This wall-mounted desk has a revolving drawer inspired by a Matryoshka doll

All of us want more space, be it on the floor, desk, or screen. At the same time, however, few of us actually want furniture or devices to take up more space than usual. This contradiction of desires requires some creative design, such as a foldable phone that expands into twice its size or a modular desk that can shrink or grow as needed. This has admittedly led to quite a few interesting designs, particularly ones that really go outside the box to deliver a unique experience. This design concept for a desk floating desk is one such example, where a drawer can be an extension of a desk and more, depending on how you swing it, literally.

Designer: Joao Teixeira

The Matryoshka doll has become a common design pattern in many products, particularly because of its ability to inconspicuously hide parts of the same shape inside itself. That multi-layered construction is a great way to save space while also providing some flexibility in terms of functionality. It can’t be applied to all designs, of course, but some creative thinking can really go a long way in creating something unique and impressive.

This Revolver desk concept is one such example. In its “closed” state, it looks nothing more than a wall-mounted floating desk with a rather bulky drawer on the left side. It actually looks quite attractive in itself with its minimalist wooden design. The real interesting part is when you swivel the “drawers,” extending the very space of the desk itself.

These drawers are actually three triangular wooden compartments that swivel out like a fan. All except the innermost part are hollow, so they can nest inside each other like that aforementioned Russian doll. That innermost compartment has a wooden bottom, so it can be used to hold items like phones and accessories. You don’t have to remove them either when you “close” the drawers since they’ll all be sitting inside no matter what.

The other parts are like shelves for books and papers, items that you might take out when the work is done for the day. Depending on how you move these drawers, however, you can actually form an extension of the desk’s surface itself, though it won’t be on the same level. The important detail is that this extension’s configuration can be changed at any time, presuming there’s nothing inside those to block their movement.

The Revolver desk concept is interesting both visually and functionally. It almost has a whimsical character to it in how its drawers swivel around to provide more space than you initially see. Unfortunately, the design is fixed in one orientation only, with the drawers on the left side, though it’s not hard to imagine right-handed options being made using this design.

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This Bluetooth projector tries to bring the metaverse to your room

Although the hype around the buzzword seems to have dialed down a bit, it’s hard to deny that the metaverse or something like it will eventually become our reality. The merging of the physical and the digital is something that will happen eventually, pending the development of hardware and people’s mindsets. Most of the rhetoric around the metaverse involves placing ourselves in the digital realm through avatars. It can, however, also involve placing digital assets into our physical spaces. That could become possible with holograms of the future, but until then, this stylish home projector system could bridge the gap by transporting some parts of the metaverse into your living room or bedroom.

Designer: Gyung Min Lee

Home projectors have become trendy these days, especially for people pressed for space or simply want to have flexibility. Naturally, these projectors prioritize displaying videos and sometimes photos on a rectangular space that recreates a TV screen. Their primary target, after all, is entertainment, so their designs and hardware are geared toward that purpose. The Light House projector concept might be capable of that as well, but its raison d’être is really to set the mood in a room with different visuals and, if needed, different worlds.

Rather than a typical box-type projector, Light House is made of one or two cylindrical projectors hanging from a pole stand. It has a typical projector lens in the middle, surrounded by an array of six bright LED lights. Together, these pieces can project not only images but also different colors that match a specific theme or mood.

While Light House can probably function as a normal projector for watching videos, it really shines in transforming a room into a lively party or a calming space. The ambient lights can set the mood, flooding the area with vibrant colors or soothing hues as desired. It can even try to recreate natural light, giving you a proper wake-up call while mimicking the sunrise.

The metaverse comes into play when you start projecting virtual objects onto walls, ceilings, and floors. Rather than having your avatar go to a beach or into space, you can bring those scenes right into your bedroom. Of course, you can also project screens and other pieces of UI that show information, though you won’t be able to interact with them directly except through a smartphone or a computer.

Although it’s not the most efficient use of a projector, Light House makes an interesting proposition on how we can build a bridge between the real and the virtual without having to wear headsets or touch screens. We’re still a long way from creating convincing room-wide holograms, so until then, we’ll have to make do with projectors like these, though hopefully with some form of hand gesture control in the near future.

