Odd planter concept lets you enjoy observing your plants grow in a fun way

Different people tried to cope with the pandemic quarantine in different and sometimes creative ways. While some were content to catch up with their TV shows and games, others took up new hobbies to while away the time. One of the more popular ones seems to have been growing plants indoors, which is not totally new but also not something adopted by the masses. Even here, there’s a variety of goals and purposes to indoor gardening, though a majority seems to have been focused on the more aesthetic benefits of having lush, green living things inside the home. Ironically, these people seldom go out of their way to grow those plants in equally aesthetic pots, something that this design concept tries to solve right from the start.

Designer: Adrian Min

You can’t just use any container to serve as a plant pot, of course, regardless of how pretty that container might be. There are a few factors to consider to allow a plant to thrive and survive, which is often what informs the design of a planter. These more functional planters, however, aren’t what you’d always call presentable, definitely nothing you’d proudly display on your table or shelf. That doesn’t have to be that way, though, and this “Odd Pot” concept marries form and function in a way that looks not only appealing but also playful.

It’s definitely an odd one for a pot, though mostly because of its unconventional shape. It comes as a tall bowl that stands on three short tapered legs. Instead of a typical brown clay, the pot seems to be made from some terrazzo material, probably ceramic. A removable disc knob juts out from the pot’s back and is the primary mechanism for its highlight feature.

This feature comes in the form of a half capsule that adds something interesting to the presentation while also giving the viewer a different way to look at the plant in the pot. This “cover” is made from glass but has different textures as well as transparencies. One is completely smooth and transparent, while another is smooth yet frosted. Perhaps the curious one is the ribbed clear glass that adds an interesting play of light with its reflections and refraction.

While the Odd Pot retains pretty much the exact same function of a regular planter, its form takes the presentation to the next level. With its stumps for legs and an “arm” that extends from its body, it almost looks like an anthropomorphic version of a planter. It might even remind some of the “sus” characters from a popular game from the past year or two. Granted, the pot’s design isn’t going to be conducive to all kinds of plants, particularly the ones that grow tall or wide. But for most succulents, it will do just fine and will even add a bit of character to your plant decoration.

The post Odd planter concept lets you enjoy observing your plants grow in a fun way first appeared on Yanko Design.

Top 10 product designs all hardcore coffee lovers need in their kitchen

As much as I hate to admit it, I absolutely cannot start my day without a freshly brewed cup of coffee! It’s the boost of energy, dose of motivation, and rush of serotonin that I need every morning. And, I’m pretty sure that’s the case for most of us. However, brewing coffee is an intimate and intricate process by itself, and a few handy products are always needed to peacefully create and enjoy our much-needed cup of coffee. So, we’ve curated a collection of product designs including unique coffee machines, pour-over brewers, sustainable to-go cups, and more to make your morning coffee routine just a little bit more enjoyable. From reusable coffee cups made from recycled coffee waste to an old-school espresso machine – these products are a must-have for all coffee lovers.

1. The Kreis Cup

Meet the Kreis Cup, a sustainable, durable coffee cup designed to enhance your coffee-drinking experience! The Kreis Cup is a reusable cup made from used coffee grounds and plant-based materials, free of petroleum-based plastics, and available in a cup and travel-mug styles.

Why is it noteworthy?

It is heat resistant and designed to keep your coffee hot longer. That being said, the Kreis Cup is still ultimately biodegradable, unlike the plastic-based to-go mugs you get at your local cafe or the breakable ceramic mugs you use at home. Once it reaches the end of its lifespan, the Kreis Cup disintegrates quickly into the soil, leaving absolutely nothing behind.

What we like

  • Made from spent coffee grounds that have been dried, treated, and then suspended in a natural, plant-based polymer
  • It has the faint, unmistakable scent of coffee

What we dislike

  • There is currently no scope for personalization

2. Breeze

Breeze, designed for the South Korean coffee brand Dongsuh, drastically changes the appearance of a capsule coffee machine. This comparatively newer breed of coffee makers often have more stylish and less industrial designs, but they still can’t get rid of that shiny metallic luster common to kitchen appliances and tools. In contrast, Breeze applies a refreshing and softer color palette, favoring pastel variants of white, charcoal, and pink to convey a gentler personality.

Why is it noteworthy?

A ridged surface wraps around the base, contrasting with the smoother texture of the head. Another point of contrast is the tall water tank at the back, a transparent container that projects an image of clarity that, when taken together with the more subdued hues of the machine, seems to send a message of calm.

What we like

  • The design includes a more tactile interface to operate the machine, using clearly marked LED-backlit buttons at the top of the head

What we dislike

  • It’s a capsule-based coffee machine but there is no knowledge shared on how to make the process reduce wastage or make it more sustainable

3. The CJ

Espresso machine manufacturer Moak commissioned the Italian industrial designer to create a machine that are modernist and minimalist and is actually brutalist in its final render.

Why is it noteworthy?

 The CJ (Coffee Jockey) is made up of various geometric shapes that are put together into something simple and beautiful that produces something beautiful as well for caffeine-addicted users. The soft, pastel color shown in the renders adds to the simple but classy look of the espresso machine.

What we like

  • You can actually put two coffee cups in front and get two sizable espresso shots out of one process

What we dislike

  • The design is for Moak, and promises a new coffee blend and capsule system that is not shown yet, so we cannot speak on its functionality

4. The Polaroid Express

Who knew Polaroid and espresso were unlikely companions? This concept rather cleverly combines the two into the ‘ultimate coffee machine for amateurs’. If Polaroid brought great retro photography (and photo development) to the masses, the Polaroid Express does the same for instant coffee.

