This DIY retro audio player is a cute homage to 80s cassette tape recorders

Some of us may laugh at the fashion, designs, and technologies of the past, but sooner or later, they actually become the inspiration for products and designs of today. The number of successful and profitable “retro” recreations has proven the power of nostalgia, especially when you can avoid the limitations of the past. Tape recorders, for example, were rather funky-looking contraptions from our modern point of view, which also makes them a perfect candidate for a retro recreation. Unsurprisingly, someone did take on such an endeavor and gave the venerable cassette record from the 80s a modern makeover, one that relives part of the look and feel of the original but without the physical and mechanical restrictions.

Designer: Max.K

Given the technologies of that era, the cassette tape itself was a revolutionary invention that freed people to listen to music away from the hulking phonographs at home. Cassette players and recorders came in all shapes and sizes, but one of the most iconic forms was a flat box that would lie on a table or desk. You would see these devices even on TV, usually used as a prop for recording interviews, interrogations, or depositions, making their form easily identifiable even today.

A retro cassette player would have to stay true to that form, but it doesn’t need to have loyalties to the same flimsy and unreliable physical medium. In other words, this Retro Audio Player is practically a digital player in old-school clothing, but one with a few tricks and quirks that make it delightful to look at and fun to use.

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The 2.8-inch display on top, for example, tries to visualize the spinning reels of an honest-to-goodness cassette player, making it look almost like the real deal from afar. There are no extraneous elements on the screen other than the name of the file being played, the artist, and its progress, sticking closely to the unavoidably bare designs of its predecessors. And yes, it plays files stored on an SD card you slot into its side.

The DIY Retro Audio Player is also simple to use, with only a dial for volume and three buttons that are actually MX keyboard switches in disguise. The bright yellow paint job on top almost makes it look like a toy, and any child can actually operate it thanks to its simplicity. Whether it will survive rough handling from youngsters, however, is a different question entirely.

Its simplicity is also its Achilles’ heel, though, at least as far as audio players are concerned. Its diminutive size only has room for a single speaker, making it better suited for audiobooks than party music, but it does have a headphone jack in case you want more oomph. The three “buttons” can only pause or play the music and switch tracks, nothing to fast-forward or rewind within the same song like modern audio players. That said, the Retro Audio Player wasn’t envisioned to be a full-blown media player and more as a fun-looking nod to the past, and in that regard, it definitely scores an A+.

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This fully functional Xbox Series X console stands at over six feet tall

Microsoft knows its craft when it comes to marketing its gaming consoles. And it’s clear, they’ve got a real affection for the current generation Xbox Series X and Series S. The Redmond-based tech giant ignited interest with their one-off Xbox Series X fridge revealed at the E3 2021 event, and then they joined forces with premium luggage maker July to create limited-edition Xbox Series S suitcase for hardcore nerds.

No, this one is not the official Microsoft build, but a DIY project by engineer and Youtuber Michael Pick who’s lately obsessed with crafting the world’s biggest gadgets. He teamed up with ZHC to build the world’s largest Xbox Series X gaming console for a good cause. The size of a big refrigerator you’d come across, the DIY project stands towering at 6.82 feet and 3.41 feet wide. If you ever thought the retail version was a bit on the bulkier, this one should bury all your apprehensions for good.

Designer: Michael Pick

Behind the perfect look, there is a real Xbox Series X fitted inside the wooden rig. All the fancy inputs right from the Microsoft logo and the connection ports at the rear are actuated by the Arduino microcontrollers. For instance, pressing the button on the bigger console triggers an input on the hidden console inside courtesy of a motor. Pick invested a lot of time and energy into crafting the curved top using 3D printing technique, and it took him almost two weeks to finish the piece. Even though the top isn’t visible due to the height, according to Pick it brings the build to life. Once the basic crafting of the console got completed, it was passed over to ZHC in Texas where it got a cool custom paint job in a cartoonish sci-fi theme.

