This coffee table with multicolored and oscillating legs was inspired by orbits found in outer space

I personally think a good coffee table can really light up a room. It instantly draws attention and sets the theme for the entire living room. Once a stunning coffee table has been set, you can start building the rest of the space around it – a comfy sofa, cute side tables, exquisite lighting, and elegant decorative pieces, are all brought together by the right coffee table. And one such coffee table I recently came across is the ‘Orbit’ coffee table.

Designer: Deniz Aktay

Designed by Deniz Aktay, whose prolific designs have enigmatically taken over the online design world, this coffee table is distinguished by its multicolored and interloping legs. Aktay drew inspiration for the table legs from the orbits you find in outer space. According to NASA, “An orbit is a regular, repeating path that one object in space takes around another one. Now compare the coffee table to the images we’ve seen in our school textbooks of planets orbiting the sun – pretty similar, no?

The coffee table features a round glass tabletop that is supported by three oscillating metal tubes. The tubes are interestingly intertwined, creating an intriguing visual mesh, which is further enhanced by giving each of them a different color. Aktay gave the tubes separate colors, to provide each element with a sense of individuality, and to help segregate them distinctly. This ensures that we notice and appreciate the unique construction of the table thoroughly.

In a time, when coffee tables are usually paid less heed to, if not ignored, Aktay’s Orbit coffee table instantly commands attention. It’s the kind of innovative design we all need as a centerpiece in our home, especially since the coffee tables found nowadays tend to be boring wooden rectangles. It’s a fascinating change, and I would love to see this concept as a tangible reality very soon.

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Top 10 wooden homes that showcase this warm material beautifully

There’s something about wooden architecture that is simply so humble and endearing. Wood has been a material of choice for construction for ages galore. Wood ages beautifully – anything built with wood will retain the character of your house. And it also manages to incorporate an aura of warmth and serenity within the living space. The rustic and homely appeal of a wooden space instantly makes you feel at ease and welcome. It’s a material of choice that has stood strong through the ages and continues to do so. Whether modern or traditional, wood can be bent and molded to create a living space of your choice and style. From a tiny timber home with a biophilic design to a cedar-clad cantilevered cabin– this collection of architectural designs will leave you mesmerized and completely in awe of the wonderful yet simple material that is wood!

1. The Slope House

The Slope House from the 3D visualizer Milad Eshtiyaghi is an untraditional A-frame cabin that employs biophilic design inside and out. 3D visualizer and international architect Milad Eshtiyaghi has long been drawn to escapist hideaways perched on rugged, seaside cliffs and isolated cabins envisioned beneath the Northern Lights. Today, he turns his gaze to tiny cabins. A bit more quaint than treacherous, Eshtiyaghi’s latest 3D visualization finds an angular, timber cabin nestled atop an idyllic hillside somewhere in the rainforests of Brazil.

Why is it noteworthy?

Dubbed the Slope House, the timber cabin maintains a signature triangular frame that’s a thoughtful twist on the conventional A-frame cabin. Defined by two modules, one internal volume hosts the cabin’s bedroom while the other keeps the home’s main living spaces, like the dining area, kitchen, and den. The tiny cabin from Eshtiyaghi is envisioned propped atop a truss system that was specifically chosen to minimize the home’s impact on the preexisting landscape.

What we like

  • A biophilic design style has been integrated into the cabin’s interior spaces
  • Natural plants have been added inside the house as a small garden

What we dislike

  • The theme and form of the home may be a bit too eccentric for some

2. Tind

David and Jeanette Reiss-Andersen, cofounders of the Oslo-based tiny home company Norske Mikrohus, decided to build an eco-friendly and affordable alternative to the pricier standard-size homes available on the market.

Why is it noteworthy?

Measuring 70 square feet, Tind is a tiny home on wheels, that draws inspiration from the forests and mountains of Norway. It’s also clad completely in Norwegian spruce, making it a sustainable little house. Not only the exterior but the interior of the home is also clad in wood – birch veneer to be specific, giving the space a very modern, natural, and warm vibe.

What we like

  • A compact built-in wooden counter in the open-plan kitchen also serves as an efficient home office
  • There’s also a walk-in closet, which isn’t seen in most tiny homes

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

3. Sleeve House

Called Sleeve House, this stunning vacation home in upstate New York, is an intriguing slanted home clad in charred wood, with rolling hills surrounding it. Designed by Actual/Office, the 2500-square foot home, occupies nearly 46 acres, and basically comprises two elongated volumes – which seem to be sliding into one another. The smaller volume seems to be elevated.

Why is it noteworthy?

The home is nestled on a quaint sloped site, and is almost orthogonal in plan, with two stories placed deftly into its form. The exterior has been composed of charred wood and exposed concrete, which have also been artfully extended into the interior of the home.