Why is it noteworthy?

The coffee machine looks like a massive camera, with the signature friendly rectangular form and the clever use of colors to create that friendly appeal associated with the instant camera company. Designed to be portable (it IS a concept, after all), the apparatus has a rather simple form factor and feels intuitive to operate.

What we like

  • The Polaroid Express’ simple design models itself on the cameras
  • The rainbow color scheme brings a certain joy to the coffee-making experience

What we dislike

  • More suited for amateur coffee makers/drinkers

5. CoffeeB

Swedish coffee brand CoffeeB has come up with a coffee machine that uses eco-friendly single-serve Coffee Balls. So basically it’s similar to the coffee pod machines except this one doesn’t have any plastic pods or capsules so you don’t contribute to the world’s plastic waste.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Coffee Balls can last up to three months at room temperature or if you store them in your ref. And after you use them, they can be turned into compost or natural fertilizer for your home plants and gardens. In case you don’t know how to use them post-coffee, the machine comes with instructions and guides on how to properly recycle them.

What we like

  • Made from partially-recycled materials
  • The coffee grounds used are certified organic and Fair Trade

What we dislike

  • No specifications were mentioned on whether the packaging could affect the flavor of the coffee

6. The Retro Modern Espresso Machine

The product concept for the Retro Modern espresso machine brings back vibes of authentic American diners, old-school muscle cars, and scooters, retro radios and toasters, and all the pastel goodness from the 60s and 70s. In fact, these are what inspired the designer to create something like this that brings together the retro design with the modern machine that supplies liquids to all the caffeine-deprived people who go to coffee shops.

Why is it noteworthy?

The pastel green and cream colors of the renders will look right at home at restaurants, coffee bars, or even kitchens that have a softer aesthetic. It’s very attractive for both coffee lovers and those that love old-school designs with a modern twist.

What we like

  • Perfect for those who love old-school designs
  • Minimal + soft

What we dislike

  • Given its aesthetics, the design should have more colour options to match our kitchen setup
  • The added functionalities or any other “bonus” application of this coffee maker is unknown

7. The SüpKüp

The SüpKüp is a travel mug that is not really a mug in itself but serves more as an alternative to the disposable paper coffee sleeves. It is able to hold the paper cups (medium and large at least) that most coffee shops provide, including the still pretty popular Starbucks.

Why is it noteworthy?

It is made from durable polycarbonate and has a pretty elegant and minimalist design that can still display whatever cup is snugly placed inside. This holder doesn’t need any liquid transfer or constant cleaning that’s why it’s more convenient.

What we like

  • Your hot drink can remain hot for longer, 50% longer, than when you just hold your paper cup
  • Has a double helix screw ejector that lets you eject the cup when you’ve finished just by twisting the rotating base

What we dislike

  • It helps retain your coffee drinkability rather than an alternative to disposable cups, leaving more scope for future improvements which we hope to see soon

8. The Apple Drip

The Apple Drip officially becomes the first Apple concept we’ve seen that’s designed for the kitchen. Truth be told, Apple’s brand of minimalism fits pretty much anywhere, after all, a HomePod looks pretty darn good in a kitchen, right?

Why is it noteworthy?

The Apple Drip has a style that’s comparable to the Ember Mug (fun fact, Ember’s lead designer Robert Brunner worked extensively at Apple) with a slick, black design that looks equal parts mysterious and approachable. Uncomplicated, yet professional. The black cylinder comes with a touchscreen interface on its upper rim, with just three buttons – a power button, a temperature button, and a coffee dispensing button. Designed to work (one assumes) with an app or even with Siri, the Drip dispenses coffee into a sleek-looking mug that sits in its designated place on a larger rectangular platform.

What we like

  • Turns an ill-received desktop computer into a tabletop brewer
  • Features a dispenser nozzle that slides out to dispense coffee

What we dislike

  • The single-body design may be difficult to clean

9. The Origin Coffee Machine

Whenever I take my first sip of coffee in the morning, I am always thankful to whoever it was that first developed coffee and the farmers who harvested this particular blend I’m drinking. While some of the world’s best coffee is generally known to come from Brazil, Colombia, and Vietnam (my country, the Philippines, will hopefully someday be included in that list), one of the unsung heroes of the industry is Ethiopia where coffee beans have been thriving since the 7th century. This concept design for a coffee maker pays tribute to the East African country.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Origin coffee maker concept wants to bring “meaningful coffee” to your cup by reminding you of its origins. The shape of the coffee maker is inspired by the map of Ethiopia, although of course it’s not in the exact shape but is modeled after the basic outline. This way, the designer is able to “honor” the origin of coffee, although historians can’t really say that the locals who grew the beans cultivated or consumed these precious beans there.

What we like

  • There are just a few buttons you need to press including the on/off and open/close buttons
  • You have the option to make an espresso or an americano and there’s also a button or level for the water and the beans

What we dislike

  • The industrial aesthetics make it a tough fit in modern kitchens

10. The Platypus Coffee Machine

Platypus Streamline Style Coffee Machine Images

Platypus Streamline Style Coffee Machine

This coffee machine concept will probably remind you of Perry the Platypus. Perry who? He’s the fictional platypus from the animated series ‘Phineas and Ferb.’ The younger generation may be quick to identify the character but don’t fret if you don’t recognize him; perhaps after having a cup of coffee, you will remember.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Platypus Coffee Machine is yet another quirky-designed kitchen appliance that can make you start the day right. Our life cannot be perfect, but coffee can be, and the Platypus will do it right for you. The streamlined style of the coffee maker starts with solid lines that make it stand out from the other coffee machines available in the market.

