And Now, Memory on a Twig

From the New York Times:

While entertaining viewers with tales of galactic voyaging and hostile aliens, the “Star Trek” franchise also preached the virtues of interracial (and interspecies) harmony, endearing it to millions. But according to Guido Ooms, a Dutch product designer, “Star Trek’ also warped the minds of consumers and product designers by portraying electronic gadgets as uniformly sleek and unadorned.

“The computer stuff that is coming out right now, it is all plastic and symmetrical and aerodynamic in shape, like ‘Star Trek’ stuff,” said Mr. Ooms, founder of the design studio Oooms in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. “I think there’s no reason for that, really, other than that it looks like it works properly.”

A year ago, Mr. Ooms and his girlfriend, the designer Karin van Lieshout, started brainstorming on ways to demonstrate that high-quality computer products needn’t look antiseptic. A result of their collaboration is a U.S.B. memory stick that takes its product description literally; it is a data storage drive encased in a real, handpicked piece of wood.

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