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

Couple restores an old Airstream into a chic tiny home on wheels

April 24, 2018 by  
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Embracing an on-the-road lifestyle and downsizing your belongings doesn’t necessarily mean sacrificing style. Kate Oliver and Ellen Prasse renovated an old Airstream into a chic and sophisticated living space. The ambitious couple, who run renovation company Modern Caravan , had their work cut out for them from the beginning. The camper needed a massive structural renovation including waterproofing, restoring windows, and creating an entirely new interior. Once the stage was set, the couple got to work on a gorgeous interior design for the 200-square-foot home . The couple started the Airstream renovation by gutting the interior and reinforcing the camper’s overall structure. They fixed and waterproofed the rotted windows and gaps to properly insulate the home, and they installed new axles and a solar-powered electrical system on the caravan. Related: 7 retro-chic Airstream renovations From there, Kate and Ellen began to design custom furniture to make the interior space as efficient as possible. Every piece of furniture has its place, resulting in a clutter-free living area. A beautiful rose-colored sofa with hidden storage compartments is at the heart of the living room, which is well-lit by natural light . Although it is fairly compact, the kitchen rivals that of any contemporary home. To make the most out of the space, Ellen cut and fitted the cabinets herself . Nine feet of counter space, a deep sink and plenty of storage make the area extremely functional. After their first Airstream renovation , the couple realized that they had a special talent for designing custom spaces in caravans, and have since turned that design savvy into a business. “We were completely self-taught, and we realized through the process of building that first Airstream that when we work together, we create something exceptional,” Kate said. “Now, four years later, we live in our renovated Airstream that serves as our mobile home and office, and renovate Airstreams on a client-by-client basis all across the country.” + The Modern Caravan Via Dwell Photography by Kate Oliver

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Couple restores an old Airstream into a chic tiny home on wheels

This custom-built tiny house is big on interior design

April 9, 2018 by  
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Washington-based company Handcrafted Movement is making quite the name for itself with custom-made tiny homes. The company’s latest micro dwelling — called the Coastal Craftsman — is so gorgeously designed that you’ll forget it’s only a mere 238-square-foot space. The energy-efficient tiny home has a stunning interior design that is not only open and airy; it is also handcrafted with various reclaimed materials. The home, which is built onto a transportable trailer , is clad in a cream-colored board and batten siding with Pacific Cedar accents, complimented with a dark metal rooftop. A lovely glass-panel door leads into the living space, which has distressed oak flooring that contrasts nicely with the white walls. Throughout the home, the interior design gives off a relaxed beach vibe, enhanced with an abundance of natural light. Related: These solar-powered tiny homes are designed just for millennials The furnishings were all strategically custom-built  to provide personal touches to the home without adding clutter. A chaise lounge-style sofa bed is at the heart of the living area, providing a comfy place to read or watch television. There’s an electric fireplace to keep warm in the winter months, and a vintage desk and chair sit in a small nook under a window. The tiny kitchen has plenty of shelving and cupboards. The space is compact, but efficient and includes a dining table made out of Oregon-sourced, salvaged walnut wood . In the corner of the kitchen, stairs lead up to the sleeping loft, which has enough space for a king-size bed. Matt Impola, the founder of Handcrafted Movement, framed the walls himself and even inserted custom-made roof trusses to add dimension to the tiny home design . The craftsmanship of the project is incredibly impressive. “I built much of the tiny home components—the exterior shutters, kitchen cabinets, bathroom doors, stairs, electric fireplace, television cabinet, coffee counter, dining table, etc. — from scratch, and had two production assistants help me assemble and finish all them,” Impola said. “I’ve seen too many tiny homes with minuscule couches that will not realistically be comfortable for very long, so it’s important for me to be able to fit full-size furniture in every tiny home I build.” In addition to its amazing design, the home was also built with various energy-efficient features such as rock-based Roxul insulation, 10 large energy-star windows, LED lighting, an instant water heater, and a propane oven and cooker. Thanks to these features, the home’s monthly energy costs are incredibly low — an estimated $12 to $25 per month. + Handcrafted Movement Via Dwell Photos via Handcrafted Movement

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This custom-built tiny house is big on interior design