Compared to the mini Xbox X fridge which cools down beers, this one is fully functional as a gaming console, its primary intended purpose. By the way, this huge console is well over 600 percent bigger than the real one, and unsurprisingly has a Guinness World Record to its name too. Behind its highly detailed emulated look, the DIY project was ultimately gifted to the Youth and Teen Development Center in Atlanta, GA. The kids were elated to see this cool creation and then, later on, try out the games loaded onto the console. Truly a build worthwhile all the effort!

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This funky retro-futuristic computer is actually a laptop in disguise

You can actually use this rather fancy computer that looks like a TV prop, but whether it’s usable is a different question entirely.

We’ve seen a lot of makers, tinkerers, engineers, and even designers take a stab at making their own personal computers, with an emphasis on “personal.” Thanks to the availability of off-the-shelf parts for computers and the ubiquity of 3D printing, it has become easier but still not trivial to bring some of those dream designs and visions to life. Many of the DIY computer projects we’ve seen, while admirable, often fall short of looking ready for use or having enough power to actually be useful. That is what sets this “Mainboard Terminal” apart from the crowd for not only looking quite striking but also for having the literal guts of a modern laptop.

Designer: Penk Chen

The majority of projects we see that involve crafting your own computer often involve the Raspberry Pi or one of its cousins. These are small, low-power single-board computers or SBCs that are very easy on the pocket, making them a crowd favorite. The catch is that they don’t exactly have enough muscle to run most computing tasks, let alone something as heavy as Windows, not unless you’re an experienced Linux user that can get by with very minimal computing resources.

The RPi, as it is lovingly nicknamed, isn’t the only game in town, of course, and there are other SBCs out there that take things up a notch in terms of performance and software support, but the newest addition to that roster really changes the game. Although it’s primarily meant to repair or upgrade the world’s most modular and most repairable laptop, the Framework Mainboard can also be used as a standalone computer if you have the right parts to make it work. The catch? Prices start at $399 versus a Raspberry Pi’s humble $35.

Needless to say, hacker and modder extraordinaire Penk Chen took advantage of that openness to craft another out of this world computer. The same engineer introduced the world to his Penkesu pocket computer, ala a cyberdeck, and is now taking inspiration from a different genre. The off-white colorway, the chunky keycaps, and the curved silhouette will make it look at home on a retropunk TV set.

It’s not all looks, of course, because it has the beating heart of a typical laptop. It can run any operating system in theory, though its creator went with the free (as in speech) and open source Ubuntu Linux distribution for simplicity. As with his other projects, Chen provides the list of parts used as well as the files for 3D printing that oddly-shaped chassis. Most of these parts can be bought from online retailers, but, as usual, you’ll need access to a 3D printer one way or another.

The biggest strike against this otherwise usable computer is the 5-inch 1080×1080 round LCD screen. In addition to being smaller than your smartphone’s display, the square aspect ratio doesn’t work well with content and software that were designed with a rectangular screen in mind. Plus, the circular display means that parts of the screen will be cut off all the time. It’s a case of form over function, but since it’s a “normal” computer, it’s probably possible to design an external port that will connect to a second, more “normal” monitor as well.

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Best DIY designs for you to build at home

DIY designs have been taking the design world by storm! Especially with COVID-19 restricting us to our homes, building things purely with our hands, putting our sweat and grit into it, and watching a design roar to life in front of our eyes, has become the new pass time for many of us. But these DIY designs are more than just your run-of-the-mill products made using discarded water bottles, and paper! These are innovative, complex, and highly functional product designs that cater to a variety of our needs, but are also really simple to put together. It’s the best of both worlds. From a DIY digital hourglass to a DIY wooden bicycle – each of these nifty designs will get your creative juices flowing, your hands moving, as well as definitely add some value to your life. Which of these unique DIY designs would you try building at home?!

1. OpenBike

This bicycle made of plywood was created with the intent to get more people to focus on sustainability. The open-source design is called ‘Openbike’ and despite the obvious problems that come with a bike made from plywood, it is still an affordable and lightweight alternative for those who want to live on a budget but are also eco-conscious. You can download the files to build your own bike here!