What we like

  • The wood was charred via a traditional Japanese technique, called shou sugi ban

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

4. Immerso

Located in the alpine village of Usseaux in Italy’s Piedmont region is the beautiful little ‘Immerso’ glamping cabin. Designed by Italian architects Fabio Vignolo and Francesca Turnaturi this mesmerizing cabin allows guests to leave behind the hectic city life, go off-grid, and unwind in the calmness of nature.

Why is it noteworthy?

The prefab shelter is easily moveable and takes only two hours to set up! Composed of birch plywood and plexiglass, the 65-square-foot modular cabin was designed with the goal of being ‘easy-to-assemble and flat-packed’. It can be built on-site without the use of any electrical equipment or much technical knowledge.

What we like

  • You can lay under the stars, gaze at them for hours, and reconnect with nature in this transparent cabin

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

5. The Buck Mountain Cabin

Situated on Orcas Island, which is a part of an archipelago called San Juan islands, is the Buck Mountain Cabin. The beautiful cedar-clad cabin was built by embracing the original site and its conditions, and by ensuring that minimal disturbance was caused to it.

Why is it noteworthy?

A steep grade and a narrow clearing created by a rock outcropping were a few of the challenges faced by the architects, but they encouraged the clients to focus on these features as they are unique to San Juan.

What we like

  • The grassy basalt-rock outcroppings set within a Douglas fir and Pacific madrone forest were used to enhance and elevate the cabin
  • Large protective overhangs and south-facing clearstory windows allow sunlight to generously stream in, especially during winter

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

6. Finn Street House

Ben Walker Architects worked upon and rejuvenated a 1950s ‘Tocumwal’ cottage in Canberra’s Inner North. Tocumwal houses are quite iconic in the Canberra region and were initially relocated there from southern New South Wales to tackle a housing crisis. This home was formerly a military intelligence base built during World War 2. The original cottage and its essence were retained, while also making some modern modifications and minor updates.

Why is it noteworthy?

The exteriors of the home are quite eye-catching! A timber facade marks the exterior. It is quite fluid and runs freely across the home. A series of screens dominate the upper level and are artfully sculpted against the windows, giving the entire structure a very harmonious and coordinated appeal.

What we like

  • The upper level extends, and overhangs a section of the ground floor, hence sheltering the outdoor dining area, and creating a cozy and shaded space to eat or hang around in

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

7. The Water Cabin

The Water Cabin is a floating home in Seattle’s Portage Bay that maintains the houseboat’s classic nautical personality and the weathered coziness of a cabin.

Why is it noteworthy?

Defined by a geometric silhouette that exhibits Kundig’s classic style, the Water Cabin’s frame is supported by galvanized steel structures that cradle spacious roof planes and wooden decks. Building the Water Cabin, Olson Kundig and their client hoped to blend interior and exterior spaces throughout the home. Arranged over two levels, the home’s interior spaces are specifically configured to maximize connections to the marine environment.

What we like

  • Russian birch plywood ceilings line each room overhead, capturing the natural sunlight of the day and brightening the home
  • Large roof overhangs protect the patio’s wood from seasonal elements

What we dislike

  • Only a hidden murphy bed functions as the home’s guest room

8. The Bookworm Cabin

Libraries are one of my happy places so this cabin is straight out of my dream – a cozy personal library blended with a forest getaway! The Bookworm cabin is made for bibliophiles who want to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature while devouring stories by a fireplace. Designed by Polish duo Bartłomiej Kraciukand and Marta Puchalska-Kraciuk, this cabin is all about immersing yourself in your books and the woods which was their personal motive too!

Why is it noteworthy?

The angular 377-square-foot cabin is built on a wooded plot near the town of Mazovia which is just 31 miles outside Warsaw. The design and aesthetic were inspired by the surrounding lush forest and sand dunes.

What we like

  • Heaven for book lovers
  • Keeps the focus on your reading list or the scenic outdoors thanks to its sweeping glass windows

What we dislike

  • Does not feature a fully equipped kitchen

9. Adraga

Called Adraga, the tiny home features an array of sustainability elements including solar panels, rainwater collection, and composting garden beds. As part of a larger series of tiny home one wheels, Adraga is home to a retired couple who just want to disconnect from the busyness of the world.

Why is it noteworthy?

Looking at Adraga from the outside, its unstained pinewood facades invoke simplicity. Defined by a rectangular, flat-roofed silhouette, the team at Madeiguincho found movement through windows and doors. On one end of the tiny home, a single, farmhouse-style door welcomes residents into the home’s subdued bathroom. There, against the soothing backdrop of walnut wood panels, residents can enjoy a semi-outdoor shower atop wooden floor slats.

What we like

  • The layout of Adraga is designed to optimize the available floor space
  • Incorporated with various off-grid elements

What we dislike

  • In the bathroom, a dry toilet operates without flush water and closes the waste loop – but not everyone may be comfortable with using it

10. The Climber’s Cabin

The Climbers Cabin Designers

The Climbers Cabin

We have seen Several interesting units, but we believe more well-designed cabins will be introduced. The latest on our radar is The Climber’s Cabin by AR Design Studio. As described, its primary purpose is as a space for children and as a guest cabin for when you want to entertain friends and family.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Climber’s Cabin is situated near a stream and a woodland, adding to the adventure experience. The initial plan for the cabin was for it to function as ancillary space for the client’s house. The idea was that the cabin would be built quickly without any complex construction methods. Every step was supposed to be straightforward, so anyone could easily understand and follow. Construction should also be done using sustainable materials sourced locally. The project was actually born during those early months of lockdowns due to the pandemic.

