This ergonomic bottle mixes 5 cleaning liquids to create a custom cleanser for every surface!

If you were to open your cleaning closet, how many bottles would you find? Detergents? Bleach? Softener? Lysol? Not only does it clutter the space but it is also inefficient – have you ever had a Tide bottle fall on you while reaching out to get the soap? I can confirm its not pretty. Also, not everyone or every brand provides refills so all you are doing is going through an endless consumption cycle that is generating more waste. Clean surfaces but not a clean planet. Rena is a conceptual bottle designed to specifically solve the above issue – one bottle fits all!

Rena’s aim was to create an innovative bottle that could be a bank for all the cleaning liquids we needed. It has a reservoir tank and replaceable cartridge that holds concentrated chemicals that are mixed and diluted in specific ratios to clean different surfaces or dispense for laundry. It takes the guesswork out so that your surfaces and clothes are protected from your chemical calculations (let’s be real, ‘one cap’ is not a measurement). The bottle has an ergonomic design and using it is simple – insert the cartridge, fill in the water, select the surface you intend to clean on your Rena mobile app, and via Bluetooth the bottle will collect that data configure a detergent mix based on it. Then all you do is press the trigger and the bottle will dispense the concoction. I can only imagine Monica Geller screaming if she saw this.

Cartridges are created to be refillable to reduce landfill waste and can be customized by the brand. The chemicals are pressurized which makes it easy to move it into the mixing chamber without a pump. The safety mechanism makes sure the chemicals are not dispensed if the cartridge is not inserted in Rena. It also features a DC pump instead of the traditional pump and a 750 ml water tank. And lastly, it is rechargeable so no need to scrimmage through your junk drawers to find spare batteries. The universal detergent bottle makes cleaning more efficient, safe, and easier on the environment. Long road ahead but designs like Rena gives us a good headstart!

Designer: James Lord

A look at how architecture after COVID-19 will openly embrace and integrate the outdoors

“If we can’t go outdoors, why can’t the outdoors come to us?” It sounds like the kind of question a five-year-old would ask, but dwell a little on that thought and you start realizing it’s quite an intriguing question. In fact, it’s the design brief for ODA’s latest tower designs. These tower designs from ODA Architecture try to blur the boundaries between the outdoors and indoors… they were originally conceived as a way to alter New York’s predominantly glass-and-metal skyline by introducing an aspect of greenery into it, but in a world dealing with COVID-19, they provide a much more important service by allowing us to experience the outdoors without needing to step out.

ODA’s explorations primarily focus on tower designs, in an attempt to bring versatility and a touch of greenery to NY’s overtly boxy and shiny cityscape. Architectural explorations look at residential units with dedicated ‘greenery zones’ that act as areas of social congregation for the building’s residents. Adorned with curvilinear, organic architecture, and interspersed with greenery, these areas give the residents a break from the concrete-jungle-aesthetic of the skyscraper-filled city. They act as areas of reflection and of allowing people to connect with nature and with one another. Designed specifically for the building’s residents, these ‘shared indoor gardens’ even serve as wellness areas, giving people spaces to exercise, meditate, do yoga, and just take a break from being stuck at home… all while being safely within the confines of your building!

Designer: ODA New York

This award-winning paper packaging will reduce the beauty industry’s plastic waste

The Dieline Awards 2020 had some of the most amazing innovative entries but Pearl caught my attention for two main reasons – it was the plastic-free innovation winner of the year and it looked straight out of the little mermaid’s treasure box! Pearl is a paper pod packing solution by BillerudKorsnas and Syntegon who wanted to create a more sustainable fiber-based alternative with a premium aesthetic while also focusing on the portions to reduce waste.

