Always one to make interesting, interactive designs that require a hands-on approach and a wow factor, you may remember Marc Venot’s Quetzal Lamp and Chair series. The Secret Box, a design developed for French design brand Lexon, involves a similar, playful approach that baffles you with a simple trick that involves a simple 180° flip.
The Secret Box allows you to stash valuables in a transparent acrylic jar. Flip the jar over, and it goes from transparent to completely opaque, hiding your items from one’s view. A clever trick, the Secret Box uses an opaque, milky liquid trapped within a double-walled container. When the container’s kept upright, the liquid sits at the base of the jar, while the walls remain transparent. Flip the jar over and the liquid exits the base and fills up the walls, blocking what’s inside the jar from your view. Anyone unfamiliar with the box’s little secret will probably think the box contains a liquid inside it. Tip the box back over and the liquid collects at the base again, revealing the items you hid inside it in the first place. The Secret Box is perfect for stashing things you don’t want other people getting their hands on. From loose change, to cookies or candy, the Secret Box is an inventive little product that hides your valuables from the rest of the world… but not you! Only you know the clever little secret!
Every few years we come across a technology that redefines an industry. The cooking world saw its last revolution with microwaves, but things have been pretty stagnant from thereon… until now. The Brava Oven takes the oven a step further and uses a technology that they call Pure Light cooking. Here’s what it can do. It can instantly reach temperatures of 500°F from room temperature in a single second… and its cooking range is so well-defined, that the Brava Oven can, on one cooking tray, cook three different meals at three separate temperatures!
It sounds almost magical, but the Brava Oven uses a sort of infrared technology to eliminate the need to pre-heat an oven. In literally an instant, the oven can reach any desired temperature and cook the food within. The Brava also comes with a single tray that has three separate zones. The makers claim that their proprietary Pure Light technology can focus the heat within the zones so perfectly, you can cook three different dishes at three different temperatures, at the same time. Imagine being able to make instant meals, from meats to grilled veggies, to toasted buns, all at the same time, in the same oven! Neither do you need extra utensils, nor do you need to waste time pre-heating the oven. Brava claims their technology can cook meats perfectly, getting them to the exact level of sear you want… and since their Pure Light system works in...
The HP Elite Presenter Mouse cleverly gives you best of both worlds. A simple black bar with a matte handle and a microtextured control panel on top, the Elite Presenter Mouse twists a full 180° at a slight angle to turn from remote-controlled laser presenter to fully functioning mouse. With presenter controls on one side and mouse keys on the other side, the Elite Presenter mouse ingeniously plays both roles, allowing you to switch between tools of choice in a split second.
The Elite pairs via Bluetooth with a PC, working within an impressive range of 30 feet from the connected device. With forward and backward controls, you can navigate through your presentation, selecting/clicking on objects and links using the central button. It even includes a virtual laser pointer button that allows you to highlight or point a laser point at something on the screen without a laser beam. The remote has spatial awareness and motion tracking, and displays a dot on your screen, allowing you to control its position.
Above the controls on the presenter interface is a tiny window that houses a sensor for the mouse. Flip the mouse over and twist the handle, and the Elite shifts into Mouse mode, letting you use its naturally angled body for a proper grip, as you rely on the right and left clicks to operate your computer naturally. Fold it back, switch it off, and the HP Elite Presenter Mouse slides easily into its...
Being from the southern part of the United States where literally everything (including butter and Oreos) are fried, my mom taught me good and well the importance of having the right pan! And why settle for one that screws up your food because of bad coatings and poor ergonomics?
The good news is, you don’t have to. The Blackbeard’s designers have created a truly functional and lasting frying pan that utilizes an all-new, non-stick, non-scratch coating on top of multiple layers of stainless steel with an aluminum core sandwiched in-between. This, in combination with its consistent 2.9mm all-around thickness, makes the Blackbeard suitable for even heat distribution no matter the heat source.
Another key innovation is its stainless steel honeycomb pattern that protrudes above the non-stick coating. It’s scratch-resistant, durable, and won’t wear out even after years of use.
To finish things off, it’s got the perfect handle for flipping, stirring, and maneuvering it all around the kitchen.
Designer: Tacco Marijnen
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The Blackbeard is a next-generation frying pan, implementing a new non-stick, non-scratch coating, on top of multiple layers of stainless steel. In the middle there is an aluminum core that evenly distributes the heat over the entire pan. This makes the Blackbeard suitable for all heat sources, including induction.
Now you can prepare your favorite dishes with stainless steel chef-quality...
ONE-K offers an entirely new way of rocking out to your favorite tunes… and it’s all about enjoying YOURSELF! The wireless system consists of a playing unit, Bluetooth earbuds and an integrated microphone. The idea? Put on your favorite tunes and sing along! Your voice will be echoed in the buds along with the music. You can choose to record or simply karaoke solo for fun. Of course, if you’re a musician, it offers a simplified way of creating and recording on the fly. Got a song idea in your head? Just pull over and put a track down!