What we like

  • The A-shaped roof was optimized to allow a mezzanine
  • Inside The Climber’s Cabin, interior finishes are made of used and upcycled boards

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

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Top 10 medical innovations that are a boon to modern healthcare

If there’s something that the pandemic taught us it’s that health truly is wealth! We cannot take our health and well-being for granted, and a mindset of preparedness and precaution is extremely integral during such times. The medical industry has been making leaps and jumps in its innovations, to ensure such a brutal pandemic doesn’t occur again. Designers have been coming up with new and improved, life-saving medical designs that not only boost medical care but relieve some of the pressure from our tireless medical force. From an award-winning inflatable stretcher design to a Dyson award-winning injection accessory – these designs tackle a variety of problems in the health and medical field. They’re a boon to modern healthcare and a reminder that we cannot take our health for granted any longer!

1. The Inflatable Stretcher

Designed by Yu-Hsin Wu, a student at Taiwan’s Shih Chien University, the Inflatable Stretcher provides a much more secure way to transport patients from the location of the incident to a hospital. Almost like wrapping someone in bubble wrap, the Inflatable Stretcher cushions patients and even secures them in place with its unique design. Besides, it even comes with its own first-aid kit to help treat injuries that require immediate attention.

2. Kubota’s Eyeglasses

Japanese pharmaceutical startup Kubota designed special eyeglasses that can improve or even cure Myopia. Kubota’s wearable design has been amped with an array of nano projectors, which project light at the wearer’s retina in a specific pattern, to cause blurring at short distances, in turn forcing them to look further away. This helps the eyeball to morph back into its original shape and allows one’s vision to return to normal. You’re supposed to wear the glasses for a couple of hours a day, usually when you’re simply relaxing or unwinding in the comfort of your home.

3. Cobi

Cobi, a means of personal mobility for seniors, is designed one, to positively impact an aged person’s attitude toward life, two, to change the society’s outlook toward the aged population which is considered a liability especially when free mobility becomes a task for them. With something like the matte-finished Cobi, the aged generation will lead a better, less dependent, mobile life; it’s a given! To earn such credibility, the accessory is meticulously created in two individual parts: a walker and a mobility device, which combine to form one state-of-the-art wheelchair. Even more exciting; Cobi runs without human intervention.

4. Uray

Uray brings something to the table that many might downplay as unimportant. The device comes in an appealing design that could actually be mistaken for a liquid soap dispenser, especially if attached to a wall. Not only does it make the urine analysis device look more approachable but also less embarrassing to be seen by anyone else. If you don’t have to take it out of storage every time you need to use it, you are more likely to actually use it and test your urine for potential health problems. The colored lower portion not only makes it look more interesting but also leaves room for manufacturer customization.

5. The Caregiver

If the biggest purpose of technology was to help make lives better, the Caregiver smart cane is proof that the same technology should serve the needs of people beyond the purview of the ‘common user’. While bone-conducting hearing and camera-based smart navigation have been available to us ‘regular folk’ for decades now, the Caregiver leverages the technology to help enrich the lives of the elderly. The smart cane comes with its own built-in GPS tracker, radar-imaging cameras, and bone-conducting earpieces to help its users navigate effectively and hear well. When not in use, the Caregiver docks in its wireless charging base that helps replenish its batteries.

6. The Multi Scoop Pro

The Multi Scoop Pro gets its name from being able to scoop up patients instead of having them lifted and placed onto the stretcher. The stretcher splits open laterally, allowing it to be placed on either side of the patient on the ground. When the two halves are brought back together again, they scoop the patient onto the stretcher platform, which can then be lifted and transported to the nearest ambulance. For patients with less serious injuries, the Multi Scoop Pro can simply be folded into a wheelchair, allowing a single medic to transport them while they’re comfortably seated.

7. The Medicine Delivery Drone

Although designed for urban setups, the Medicine Delivery Drone’s main focus is on urban residents who cannot step out on their own to buy medicines. The drone, designed specifically for carrying pills, can travel between a pharmacy and a residence, dropping off life-saving medicines without any effort on the part of the patient. The drone was designed as a response to the strict Zero Covid policy instituted in China, where lockdowns are imposed to help curb the virus, often affecting the ability of people with serious ailments to step out and buy medicines. In such situations, the drone does the job for them, fulfilling prescription requirements by shuttling between nearby pharmacies and the recipients.