Portion packaging is common in many industries but most widely used in the beauty industry, notorious for their waste generation, for the sample product packaging. Brands usually resort to plastic because it can easily be molded and designed to fit their image and unique experiences and because paper packaging hasn’t been accepted as ‘pretty’ just yet – Pearl is here to change that outlook. The designers combined their work on two previous projects that also revolved around replacing plastic packaging with sustainable alternatives. “Inspired by life and shapes of the sea, we then conceptualized the project named Pearl. What makes it special are the 3D-properties enabled by the FibreForm paper and manufacturing technology. Resulting in unique tactile experiences and embossed shapes of the paper shell, driving new business opportunities,” said the design team.

This paper pod aims to replace the plastic for product samples, inserts, refills, portion packs, and disposable packaging for sustainable brand owners that match their high business goals with high environmental ambitions. Pearl is a natural packaging alternative that fits within the aesthetics of the beauty industry while also reducing its negative impact on the environment. Designs like Pearl are important to showcase the malleability of eco-friendly materials to that they can be more widely accepted while still being “on brand” and I might argue that being eco-conscious in 2020 should be “on-brand” for everyone.

Designers: BillerudKorsnas and Syntegon

This inclusively designed electric mobility vehicle is Tony Stark’s hoverboard

You know the bright future is here when we see design concepts like MÜV (pronounced “move”) – a purely electric, self-balancing, hands-free assistive mobility vehicle concept that grants you true omnidirectional maneuverability. To simplify it, think of it as a hoverboard with a seat but you don’t have to worry about balancing it! MÜV may have started as inclusive design but it quickly adapted itself to fall under the universal umbrella even though it will still benefit the disabled demographic more as was it’s original intention.

It has been designed with the latest robotics self-balancing technologies to give the rider intuitive navigational control so they can ride with ease. MÜV is fitted with a spherical drive system that gives it its distinctive omnidirectional maneuverable abilities that lets the rider lean, twist or tilt in any direction while the vehicle gently follows. It is similar to what my ski instructor taught me – just move your body in the direction you want to go and the skis will follow.

“To evolve the way people move by spreading joy and ease of movement” ​​​​​​is what the designer set as his motto when working on the vehicle. The primary goals were improved safety, comfort, aesthetics & maneuverability. Additional details such as range, affordability, and overall user-friendliness were also important factors that had to be considered. It is charged wirelessly, unlike traditional competitor products, which makes it portable and convenient. This is what an inclusively designed mobility vehicle would look like if Tony Stark ever made one. And for you DC fans, this is the batmobile of electric mobility vehicles. Let’s take a ride down the design process for MÜV.

Designer: Neutron Her

Safety was the number one priority followed by comfort. It has footrests for when the user is cruising with adequate clearance around the user’s legs for emergency stops. It is fitted with multiple sensors and advanced control algorithms that collect the physical rotation/translatory intention data to make sure MÜV adapts to your moves for an effortless experience.


move 2

Understanding where this vehicle fits in the market, alongside the typical engineering systems inside these vehicles gives us a strong starting point to develop accurate, honest industrial design solutions; forms that can be realistically achieved while satisfying the goals.

The high-tech mobility vehicle comes with a modern chair that blends in with the rest of its body. Ergonomics were a big part of MÜV given that it is an assistive mobility vehicle. The CMF was picked to give the user a sense of its sturdy, robust, and reliable form.

It’s built using two major housing casings; both made of polyamide (nylon) reinforced with fiber-glass and each injection-molded in one single operation. The metallic painting on the convex form reflects its surroundings, adding a sense of slenderness. The parting line where black and titanium meet simply flows along the neck, making the body look slimmer.

A two-tone color scheme creates a minimalist, yet striking design. The front panel is full depth colored semi-matte obsidian black to convey a sense of utilitarian ruggedness yet remaining sporty and modern. Complemented by a sleek titanium painted finish back panel.

MÜV gives the freedom of movement to the elderly and disabled demographic who can’t drive, won’t have to depend on someone to push the wheelchair, and wouldn’t require the strain of walking using walkers/canes. This allows for more fluid and safe movement giving them a chance to live independently.

