15 innovative designs that blew our mind at NY Design Week

June 15, 2017 by  
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Want to see the future of design? Look no further than New York Design Week , where designers are breaking new ground by experimenting with innovative materials , concepts and technologies. From dazzling crystalline furnishings and literal lawn chairs to biometric seats straight out of science fiction, read on for 15 of our favorite finds from NYCxDesign . Aura Mirrors by Another Human We’ve got a crystal crush on these monolithic mirrors made from raw-hewn semi-precious gems. Leah Ring of Another Human told us that the stones are believed to have metaphysical properties – basalt confers power, blue calcite is calming, obsidian absorbs negative energy, and fluorite bestows positive energy. Cast Sand Drum Stools by Fernando Mastrangelo Fernando Mastrangelo uses simple sand to create textural, multi-layered stools that evoke landscapes, clouds, light and shadows. Collective Paper Aesthetics by Noa Haim A giant cardboard castle rose in the middle of Times Square over the course of New York Design Week . Noa Haim’s CollectivePaperAesthetics project welcomed passersby to design their own paper structures at the NYCxDesign Pavilion . Crossover Collective by Floor Nijdeken Floor Nijdeken is concerned that everyone spends too much time looking at their phones – so he created a “collective embroidery” table to bring people together again. Nijdeken’s Crossover Collective project invites anyone to take a seat and contribute to an embroidered carpet made by many different hands. Pipe Vases by Studio Jeroen Wand These sculptural vases by Jeroen Wand synthesize three different approaches to design. The pipes are readymade objects bought straight off the shelf; the dowels were store bought and then altered; and the smooth ceramic spheres were completely cast by hand. Laminated Cabinet by Studio Jeroen Wand Jeroen Wand has also developed a process for salvaging off-cut wood veneers to create beautiful, multi-layered furniture. Wand says “Normally, veneer is used to cover a less attractive material underneath. Here, veneer is used throughout the whole object.” The resulting pieces are exceptionally lightweight yet extremely durable. Crystal Icons by Isaac Monte Can you recognize this iconic design? It’s Michael Graves’ Alessi Kettle – completely encrusted in blue crystal! Dutch designer Isaac Monte has found a way to transform everyday objects into spectacular crystalline sculptures. Voltasol Pots by Living Things Most planters are heavy, immovable objects – which makes these tipsy, twirling pots all the more fun. Living Things ‘s Voltasol pots are perfectly balanced so that they spin round and round without falling down. Future Kitchen by Ceasarstone X Pratt Caesarstone teamed up with the Pratt Institute to give us a look at the self-sustaining kitchen of the future – complete with a water-recycling hydroponic garden and a biogas generator fed by cooking scraps. Settle Charging Table by Tanya Cai Tanya Cai’s Settle Table may look simple at first glance – but it has several tricks up its sleeve. A colorful inset lifts up to reveal a hidden storage compartment, and a woodgrain coaster doubles as a wireless charging pad for your phone. Kitchen Timers by Yejin Kim OK, these are the cutest kitchen timers we’ve ever seen – one reunites two chicks with every tick of the clock, and the other delivers a pizza slice to a waiting mouth as it counts down. Both were developed by SAIC student Yejin Kim for the Kikkerland and Paper Source Design Challenge . Biometric Chair by Sensingnet Meet the chair of the future. Sensingnet ‘s high-tech Argus seat can measure your respiratory rate, heart rate, and stress level the instant you sit down. Mushroom Planter by Kean University x Ecovative You’d never guess it, but this twisting planter is actually made from mushrooms! Kean University industrial design students teamed up with Ecovative to develop a wide range of products made from mycelium – including a bike helmet, a tote bag, and even a guitar. Lawn Chair by Sarah Crist and Lauren Klein This literal Lawn Chair put every other chaise at ICFF to shame. Sarah Crist and Lauren Klein developed the cheeky chair for a RISD project that paired industrial designers with textile designers. Bonded Packing Peanut Chair by Samuel Bechar If you’ve ever wondered what to do with all the pesky packing peanuts in your life, Samuel Bechar has the answer. He upcycled hundreds of the lightweight box fillers into a clever chair that looks like a giant cloud. + NYCxDesign

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15 innovative designs that blew our mind at NY Design Week

Amazing shapeshifting unit transforms your home interior at the touch of a button

