Doorbot is a Wi-Fi-enabled doorbell that alerts homeowners when someone comes to the door by sending audio and video notifications to their smartphone or tablet. This example of responsive design reflects the larger trend of adaptability identified in PSFK’s Future of Home Living Report, where customizable solutions for the home are being designed to accommodate a wider range of needs throughout the day and week, bringing greater functionality and flexibility to urban lifestyles.
Using a built-in microphone and camera, the Doorbot allows users to easily connect their smartphone with their doorbell even when they’re far away, allowing for new levels of remote home monitoring. The battery-operated device can be installed into any door frame, and partners with an iOS and Android app that allows users to converse with their guests.
The WiFi-enabled Nest Thermostat learns your schedule and behavior in order to provide the optimal heating and cooling for your home. This example of responsive design is a manifestation of adaptive systems, a trend identified in PSFK’s Future of Home Living report, where ustomizable solutions for the home that can change to accommodate a wider range of situations and needs throughout the day and week, bringing greater functionality and flexibility to urban lifestyles.
Controllable from your smart phone, Nest utilizes a built-in light sensor to detect direct sunlight and will modify the thermostat’s behavior accordingly to save both money and energy. The ‘Sunblock’ feature saves energy by preventing the home’s cooling or heating system from switching on when direct sunlight heats the surroundings, creating an inaccurate indication of temperature.
In addition to the direct sunlight fix, Nest is rolling out a ‘Cool to Dry’ feature that turns on the home’s air conditioning system when the humidity sensor within the thermostat detects high humidity levels.
The Oru Kayak is the world’s first origami kayak that is light, portable, and unfolds in minutes. The kayak is a manifestation of the adaptability trend identified in PSFK’s Future of Home Living Report, where products accommodate a wider range of needs throughout the day and week, bringing greater functionality and flexibility to urban lifestyles.
The working concept was created by designer Anton Wills who has been working on the idea for months at TechShop. What initially looks like a large artist portfolio case, can be quickly unfolded and assembled to form a working kayak in around five minutes.
The Oru is made from corrugated plastic, which is lightweight, durable, and flexible. David Lang from MAKE had the opportunity to test the kayak and commented that it felt “fast and comfortable.”
The designer, Anton Wills, spoke to PSFK about updating the traditional kayak.
The kayak is the oldest unchanged boat, its design has existed for several thousand years (even the plastic-molded ones). For me, it was about taking something with a very long, elegant lineage and adapting it to urban conditions, that involves flexibility rather than altering the basic form.
Graham Hill, founder of TreeHugger, has designed the ThinBike in collaboration with German bike manufacturer Schindelhauer Bikes. The ThinBike is a full-sized, single-speed bike whose handlebars and pedals can be folded flat to save space, making it a great means of transport for small apartment dwellers.
In an interview with Treehugger, Graham Hill spoke about being inspired by small spaces:
The genesis of this project was to create a really thin bike. I noticed that bikes are awkward due to their wide handlebars and pedals. I figured that if you could have a system whereby you could fold the bars and pedals then you’d have a much more storable, luggable bike and therefore could more easily incorporate it into a small apartment lifestyle. I also knew that I wanted a carbon belt drive hence the Schindelhauer choice.
Fusillo is a modular wall shelf that can be reconfigured on-demand to meet a variety of use cases and needs ranging from a standard bookshelf to a coat rack or bike rack. This example of reconfigurable furniture reflects the trend of adaptability identified in PSFK’s Future of Home Living report.
Handmade in Italy and designed by andViceVersa, Fusillo resembles a standard shelving unit, but is comprised of smaller sections that pivot on a central axis and can be moved up and down to be used as bookends or hooks. Each flexible section of the shelf has a notch carved into it that can hold a coat, hat or even a bike.
These lightweight folding Tilt chairs from Folditure are designed to easily hang, and store. Made to be as flat as possible when folded up, the tilted chairs also features an integrated hanger so they can be easily hung up like clothes in a closet. This piece of reconfigurable furniture is an example of the larger trend of adaptability in the home, as identified in PSFK’s Future of Home Living report.
With an ergonomically-inclined backrest and sturdy wood material, the tilt chairs are a great addition to any space-saving home.
The Cricket table by Folditure is a clever space saving design which can fit into almost every space, reflective of the trend of greater adaptability in the home, as identified by PSFK’s Future of Home Living report. The Cricket table is a modular folding table designed by Alexander Gendell , which can fold up in seconds to a very flat 3/4 of an inch thickness. When done using the table, they can be hung up in a closet, and if more table is needed, several can be clipped together for increased space.
Alexander Gendell spoke on the inspiration behind the product:
With the rise of world population, living space is becoming valuable for everyone. Urbanization and the need for flexibility are increasing demand for effortless space-saving design. Folditure addresses this need by infusing its architectural design values, functions and aesthetics into the Cricket to create a high quality, high performance and flexible folding table.
For those with a limited amount of space and lots of creativity, the Dutch design studio StudioGorm has created a life-size kit of building parts that can be made into different pieces of furniture. The self-assembly kit called peg was inspired by many different kinds of international furniture styles, from Korean wall hung tables to the Shaker peg rail. peg’s easy adaptability reflects the same trend of adaptability identified by PSFK’s Future of Home Living report.
The simple components can be assembled in a variety of ways, much like the beloved children’s toy, giving the home owner plenty of opportunity to “re-invent” their space often and to their specifications.
The materials exist only of Douglas Fir wooden pieces, laminated chipboard, upholstery and metal rods. All of the pieces fit on a peg board, mounted on the wall, so the room can be made completely bare.
Control your home electronics and lights even when you’re away with this smart WeMo switch from Belkin. Plug in any home appliance into the adapter-a light, curling iron,or a fan, for instance-and you’ll never have to worry again about whether you remembered to turn something off.
Turn it on, turn it off, put it on a schedule-all from your smartphone. Now you can easily pair the Belkin WeMo switch to work with your social media or web applications with IFTTT, a web-based service that connects the APIs of social and web apps so they can “talk to each other”. Brilliant stuff.
