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Meet the Tritensil, a New and Improved Version of the Spork

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The spork and splayd (or sporf) are clumsy utensils at best. Whether they’re combining just a spoon and fork or throwing a knife in the mix, they’re never easy to eat with. But now, Map—a design consultancy based in London—has created what they think is a utensil that functions pretty well as all three: the Tritensil.

The utensil was created in collaboration with the 300-year-old department store Fortnum & Mason. According to Map’s website, Fortnum & Mason is credited with inventing the spoon-fork-knife combo, which was “first shown in Fortnum’s 1914 Christmas catalogue for Army officers.”

“It's inherently a compromise to combine three different utensils into one design, Map designer Scott Barwick told Fast Company. “If you have a spoon with tines, you can't eat soup with it; likewise, a round, concave fork isn't as good at spearing food as a regular one.”


The company analyzed the foods available in Fortnum & Mason's Hamperling picnic basket, and, according to Map’s website, “optimized the fork for salads, the spoon for desserts and the knife for simple cutting and for spreading the clotted cream and jam on F&M’s iconic cream teas.” Fast Company explains how the three-in-one utensil improves on the spork and splayds:

Holding the tritensil in your hand, the tines of the fork slant downwards, allowing you to pierce food with the edge. The serrated knife edge, meanwhile, faces in the opposite direction, and is part of the soup's bowl, unlike splayds where one of the tines is essentially a large knife. ... The serrations on the tritensil are also softer than a normal knife, making it nearly impossible to cut yourself on that edge.

The Tritensil is available in both bio-based plastic (for takeaway food) and stainless steel (as a picnic accessory) and in right- and left-handed versions. No, it's not the best fork, it's not the best knife, and it's not the best spoon. We don’t think it ever will be, Barwick told Fast Company. But the spork is a very difficult design problem, and we’ve tackled it as best we can. The result, we think, is a really strong design. Fortnum & Mason began handing out the new utensils in their cafes last week.

[h/t Fast.Co Design]

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Courtesy Umbrellium
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Design
These LED Crosswalks Adapt to Whoever Is Crossing
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Courtesy Umbrellium

Crosswalks are an often-neglected part of urban design; they’re usually just white stripes on dark asphalt. But recently, they’re getting more exciting—and safer—makeovers. In the Netherlands, there is a glow-in-the-dark crosswalk. In western India, there is a 3D crosswalk. And now, in London, there’s an interactive LED crosswalk that changes its configuration based on the situation, as Fast Company reports.

Created by the London-based design studio Umbrellium, the Starling Crossing (short for the much more tongue-twisting STigmergic Adaptive Responsive LearnING Crossing) changes its layout, size, configuration, and other design factors based on who’s waiting to cross and where they’re going.

“The Starling Crossing is a pedestrian crossing, built on today’s technology, that puts people first, enabling them to cross safely the way they want to cross, rather than one that tells them they can only cross in one place or a fixed way,” the company writes. That means that the system—which relies on cameras and artificial intelligence to monitor both pedestrian and vehicle traffic—adapts based on road conditions and where it thinks a pedestrian is going to go.

Starling Crossing - overview from Umbrellium on Vimeo.

If a bike is coming down the street, for example, it will project a place for the cyclist to wait for the light in the crosswalk. If the person is veering left like they’re going to cross diagonally, it will move the light-up crosswalk that way. During rush hour, when there are more pedestrians trying to get across the street, it will widen to accommodate them. It can also detect wet or dark conditions, making the crosswalk path wider to give pedestrians more of a buffer zone. Though the neural network can calculate people’s trajectories and velocity, it can also trigger a pattern of warning lights to alert people that they’re about to walk right into an oncoming bike or other unexpected hazard.

All this is to say that the system adapts to the reality of the road and traffic patterns, rather than forcing pedestrians to stay within the confines of a crosswalk system that was designed for car traffic.

The prototype is currently installed on a TV studio set in London, not a real road, and it still has plenty of safety testing to go through before it will appear on a road near you. But hopefully this is the kind of road infrastructure we’ll soon be able to see out in the real world.

[h/t Fast Company]

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fun
Here's How to Turn an IKEA Box Into a Spaceship
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iStock

Since IKEA boxes are designed to contain entire furniture items, they could probably fit a small child once they’re emptied of any flat-packed component pieces. This means they have great potential as makeshift forts—or even as play spaceships, according to one of the Swedish furniture brand’s print ads, which was spotted by Design Taxi.

First highlighted by Ads of the World, the advertisement—which was created by Miami Ad School, New York—shows that IKEA is helping customers transform used boxes into build-it-yourself “SPÄCE SHIPS” for children. The company provides play kits, which come with both an instruction manual and cardboard "tools" for tiny builders to wield during the construction process.

As for the furniture boxes themselves, they're emblazoned with the words “You see a box, they see a spaceship." As if you won't be climbing into the completed product along with the kids …

Check out the ad below:

[h/t Design Taxi]

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