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This lamp concept, inspired by the Earth and the moon, provides two kinds of light

Lamps come not just in many forms but also in different intensities and with different purposes. Some lamps are made to shine brightly in order to provide sufficient illumination, while others have a softer glow in order to set the ambiance of a room. Most of the time, these different functions are performed by different lamps, mostly because it’s difficult for the same design to serve the same purpose. Sure, you may be able to control the light’s intensity, but its direction and diffusion are entirely different things. This lamp concept, however, tries to prove that such a thing is possible, and it looks a bit to the heavens to find inspiration.

Designer: Nicola Pezzotti, Andrea Gallarini

A lamp that can provide both bright directed light and soft diffused illumination is going to be a winner for many people. Such a lamp would naturally save space and money, performing two functions in the space of one. It’s harder to pull off, though, given the different purposes they serve and the different requirements. It’s not impossible, though, especially with some creative and unconventional thinking, taking inspiration from unlikely sources.

As its name suggests, Orbis takes inspiration from the orbit of heavenly bodies, specifically that of the moon around the Earth. The cylindrical lamp holds a bulb standing as a pillar in the middle. A slider on top lets you direct where the bright light shines and whether it occludes part of the light or not. This is almost similar to how the moon travels across the night sky or how its different phases only show part or all of its face.

The moon’s light is also less harsh than the sun’s, and the Orbis lamp also provides that kind of lighting. A button at the top activates a ring of light on top, which has a softer glow and is perfect for a night or mood lamp. This way, a single lamp can provide two kinds of light for your room, letting you choose what to use for which purpose. Perhaps you want a more directed and brighter light while reading before bed and then switching to a gentler light when you finally want to sleep.

If not for the cord that gives power to this lamp, Orbis could be placed almost anywhere, whether on a desk or beside your bed. As far as structure goes, it isn’t exactly revolutionary, but its unusual design and mechanism successfully turn it into an interesting piece of decoration and lighting in any room.

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This coin bank concept tries to give a deeper meaning to saving money

We all know we should save for a rainy day, but just like eating veggies, it’s easier said than done. Even the simple act of saving loose change is something that people put off, forming bad habits that work against saving even the smallest amount of money. Part of the hesitation comes from the negative psychology of parting with your hard-earned money, a mentality that is especially alien to a generation used to instant gratification. One solution is to turn the narrative around and transform the piggy bank into a wishing well, as exemplified by this design concept, one that accumulates small wishes in order to build the foundations that will make that wish come true.

Designer: Jaejong Ro

Piggy banks or coin banks have been around for centuries, maybe even millennia. They might come in different sizes, shapes, and designs, but the meaning behind them has remained the same. Like a bank account that doesn’t accumulate any interest, it’s simply a way to stash money away so that it’s not easy to reach unless absolutely necessary. It uses the psychological principle of “out of sight, out of mind” to make you temporarily forget about the money you might otherwise be spending unwisely.

The simple act of putting coins inside that container, however, can also carry with it some negative emotions that become hindrances to forming that habit. You are, after all, making a sacrifice, and the very word itself carries with it concepts of pain and suffering. The most successful coin banks, however, are filled with a specific intention in mind, usually involving saving up to buy something that parents or partners wouldn’t normally approve of. That’s the kind of psychological trick that Plop is trying to use, turning sacrifice into a wish instead.

The concept uses the image of a wishing well where one throws in coins to make a wish. Do it enough times, and the wish will come true, or at least that’s how some myths go. It’s the same action of accumulating enough coins toward a certain goal, but changing the narrative to something more positive helps reduce mental friction. When it’s easier to think about putting money in, you’re more likely to do it moze often than not.

Positive reinforcement also applies to the top panel designed as grilles to mimic wavy water. Unlike a traditional coin bank where you can only guess the amount of content based on its weight, Plop provides more positive visual feedback instead. The more coins it contains, the higher the panel rises. Depending on how often you save, you might see this visible change more frequently. In fact, it might even encourage you to put more coins in, which is yet another trick to push our brains to develop good habits rather than hindering them with negative emotions and images.

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This vacuum cleaner looks like it came from the future to save you from dust

Protecting your house from harmful microorganisms and viruses isn’t just a matter of installing air purifiers and UV sanitizers in rooms. Keeping areas clean is also an important part of that process, especially when it comes to dirt that’s hard to see or materials that would emit harmful substances. Vacuum cleaners are, of course, one of the most common weapons in the war against dirt and grime, whether they be on floors, in corners, or in other places we can’t reach easily. The design of vacuum cleaners has shifted every now and then, sometimes embracing trends like minimalism. This design concept, however, goes in a different direction and heaps a ton of details on the vacuum cleaner, creating an appliance that wouldn’t look out of place in the robot-filled home of the future.

