Thursday, 28 June 2012

UNbrella? Compact Tube Turns Newspapers into Umbrellas

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UNbrella? Compact Tube Turns Newspapers into Umbrellas:

It is a sight we are so used to seeing we hardly seem to notice it anymore: when it rains, people pick up whatever is at hand to cover their heads while seeking shelter.

Aside from suitcases, suits and jackets, one of the most common items deployed in this way is an everyday newspaper (or magazine, in a pinch) – in central London, this designer notes, there is a free newspaper available, ready at hand for a device like the Eco Brolly shown here.

Shiu Yuk Yuen simply takes this behavior, reinforces and augments it, with an umbrella that “can re-use and adapt objects such as newspaper[s] and plastic bag …  all the user has to do is unscrew the top lid, poke the lid onto the middle of a reuseable object … screw to secure it & open it out like an umbrella” – all with a reusable lightweight aluminum tube that can be slipped back into a pocket when not deployed.

Blindry: Window Blinds Flip Down into Laundry Drying Rack

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Blindry: Window Blinds Flip Down into Laundry Drying Rack:

Washing laundry is simple enough in confined spaces, but setting it out to dry is takes time and surface area. The more people in a given dwelling, the more you are apt to see racks simply sit out all week as clothes cycle through.

Kim Bobin & Ko Kyungeun have come up with a Red Dot Design Award winning solution to this problem – window blinds that fold out into a drying rack, conveniently located near the best source of natural wind and light to speed things along.

The best part is also its curse, however – so long as you have laundry lying out, you cannot block the sun from the window. Still, it is a great concept whether or not it ends up seeing the light of day.

Flat-Pack Flex Chair Bends & Twists into Shape on Demand

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Flat-Pack Flex Chair Bends & Twists into Shape on Demand:

The most typical flat-pack furniture comes in the form of plywood or metal sheets, the rigidity of which crucially overcomes their thinness – not so in this case, where even-easier deformations result in a shape that is malleable but firm in remarkable ways.

While the chair could be described as three-dimensionally complex, it is driven by basic material science more than the desire to formulate a unique shape or convey a style or trend.

The designer, Sarah Paculdo, sums up her rather straightforward thought process: “This chair is designed to ship flat and be assembled by the end user. Created under “inside-out design” principles (a phrase coined by designer Jim Shook), its aesthetic is derived from its structure, creating a unique, modern look.”

Compact Coke Bottle Concept is Stunning & Space-Saving

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Compact Coke Bottle Concept is Stunning & Space-Saving:

When process and product align, it becomes possible to see how a simple idea involves hidden complexities and to communicate the layers of impact a small change could make in real life.

Created by Andrew Kim, this EcoCoke concept was not sponsored by any company – it was an independent look at how a shift in thinking and construction could make a product leaner, meaner and greener.

The shape obviously saves storage space while shipping, but it comes with other benefits as well, including a larger brandable surface area and an easier-to-crush set of pre-creased sides for disposal.

Sketches, models and diagrams are both exploratory and explanatory – they show how the details evolved but also what is involved in marketing a new idea that while small would require a radical shift in manufacturing for a major global company.

Stomp It: Manual Trash Compactor You Step to Compress

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Stomp It: Manual Trash Compactor You Step to Compress:

Who knew taking out the trash could be so fun? Well, at least it is more enjoyable than using your hand to press down the garbage and make room for more when low on bags (or simply feeling lazy).

This foot-friendly compression system comes courtesy of a five-person design team via YankoDesign: Hyunsoo Kim, Young min Yoon, Seunghee Son, Sukwon Park & Sungwoo Park.

Like a giant-sized straw, the accordion-shaped sides bend and flex as you apply pressure from above, forcing the empty space out of your trash bag before you take it out of the bin and put it in back – particularly handy for city dwellers with limits on weekly waste pickups.

From Deep Seas to Outer Space: 30 Futuristic Home Designs

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From Deep Seas to Outer Space: 30 Futuristic Home Designs:

Concept designs are more than mere fantasy or idle musing – they drive real technological change, keeping us here-and-now humans looking ahead toward a never-certain future. Hover and click below for more details on each design.

Many concepts are already in the works: cars that plug into rather than park next to homes, mobile pods for off-the-grid living and three-dimensionally-complex objects that only a few years ago were hard to model on a computer, let alone construct in real life.

From aquatic towns to orbital hotels, the above articles cover unbuilt wonders that test the limits of curry technology but also provide something for the future to look back on as a benchmark. It is always hard to say whether they will seem dated or visionary ahead of time.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

4 Fantasy Yachts Blend Sleek & Silly in Style

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4 Fantasy Yachts Blend Sleek & Silly in Style: [ By Delana in Technology & Vehicles & Mods. ]

Yachts have always been the playthings of the ultra-rich, and some of them are so lavish as to border on ridiculous. However, just because yachts are perpetually inaccessible to most of the population doesn’t meant that we do not appreciate their unique and graceful designs. So just for a while, pretend you are one of the world’s super-wealthy and take a tour of one company’s incredible yacht offerings.


(all images via: Schopfer Yachts)
The Oculus, meant to look like a giant fish or marine mammal, is Schopfer Yachts’ first design launch. The 250 foot long-distance cruising yacht is meant to accommodate up to 14 people in crazy luxurious style. The company recently announced that they have chosen a naval architect to begin building this monument to sea-faring elegance.

With three levels, 12-foot-high ceilings and a dedicated Owner’s Suite, the Oculus is bigger than most homes. Which could come in handy when the tough life of a billionaire gets to be too much and the future owner of this beautiful beast just has to get away from it all.


Putting aside for a moment the fact that yachts are luxury items that very few can afford, it is easy to see that they are often the result of fantastic design by skilled craftspeople. The Infinitas was inspired by the infinity symbol and it is easily one of the most inventive looking yachts ever designed.

On of the stand-out features of the Infinitas is the huge pool deck between the lounge and dining room. The pool is bisected by a footbridge which guests can walk across to access either side of the deck; swimmers can glide through the underwater openings in the bridge’s support. Alternately, guests can walk across the glass-floored, glass-roofed sky bridge directly above the pool on their way to the dining room or the helipad.


The sleek Audax is a sport fishing vessel whose name translates to “adventure.” The team at Schopfer went out of their way to create a fantastically redesigned version of the typical sport fishing yacht.

The redesign allows for much more cabin space, all arranged around a central staircase. The yacht tender and two jet skis have their very own storage areas with their own individual hoists, making it easy to get them into and out of the water.

Audax 130

The second yacht in the Audax series continues the trend of sleek, polished, luxury fishing yachts. The second Audax has a wealth of interior space along with cushioned sun lounges and mid-ship access to the flybridge.

The shape of the Audax 130 was inspired by the energetic ocean-going flying fish. It features a dedicated “garage” just for the on-board water toys and plenty of space for either fishing or just hanging out and enjoying the sights.