Turn these colorful modular soft blocks into beds, sofas, tables, benches, or shelves. ZIG, a collection of furniture launched by Cezign and designed by Cecilia Dupire and Costa Picadas, caters to those who want to design their own furniture based on their moods or space requirements.
The ZIG is more of design tool than a piece of furniture since it allows people to create interactive furniture from soft block-shaped units.The blocks can be shaped into practically any design that allows users to individualize their own piece of furniture.
is designed by by Cecilia Dupire and Costa Picadas. Dupire founded Cezign which is an association of designers and image creators who are working with contemporary interiors and exteriors.
Cecilia Dupire, founder of the design collective Cezign, says this about the ZIG concept:
Our focus is on creating affordable spaces that have a high level of multi- functionality but that still blend aesthetically with what is unique and contemporary. It is a creative force that transforms unused existing raw spaces and turns them into attractive, modern design projects at a reasonable cost.
Philips Lighting has developed Hue, a new web-enabled LED lighting system that allows users to remotely control their lighting from a mobile application. The bulbs respond directly to human input, reflecting the trend of adaptability identified in PSFK’s Future of Home Living report. The Hue starter kit contains three bulbs that are able to fit into any standard socket, and a bridge that connects them through wireless routers. The bulbs can also be purchased individually.
Users will be able to control the Hue by iOS or Android phones, allowing them to customize their home lighting experiences, change the Hue’s color to a myriad of options, and manage daily schedules for maximum efficiency.
Mami Kim and her design company MAMIKIM & Co. have designed a table that allows individuals to customize their work space to best suit their needs. The table’s adaptive features are a direct manifestation of the trend of adaptability in home living identified in PSFK’s Future of Home Living report. ADAPTable consists of six A4-sized modular panels that can slide and change. Each panel has been designed to fulfill a different function, with in-built tools such as a pencil holder, ruler or cutting mat.
The workstation has a solid American black walnut top, brass plate bracings, and steel legs, which can provide both high and low desk options by folding down and locking into place. ADAPTable will be on display during the London Design Festival 2012.
Milkmaid is a sensor-laden milk jug designed and created by Stephanie Burns and submitted to the Quirky + GE Project. The Milkmaid’s responsive design reflects the larger trend of adaptability identified in PSFK’s Future of Home Living report.
The milk jug sends SMS messages to owners when milk supplies are almost out or have gone off. Stored inside the fridge, the quart-sized glass container sits on a plastic base containing weight, temperature and pH sensors, a GSM radio module, SIM card and antenna. Monitoring both milk quantity and food safety conditions, the base texts a predesignated mobile number whenever more milk should be picked up at the store. A corresponding iPhone app provides instant access to milk supply information at any time.
The lead inventor behind the Milkmaid, Stephanie Burns, shares her thoughts on the Internet of Things in making modern living easier:
Big data is prevalent in most Internet-enabled apps and products. I think by gathering information into our everyday lifestyle products we are able to see areas of opportunity-opportunities for us to see how we can scale back, be efficient and innovate…Homes are getting smarter and more connected as we add software to our every day products. Running a household from your smartphone is rapidly approaching and I think we’re going to see a lot of our household appliances eventually talk to each other. I think designers should be thinking about integration as they build smart appliances.
The Camille desk by Vurv Design is designed to be used while standing to promote a more healthy life and reduce the negative effects of sitting. The desk’s dual properties reflect the larger trend of adaptability in the home identified by PSFK’s Future of Home Living report. Handmade by American designer Glenn Ross in Canada, the desk is built from bent birchply, and comes with a choice of five wood veneers.
Conceived to be used while standing-say, in a kitchen or entryway-the wall desk has slots and drawers sized to accommodate standard letter paper, and is easily closed when not in use.
CubeSensors are small devices that monitor environmental factors that could lead to decreased productivity. The sensors’ responsive design reflects the larger trend of adaptability in the home identified in PSFK’s Future of Home Living report.
They continuously measure temperature, humidity, noise, light, air quality, and barometric pressure for every room. They require no installation, and claim to increase productivity by up to 15% by changing the lights and temperature when notified.
The wireless cubes stream data to the cloud so it can be accessed from any device, sending notifications about how these factors are affecting people. They can make people feel drowsy at meetings, affect sleep, or interrupt their daily routines.
Check out the air stats of PSFK’s Future of Home Living exhibition here.
Lenovo Horizon Table PC and UM Project’s AT-UM Table
Shift from desktop to easel to gaming with this wooden table designed by UM Project‘s Francois Chambard, which incorporates Lenovo‘s Horizon Table PC. The AT-UM table invites multiple people to collaborate and interact by laying the Horizon flat or using it vertically as an all-in-one PC. The desk’s adaptive qualities are a manifestation of the adaptability trend identified in PSFK’s Future of Home Living report.
In an interview, Francois Chambard described the multi-functionality of the table-easel to that of a car:
In many ways the AT-UM is not defined by the space around it, but defines that space it inhabits. It can provide a very personal space if used as a traditional PC, or it can provide an amazing interactive and collective experience if used as a flat and interactive tablet for multiple people. In some ways the type of space and experience that the AT-UM provides is not so much different that of a car. Driving very early in the morning to work is all about a focused and personal experience. Driving to vacation with the kids is all about fun and play. Driving back from a baseball game with friends or piling into the car for dinner is all about entertainment and interaction. All of that with the same car!
Scout is a modern home security system that offers a hassle-free approach because it doesn’t require any long term contracts or complicated set up by an external company. It’s an affordable solution that doesn’t exclude renters as you don’t need to own your home to install it and you can easily take it with you if you move.
The system is easy to set up, with no wires, landlines, or technicians. It uses wi-fi to enable people to remotely monitor their home and arm their alarms for free using a mobile device or computer. There are no monthly fees, but you can choose to pay for professional monitoring if you like. The security system also makes it easy for you to grant temporary home access to anyone who needs it.