Designer: ZJ-DDG Studio
You’ve been using them for years, pretty much your entire childhood, and then something else comes along the way and your favorite game console from the 90s goes into a box in the garage. 8BitDo, the company notorious for reviving legacy gaming tech and taking us on a journey that fuses nostalgia with the future, wants to bring back those classic controllers, but tweak them for the present. Their mod kits are available for most legacy controllers, from the NES and SNES classics to the originals, to even the Sega Mega Drive. The kit involves opening up the old controllers you have lying around and simply switching the printed circuit board on the inside for 8BitDo’s redesigned circuit boards. The minute you do, you now have a new controller that is compatible with mobile platforms, Windows, MacOS, Steam, Raspberry Pi, and even the Nintendo Switch! And what’s more is, the new PCBs in your controllers turn them wireless!
The idea is that you’ve spent hours, if not days, with your hands wrapped around those controllers and your hands, even though they’ve grown over the years, recognize those familiar contours and still know their way around them. 8BitDo’s mod kits don’t just take your hands and brain on a ‘feels trip’, they also turn an obsolete product into something that you can and definitely will reuse for probably another 10 years!
How does a young designer break into the industry? Continuing the series of design interviews, our new recruitment platform Yanko Design Job Board brings you answers from Daniel Park. These answers have been curated by Geunbae “GB” Lee ( Product Designer at Facebook) to give a clearer idea for interview answers that work.
BBA in Strategic Design and Management at Parsons School of Design
How did you get into design?
I started my design career in architecture. After graduating high school, I went to pursue a degree in architecture at the University of Toronto but after one year I dropped out because my mentor at the time told me “Daniel, if you are willing to slave away for 8 years at school and another 8 years designing toilets with a bleeding nose and still smile through the entire process, continue in this field”. This was supposed to be encouraging, but I was not down to spend 16 years of my life doing something that I wouldn’t love doing. After my brief sprint in architecture, I went to an institute to pursue graphic design — I dropped out again. Except for this time I switched into a different major which was the web design program. This was around 2013, so the web hype train was just picking up steam (Adobe flash was still a thing). From there I liked what I was doing...
Seeing this design reminded me just how good I have it living in Los Angeles! It also reminded me of the days when I would trudge through the wind, rain, and snow in New York City, trying to balance the rest of my life in hand while struggling to keep an umbrella from being ripped out of my hands by the wind. Never again. Unless, that is, I score a Cloud Umbrella by Nate McCracken.
The magic is all in the handle. It’s been adapted so that we can carry on everyday life the same as if it weren’t raining. You can hold it in hand as you would a normal umbrella, clench it between the elbow to free up your hands, or loop it around your wrist when you’re not using it. Best of all, it’s specially designed to hang from any table or other surfaces to dry without getting dirty.
Designer: Nate McCracken
Detailed research. Shadowing, observing, taking notes and trying to empathize with the needs of a market. Her hands were always working at the limit. This became the inspiration to design an ergonomic umbrella that wouldn’t occupy either of her hands.
With an adjustable PVC model and several rounds of foam models, Nate began to hone in on the perfect ergonomics.
Borderline revolutionary, the Flip Scale is a finite tool for infinite measurements. Its incredibly clever design allows it to flip over and be used multiple times, allowing you to measure much more than a foot ruler or a measuring tape is capable of!
The Flip is a three-part scale with two rotating arms and a linear scale above it. The flipping arms allow you to hold and rotate the scale when you reach the end of the measurement, and the scale itself comes with continuous markings on its front and back, allowing you to flip it over (in a straight line) and over, measuring and adding as you go. It’s an ingenious solution that elevates a simple product we’ve used for centuries to a new high, giving it abilities far beyond what it was initially capable of. Although the Flip can only measure in straight lines, there’s no limit to how far it can go. Just use the rotating arms and keep flipping the scale and adding as you go!
Molded in polycarbonate, allowing it to be clear as well as scratch-proof, the Flip comes with rivets on either sides that allow the arms below it to swivel. It also comes with a textured pattern on its arms, where your fingers would touch it the most. The texture gives you a good grip while ensuring the transparent part of the scale doesn’t get dirty over time. The scale comes with edge-to-edge measurements...
With Starbucks being the largest company to say no to plastic straws in favor of the environment, it’s just a matter of time before the plastic cup makes its way out of our lives, landfills, and oceans too.
Virtually indestructible, biodegradable, dishwasher-safe, and reusable, Kaffeeform ditches those flimsy, mass-produced, plastic cups for a cup that’s made from a material that’s slightly closer to home… coffee! Created using the very by-product of coffee brewing, Kaffeeform’s cups are made from coffee grounds that you usually dispose of after brewing your cuppa.