8. The Pinsoft

Pinsoft James Dyson Award Winning Attachment for Needle Phobia

While its appearance could easily be mistaken for a fancy meat tenderizer, the James Dyson National Award-winning Pinsoft is an injection attachment that helps people deal with Trypanophobia or a fear of needles. Its terrifying appearance aside, the Pinsoft sits around ‘ an injection, and its multiple round-tipped prongs help stimulate and confuse your skin as the needle makes its way through. The gentle stimulation caused by the prongs distracts your brain since it can’t immediately tell the difference between the prongs touching your skin and the needle piercing your skin. By the time you realize what’s happened, you’re done with your shot!

9. Gelassette

The designer actually created a biodegradable cellulose-based rapid test back in 2020 but now he has come up with something based on this but with an improved and optimized design. This new prototype uses no plastic with the positive characteristics needed to be mimicked by gelatin. This material is already utilized in other medical technology and is a fully biodegradable material. With this material, you get 4 weeks of soil biodegradability and less than 3 hours of water dispersibility.

10. The CIONIC Neural Sleeve

The CIONIC Neural Sleeve is a wearable leg sleeve that can help people with mobility issues to walk and move more freely with the help of Artificial Intelligence and electrical stimulation. It’s basically bionic clothing that can help people walk by augmenting human movement. And unlike other devices that can seem robotic and uncomfortable, this is actually something that is comfortable to wear on a daily basis and is easy to put on and take off.

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Dwell unveils a minimalistic one-bedroom ADU that seems to be straight out of its home page

Since the start of the millennium, Dwell has brought us great designs to improve our way of life and managed to forge itself as a strong voice in the matters of architecture. For the past 20 years, the American publication has been providing us with cues and inspo to design our own dream home, and finally, they’re actually presenting it to us on a golden platter! They’ve drawn on their decades-long experience to bring to us their very own ‘Dwell House’. Simply put, the Dwell House is a 540-square-foot ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit), built in collaboration with Adobu, whose beautiful tiny homes have impressed us time and again.

Designer: Dwell x Adobu x Norm Architects

Dwell describes the house as “a California-meets-Copenhagen combination of light-filled spaces and Scandinavian simplicity”. If you closely observe the home, it looks much like the structures that are featured daily on Dwell’s home page. A gabled roof, cedar facade, Scandinavian-inspired interiors, and classic white kitchen cabinets bring to mind many of the tiny homes we often devour on the pages of Dwell, and fantasize as our own homes someday. The one-bedroom ADU is constructed off-site, and effortlessly transported to your property – all thanks to Adobu. It features a bedroom, a full bathroom, a sizable kitchen outfitted with Bosche appliances, and a 12-foot folding glass wall.

Norm Architects played a vital role as well, designing the home with careful consideration and precise attention to detail. Their main goal was to ensure the home is ‘functional’, rather than flashy or extravagant. Expanses of glass were incorporated into the home to create an open and spacious space, that encourages indoor-outdoor living. The star feature of the home is the 12-foot glass wall (custom made by NanaWall), which quite literally folds and unfolds, connecting indoor and outdoor spaces harmoniously. Durable and sustainable cedar-wood side walls are featured in the home – you can pick a natural or a black finish.

“We introduced the Dwell House because we not only want to cover design that responds to contemporary life — we want to make it a reality out there in the world,” said the magazine’s Editor-in-chief William Hanley. “ We want people to be able to add more well-designed space to their homes in the easiest possible way. The design part is key, and it’s where Dwell’s expertise comes in. We’ve seen hundreds of ADU plans over the years, and we know what works and what doesn’t. And with Norm Architects we’ve had a great partner in turning that expertise into a home that’s thought through down to every detail — and it also looks great in any backyard.”

Designed to be versatile and flexible – the home can serve as an amazing guest house, office, home gym, or even a pool house! Of course, it could also function as your primary home, or as an extension of your home. The Dwell House can fit perfectly into your backyard if you’re ready to fish out $389,000. The price tag could be considered hefty, but if you’re bored of the same old ADUs that often look like tool sheds or spaceships, then the Dwell House is a great bet for you!

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Top 10 futuristic footwear to give you the ultimate fashionably ergonomic design

With our hectic lives which pretty much involve us running around all day, the right footwear can make a world of difference. Shoes started off as functional designs meant to protect our feet, and yes we need to pick ones that do exactly that, BUT, they should also reflect our style statements and represent our personality and our personal fashion sense. After all, don’t they say that you can tell a lot about a man by the state of his shoes? Personally, I love a good pair of sturdy and stylish sneakers, ones that can get me through the day without giving me any shoe bites, and also match my outfits! However, I do know that this isn’t the case with everybody. People have high demands and expectations when it comes to their footwear, hence designers are unleashing all of their creative juices, leaving no stones unturned in making unique, innovative, and ergonomic shoes. From Balenciaga high-heel sneakers to Nike-inspired minimal trendy sneakers– these footwear designs are as futuristic, inventive, and fashionable as they can get!

