Dutch designer Guido Ooms finds humor in contradiction, most recently in a device where nature and technology come together. His USB Memory Sticks
(www.oooms.nl) are encased in what he calls “natural-wood beauties”—small pieces of timber that he finds on the forest floor near his hometown, Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The particular branches he is drawn to contain tiny engravings left by forest animals or have particularly whimsical shapes.
After completing his daily gathering, Ooms fills the branches with mini hard drives that range from 128MB to 1GB. “I thought it would be funny to stick the USB in this foreign environment that totally goes against computers and plastics,” he says. Protruding from today’s streamlined technology, the rustic USB Memory Stick looks grotesque—like “a fungus, or even a virus,” Ooms says. While its design may not be the sleekest in this iPod era, it is certainly among the wittiest.