New Lantern

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Welcome to the New Lantern blog. Our goal is to shine light on leading innovators and creative artists, and how your business can learn and profit from them. Companies large, medium, and small can benefit from employees who think more creatively. New Lantern may be just the source of inspiration your company needs to spark more innovative products, services, and processes.

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Archive for Tag 'design'

A Cut Above

Posted by on October 2, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Fiskars PowerGear2 Pruner
Among the 35 finalists in this year’s Fast Company’s annual Innovation By Design Awards was the PowerGear2 Pruning Tools from Fiskars. The award winners were announced last month and are featured in this month’s magazine now on newsstands.

In Fast Company’s own words: “The pruning tools are ingeniously designed with a rotating gear that provides a boost of power in the middle of the cut, where branches are thickest. Additionally, the latest models are easier on the hands, as their handles have been modified with a more oval shape and a gel skin that prevents blisters.”

Now I realize that pruning products may not get all hearts to racing, but as an avid gardener, I couldn’t be more pleased with Fast Company’s selection. I’ve used Fiskars pruning tools for years, and look forward to purchasing its PowerGear2 pruner.

Fiskars trip to the innovation awards stand this year was no cake walk. It faced some serious competition from 1,500 submissions across 14 categories. Other finalists included Adobe’s Ink and Slide, Google’s Cardboard VR, Janinge’s multi-purpose stackable chairs, Procter & Gamble and Whirlpool’s Swash System, and Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3.

For those of you who think innovation only comes from Silicon Valley startups or leading technology companies, think again. Fiskars was established as an ironworks company in Finland in 1649. This is not a typo. For nearly 366 years Fiskars has been churning out some of the finest cutting, shearing, and pruning products on the planet. And, as indicative of its 2015 Fast Company award, Fiskars has proved that it still knows a thing or two about good design and innovation.

Today, Fiskars has 8,600 employees in 30 countries and sells its products in over 100 countries. So celebrate good design and longevity today by purchasing one of Fiskars’ products. It just might help you stay a cut above the competition.

Design Worthy of Our Planet

Posted by on March 28, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Istanbul's Vakko Fashion Center

Last week, the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects announced its 35 design award winners for 2015. This year’s winners were selected from a pool of 391 applicants across four categories: architecture, interiors, projects and urban design.

In addition to design quality and innovation, particular weight was given this year by the judging panel to “demonstrated consideration of ecological responsibilities” according to the AIA-NY press release.

Top awards went to the SsD firm for its Songpa Micro Housing Project in Seoul, South Korea; Davis Brody Bond’s National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York, NY; NADAAA and John Wardle Architects‘ Melbourne School of Design in Melbourne, Australia; and REX’s Vakko Fashion Center in Instanbul, Turkey (as shown in above photo).

Bravo and congratulations to this year’s winners for making our planet more aesthetically pleasing and ecologically responsible at the same time.

The works of the award winners will featured at the Center for Architecture, 536 LaGuardia Place, in New York, NY from April 23 to June 20.

A New Lantern Defined

Posted by on July 20, 2013 at 9:57 pm

New Lantern Defined

Bing’s Online Dictionary describes the word “lantern” as follows:

1. portable lamp: a portable case with transparent or translucent sides that protects and holds a lamp
2. lighthouse room: a room containing the large lamp at the top of a lighthouse
3. structure with windows: a structure with windows on all sides, resembling a lantern, e.g. one at the top of a dome

A “new” lantern, therefore, provides the maximum amount of light given the glass of a new lamp, lighthouse, or architectural structure is at its most pristine state.

Lanterns have been used for centuries to provide a source of light to guide those seeking a particular path, direct those aiming toward a certain objective, or to generally add light to an otherwise darkened state.

Our goal at New Lantern is simple: shine light on artists, designers, innovators and entrepreneurs from which we in business can learn.

This is what defines our company and our name.