Scout’s casing is sleek and minimal, with a variety of faceplate choices and customizable finishes. It is currently raising money on its own crowdfunding site and is available to pre-order starting at $120. Lindsay Cohen, vice president of Sandbox Industries, a seed investor in Scout, said:
By eliminating the middleman, Scout makes home security affordable and efficient while maintaining its effectiveness. The problem is that home security companies have kept prices artificially high for the last 20 years, while using the same outdated equipment. People think home security is a luxury purchase. Scout is here to change that-we think everyone deserves to be protected.
Originally designed as part of an architectural renovation project they were working on, the Modular Screen can be reconfigured to fit any site. The space-saver, made from perforated metal, camouflages its own connecting pieces for a truly fluid experience.
The inspiration behind the Modular Screen, say the Moorhead brothers, was the desire to create an affordable and flexible solution to small living spaces.
Because of the project’s budget, the solution needed to be modular-economically fabricated off-site and easily installed in the space. Many modular systems are rectilinear, and you become very aware of the grid created by the joints between pieces. We didn’t want this. We wanted a system of overlapping pieces that camouflaged the joints between parts-this is what drove the design.
Resource Furniture continues to redefine the possibilities of urban living with a line of space-saving furnishings hand-selected for their ability to transform a space with both beauty and functionality.
The Ulisse desk bed functions as a queen-sized bed that converts into a desk for everyday use. Lisa Blecker, director of marketing at Resource Furniture, says that:
Our products meet the needs of anyone who wants any space in their home to serve more than one purpose[...]The average size of a new home built in the U.S. in 1950 was 983 square feet and it steadily increased to an all-time high of 2,521 square feet in 2007. It seems to be trending downward now, which indicates that even people in non-urban settings are definitely thinking about “space” and their relationship with it in a new light.
Resource Furniture continues to redefine the possibilities of urban living with a line of space-saving furnishings hand-selected for their ability to transform a space with both beauty and functionality.
The Cubista ottoman provides seating for up to five individuals, with removable padded sides sides that can attach to one of four bases nested inside the structure.
The Goliath table is an adaptable table, made in Italy by Ozzio and distributed in the US by Resource Furniture, which transforms from a 17″ deep console without leafs to 115″ dining room table. Depending on how many of the five leafs you add, you can make the table appropriate for seating two, four, etc. When not in use, the Goliath table can be compressed and stored out of the way.
It’s the goal of Resource Furniture to provide European furnishings at competitive prices. Resource Furniture also has one of the largest collections of transforming tables available, making it a perfect solution for small and space saving apartments.
Been working too hard and need to rest? Forget the couch or the office chairs. The 1,6 S.M. of Life is a convertible desk-bed that lets you catch a few winks right under its work surface.
Created by Greek designer Athanasia Leivaditou of Studio NL, the convertible desk-bed looks a lot like your typical long rectangular work table, only the desktop slides out and the side panel opens to reveal the bed underneath. The convertible desk-bed was a Silver A’ Design Award Winner in Unexpected Design Category in 2011.
The inspiration for the piece came from seeing her classmates put chairs together to rest during all-nighters. In a press release, she explained the main principle behind her design:
It was an inspiration that came from exhausting working hours of my classmates that did not have an apartment close to the university and they were putting chairs together in order to take a nap during the night at the graduate school. Eventually I realized that each civilization may have a very different perception of things depending on its social context. For example this desk could be used for a siesta, or in interiors where there is lack of space or for a few hours of sleeping at night between deadlines.
The Canary smart air sensor is a device that helps people breathe easier by monitoring the air quality in their homes or offices, including carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels, showing exposure over time to help improve those who are most vulnerable, including children and the elderly. It also monitors irritating particulate matter such as pollen, dust and mould.
Mark Belinsky, the lead developer, created the Canary because he was sick of breathing in the pollution of New York City. Belinksy envisions that the device will one day be placed all over cities to start monitoring how air is impacting daily lives:
This is just one device and we would love for developers to access it and build off of our tool to create new innovations.
Svbscription, a high end service that sends packages of curated content and products exclusively targeted at men, partnered with photojournalist, Todd Selby. For their fifth volume, Home by the Selby, a limited edition of collaborative work from designers and artists was paired with a package of luxury products and put all together in a wooden box.
Svbscription‘s fifth volume makes Selby’s insight into lifestyle and home-living the central piece of the package. The packages have to be ordered and are sort of like a surprise package since subscribers don’t know at the outset what they will receive. In an interview, Selby maintains the secrecy of the volume’s goodies but divulged,
I actually can’t tell you all the items that come in the box but I can reveal one product that I created which is called Home Style Recipes by The Selby. I worked with great people like Eric Ripert, Alice Waters and Tom Sachs who all contributed recipes that will come in an awesome wooden box and it will also come with blank cards for people to write their own recipes on. I can also tell you the parcel contains a total of five items from Mexico, London, New Zealand and the US.
Getartup is an art subscription service offering an affordable way for people to decorate their empty walls while also increasing awareness around contemporary artists. The web-based marketplace allows patrons to browse a diverse gallery of contemporary artwork just as they would a retail site, sorted by size, type, or color of art. Clicking on a certain piece of art reveals the cost of renting it for a month, or buying it outright.
If shoppers choose to rent a piece of art, a free swap is included after six months whereby they can select a new piece to hang on their wall. The service’s sharing model allows almost anyone to have a different piece of locally-created, contemporary art on their wall each month for far less than it would cost to own.
We spoke with Tricia Rampe, CEO of getartup, on the inspiration behind the service:
Our service allows for the aesthetic enjoyment that original art brings without the high front cost. In cities, the service is also great for people with small apartments that want to rotate through different art instead of owning just one piece. Its a good way to learn about your taste as well! We provide artists with a great way to display their works and make recurring income each month while not having to find their own storage solutions. Designers of the future should be concerned with the environment and using resources that exist in a more efficient way. Our business creates less waste in the art world, as more art can be enjoyed by more people over time. There is so much cool art that is sitting in storage and we want to change that.