1. Balenciaga high-heel sneakers

This Balenciaga high-heel footwear concept was designed by OJB Studio keeping potential future technologies in mind. “In this Balenciaga concept, [current] manufacturing boundaries and constraints were excluded, with freedom and imagination leading the way”, Ollie of OJB Studio told Yanko Design. “This process enables a fast and efficient way of experimental aesthetic ideation, providing some rather wild, yet desirable designs.” The brief for the specific concept was to create a Balenciaga high heel for the near future, inspired by elements of a sneaker. It’s purely a visual exercise that aims at determining what the future of fashion in the footwear industry will look like.

2. Averted Vision

Defined by its cushioned design and minimalist profile, Averted Vision is practical and trendy. The cushioned soles take up around half of the shoe’s side profiles, providing ample bounce for playing without gravity. Conceptualized without shoelaces, Averted Vision could benefit from textile technology to form-fit around the wearer’s feet for a snug, comfy fit. The silhouette of the shoe seems to be inspired by designs of today, like Yeezy Foam Runners and Boosts. These days, it sometimes feels like we’re a stone’s throw away from life on Mars, so it’s not surprising that designers tapped into the future are influenced by the trends of today.

3. The Kajola Shoe Collection

The Kajola shoe collection is made to look like decaying footwear as the materials used are natural. Because of the way, it’s designed, it’s really more of a piece of artwork than functional footwear. They want to call it “living artefacts” made from various biomaterials like volcanic dust, clay, and even cacao powder and so as the years pass by, it will naturally curl into itself, just like leaves and other organic materials do when they decay. They are named after an area in Nigeria and a trip to local forests. The idea is to push what other things plants can be used to create.

4. Heinekicks

What are the Heinekicks? Quite simply put, they’re limited edition sneakers FILLED with beer. There are only 32 pairs available in the world, and yes, you heard it right, they actually contain soles filled with the new Heineken Silver. Heineken promises these liquid-filled kicks “will have you Walking on Beer”. The Shoe Surgeon maintained the brand’s iconic red, green, and silver colors in the shoes as well. He power-packed the sneakers with a sleek green lenticular upper with silver and red accents. A removable metal bottle opener has been integrated into the tongue of the shoes. This could come in pretty handy when it’s time to pop open a cold one!

5. adidas x Victorinox EQT 93 sneaker

This is the Adidas x Victorinox EQT 93 sneaker by the German activewear brand for people who have a very active lifestyle. When needed the most, the sneaker has the Swiss brand’s EDC snug in place for any fixing, cutting, or other tasks. The shoe is based on the EQT 93 sneaker and modified for this exclusive offering. According to Veronika Elsener, Chief of Marketing at Victorinox – “We are thrilled with the outcome of the products which bring unique design and exciting details.”

6. Sim-Plis-Tech

The brief was to create a pair of shoes that can be used by the “urban nomad” which is basically people like me. The designer was able to come up with a concept for a Vans-like pair of shoes called Sim-Plis-Tech, taking inspiration from a mixture of space, alien life, corals, and skate parks. We get something that looks like what an astronaut would wear while walking around Mars and also something we city folk can wear around while traipsing in the urban jungle.

7. The Nanoflex Parafit TR and Club MEMT Parafit

Reebok really wants to help the physically challenged community with a gimmick-free collection of lifestyle and performance-oriented sneakers. This new edition of sneakers is designed in partnership with Zappos Adaptive, and includes two sneakers crafted for easy on-and-off wear to facilitate disabled people. Dubbed the Nanoflex Parafit TR and Club MEMT Parafit, these sneakers are low-cut and feature removable sock liners (for orthotics) and high abrasion rubber outsoles for superior grip. While the Nanoflex Parafit TR has a breathable mesh upper, medial zipper, and heel pull tab for easy putting on or taking off – the Club MEMT Parafit has a leather upper and extra 4E width.

8. The Koio x Norm Architect Sneaker

KOIO X NORM ARCHITECTS IN CLIFF Shoes

KOIO is known for keeping things more interesting with its partnerships with other brands. Its sneaker brand collaborations tell us not just about Koio’s design philosophy but also about the other brand. The collaboration with Norm Architects resulted in a pair that can be worn for most occasions. The pair is available in two different colors: Cliff and Black Timber. Versions for men and women are ready in various sizes. The sneaker collaboration is a minimalist silhouette of the classic Oxford shoe with a twist. It has also gained a furniture counterpart that looks beautiful, casual yet classy, in oak.

9. The PATRÓN Tequila x John Geiger Limited Edition GF-01 Sneakers

Patrón x John Geiger GF-01 Sneakers

Patrón x John Geiger GF-01 Sneakers Design Details

The PATRÓN Tequila x John Geiger Limited Edition GF-01 Sneakers are made of rare materials with the designer’s creative principles in mind. Geiger was thinking about style, comfort, and versatility—and that’s what the sneakers offer. The shoes are versatile, like the PATRÓN tequila, so you are free to use the pair on the street or on the court. John Geiger’s signature street style and ‘g’ logo have been applied to the pair. The green and white colorway will remind you of the agave fields in Jalisco.