What we like

  • The choice of sapphire (although it looks teal to me) as color makes it another fun device that can make your kitchen countertop or coffee area cheerful
  •  Easy to maintain with the catch pan to store used grounds

What we dislike

  • The quirky aesthetics may not be for everyone

The post Top 10 product designs all hardcore coffee lovers need in their kitchen first appeared on Yanko Design.

Nothing Ear (2) Review: An Exercise in Iterative Refinement


  • Unique, distinctive design

  • Personalized sound profiles

  • Well-balanced performance for price

  • Clear sustainability strategy


  • Noticeable wind noise despite ANC
  • Available only in white

  • Visually identical to Ear (1)




The Nothing Ear (1) represents a clear step forward in quality while retaining the first-gen earbuds' winning points.

The removal of headphone jacks from smartphones initiated by Apple caused a surge in the number of wireless earbuds in the market. That, of course, also gave birth to the need for good earbuds designs, though many, unsurprisingly, were content to just copy the leading brands. It isn’t always about looking different, though, since a unique design might also end up being unusable or don’t deliver an adequate level of performance. Form and function should always go hand in hand in the first place, and that seems to be the goal of the second-gen Nothing Ear (2) TWS earbuds, keeping what worked and refining what needed improvement. Given the reputation of the first-ever Nothing product, we just had to take it for a spin to check if its successor sounds as clear as it looks.

Designer: Nothing


With so many TWS buds looking like AirPods knockoffs, it’s not surprising that some manufacturers have tried moving away from that design with mixed results. Some have gotten rid of stems completely, while others have added wings. Nothing’s strategy wasn’t to go overboard by changing the shape of the buds and instead gave it a distinct character with a transparent stem that truly set it apart from the crowd.

The Nothing Ear (2) retains this character and, in fact, looks eerily similar to the Ear (1). You could almost call this the Ear (1.5) or Ear (1) II because of how little it has changed, at least on the outside. Internally, however, this new pair definitely steps up the game enough to be called a successor. This theme of not changing what isn’t broken is pretty much the essence of the Ear (2), and it’s not exactly a bad thing.

There are some visual differences, of course, though you’ll find them mostly on the charging case. The rounded box’s edges are squarer now, and the white panel on the bottom is slightly raised to act as a protective bumper. The case is made of a new material that’s supposed to make it more resistant to scratches, though ours showed slight marks very early into the game. What hasn’t changed is the dimple on the top cover that still lets you twirl the case around between your fingers like a fidget toy.

In terms of looks, you’d be forgiven if you mistook the Ear (2) for the Ear (1). Those who expected something more sensational from Nothing’s first product might walk away disappointed yet again. It’s not a complete loss, though, because using the same design helps reinforce the Nothing Ear’s image as a fun and enjoyable product, now made even better, at least on paper. One knock against it, however, is that Nothing doesn’t have plans on making the Ear (2) available in any other color, at least for now. That could very well change in the future, just like how the black Ear (1) eventually came to be.


Since there isn’t much of a difference from the first Nothing earbuds, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Ear (2) is just as comfortable. In fact, the buds’ more compact design makes it a wee bit lighter at 4.5g, but that doesn’t reduce its ergonomic performance in any way. It has a secure fit and won’t suddenly fall off your ear while you’re moving around or even just talking, which we can’t say the same for other buds we’ve tested.

One thing that takes that comfort and fit to the next level is the new Ear Tip Fit Test. It goes beyond just letting you pick tips that you’re comfortable with but also makes sure that they form a proper seal in your ears for the best audio. This test is the first part of Nothing’s new Personal Sound Profile feature that truly makes the buds yours, putting you in the driver’s seat of your listening experience and enjoyment.

Another invisible change that Nothing made for the comfort of its customers is the way you control the buds. It has done away with taps and slides, which are often error-prone and are easily triggered by accident. With the Ear (2), you press or squeeze the stem for more intentional control, and each of the actions can be customized through the Nothing X mobile app.


If the Ear (2) looks a lot like the Ear (1) on the outside, the hardware and software upgrades inside make all the difference in the next-gen product. It is, unfortunately, also the reason why these new features can’t be made available to the first Nothing Ear, because that older pair doesn’t have the necessary hardware to support those nifty treats. Then again, that’s also the reason why you’d want to buy a new Ear (2) in the first place.

In addition to a more powerful chipset and more stable Bluetooth connection, the Ear (2) now features a custom 11.6mm driver that’s paired with a new diaphragm. That diaphragm combines a softer polyurethane (PU) material to let lower frequencies come through and a more rigid graphene for more sensitivity to higher frequencies. These new parts are enclosed in a similarly new dual-chamber design that expands the sound space and increases airflow.

What all these mean in practice is that the Nothing Ear (2) delivers an impressive audio quality that is clear and full, regardless of the range. You get mighty bass and crisp vocals from every tune or podcast that you play through it. But not everyone hears the exact same way, and this is where the Ear (2) really shines. It introduces the Personal Sound Profile test powered by Mimi, the same hearing test app certified for medical hearing devices, to a personalized equalizer setting formed around what you can hear and can’t hear. The test is a simple series of questions that try to determine your hearing range, and the settings are all automatically done based on the results. Of course, you can still choose your own settings if you prefer, but the generated equalizer will be great for users that don’t have much audio expertise.

The Ear (2) now also offers three levels of Active Noise Cancellation or ANC, letting you decide just how much of the outside world you want to let in. You can even let the buds decide the best level for you with Adaptive Mode, taking into account the amount of distracting noise around you. While it does work in general, we still heard some wind gusts while riding our bike, something we didn’t experience on another pair of buds.

