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

Map

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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The Force Field Cloak
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Design
This Glowing Blanket Is Designed to Ease Kids' Fear of the Dark
The Force Field Cloak
The Force Field Cloak

Many kids have a security blanket they bring to bed with them every night, but sometimes, a regular blankie is no match for the monsters that invade their imaginations once the lights are off. Now there’s a glow-in-the-dark blanket designed to make children feel safer in bed, no night light required.

Dubbed the Force Field Cloak, the fleece blanket comes in several colorful, glowing patterns that remain invisible during the day. At night, you leave the blanket under a bright light for about 10 minutes, then the shining design will reveal itself in the dark. The glow lasts 8 to 10 hours, just long enough to get a child through the night.

Inventor Terry Sachetti was inspired to create the blanket by his own experiences struggling with scary nighttime thoughts as a kid. "I remember when I was young and afraid of the dark. I would lie in my bed at night, and my imagination would start getting the best of me," he writes on the product's Kickstarter page. "I would start thinking that someone or something was going to grab my foot that was hanging over the side of the bed. When that happened, I would put my foot back under my blanket where I knew I was safe. Nothing could get me under my blanket. No boogiemen, no aliens, no monsters under my bed, nothing. Sound familiar?"

The Force Field Cloak, which has already surpassed its funding goals on both Indiegogo and Kickstarter, takes the comfort of a blanket to the next level. The glowing, non-toxic ink decorating the material acts as a gentle night light that kids can wrap around their whole body. The result, the team claims, is a secure feeling that quiets those thoughts about bad guys hiding in the shadows.

To pre-order a Force Field Cloak, you can pledge $36 or more to the product’s Indiegogo campaign. It is expected to start shipping in January 2018.

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Pantone
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Design
Pantone Names 'Ultra Violet' 2018's Color of the Year
Pantone
Pantone

Time to retire your green apparel inspired by 2017’s color of the year: The color experts at Pantone have chosen a new shade to represent 2018. As The New York Times reports, trend followers can expect to see Ultra Violet popping up on runways in coming months.

The decision was made after Pantone scattered a team around the world to search current street styles, high fashion, art, and popular travel destinations for the up-and-coming “it” color. The brand describes the winner, PANTONE 18-3838, as “a dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade.”

Fashion plays a large part in the selection of the color of the year, but Pantone also considers the broader socio-political atmosphere. Some may see Ultra Violet as a nod to our stormy political climate, but the company’s announcement cast it in a more optimistic light.

“Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now,” it reads. “The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.”

The color is associated with some of music’s greatest icons, like David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, and Prince. The architect Frank Lloyd Wright also had a special attachment to the color and wore it when he was in need of creative inspiration. When it’s not sparking artistic thinking, purple is sometimes used to promote mindfulness in mediation spaces. So if you’re feeling stressed about whatever the new year holds, stare at the hue above for a few seconds and see if it doesn’t calm you down.

[h/t The New York Times]

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