This sanitizing coat rack is a pandemic-era design that will be a part of the restaurant’s new normal

Whether it be to the grocery store or the library, when I leave the house nowadays, you won’t catch me without my hand sanitizer. No matter how little room I have in my pockets, I won’t leave the house without it. However, most stores are installing hand sanitizing stations in their storefronts in order to encourage sanitary browsing. Typically these stations come in the form of an old, previously discarded working desk with a handwritten note taped on the front that reads a friendly, health code reminder to use the available hand sanitizer before entering the store’s sales floor.

Retail establishments were quick to install their own hand sanitizing stations to their storefronts, but for some, the makeshift health posts end up looking less than sanitary and more like worn-down gatekeepers whose only purpose is to enforce clean shopping. Mexico City-based NOS Design understood how design plays a major role in making this essential health precaution feel a little more inviting, so they teamed up with Trusty Tower to design a sanitizing coat rack that fuses functionality with necessity and looks more familiar and less like an unfortunate sign of the times. Their sanitizing coat rack based on a conventional, average-sized metal tube that’s bent at its top so that bottles of hand sanitizers can be placed at an angle. Just below the metal tube’s bend, a short rod insert holds the hand sanitizer in place, allowing the bottle to be pumped at an angle by pressing the coat rack’s top lid.

Additionally, NOS Design attached four hooks for different items like outerwear, purses, or some trendy mask cases. I know when I enter the stores that require hand sanitizing before browsing, it usually takes a minute for me to set all that I’m carrying down before I can sanitize, and even afterward, gathering all my belongings takes more time than necessary. NOS Design cuts that time in half by assembling a means to sanitize and providing an easy hanging spot for all of your belongings at the same time. Hopefully, since responsible shopping in the age of COVID-19 is so important, with designs like this one, sanitizing your hands won’t feel like such a hassle before you can resume regular (pre-Corona) programming (shopping).

Designer: NOS Design x Trendy Tower

This desktop dishwasher inspired by rain is the space-saving solution modern homes need

I usually do my dishes just before bed so all I have to worry about in the morning is making my coffee. On some evenings, however, I just feel too tired before bed – doing the dishes feels more like running a marathon. I live in a studio apartment, so I know the importance of keeping a tidy space, but I don’t have room for automatic machines like dishwashers or steamers. To come up with a solution for small spaces in need of an automatic dishwasher, a team of creatives from Yifeeling Design felt inspired by the cleansing and quiet nature of gentle rain to design a micro dishwasher called Rain that’s functional for small spaces and also quiet, so it can run through the night.

Rain’s structure is inviting and bright, like a gentle sunshower, with rounded edges and smoothed-down sides for a reflective finish and refined shine. Then, Rain’s translucent front facade hides the dishes in plain sight with raindrops etched onto the dishwasher’s glass-pane door. The stainless steel interior of Rain reveals a compartment large enough to hold your bigger plates and a few smaller bowls, making it the ideal personal-sized dishwasher. Sockets for water tubing are attached to Rain’s rear and provide clean water for washing and an exit tube for dirty water. Finally, Rain’s control panel is located on the front-facing, digital interface where you can find a timer option, the power, start, and stop buttons, as well as a mode selector.

Yifeeling noticed a few problems in our existing catalog of dishwashing options. Mostly, dishwashers are too bulky and require too much space, they’re expensive and just don’t fit into smaller kitchens. In order to reduce the volume and space that dishwashers regularly occupy, Yifeeling aimed to design a desktop dishwasher that doesn’t rely on noisy mechanics to get the job of cleaning dishes done. Instead, Rain utilizes the gentle cleanse that follows a day of rain. The days after those summer rainstorms always bring with them cleaner air quality and naturally fresh aromas – those days just feel cleaner. While rain can sometimes be destructive and bring on floods or thunderstorms, it is also a natural element of our ecosystem and it always brings life to dry climates or lush forests, despite the floods and lightning. The creatives at Yifeeling Design utilized this latter aspect of rain to bring their own desktop dishwasher to life.