Hello Fresh is a food subscription service which delivers pre-measured ingredients of chef-curated meals to its subscribers’ doorsteps every week to make creating tasty, healthy meals at home as effortless as possible. Every week, the site lets subscribers peruse five new recipes created by professional chefs and nutritionists.
Each recipe is designed to take 30 minutes or less to prepare, requires basic kitchen equipment, and comes with step-by-step instructions. Each pre-prepared box also includes all of the ingredients measured out to the exact amounts needed. Hello Fresh also operates a “soft subscription” service, which means users choose how many meals they would like a week and for how many people.
A 3-Meal Box for 2, 4, or 6 people starts at $69 and a 3-Meal Vegetarian Box for 2, 4, or 6 people starts at $59.
Bring the nightlife home with this monthly cocktail subscription service which delivers ingredients for two cocktail recipes that have been hand selected by Julibox curators.
Every month, Julibox delivers two cocktail recipes that have been carefully curated by their mixologists and designed for easy preparation. These recipes already come with the ingredients, alcohol and mixers needed to make them. Each monthly package contains enough of the ingredients to make two of each cocktails-four cocktails per month.
Before each shipping of a Julibox, the company informs the subscriber in advance of any extra items needed, like lime or lemons. It is a nice change to be able to experience gourmet cocktails from the comfort of home, rather than a crowded bar.
Bibliotherapy is a prescription reading service from the London-based cultural enterprise The School of Life that offers curated reading lists tailored to an individual’s struggles or personal situation.
Patrons of the service book one-hour assessments with The School of Life for an in-person, telephone or Skype session with a well-read advisory team composed of an artist, a novelist and an independent bookstore owner. Instant prescriptions of recommended fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction are given at the end of the consultation, with a full prescription following within a few days.
Check out this sample prescription offered from Bibliotherapy:
Female / Late 20′s
Art, Music, Film, Open Internet and Online Rights and Privacy
Personal Life Goals versus Societal Expectations, Self-Actualization,
PROFILE: Alice, late twenties, is deputy head of PR for a major art gallery. She starts her day at the gym, catching up on podcasts as she works out, and switches from sneakers to heels in the elevator leading up to her office. She’s thrilled to be tweeting to more than 500 followers, and prides herself on her ability to source—and book—the perfect venue for a party within thirty minutes. Her evenings are a hectic dash from one art opening to another, tweeting wildly in the taxi in between, and though she gets a buzz from managing to fulfill the demands of her carefully coordinated calendar, she sometimes wonders if her life is too much about ticking things off a list. Or too much about telling others all about it. Amidst all this rush and reportage, what is she failing to notice beyond the distance of her iphone? Are there people she can’t reach through social media—and might they be worth knowing? One day she will, of course, leave New York and live on a farm upstate with a husband, some kids and a dog; by then, she’ll have the money to buy some art for herself. Maybe she’ll even paint her own pictures. But that’s all too far away to think about now. She slips off her sneakers and makes herself a cup of instant ramen soup, then heads to the laptop to see what her Facebook friends have been up to—and whether they’ve posted any more photos of her (nightmare!). Before she goes to sleep she texts various people to make plans for the weekend—there’s nothing worse than an empty afternoon.
Kiss Me First (Lottie Moggach)
Lottie Moggach’s debut novel is one that questions everything you thought you knew about social media. Leila, a nerdy computer games expert, is lured into the nebulous world of “Red Pill”, a website that claims to act as a portal through which serious-minded individuals can air their moral concerns, but is actually a cover for something much more sinister. Leila agrees to impersonate—via Facebook and email—attractive, soul-searching Tess, and her uncanny ability to do so sends shivers up the spine. Reading this will help Siobhan question her reliance on her online identity, while at the same time transporting her from soundbite culture to a sustained story she won’t be able to put down.
Living Out Loud (Keri Smith)
Though she doesn’t dwell on it much, Siobhan dreams of being an artist one day, and this little book, filled with exercises to do each day to flex your creativity muscles, will get her in training. Keri Smith nudges the reader into drawing, collaging and making use of found objects, without even noticing it. Her energy and inventiveness encourage a quirky, positive approach to creativity—and life—that will engage Siobhan with the here and now and have her looking out the taxi window instead of interacting with a screen.
Addition (Toni Jordan)
This fascinating Australian novel portrays a woman who lives in a world of numbers. Everything is counted, from the number of steps to her local café to the number of poppy seeds in her daily slice of cake. Most people think she’s crazy, but we slowly discover the reasons for this compulsive behaviour. And one day, when there are no empty tables in the café, a stranger asks her to sit with him. Sure, there are pleasures to be had from counting off tasks in a day, and taking satisfaction from the number of social and business engagements you’ve got in your diary; but the best things tend to happen when you’ve made no plans at all. Reading this will remind Siobhan of the importance of embracing the unexpected, to leave some time unscheduled for chance events, and of allowing other people to sometimes take the lead.
Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë)
Having said that, life for Siobhan is pretty exciting, and it’s hard to say no to things when so much is on offer. But it’s important to live according to principles too. Literature offers few better mentors than the admirable heroine of Charlotte Brontë’s heart-rending classic. Life—and love—do not come easily for Jane, but when the lowly governess realises her love is returned by the darkly handsome, wealthy Rochester, it at first seems too good to be true. At the eleventh hour, an ugly truth rears its head that will ruin everything. Jane could choose to ignore it—and many would. But she doesn’t; she turns her back on happiness and does the right thing. Reading Jane Eyre will show Siobhan that even in the pleasure-seeking immediacy of today’s urban world, keeping one’s principles—and doing the right thing—are crucial if one is to have deep and lasting relationships with others, and oneself. It pays off for Jane in the end; and it’ll pay off for Siobhan too.
