These clever oven-trays come with an extended lip that makes them easy to hold

This is a handle-appreciation post. As someone who’s dropped his fair share of cookies (and one lasagna) because oven-trays aren’t easy to grip, more so when they’re hot and you’re wearing gloves, it seems plain counterintuitive that oven trays, pans, and casseroles don’t have larger gripping surfaces.

The Nest Oven tins feature a simple innovation that solves a familiar problem – removing hot oven dishes whilst wearing thick & cumbersome oven-gloves. A specially designed lip on the front of the tray makes it easier to pull the tray out of the oven, and wide handles on the side let you hold the tray once it’s out of the oven… you know, so you don’t risk fumbling with your tray of food, much like Kevin with his famous chili. And here’s the best part – like all of the products in the Joseph Joseph Nest™ line, the oven tins nest right within each other for easy storage!

Designer: Tej Chauhan for Joseph Joseph

Incredibly clever measuring spoons are shaped to help you easily visualize their quantities

While the words “half a teaspoon” or “two tablespoons” aren’t really a set standard, they’re used everywhere, from recipe books, to buzzfeed videos, but the problem of varying sizes remains. Not everyone owns the same measuring spoons, and even if you pull out two different spoons from your kitchen drawer, they’re probably not the exact same shape and size.

The Visual Measuring Spoons build on the brilliance of the Visual Measuring Cups from 2019. Designed to quickly and effectively help you ‘visualize’ quantities, the Visual Measuring Spoons are shaped to look like fractions so you can, at a glance, understand which spoon measures what. The tablespoon is square-shaped, to look like a table. The teaspoon is slightly smaller and circular, the half-teaspoon is semicircular to indicate that it’s half of a full circle, and the quarter-teaspoon is quadrant-shaped. Just by intuitively looking at each spoon, you instantly understand what it’s for, helping you measure more efficiently and cook more effectively. You don’t need to eyeball your measurements as you cook, and you don’t even need to bust out the weighing machine to weigh out your ingredients in grams. By making the process “visual”, the spoons are incredibly easy to identify, making it not just great for adults, kids, and even people with learning disabilities!

When I covered the Visual Measuring Cups in 2019, I was marveled by how ‘sensible’ this approach was. We are, as a species, quick to understand by seeing rather than by reading, so translating ‘half a teaspoon’ to visuals is much easier when the spoon literally looks like ‘half a spoon’! For further clarity, the actual measurement of the spoon is written on it too, making it absolutely foolproof. The spoons are molded in clear plastic, so they’re easy to measure with and keep clean, and here’s the icing on the cake… their shapes are even designed to nest within each other for easy storage!

Designers: Pam Daniels & Brandon Williams of Welcome Industries

Click Here to Buy Now: Two for $35 $44 (20% off). Hurry only 6/70 left!

Visual Measuring Spoons – What You See Is What You Get

With visual measuring spoons, the shape tells the size. No more struggling to read the labels; a half teaspoon simply looks like half.

Set includes 1 Tablespoon, 1 teaspoon, ½ teaspoon, and ¼ teaspoon.

Spoons nest together for easy storage and are joined with a loop.

Labels are subtly debossed on the underside of each handle.

Building on the Success of the Visual Measuring Cups

Visual measuring spoons are intended to feel as smart & fun as the visual measuring cups, which were called a “Leap Forward” by The New York Times, “Brilliant” by Core77. A Global Innovation Award finalist at the 2019 Housewares Show too!

The Design Story

“We’d been playing and prototyping for a while until the design felt “right,” a process which took about a year and a half. One of the main challenges was deciding how to distinguish the Tablespoon from the teaspoon. We tried everything from ovals to squares to triangular shapes (since a Tablespoon is 3x the volume of a teaspoon), and finally settled on the rotated square to represent the Tablespoon. Another design breakthrough was when Brandon suggested making the quarter teaspoon the width of the handle.”

