11 inspiring designs we loved at Milan Design Week 2018

April 26, 2018 by  
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Designers awed and inspired attendees at this year’s Milan Design Week with fresh takes on contemporary design. From unexpected uses for wood and recycled materials to advanced lighting technology , we spotted countless incredible projects throughout the event — read on for 11 of our favorite designs from Milan Design Week 2018. Sila lamp by Zsuzsanna Horvath Helsinki-based Hungarian architect Zsuzsanna Horvath developed the Sila lamp – an elegant lamp that emerges from a two-dimensional plane of laser-cut birch plywood. The lamp’s structure is made with thin, delicate slivers of plywood connected by a flexible OLED panel. With its soft light and delicate shape, this lamp is a perfect addition for quiet and cozy interiors. Bread chair by Mika Tsutai This Bread Chair by Japanese designer Mika Tsutai is definitely an object of good taste… and good humor. Inspired by the unpredictable shape of bread, Tsutai kneaded dough — real dough, made from flour — shaped it into a chair, and baked it. The baked piece was scanned, and a digital model was created. The designer used this model to carve the same shape from wood. The unique shape reflects the random swelling of bread after baking. Macaron seat by Kalo Kalo created the Macaron Seat by using locally-recycled bits of rubber. Each seat is crafted by pressing a mold onto a wooden frame. This seat catches the eye using juxtapositions: smooth wooden legs contrast with a textured seat and a shining brass element along the edges of the dark rubber. Halo lamp by Mandalaki Designed by the Milan-based Mandalaki office, the Halo lamp is a bold combination of art and technology. Unlike most lamps, Halo does not provide neutral white illumination. Instead, it dyes space with vivid, unexpected colors. The vivid colors are produced by analog optical decomposition instead of an RGB LED. Mandalaki developed a dichroic filter to divide the pure luminous flux, or the measure of perceived light, into a vast spectrum of colors. Sundial clock by YOY You don’t need sunlight to use this Sundial wall clock by Tokyo-based design studio YOY. Although at first sight it seems to be a real sundial, it is only an illusion. Part of the “Fictionality” collection, this clock has a regular bar as the minute hand and a “shadow” as the hour hand, which is imprinted on the clock’s face. Surprisingly, the entire clock rotates to show the correct time. Plug It by Studio Oberhauser Instead of discarding thousands of small wood scraps from the industrial production of furniture, Studio Oberhauser created Plug It to exemplify the beauty of recycling. The studio suggests that stacking the comb-shaped wood chips to craft pieces of furniture can be a fun and functional game for everyone. Sea of Plastic by EcoBirdy EcoBirdy’s main goal is to reduce the sea of plastic . To do this, the company crafted children’s furniture entirely from recycled plastic. Plus, each item can be easily recycled again. The Antwerp-based designers have also involved children in this socially- and environmentally-responsible act by designing a storybook and a school program that teaches children about sustainable living. D.01 bench by Davide Montanaro Wood appears to be a stiff and rigid material, but it can be made to bend with just the right touch. Dukta is a unique incision process that can make wood into a flexible, manageable material. Davide Montanaro used this process to design the plywood D.01 bench and ensured the piece had character with its smooth shape and distinct pattern. S-Lab clock by 4R 4R made the S-Lab clock using recycled plastic. The entire production process, from collection to melting and molding was completed in-house. The designers were able to control the color, pattern and texture of the clock. With this project, the team hopes to continue working and exploring with plastic in their designs. Woodencap by Rootpecker Rootpecker has made design history by creating the first wooden cap in the world. The hat is handmade in Germany and features a smooth, flexible wood surface and intricate stitching. The company aims to source only eco-friendly materials for their unique products. Paper and Light by Denis Guidone and Tomoko Fuse Designer Denis Guidone and origami artist Tomoko Fuse created Paper and Light to blend classic and contemporary techniques. This project includes a series of lamps made from folded washi, a traditional Japanese paper. The folded light installments illuminate the area and create playful shadows. + Milan Design Week Images via Maria Novozhilova for Inhabitat

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11 inspiring designs we loved at Milan Design Week 2018