Designer: Yifeeling Design

This tiny home in the Community First! Village is built for previously unhoused individuals

Beginning in 1998, a mobile food truck based in Austin, Texas, with the help of thousands of volunteers, has helped serve food to unhoused individuals seven days a week and 365 days a year. That food truck has since transformed into Mobile Loaves & Fishes, a social outreach ministry responsible for the development of “the most talked-about neighborhood” in Austin, Texas, Community First! Village. The village is one of MLF’s three core programs that were started to serve the unhoused population of Austin, Texas, and offers permanent and sustainable housing for an affordable price in a mutually supportive community.

Teaming up with Bailey Eliot Construction, McKinney York Architects, an architecture firm based in Austin, recently designed and constructed a micro-home for one of the residents of Community First! Village. In order to meet the new homeowner’s tiny housing criteria, McKinney York Architects planned to design a micro house that met both the homeowner’s requirements for privacy and the village’s commitment to community support. The home’s final design incorporates a butterfly roof, which implements the use of a central valley where the two pitched roofs meet to collect rainwater for further irrigation use. Additionally, installing a butterfly roof allows for plenty of natural lighting to enter through the windows without having an impact on the homeowner’s privacy.

Taking full advantage of the 200 square foot area limit for each micro-home, McKinney York Architects also installed a screened-in sunroom for the homeowner to have the option of either opening the screens up to the rest of the community or keeping them closed for optimal privacy. Inside the home, original pine timber lines the walls, giving the feel of a blank canvas for the homeowner to leave as is or design as they’d like. The tiny home manages to include a bedroom with room for a twin-sized or larger bed, a modest kitchen, a relatively spacious working area, dining space, and a cozy den for relaxing.

Community First! Village is a 51-acre development planned by MLF over the course of two phases which spanned over four years and has expanded to include a total of 500 tiny homes as well as community amenities such as gardens and behavioral healthcare facilities. In 2014, the first phase of Community First! Village commenced after Tiny Victories 1.0, a design competition in partnership with Mobile Loaves & Fishes and AIA Austin DesignVoice, invited firms to design sustainable, tiny housing solutions that take up no more than 200 square feet. Following the first phase, which culminated with a 27-acre master-planned community for the “chronically homeless” population of Central Texas, the village’s second phase kicked off in 2018. Today, Community First! Village offers permanent housing and encourages a safe, uplifting community space for more than 250 formerly unhoused individuals.

Designer: Mobile Loaves & Fishes, McKinney York Architects, and Bailey Eliot Construction

This memory safe lets you both display your digital photo reels and keep your physical memories safe!

 

Smartphones make it really easy to hold onto our memories. Built-in 4K video cameras, photo editing apps, and social media time-hop notifications all seem to work together to preserve our memories for us in designated digital spaces. Of course, keeping all of our memories and pictures in one digitized space comes with some risk. I need two hands to count the number of times I’ve lost my phone, along with more than 50,000 pictures, and backing up our devices is convenient until storage space dwindles and an upgrade must be made before backing up can resume. One’s, a safe for memories that also implements timekeeping visuals with a digital interface, was designed by Ji Ye Hong in order to merge our digital storage with our memory.

One’s, named in honor of someone’s memory, has a recognizable, circular shape reminiscent of a grandfather’s clock and swinging pendulum, further enhancing the design’s tribute to memory. By way of Bluetooth connectivity, the product’s 20-inch round display panel ticks through photographs according to your digital library’s memory of each given day, echoing the iPhone’s “On this day” feature found in your photo library. The slideshow essentially grabs photographs based on special days  – photos from a past birthday celebration will be displayed on future birthdays and as your memories are presented, the pendulum swings. Then, on the days your mom sticks around for lunch, you can filter out the memories from college for PG ones from childhood by selecting and curating photo albums from your smartphone to be displayed on One’s.

Largely in response to the memory reels that we digitize every day, the popularity in maintaining and seeking out our more physical memories like childhood photographs, iPod Nanos from 2005, or heirloom jewelry, has risen.
Near the power, brightness, and sleep-mode control panel, notches etched along One’s perimeter introduce the product’s safe function, which opens up by turning the display panel. Tucked behind the main display panel, you can find One’s physical-memory storage area. Similar to shelving units found in medicine cabinets, the inside of One’s features narrow shelves that can hold onto smaller items like stationery or textiles – whatever small memory might fit, One’s can carry.