What is the What (Dave Eggers)
Dave Eggers’ fictionalised portrayal of one young man’s journey from Sudan to the United States to escape the horrors of the Sudanese civil war is a harrowing but ultimately exhilarating tale of courage, luck and reinvention of the self. Like Eggers’ other works, the style is fluid and challenging, with flashbacks from events in Sudan to modern-day difficulties in the US. A novel about hardship, and strength, it will remind Siobhan of the difficulties that others face around the world, encourage her to take the time to appreciate her own quality of life, and perhaps to factor some philanthropic ideals into her life goals.
Bel Canto (Ann Patchett)
Siobhan loves art—and Ann Patchett’s wondrous novel is a great endorsement of the importance of culture in life. When world-famous soprano Roxanne Coss and her audience in an unnamed South American city are taken hostage by armed insurgents, it seems that an ugly and bloody endgame has been set in motion. And indeed blood is shed; but not before something magical has occurred in the enclosed seclusion of the vice-president’s mansion. When Coss sings, people are transformed; and, bonded by music—as well as chess and literature—connections develop between the most unlikely people. This is a novel that will encourage Siobhan to celebrate her love and understanding of art with joy, and to allow it to take her to places deep inside herself—not just to the next party.
Bringing the best beans to your doorstep is a New York-based coffee subscription service which picks the finest from coffee roasters around the globe. Each delivery is intensively evaluated by an expert panel for criteria such as body, aroma, acidity, balance, structure.
Michael Horn, founder and CEO of Craft Coffee, divulges some tips on what makes a good cup of joe, in his books.
One interesting fact is that the best coffees taste great even as they get cold. Some Craft Coffee selections actually get better as they get colder. That’s always a great sign! We also find that Craft Coffee selections have a distinct and memorable character, like a juicy cherry flavor or an acidity that reminds us of apple cider. Even months later, I often remember our selections that way. Finally, when you finish a cup and ten minutes later you find yourself craving more, you know you just found a Craft Coffee.
If the idea of working with a flat pack and detailed instruction manual intimidates you, then try the ‘Everything But The Manual‘ furniture kit by Dutch designer, David Graas. The modular system comes as a cube comprised of 177 identical oak building blocks that can be screwed together to make absolutely anything-challenging you to create and build your own designs, without the use of a manual.
The three suggestions from David Graas include a the dressing table, lamp and cuckoo clock shown can be used to inspire countless DIY pieces. With this kit the only limitation isyour imagination because without how-to instructions, the design is in your hands.
Beats Audio is a sound profile which boost performance in small and mobile devices. Developed to maximize the capability of sound systems, Beats Audio allows you to get the most out of any audio solution wirelessly. In the home, this translates into big sound from small places.
The sound optimizing quality of Beats Audio allows users to save space in the home, getting great sound quality from their phones, tablets, laptops, or headphones.
PLAiR is a handheld, portable device which plugs into a TV, and is able to independently stream content from the internet, without requiring constant connectivity from another computer.
Connectable to any TV with a HDMI port, the device is a Wi-Fi-enabled HDMI dongle that can connect any smartphone to any television through an iOS or Android app.
Users can view photos and videos stored on their phone, or in the cloud, including YouTube, CollegeHumor clips, CNN, and Vimeo. Its portable design allows users to take it with them wherever they go, immediately plug it to a display and stream content through their phone.
Printrbot is a desktop 3D printer that can be assembled in a few hours, and can help you create all those extra things you need for your apartment.
The all-in-one 3D printer uses fused deposition modeling to produce plastic models of 3D objects. Users input a design on their computer, and the printer deposits layer upon layer of material until it replicates the object in its entirety.
The device is aimed at beginner home users through its small size and simple interface, enabling users to make just about anything they like, from iPad stands to home fixtures and jewelry.
Place any physical object on the Matterform 3D scanner and watch it take shape on your computer screen. Lightweight, portable, designed to be incorporated into home workspaces and can scan physical objects and create digital files ready for 3D printing.
Created by Matterform, the scanner allows anyone to take a physical object and turn it into a digital 3D model on your computer. From there, users can print their file on any 3D printer or online printing service, or use the model you created in an animation or video game.
On the Matterform website, the founders said that they wanted to empower their users into being able to make what they need.
We’ve visited various makerspaces and we were surprised to find a lot of people that had bought 3D printers didn’t really know what to do with them. We understand that 3D modelling software can be harder to learn than one might think and we want to help change that. The power of 3D printing comes in the ability to make personalized items, not simply printing off what other people have created. We really want to give people the tools to see their creativity come to life.
WunWun is a new service and iOS app that gives members access to a network of live dispatchers and super-local ‘helpers’ that can perform nearly any task imaginable. Members can ask for a delivery of most items and pay a flat $15 delivery fee, request a service (like ‘walk my dog’ or ‘organize my closet’) that costs $2 for every five minutes or ask for advice, which is totally free.
Once a request is made, a dispatcher assigns it to one of WunWun’s helpers who have been background checked and trained to respond to requests around them. The company, whose name stands for ‘what you need, when you need it,’ hopes to create local, on-demand networks that generate an array of information and assistance that you could never find using search engines like Google.
This instructional Arduino kit from TechnologyWillSaveUs helps people build interactive electronic objects for their home. Created by London-based “haberdashery for technology and education” TechnologyWillSaveUs, the founders Bethany Koby and Daniel Hirshmann say that in place of knitting needles, thread, and fabric, they will give you LEDs, circuit boards and jumper wires instead.
Co-founders Bethany Koby and Daniel Hirshmann say that everyone should be a maker:
In our view, ‘my device’ doesn’t have to do what ‘your device’ does, since my needs are different from yours. Technology Will Save Us imagines a world where people can make and produce technology on their own, designing their own solutions to problems because they have the skills and resources to do just that. The ‘Apples‘ and ‘Googles‘ of the world are producing very useful technologies, but how many of us know how to fix them when broken or make them work better to meet our needs? We blindly use technology as is, as opposed to embracing the opportunity to do something more.
The DIY Speaker Kit is a home kit from Technology Will Save Us to turn just about anything into a fully functional speaker. The DIY kit comes with a custom designed amplifier called the Uber Amp 9000 and all of the components the home builder need to make their own set of speakers out of any material. It is a great way to learn how to solder, understand how sound work and make something useful for your listening enjoyment.