Why is it noteworthy?

“This is not about bicycles! Open your eyes, this is about you, about your attitude towards the future. Do you think that the pollution of the cities will disappear by itself? Do you think traffic jams are caused by others?” reads the Openbike website which makes the mission statement of the design very clear – they’re not claiming to offer the durability or a thief-proof bike but rather shift your perspective on affordability and sustainability.

What we like

  • Reduces carbon emissions in cities by empowering people with technology

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

2. Desco

It’s almost difficult to see Desco as an organizer, given how it visually looks disorganized on its own. It utilizes different shapes that seem to be haphazardly thrown together, as well as lines that cut through each other at odd angles.

Why is it noteworthy?

Unlike traditional desk organizers, you almost have to stop and think which items go where because, despite its seemingly random design, each nook and cranny of the Desco actually serves a specific purpose. That large acrylic circle in the middle, for example, has slits that are designed to hold notebooks, while the space going through the pipe shape can hold pens and even rolls of paper. The slanted foot has space for a few sheets of paper, while the acrylic surface of one of the wooden boxes can be used as a tiny wall for sticky notes. There is also plenty of space for all kinds of tools and knick-knacks, including a tray for your phone, earbuds, or smartwatch. There’s even a surface that can be used to keep your favorite mug within arm’s reach.

What we like

  • Despite its jumble of shapes, Desco still adheres to minimalism as far as the surfaces themselves go
  • The transparent acrylic gives an illusion of floating in the air

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

3. The Digital Sand Clock

This isn’t about having a screen that displays a sand clock, which would be boring and too easy to make. This DIY project actually tries to mimic the experience of using an actual hourglass, including turning it upside down or sideways, as well as watching the “sand” drop little by little. Naturally, it doesn’t use any sand at all but utilizes LED lights to convey the same visual effect.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Digital Sand Clock isn’t just a hardware project, though. There is also a bit of coding involved, especially in animating how the LEDs light up to mimic falling sand. That part is actually what makes the entire endeavor rather impressive, given how it can use motion (technically an accelerometer) to control the “movement” of the sand, and the lights adjust accordingly as if they were actually movable solid objects.

What we like

  • It is a demonstration of how far we’ve come in enabling such creations without being at the mercy of large companies and production plants
  • It is a source of inspiration for budding designers and engineers who want to take a whack at this more democratic way of creating things

What we dislike

  • The project involves a lot of components and work – hence it may not appeal to everyone

4. That Stool

Small stools can come in handy anywhere. From empty art studios to crowded offices, stools can make the simple difference between sitting on the floor and having a seat. They especially come in handy when they’re designed for easy assembly and storage. Developed by Alondra Elizalde, That Stool is a flatpack DIY small stool designed with easy assembly to provide a practical means of having a stool anywhere, at any time.

Why is it noteworthy?

That Stool is comprised of only a few parts: a seat rest, five legs, a couple of star-shaped spindles, and some connecting nuts and bolts. All contained within a flatpack corrugated cardboard box, the parts of That Stool are easy to assemble with no additional hardware required. Following the imprinted instructions on the underside of That Stool’s top cover, users will first attach each leg to the corresponding screws on the star-shaped spindles. From there, connecting fasteners secure the legs and spindles in place, providing a sturdy bolster for the seat rest to mount.

What we like

  • Assembled in only four steps without any additional hardware
  • Can be used anywhere, at any time
  • You can build it yourself!

What we dislike

  • Looks like any other regular stool on the market

5. The Absolem keyboard

There are times, however, when creative people think outside the box and go to town with new concepts and experiments. Those often end up looking unpolished or straight out of a sci-fi show prop, but this eye-catching butterfly-shaped keyboard won’t look out of place on a minimalist wooden workspace.

Why is it noteworthy?

The designer, a software engineer by profession and modder by hobby, initially wanted to create something that would have ended up looking completely different. The ultimate goal was to have a reduced number of keys, 36 in total, plus a few extra keys that would allow switching between letters, symbols, and function keys. At first, he settled on a “3D” design that had those extra keys hidden underneath an elevated surface for the split 36 keys.