Great for Kids

With baking on the rise for everyone and kids participating more than ever, visual measuring tools have been a popular hit with young cooks and bakers. Fractions are a lot less complicated when you can see them in action!

Click Here to Buy Now: Two for $35 $44 (20% off). Hurry only 6/70 left!

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

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

This may be the most impressive looking bottle opener I’ve seen in a while

If I told you to close your eyes and imagine a bottle-opener, chances are you thought of something traditional and conventional, like the kind you’d get as keychains, or built into your Swiss Army Knife. You wouldn’t, for a second, imagine a pristine, shimmering halo-shaped device like the one in the video above. Meet the HALO, it opens bottles and breaks stereotypes. Designed as an objet d’art instead of a utilitarian tool, the HALO comes with a slick, smooth, shimmering torus-shaped design that actually sits around your bottle’s neck when not in use. When you need to open the bottle, the HALO’s base fits cleanly between the cap and the rim, and cleanly takes the cap off… just like a conventional bottle-opener, but infinitely classier.

Designed by the folks at Typica, the HALO is, ironically enough, the most atypical bottle-opener you’ll see. Its very form challenges the notion of how bottle-openers should look and behave, although its interaction isn’t too different from regular openers, making it great to look at AND easy to use. Shaped essentially like a mini-donut, the HALO comes with a hole in its center that’s wide enough to have it fit around most glass bottles, giving it a place to rest when not in use. When said bottle needs opening, its hollow base is perfectly calibrated to slip into the gap between the bottle-cap and the rim, and the wide design gives you a good grip as you pop the cap off.

The HALO comes crafted from stainless steel and is finished off with a spectacular mirror-finish coating in three colors – PVD Gold, Black Oxide, and Polished Steel. You can even grab your hands on a nifty Leather Case for the HALO as an add-on, although it’s best placed around the neck of your favorite spirit bottle on your mini-bar!

Designer: Studio Typica London

Click Here to Buy Now: $26 $39 (33% off). Hurry, less than 48 hours left!

HALO – The Bottle Opener Reborn

The HALO is a simple yet elegant toroid shape bottle opener that fits perfectly on a bottle’s neck and can be used in any orientation.

Thanks to its perfect toroid structure, it can be held at any orientation and open a bottle cap in a swift upwards or downwards motion.

Opening upwards.

Always On

Halo’s design allows it to be presented on a bottle’s neck. It is a great way not only to keep your opener handy and visible for that time when you crave a sip but also creates a nice gesture when offering it to a mate.

Upgrade Your Home Bar

The Halo simple form creates a timeless design. It can be beautifully displayed on your craft beer collection, at your home bar, or kitchen display.

In 3 Finishes

They have designed 3 distinguished finishes for the Halo opener, each with its unique character.

PVD Gold Finish: PVD (physical vapor deposition) coating is a process in which a solid material is vaporized in a vacuum and deposited onto the surface of the opener. A unique combination of metals is deposited atom by atom, forming a thin, bonded, golden metal layer that greatly improves the appearance and durability of the opener.

Black Oxide Coating: This coating is produced by a chemical reaction between the steel and the oxidizing salts in the black oxide solution. The result of this chemical reaction is the formation of black iron oxide or magnetite on the surface of the opener. The surface finish of the black oxide version is more silky-matt in appearance than the polished stainless steel version.

Polished Stainless-steel: After forging and finishing, HALO is hand polished to create a stunning mirror-like surface on its exterior.

Click Here to Buy Now: $26 $39 (33% off). Hurry, less than 48 hours left!

Yanko Design recommends these nifty kitchen appliances to shop now to elevate your cooking game!

I love cooking, and with the pandemic restricting me to my home at most times, I love experimenting and brewing up new and exotic dishes! They don’t always turn out to be a success, but my time in the kitchen is always enjoyable and an adventure by itself. I do appreciate nifty kitchen gadgets…A LOT. They can turn the most basic prep tasks and chores into something simple, easy, and fun! They can transform tedious cooking processes into short and efficient ones. A good kitchen gadget can really liven up your cooking experience, so we’ve curated a few of our favorite ones! These are YD recommended products that you can buy and will surely love!

