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Fairytale-Like Bookstore Provides Enchanting Social Space in Historic Bank Read More
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A master of cardboard parodies turns his attention to mass-produced furniture
IKEA has become an influential starter brand for anyone looking to furnish their home stylishly on the cheap. But anyone who’s tried to keep a piece of IKEA furniture for a long time knows the materials of which the lower-end side of the furniture is constructed can sometimes feel like… cardboard. And though you can save a lot of money doing some simple furniture assembly yourself, the packaging left behind by the components of the furniture surely have an environmental impact.
A winter wonderland is enhanced by play experts and endless streams of snow-happy kids
With Disney’s Frozen by far the most popular animated movie right now among young children, it’s a wonder that more parents aren’t encouraging their kids to get out in the snow and play as they themselves once did. Christian Strömqvist and Karl-Johan Ekeroth, two designers with MFAs in Child Culture Design from the School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg, are here to show parents in Kiruna, Sweden that it isn’t so scary after all with an intricately designed play environment made out of snow and ice.
Romanian bike brand Pegas takes an RGB eyedropper to the world
What if you could design personal accessories that truly reflected the colors you encountered every day, instead of some isolated designer’s idea of what ‘bone white’ is? Refuting the Pantone-ization of our world, the Pegas Urban Color app, created by the Romanian bicycle brand, is a unique opportunity for users to search their immediate environment for great and untapped colors to use for their dream bike.
What would British landmarks sound like if they were named today by Chinese visitors?
We English speakers have often taken for granted that we have our own translated names for tourist landmarks in foreign countries, particularly countries where we are less likely to know the language when we arrive, such as China and Russia. But what sense do tourists make of our placenames, especially ones for which we ourselves can’t even remember the meanings?
Nutritious bananas can now be your data-infused running companions as well
Every runner knows bananas are the ultimate fruit to eat during a run. They’re rich in potassium and complex carbohydrates, helping you regulate your fluid levels as well as your energy. Every year at the Tokyo Marathon, Dole Japan has given out its bananas to the runners, and this year they’ve added some technological flair to their decidedly low-tech treats.
Is this tough streetlamp the Hue bulb of the urban outdoors?
While our device screens get better and brighter every year and products like the Hue bulb bring the potential for remotely controlled lighting to every home, street lights remain sadly utilitarian, with their orange sodium glow. LED lamps are making inroads in some areas, with Eastbourne in East Sussex, U.K. experimentally converting 6000 of its lights to LEDs. But no one design has taken hold as a reassuring successor to the generic sodium streetlamp, which has been proven sadly ineffective for drivers and pedestrians by so many studies.
"Chia Pet furniture" takes advantage of the properties of a common British plant
If you can’t have a garden, the local flora and fauna of your area might begin to slip from your consciousness. That’s how we end up with non-native species harming our local ecosystems. On a more psychological note, we also forget how wonderful it is to have plants around – even if they have to be indoors. That’s why London-based design practice Asif Khan has developed an appreciation of the understatedly beautiful English flower baby’s breath (gypsophilia).
Carturesti Carousel holds over 10,000 volumes and your undivided attention
Even as bookstores struggle to make ends meet financially, they enjoy broad social support from their neighbors, who see them as adding to the character of neighborhoods and providing an opportunity for conspicuous local consumption. Having a beautiful space to work with certainly doesn’t hurt, either. So when Romanian bookstore chain Carturesti was offered a space in a historical bank building, they jumped at the opportunity.
A clever little watch solves a problem we all know, and have suffered, so well
The sight of a high school student with their head nestled between their folded arms, tuckered out after a long night of studying, is a sadly common sight. Who knew that one of them in particular would inspire an end to this condition – of falling asleep unexpectedly and the reprimand from teachers it invokes. That student is Blanc CEO Eddy Zhong’s older brother, who dozed off during an SAT test and, thus, realizing how important it is to be awake at the right time. Eddy, the son of Chinese immigrants, saw opportunity in this disappointment early on, having attended tech startup conferences since he was 14 years old. Thus, the Spark watch was born.
ScreenPop socializes the untapped screen real estate
Smartphone lock screens are the opposite of the overcrowded interfaces that exemplify the web – unless your contacts are constantly blowing up your phone, they’re blank and simple, a respite from what hides behind them. Enter ScreenPop – essentially Snapchat for your lock screen, it allows people to communicate with each other without even entering the rabbit hole that is their full array of smartphone apps and features.
A faucet by famous designer Phillippe Starck reveals a fascination with the little-appreciated mixer
You probably turn on faucets dozens of times a day. But unless you’re a plumber, you haven’t seen the elegant eddies of the average faucet’s mixer – at least, until you’ve tried out the Axor Starck V, developed by Phillipe Starck for the upscale German bathroom fixtures maker Hansgrohe.
Sense plunders Facebook feeds, Twitter info, Google Maps data, fan pages, e-commerce sites, and other apps for relevant info.
Talk of augmented reality (AR) features in glasses-like wearables has been quiet lately, but with impressive-looking projects like Google Goggles already functional and collecting information on the world outside the computer screen, it follows that smaller developers are taking notice, developing solutions that focus on and improve specific features of augmented vision.