telegraph. Find & follow both designers on Thinglink.

If you’re at the fair and want to get in touch, come see the Thinglink demo stand at Martela Black Swan exhibition, Via Tortona 31. I’ll be there to demo the site and meet with journalists and bloggers on April 24th from 10 am to 1 pm 11am.

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Introducing, a new social media for design lovers

Pastilli ChairExciting news! Thinglink has entered a new private beta today.

The invitation-only beta will officially launch on April 22nd at the Milan Furniture Fair with 10 design brands including Arabia Finland, Design Eero Aarnio, Fokus Fabrik, Helsinki Design Week, Iittala, Harri Koskinen, Martela, Selki Station, Ilmari Tapiovaara Design and Woodnotes.

We’ve been quietly working on an update to the Web site for a few months now. As part of this update, the address of the site has changed from to

The upgrade that will launch in Milan adds a new dimension to Thinglink product codes. is a global catalog for design that enables designers, brands, and design enthusiasts to connect and converse on the web.

Designers and brands who upload their catalogs to can build a community of fans around their products. Design enthusiasts who join the conversation on can post messages about their latest discoveries, ask and answer questions about new and vintage products, and share photos of their favorite design objects in real life settings.

The Thinglink catalog includes products from classic and contemporary designers and manufacturers. It contains many kinds of products, ranging from serially produced ones to limited edition items and unique one-of-a-kind objects.

Users can register the products they own and create unique identifiers for their privately owned items. Each product can become the center of a conversation and be photographed and discussed by its fans and owners.

If you’d like to participate in the beta and influence Thinglink’s future direction, please submit a request to join the beta. If you are a returning user, you can log in with your existing username and password.

Go get yourself an invitation and get started!

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We’re changing servers

Thinglink is temporarily down because we’re changing our server from Europe to the U.S. this weekend. Looking forward to be up (and faster) soon!

Update: …and we’re back! North American Thinglinkers will be happy to note a decrease in latency.

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Greetings from DOTT07!

We put up a Green Touch installation at DOTT07 in Newcastle together with the Norwegian Touch project. The local newspaper Evening Chronicle wrote about a magic phone that reveals stories behind objects on a touch!


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Photo editing tutorial for crafters

Lisa Lam has written a useful tutorial on how to take professional-looking photos of your craft products.

“I personally think that craft product shots look more professional when all of the shots have something in common with each other e.g. same model/s wearing the products, same backgound/s same size shots, same shape shots, same style, same frames etc. etc. etc. Of course how you choose to present your shots is a personal thing and will also be very dependent on the flavour of the craft that you sell. I want my shop to be reasonably modern, simple to use, and clean to look at. To that end, my product shots are all the same size, and they all have a pure white coloured backgound. The benefit of having a plain coloured or white background for your shots is that the product is in full focus and there is nothing in the background to distract the onlooker. So I am going to show you how I take product shots with a pure white background…”


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Introducing Thinglink sounds at Designpartners07

Sounds open up new ways of communicating around objects. They are often an experience greater than text; especially when it comes to using a mobile phone interface for navigating in exhibitions.

Sounds can transport the listener to a historical environment or an emotional state of mind. Sounds can be universal or particular, abstract or rational, and they can carry a message in the original voice of the undersigned.

Thinglink, the online design database, explores the marriage of sounds and objects by enabling Thinglink users to add sounds to things. To demonstrate the new feature we have animated seven products in the New Design category of the Designpartners07 exhibition and given them a chance to speak wise words in their creator’s voice. At Cable Factory the exhibits come to life with mobile technology!

The Thinglink sound demo at Designpartners is built in collaboration with Social Objects Ltd and the Touch project in Norway experimenting with touch-based interactions.




How can I add sounds to things on

1) Sign up at and get yourself a free Thinglink account.2) Add a thing (a design product, for example) to your personal portfolio. Say something about it (description), add an image and write a couple of keywords (tags) that best describle your work. Then add a sound file in mp3 file format (max 4 Mb in size). When you’re done, click submit. 

3) Now your thing appears on your portfolio. Other people can now point to it, leave comments, and recommend your thing to a friend.

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Profile pics by Nene Tsuboi

A Helsinki-based artist Nene Tsuboi from NOW office designed a collection of delicious profile pictures for Thinglink. Pick your favourite! 


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Dear Thinglink users

Over the past months we’ve been quietly working away on a new version of Thinglink. I’m happy to announce the new version of the site: we updated nearly everything!

Some examples of new delicious Thinglink portfolios:
Minna Parikka
Nada Go-Go

All existing Thinglink user accounts have been transferred to the new platform. But note! in order to log in with your username, you need to request a new password. To fetch a new password and log into the new site,
1) point your Web browser to
2) enter your Thinglink username and click “Request new password”
3) check your email for a message from containing your new password
4) log in with your username and the new password at

There are four ways to bookmark a thing:  1) “I like this” 2) “I have this” 3) “I want this” 4)  “I make this”. Use these bookmarks to specify if you like, have, want, or make something that you or someone else has added to the database – and help grow the network of people and things. Explore what kinds of things people like or want the most.

Things you bookmark are added to your portfolio. If you are a coolhunter, use “I like” to mark the things you single out. If you are a collector, use “I want” to mark the things you are looking for. If you represent a retailer, museum, or an exhibition, use “I have” to display the things you stock. If you are a designer or crafter, use “I make” to mark the things you
create. If you have multiple identities, use all four bookmarks to create a mixed portfolio.

You no longer need to have a Flickr account to use Thinglink! You can now upload 5 up to pictures per thing from your computer directly. Existing photos of things have been added to your portfolio. The latest new feature that we just started exploring: you can now add sound files to things.

Your profile tells people who you are, what you do, and where in the world you are. It’s also a good way to direct people to your website. Add as much information as you want. And don’t forget to add your friends so you get their latest things!

We hope you enjoy the new site and as with most things these days, it’s work in progress. So if you hit a snag or have anything to report, please send your feedback to

Thinglink platform is an open source project. It is written in Java and maintained by 101tec, a Germany-based software company and the independent contributors on the Thinglink developer list. If you’re a developer, check out our open Jira and join the Thinglink DevList.

Thanks to all our wonderful partners and collaborators for participating in creating this new Thinglink version 2.0! We hope you’ll come and have a look at the new version of Thinglink and start sharing the things you like, want, have and make with your friends.

Ulla-Maaria Mutanen


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