Designer: Roman Riazantsev

There was a time when the design of vacuum cleaners, at least the big ones that stand vertically, was pretty much standard. Its shape with a wide flat head and a bulky bag hanging from its body has become so iconic that it’s easy to identify it when it shows up on TV or in movies. Of course, design never really stands still, and soon vacuum cleaners have also changed their forms over time. Another common design involves just a hose attached to a boxy machine on wheels. More modern styles just have a long stick attached to a large canister that you can hold like a gun.

This vertical vacuum cleaner concept seems to combine the old and the new in a design with a more futuristic flavor. You almost have the same silhouette as a traditional vacuum cleaner, with that wide head and a rather bulky middle body. Its modular and configurable parts, however, are modern touches, especially when it comes to the sleek and smooth surfaces that embody this appliance.

Parts of the vacuum cleaner are specifically designed to give it a more futuristic or sci-fi vibe. The head, for example, looks almost like the front of a spacecraft, especially with its three bright LED lights that might be of help when vacuuming darker areas under furniture. The transparent area of the actual vacuum machine and the white and black motif are also typical of many sci-fi props.

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It’s also futuristic in terms of intended functionality, like how the main body detaches to become a handheld vacuum. You could almost say that this is a handheld vacuum cleaner with a vertical vacuum dock instead. Additionally, its rod can be folded back for more compact storage. Given the size of its body parts, it’s not exactly impossible to turn this into a robot vacuum cleaner, merrily going about its way to clean your floors and then quietly folding itself into an alcove after it finishes its chores.

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This nap timer concept marries simple analog controls with a digital display

Most of us probably like taking naps during the day. Some people might even find it necessary to get through a tiring workday. There are studies suggesting that even a 20 to 30-minute “power nap” can be beneficial to productivity, though the problem is getting that amount of time right without undercutting or overspending. We have alarm clocks for that, of course, including the ones that can be found on our smartphones. Despite the proliferation of these general-purpose utilities, there’s still something to be said for a specialized tool dedicated solely to counting down the minutes until you wake up. Especially when said tool is a beautiful throwback to the past with some modern conveniences thrown in as well.

Designer: Andrea Senatori

We have plenty of timers and clocks around our house or, at the very least, in our pockets. Most probably use their smartphones for anything that needs counting down or up, while some might have a separate alarm clock beside their bed, set to ring on one or a few specific times in a day. A dedicated nap timer, however, offers simplicity and ease of use. There are no other functions to worry about or other timers you might get confused with. Simply set the timer when you want to take a nap, and that’s it.

It doesn’t get simpler than what the Spot 2 concept brings. It has one purpose and one purpose only, to ring an alarm after a specified period of time. Its controls are dead simple, too. There’s one large dial to set how long the timer goes and a smaller one for controlling the volume. These are presented as analog controls, so there’s absolutely no ambiguity in how they work.

This mix of analog with digital has both aesthetic and psychological aspects. The latter brings back familiar physical controls, putting the power back under our fingertips. At the same time, the nap timer looks interesting and attractive, especially with the ongoing trend to create retro-looking products. It isn’t all old-school, of course, with a monochrome display that prominently shows the timer as well as other details like the date, time, and even the temperature.

The Spot 2 nap timer concept is simple yet effective in conveying its purpose in an interesting yet easy-to-use manner. The dials leave little to the imagination in how to control the device, while the digital display distills information down to only the most essential parts. After all, when you’re body’s craving a short nap, the last thing you want to do is fiddle with your phone or alarm clock and have your brain too distracted or too engaged to sleep.

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This interactive wall device tries to get you to relax at home

Life at home has become a little bit more hectic recently, especially when the boundaries between work and personal life start to blur. For many people, home no longer offered a sanctuary away from business or social stresses, at least in terms of physical location. That doesn’t have to be the case, of course, even when work-from-home arrangements are still in effect. One can always take time and space to take a breather from the hustle and bustle of life if only we had effective reminders to do so within the day. Alarm clocks are too easy to dismiss, especially those on our phones or watches, which is why this smart home device tries to offer visual and audio cues that try to get people to take a few calming breaths before going about their busy day again.