Celebrate the Patina

Posted by on May 27, 2013 at 12:57 pm

A Bevolo Copper Lantern
On a small street in the French Quarter of New Orleans sits a non-descript store front, which is home to one of finest copper lantern makers on the globe, Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights.

Andrew Bevolo, Sr. opened his light company in the French Quarter in 1945 based on the skills he had learned working at several leading manufacturers of the day, including Ford, Sikorsky, and Higgins. Bevolo took this knowledge and revolutionized the gas lantern industry with a hand riveting technique. Up until that time, gas lamps were made with brittle soldered joints, which greatly reduced the longevity of the lanterns.

A few years later, renowned architect A. Hays Town found his way to Bevolo’s workshop, and the two formed a partnership and the iconic French Quarter copper lantern was born.

Sixty-eight years later, the company is now run by Drew Bevolo, grandson to the founder. Today the company has 40 employees and its famed hand-made copper lanterns can be found on some of the most discriminating homes and commercial buildings in all 50 states and in 28 countries.

Bevolo now boasts scores of different lantern designs, and can also custom design a lamp on request, working with its own designers or a project’s architect. Each lantern is still made by hand and in Louisiana — and is sure to age gracefully and beautifully with each passing year.

Craftsmanship and artistry are words that have increasingly become lost in today’s flat world, where instant gratification and demands for the lowest price now rule the day. But too much focus on low price can come at a price. It penalizes creativity, it trivializes design, and it rewards mediocrity.

Applaud and shine light on the artists and creators, and those among us who continue to honor the old way of doing things. Celebrate their individualism and patina.

Here’s to the Winners

Posted by on October 18, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Congratulations to Fast Company’s 2012 “Innovation by Design” award winners announced earlier this week.

Eleven winners were chosen from among 56 finalists and 1,700 entrants in nine design categories: consumer products, industrial equipment, interactive, service, transportation, spaces, concepts, student, and 2-D.

The 2012 winners included: Nike, BioLite, Microsoft, Sheehan Partners, Continuum Innovation, Fisker, Softwalks, and Embrace Global.

According to Fast Company, this year’s awards celebration in New York, NY featured “the best and brightest in the industry, judged by the best and brightest in the industry,” and showcased “design innovations from bootstrapping student teams to mega corporations.”

Innovation By Design

Posted by on October 11, 2012 at 6:40 pm

I draw your attention to this month’s Fast Company magazine, which it refers to as its “Design Issue.” The entire issue focuses on the important role that design plays in business innovation as a positive disruptive force.

As the magazine points out, the marriage of design and innovation is not a new concept. For it was the legendary CEO of IBM, Thomas Watson, Jr., who noted almost 40 years ago that “good design is good business.” And scores of companies since then, including IBM, have ably demonstrated the truism of these words.

The magazine spotlights the latest social media darling, Pinterest, and its 30-year-old CEO, Ben Silbermann, as shown in the cover photo above. Silbermann has leveraged the power of the Internet to turn the age-old idea of the scrapbook into a must-go-to web destination. In the last year alone, the number of monthly unique visitors to Pinterest has soared from 600,000 to over 20 million.

Of course, 20 million users is a drop in the bucket compared to the social media behemoth, Facebook, which just past the 1 billion mark in users. Yet, Pinterest tops both Facebook and Twitter in its ability to translate visitors into product sales.

Fast Company also uses this month’s issue to highlight its “2012 Innovation By Design Award” nominees at 1,700 strong across nine categories. Nominees include companies and products such as Boeing’s fuel efficient 787, Nike’s lightweight Flyknit shoe, and Nest Labs’ slick and simple-to-use “smart” home thermostat. Winners will be announced on October 16 in New York City.

I urge you to spend more time in Q4 and in 2013 thinking about good design and how it can be good for your business. It might just be the best decision you make over the coming year — and could lead to your company’s nomination in a future Fast Company’s Design Issue.