The DIY kit offers a great opportunity to learn a bit about how to make your own electronics, as well as the ability to turn something already in the home environment into a speaker. In this way, the design can be seamlessly integrated into its surroundings.
London-based design studio BERG has created a small device called the Little Printer that prints out personalized, receipt-sized paper strips with news, puzzles, social network updates and information from apps.
The device wirelessly connects to the web via an included Bridge unit and uses a person’s phone to configure settings and subscriptions to different publications. It gathers content throughout the day until the owner decides to print. The Little Printer then creates a personalized print-out in black and white.
Milk, Please! is an online service that lets users crowdsource help from their community with small last-minute grocery items. The platform connects users with others nearby who are going to the store, or are already there, allowing them to ask the shopper to purchase something like bread, milk, or eggs, and drop off the item at their home or office.
The innovative service is also eco-friendly as it reduces the carbon footprints of unnecessary trips to the grocery store. The service is accessible online as well as via a smartphone app.
This high-res, 5200 lumens, 4K projector from Sony can make your favorite movies and TV life sized. The device is suitable for both light and dark environments, eliminating the difficulties of finding the right place to put a projector. Additionally, the ultra-HD image is sure to improve any viewing experience.
The device also incorporates 3LCD technology, a sophisticated, innovative technology that utilizes 3 chips to deliver vibrant, true-to-life and consistent images for the most demanding audiences, as well as 25% more energy efficiency over conventional technology.
The Jambox from Jawbone is a Bluetooth speaker system designed in collaboration with Yves Behar. The Bluetooth connectivity allows for users to enjoy their music in any room and control it easily using their phone or tablet. The device is also able to act as a speakerphone for work meeting at home.
The sleek design is sure to stand out in any environment, and provide an element of visual flair as well as functionality.
Fan TV is a next-generation set-top box which allows viewers to combine TV, DVR, VOD, and streaming services all into one device. Launched by Entertainment Discovery startup Fanhattan, the device is controlled using swipe and tap gestures on a pebble-like, touchpad remote control designed to be used without having to look at it.
Its content will be derived from partnerships with pay TV and streaming service providers. Movies and TV shows across nearly 30 streaming services can be discovered, watched and shared today with the Fan app for iPads and other Apple devices, and on Fan for the Web. Fan TV will bring this experience to the living room. The elegant device was designed by Yves Behar, and aims to simplify the TV viewing experience into a single interface.
Click and Grow is an easy-to-use electronic ‘smartpot’ that grows plants and vegetables in a self-watering container. The all-in-one kit contains electronics, sensors, batteries, a pump and a water reservoir, while a replaceable cartridge contains seeds, nutrients and software (in a microchip) for growing the plant.
The system measures all the necessary parameters and doses an exact amount of water, fertilizer and air, according to the plant’s needs. After the plant’s natural life cycle ends, users can remove the old plant cartridge and insert a new one. The system has cartridges for mini tomatoes, chillies, flowers and herbs, and is capable of tending to itself over a long weekend or during a busy work week.
We spoke with Mattiau Lepp, founder of Click & Grow, on the inspiration behind the product:
Every year 42 billion dollars worth of houseplants are thrown away because people just can’t take care of them. At the same time we are looking for the greener environment and healthier food, especially in big cities. We are developing a set of technologies that enable us to grow food and other plants that humans need to live in environments that are not ideally suited for growing vegetation. Rather than modifying the plants, we aim to build an environment in which they can thrive. We are not there yet, but each of our product is a step closer to that goal and a source of funding for further research and development.
Luceplan Petale D71 Suspension Lamp designed by Odile Decq features Ecophon a sound absorbing panel and white finish. A suspension lamp with an organic form which conceals the magic of silence within: the body consists of a sound absorbent panel upholstered in white fabric, improving acoustic comfort within the environment.
The elegant fixture contributes to the beauty of the home environment, while simultaneously creating a quieter and more peaceful environment.
The Greenhood is a kitchen range hood that eliminates odors while sanitizing the air around it by using a technology similar to those found in ionizing air-purifiers. Created by Italian kitchen-maker Snaidero and appliance-maker Falmec, the two-in-one product works even when it’s not being used for cooking.
The hood is always ‘on,’ ridding the air of odors and pollutants from organic molecules suspended in the air like cigarette smoke, cleaning supply smells, and gases. Owners can monitor their kitchen’s air quality by checking a sensor embedded in the hood, which depicts a leaf turning from yellow to green as air quality improves.
Koubachi’s wi-fi plant sensor gives your house plants a voice, by telling you when to water them and whether the room is too hot or cold. The $99 waterproof sensor pokes into the soil to measure moisture, temperature and light, and transmits this data using low-power wi-fi to the Koubachi Plant Care Engine.
Based on scientific care models for individual plants, Koubachi diagnoses their vitality and sends you alerts telling you exactly when and how to care for them. There are detailed instructions about watering, temperature, positioning, fertilizing, and misting. Koubachi’s service keeps a week-long record that lets people check the status of their plants on a web or iOS app. Koubachi Indoor sensor retails for $118. Watch Koubachi’s video below to find out more about the system:
Withings, an early entrant in the connected health products and apps market with its original Wi-Fi-enabled scale, is expanding its suite of connected products and services with two devices that further provide a big picture view on an individual’s health: the Withings Smart Activity Tracker and the Withings Smart Body Analyzer. The Smart Activity Tracker is a small device carried in the user’s pocket or on their waistband that tracks activity, heart rate and sleep patterns.
The Withings Smart Body Analyzer is a Wi-Fi-enabled scale that checks weight, BMI and body fat, as well as indoor air quality. Used in combination, heart rate can be measured by stepping on the scale in the morning and logged at any time during the day using the activity tracker.
Both devices are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-equipped to sync health data with the cloud via the Withings iPhone or Android app.