Designer: JiaYan Li

When people think about trying to relax at home, they will most likely think of activities like meditation or soaking in a tub. While those definitely work, you don’t exactly have to go that far to put yourself in a calmer and less frantic state. A few minutes or even seconds of breathing can do wonders, giving your body and especially your brain the needed oxygen while also giving you momentary space to get some clarity.

While breathing is, of course, natural for us humans, such controlled and mindful breathing exercises aren’t. Until it becomes second nature, we’ll always need some cues and guides to help us on our way, no matter how subtle those hints are. That’s what the YIYI interactive relaxation companion tries to accomplish in your home, or in any space for that matter. As a bonus, it also functions as a piece of wall decor that’s sure to grab guests’ attention.

YIYI is pretty much a rounded rectangle with two slow-spinning circles on each end. The slow rotation of discs can be likened to the rising and setting of the sun or, more closely, the rhythmic act of breathing in and out. The discs’ wavy design and fogged translucent material, matched with the soft glow of lights underneath, try to create a soft and calming visual that’s intended to help people enter a relaxed state unconsciously.

In addition to this almost hypnotic movement, the device also offers appropriate sounds to further induce that relaxed state. YIYI also has some interactive modes, where people can greet the device or simply pass it by, and it will greet the person in return. It can also detect ambient sounds to adjust its operation, like starting its meditative spinning when it analyzes that there is too much stress-inducing noise around.

Some might consider it overkill to dedicate precious wall space to something that might only be used sparingly throughout the day, but one can’t take for granted how humans need such visual and audio reminders to be able to switch their focus. Since it doubles as an interesting piece of decor, it also strikes two birds with one stone. Maybe one day, people in the household will no longer need those cues, but YIYI will still be there to guide them whenever they need it again.

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Gaming Box gives a whole new interpretation to portable gaming

Inspired by the Nintendo Switch’s success, there has been a rise in devices with somewhat similar designs running different gaming platforms. There’s Valve’s Steam Deck for PCs, of course, but there are also gaming handhelds running Android instead. Even computer accessory maker Logitech is getting its game on with a cloud-centric collaboration with gaming giant Tencent. Despite varying designs and sizes, the basic format of these portable gaming devices is the same. There’s a large screen in the middle flanked by the two halves of a typical gaming controller. That, however, isn’t the only way to design a portable gaming device, and this concept design tries to think outside the box to put gaming back inside the box in a slightly different way.

Designer: Eli Lan

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There’s definitely a good reason why these portable gaming devices are designed this way. Gamepad controls are easier to use without the support of a desk or any surface, unlike keyboards and mice, and they offer better haptics and tactile feedback compared to just a touch screen. That’s not to say it’s the perfect design or that there are no other possible forms a portable gaming computer can take.

At its simplest, the Gaming Box design concept is pretty much a mini PC with a screen on top. Mini computers, which include the likes of the Apple Mac Mini, have become more ubiquitous these past years. They come in a variety of designs, and some are portable, not just in form but also in operation. The one thing they all have in common is that they need to be connected to a monitor, at the very least, to actually be usable.

This gaming twist on that design puts an end to that problem and puts a screen on the top, or rather the front, of the box. Unlike typical mini PCs that lie on their larger face, the Gaming Box is designed to stand on one of its thinner edges. It’s a more precarious position, admittedly, but it’s the only way you’ll be able to view the screen anyway.

There are also other and probably bigger issues with this design. The display seems large enough, at least when compared to other objects around it, but its square aspect ratio doesn’t really conform to any of the conventions used in gaming and even in videos. There are no controls to speak of, either, so it’s presumed to be using a touch screen. You can attach or connect controllers, of course, but that won’t make it convenient for playing on the go, which isn’t its primary use case anyway.

In truth, the Gaming Box is probably better as a Media Box, allowing owners to enjoy videos or maybe even social media anywhere inside the house. It is more like a home console or gaming PC that you can move around inside the same space rather than something you’d use outside, so it complements rather than replaces designs like the Steam Deck.