To reduce bulkiness, the interior dead space is minimized by organizing printed circuit boards, fans, filters, and motors tightly together without compromising any functionality.

It uses a wireless charging method by tilting its wireless charging pad located below the battery onto a wireless charging station. This surface also doubles as a stable resting pad during stops/short breaks. At this angle, the electronics enter a sleep mode to conserve power. When tilted back for use, the system powers up and begins automatically stabilizing at full power preparing for the rider to safely mount.

The MÜV’s battery level is indicated by 7 white LED along the front neck of the vehicle.

The lithium-ion battery pack is placed at the front for optimized cooling, proximity to the charging pad, lowered center of gravity, and convenience. It can be easily swapped for a full battery or kept attached and recharged on-board by tilting the wireless charging pad on an MÜV charging dock.

The center of gravity remains low, providing great stability while improving control. Ground clearance is sufficient for tight turns and obstacle avoidance during daily joy rides.

Made using 3000 Nespresso pods, this installation transforms ocean waste into art

The Superegg Installation is a comment on our capitalist tendencies and its effect on nature. By combining consumerism and creation into one hard-hitting sculpture, the art piece helps turn human-created ocean waste into an object that sparks conversations while saving the environment. The 6’6″ high structure comes made from 3000 Nespresso and Keurig single-use coffee pods that were pulled out of the ocean. These aluminum pods were then mounted onto aluminum sheets which were finally wrapped onto plywood rings to create the shape of an egg.

The Superegg installation looks like a Fabergé egg from afar, with the thousands of colorful pods forming patterns on it, but the magic is doubled at night, when a light within the installation illuminates the structure, causing it to create mesmeric shadows like tinted glass mosaics at churches and cathedrals. The egg acts as proof of how damaging our consumerism can be on the environment, while being a reminder that we can always turn our waste and wasteful behaviors into something more meaningful and nurturing.

The Superegg is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2020.

Designer: Jaco Roeloffs

Organic concrete curves give an unconventional vibe to this sustainable luxury home

When I first saw the Domik house, it felt like someone brought a kid’s illustration to life in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible! Nestled into the sandhills south of Noosa National Park, Australia, this private residence is playful retention of modern architecture. It’s curves make it positively stand out (as curves always do!) and every crevice by Noel Robinson Architects is just giving us house goals!

Designed for a client who wanted a timeless and practical holiday home, I imagine he is truly enjoying his quarantine overlooking the Pacific Ocean because that is where I would be living out the pandemic if I had the option. The eco-home has 3 floors, 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms, and is one of Australia’s most expensive homes. The exterior is anything but that of a conventional house – it has several large domes stacked upon each other and covered with green roofs to blend in with nature. The unusual shape and use of natural materials truly optimize the natural sunlight and ventilation that Domik gets due to its premium location. It almost looks like the house is wearing a hooded cloak of eco-consciousness.

It was clear to the design team that sustainability was a very important aspect of the house – no air conditioning was to be installed and renewable energy should be used to generate power on-site along with using sustainable construction materials. So that is why the Domik house features an expansive rooftop solar array supported by a battery storage system. The design also incorporates the collection of roof water to be reused on-site. The internal non-loadbearing walls are made with hempcrete for thermal insulation (and acoustics!). Hempcrete has high carbon sequestration and is a fully recyclable product.

The sculptural forms were designed to give it an organic appeal and not destroy the landscape the house was in by using an angular build. The concrete arches were a smart move because they minimized the need for internal columns, made way for high ceilings, and maximized the space for spanning windows. The floor + footprint area of the property is massive and the landscape continues from the ground to the top using lightweight timber ‘eyelids’ to form the concrete arches. The residence is camouflaged into the natural setting seamlessly with the fluid shapes and gardened roofs. Quarantine or not, a getaway home has 3 cores – entertainment, sports, and health which is exactly what the team delivered with their eco-friendly and visually appealing design plan. Huge but still cozy!

