These fitness-tracking toe-rings are the perfect fusion of wearable tech and Indian culture

The Lexus Design Award-winning Mettis Rings are the perfect confluence of heritage and the future. Building on the cultural significance of jewelry in India, the Mettis are toe-rings that are state-of-the-art yet culturally relevant. These toe-rings come embedded with the same technology as any fitness wearable, in a package that embraces traditional values. Toe-rings are often given to women as wedding gifts in Indian lore, and are considered to have health benefits that align with Ayurvedic practices… the Mettis builds on that by introducing technology into the rings in a way that makes those health benefits more direct and appealing to younger generations.

Even though they house technology inside, the Mettis rings embrace the persona of jewelry. Built for Titan, a prominent watch and jewelry brand in the country, the rings come with a metallic finish and sit inside one of two sleek, matte black cases – for charging at home and for charging while traveling. Originally toe-rings in the Indian culture come made from silver, which absorbs positive energy from the ground you walk on. The Mettis, however, use sensors that help monitor your health. Whether you’re walking, running, exercising, or even swimming, the rings capture your body temperature and your heart-rate, working just like smartwatches and fitness wearables do. The rings actively track your location, count your steps, monitor sleep patterns, as well as help you keep track of your period cycles… all while strongly echoing the cultural relevance of toe-worn jewelry in Indian customs and traditions.

Designer: Anshuman Kumar for Titan Industries

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The Mini Tea Set is a combination of culture and compact design

Quite wonderfully balancing the need to remain traditional and authentic as well as be modern and space-saving, the Mini Tea Set from Pertouch fits a tea brewing set into its small form factor, with quaint, authentic vessels that allow you to brew tea in keeping with oriental culture and norms. The casing comes with 2 kettles and 4 sipping glasses stacked-on/nestled-within one another in a shock-proof case that carries them snugly, protecting them from breakage. The case comes with a decorative lid that serves as a tray too, allowing you to brew, present, and serve your tea with flair.

Its design also comes backed by a great deal of design thinking. The kettles come without any handles (that would otherwise occupy space) and instead opt for a dual-walled construction near where your fingers would grip it, for effective insulation and heat-prevention. The cups and kettles are all made from ceramic, while the tray is made from ABS, giving it impact-resistance and resistance to high temperatures. Moreover, the ridges on it, aside from providing a calming effect of resembling ripples, act as drainage outlets for any water/tea that may accidentally spill on the tray. The design details are tied together wonderfully with cultural sensitivity, to create a tea set that looks authentic, but is, in fact, incredibly well designed!

The T1 Mini Tea Set is a winner of the Design Intelligence Awards for the year 2018.

Designer: Pertouch

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A bike that demonstrates how Japanese culture can influence automotive design

Artem and Vladimir believe Japan’s design ethos lies heavily on their culture and history, pulling inspiration from minimalism, origami, and traditions like the samurai spirit, but a heavy European influence has resulted in Japan’s large automobile industry following cues that aren’t originally Japanese. Setting out to design a motorbike that is indicative of Japan’s culture, spirit, and aesthetic, Artem and Vladimir designed the Motorbike for Great Japan.

The motorbike’s design makes use of planar surfaces, reminiscent of samurai uniforms, and a body with an origami-inspired form. It even goes the distance to integrate a Samurai-sword-style woven handle for the handlebar grips! The bike comes with a styled carbon-fiber body, which not only makes the bike lighter and faster, but allows it to achieve its origami-style design rather seamlessly. The bike even sports dual-suspension on the front and the back, along with an adjustable seat for comfort, and what looks like a push-to-accelerate footrest. That’s innovative, even by Japanese standards!

Designers: Artem Smirnov & Vladimir Panchenko