10. The 38%_2101 Running Shoes

Space-X Sneakers for Mars Process

38%_2101 Running Shoes for Mars Materials

Once you’ve set foot on Mars, it may be nice to wear something cool and durable like the 38%_2101 Running Shoes for MARS. The pair is based on the Y-3 running shoes and looks very futuristic. The designer decided to go for the Y-3 because the brand has a futuristic vision. The 38%_2101 Running Shoes for Mars appear to be out of this world, but the pair is also something we can still wear on Earth. The designer’s process included several other inspirations like aerospace equipment and minimal color units and a few items with sharp shapes.

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This concentric school library in Thailand was constructed using bamboo and adobe bricks

The Panyaden International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand had a beautiful bamboo sports hall added to its structure back in 2017. The Chiangmai Life Architects were responsible for this sustainable and thoughtful addition, and they’re back at it again! This time, they’ve designed an impressive new library for the school. The Panyaden Secondary School Library features a low-lying and organic design that is marked by concentric circles.

Designer: Chiangmai Life Architects

The complex and intriguing concentric design of the library is further accentuated by the fact that it is constructed from bamboo. Although, unlike the sports hall, bamboo isn’t the primary material used for construction – the walls are built from adobe bricks (made from sand and clay). The bamboo, on the other hand, was used to construct the two-tiered roof. The roof has been topped with thatching and features an oculus skylight. Beautiful bamboo archways provide support to the impressive roof.

“The Secondary School Library at Panyaden International School was designed to create an inspiring, peaceful and comfortable atmosphere for teenage students to read and study,” said Chiangmai Life Architects.

The place is marked by an interesting combination of traditional study spaces with desks and chairs, as well as more relaxed spaces that can be used as lounges and are scattered with bean bags and pillows. The combination of both kinds of spaces creates an atmosphere that is warm, welcoming, and comforting to the students. They can easily take a short break from their studies, as and when required, without actually having to leave the library for some reprieve. The sunken pod in the center of the library has been equipped with raised amphitheater seating, as well as a view of the skylight. The pod can be utilized for group discussions and readings. The pod is surrounded by built-in working tables, and then a bamboo archway that holds the main bookshelf section.

Besides the sunken pod and the study area, the library also houses a pair of noise-insulated study rooms that are perfect for group sessions, as well as a small office for the librarian. The library has also been equipped with a state-of-the-art central cooling system and a filtered air mechanism, which ensures the space always maintains a comfortable temperature and is well-ventilated.

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A folding iPhone + more concepts we wish Apple had announced during the keynote

Since its foundation in 1976, Apple has been always been at the peak of modern innovation! And let’s take a moment to appreciate all the awesome products and inspiration Apple has provided us with. The groundbreaking tech giant never fails to surprise us, we always find ourselves biting our nails and squirming with curiosity, whenever Apple announces a new product launch! Their ingenious and mesmerizing designs and design philosophy have inspired and influenced designers all over the world, resulting in some pretty unique Apple-inspired designs! From an Apple game console concept to a folding iPhone we wish Apple had announced during the keynote – these mind-blowing designs are the best of the lot and a dream for every Apple lover. We can’t help but just hope that Apple converts these into a reality soon as well!

1. The iPhone Fold

Meet the iPhone iFold, a concept foldable from the mind of Michal Dufka. The iPhone iFold (although Apple would probably call it the iPhone Dynamic Clamshell) follows the format of the MotoRAZR and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, with a clamshell-style folding design that gives you the benefit of a compact iPhone with a generously large screen. This is the first iPhone to have two displays. With a smaller display located just to the side of the camera bump, the iPhone iFold, you can now access important stats and notifications without opening your phone. Sort of like having the convenience of an Apple Watch, this secondary display gives you the gist of what’s up.

2. The Apple Car

Meet the Apple Car, from the mind of an AI. Designed by Dall-E 2 based on a text prompt from designer, educator, and YouTuber John Mauriello, this Apple Car is fascinating for two prime reasons – the car’s design itself, but more importantly, the underlying AI technology that ended up creating the car. The genesis for this idea came from Marques Brownlee’s own efforts with DALL-E 2. In a YouTube video, Brownlee demonstrated how simply typing the words “Apple Car” resulted in a car that looked like the apple fruit.

3. The Apple Watch Series X

Titled the Apple Watch Series X, this quirky concept gives you a smartwatch with a larger folding screen, allowing you to use it as a de-facto iPhone. After all, your watch can make phone calls, right? The Apple Watch Series X is your regular foldable, in the sense that it comes with a primary screen on the front, and opens like a book to reveal a ‘larger’ secondary screen on the inside. Obviously, I use the word ‘larger’ rather loosely, considering how small the Apple Watch’s form factor is, to begin with. Designed to sit on your wrist, this foldable concept turns the square-shaped WatchOS interface into a more traditional landscape one, unlocking the possibility for a lot of regular apps to make their way onto the wristwatch, including better Netflix and YouTube-watching experiences.

