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 thinglink.com, 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 thinglink.org to thinglink.com.

The upgrade that will launch in Milan adds a new dimension to Thinglink product codes. Thinglink.com 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 thinglink.com can build a community of fans around their products. Design enthusiasts who join the conversation on thinglink.com 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 thinglink.org 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.

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How can I add sounds to things on Thinglink.org?

1) Sign up at http://www.thinglink.org 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:
Marimekko
Minna Parikka
designmuseo
VainioSeitsonen
Nada Go-Go
Huippu
RinneNiinikoski

REQUEST A NEW PASSWORD
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 http://thinglink.org/forgot-password.html
2) enter your Thinglink username and click “Request new password”
3) check your email for a message from do-not-reply@thinglink.org containing your new password
4) log in with your username and the new password at http://thinglink.org/login

EXPLORE AND BOOKMARK
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.

SHARE YOUR PORTFOLIO
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.

UPLOAD PHOTOS AND SOUNDS
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.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR PROFILE
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!

YOUR FEEDBACK IS DEAR TO US
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@gmail.com.

THINGLINK IS OPEN SOURCE
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.

Yours,
Ulla-Maaria Mutanen

 

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Marimekko fabrics on Thinglink

Marimekko fabrics have garnished Finnish homes since 1950s. Older creations carry many stories and the latest collections call for picnics or new decor. Also designs yet to come can now be browsed on Thinglink and added to the I want wish list for future red-letter days.

Browse Marimekko fabrics

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Trendspotter to inspire

Some people have the ability to find cool things before others. Often times they become trendspotters, inspiring people that others follow. We asked Liisa Jokinen, a design journalist and the co-founder of hel-looks.com to pick ten things that she would want for herself.

Liisa Jokinen’s recommendations include for example paintings by the Finnish artists Anna Tuori and Rauha Mäkilä, Bernhard Willhelm’s latest clothes collection,  Jeremy Scott’s prints as well as Marimekko novelties by Samu-Jussi Koski and Maija Louekari.

Anyone can follow Liisa’s portfolio on Thinglink and subscribe to it.

One of Liisa’s favourites is Kim Simmonson.Photo: Ghost Dog by Kim Simmonson.

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