After tea and beer, coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world, and results in a high production of coffee grounds, that either get disposed of or get used as a fertilizer. Putting them to good use, Kaffeeform gives the coffee grounds a grave-to-cradle approach. Mixed together with biopolymers, Kaffeeform’s cups utilize the coffee grounds as a raw material. The resulting product not only looks beautifully earthy (almost like ceramic), but is biodegradable, shatter-proof, dishwasher-friendly, reusable, and has a slight fragrance of coffee… and that can only be a good thing, right?!
The Kaffeeform cups are a winner of the Red Dot Product Design Award for the year 2018.
Designer: Julian Lechner (Kaffeeform)
While most Aston Martin automobiles are designed to give you the sensation of flying while being safely grounded on four wheels against the asphalt, the Volante Vision concept may actually give you the power of flight. Debuted at the Farnborough Air Show this year, the Volante Vision is Aston Martin’s first foray into airplanes (coincidentally, Volante means Flying in quite a few European languages).
Designed to seat three people, the Volante Vision was made to provide fast, efficient and congestion-free luxurious travel in urban areas. With cities growing bigger and roads getting more congested, the British Automotive Maker believes in taking to the skies, after all, Aston Martin has always been about speed, luxury, and being a cut above.
The Volante Vision concept, a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing), occupies the space of four cars and comes with three propellers, Aston Martin’s sleek-yet-curvilinear outer body, and a comfortable interior that takes aircraft seating and turns it up a notch. Built with a hybrid-electric powertrain and self-piloting capabilities, the Volante was designed in partnership with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, and Rolls-Royce.
Well, that’s a pretty classy way to beat the traffic.
Designer: Aston Martin
From the designer who made even a walker look kinda sexy, the Essence faucet has a robust yet refined aesthetic that puts chrome spouts to shame. The minimalistic design features a gentle curve of the neck, emerging from the floor or wall without any base or superfluous elements. The touch-sensitive switch makes it possible to increase or decrease flow with a simple tap while the outer rings handles temperature which is indicated by a hidden LED light.
Designer: Manuel Hess
It may seem like quite a closely contended match between different earbuds and the companies making them. Each of them have their own USPs. Some are compatible with all mobile platforms, others boast of incredible battery lives, and some work as fitness trackers that sit within your ears. Now, the Aria by xFyro, claims to be one of the world’s only truly wireless earphones with an IPx67 waterproof rating.
Let’s understand first what the IPx67 rating actually is. The IP Code, or the Ingress Protection Code determines the ability of a product (usually electronics) to protect itself from intrusion by elements from the outside, especially dust or water. The first digit in the rating determines protection against dust. A rating of 6 usually means the product is completely impervious to dust of all sizes. The second number in the rating determines liquid ingress. The 7 rating in the 67 means the Aria can withstand immersion in water up to 1 meter tested for a period of 30 minutes. The IPx67 rating on the Aria therefore allows it to be used while in the gym (it being impervious to sweat), in the shower, or even while swimming in a pool.
Aside from its water and dust resistance, the Aria leverages battery-related advancements over the past few years to provide a stunning 32 hours of playback time. The earbuds themselves work for 8 hours continuously (that’s the equivalent of 5+ movies or more...
There’s nothing that will bring a little life (literally) to your dwelling faster than a plant or two (or three, or four, or fifty!). However, not everyone is a fan of standalone planters and pots cluttering up their living quarters. The latest from Kekkilä, the Green series of home furnishings aims to provide plenty of room for all your favorite plants.
The designs, which consist of shelving, boxes, ladders and more, feature integrated containers and surfaces that make perfect homes for plants next to your books and other belongings. They take up the same size footprint that your standard furniture would occupy, only they give your space freshness and a natural component you can enjoy. Some units also contain built-in lighting to help plants grow indoors while providing illumination and ambiance to your room. Use them inside or out and put your green thumb to practice!
Designer: Pentagon Design for Kekkilä
The Green Box is an airy structured growing box with a lid, which can be used a storage box off-growing season.
The Green Shelf is a small-footprint stand with detachable shelves for creating a showcase of your favorite plants and pots.
The Green Light works as an ambiance light and is attachable to the Green Box and the...
The cleverly designed “Κέρβερος” (don’t ask me how to say that) is a pet and pet owner’s dream! Perfect for traveling, the three-in-one design transforms from a cozy, open-air pet bed into an enclosed domicile in seconds. Simply pull on the cord and its unique folding construction will automatically snap into place. Zip up the mesh cover and voila. You’ve got a pet carrier you can take with you just about anywhere. Better yet, it can fold flat so you can store it away or pack it when you need! DO want!