4. The Apple iCar

Meet the Apple iCar, a conceptual automobile from the mind of Ukraine-based Echo Studio. This vehicle has a rather luxurious supercar-inspired appeal to it. I see a little bit of the Audi R8 and the lesser-known Lamborghini Asterion in the iCar. The vehicle has an aggressive, speedy silhouette, a rounded back, and some beautifully designed headlights and taillights. There’s obviously an Apple logo on the front, but each wheel sports some drop-dead gorgeous rims with Apple logos on them too.

5. Apple Pencil 2

Apple is naturally aware of the limitations of its own stylus, but it is also aware of how the Pencil’s minimalist design played a big role in its favorable reception. Simply adding buttons would have solved one problem at the expense of a well-loved trait, so that was definitely a no-go. A newly awarded patent (reported by Patently Apple), however, reveals one idea that the Cupertino-based company has played with, one that could hit two birds with one stone. In a nutshell, it extends the second-gen Apple Pencil to include another touch-sensitive area, one near the middle of the stylus, to expand the number of gestures that people can use. For example, rather than just double-tapping the area, one can also slide their finger on the touch-sensitive surface. This gesture can be mapped to some action, such as changing the size of a brush or scrubbing the timeline of a video.

6. Apple AirPods Pro 2022

In line with the leaks and speculations about Apple’s upcoming flagship earbuds, designer Konstantin Milenin has created this concept AirPods Pro 2022 model to give our imagination a tangible form. The stemless design of the audio accessories looks minimal and compact. The charging case also gets a flatter design to accommodate these little earbuds. Unlike the current version, these lay flat on their belly like a clamshell design, and don’t have an upright stance. This will mean, a lot less space needed to stash them in your pocket or keep them in the bag pack.

7. All-screen Apple MacBook Concept

This different species Apple MacBook will, Antonio defines, support TouchID (as a slide button), a trimmed version of FaceID, and a gorgeous AirPen to scribble neatly on the generously big screen. All-display foldable Mac may lack a physical keyboard but the design here makes provision for the choice to pull up a digital keyboard with haptic feedback for the real typing feel. Fanboys may or may not fancy the idea of an all-screen MacBook, but there is little denying the fact that such a device will have dual usage. An iPad role to play when folded and a full-fledged laptop when open.

8. 2022 MacBook Air Concept

If you have been following Apple leaks, you would be aware that the MacBook Air is expected in multiple colors, which is more than the gold, silver, and space grays we are used to. The new MacBook Air could roll out in a multitude of hues that would match the iMac colors. Taking leverage to show off the new MacBook Air renders in multiple colors, the YouTuber has created a design of the device to match that of the 14-inch MacBook Pro with a rounded body. This is done to unify the entire MacBook lineup to look the same, which would be Apple’s idea too, as it has followed a unified design approach for the entire MacBook Air lineup in the past.

9. The Apple 8K Professional Camera

The Apple 8K Professional Camera offers onboard Siri, StyleWriter Compact Ink-less Printing, a Touch and Tilt rear display, and a Magic Wheel with a touch screen button. It’s like the perfect camera, at least, for big Apple fans, but it’s too good to be true. The Apple ProCam seems like a dream, and it is. However, with Apple discontinuing the iPod series, we doubt it will release another separate product line when the iPhone is already very powerful.

10. Apple game console concept

Built for peak gaming performance along with tactically placed joystick, buttons, and shoulder triggers; the Apple handheld console comes with complimentary photography and video shooting capabilities. It’s loaded with a rear camera sensor and a front camera as well. The latter will come in handy for live game streaming on the fly. The front-facing speakers are positioned on the top left and right corners for surround sound effects while identifying the muffled enemy’s footsteps.

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This gravity-defying wellness center in the Dolomites features a group of inverted micro-huts

Network of Architecture (NOA) has created a mindblowing extension of its Hotel Hubertus in South Tyrol. Inspired by reflections in water, the extension is a cantilevered wellness center that seems to defy gravity! Called Hub of Huts, or Heaven and Hell (popularly), the astounding structure is supported by massive tree-like columns and is highlighted by its mirrored design.

Designer: Network of Architecture

NOA built the Italian hotel in 2016, and the new extension is placed close to its glass-bottomed pool. It is raised 15 meters above the ground and projects out of the main building of the hotel. The Hub of Huts is quite literally characterized by a collection of tiny ‘huts’, and their inverted counterparts – creating a cluster of extremely intriguing mini structures. These mini huts were built to mimic “the architecture of a mountain village” reflected on water!

“The inspiration came from the element of water,”  said NOA Founder Lukas Rungger. “We thought about the possible activities such as standing, sitting, swimming, floating horizontally, diving upside down. Each of these positions has a different horizon, and from this interplay of perspectives, the idea of the project came to life,” he continued.