What we like

  • Acute attention to detail

What we dislike

  • Uses plenty of plastic and electronics, including neoprene, so it’s not exactly a sustainable design

6. GRIP

Grip Wheelchair Project

Grip Wheelchair Render

GRIP is a project by three designers: Lorcan Looney, Bryce Cormack, and Leah Deegan. They wanted to engage with common problems in the world by providing practical solutions. The Grip goes beyond aesthetics as the main aim is to enhance the “grip” of the wheels for wheelchair users.

Why is it noteworthy?

Grip is mainly a rim cover that provides ease and comfort to the users. It’s a “comfortable and durable hand protecting cover” that allows you to push the wheelchair more easily. With the cover, the problem of fingers being trapped between the wheel and the push rim is eliminated. The Grip is not a product being sold in the market. It’s something you can actually do on your own as a downloadable template and instructions are provided by the designers. The step-by-step guide is easy to follow so you can assemble the Grip with easily accessible materials and components.

What we like

  • Reduces hand strain and deterioration
  • Inclusive design

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

7. The Stair Cubby

The Stair Cubby, as it was christened, can be assembled without the use of tools, with tabs simply going into slots and held down with pegs. The cubby is designed to sit on two steps of stairs, but the panel on the back can slide up and down to adjust to different stair heights. The storage has five open-access cubbies for shoes, books, and any other item that can fit inside, keeping things organized and out of harm’s way.

Why is it noteworthy?

Staircase bins need to take into account the particular shape of stairs, but not all stairs are made equal, so they have to be a bit more flexible or at least configurable. Given how in-demand these storage solutions might be, they also need to be durable and sustainable. These two product design students from Nottingham Trent University in the UK hit both birds with one sheet of plywood.

What we like

  • Can be assembled without the use of tools
  • Great for homes with space constraints

What we dislike

  • We’re not sure how well it would hold heavier objects

8. The Atlas

Your backpack is as much a part of your apparel as your coat is or your cap or sunglasses for that matter. As a society, we’ve come to accept keeping bags on the floor, and having their bottom surface collect dust and dirt over the years. You wouldn’t do it with any other part of your outfit, so why is it okay to keep your bag on the floor? That’s a question the guys at Addio Design Collective found themselves asking too. With that very design brief, they created the Atlas Backpack Stand – a new category of furniture that serves the purpose of a side-table as well as a stand for hanging your backpacks, so they don’t have to touch the floor.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Atlas isn’t a conventional side-table. It comes almost with the proportions and shape of an easel, sporting an A-shaped frame. It comes with a slightly inclined design too, keeping the stand stable and preventing it from tipping over due to your bag’s weight. On top, two tiny hooks let you hang your backpack, bag, duffle, suitcase, purse, or tote, while a flat surface acts as a storage area for your phone, AirPods, sunglasses, etc. It’s a stand designed around your backpack and your EDC and can sit perfectly near your work table.

What we like

  • It suspends your bag above the ground, keeping it from getting dirty
  • Makes it easy to access stuff inside your bag without having to bend down

What we dislike

  • A bit of a niche product – may not appeal to everyone

9. The Penkesu Computer

Every day, the world is greeted with half a dozen or so “hacks” that try to solve a problem or even solve a problem no one thought was even a problem, using only off-the-shelf materials assembled together in garages or basements. Not all of them turn out to be useful or even attractive, but some do pique our interests, like this DIY pocket computer that actually works like a regular computer.

Why is it noteworthy?

Called the Penkesu Computer after its creator, the ultra-compact device that resembles a bulky communicator from the good old Nokia days has a distinctive charm despite its unpolished looks. While you probably wouldn’t use it for serious work, the wide but short laptop has the makings of a cyberpunk prop, specifically a cyberdeck that’s often used by characters to access the net or other computers. If you’re into that genre and style, the Penkesu Computer will definitely tickle your fancy, and it will undoubtedly turn heads if you use it in some cafe.

