Check out how human the Lytegem Lamp seems.
Verbarius is “the first clock in the world that tells time the way people do.”
The clock spells out time differently every minute. It’s either forty-five minutes past four, or fifteen minutes to five, or four forty-five, or a quarter to five.
Ottoman to bed
Uber-ottoman: “t’s a stylish cubic ottoman + it’s a (hidden) guest bed.”
Mountain Tree House
Mountain Tree House was designed by architects Brian Bell and David Yocum. More photos at the site.
The Sun Jar
The sun jar, designed by Tobi Wong, stores sunlight. Have it sit in the sun during the day and it radiates at night.
This is a wonderful effect and the sandblasted glass makes it seem as if it truly emits warm sun light. It is a great little idea for an outdoor summer dinner, where you have the jars scattered around the table, or an evening at the beach where they will provide just the right amount of light, or as garden illumination, just position them at strategic points in your garden or rooftop terrace or balcony – they work equally well in either location.
Resource Furniture: Doc
The transformable Doc system is a comfortable sofa with fully removable covering that with a simple movement and no strain becomes a practical bunk bed, provided with a safe ladder integrated in the structure which provides support and a protective barrier.
Motel 6 finds design
Motel 6 Reinvents the Economy Lodging Segment with Phoenix Prototype.
True to the spirit of Motel 6, the new design is simple, functional and straight to the point. Priestman Goode of London designed the room to optimize the use of space by combining multiple functions into a single piece of furniture to provide modern functionality.
SpaceStation hides those pesky cables.
An extended desk organizer for laptop users with internal coiling pins conceals all the cords that usually sprawl over the desk. Hovering just 5mm above the desk, cords are free to enter or exit the hub at any point – on the side to connect a scanner, the front for an iPod, the back for a laptop or camera. An internal 4-port USB 2.0 hub will keep all peripherals connected. One USB plug exits the station right where needed to connect a laptop. Just tip the front of the SpaceStation up to access the hub and cords.
Single serve spice
Individual spice packets that stay fresh.
Do you have dried herbs and spices that are older than your youngest child? Jars of dried herbs and spices can quickly become stale and flavorless if not used promptly after opening. TSP Spices are pre-measured and sealed in convenient, individual packets that stay fresh and fragrant. Each tin contains twelve one-teaspoon packets of high-quality, organic herb or spice. The tins also make pantry storage neat and tidy.
Simply shear your way through the pizza, scissor style! Even better, flip them on their side and they have a built-in spatula for serving.
HomeHero’s Fire Extinguisher isn’t chunky, ugly, and red.
Traditionally, fire extinguishers are large, cumbersome and difficult to use, requiring two hands to operate. HomeHero’s™ greatest ergonomic feature is its simple, single-handed deployment. The accessible style and shape of the canister, and the molded rubber grip and trigger on its handle allow the consumer to deploy the product in comfort and ease, even under the most challenging circumstances.
ViprLock lets you change your key in 3 seconds.
ViprLock empowers residents to change keys in seconds with the simple push of a button—rather than changing locks.
The Leo Cat Scratching Post
The Leo Cat Scratching Post by James Owen Design.
Leo is a modern cat scratching post constructed of a Zebrawood scratching column with a polished 11” aluminum base. The smooth and sculptural form is timeless. It is designed to fit into the modern abode and become complimentary to the home environment when not in use.
Peel off wine label
Neat innovation in wine labels.
When you’ve finally found a wine you really like, how often do you remember its name when you’re out wine shopping again? Oxford Landing’s South Australian Shiraz wine label sports a useful innovation that can help – a tear-off tab to retain all the useful bits of info to remind you about your great wine experience.
Ryan Heneiseon 30 Apr 08
How in the name of thunder has nobody though of the peel-off wine label until now? That is brilliant.
The Sun Jar is beautiful – I wonder if it would make a good nightlight.
RE the fire extinguisher: it almost seems TOO cleanly designed – like kitchen camouflage. I wonder if, in the panic of escaping your bok choi fire, it would not be easier to locate and use an ugly red fire extinguisher.
Ryan Heneiseon 30 Apr 08
Also, the ugly red fire extinguisher is an accessibility signal. The fire-engine red color makes it stand out, and the ugly obtrusiveness of it is a constant reminder in the corner of your eye: “here I am when you need me”.
It would be interesting to do some tests, and given a fire, this extinguisher, a traditional extinguisher, and a healthy measure of panic, which extinguisher people would reach for.
jamieon 30 Apr 08
I was with you right up to the single-serving spices. It’s sad that we live in a world where there are whole companies who make money off of more packaging (and as a direct result) more waste. (For example, think about the toilet cleaning brushes and floor mops where the whole head detaches so you can “easily” throw it away.)
Can’t use your spices fast enough for them to not go stale? Just find a store that sells spices in bulk and buy very small quantities. Problem solved!
Erik Petersonon 30 Apr 08
Nice post, but I think you went a bit too far with the pizza scissors. A little too made-for-TV for my tastes.
Just because something is “new” doesn’t mean it is worth the space in your drawer.
matton 30 Apr 08
Those spices are total bullshit. Let’s compare:
http://www.shopfosters.com/store/product.php?productid=3143&cat=0&page=1 12 tsp for 10 bucks
http://www.thespicehouse.com/spices/korintje-cassia-cinnamon 1 cup for 5.29
and the spice house is KNOWN for quality. Go buy a reusable teaspoon somewhere.
Ian Son 30 Apr 08
haha… found a typo:
“Lest” you change your key in 3 seconds. I believe you mean’t to say “let’s”?
Benjyon 30 Apr 08
Wow! Some truly amazing ideas… where did you guys find all those?