Michelangelo’s former Tuscan villa hits the market for $9.3M

April 4, 2018 by  
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If you’ve been dreaming about living a new life under the Tuscan sun, now you can in Michelangelo’s former villa — currently on the market for $9.3M . The famed artist bought the sprawling 12,916-square-foot home located in Chianti, Italy in 1549, and it remained in the family until 1867. Today, the ten-bedroom manor — which is surrounded by the region’s iconic rolling green hills — was recently renovated to retain the historical character of the property. It even includes a copy of the original deed. The massive villa has been renovated to pay homage to its historic past, and the result is an idyllic property straight out of a fairy tale. A sturdy brick cladding covers the home, which sits on six acres covered with cypress and olive trees. Inside, the home includes ten bedrooms and seven bathrooms, and a guest cottage is located on site. A brick vaulted ceiling opens up the main living room space, which also comes with a central stone fireplace and several seating nooks. An adjacent sitting room features beamed ceilings and another grand fireplace. Related: Sistine Chapel to Illuminate Michelangelo’s Masterpiece with 7,000 LEDs Beautiful arched doorways and terracotta floors run throughout the interior and blend in nicely with the additional rooms’ white walls and ceilings. The home’s large kitchen comes with the original stone hearth and basin, as well as a backsplash made out of Tuscan ceramic tiles. The property, which is listed through Handsome Properties International , would make an amazing home for anyone ready to walk in the inspirational footsteps of Michelangelo. According to the real estate company, the property could easily be converted into a charming B&B . + Handsome Properties International Via Dwell Photos via Handsome Properties International

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Michelangelo’s former Tuscan villa hits the market for $9.3M

The Springingstream Guesthouse mimics the mountains of China with an undulating roof

January 25, 2018 by  
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Beijing-based studio WEI Architects renovated an abandoned building in China’s remote Fujian province into a beautiful guest home using traditional materials and construction techniques. The architects breathed new life into the Springingstream Guesthouse by installing reclaimed materials and creating a series of undulating roofs that mimic the outline of the mountainous landscape. The guest home is located in a remote valley that has been abandoned over the years. Although the majority of the homes in the area are derelict, there is a new movement to preserve the history of the area . WEI Architects were commissioned to develop a project that could serve as a prototype for restoring the existing properties in an attempt to revitalize the village. The project was even part of a national TV program, which drew a lot of attention to the efforts. Related: Wavy green-roofed Casa Jura disappears into France’s rolling hills The existing structure was an old home that had been abandoned for years. The architects worked carefully to bring it back to life while retaining as much as the existing structure as possible. The home’s old timber panels and various materials were used in the new structure, while stone bases and other materials were locally-sourced. Local labor was also used to restore the old building using traditional methods. “Local villagers with building techniques were hired to ensure the traditional construction methods, like the mortise-and-tenon structure and special transformational window-door framing,” said the architects. The architects were also inspired by the local scenery, which they used as a guide to create a serene atmosphere. The home is located on the banks of a stream that cuts through the mountainous landscape, and its undulating roof mimics its stunningly beautiful backdrop. Additionally, the undulating roof juts out over the structure, creating covered verandahs for the main home, as well as for a guest home that was erected on the site of the former sheep pens. Landscaping made of local plants and stones creates a rustic walking path that connects the two structures. The completed building will serve as a bed and breakfast that generates income for the community. Accordingly, the interior design blends tradition with modern comforts for visiting guests. The interior layout follows the local tradition of arranging the rooms around a central hearth. Exposed brick and traditional furniture also pay homage to the home’s history. Although seeped in tradition, the renovated guest home does have a few modern touches. A copper path set within the poured concrete flooring runs from the entrance to a lounge space and then a covered outdoor terrace that serves as the tea room. The second floor of the structure houses two bedrooms that feature large windows with movable wooden panels that provide natural ventilation and stunning views of the scenery. + WEI Architects Via Dezeen Images via WEI Architects

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The Springingstream Guesthouse mimics the mountains of China with an undulating roof