Ordine

Ordine is an innovative cooking solution designed for the modern user. Optimized for small spaces, the design eliminates the need for a bulky traditional stove, clearing the way for more cabinet and counter space. The design features two hob units that are mounted on a central power hub on the wall. Elevated neatly out of the way, the user must simply grab one or both hobs off the wall and set the desired temperature to activate. Clad in materials consisting of natural wood and copper, the design not only saves valuable kitchen real estate but is made to complement your interior aesthetic on display.

The Visual Measuring Cups turn textual references into visual references, helping us understand the measurements better. While most measuring beakers and cups use indicative lines to ‘tell’ you how much half a cup is, the Visual Measuring Cup ‘shows’ you how much half a cup is, giving you a quicker, better understanding of fractional metrics. Available in four sizes spanning a full cup, half cup, one-third cup, and quarter cup, the Visual Measuring Cups are easy to use and need literally no explanation. Their visual nature allows them to be used universally, without numbers or languages being a barrier… and just when things couldn’t get any better, they nest right into one another to make them easy to store!

Cheat sheet

Designed for better control, the Cheat Sheets don’t just allow you to segregate separate ingredients for the same dish, they let you simultaneously cook two separate dishes together too, separating them according to flavor. The most obvious instance is in desserts, where people tend to get picky. I, for instance, am a basic vanilla and fruit junkie, while others around me usually tend to gravitate towards decadent chocolate desserts. The Cheat Sheets allow you to simultaneously cook two separate dishes in their respective containers – as opposed to using rudimentary aluminum foil dividers, or running your oven for two separate cycles. The Cheat Sheets let you responsibly divide and utilize real estate on your baking tray, giving you the ability to be versatile, and still be in control of your cooking. In fact, each Cheat Sheet container-set comes with its own baking tray, as well as a handy guide that gives you cooking times and temperatures for all your food, so you never over or undercook any ingredient again.

Dubbed the Dome, this compact oven by Gozney is very versatile. It is a professional-grade outdoor oven designed to work effortlessly for experienced chefs and novice ones alike. Whether you have guests over on a Sunday afternoon or have a family dinner, Gozney Dome can be there to take care of the cooking needs as long you have wood to burn. Even though wood-fired cooking is ideal in an outdoor setting if that’s not what the kids want – turn the dial and switch to the built-in gas burner and continue cooking at temperatures up to 500°C. You can roast, steam, smoke, bake, or BBQ inside the 25- x 24- x 28-inch Dome that includes a digital thermometer – a big upgrade over gimmicky ovens designed for the outdoors!

COFFEEJACK comes from the folks at Hribarcain, famed for their great work in the EDC department. Now, they’ve set out to shrink the coffee machine to a form factor so small, you might as well carry it around everywhere you go along with the rest of your belongings. The COFFEEJACK works with any coffee-grind, enabling you to have your favorite espresso anywhere you go, while also reducing your dependence on those earth-polluting Nespresso and Keurig pods. Just add your coffee grind to the lower chamber and COFFEEJACK’s in-built tamper will level the grounds and pack them tightly. Open out the pump and pour hot water into the upper chamber and you’re ready to go! The espresso maker’s manual pump matches the high-pressure output of most coffee machines, giving you an espresso that is as deliciously thick and even has that layer of flavor-packed crema on top, just like the one your barista makes with professional equipment.

Perfect for a nice alfresco barbecue, the BBQ Toolbox comes in a handy, portable size, and is made entirely from steel and coated with heat-resistant red paint. An 8×15” main grilling area is large enough to serve up a meal for as many as 4 people. The secondary grill serves as a warming rack, letting you keep food like sliders or hot dog buns warm while you grill up patties and sausages. When you’re done with your meal, lift the main grilling platform to discard your coals and give the entire toolbox a quick wipe-down before folding it up and carrying it back home. I’d advise you to store this bad-boy in your kitchen, though… you don’t want to accidentally carry your screwdriver, hammer, and wrench-set to your barbecue!