June 5, 2017 by  
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MIT Media Lab and design genius Yves Béhar are making tiny apartments more livable in a big way. One year after their big unveil, Béhar and MIT’s line of transforming robotic furniture, called Ori, just launched for developer pre-orders. With the touch of a button or even a voice command, the amazing “apartment-in-a-box” quickly transforms any studio space into an apartment with a bedroom, living room, and office. Ori, Inc.’s commercial launch includes the Ori Full and Ori Queen Systems, which combine smart robotics with elegant design to effortlessly transform any small living space into a multifunctional home. The compact module consists of a sliding bed and a closet on one side, and an office and entertainment area on the other. The unit can be activated and moved with a push of a button, through an app, or with voice commands. Powered by a standard outlet, Ori slides in and out on a gliding track to maximize the area for the living and entertaining space or the bedroom. The bed glides in and out beneath the full closet. Surfaces pull or fold out to create workspaces or a bedside table. Ori also includes open shelving, cabinets, hooks, and a built-in area for an entertainment system. Each type of space can be preset with preferred integrated lighting so that a simple push of a button will morph the room. “The Ori Full and Ori Queen Systems will transform the experience of contemporary urban living. Ori Technology animates the furniture, walls and other parts of the living space in ways that maximize space, comfort and living,” said Ori CEO and Founder Hasier Larrea. “However, Ori’s vision is much broader. This first family of systems is just one of many applications of Ori Technology. We will continue to explore more spatial challenges and create new families of Ori systems for a variety of interior settings. ” Related: Yves Béhar launches world’s first smart crib to help parents get more sleep Built of poplar plywood, the multifunctional furniture module is available in light or dark and is flatpack. The Ori systems are currently available in ten cities and have already been installed in a dozen apartment complexes across North America. Pre-orders by developers can expect delivery of these systems later this year. + Ori Systems

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Amazing shapeshifting unit transforms your home interior at the touch of a button

Escape into the glass rivers and lakes of these beautiful wood tables

May 15, 2017 by  
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If getting lost in a coffee table sounds improbable, you may change your mind once you see these beautiful furnishings. Artist and designer Greg Klassen transforms reclaimed wood into mesmerizing works of art embedded with glass rivers and lakes. Klassen, who we’ve featured previously , handcrafts unique pieces that mimic topographic forms in the Pacific Northwest. Spotted by This is Colossal , Klassen’s newest works include a variety of coffee tables of different sizes and shapes, as well as wall hangings. “The collection is inspired by the exciting edges and vivid grains found in the trees sustainably taken from the banks of the Nooksack River that twists below my studio,” wrote Klassen. Related: Amazing Abyss Table Layers Glass and Wood to Mimic the Depths of the Ocean Blue Klassen uses a variety of reclaimed wood including maple, cottonwood, walnut, and sycamore. He uses the wood’s existing edges to inform the shape of waterways hand-cut from tempered blue glass. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and sells for thousands of U.S. dollars. + Greg Klassen Via This is Colossal Images via Greg Klassen

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Escape into the glass rivers and lakes of these beautiful wood tables

6 tips for making your home a minimalist masterpiece from celebrity realtor Richard Nassimi

March 30, 2017 by  
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Spring is in the air! If you’re hoping to give your home a seasonal refresh, celebrity realtor Richard Nassimi has some tips on how you can spruce your space up by paring down. As the CEO of The Nassimi Group , Nassimi has helped stars like actress Lindsey Lohan, musician Bow Wow and basketball player Jeremy Lin with their luxury apartments searches, and specializes in creating minimalist design concepts for pre-furnished homes. Read on for some of Nassimi’s top pointers on how to achieve a simple, clean and high-end aesthetic in your space. 1. “One of the best ways to achieve a minimalist atmosphere in your home is to limit the number of furnishings to just a few key pieces,” says Nassimi . “In our living rooms, we might only have a couch, another chair, a coffee table, and a couple of lamps. Or even less – a bedroom might only have a simple bed, a dresser, and night stand. It’s all about quality over quantity. The fewer pieces of furniture, the better.” RELATED: 6 ways to add passive solar features to your home 2. “The next step is to think ‘out of sight’,” says Chanel Korby, Business Development Director at TNG . “Except for the bare essential furniture, there should be nothing else on the floors. Generally, TNG stores items out of sight (drawers, cabinets, etc.) except for a few simple decorations. We also keep surfaces clear -there are no knickknacks, stacks of books, papers etc.” 3. Korby also recommends anchoring furnishings to the perimeter of a room in order to keep floor space open for an unobstructed flow. The more of your floor surface that is visible, the more your eye perceives a larger space. 4. Nassimi says he also favors the use of plain window treatments. “The TNG team prefers very simple window coverings because too many ornate coverings around the windows can make the space appear too busy,” he explains. 5. “The final thing to consider is the addition of simple accent decorations,” says Korby. “Otherwise, a home would be too boring. We typically just use simple vase with a few flowers or bare walls with a piece of art, like a drawing or a photo.” To see more of The Nassimi Group’s minimalist-luxe listings, visit their website via the link below. + The Nassimi Group

