KidKraft’s Alexa-powered toy kitchen sizzles and tells dad jokes

Kids love to cook — or at least to pretend to. They enjoy emulating their parents, especially when it comes to making delicious things to eat. However, our kitchen routines have changed a lot thanks to voice control technology, which isn't easi...

Hot Wheels brings its NFC-enabled stat-tracker to even more toys this year

For stats-obsessed kids, last year's release of Hot Wheels ID was a godsend. The NFC-based system let you scan your cars into the app to keep tabs on how fast and how far the cars in your collection had traveled. And it definitely solved the problem...

Toronto rejects some of Sidewalk Labs’ smart neighborhood ideas

Sidewalk Labs will have to cede more ground on its vision for Quayside, a planned smart neighborhood in Toronto. The company, which is owned by Google-parent Alphabet, published a draft version of its Master Innovation and Development Plan (MIDP) las...

For $300, you can get an Alexa-powered kitchen for your kids

Alexa and other smart speakers can be especially useful in the kitchen, and toymakers are taking note. Today, KidKraft revealed its Alexa 2-in-1 Kitchen and Market. At first glance, it looks like your average play kitchen, but it comes with smart-chi...

Student-friendly furniture designs that make your room insta worthy!

When you’re living alone, you tend to choose home spaces that are compact and tiny, befitting the needs of one. Hence, it becomes extremely important to fill up your living space with space-saving and efficient designs that help you make the most of your living situation. Designers have been coming up with cool and innovative designs that not only meet all your solo household needs but also manage to look pretty aesthetic! Check out our collection of bachelor-friendly designs that will take you one step closer to your dream home setup!

Designed to be compact enough to fit into any space, yet comfortable enough to have you sink right in with your favorite book, the Conch comes with a molded-plywood inner body and a dual-density foam outer body, giving it structure as well as supple softness. The chair’s form conforms to the contours of the body, allowing you to sit comfortably, while also conveniently having a storage unit right under you for everything from books to a cushion to other bric-a-brac. It’s the perfect reading spot for one!

The Drawer mini-fridge snugly fits underneath desks! Looking more like a piece of furniture, than a home appliance, Drawer can be easily placed under a desk or any other convenient nooks and crannies in your home. With sufficient space to store beverages, bottles and some food items, Drawer is perfect for a single-person household wherein refrigerable items are few. However, Drawer’s most interesting feature would be its cooling cup holder!

When it comes to kitchen appliances such as microwaves and ovens, they do tend to be bulky and space-consuming. However, the Wall-Mountable Oven is a smart microwave, that as its name implies can be mounted upon a wall. You simply press a button that brings down its front cover, which doubles up as the platform to place your dish upon. You then pull down the main cover, enclosing your dish within the microwave!

At first glance, Elmer looks like a simple storage cabinet, and though it is one, it also doubles up as a desk! When the door is shut, Elmer looks like a regular cabinet, upon which you can place miscellaneous items. However, once you open it, it reveals spacious storage space, with the door functioning as a neat little desk. It’s the perfect multifunctional piece of furniture for tiny living spaces!

The Bed For One by Dominic Wilcox is, well, perfect for one. For those bachelors who live by themselves, and have no need for larger beds, the Bed For One is ideal!  Though I do wonder where it truly stands when it comes to the comfort level, all said and done, it is indeed an intriguing one-of-a-kind bed design.

The Book Chair by Sou Fujimoto is in fact a bookshelf with a chair embedded in it! The chair can be slid in and out, due to a chair-shaped section in the bookshelf. When fitted into the shelf, the chair acts as a storage space itself. But when pulled out, you can hop onto it and read your favorite book in peace. This multifunctional piece of furniture is perfect for single-person homes whose residents are major readers!

The Low Table IV by Kai Takeshima has a little secret! Once you lift the tabletop, you can easily access a compact storage space, add its wooden Japanese-inspired aesthetics to the mix, and it could be the perfect minimal addition to your compact living space.

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In just a couple of simple steps, SHO transforms from sofa to sofabed in seconds by taking control of the cushion! The design utilizes a unique metal frame that snaps together to hold a twin-size latex mattress in an upright position that’s perfect for sitting and reading. Simply undo the clasp and unfold the mattress to create a proper lounger where you can extend the legs and relax while enjoying the back support. With its small footprint, it’s perfect for the micro-est of micro-living spaces!

The Corner Desk is a space-saving compact desk that will fit perfectly in one corner of your home. Designed by Michael Hilgers, the powder-coated aluminum piece provides a private spot for you to sit and work peacefully in. Not to mention it saves a whole lot of precious space!

The Bloom Phone Vase by Stak Ceramics not only perfectly displays fresh flowers, but is also a cool spot to store your phone. Keep this on your bedside table, and wake up not only to your phone alarm blaring away but to some beautiful flowers!

Get curved toasts with this toaster…because it makes absolute sense!

A toaster is a staple in every household, and toast a part of almost everyone’s breakfast. We’re all used to the usual rectangular box-like form of toasters, however, Jexter Lim’s Arctoas is a breath of fresh air. Arctoas is said to serve toast with a whimsical smile. Intrigued? Me too! Unlike the shape and structure of conventional toasters, Arctoas has a curved circular form. To be honest, it almost looks like a small air purifier! Two cylindrical sheets of mica were combined, with a nichrome wire running vertically through them (which prevents the bread from getting stuck) to create the toaster’s ergonomic form. And on hindsight, it makes absolute sense to have a curved toast!

Lim’s aim was to create a unique bread toasting and breakfast experience. He wanted to provide a refreshing touch to a family’s breakfast routine in the morning. Arctoas comes with a circular slot that runs all around the toaster. You simply slip your toast into the slot. A curved Capacitive Touch Switch is provided as an alternative to physical buttons. You can adjust the settings of the toaster using the switch, according to your personal toast preference. Once the toast is ready, a motorized carriage lifts up the bread, so you can pluck it out! However, the curved form of the toaster molds the toast, giving it a curved shape as well!