Nothing did retain some of the “fan-favorite” features from the Ear (1), most notably, a low-latency mode for playing games and the ability to detect whether you’re wearing the buds or not. For the Ear (2), Nothing adds the ability to connect to two Bluetooth sources simultaneously, allowing the buds to switch between calls from your phone and music from your laptop as needed. The charging case still supports both USB-C wired as well as wireless charging, and you can even charge it on top of the Nothing Phone (1) if you have one.


Finally, we get to review a consumer electronics product that does have a word or two to say about the environment. Given how wireless earbuds are littering the market, there’s some comfort in knowing that there are companies acting responsibly to make sure they don’t litter the planet as well. Make no mistake, the Ear (2) is still mostly made from non-sustainable materials like plastic, but Nothing deserves some kudos for not only taking steps to minimize its carbon footprint but also making it clear what those steps are.

The circuit boards for the Ear (2), for example, are made from 100% recycled materials. It would be great if the plastics were also made similarly, but that could happen after Nothing has checked off all the other important boxes for its buds. The company does claim that it uses renewable electricity in manufacturing this product and that its lifetime carbon footprint is only 3.1kg of carbon dioxide equivalent. And, of course, there’s the plastic wrap-free packaging, which should be the standard for mobile devices and accessories by now.


People seem to go through earbuds at a worryingly rapid rate, so they’re always on the lookout for great deals and prices. There is also a very wide range of prices for these products, and some are not always worth their weight in gold, while others turn out to be unexpected treasures. At $149, the Nothing Ear (2) will clearly be compared with the likes of higher-end TWS earbuds that sit a little below the luxury line. The good news is that you get what you pay for and maybe even more.

For that price tag, the Ear (2) delivers the quality you’d expect but also wraps it in a personalized experience tailored to your unique hearing profile. It’s not absolutely perfect, and some audiophiles might prefer buds coming from more established brands, but those usually cost twice as much. You also don’t get a head-turning design with those, and the Ear (2) definitely stands out in that respect.


There was some degree of disappointment over the Ear (1) due to the hype it generated before its launch, but its reception and review definitely satisfied naysayers. There’s always room for improvement, of course, and that is what the Ear (2) is bringing to the table. Going beyond just delivering impressive audio quality, it gives people more control over their listening experience, from personal sound profiles to customizable controls. All in a design that is distinctive, popular, and striking.

The decision to buy a new pair might be more difficult for those who already own the Ear (1) and are happy with it. Then again, the Ear (2) is replacing its predecessor, so this is pretty much the only way forward anyway. In terms of design, the second-gen buds isn’t a sensational and revolutionary new product, but its careful and calculated approach to iterative improvement makes the Nothing Ear (2) deserve a place on your shopping list.

The Nothing Ear (2) launches on nothing.tech starting March 22nd and will be available in the Nothing Store in Soho as well as Kith stores worldwide on March 23rd. Open sales begin on March 28th from online and in-person partner stores globally, including Stock X in the US.

Aki Ukita contributed to this review.

The post Nothing Ear (2) Review: An Exercise in Iterative Refinement first appeared on Yanko Design.

Wooden headphone holder is also a magnificent piece of sculptural art

As the number of gear we use grows, so, too, the number of things littering our desks. Some, like phones or pieces of paper, are more transient, staying there only while you’re using the desk. Others take up more permanent residence, and therefore require a proper place to call home. That’s true not only for pens or stationery but even more so for device accessories like chargers, earbuds, and headphones. The latter often just get left lying around where you last laid them, which isn’t the best way to take care of them. There are quite a few headphone holders these days, but while some are just pieces of plastic or metal that hang headphones by their bands, this particular design is something you’d also be proud to show off on your desk, even without the headphones.

Designer: Carl Liu

Headphones are designed to be vertical, but that only works if they’re hanging on your head. When unused, they often lay on their sides, which isn’t visually appealing and could even ruin the coating of the headphones. Of course, it’s trivial to just hang them on some hook or stand, but if you’ll be displaying your favorite expensive pair, why not go all out and put them on something worthy of their stature?

That’s pretty much the rationale behind the origin of Figure EIGHT, a wooden headphone holder CNC milled from a single piece of North American walnut before being finished by hand. It gets its name from the two perpendicular holes that make up its core, basically two cylinders that hold different parts of the headphone. The top that faces forward creates a gentle ark for the headband. The bottom cylinder faces sideways, and their gently dipping curves are the perfect nooks for the ear pieces.

The design is an example of how form can follow function in a very elegant manner. There are even some extra hidden features, like how the space in between the ear cups could be used to hide the headphone cable, if it has one. The smooth surfaces and gentle curves of the holder’s form also means that there are no rough edges that could damaged the headphone material while it rests on its wooden bed.

Figure EIGHT’s biggest pull, however, is really its appearance, as it serves as a beautiful piece of decoration whether it’s in use or not. And while it is stylish in its own right, it also doesn’t pull your attention away from the headphones, making sure that your $600 pair is proudly on display in the best way.

The post Wooden headphone holder is also a magnificent piece of sculptural art first appeared on Yanko Design.

