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The original 1989 Bat-boots designed by Tinker Hatfield for Tim Burton’s Batman. As the story goes, Nike had a deal going with Warner Bros and wanted in on what would no doubt be one of the blockbusters of the year. Producer Jon Peters had initially proposed to use the Batsuit for a bit of product placement but lead costume director Bob Ringwood opposed it on the ground that 80s sportswear wasn’t going to fit in with the film’s 1940s look, as a compromise he suggested that Nike take care of the boots design instead. Ringwood was particularily fond of the 1988 Air Trainer SC (now Air Trainer III) and so Tinker Hatfield was brought in to turn his original design into boots. Working from a plaster cast of Michael Keaton’s calves, Hatfield made 18 pairs of knee-high leather-and-polyurethane boots complete with shin guards and instep armors. Unsurprisingly, the film features several detailed shots of the shoes.
The boots were a hit with Keaton and his stuntmen and Hatfield was brought back to work on Batman Returns two years later. Since the cost of creating new boots from scratch was estimated at $20,000, Hatfield decided to start once again with an existing design and customized a pair of 1991 Air Jordan VI (incidentally, some elements of the Jordan VI design are said to have been inspired by Hatfield’s work on the original Bat-boot). 

The original 1989 Bat-boots designed by Tinker Hatfield for Tim Burton’s Batman. As the story goes, Nike had a deal going with Warner Bros and wanted in on what would no doubt be one of the blockbusters of the year. Producer Jon Peters had initially proposed to use the Batsuit for a bit of product placement but lead costume director Bob Ringwood opposed it on the ground that 80s sportswear wasn’t going to fit in with the film’s 1940s look, as a compromise he suggested that Nike take care of the boots design instead. Ringwood was particularily fond of the 1988 Air Trainer SC (now Air Trainer III) and so Tinker Hatfield was brought in to turn his original design into boots. Working from a plaster cast of Michael Keaton’s calves, Hatfield made 18 pairs of knee-high leather-and-polyurethane boots complete with shin guards and instep armors. Unsurprisingly, the film features several detailed shots of the shoes.

The boots were a hit with Keaton and his stuntmen and Hatfield was brought back to work on Batman Returns two years later. Since the cost of creating new boots from scratch was estimated at $20,000, Hatfield decided to start once again with an existing design and customized a pair of 1991 Air Jordan VI (incidentally, some elements of the Jordan VI design are said to have been inspired by Hatfield’s work on the original Bat-boot). 

Jay Nelson: The Golden Gate is an electric camper car measuring 96”x54”x64”. Made with fiberglass, epoxy resin, plywood, glass, bike parts and electric motor. The vehicle can drive 10 miles on a charge and goes up to 20 mph. The interior has a kitchen with sink, stove, cooler, storage cubbies, toilet, a bed and storage below the bed. All of the controls are in the steering wheel. The driver sits cross legged while operating the vehicle.
The first step is to build a skeleton. While building the skeleton I make somewhat final decisions about what the shape will be. As I’m building I play with the form adding and subtracting pieces of the skeleton. Then I cover the skeleton with plywood. Next I fill all the cracks with filler and sand all the edges clean. After that I fiberglass it. When the fiberglass dries I cut holes for all the windows and build in windows and waterproof.

Jay Nelson: The Golden Gate is an electric camper car measuring 96”x54”x64”. Made with fiberglass, epoxy resin, plywood, glass, bike parts and electric motor. The vehicle can drive 10 miles on a charge and goes up to 20 mph. The interior has a kitchen with sink, stove, cooler, storage cubbies, toilet, a bed and storage below the bed. All of the controls are in the steering wheel. The driver sits cross legged while operating the vehicle.

The first step is to build a skeleton. While building the skeleton I make somewhat final decisions about what the shape will be. As I’m building I play with the form adding and subtracting pieces of the skeleton. Then I cover the skeleton with plywood. Next I fill all the cracks with filler and sand all the edges clean. After that I fiberglass it. When the fiberglass dries I cut holes for all the windows and build in windows and waterproof.

Torsion Allegra
The original ThinkPad design is the product of a collaboration between IBM and Germany’s ‘other industrial designer’ Richard Sapper. Sapper suggested a design inspired by the traditional black-lacquered bento boxes (Shōkadō bentō), a refined object concealing well though out insides (the lunch beautifully and orderly arranged in compartments) that would “reveal its nature only when you open it.” Sapper had previously developed a similar idea with the Cubo transistor radio (1965) and the ST201 TV set (1969) for Italian electronics company Brionvega and the Microsplit 520 stopwatch (1974) for Heuer, three variations on the “black box” theme that still look surprisingly modern despite their age.
Since the introduction of the Thinkpad 20 years ago, the fundamental design has remained almost unchanged, a phenomenon unheard of in the laptop industry. And If the ThinkPad might appear dated today, its introduction in 1992 didn’t go unnoticed. The all black chassis went against industry standards (the German DIN standard prohibited the use of any color other than off-white for office products for fear it might cause eye strain, the disclaimer “Not for Office Use” was slapped on to all German-sold models). Similarly, the Thinkpad signature red TrackPoint was originally refused by IBM (the color red was strictly reserved for emergency power off switches) who pushed for black instead. Sapper, however, saw the use of the color red as critical to call attention to the pointing device right in the middle of an all black keyboard. The presence of bright red details was also a discreet signature that Sapper had incorporated into several of his previous designs. As a workaround, the color was finally changed to purple the first year, Sapper reintroduced the red TrackPoint the following year.

The original ThinkPad design is the product of a collaboration between IBM and Germany’s ‘other industrial designer’ Richard Sapper. Sapper suggested a design inspired by the traditional black-lacquered bento boxes (Shōkadō bentō), a refined object concealing well though out insides (the lunch beautifully and orderly arranged in compartments) that would “reveal its nature only when you open it.” Sapper had previously developed a similar idea with the Cubo transistor radio (1965) and the ST201 TV set (1969) for Italian electronics company Brionvega and the Microsplit 520 stopwatch (1974) for Heuer, three variations on the “black box” theme that still look surprisingly modern despite their age.

Since the introduction of the Thinkpad 20 years ago, the fundamental design has remained almost unchanged, a phenomenon unheard of in the laptop industry. And If the ThinkPad might appear dated today, its introduction in 1992 didn’t go unnoticed. The all black chassis went against industry standards (the German DIN standard prohibited the use of any color other than off-white for office products for fear it might cause eye strain, the disclaimer “Not for Office Use” was slapped on to all German-sold models). Similarly, the Thinkpad signature red TrackPoint was originally refused by IBM (the color red was strictly reserved for emergency power off switches) who pushed for black instead. Sapper, however, saw the use of the color red as critical to call attention to the pointing device right in the middle of an all black keyboard. The presence of bright red details was also a discreet signature that Sapper had incorporated into several of his previous designs. As a workaround, the color was finally changed to purple the first year, Sapper reintroduced the red TrackPoint the following year.

Munich U-Bahn, Marienplatz and Garching stations

Munich U-Bahn, Marienplatz and Garching stations

Alessi ‘Bandung’ automatic teapot (1990) by Richard Sapper

Alessi ‘Bandung’ automatic teapot (1990) by Richard Sapper