The curved toast looks almost an arc and is much easier to hold and eat as compared to your regular square-shaped toast. The curved toast fits seamlessly into your palm, allowing you to easily spread butter, jam, or any condiment of your choice. You can even pile on some eggs, avocadoes, tomatoes or more without fear of them spilling or falling over! Ingenious isn’t it! In fact, the curved slice of bread looks like a smile. With Arctoas even your daily bread will greet you with a cheerful grin and keep you stain-free as you head out to start your day! Now, why didn’t someone invent this before?!

Designer: Jexter Lim

This maki roll inspired chair is as fancy as the sushi you crave!

Nothing beats a plate of sushi, dipped in some soy with a pop of wasabi, according to me. It’s my all-time favorite food, and it’s quite exciting to see designers drawing inspiration from it! Jin Kuramoto’s modular chair Maki, has derived its name and inspiration from the Maki roll. I wonder what a furniture design inspired by Nigiri would look like!

The Maki easy chair is a simple and minimal piece with a rather interesting curved backrest. Not to mention the backrest is hollow! Though the hollow backrest is a tad bit unconventional and caused a few production challenges, in the end, its unique and innovative form is quite eye-catching! The chair can either be a lone wolf, serving as a solo seating space for one, or it can be joined with multiple other Maki chairs. They can be either combined in one single row or positioned such that they face different directions. The intriguing hollow, on the other hand, can double up as a place to stash my books, a throw or even make space for the pet babies who need to be close to you!

Kuramoto’s aim was to create something iconic and memorable, but at the same time fairly simple. The chair also derives inspiration from minimalism and rationalism, creating a diverse design that can be used in different spaces whether it’s at home or in your office. Though Maki’s modularity and flexibility are undoubtedly its highlights, for me the fact that it’s named after my favorite dish got all my attention in the first go!

Designer: Jin Kuramoto for OFFECCT

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NASA plans to use mushrooms to build sustainable housing on Mars like this one!

Let’s accept it – climate change is the biggest design problem of our lifetime. It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, every brand from fashion to mental health and even construction is incorporating sustainable solutions in their work. In fact, a recent exhibition in Somerset, London was dedicated entirely to “the remarkable mushroom” showcasing its versatility. I am curious how mushrooms are used for construction given that that particular industry contributes to 39% of the world’s carbon footprint and we know a fun-guy (get it?!) who might have a solution.

The construction industry emits 4 times more CO2 than the aviation industry and that is enough proof they must focus on ecodesign to reduce their colossal impact especially when sustainable materials, like mycelium composites, already exist! This material is created by growing mycelium–the thread-like main body of a fungus–of certain mushroom-producing fungi on agricultural wastes. The mycelia are composed of a network of filaments called “hyphae,” which are natural binders and they also are self-adhesive to the surface they grow on. The entire process is based on biological elements that also help in upcycling waste and reducing dependency on toxic fossil fuels. Mycelium composite manufacturing can also be a catalyst in developing new bioindustries in rural areas, generating sustainable economic growth while creating new jobs.

This mushroom material is biodegradable, sustainable and a low-cost alternative to construction materials while also possessing thermal and fire-resistant properties. The Living has designed an organic 42 feet tall mycelium tower to show the potential of using mushrooms for stable structures which is just one of many such projects. Mycelium materials are also being tested for being acoustic absorber, packaging materials, and building insulation. Even NASA is currently researching using mycelium to build sustainable habitable dwellings on Mars – if we have to move into a mushroom house, might as well test it on Earth first, right? The construction industry has to act now if they want to build in/a future.

Designer: The Living

Cement alone is responsible for a massive 8% of global CO₂ emissions and the construction industry has to start using alternative materials to transition smoothly into a more sustainable future.

Energy used to heat, cool, and light buildings account for 28% of these emissions while the remaining 11% of buildings’ carbon emissions consist of those associated with construction and building materials.

Mycelium composite is formed when “mycelia” digest the nutrients from agricultural waste and bonds to the surface of the waste material by also serving as a natural self-assembling glue.

The materials are low-density, and therefore very light when compared to other construction materials while still being able to provide structural stability as shown in various architectural projects.

If you bought Flywheel’s home bike, you can trade it in for a free Peloton

One of Peloton's biggest competitors, Flywheel Sports, announced today that it is shutting down its online classes. The company sent an email informing its users that it would stop its Flywheel At Home service effective March 27th 2020. The bikes can...

Elegantly French, this minimal hideaway desk is worthy of your home!

French designs always have a sense of sophistication and elegance to them. And Bastien Chapelle’s Elmer Desk is no exception. French Design Incubator helped pair up designer Bastien Chapelle with furniture manufacturer iRESISTUB, and they collaborated to create Elmer. At first glance, Elmer looks like a simple storage cabinet, and though it is one, it also doubles up as a desk!

The multifunctional piece primarily showcases a lot of iRESISTUB’s metalwork, with a sturdy black metal frame and two long metal legs. A squarish wooden door with rounded edges occupies the portion above the legs. When the door is shut, Elmer looks like a regular cabinet, upon which you can place miscellaneous items. However, once you open it, it reveals spacious storage space, with the door functioning as a neat little desk. Within the compact storage area, you can place your books, stationery items, folders and maybe even a tiny plant or two! The working surface is large enough to accommodate a laptop, books or other documents.

Minimal, warm and organic, the Elmer Desk is a quaint piece of furniture that could seamlessly merge into any home or workspace and is a stunning specimen of French design.

Designer: Bastien Chapelle and iRESISTUB