Designer: Ji Ye Hong

This concrete cubic home’s CNC cut plywood spiral staircase visible from the outside!

The first thing a person notices when entering your home sets the tone. Of course, how this ‘rule’ comes to life varies from home to home. The first thing someone might notice could be your favorite piece of artwork hanging in the corner, the amount of natural lighting, a view of the ocean in the distance, or it could be a messy shoe rack and markings on the wall. Whatever the case may be, for Danish architect Tommy Rand’s family home, he was sure to make the home’s main event, a handmade, spiral staircase, visible even before walking through the front door.

Somewhere in Aarhus, Denmark, Tommy Rand both designed and constructed his family’s home out of concrete and Norwegian Skifer stone, along with the home’s interiors and most of its wooden furniture. The concrete dwelling consists of five blocks, each one peaking from different angles, creating the subtle illusion of looking toward a tiny city’s skyline. The cluster of blocky stone perches dons a multi-tone brick exterior, with a smooth concrete finish, and offers elevated, semi-enclosed deck areas with views of the surrounding neighborhood. Looking through the home’s wide, ground-level window, its stone-cold attitude is soon visually warmed up even before walking through the front door. From the home’s front-facing window, Tommy Rand’s hand-constructed spiral staircase provides a warm welcome.

Made from 630 pieces of CNC-cut plywood, the spiral staircase was assembled and glued inside Rand’s concrete home for true measurements and onsite adjustments. The staircase itself exudes playfulness and indicates a family residing inside the home’s sturdy and thick concrete facades. The combination of Norwegian Skifer stone and concrete otherwise works to balance out the staircase’s gentler wooden accents with an overarching cool and hearty tone. The concrete’s immensity feels stable, mighty, and calming while the rich, subtly stained wooden accents bring the home’s interiors to life with rustic warmth, artfulness, and changing textures. Moving through the home, glazed windows let in natural light to ricochet from the glossy, wooden cabinets, tables, and doors that sprout between cool gray, concrete panels.

Concrete homes are generally known to be more energy-efficient with proper insulation acquired either through insulating foam or other thermal insulating methods. The thick concrete equips the home with innate strength and durability, providing a solid base for proper, sustainable insulation to keep the home warm during colder months and cool during the summer season. Even when it comes to literal warmth and coolness, from every corner of this home, it seems that a looming, cooler backdrop built from concrete naturally invites the heat that comes with a wooden finish.

Designer: Tommy Rand

This pet-friendly sofa’s two-tiered design means everyone has a place to rest!

Just like their owners, pets need space. A dog bed to call their own, a cat tower they can easily climb up and down, or a corner of the living room no human can reach. And when it comes to time spent together, it’s important for our human spaces, like sofas and big beds, to be accessible for our animal companions. To create a sofa for both pets and their owners, Hyun Jin Oh designed CoZY, an adjustable, two-tiered couch that meets both pets and their humans right where they are.

When it comes to pet furniture, during the construction phases, functionality sometimes outweighs style, but Hyun Jin Oh found a sweet compromise with CoZY. The sofa’s stripped-down frame is made from stainless steel, evoking an industrial-chic personality, and utilizes the tension of four bold, bright red straps of leather that wrap around the steel bars of CoZY’s armrest and base, two along the rear and one on both sides of CoZY. Hyun Jin Oh’s sofa was designed specifically to create a space that’s accessible for older and smaller dogs to take a breather. Since we typically rest on sofas, dogs naturally follow suit, but sometimes the sofa requires too high of a leap for a smaller or older dog to manage all on its own. In order to encourage dogs to join their human on the couch, Hyun Jin Oh’s CoZY design utilizes a pull-out wooden board that slides easily along the sofa’s X-axis.

Once the sofa’s wooden board is fully extended, a quarter of CoZY’s cushioned area lowers down for small and old dogs to easily hop onto and rest beside their owners. On the days, your dog would rather be alone, simply slide the wooden board back into place to return to CoZY’s original form. Even for the dog owners who typically don’t allow their animal companions to rest on human furniture due to the hassle that sometimes follows – stains from dirty paws, leftover clumps of fur from shedding, or maybe you just wanna spread your legs some – CoZY provides owners with plenty of legroom and separate sofa space, and also an already defined space for pets to relax without worry, so you can too.