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6 tips for making your home a minimalist masterpiece from celebrity realtor Richard Nassimi

Electra Meccanica reveals the all-electric 250-mile-range Tofino roadster

March 30, 2017 by  
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If you’ve never heard of the Canadian Electra Meccanica , hold on for an exciting ride. It appears the Vancouver-based automaker may finally get the attention it deserves with the debut of a new electric roadster, the Tofino. Electra Meccanica, the electric division of Intermeccanica, has turned the firm’s conventional roadster into an affordable two-seater all-electric sports car . On the outside, the Tofino looks like a retro two-seater roadster, but underneath the powertrain is anything but retro. The chassis and body are made of a lightweight aerospace-grade composite and the Tofino is capable of traveling up to 250 miles on a full charge. The Tofino’s electric motor packs enough punch to give it a top speed of 125 mph and a 0-60 time under 7 seconds. Related: Meet SOLO, an affordable electric three-wheeled commuter vehicle for one The roadster will be available in five colors including Titanium Silver, Electric Red, Raven Black, Arctic White, and Bionic Bronze with a price starting at $50,000 Canadian (~$37,000 USD). Deliveries are expected to start in 2019. While we will have to wait at least two years until the Tofino arrives, Electra Meccanica is getting ready to start deliveries of its single-seater 100-mile range SOLO electric car . To raise hype for the SOLO, Electra Meccanica has revealed a high-performance version of the SOLO, called the SOLO R. + Electra Meccanica All images @Electra Meccanica

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Electra Meccanica reveals the all-electric 250-mile-range Tofino roadster

75 American mayors affirm climate goals even after Trump executive order

March 30, 2017 by  
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This week President Donald Trump signed an executive order undoing climate action regulations like the Clean Power Plan and promoting a misguided – and likely unattainable – goal of making coal great again. But 75 United States city mayors aren’t letting Trump stand in the way of their climate action . The Climate Mayors – who represent over 41 million people in both Democrat and Republican-dominated states – published an open letter affirming their cities’ commitments to work towards the goals of the Paris agreement . Current Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti and former mayors of Philadelphia and Houston started the Climate Mayors, or the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda, to inspire mayors to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a local level, and support efforts for climate action policy at a national and global level. Mayors from New Orleans to Chicago to Austin and Fayetteville, Arkansas are involved. Related: Trump’s new executive order to undo Obama climate action The mayors wrote an open letter to the president, objecting to his recent moves to once again favor the fossil fuel industry over the environment. The Climate Mayors described climate change as the country’s single greatest threat – and its greatest economic opportunity. For those reasons they affirmed commitments “to taking every action possible to achieve the principles and goals of the Paris Climate Agreement, and to engage states, businesses, and other sectors to join us.” The mayors included some statistics to back up their statement, saying one in 50 American jobs are in the solar sector, which they said is more than employment in oil, gas, and coal extraction put together. “Texas is once again experiencing an energy boom – this time, with wind power . In fact, the majority of wind jobs in the U.S. are in congressional districts that voted for you,” the mayors wrote in their letter. They urged Trump to join them, but in the meantime, they won’t stop working towards a cleaner future. Via the Climate Mayors and Curbed Images via Gage Skidmore on Flickr and Mayors’ National Climate Action Agenda on Facebook

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75 American mayors affirm climate goals even after Trump executive order