MyCuppa makes the question “How do you like your coffee?” a little easier to answer! The cup, which comes with its own color-matching guide along the rim, helps you make consistent coffee every time by allowing you to visually judge the coffee’s strength. The color guide ranges from milky beige (which incidentally is how I like my coffee) to a strong, dark black. Just pour your coffee in and keep adding milk or creamer till you get the color your heart and taste-buds desire. There’s even a color-guide version for tea-drinkers, so you can calibrate your beverage’s intensi-tea! Designed by the fun-loving folk at SuckUK, the ceramic mug comes in a single standard size and is microwave-safe and dishwasher friendly. Makes a perfect stocking-stuffer for any coffee-craver or a tea-vangelist!

The THRONE celebrates the egg’s goodness by allowing you to admire it as you eat it. Its minimalist design does a mighty good job of holding the egg in place while also showing it off… hence the name. The simple form factor, apart from being unusual to look at, is also stackable, non-breakable, and works equally well with lemons, mandarins, strawberries, and perhaps a medium-sized avocado too. Designed in Denmark (that’s where the sense of minimalism and slight tongue-in-cheek humor comes from), the THRONE comes in a set of 4, available in red or black, and highly recommended by chefs around the world like Wolfgang Cluck and Henston Blumhenthal!

The ICEY is a nifty little container that’s tall enough to fit right into your freezer. Inside it is an automatic churner that works just like an ice-cream maker does. Pour your drink into the ICEY and stash it in the freezer for up to 90 minutes and the ICEY turns it into an instant granita. As the cold temperatures freeze your drink, the ICEY continuously churns it, turning into a flavorful snowy, crushed-ice beverage. It retains and amps up the flavors because you’re not adding any extra ice to it… you’re just turning it into ice instead… and unlike simply placing a bottle of juice into a freezer and turning it into a popsicle, the ICEY makes sure the resulting beverage is semisolid like a slushie and can be sipped through a straw.

The Anytongs were made to be a smaller, more universal alternative to the tongs you use and own. Its compact design lets it easily occupy less than half the space of your pair of tongs, while the ability to slot your own spoons and forks into it means you can use it for anything from grilling and flipping, to serving and stirring. A well-calibrated torsion-spring sits at one end of the Anytongs, giving it a wonderful snappy-springy experience that makes it incredibly easy to use, while rubber pads on its tips allow for comfortable use.

This coffee machine comes with biodegradable single-serve pods so you can ditch your Nespresso & Keuring

My first thought each morning is “coffee” and I always make mine at home instead of getting it at the office to do my part in reducing the waste single-serve pods create. While looking for an alternative that was just as convenient, I came across the Bruvi coffee machine and it comes with biodegradable pods! Nespresso and Keurig, we are in 2021 now so I hope you are taking notes.

Many of us who love coffee often struggle to find a balance between good flavor, convenience, and environmental impact – somehow you can only always pick two. The majority of people and offices use single-serve coffee pods because of the convenience factor but they are only escalating the waste problem by large numbers on a daily basis, this is where Bruvi steps in. Just like other coffee pod systems, it comes with a water reservoir and a pad to put your mug on. But what makes it different is the pod that goes into the coffee machine – ‘B-pods’ not only offers premium coffee brands but they are produced ethically and certified sustainable. They are 100% recyclable and are designed to degrade naturally without leaving any microplastics behind. The LED touch screen interface makes it easy to use and customize your drinks right to the level of acid and temperature. It also features sustainable bamboo on the handle, drip tray, and water tank cover.