What we like

  • Penk Chen has generously provided the exact list of materials and components to buy, as well as the pattern for 3D printing the enclosure

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

10. The Chonky Palmtop

Tiny laptops, sometimes called palmtops, have the advantage of portability over normal notebooks, but they are terrible when it comes to comfort while typing. You can only cram so many keys in such a small space, forcing designers and users to perform finger acrobatics to activate additional keys. That’s not even considering yet the ergonomics of bending your wrists to fit your fingers in such a cramped space. That is the problem that this bulky “palmtop” tries to address by miraculously fitting a slightly more comfortable keyboard in a 7-inch space.

Why is it noteworthy?

This contraption isn’t called the Chonky Palmtop for no reason. Unlike other DIY laptop projects, this one makes no qualms about being a large plastic brick. It’s not going to be usable on your palm, though you probably won’t use it like that anyway. After all, what makes this special is how it tries to make typing a bit more comfortable on a laptop of this size.

What we like

  • It splits the keyboard into two halves, adopting a layout that is similar to those ergonomic keyboards you’d find in the market

What we dislike

  • You may not want to use a computer of this size for your everyday needs

The post Best DIY designs for you to build at home first appeared on Yanko Design.

This hidden train side table is a design and engineering masterpiece

We’ve seen a few desks and tables with hidden features, but this DIY project takes the cake when it comes to revealing something that you least expect from a side table.

Side tables may have started out as simple, functional pieces of furniture, but they quickly turned into decorative assets in any room. Of course, these smaller tables went through their own minimalism phase before they started to become more multi-functional and expressive. Some side tables still retain their clean forms, using ingenious tricks to hide additional functions until they’re needed. To be fair, this table doesn’t exactly offer any additional useful functionality, but no one will be able to deny how amazing it is to see it transform from useful furniture to intricate movie reference. It’s even more amazing when you find out just how much work was needed to make this seemingly magical dual-purpose table to life.

Designer: Peter Waldraff

We’ve seen our fair share of DIY projects utilizing wood, electronics, or artistic skills, but very few actually required intensive applications of all those. In some cases, much of the work is done by a 3D printer, sometimes even outsourced to a 3D printing service, and some of the woodwork involved in other projects were pretty minimal. In contrast, you can’t help but be awestruck by this particular maker’s persistence and skill in shoving a miniature movie set into a deceptively simple wooden table.

The creator, for example, had to cut no less than 16 wooden rings that were glued together to create the hidden compartment for the model train set. A system of hidden pulleys had to be designed to raise and lower the platform, transforming the table into a moving diorama. Pieces of foam had to be cut, assembled, and painted to create the mountain centerpiece that would serve as the backdrop of the set. That’s also not mentioning yet the tricky wiring and electronics involved, especially to make the moving train trigger railroad bells as if by magic.

The mini train set tries to recreate an iconic scene from the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and it ingeniously uses the underside of the table’s elevated wooden top to play the role of a UFO. LED lights not only give it an otherworldly appearance, it also illuminates the train to make it look more visible. The effect is best observed at night, of course, but the mini train table is mesmerizing any time of the day.

This project won’t win any sustainability awards due to its use of foam and some chemicals, but it would have admittedly been harder to pull off without those. This isn’t the first time this engineer slash electrician slash woodworker has dabbled in hiding model railroads inside tables, but this might be the most enchanting one yet. Watching a seemingly innocuous wooden round table split apart and reveal a mini-train system and alien spacecraft makes for an experience that is truly out of this world.

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This chunky palm-sized DIY laptop cleverly hides a split ergonomic keyboard

We’ve seen our fair share of small laptops over the past years, some of them made and sold by actual manufacturers, while others are works of love and passion by hobbyists. Tiny laptops, sometimes called palmtops, have the advantage of portability over normal notebooks, but they are terrible when it comes to comfort while typing. You can only cram so many keys in such a small space, forcing designers and users to perform finger acrobatics to activate additional keys. That’s not even considering yet the ergonomics of bending your wrists to fit your fingers in such a cramped space. That is the problem that this bulky “palmtop” tries to address by miraculously fitting a slightly more comfortable keyboard in a 7-inch space.