Rundown 1970s A-frame cabin transformed into light-filled modern getaway

January 12, 2018 by  
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Proving that a little sweat and ingenuity makes for great design, this formerly outdated A-frame cabin in Big Bear, California underwent a major transformation at the hands of its owner. Courtney Poulos loved her 880-square-foot cabin – but not its 1970s look – so she gave the space a modern makeover the preserves its rustic charm. Reforming the 1973 wood cabin would not be an easy task, principally because of budget and time restraints. Working with $40,000 and five weeks time, the rehabilitation of the space was even more complicated thanks to the fact that all of the materials had to be hauled up the mountainside. Related: Renovated 1960s A-frame cabin proves that clever design triumphs over square footage With a little interior design help from Nicole Palczynski of Vein Design , Poulos began the project with a few key focus points to guide the design theme, “We wanted to create a handsome space full of butterscotch and whiskey undertones, dark woods, and light accents,” she remembers. Starting in the interior, the ceiling’s high wood beams were painted a dark ebony that made the other features such as the light wooden paneling on the walls and the hearth’s brick base stand out. The kitchen also has a new look thanks adding a fresh coat of paint to the existing solid wood cabinets. A fun, bohemian theme was used to update the bedrooms using patterned textiles and saturated colors. The renovation also focused on bringing as much natural light to the interior as possible. After the project was finished, Poulos was amazed at how much she could do on a limited budget, “You don’t necessarily need to limit your creativity to a conventional cabin design,” she says. “It was a treat to maintain the balance between the vintage architectural space and the modern finishes for a covetable end result.” + Courtney Poulos Via Dwell Images via Courtney Poulos

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Rundown 1970s A-frame cabin transformed into light-filled modern getaway

This ultra-chic Paris micro studio is part home, part transformer

December 27, 2017 by  
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The old adage “necessity is the mother of invention” is never more appropriate than when trying to design a beautiful home in an extremely tiny space . Paris-based Batiik Studio managed to create a spectacular home out of just 118 square feet by outfitting the entire space with transforming furniture. Batiik’s Marie Josephine apartment is the epitome of space-saving architecture and design. In the kitchen, most everything of use is hidden behind a minimalist façade. The fridge and oven are hidden behind a retro flexible wall, and the countertops and cabinet doors swivel open to reveal hidden storage. Seating is also covert – a cobalt blue table folds down flat when not in use. Related: Cool micro studio in Budapest makes the most out of 344 square feet The compact studio certainly befits from Batiik’s minimalist design approach . Neutral colors keep the space light and airy, and beautiful archways add character to the apartment while delineating spaces. A loveseat couch doubles as a fold-out bed, and a small table pulls double duty as nightstand and coffee table. An invisible closet is hidden behind another arch. + Batiik Studio Via Apartment Therapy Photography via Batiik Studio

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This ultra-chic Paris micro studio is part home, part transformer

Lightweight suspended tree tent can hold a whopping 700 pounds

December 27, 2017 by  
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For campers who are sick of lugging around bulky old-fashioned tents, the Tentnest is a breath of fresh air. Part hammock and part tent, the lightweight system fits easily in a backpack and can be set up anywhere in just 15 minutes. Even though it is suspended off the ground, the Tentnest is quite sturdy and can withstand some serious weight – more than 700 pounds. The Tentnest, which recently completed a successful Kickstarter campaign, was designed to streamline the adventure process. Thanks to its easy-to-hang system , the tent can be set up in just minutes in virtually any landscape. The only thing it needs is three trees or connection spots for the straps. It’s also very spacious and can sleep a family of three, two full-size adults and a child. Related: This hybrid hammock tent lets you float between the trees The suspended system avoids that bothersome feeling of sleeping on rocks or hard land. And since it’s off the ground, there’s no creepy crawlies around to bite you. It’s also 100% waterproof with zippered entrances, so if you find yourself in the middle of a rain or snow storm, Tentnest has got you covered, literally. + Tentnest Kickstarter

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Lightweight suspended tree tent can hold a whopping 700 pounds

These dazzling zodiac lamps let you bring the heavens indoors

November 30, 2017 by  
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Brooklyn-based design laboratory Richard Clarkston Studio created the perfect lamp for star gazers. The firm’s new Constellation lamp series is made up of thin gold rods with LED-lit star nodes arranged into the various zodiac constellations. Thanks to the barely-there cords, the twinkling constellations hang delicately from the ceiling, creating a beautiful starry night scene. The Constellation system is flat packed with all of its components designed for easy assembly. Each light fixture has a specific design according to the zodiac sign ordered. To assemble, the thin rods equipped with the LED-powered star nodes just snap into place. Once assembled, the supports are threaded through a canopy and crimped in place using adjustable crimps. Related: Frederike Top’s geometric LED lamps cast colorful rays of ever-changing light Like most lamps , the system has to be positioned and hardwired into the ceiling. However, the constellation series can operate on batteries with the appropriate hardware. The LED bulbs used in the lamps are estimated to last over 50,000 hours and each star node can be independently replaced. + Richard Clarkston Studio

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These dazzling zodiac lamps let you bring the heavens indoors

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