Best kitchen appliances to help amateur home cooks kickstart their pro level cooking journey

If you’re a passionate lover of cooking, or you’ve recently kickstarted your cooking journey, and want to accelerate it even further then you’ve reached the right place. Having an efficient and streamlined cooking process is the key to preparing dishes that simply taste excellent! And the number one aid you need in having an effortless process is an arsenal of great kitchen appliances.  With the right kitchen tools and appliances, cooking can be an increasingly fun and simplified process. The right products can reduce your prep time in half, make the little cooking tasks much easier, and help you with tedious and complicated techniques. From a minimal Japanese folding knife to a compact induction cooker that fits every conceivable cooking method in its modular stackable design – these innovative and exceptional appliances are all you need in your kitchen.

1. The Pronto

Rather aptly named the Pronto, this relatively compact gadget handles every part of the cooking process, from weighing to sautéing, slow-cooking, simmering, reheating, and even air-frying thanks to its modular companion, the Alto.

Why is it noteworthy?

With its small footprint and multipurpose design, the dynamic duo of Pronto and Alto occupy a fraction of the countertop space and let you prep elaborate meals without all the messy dishes and dread-inducing clean-up. Pronto and Alto were designed to take the effort out of cooking, so you can focus on the most important part… eating!

What we like

  • Multipurpose design
  • Make meal prep easier, faster, and smarter

What we dislike

  • There is a learning curve involved in getting used to the design

2. The Slide Toaster

The toasting process begins in the Slide toaster with an LED ring indicating the toasting level and completion. The slide-up tray has a translucent design element to it so that you can keep an eye on the toast turning perfectly brown to your delight Level of the toast crispness can be set with an adjustment dial like all other toasters we’ve seen countless times. This is ably aided by audio indications to keep the user well-informed.

Why is it noteworthy?

Harry Rigler wants to reinvent the trusted image of the toaster with a detour to the soft form design of this household kitchen appliance. That too keeps in mind the requirements of modern users, and the present as well as future design progression of kitchen interiors. Rather than being a pop-up toaster like most out there, this is the Slide toaster which rolls the toasting grill to the side like a rollable smartphone. The tray slides out – you put in the bread and slide it back in.

What we like

  • Audio indications to update the user on their toast
  • Unique slide-up tray

What we dislike

  • The radically changed design may not be easily accepted in households

3. The Monolith

Designed by Italian kitchen brand Falmec and designers Studio Ferriani, the Monolith is an extractor hood that can be integrated into the benchtop, and also used as a nifty storage space for utensils.

Why is it noteworthy?

The extractor hood is a part of the Elements Collection and features a 90-centimeter-long suction element. It has also been equipped with differently sized storage units that can be placed and arranged in different custom configurations.

What we like

  • Integrates storage units
  • Sleek clean aesthetics

What we dislike

  • Bulky + space-consuming design

4. The Oku Knife

Scottish artist and metal worker Kathleen Reilly designed the ‘Oku Knife’. Inspired by Japanese table settings, the Oku knife features a rather intriguing handle that is folded 90 degrees from its blade. The design was informed by chopstick resets.

Why is it noteworthy?

Oku features a unique folded shape that lets the handle be placed on a surface, with the blade sitting perpendicularly away from that particular surface. You can even rest the knife’s blade along the edge of a cutting board or plate.

What we like

  • The knife can be hooked onto the rim of a plate, creating intimacy between the two objects whilst improving cleanliness and maintaining stability

What we dislike

  • The design may seem pointless or unnecessary to some people

5. The Cookmate

The Cookmate is a rather innovative and nifty kitchen appliance that is all-in-one. It can be used for prep, cooking, and serving. It features a modular design with stackable pieces that allow the cooktop to function as a pan, crock pot, or even a steamer – providing you with a variety of healthy cooking techniques.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Cookmate looks at the cooking process as something that goes from idea to ingredient to table. Rather than focusing on just the cooking, this induction cooktop (although it seems highly reductive to call it just that) considers every aspect of the cooking process. This isn’t just clever, holistic design thinking, it also helps the Cookmate be more universally applicable so you save effort, energy, and space with other utensils.

What we like

  • Features an integrated weighing scale
  • Can be split into 6 parts

What we dislike

  • It’s still a concept!

6. Small Living Kitchens

Falper has dipped its toes into kitchen design with the Small Living Kitchens concept. With the Small Living Kitchens, Falper wanted to transform the experience of kitchens in small homes. It includes islands that are designed to make tiny kitchens feel spacious and luxurious. It brings the sophisticated layouts of larger kitchens to small homes in a more compact and streamlined form.

Why is it noteworthy?

Falper worked alongside designer Andrea Federici to create the Small Living Kitchens. The units can be placed into compact spaces starting from 2.5 square meters. It has been equipped with three elements – islands, storage units, and tall units. These elements can be configured in multiple different ways, according to your need and requirement.

What we like

  • Comes in three models
  • Designed to merge harmoniously with all kinds of homes and apartments

What we dislike

  • The aesthetics of the kitchen are a bit simple

7. LoopKitchen

How about transforming our kitchens into sustainable spaces as well? Seems like Danish startup Stykka comes from the same school of thought since they designed their innovative ‘LoopKitchen’.

Why is it noteworthy?

Crafted from birch plywood, LoopKitchen is a minimal and contemporary kitchen designed with recyclable parts, in an attempt to increase its lifespan. Although LoopKitchen is built primarily from birch plywood, the kitchen fronts can be finished in birch as well, or a Forbo linoleum which is available in 20 colors.

What we like

  • Designed with recyclable parts
  • Each physical manifestation of LoopKitchen has a digital twin

What we dislike

  • Not well suited for small compact kitchens
  • Space-consuming design

8. Mill

Mill is a trash can that not only keeps your leftovers from becoming too spoiled and stinky and turns them into actual chicken feed. And you don’t have to even leave your house for all of this to happen. The concept for this circular food waste device is from a former Apple engineer and the co-founder of Google Nest, Matt Rogers.