Designer: Daniel Norris

This contraption isn’t called the Chonky Palmtop for no reason. Unlike other DIY laptop projects, this one makes no qualms about being a large plastic brick. It’s not going to be usable on your palm, though you probably won’t use it like that anyway. After all, what makes this special is how it tries to make typing a bit more comfortable on a laptop of this size.

The secret is that it splits the keyboard into two halves, adopting a layout that is similar to those ergonomic keyboards you’d find in the market. Those, however, are giants compared even to regular keyboards, so the designer that created this wonder of engineering adopted a sliding mechanism that allows the halves to fan in and out as needed. Even this kind of keyboard layout is still no match for a proper typing tool, but it is loads better than the cramped keyboards on some 8-inch laptops.

That mechanism is one reason why this machine is so “chonky,” but it isn’t the only culprit. A full-sized Raspberry Pi 4 is used, along with additional components for the battery and the controller for the 7-inch touch screen display. Very few compromises were made, so these pieces are used in their full form, leading to a very large chassis to house everything. That and the keycaps themselves are your chocolate keyboard sizes, adding to the overall height of the laptop.

As with most DIY computers, assembling this one takes a lot of effort and soldering work. Fortunately, the thinking and designing involved are already done, and Daniel Norris generously lists almost everything you need. What software you run on this thing really depends on you, but the RPi itself is quite preferential to specific flavors of Linux.

Of course, it does raise the question of whether you’d even want to use a computer of that size for your everyday needs, but it also raises the need for better computer keyboards in general. Hopefully, laptop designers will figure out a mechanism like this that will enable ergonomic keyboards to fit in cramped spaces, making portable computers less of a pain, literally.

The post This chunky palm-sized DIY laptop cleverly hides a split ergonomic keyboard first appeared on Yanko Design.

This self-made engraved metal mouse is craftsmanship at its finest

We’ve seen a few interesting takes on the computer mouse, most of them trying to put a more ergonomic spin on a device that has changed little in the past decades. There are some that do defy commonly held standards in order to create an artful masterpiece that probably wouldn’t pass usability tests. And then there are those that end up making our jaws drop in how they turn a utilitarian piece of technology into an elaborate luxury item. It might not be made out of gold, but this metal mouse puts those expensive mice to shame by the sheer amount of details and the fact that it was all crafted by hand at someone’s personal workshop.

Designer: Uri Tuchman

The basic design of the mouse hasn’t changed that much ever since the day it was first revealed to the public in 1968. You have a mostly rectangular piece of plastic with buttons on its head for clicking and some mechanism to actually map hand movements to the digital cursor on the screen. That mouse was never designed for comfort or efficiency, so designers and engineers have tried to refine that design over the years without completely throwing the mouse concept out the window.

There are also some that have instead tried to glorify the electronic rodent with a different form or representation. We’ve seen transparent or leather-encased mice, mice that look like whales, and mice that can be flat-packed when not in use. This handcrafted mouse definitely takes the cake, though, because every part is made from scratch from metal, except for the electronics, of course.

There’s almost something mesmerizing about seeing metal getting whittled down to size and shape, presuming you have your speakers muted. It’s even more mind-blowing when you learn that each piece of the mouse, other than the electronics where cut and shaped from raw pieces of metal. Not a single part, including the slots for the screws as well as the mouse wheel, was bought from stores. But that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Each visible side of the mouse except the bottom is filled with ornamental patterns. And all these patterns were drawn and then engraved by hand. Yes, each of the flowing curves and shapes was painstakingly chiseled manually, with no assistance from a computer or a robot. The time-lapsed video makes it look too easy, but the intricate details clearly took hours and days of work.

This beautifully engraved mouse does also work, though it’s hard to imagine it will be a comfortable experience in the long run. Of course, the project wasn’t made for ergonomics in the first place, so that’s not a fair point against it. It’s a handsome piece of art, without a doubt, and the fact that it actually works is just the icing on top.