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Galaxy Air earpiece concept uses hand gestures to interact with your phone

Remember the early days of Bluetooth earpieces that looked like a piece of hard candy coming out of just one ear? Although we have long grown away from those designs toward more discreet TWS earbuds, it seems the design pendulum is swinging back to that position. Of course, the “stem” design of the likes of the AirPods isn’t that obnoxious, but it did tell designers that it was OK to go beyond conventions again. This design concept definitely breaks free from today’s common design trends and embraces some highlights of the past, all for the sake of delivering a new experience in controlling your smartphone without taking it out of your pocket or even touching any device at all.

Designer: Yash Saboo

There are a few ways that allow you to use your smartphone without touching it, at least for some of the most basic functions. You can command Apple Siri or Google Assistant by voice, or you can tap and swipe on your smartwatch for some functionality that’s available on your wearable. Voice control isn’t always feasible in all situations, though, and not everyone has a smartwatch. A lot of people have Bluetooth earbuds, and those at least let you control music and calls. The range of controls available here, however, is severely limited because you can only map a few taps or even fewer swipes to certain actions.

This Bluetooth earpiece concept blasts the door wide open by expanding the number of actions you can make. Instead of relying on limited taps and swipes, you’ll be able to use hand gestures made in front of your face or ear to control the smartphone in your pocket or on your table. A two-finger wave, for example, can accept or end calls, while twitching your index finger can make an emergency call. Of course, you can still use taps and swipes on the earpiece itself for media playback, freeing hand gestures for other actions like reading notifications or your schedule.

To make gesture recognition possible, you will definitely need more hardware than can fit in tiny earbuds. That’s why this design goes a bit back in time to reuse some designs from previous years. The over-the-ear design, for example, has mostly disappeared by now, but it’s utilized here to offer a secure fit for a bone conduction headset. Yes, this doesn’t go inside your ear but allows you to be completely aware of your surrounding even while wearing it. Unfortunately, that technology hasn’t exactly retained its popularity, but it’s still a better option in this context.

The most important part of the earpiece, however, is all the electronics that are crammed in a case that will hang behind your ear. It’s similar, in a way, to how some hearing aids try to hide those same parts, but this time there’s really no attempt to mask its presence. After all, it needs to be able to see what’s in front of your ear so that it can detect hand gestures.

It’s admittedly an unorthodox design that may or may not be uncomfortable to wear over long periods of time. The fact that it also works only on one ear makes it less useful for enjoying music or watching videos with stereo sound. It’s still an interesting take on how we can expand the ways to control our phones with hand gestures without having to wear smart glasses that open an entirely different can of worms.

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This ultra-minimalist lamp is cute enough to pet

We have long passed the stage where lamps were simply functional equipment on desks and ceilings. While many do still serve that role, plenty of lamps have also become decorative pieces that adorn surfaces and rooms. To be visually interesting, however, doesn’t require being extravagant or sophisticated. There are plenty of eye-catching minimalist lamp designs, and those tend to actually be more popular in most cases. You can’t get more minimal than a metal rod, a lampshade, and a bulb, which are the basic parts of any lamp. This lamp design concept, however, arranges these parts into an interesting composition that will almost make you think that it’s some cute animal on your desk.

Designer: Lukas Avenas

Some say that having pets can be a good thing for our minds and hearts. Since not everyone can have animal friends, however, even looking at cute animal photos has been noted to have positive effects on morale. More often than not, anything that we can associate with happy memories or cute things can help relieve stress, especially if it’s in front of us or at least always within view.

This lamp concept tries to apply that psychological principle in the most minimalist way possible. There is a bulb enclosed in a typical cone that’s just big enough to fit it. The rest is made up of three metal rods bent to form a crude shape of an animal. Rather than removing the power cord, it acts as the animal’s long tail that goes off to the edge of the table’s surface. that go In other words, this is the animal equivalent of a stick figure human.

The design doesn’t explicitly mention specific materials or colors, though it looks more like black powder-coated metal that would easily stand out on any desk. Black definitely helps reinforce the association with a stick figure, and it contrasts nicely with the light that’s coming from its head. Despite the cold material and almost industrial design, the smooth curves and rounded ends give it a softer image.

The design is simple to the point of being overly simplistic. It relies on our amazing human brains to fill in the gaps and associate it with some favorite four-legged critter, whether that’s a dog, a cat, or a giraffe. It only does the bare minimum to make something look like a finished product, but it still manages to send the message across. In fact, it might be exactly because of that simplicity that allows our minds to assign a familiar animal to what is technically just a bunch of lines and shapes.

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