Withings, makers of the popular WiFi-enabled scale that streams a user’s weight directly to a personal dashboard and connects with Google Health, is continuing to innovate in the area of personal health with the release of a blood pressure cuff and associated app designed to plug into Apple’s suite of mobile devices-the iPhone, iPad and iPod.
Once connected, the cuff takes an individual’s blood pressure readings and charts them on a graph, providing relevant context on how to interpret the numbers based on data supplied by the World Health Organization.
It can also save a person’s information to create an historical archive and send it to cloud-based health and wellness platforms such as Google Health and Microsoft Health Vault. The user-friendly device currently retails for $129.95.
Track your activity, sleep, and meal patterns with this sleek, sensor-rich wristband that sends all pertinent data to a smartphone app. Made by Jawbone, a San Francisco-based company behind wireless speaker Jambox and bluetooth headsets.
The beautifully designed app displays your data, lets you add things like meals and mood, and even dishes out recommendations based on the data.
Activity and sleep modes are cycled through by briefly holding down the silver button at one end of the bracelet. A vibration and light up Sun or Moon icon displayed on the band itself indicate in which mode the band is operating.
And where would any modern product be without a social element? The Up Feed lets users track their own activity as well as that of the friends in their network. Friends or “Teammates” can be added by either syncing with Facebook or by using the user’s phone contacts. Every time a teammate syncs their band or logs a meal/beverage, the Up Feed is updated with their data, allowing users to compete with friends or give them a friendly nudge to complete their goals.
Take for instance the novel manner in which Jawbone have streamlined the at times tedious process of data entry:
Up’s sensors collect data about how much you’ve been sleeping and how much you’ve been moving. That data is then fed into a smartphone app, which also takes in information about your meals. (You enter meal data manually, in part by taking pictures of what you’ve eaten.
Furthermore the data collation sensors and the app work dynamically:
If you haven’t slept much, when you wake up the app might suggest a high-protein breakfast and an extra glass of water.
Modular and magnetic, this vertical wall organization system builds urban gardening and small space organization into the aesthetic of the living space.
Created by product designers Beau Oyler and Jared Aller in collaboration with the Enlisted Design team, Urbio makes a fun and functional addition to any home.
The pots are made from eco-plastic and can hold almost anything to the wall with their powerful neodymium magnets. They also come with pucks to mount them to the wall individually or attach them to other pots.
A great way to get plants into your home if you don’t have your own garden outside, and if you are short on space indoors.
Designer Jared Aller described his inspiration for creating this botanical solution to urban living:
As urban dwellers, it can be difficult to find space to exercise our green thumbs. Urbio is a magnetic system that will help us transform any wall or ferrous surface into a beautiful vertical garden.
Ming-Zher Poh, an electrical engineer in the Affective Computing Group at the MIT Media Lab, has developed a mirror that is able to monitor vital signs and show the inner health of the person standing in front of it. When your heart beats, it sends a pulse of blood through your blood vessels and to your face. Because blood absorbs light, the mirror is able to use a simple webcam, the same as the one found in your smartphone, to record the fluctuation in reflected light coming off your skin.
Although the change in brightness is minute, the data can then be translated into a heart-rate reading via algorithm, and the results are instantly displayed right before a person’s eyes, empowering individuals to take the management of their wellness into their own hands.
The EcoV’ea shower system by bathroom designers Reveeco delivers up to 80% water and energy savings by showering the user in a loop of filtered, treated and reused water. To ensure that the head water is clean, used water is collected in a floor drain and sorted by an analytic cell that drains dirty away and directs clean water through three stages of filtering.
Replacing imprecise faucets with an electronic panel, water temperature and pressure are set to the user’s preference. Pipes are drained after each use, activating an automatic cleaning cycle that maintains cleanliness and extends the lifespan of the system.
LG Electronics is developing a washing machine concept that can ‘freshen’ clothes without detergent or water. The company introduced a similar product, called the Styler, at CES. The cabinet-like device uses steam technology to reduce wrinkles and odors on clothing, especially useful for dry-clean only garments.
Although there’s no patent or details available yet, the company has plans to further develop its waterless washing machine.
When living in a small space, every inch counts-so multifunctional furniture that can adapt and change is a top priority. A coffee table needs to be more than a coffee table, possibly rising to offer work space when sitting on the couch or to become a dining surface.
The Flat Coffee Table from Resource Furniture is a transforming coffee table with glass top and storage. The table can be unfolded to serve a variety of purposes, and easily conform to any living room use. The height adjustable top can also tailored to the users preference.
It’s the goal of Resource Furniture to provide European furnishings at competitive prices. Resource Furniture also has one of the largest collections of transforming tables available, making it a perfect solution for small and space saving apartments.
Swedish-based Note Design Studio has developed series of sound-absorbing panels that can be placed on the floor in public spaces and offices. ‘Dezibel‘ are used to create a more balanced sound level, and the colorful panels of the decorative objects add to the aesthetics of a room.
Created for producer ZilenZio, the panels are thick in order to absorb all the frequencies of human speech. The sculptural objects have a solid but elegant wooden base and a top covered in textile.
Created by industrial designer Mathieu Lehanneur and Harvard professor David Edwards in 2007, Andrea was one of several concepts by the designer to be featured in MoMA’s critically-acclaimed exhibition, Design and the Elastic Mind. It also earned the distinction of Invention of the Year in Popular Science in 2008.
Andrea exploits and hastens the process of plant filtration with a whisper-quiet fan that draws air into the vessel, propels it through the leaves and root system and out through the water into the room. With an effective range of roughly 350 square feet, Andrea works for most any room in the home or office where the threat of stagnant air or noxious gases are a concern. Thanks to its altogether pleasing form and a base that mimics ceramic pottery, this 21st century device manages to look quite traditional.
Retails for $199.
Designed by Kyuho Song and Boa Oh, the Window Socket is a concept device that attaches to any window to harness solar energy and transfer that energy into an internal battery.The concept incorporates a simple suction cup that allows it to attach to any window and put its built-in solar panels to work.