The post This self-made engraved metal mouse is craftsmanship at its finest first appeared on Yanko Design.

Carving and Build a Kinetic Whale Sculpture: A Whale of a Good Time

Have you always dreamed of building your own wooden whale kinetic sculpture? Who hasn’t? It’s one of the dreams that unifies humanity. And thankfully, photographer and artist Sylvain Gautier documented the process in which he built this particular model, so you can follow along and build your own. Or fail horribly and wind up with a bunch of blood-stained kindling as I did.

There’s a six-and-a-half-minute short version of the build video (above) for those of you with some existing knowledge of carving and building who only need the basics to get started, but there’s also a 26-minute extended version (below) for those of you who need their hand held a little more. Honestly, I don’t even think a six-hour version could have helped me.

I absolutely adore stuff like this – I’m a huge fan of whimsy. As an added bonus, Sylvain created a 10-hour looping video (below) of him cranking the sculpture and the whale swimming. So relaxing. I’m four hours in, and it just keeps getting better and better.

[via GeeksAreSexy]

The famous Strandbeests get wings to finally evolve into flying kinetic machines

Theo Jansen has been constructing kinetic sculptures for almost a couple of decades now, and they’ve been a big hit with the people who appreciate creative builds. It’s been a kind of a tradition for the Dutch artist to hit the beaches every summer and show off his new, improved creations to the awe-struck onlookers. The impressive skeletal-like wind-powered structures are brought to life with the subtle gusts of wind which in itself is a visual treat.

He calls them, the Strandbeests, and his pipedream is to lend them an evolutionary future where these lifeless creations life their own conscious lives. As he very lightly puts it, “Give me a few million years and my Strandbeests will live completely independently.” Well, I won’t agree much with that vision, still, his more realistic aspirations do inspire me. After around 12 generations of evolution, these PVC tubing creatures have morphed into intimidating beasts, moving around on the beach independently.  His latest creation in works is the Volantum which flies like a free creature. A giant beetle-like kite to be precise.

Designer: Theo Jansen

Those flapping wings now enable these mystical creations to rise above the ground and soar with the flow of the wind. Each one of these creations has a Latin name associated with it like Animaris Vulgaris, Animaris Rhinoceros, Mater Extensa.

The artist’s burning intention for these flying contraptions or even the earlier builds is to get over the problem of climate change and the consequent rising sea level. That he wants to solve with these unique kinetic builds as they churn up the beach and blow the sand onto the dunes to reinforce them. These intimidating creatures are driven by the wind energy which propels the spine (more like a car’s crankshaft) and then the several legs attached to it are driven.

This enables even heavy loads to move forward without any other source of energy. That’s the amazing science behind these evolving flying creatures that who knows will graduate into conscious beings capable of doing unimaginable things.

The post The famous Strandbeests get wings to finally evolve into flying kinetic machines first appeared on Yanko Design.

DIY Tandem Shower Head Kit: For Singing Duets in the Shower

The DIY Tandem Shower by Boona is just that: a do-it-yourself solution to doubling your existing shower heads by adding another attached to a long rod. Impressively, the Tandem Shower has already far surpassed its Kickstarter goal, with more than $400,000 in funding past its initial $10,000 goal. Dammit, why didn’t I think of this?

The Tandem Shower is available in three colors (chrome, black, and Miami) and is adjustable to fit showers between 57″ and 76″ wide. It costs $249. *spit-takes warm shower water* Now I really wish I’d thought of it! Of course, the Tandem shower will only work well if you have high water pressure. If you have terrible water pressure as I do, you’re likely to only get a drip out of each shower head. You’ve been warned.

Boona advertises that the Tandem Shower will prevent cold spots while showering (e.g. your entire back) and can also help reduce water usage by showering with your partner. Hey honey – what do you say we get a tandem shower head so we can start showering together? No? I wonder what their cancellation policy is.

[via OddityMall]