Artist recycles leaf waste into biodegradable Beleaf chair

March 27, 2017 by  
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Šimon Kern found an unconventional use for leaf litter: green furniture . The Slovakian artist created Beleaf, a biodegradable chair made from recycled leaves, bio-resin, and steel. Developed during his studies at the Jan Evangelista Purkyn? University in Ústí nad Labem, the Beleaf chair was constructed as an eco-friendly alternative to plastic furnishing. Kern crafted the seat from mixing leaf litter with bio-resin , made mostly from leftover cooking oil, and pressing the mixture into a mold. Once hardened and sanded, the molded seat is set atop a tubular steel skeleton. The strong tubular frame symbolizes a tree’s trunk and branches that support the leaves . Related: Beautiful zero-waste bowls are made entirely from leaves Kern says that if the seat breaks it can be reused as fertilizer for a tree. New leaves can be taken from that same tree to craft a new seat. “My project is focused on practical use of garbage leaves from the cities in the furniture industry,” said Kern. “If we will believe and use all our powers we can switch from the plastic to the leaves. You just need to beleaf, that there is a way how we can change this world.” + Šimon Kern Via Dezeen

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Artist recycles leaf waste into biodegradable Beleaf chair

Lumberjill hacks stylish bench out of a felled tree trunk

December 30, 2016 by  
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When the designers from Practice of Everyday Design were looking for a unique seating option for a client, they threw out the conventional design process and turned to a professional lumberjill to carve out seats on a reclaimed felled log . Hacked out of pure brute strength and surgical precision, the deep notches on the log were then covered in beautiful red upholstery hand-sewn by a local motorcycle seat maker. Now that’s what we call true artisanal furniture. The bench was a one-off concept piece that the designers had in mind for a specific client. Without relying on drawings or measurements, designers David Long & Antoine Morris came up with an abstract idea to turn a simple log into a physical and functional sculpture . Related: Hilla Shamia casts tree trunks in aluminium to create dramatic furniture They began their material search by contacting the City of Toronto to find out the best places to find local felled wood . After checking out the options at the various tree graveyards and tree nurseries, the team went with a rough log that matched the general dimensions they were looking for. Enter the professional lumberjill, who, working on little-to-no specifics, instinctively used her axe (at competition speed, no less) to strip off the tree bark and hack out three seating spaces. The carved spaces were then covered with a hand-sewn upholstery by a local motorcycle saddle maker, essentially creating a truly one-of-a-kind, reclaimed wooden bench . + Practice of Everyday Design Via Yanko Design

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Lumberjill hacks stylish bench out of a felled tree trunk

Chinese company LeEco begins building $3 billion electric car factory

December 30, 2016 by  
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Chinese technology company LeEco just commenced construction of a $3 billion electric car factory. The facility could start churning out the company’s LeSee sedan in a few years, producing a staggering 400,000 vehicles by 2018. Roughly 90 percent of the futuristic factory’s work may be completed by robots . LeEco, which currently makes products like televisions, was in trouble. In a November letter to staff, founder Jia Yueting said the company expanded too fast and was struggling, and then cut his own income down to 15 cents. But about two weeks after the letter, the company reported they’d raised $600 million from unidentified investors but proceeded to lay off around 60 Hong Kong employees anyway. Then LeEco received another $1.44 billion investment this past Wednesday, again from an unidentified investor, and broke ground on the factory the same day. It is unclear whether those employees will be re-instated, or of their jobs will be replaced by robots. Related: Elon Musk just confirmed plans for a new Tesla Roadster According to Car News China , LeEco hasn’t yet obtained a government license to produce their LeSee cars at the factory. The outlet even said there’s a “real possibility” the government will refuse LeEco a license, as the CEO isn’t currently popular in Beijing. However, according to the South China Morning Post, a mayor of a city close to the factory said the local government will support the project. Should LeEco obtain permission, the factory is slated to produce the company’s first concept car, the LeSee. Zhang Hailiang, chief executive of LeEco’s car unit LeSupercar, said the factory will be automated completely, as robots do the bulk of the work. The electric vehicle would be equipped to operate autonomously . Fancy features include five in-car screens, smart seating, and the ability to recharge via magnetic charging stations. LeEco said Earth’s topography inspired the LeSee’s design, with the interior influenced by geological and biological patterns. Vegan materials and neutral colors add to the vehicle’s natural feel. According to the company , the form and function of the car “address future needs of our society and showcase a symbiosis between human, machine, and nature.” Via Carscoops and South China Morning Post Images via LeEco

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Chinese company LeEco begins building $3 billion electric car factory

Furniture grown from bacteria and mushrooms is now available for purchase

December 2, 2016 by  
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Mushrooms are good for so much more than just eating. Ecovative , the company behind Mushroom Packaging , has teamed up with cement-growing company bioMASON to create classy furniture grown entirely from microorganisms and mushrooms. The two companies recently unveiled their new biofabricated line at Biofabricate 2016 .

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Furniture grown from bacteria and mushrooms is now available for purchase

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