Why is it noteworthy?

This way the fish, produce, eggs, rinds, seeds, bones and other food waste that you throw away can become food for chickens. Even things like napkins, filters, and paper towels can get in on the fun.

What we like

  • It also shrinks the waste so you won’t have an overflowing trash can
  • There’s also a coconut-based charcoal odor filter that will prevent your kitchen from stinking up

What we dislike

  • It is a bit expensive
  • Only available on a subscription basis

9. The Maruzara

Shaped like a small round plate instead of the typical rectangular sheet of metal, this grater is meant to sit on the table rather than be held up in the air like almost all other graters. Its small design makes it perfect to be placed right on the table, and the unique pattern of the blades gives it a distinctive look even when it’s just sitting unused.

Why is it noteworthy?

That blade arrangement isn’t just for show, though. Unlike a regular grater with rows of blades, you make circular movements to grate ingredients. Rather than falling through holes, the grated pieces accumulate at the sides in full, fluffy lumps. The repetitive action, rather than being tiring and burdensome, becomes almost a mindful practice that puts you in the moment.

What we like

  • Comes with a silicon rubber base that stops it from slipping on the table while you make your circling motions

What we dislike

  • It’s designed primarily for wasabi and daikon radish, making it a bit limited
  • Some people may prefer the form and structure of a traditional grater

10. The Electrolux Adapted

The Electrolux Adapted is the kitchen essential of the future – compact, sleek, and ideal for tiny homes, this masterful concept is for the ‘singletons’ who want to make the most of a small kitchen. If you want to use the countertop for some real cooking, and don’t feel like cramping it with a gazillion appliances, then Adapted is the product for you!

Why is it noteworthy?

Electrolux Adapted is a premium hub that utilizes the vertical space in a kitchen to organize and hold all the important appliances you need on a daily basis. The system is made up of standardized modules that are mounted effortlessly on a backplate, completely eliminating the need for tools usually required for installation. The backplate supplies all the modules with water and electricity, in an attempt to support highly customizable arrangments.

What we like

  • Can either be mounted on a wall or placed as a free-standing product with an add-on furniture frame
  • All the modules are connected via an Electrolux app, allowing them to be used simultaneously or in sync, and enabling users to create their own personal routines

What we dislike

  • It’s still a concept!

The post Best kitchen appliances to help amateur home cooks kickstart their pro level cooking journey first appeared on Yanko Design.

Face protector concept for bikers, athletes, and workers gives off a cyberpunk vibe

Although requirements to wear face masks have already been lifted in many places around the world, there will always be cases where people have to wear some sort of protection for their faces or at least their mouths and noses. This is especially true for those who get exposed to dust and smoke all the time, from motorcycle riders to skiers to metalworkers. While there are definitely plenty of face protectors in the market today, most of them are designed just for cheap mass production and offer neither true protection nor comfort. A well-designed face protector is definitely long overdue, and thankfully there is one that will soon be heading to production that is not only stylish but also has a trick up its sleeve.

Designer: Kim Sang-il (BUYRUSDESIGN)

Face protectors or face masks block dust, smoke, and small particles from entering your mouth and your nose that could cause damage to your respiratory system. Some even employ filters to purify the air that goes through the mask. These masks range from simple pieces of fabric to hefty mechanical oddities clinging to your face, and very few of them really take into account the varied cases that people would use these masks.

The G.O.A. Face Protector design, in contrast, was made from the ground up to be effective, comfortable, convenient, and aesthetic. Although it was primarily made with bikers in mind, its versatility also includes sports users, workers, and crafters, practically anyone whose faces and lungs are exposed to harmful particles. Because of its primary target audience, the face protector takes on a more aerodynamic shape that makes it look like a single piece of material, a design that benefits more than just bikers.

Despite that unified appearance, the face protector is actually modular to make it easy to clean or replace parts. One particularly interesting feature is that you actually remove the front cap so that you can drink quickly without having to take off the entire mask. That cap can also be used as an opportunity for adding decals or branding to make the face mask look even more interesting.

The design does use plenty of plastics and synthetic material, which is pretty much the norm for protective gear like this. The priorities, after all, are the wearer’s protection and comfort. G.O.A. does have a particular aesthetic that makes it look a little punkish, which is probably not a surprise and a perfect fit for its primary biker audience.

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Non-electric humidifier also serves as charming desk or shelf decoration

The quality of air that we have around us doesn’t simply depend on the lack of pollutants or harmful substances. The amount of humidity can also be a determining factor in the comfort and health of the people living inside the space. Fortunately, we can also control this aspect of our environment, at least when we need to increase the humidity in a room. There are plenty of humidifiers in the market today, but almost all of them have one thing in common. They rely on electricity to work, which isn’t a sustainable way of living. Fortunately, there are a growing number of such tools that are adopting more natural methods, and this mini humidifier, in particular, accomplishes that while also acting as an eye-catching piece of decoration for your home.

Designer: Barbora Adamonyte-Kei

Low humidity has been a problem since the beginning of human civilization, and our ancient ancestors had ways of dealing with that, even when there was no electricity or machines to do it for them. The most common method that is becoming popular again is saturating clay structures with water in order to give the evaporation process a helpful nudge. Of course, not everyone might want to put large clay pots or barrels in the middle of their house, but sometimes just a little can already get the job done.