Designer: Hyun Jin Oh

These two family homes are connected by trees in the concrete alleys of Cipulir, South Jakarta

Flowering above the terracotta and metallic roofs of Cipulir, South Jakarta, two trees emerge from concrete. On a 70-m2 plot of land, wedged between the bustling pedestrians and motorcyclists, DELUTION, an Indonesian architecture, and interior design firm, finished work on their latest architectural undertaking, two adjacent, private family homes called, ‘The Twins.’

Constructed overtime in three separate phases, the designers behind The Twins call it a ‘growing home.’ Built to accommodate four people or two small families, the layout for the two homes was inspired by exactly that – family. Two bedrooms, one bathroom, and both a kitchen and joint dining area fill the interior of one family home, while its next-door ‘twin’ neighbor consists of a living area, one bedroom, along with an additional bathroom. While each couple and the children of both families have their own private bedrooms and bathrooms, the two homes are connected by glass doors that lead to a stone walkway used to separate the homes.
Both of the two houses that comprise The Twins are accessible to the two families that call them home. Glossy, sliding glass doors open up to make an even larger living space for both families to relax in and enjoy. Both ends of the stone walkway open up to tiny courtyards where homeowners can relax and unwind with a book or morning coffee.

Just by looking up while moving through the home’s walkway, DELUTION’s clients can enjoy green canopies of two trees that reinterpret what spires could look like. The two trees protrude from The Twins’ distinct roofs like landmarks for the home’s residences or a modern-day designer’s take on a family crest. Accessible only on foot or motorcycle, I can imagine flying overhead in an airplane and being able to identity The Twins just by noticing those two trees – there’s home.

Designer: DELUTION

Using silent and fast draining methods, this umbrella dryer saves you space and time!

I’m an extremely superstitious person. I never walk beneath opened ladders, I avoid cracks in sidewalks, I knock on wood and I toss salt over my shoulder, and I never walk indoors with an opened umbrella. While most of those things feel silly and more like games than genuine superstition, I choose not to open umbrellas indoors for reasons besides that. Brining dripping wet umbrellas indoors is one thing, but not closing them before entering is another. Opened umbrellas easily lose their essential tension, they also take up a lot of room and their sharp noses often poke passersby. Opened umbrellas are made by design to let water slide off and drop onto the ground, so when they’re left open indoors, most of the rainwater collects and seeps into carpets or produces mildew on wooden surfaces. Umbra, an umbrella drying design created by Ildar Garifullin, offers a solution for both the superstitious and annoyed umbrella users alike.

To find Umbra’s shape, Garifullin found its clean and curved inspiration from household designs like metallic kitchenware to more involved products like mid-size external graphics processor units. Finding inspiration for Umbra from household items allowed for Garifullin to subtly, but visually convey Umbra’s design purpose. A digital interface on top of Umbra’s removable lid presents weekly weather forecasts for Umbra’s users and an accompanying control panel positioned just beneath it. On Umbra’s digital interface, in addition to the on/off button, users can choose between a timed dry cycle, a silent fan, or sleep mode. Inside of Umbra, two compartments are made available for users to choose from, a taller space to dry longer umbrellas and a shallow pocket for collapsible umbrellas. When closed, umbrellas don’t seem to take up too much space, so theoretically, multiple umbrellas can be dried at one time with Umbra’s wide drying compartments.

Garifullin designed Umbra to fit into most households and with this in mind, Umbra’s final size is comparable to a family-sized kitchen garbage can. Once umbrellas are placed in Umbra’s drying tanks, the water collected from the umbrellas gathers in the unit’s lowermost, pull-out tray, which can then be discarded following the product’s use. Similar to most drying machines for clothes, Umbra automatically switches off, only further guaranteeing the product’s unintrusive nature. Additionally, Umbra’s silent drying method, along with its discrete shape, and overall clean appearance lets it easily blend into any environment without making too much noise.

Designer: Ildar Garifullin

Breaking away from conventional furniture designs, this stool reimagines your sitting experience!