It aims to provide a spa experience that is inspired by its nickname ‘Heaven and Hell’. The upper level or the ‘Heaven’ section features two pools,  panoramic showers, and a changing room. You then slowly move towards the lower level or ‘Hell’ via a stairway. The upside-down lower section houses two saunas, a whirlpool, and showers. When you move from up to down, you move from a cooler environment to a warmer environment, truly living out the experience of moving from Heaven and Hell.

“The lower level of the platform causes a feeling of estrangement in the observer. As one descends, the temperature rises and the environment becomes more protected. It feels like a descent into the center of the earth, with the poles reversing,” said supervising architect Gottfried Gruber.

The Hub of Huts can accommodate up to 27 people, and the entire structure has a dusky and brown-hued aesthetic to it. Aluminum panels clad all the small huts. A brise soleil shading system in the same material and shade has been attached to some of the huts. The interiors also reflect a similarly earthy color scheme – wooden flooring and light beige ceramics accentuate this warm vibe further.

The whole project was quite a difficult one for the studio, since creating this gravity-defying design was no small feat. “An imposing steel cantilever structure supports the platform, which even brought the engineers to the limits. The asymmetrical assembly was a huge structural challenge, including a complex allocation of technical compartments hidden inside the houses,” said Rungger.

It truly seems like a work of wonder, doesn’t it?

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This modern family recreation center in Ukraine is shaped like a mussel

Odessa-based architecture and interior design firm K&B Partners designed the ‘Shell House’. Led by Kovtun Yuri and Burakov Egor, the firm created this structure to function as a modern family recreation center, located near the sea in Koblevo, Mykolaiv region, Ukraine. The intriguing structure draws its inspiration from mussels – a common mollusk found in the local area.

Designer: K&B Partners

The mussel-shaped home is primarily built from wood – including the structure, and the outer decorative shell. Although situated on a single site, it serves as a home for multiple families. It is targeted toward small families of two people, or larger families of four or more people. If you look closely at the intriguing shape of the structure, you’ll notice that it mimicks the shell of a bivalve mollusk specifically. Two massive shells are connected via a hinge, giving the modern recreation center a completely innovative and unique exterior.

Multiple Shell Houses are placed next to each other to create homes for different families. I, presume, each family will get their own living unit to reside in. A view from the top showcases mussel-inspired cottages that are almost smushed together – creating not only an interesting visual but architectural structures that somehow perfectly merge with their surroundings.

The color, texture, and tone of the Shell Houses allow them to harmoniously blend with their surrounding landscape – hence creating homes that seem to be completely at one with their environment. The complementing homes and surroundings function as a serene and almost calming space to live in – truly doing justice to the concept of a ‘recreation center’.

The interiors of the home are unaffected by the interesting exterior. The interior space is not compromised or sacrificed for the imposing exterior. All the homes seem to be amped with a balcony on the upper level. This signifies not only an abundance of space but these balconies also function as shaded areas to lounge about in during the day. The interiors of the home exude luxury and elegance, whereas the exterior has a raw and unfettered charm to it – leading to a fascinating contrast between the two.

The construction is expected to be completed in the spring of 2023.

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This minimal wooden home was designed to focus on a majestic chestnut tree

Located in Vale Flor, Portugal, the Chestnut House is a minimal home designed by local architect João Mendes Ribeiro, centered around a chestnut tree. The glass walls of the home provide close-up views of the majestic tree, making it seem as if the tree is a part of the house. The home is clad in black-painted timber, and covered in plywood panels as well. It has also been lined with oriented strand board and cork panels for thermal insulation. The secular chestnut tree functioned as the motto for the development of the home.

Designer: João Mendes Ribeiro

“The reference to ‘genius loci’ summarises the design starting point: the place and the large century-old chestnut tree. The main idea of the project was to shift interest from the architectural object to the place and site so that the context is the starting point of the project,” said Ribeiro.

Defined as an “elegant shelter”, the home occupies 25-square-meter and includes a kitchen, a living area, and a sleeping section – all placed within one room. A central fireplace is placed in the middle of the room. The walls of this room are positioned in such a manner, so as to subtly envelope and hug the chestnut tree. Impressive windows provide views of the tree’s massive trunk, further highlighting the home’s close proximity to the tree.

A cute wooden ladder placed at the southern side of the home provides access to a mezzanine level, which is small in size but has sufficient space for an extra bed. At the northern end of the home, a bathroom has been placed. The mezzanine section also provides stunning views of the peaceful surrounding landscape.

The interiors of the home – the walls, ceiling, and furniture have all been equipped with a plywood finishing, creating a warm and minimal vibe within the home. The interiors perfectly complement, and in fact, accentuate the minimal exterior of the house.

“The geometry (of the home) is broken and tensioned by the tree trunk and its branches, opening the building towards the tree canopy. The house reveals throughout the year the changes in the seasons and weather. It is the changing game of nature that determines the life of the inhabitant,” said Ribeiro. The home allows the residents to always feel at one with nature, and experience the changes in nature as closely as possible.

By incorporating and making room for an existing tree in the design of the home, Ribeiro has managed to minimize the disturbance caused to the site, and protect a beautiful mature tree.

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