KUMO is a beautiful humidifier that works using that same principle but in an almost bite-sized chunk that actually serves three purposes in a single design. It is composed of two parts, both made from natural, sustainable materials. One is a miniature stone bath with a narrow basin where you put the stoneware disc in. That unglazed stoneware disc is the “clay” part of the humidifier, and it’s shaped like a wavy cucumber slice that makes the whole composition look like you’re dipping a healthy cucumber snack.

All you really need to do is to add some water to the bath and then put the disc in, which will stand still thanks to its close fit. It will absorb the water, which then evaporates more easily into the surrounding air to increase the humidity. Refill the water once it’s all used up, and that’s pretty much all there is to it. You can also opt to add a few drops of essential oil to increase the fragrance in the room, making the humidifier also act as a natural diffuser.

And, of course, it also looks great while doing its job. The pleasant combination of shapes and the contrast of colors make it an interesting visual piece, whether it’s on your desk or on a shelf. It’s definitely something you’d want to show off, unlike run-of-the-mill electric humidifiers that are just plastic containers puffing out vapor. Sustainable, multifunctional, and beautiful, KUMO puts a unique twist on the concept of a humidifier, showing that the ancients might have had the right idea all along.

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Smart home device concepts empower visually-impaired members of society

Our homes and appliances are becoming more powerful, but they are also becoming more complicated. Many interfaces are fortunately being reworked to simplify our interaction with these devices, but almost all of them still require a clear view of what the interfaces are. Sure, there are voice commands nowadays, as well as AI, but as any smart homeowner has experienced, these aren’t always fast or reliable. Unfortunately, all these new interfaces, even the minimalist ones, tend to cut off those with vision disabilities, depriving them not only of enjoyment or convenience but also of a sense of confidence and security in their own homes. It doesn’t actually take much to design with accessibility in mind, and as these three smart device concepts show, such creative designs might be useful or even fun for those who can see perfectly as well.

Designer: Jaehee Lee, Byeonguk Ahn, Minseok Kim

Many smart devices today tend to value aesthetics or functions too highly without considering how those would negatively impact the experience of people who are either blind or visually impaired. Some have too many buttons or have buttons that are all shaped similarly, making it difficult to tell by touch which one is which. Worse, there are those that use only touch controls on flat glass surfaces, which are completely useless unless you can see their marks. Beyond Sight is a collection of concept designs that address these flaws by using unambiguous motions and shapes that actually look fun to use, regardless of the state of your vision.

A smart speaker, for example, uses simple taps to play or pause the audio. Volume is controlled by sliding a ball up or down a pole while changing tracks involves turning the dial at the top. For people who can’t see or can’t see clearly, these definite tactile controls leave no room for guessing their functions. For those that can see what the speaker looks like, the design adds an element of fun and play to a device that has almost become too utilitarian these days.

The smart remote control might look and feel like a toy flashlight, but its polygonal shaft does more than provide a good grip. To change channels, you roll the device to one or the other side. To turn the TV on, you simply put the remote down from a standing to a lying position. The head of the device is a dial that you can turn to adjust the volume, and a large button lets you summon your voice-controlled AI assistant to do the more advanced functions that the remote doesn’t support. Admittedly, the rolling gesture might be a bit cumbersome, especially if you need to go through many channels quickly.

Lastly, a timer imitates the primary mechanism of rotary phone dials of the past so that people can slip their finger into the large hole and read the time in Braille. Setting the timer involves just turning that dial to the desired amount of time in 1, 3, 5, 10, 15, 30, and 60-minute intervals. The circular surface of the device slopes down toward that hole, easily guiding the finger to where it needs to be.

For those with visual impairments, the designs of these concept devices give them enjoyment and security in a home that’s increasingly becoming impersonal and intimidating for them. For those that can see clearly, the devices’ designs give them a toy-like character that hints not only at their ease of use but also at their fun controls, proving that accessible designs can truly benefit everyone.

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Top 10 Apple Watch Accessories that all smartwatch junkies need to get their hands on

The Apple Watch is probably one of the most popular smartwatches globally, and it’s not much of a shocker when you consider the number of people you see walking or jogging on the street with their Apple Watch wrapped around their wrists. Apple is constantly innovating on the go, and its Apple Watch Ultra is the latest addition to its arsenal of techy goodies. And, we’ve curated a collection of innovative and nifty accessories to perfectly complement your Apple Watch Ultra, and its predecessors as well. From the Elago W3 Stand that will teleport users onto a nostalgic journey of time and functionality, to the smallest Apple Watch fast charger – these innovative accessories are a must-have for Apple Watch fanatics!

1. Serafino Luxury’s Apple Watch Cases

Designed by Serafino Luxury, this Apple Watch case transforms your favorite Apple Watch into a true watch wrapped in steel, amped with a beautifully-sculpted body, and a steel or leather strap. It changes your techy Apple Watch into an Haute Horlogerie. It is available in various styles –  metallic and anodized black, blue, and gold finishes. You are even provided with a complimentary strap to match your case, depending on the type of style you choose for yourself!

2. The RSTR Case

Designed by the Golden Concept, the RSTR Case features a transparent crystalline design that is made to be shown off. It transforms your Apple Watch Ultra into a shimmering jewel that you can wear on your wrist and boast. It is available in four stunning colors, and has been crafted using 50 meticulously engineered parts. The home and action buttons are made from stainless steel and are designed to be slightly larger, making them more accessible through the otherwise chunky case.

3. The PZOZ Converter Case

The PZOZ Converter Case is really an ingenious product. You can snap the nifty product right onto your Apple Watch, and it fools people into thinking you actually own an Apple Watch Ultra. The body has been built using polycarbonate, and not titanium. The watch strap remains unchanged, and that Action Button on the side is clearly just a dummy button, but it does manage to look incredibly real!