The world of design is consistently inspired by chairs. Whether the design takes shape with ergonomics or craftsmanship in mind, the quantity of chair designs in circulation is definitely not lacking. But what if the chair never existed? What if designers had no preexisting prototype or blueprint for chairs before creating their own? Martin Luu asked himself those same questions before conceptualizing his own unconventional chair called Sado. Sourcing a type of non-existence as his main inspiration, Luu designed Sado as an experiment in unconventional design and the result proves the singularity that can be achieved without blueprints guiding the way.

Before designing Sado, Luu wondered, “What if the chair as we knew it never existed?” Eliminating all preconceptions regarding chair designs and all their variations, Luu began at ground zero. Speaking to this, Luu says, “As the archetype of the chair had been left unchanged for the past 6,500 years, an exploration was made to find a unique sitting form.” Settling on both a comfortable and distinct sitting form required a complete restructuring of the traditional upright chair and backrest.

Sado’s ultimate form resembles either a horizontal tree log or horseback, suited for a straddled seated position that encourages a healthy posture. Of course, just like more traditional chairs, the final seated position is ultimately decided by the user, or in this case, the sitter. When positioned atop Sado, the chair’s seat rotates freely to enable 360-degree accessibility to nearby objects within arm’s reach. Adjustable leg supports also provide a place for your legs to rest while helping to sustain a leveled spinal position. Constructed from bent steel and maple wood, Sado’s ergonomic structure is rooted in its simple construction and intuitive sitting method.

While I’ve never ridden a bull before, I can imagine if you’re any good at staying on, that core strength and a stable posture are key. While sitting on Sado hopefully won’t result in any jolting or cases of whiplash, it was designed to help strengthen the core muscles and align the spine so that if at any point you were to mount an electric bull, then you’d be duly prepared with a healthy mounting position. Kidding aside, Sado’s ergonomic nature is also reminiscent of sitting on the top backs of working animals like horses and donkeys, reinforcing both the functionality and inventiveness behind Luu’s design.

Designer: Martin Luu

This tripod-inspired adjustable desk goes from sitting to standing while working from home!

Nowadays, many of us are working from home and that means our workspaces are probably also benefitting from some home makeover projects. Being able to work comfortably from your own living space is critical for not just a steady workflow, but also for both maintaining and preserving our mental health. With the disaster of a year that was 2020, the need for a relaxed work-from-home space could not be overstated. Inspired by today’s unprecedented working culture, the creatives at Intension Design came out with their Tripod Standing Desk, an adjustable, portable, and multifunctional desk designed specifically to confront the restlessness and inconvenience that too often accompanies working from home.

The desk itself is carved from Baltic birch and its supplementary, multifunctional tripod is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum. The Tripod Standing Desk comes with its tabletop in either Baltic birch, walnut, black, or white, a multifunctional tripod and carrying case, a quick-release plate, and finally, two non-scratch laptop stops for angled working. Once the standing desk’s preferred height, anywhere between 1.8 and 4.8 feet, and angle, which can rest at an incline or lay flat, is chosen then users will only have to tighten the tripod’s quick-release clamps like they would with a typical tripod used to mount cameras. Additionally, the Tripod Standing Desk is portable and only weighs 4.5 pounds, making it easy to work in tight spaces while traveling or changing rooms.

Already making the good kind of waves across plenty of digital platforms, the Tripod Standing Desk’s immovable stability is achieved from a mathematically proven ratio defined by the tabletop’s 12-inch length and 16-inch width and the tripod’s maximum three-foot width. With the onset of Tripod Standing Desk’s launch, many users were hopeful to see a larger tabletop option in the future. Addressing this request, the designers also explain why working with a larger tabletop could be difficult, “The problem with a bigger tabletop is it becomes harder to maintain balance since the desk is resting on a tripod…we have decided to stay away from a bigger tabletop for now since it’s not as stable.”

While a larger tabletop might be out of the question for Intension Design, for an additional cost, the desk comes with a clamp-on platform for extra functional space ideal for either a mouse or other working accessory. Proving what can get done with just one wooden tabletop and an adjustable tripod, teachers and yoga instructors alike have chosen the Tripod Standing Desk for their work-from-home spaces because, with changeable heights and angles, the Tripod Standing Desk can be used for anything from home fitness instruction to painting.

Designer: Intension Design