The top lamp gives me an idea I’ll have to pitch my boss for one of our products…
But those pizza scissors go against everything espoused by the Hansen kitchens, don’t they? If ever there were a definition of a unitasker kitchen gadget!
My favorite may be the wine label—it’s a simple change that probably costs $0.02 a bottle to incorporate yet makes it that much easier to create repeat customers. Much cheaper than other advertising.
Dave Gon 30 Apr 08
The peel off wine labels are actually quite common here in Australia, and have been around for at least a couple of years.
Wine-Oon 30 Apr 08
Uh… Just take a quick pic of the wine label with your cell phone.
carlivaron 30 Apr 08
I’m not a big fan of the “fuzzy time” clock. I fail to see how this is better than simply a good ol’ analog clock. I agree that a digital clock reporting “4:52” is more precision than most folks need, but I find analog hands give me either a quick approximation or exact time, as needed. I can quickly realize it is “about 10 to 5” or I can look a tad closer and see “oh it’s about 4:52”.
Of course this may come from 15 years of public school, staring at those clocks, waiting for the bell to ring (or glancing at the same clock during a test to get a quick approximation).
GeeIWonderon 30 Apr 08
Check out how human the Lytegem Lamp seems.
I fear you and I perceive humans (or humanity?) in a very different way.
The MTH is reminiscent of some FLW. The rest, indeed, feels a little latenight-informercial-ish. Maybe that’s just the ads at the bottom speaking though.
Rob Poitrason 30 Apr 08
The pizza scissors are the exact opposite of what someone should have in their kitchen (one use tool) that was mentioned in the last kitchen post. A minimalist, natural approach to kitchens from Hansen Living by Matt They do also function as a spatula but what a headache to clean and what about sharpening them? Plus if it is Chicago pizza no way will those work. The pizza will just laugh at the scissors.
A quality 8” or 10” chefs knife will cut the pizza faster and with less headache. Then turn the knife and there is your spatula for getting the pizza out. The knife is much easier to clean as well since it just has to flat surfaces that can be cleaned with a swipe of the sponge.
Jayon 30 Apr 08
I think there’s a distinction to be made between the way people tell time and the way they communicate it to one another. It might seem strange to respond to the question “what time is it?” with “four forty-three”, but I don’t think most people find it taxing to look at digital or analog displays that show the precise time.
The product description is actually rather vague; it seems to say that the clock will choose randomly between the four ways of expressing “4:45” in words, but doesn’t tell us how it handles sub-five minute intervals like 4:43 (though it seems to hint at it by saying it “spells out time differently every minute”). If the only real difference is spelling the time out in words that doesn’t seem like much of an improvement. But the clock is striking both visually and functionally.
It’s interesting to speculate on why our system of communicating approximate time developed the way it did. After all it’s usually not more syllables to say the exact time. I suspect there’s a greater potential to mishear a string of numbers without the connector words like “to”, “of” or “past.” Perhaps difficulty in parsing also comes into it. Anyway, many other great items here.
GeeIWonderon 30 Apr 08
It’s interesting to speculate on why our system of communicating approximate time developed the way it did.
Well, it’s off topic, but ‘exact time’ is a relatively new development. And everybody having the same ‘exact time’ is newer still.
Granton 30 Apr 08
Once you cut pizza with scissors you’ll never go back to a traditional pizza cutter. And they’re also useful for many other various kitchen duties.
GeeIWonderon 30 Apr 08
Once you cut pizza with scissors you’ll never go back to a traditional pizza cutter.
Wanna bet? Try ‘em with, say, a classic Magherita.
ssson 30 Apr 08
Fubizon 30 Apr 08
An excellent selection !
raminon 30 Apr 08
That fire extinguisher is a good example of what you get when a designer designs a product without good knowledge of the domain.
You can’t make a small fire extinguisher that is light weight and usable with one hand. For most novices, a situation in which they’d have to use an extinguisher is so stressful that dexterity is reduced. A small extinguisher has a small amount of content that will easily be wasted spraying at other things than the fire itself. (I trained lots of people, even in an exercise panic levels and loss of dexterity are visible.)
In fact, 2 kg fire extinguishers (that are commonly sold in Europe for cars, small boats, etc) are regarded as toys. And I couldn’t even find any information on the product page of the substance used or how much the extinguisher holds.
And I must agree with earlier commenters that the red color also serves a purpose. Not everything is meant to be sleek and blend into its surroundings…
dusofton 30 Apr 08
Extinguishers are red and ugly for reason! They have to be spotted easily. And their clunkiness goes to their capacity. This small extinguisher-like device is for sure not able to extinguish as much as are the traditional extinguishers… Better looking does not mean better.
Paul Montwillon 01 May 08
Matt, this wine label is a winner for me. Just today I wanted to peel one off from my favourite wine. I really enjoy your Design posts.
Matton 01 May 08
I like that you can upload your own language to the clock….so all times before 7am would be ‘too early, go back to sleep’ :-)
Simonon 01 May 08
The tear-off wine label reminded me of Viktor Pucsek’s Vinho Verde concept – a wine bottle that’s labels can be peeled off and folded up into paper cups.
Justin Bellon 02 May 08
There seems to be quite a few of those kinds of clocks around now. Am I the only one who prefers a plain digital readout, accurate to the minuet—thats the way I give out the time.
Chelle Parmeleon 05 May 08
I bought the sun in a jar for a good friend’s birthday last year. She says it’s one of the best things anyone has ever given her. She can’t wait for her baby girl to be old enough so they can go capture the sunshine on a lazy afternoon together.
This discussion is closed.