Designer: Noel Robinson Architects

This modular furniture creatively reduces waste and assembles like a giant LEGO project

We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again, flexible lifestyle is the future and it is amazing to see how product designs are pivoting to be more modular to suit that change! Furniture designs are seemingly leading this game. The Un-Lim collection was specifically created so you can switch up the function and form of your furniture to fit your needs instead of going out to buy a new piece every time something changes. Un-Lim stands for unlimited and that truly shines through this set.

“Unlimited imagination and unimaginable needs of people could be contradictory to the limitations of our planet and our capacities as human beings. The consumption patterns we have adapted have led to global warming, polluted air, soil, and water while putting pressure on people, both in working conditions and a psychological obsession to gain more without answering the real needs,” says designer Ariyan Davoodian on what inspired him to create modular furniture for every space. The aim was to reduce the unnecessary (and constant) buying by using creativity and sustainable development to meet our furniture needs that also work for our environment.

Un-Lim is an ageless collection that can be molded and changed over time – think of it as redesigning your own furniture using the same pieces to create a whole new form and function! It comes with 8 different parts that you can combine to match your space and needs. Turn it from a bed to a table to a chair seamlessly. The separate modules come with a notebook that tells the story of its production timeline from the furniture’s point of view! It also includes a piece of wood from the tree that was used and a shoutout to all wood craftsmen who worked on your set.

Think of it as a running LEGO project that you can actually sit on without getting poked. The designer wanted consumers to have a long-lasting relationship with the pieces that are a part of their home and use them to express their creativity while saving natural resources and reducing waste. It teaches you to find happiness with what you have instead of finding it in a new product every other year.

Designer: Ariyan Davoodian

This article was sent to us using the ‘Submit A Design’ feature.

We encourage designers/students/studios to send in their projects to be featured on Yanko Design!

If Greta Thunberg was a building, she would be this one!

Every day we are seeing innovative architecture that is blending tech with nature to fit our modern lifestyles while benefitting the environment. These hybrid structures that think about humans and nature alike often result in the most beautiful buildings. The latest addition in sustainable architecture is the Rainbow Tree in Cebu, Philippines by Paris-based Vincent Callebaut Architectures which reduces the carbon footprint of every future resident.

The design team has described the Rainbow Tree as a multi-faceted revealing structure that pays tribute to the cultural and natural Filipino heritage. Cebu is one of the 66 creative cities awarded by UNESCO for its innovation in design, fashion, architecture, and the production of eco-responsible furniture – an example of the new world we are trying to build. The aim was to design a residential apartment that blended the luxury lifestyle with a sustainable lifestyle while being LEED + BERDE certified (environmental certifications). The 32-story tower stands at 115-meter and will be built using solid wood which is a natural renewable material available in abundance locally while 30,000 plants will grace its exterior. The technique is a genius one – the wooden slats are perpendicularly superimposed and connected using structural, organic adhesives such as tannins, lignin, cellulose, or even starch. “This organic building integrates the principles of passive bioclimatism and advanced renewable energies. We named it ‘The Rainbow Tree’ because it is an ode to Eucalyptus Deglupta, also known as Rainbow Eucalyptus, an iconic and colorful tree from the Philippines,” says the team.

You must be thinking about the wood being a fire hazard but the Eucalyptus is a slow-burning wood that does not release toxic fumes and transmits heat 250 times slower than melting steel and 10 times slower than concrete which cracks under the effects of the flames. There are 1,200 geometric modules stacked to make the structure and each module’s side measures 4 meters with the height varying between 3.2 to 4.8 meters. All the timber modules are prefabricated and standardized in a factory for precise mass production. The Cross Laminated Timber manufacturing process requires much less energy than concrete or steel, and moreover it does not generate greenhouse gases. Fun fact: the construction industry is a larger contributor to global warming than the airline industry, particularly the production of concrete. The local plants in the interconnected terraces create a natural ventilation system and are the glue for a symbiotic relationship between the residents and nature.