4. Elago W3 Stand

Designed by Elago, the W3 stand is designed to wirelessly charge your Apple Watch under the guise of a classic Macintosh. Elago transformed and revamped the design to hold the Apple Watch’s latest version. It is designed to be placed on your nightstand and consecutively charges the Apple Watch Ultra that has been docked into it. It features a Nightstand Mode which allows it to function as an alarm clock, and display the time and messages.

5. The Anker 3-in-1 Cube

The Anker 3-in-1 Cube has MagSafe, allowing it to hold three devices all at once. Don’t be fooled by its simple appearance, because it’s been amped with a ton of functionality. The charging section for your Apple devices can be accessed by lifting the lid like a little treasure box, except that the opening is facing in the direction opposite you. This ensures that your phone can be tilted to face you. It’s trivial to set any of the three charging spots up and still fold the box down in a flash, making it ideal for people who need to pack up and go at a moment’s notice.

6. The Zens 4-in-1 Modular Wireless Charger

Designed to provide you with an organized desk, the Zens 4-in-1 Modular Wireless Charger enables you to charge all your precious Apple Devices in one go, and in the exact same locations. It helps you maintain a neat and tidy desk or nightstand. The charger does come with a heavy price tag of $180, but despite that, it still functions as a convenient solution for quick and efficient charging for your Apple – for all your Apple devices!

7. The Maco Go 2

Say hello to the smallest Apple Watch fast charger! The Maco Go 2 is the kind of charger that you’ll carry everywhere with you. It eliminates the need for a charging cable completely.  It features a simple square shape with the USB-C plug subtly poking out of a corner, rather than being placed in the middle. This allows you to plug your charger anywhere and ensures that it won’t have to fight for space with the other peripherals attached to your laptop’s USB-C ports.

8. The ActionBand

Twelve South has created the ActionBand, a sweatband designed to hold your Apple Watch. It can be difficult to maintain an eye on our workout progress while actually working out, so Twelve South developed this smart solution that allows you to work out with your Apple Watch. It features a carved-out frame to accommodate your Apple Watch so that you can sweat all day without losing your grip. Sold in pairs, Twelve South sends each customer one ActionBand with a secure Apple Watch frame and one normal sweatband to wrap around your watch-free wrist.

9. The Apple Magic Charger

Looking somewhat like the iPhone Lightning Dock, the Apple Magic Charger is based on a metal stand, which features a metallic puck integrated within its square rim. The device is likely made of anodized aluminum while the round charging area within is rubberized. Interestingly the aluminum stand allows the charger to be pushed into a vertical position to charge the connected iPhone. Reportedly, and as suggested by the available images, the Magic Charger was designed to keep the connected iPhone upright and in a horizontal position; perhaps this limitation of use could have been a reason the magic was never done outside of the Apple production lines!

10. The SANDMARC Titanium Edition Apple Watch Ultra Band

The SANDMARC Titanium Edition Apple Watch Ultra Band has been crafted from lightweight and durable titanium and is designed to perfectly complement your Apple Watch Ultra. Equipped with a glass coating, which makes your smartwatch scratch-resistant, the band has been designed for the Apple Watch Ultra. It provides protection during your outdoor adventures. It works perfectly for both formal events, and on-the-go adventures!

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Tanner Goods recycled leather wallets make the old new again

Plenty of people love leather, from designers to fashionistas to connoisseurs and everyone in between. Leather looks great and also feels great in your hand or on your skin, and unlike most materials, it ages gracefully. In fact, the way leather ages is almost as unique as the person using it, developing different patina patterns depending on how it has been used, which can vary from person to person. As beautiful and biodegradable as it might be, its source and production are highly controversial. Synthetic leathers, on the other hand, just don’t cut it in terms of quality and sustainability. There are new kinds of more sustainable and more ethically-sourced leather being developed, but while we wait for them to become more commonplace, the least we can do is to make sure that not even a scrap of leather is wasted, which is exactly what these handsome leather wallets are doing.

Designer: Tanner Goods

While leather itself is more sustainable than materials that use synthetic fibers or chemicals, its creation is, unfortunately, a questionable process. Of course, it continues to be the material of choice for many premium products, many of which produce plenty of waste from scraps and cutoffs that are simply thrown out. While reusing these pieces won’t exactly eradicate the leather problem completely, it does mean that there could be less need for fresh leather every time a new product is made.

That’s the kind of smart reuse that Tanner Goods is proposing with its newest addition to its leather wallet collection. The wallets are made from 100% recycled leather that was ground from the cutoffs of their own leather gloves. These are then bound with natural latex, which means that the process and the materials are at least more sustainable than manufacturing leather wallets from scratch.

The results are wallets that are nearly identical to the non-recycled versions, except perhaps in the shades of brown that might have been a design choice to visually differentiate the two groups. In terms of the tactile qualities, Tanner Goods says that the wallets match those of the leather gloves they were sourced from, which might mean they’re also distinct from your conventional leather wallet. The “fresh” leather, for example, looks smoother and shinier, while the recycled leather has a more textured surface and less gloss. It’s not a perfect match, but it also gives the wallets their own distinct personalities.

It’s just a small drop in the sea that is the leather industry, and this strategy might not apply to larger leather products. A more substantial and long-term solution would be to produce more sustainable and ethical kinds of leather, such as those made from plants. Those still have kinks that need to be ironed out, but in the meantime, small efforts like this could still go a long way in making recycled leather more known and accepted, especially when it looks and feels like new leather anyway.

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