Designer: Shih Wei En
Towing a fine line between consumer electronics and ornamentation, the DP-2 is exactly what I want trend-setting technology to look like. Designed quite unlike any wireless earphone you’ve seen or you’ll ever see, the DP-2 by Dotcom Creation comes in obsidian black, in an open loop. Wearing them may not feel intuitive at first, but they’re designed to stay on your ear and look incredible as they do.
In a world where we’ve got in-ear, on-ear, and around-ear style headphones, the DP-2 breaks the mold as it holds onto the earlobe in its signature fashion by twisting open and closed. Still in its conceptual stages, the DP-2 was showcased (albeit within glass casing) at CES Asia, alongside Dotcom’s other ventures, which include a coffee kiosk where a robotic arm brews, prepares and serves you your coffee!
Designer: Dotcom Creation
With a side profile that looks less like any automobile you may have seen before and more like a Stormtrooper helmet, Alexander Suvorov’s ELLADA Cyberdrive is an uber-futuristic vehicle from 2030 that packs features in a unique aesthetic.
You’d expect a vehicle from 2030 to look starkly different from the ELLADA, which sticks to realism more than being imaginative and over-the-top… but that may just be the ELLADA’s strong point. Compact and rugged on the outside, the ELLADA was made to complement the harsh urban environment of 2030 where cities expand to the extent where commutes grow longer and tougher as people live further away from their workplaces. Not playing to the industry’s tactic of “Bigger is Better”, ELLADA’s small form factor works well in cramped environments brought about by overpopulation, and its rugged yet sophisticated design language still makes a style statement. Meanwhile, the infinite windshield that stretches from left to front to the right provides a clear view of the roads ahead while also being a great continuous surface for augmented reality, which by 2030 should be commonplace in automobiles.
Designer: Alexander Suvorov
From the people who brought us the Levoons, aka the leveling spoons, and even the Nutella Spatula, comes the Levoop. A portmanteau of the words level and scoop, the Levoop is exactly that. Designed to be a large scooping spoon, the Levoop is much larger than the Levoons, and allows for precise measurements using scoops as a unit, as opposed to spoonfuls. It also comes with a leveling ring that lets you quickly and cleverly level off whatever you’re scooping with the swift action of your thumb. A movable ring around the periphery of the scoop clears off anything above the scoop’s rim, leaving you with a perfectly measured out scoopful that you can then use in your cooking.
While the Levoons and their small sizes are perfect for confectionery or regular cooking, the Levoop makes much more sense for things like coffee or protein powder… or even cooking/baking in larger quantities!
The Levoop is a winner of the Red Dot Product Design Award for the year 2018
Simple and sophisticated, the oh!bike comes with a level of sensitivity, scalability, and planning that one expects from a bike that’s objective is to turn our cities electric and eco-friendly. With a design that looks great no matter the age or gender of the rider, and a performance that allows the oh!bike to be used in any urban or suburban setting, the oh!bike is smart, and coincidentally also the world’s lightest e-bike.
Weighing at just 15kg, the oh!bike comes with a clever two-wheel drive. The pedals, operated by the rider, rotate the back wheel, while motion sensors on the pedal pick up your movements and assist them with a motorized drive on the front wheel. To balance the bike out, the battery (with a range of up to 50km) sits right in the middle, above the pedal, snapping on and off when you need, and powering the 250W motor. Ride in eco-mode, and the bike gives you a light assist, making you go further with each pedal, or switch to power-mode for a boost of up to 40%, helping you on tougher terrain, or when traveling uphill.
Designed in Barcelona, the bike meets not just environmental needs and engineering standards, it boasts of a home-friendly design too. The black-and-white design detail fits perfectly in any color setting, and the bike comes with foldable pedals and a rotating handlebar that lets you slide it into the thinnest of spaces, storing it for another day. The battery...
As the world of mainstream consumer electronics has made a casual, 2-year transition into wireless audio after killing the jack, it seems odd that Nintendo’s Switch, one of the most advanced handheld gaming consoles, capable of sheer versatility courtesy their Labo kits, isn’t compatible with wireless audio. The Switch can do quite a lot. It can work as a handheld unit, or with a television; can be used in single and multiplayer modes; and most importantly, can be transformed into pretty much anything, including instruments like the piano… but at the end of the day, the fact that it still relies on wired audio seems primitive and limiting.
The Genki, designed specifically to solve this nagging problem, adds to the already-laden feature list of the Switch, giving it the ability to go wireless in the audio department. Its design beautifully complements the Switch, with an all-black outer casing, a soft rectangular form, and two buttons on either side, colored blue and red to match the Switch. These buttons literally are the only interface you need, and to connect to a wireless headset or earphones, just press the button and you’re all set. Using Bluetooth 5, the Genki pairs with headphones, delivering high-quality audio with zero latency, up to a distance of 60 feet!
Turning the Switch wireless doesn’t just upgrade the console, it makes sense. The Switch was designed to be more than just a handheld device, made to be used with televisions as well...