The trees are cut and harvested in short circuits from eco-responsible forests where each tree cut is replaced by planting another in the archipelago. As the trees grow they store carbon which would be released if not used to build the Rainbow Tree into the atmosphere – for 1 ton of wood produced, about 0.9 tonnes of carbon is confined which means the building has a negative carbon footprint! If Greta Thunberg was an architectural marvel, she would definitely be the Rainbow Tree.

Designer: Vincent Callebaut Architectures

This WWII fighter jet-looking electric bike blends futuristic design with Japanese details

Electric bikes usually have a futuristic aesthetic and its very rare that an e-bike evokes a sense of nostalgia while fitting within modern times. That is what makes the Katalis EV.500 electric motorcycle special, it is inspired by a WWII fighter aircraft that brings power without pollution. A dear friend described this design as ‘steampunk without the steam’ and we couldn’t agree more.

A Jakarta-based design and branding studio that has expertise in the field of mobility has designed this fighter jet-like electric bike in the middle of a pandemic. In fact, the pandemic influenced the people of Indonesia to be more mindful of their health and make changes in their lifestyle that made the environment around them cleaner – in terms of germs as well as pollutants. There were 3 core variables – 1) freedom in access to mobility 2) happiness 3) pollution-free vehicle. The Katalis is a custom build of a Selis Garuda electric motorcycle injected with the adrenaline of a wartime pilot. The aesthetics are unlike those of a traditional electric bike – the design team got rid of the existing frame and replaced it entirely with a new body made of series 6061 aluminum which gives it the military visual appeal highlighted with Japanese design details while being kind to the planet.

“We think it is quite rare to have an electric motorcycle design that has a metal body or shield,” says Julian Palapa, principal designer at Katalis company. “Furthermore, the rider of this electric motorcycle will also be spoiled by various retro-style yet functional instrument panels — from an analog voltmeter to the light switch.” Katalis hopes that building a custom electric bike while being in lockdown inspires more young designers to channel their energy into boosting their creativity.

Designer: Katalis Company

This metal structure was restored to bring ‘starry night’ to your cabin

I, just like all of you, am waiting for the pandemic to end so I can go on a vacation. I am not even talking about a walk-all-over-a-new-city kind of trip, I just want a change of scenery and a couple of days in the middle of nature which makes the fascinating Folly Cabin in Joshua Tree, California the perfect choice. What makes Folly Cabin different from the other desert Airbnbs? Well, for starters the Folly Cabin is a restored metal structure that was designed to give you an immersive experience in nature that was compatible with the modern lifestyle.

Malek Alqadi’s Cohesion Studio refurbished an existing metal structure and expanded the property by adding a second one. The main cabin’s interior decor is straight out of Pinterest featuring details that blend concrete, natural stone, dark furniture, weathered metal, and warm wooden accents. It is compact but comfortably hosts 6 people, the structure has been optimized to be spacious and airy complete with a dining area, kitchen, and lounge. The second adjacent cabin has resources that will make it possible for you to be off-grid with water collection systems and solar panels. I think my favorite part of the house is the Portal’s queen bed upstairs where I picture myself stargazing through the skylight, and I tell you this through personal experience that Joshua Tree has some of the best night skies I’ve seen! Folly Cabin team also has an innovative suggestion to transform the room into a sunbathing suite during the day.

The outdoor space has a wooden deck, a soaking tub, and a BBQ for the perfect relaxing evening. While it may look rustic, the cabin is equipped with all modern technology like fast WiFi, keyless access, and interactive touch control panels. “The cabin explores moments of disconnect, that provide guests a sense of self and solitude. The luxury to unplug, while reconnecting with your surroundings. An experience that will preserve and pay respects to its unique environment and history,” says the team about Folly Collection’s philosophy.

Designer: Malek Alqadi