Elon Musk says he is building a cyborg dragon

April 26, 2018 by  
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If you’re running three companies and selling hats and flamethrowers in your spare time, why wouldn’t you then build a cyborg dragon? This sentence could only apply to Elon Musk — and that’s what he said he’s doing on Twitter . His statement naturally sparked a flurry of questions about whether or not he’ll actually construct the fanciful creature. Oh btw I’m building a cyborg dragon — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2018 Yesterday afternoon, Musk said some music sounded great riding his cyborg, capping off his tweet with a dragon emoji. About ten minutes later he followed up on that tweet with, “Oh btw I’m building a cyborg dragon.” Sounds great riding my cyborg ? — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 25, 2018 Related: Elon Musk warns AI could become an ‘immortal’ digital dictator Naturally, the Internet had a blast with that one. Twitter user @illbzo1 told Musk it was about time, and Musk agreed , saying the market was underserved. The Game of Thrones Twitter account commanded Musk to “ bend the knee to House Targaryen ,” signing off with the hashtag #Dracarys, and Musk was quick to fire back, saying, “Don’t make me use my space lasers.” Don’t make me use my space lasers … — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 26, 2018 So Musk is definitely kidding, right? Of course, he’s known to have a great sense of humor . And The Independent said perhaps he’s obliquely referring to SpaceX’s Dragon capsule. But they also pointed out Musk has a habit of making ridiculous concepts aired on Twitter into reality. A tweet about Los Angeles traffic morphed into a company that’s finished a segment of tunnel in LA and has verbal approval to build a Hyperloop between Washington, D.C. and New York City. After selling thousands of Boring Company hats, Musk said on Twitter they’d turn to flamethrowers and made good on that idea too . But a cyborg dragon? We can’t wait to see if Musk follows through on this one. + Elon Musk Twitter Via The Independent Image via arbitragery on Flickr

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Elon Musk says he is building a cyborg dragon

Would you ride in these bizarre standing airplane seats?

April 17, 2018 by  
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If your last plane flight left you feeling like a sardine in a can, this news is going to make your day. Italian seat manufacturer Aviointeriors has designed a seat that gives you plenty of room to stretch your legs out, even if you are taller than average. There’s just one little catch – you have to fly basically standing up. The SkyRider 2.0 solves two problems for airlines: it lets them pack in more passengers and it gives those passengers more leg room. The seats are connected to the ceiling and floor by a bar and they have a vaguely saddle-like seat that holds the rider in an upright position. The previous SkyRider had a very saddle-like seat, which Aviointeriors claimed was comfortable because cowboys could ride in the saddle for hours without discomfort (a notion that any novice horse rider would find laughable) but the FAA didn’t approve the design. The new and improved version has more padding and a more comfortable seat design. Related: Airbus is putting spacious sleeping pods in airplane cargo holds The seats are being billed as an option for short-haul flights to allow airlines to reach an “ultra-high density” (ugh) of passengers on each flight. No word yet on what actual human beings think about being strapped into one of the SkyRider 2.0 seats for several hours – or if any airline will buy them. + Aviointeriors Via CNN

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Would you ride in these bizarre standing airplane seats?

Pentatonic launches new brand of modern furniture made with nothing but trash

September 8, 2017 by  
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Trash never looked so good. Pentatonic has launched a new brand of modern, modular furniture made with nothing but repurposed waste materials . But – unlike similar brands – their commitment goes beyond simply recycling . Hit the jump for a closer look. Pentatonic is launching their brand with AirTool Chair and AirTool Foil Table , as well as glassware made from smartphone glass. Their website lists the trash that went in to each piece; for example, 96 plastic bottles and 28.4 aluminum cans went into an AirTool Chair with a plyfix felt seat, along with some old food containers and industrial waste. 1,436 aluminum cans and 190 CDs or DVDs were used for an AirTool Foil table. Pentatonic says they do not use additives, toxins, glues, or resins. Related: Eco-friendly DIY modular furniture can be reassembled over and over into different pieces Pentatonic, which has offices in London and Berlin, sourced 90 percent of their trash locally; the remaining 10 percent came from places like Taiwan, which is home to the world’s largest concentration of wasted smartphone glass, according to the company. Users don’t need any tools to put together the modular Pentatonic products. The company also sells the individual components online in case a consumer loses a piece or wants to design their own furniture with Pentatonic pieces. Consumers also become part of the supply chain when they return old, used pieces to the company: Pentatonic lists a buy-back value on their website which they describe as a guaranteed sum customers will receive if they want to get rid of a product. Pentatonic will transform those used goods into new pieces of furniture. Pentatonic’s products are available to buy on their website . If you’re in London , you can check out their products in person at a popup store in Shoreditch East London at 2 Chance Street from September 15 to October 12. They’ll also be present at the London Design Festival , September 18 to 24, in the Design Frontiers exhibition at Somerset House. + Pentatonic Images courtesy of Pentatonic

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Pentatonic launches new brand of modern furniture made with nothing but trash

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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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

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