From the New York Times:
While entertaining viewers with tales of galactic voyaging and hostile aliens, the â€œStar Trekâ€ franchise also preached the virtues of interracial (and interspecies) harmony, endearing it to millions. But according to Guido Ooms, a Dutch product designer, â€œStar Trekâ€™ also warped the minds of consumers and product designers by portraying electronic gadgets as uniformly sleek and unadorned.
â€œThe computer stuff that is coming out right now, it is all plastic and symmetrical and aerodynamic in shape, like â€˜Star Trekâ€™ stuff,â€ said Mr. Ooms, founder of the design studio Oooms in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. â€œI think thereâ€™s no reason for that, really, other than that it looks like it works properly.â€
A year ago, Mr. Ooms and his girlfriend, the designer Karin van Lieshout, started brainstorming on ways to demonstrate that high-quality computer products neednâ€™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.