Users can then plug in any device to the outlet on the front or save the energy for later use. The portable product lets users take advantage of solar energy to power up a device on the go without needing to find an outlet.
Designers Nikhil Arora and Alejandro Velez have developed a home growing solution called the Home Aquaponics Kit. The closed-loop, table-top ecosystem consists of a fish tank with a full hydroponic garden suspended above it.
The self-cleaning tank relies on the symbiotic relationship of fish and plants to provide nutrients and filtration. The closed system provides a complete and easy solution for home gardeners. The aquaponic garden can be used to grow beans, basil, thyme, baby greens, oregano, mint, parsley, spinach, and other fresh produce at home.
Siddarth Sanghavi, the VP of Marketing and Advertising at Back to the Roots Ventures, says of the Aquaponics Home Kit:
“With increases in population, swellings with get smaller and design that maximizes space and utility will command a premium. A careful eye to aesthetics will also be important as functional objects will take on an ornamental role as well since everything can’t be stored away.”
The Soma filtering carafe is an innovative approach to water purification. Like its plastic counterparts, this filter removes chlorine, heavy metals, and other contaminants from tap water, but instead of filtering through plastic, it is made of a food-based PLA composite, carbon granules derived from Malaysian coconut shells, and a special layer of natural silk that adds to the filtration process.
The filter, designed from the ground up by David Beeman, is fully biodegradable and designed to provide a unique, crisp taste. The traditional carafe shape, made from decanter-quality glass, is both elegant and ergonomically sound, while its sustainable composition can help to cut down on the nearly 38 billion water bottles that are discarded annually.
We spoke to Mike Del Ponte, CEO of Soma, on the inspiration behind the product:
It’s smart, sustainable and looks beautiful in your home. We’ve designed Soma to be elegant and effective, but also modern, minimal and intuitive. The materials are carefully selected for quality, as well as environmental impact.
The WormWorks system is a small, neatly designed herbs planter that uses worms to convert discarded fruits and vegetables into nutrient-rich soil. Consisting of three trays, users begin by placing worms in the bottom tray along with food scraps for the worms to eat.
Once they have finished this food the worms naturally migrate to the tray above which also contains peels and rinds. At this point, the first tray is ready to use as compost, and owners simply keep the system going. Liquid fertilizer gathers in a chamber at the bottom where there is a tap to drain it into a watering can.
Mango Health has developed an iPhone app that has been set up to meet the needs of people who take prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and nutritional supplements. By entering a text or snapshot of medications and supplements, the app reminds people to stay on their dosage schedule and defines the possible interactions between various combinations to provide users with necessary warnings.
The app also allows users to log activities, keep a schedule, compare themselves to other people taking the same medication or facing a similar health situation, and be motivated by getting points, discounts and rewards for following doctors’ orders. As 75% of U.S. adults admit not to following physician prescribed treatment plans, Mango Health believes that its design and game mechanics can encourage people to be more cautious and serious about their treatments.
We spoke with Jason Oberfest, Co-Founder and CEO of Mango Health, on the inspiration behind the app:
Historically the medical profession has been driven by data collected by the clinician, but we are currently in the midst of an important change where this model is being inverted-going forward good medical care will be centered around the analysis of patient-collected data. Your health data no longer lives in a file at the doctor’s office, instead you carry it with you at all times. We believe that having personal health information immediately accessible will inspire people to live healthier lives, because instead of waiting to have your health assessed at an annual check up, you can access your personal health information in real time. It’s inevitable that people will make smarter health decisions in the face of that constant feedback.
The Hapifork is a Bluetooth-enabled eating utensil that offers real-time data and haptic feedback to emphasize the importance of eating at a moderate pace. The fork contains a built-in sensor that vibrates to indicate when a user is eating too fast, while actively collecting data around the pace of consumption which can be accessed through a web or mobile dashboard.
Jacques L’epine, designer of the Hapifork, told us that
We now know that it is better to eat slowly than to eat quickly (for overweight, diabetes, gastric reflux, digestive comfort…) but we know very little about what a good behavioural habit is. With the support of the research community and that of the users who will accept to share their data, Hapifork will bring much help in that matter.
For example, the Hapifork could clue eaters into the fact that they tend to eat their breakfast too fast, or that they overeat at dinner. The connected fork aims to help people eat healthier, slower meals and consume less.
Sit pretty on this undulating bench made by architect Carl Fredrik Svenstedt, which was inspired by the human skeleton. Carved by CNC machine from flat sheets of furniture-grade plywood, this bench balances form with cutting-edge technology to produce fluid, flowing curves.
PSFK spoke to Svenstedt about the ideas behind his products and architecture and his thoughts on trends in home living.
The infinity bench was designed as an exploration of 3D fabrication and the idea of making volume out of flat panels. The parts are cut out serially from flat plywood sheets by digitally controlled cutting machines. At the same time the rings are dimensioned in a layout such that several rings can be cut out of one another, like onion rings, such that less panels are used. On another level, though, the bench is obviously inspired by skeletal structures and the sensuality of the human form.
The Infinity Bench is available for purchase through Lerival, where other innovative home pieces featured in the Future of Home Living exhibition are available as well.
The Bitponics system is a cloud-based hydroponic garden manager, complete with a web-based dashboard that’s accessible anywhere and can control every aspect of the growing process, such as pH, temperature, light and moisture level.
The compact garden system collects data from Wi-Fi enabled sensors that plug into a base, logging that information in a dashboard. When any problems arise, the system sends alerts to owners. The base has two power outlets built in which feature timers that allow you to set schedules for components like lights and pumps.
The vertical garden is a demonstration piece showing Bitponics technology in action. This garden is created in collaboration with designer Endrit Hajno.
This apartment unit is designed especially for the home. This unit will not only grow microgreens but also provides a surface to prepare your salad. This system has 8 drawers to grow a variety of greens to prep various microgreen salad or garnish any dish. The butcher block counter top offers more surface area to enjoy as you entertain guests. Designed in collaboration with Endrit Hajno.