The appliance also makes matcha lattes, teas, and infused drinks apart from all coffee-based beverages so there is something for everyone and no excuse for anyone to be creating more waste with single-serve pods. In fact, it is the first single-serve system to make quality cold brew (no, not the same as cold water and instant coffee or the coffee you leave in your refrigerator) which can also be more economical for those who have iced coffee all year round. Bruvi is a smart coffee maker and can be controlled remotely using their mobile app. This can reduce the heaps of disposable coffee pods that are clogging up landfills. The innovative brand has also eliminated adhesives and uses water-based inks for packaging. The premium B-pods meet the Golden Cup Standard of the Specialty Coffee Association so you are truly getting the best of flavor while being eco-conscious.

Designer: Bruvi

Click Here to Buy Now!

Inspired by fishing boats, this houseboat’s compact lifestyle is entirely sustained through solar energy!

Floating idly by the waters of Lake Tisza, a small, white houseboat called Sneci carries a city-dwelling couple who call the tiny vessel home. Tamás Bene, a Hungary-based architect, designed Sneci with sustainability and mobility bringing him his main inspiration. The couple, originally from Budapest, sought Bene out to build a summer home that wasn’t grounded or fixed but embedded in the beauty of The Great Hungarian Plain’s Lake Tisza.

Sneci’s pace might mimic its namesake, ‘the snail,’ with a smaller 9.9 internal combustion engine, but Bene and his clients wanted a houseboat that could bring them through Lake Tisza’s curving waterways slowly. In fact, Sneci was built for leisure. After all, the fisher’s lifestyle, which inspired the boat’s overall design, has a way of slowing things down. Bene looked to other boats dotted along Lake Tisza’s shoreline, like fishing boats, for their compact, yet functional operation – hoping to maintain an overall small size and adaptivity standard so that the houseboat’s residents could move modestly on the water, but purposefully indoors. Managing to incorporate a small kitchen, dining area, and double bed in Sneci’s small space, Bene paneled the boat’s interior walls with thermo-wood and Redwood timber. Since designers structure fishing boats primarily according to each fisher’s needs, the final vessel prioritizes practicality above aesthetics. Hoping to find a way to bridge the two, Bene maintained the houseboat’s inherent minimalism in maintaining a compact living space, while integrating subtle, nautical design accents for both the boat’s interior and exterior. Most of Sneci’s exterior cladding and structure are built from aluminum and then covered with a stately, snow-white coating. Besides aluminum, Bene utilized heat-treated thermo-wood for Sneci’s roof, decking, and back wall. Smaller portholes provide the interior living space with views of the lake and a larger, floor-to-ceiling door offers a fuller view and opens up to the houseboat’s bow deck and the artificial lake’s outdoor wonders.

However, building Sneci to blend in with Lake Tisza’s shoreline shrubbery and trees required some energy-efficient sources of power for a water system and electricity. Two solar panels line Sneci’s roof and generate enough electricity to power up electrical equipment in the houseboat’s tiny kitchen, which includes a small refrigerator, light fixtures, and one gas-powered stove plate. The kitchen’s sink requires no electricity since drinking water can be obtained through a foot pump that delivers water from a 20-liter bottle. Tamás Bene said, “We aimed to design a boat capable of assimilating into these surroundings, one that may become part of this scenery.” With a fully-contained water system, an energy-efficient source of electricity, and a modular, compact living space – I think it’s safe to say, he completed what he set out to design.

Designer: Tamás Bene

This electricity-free cooler is made using traditional Malaysian clay modelling techniques!

Sometimes the ways of the past inform modern solutions better than any hi-tech, futuristic design ever could. Generally considered Malaysia’s ‘most famous secret,’ Labu Sayong is a traditional water pitcher that forms a natural cooling system through the use of ground material like earth clay. While we live in the modern world with access to units like fans and air conditioners, some have easier access to those units than others. Sustainable cooling methods like the one that comes from Labu Sayong offer insight into providing cooling systems for everyone. Kuan Weiking and Theodore Garvindeo Seah were recently recognized by The James Dyson Award group for Kuno, a sustainable, miniature refrigerator that requires zero electricity for operation.

Kuan and Seah recognized the urgency felt around keeping perishable food items cool in hot and dry climates with limited access to electricity. With over 16% of the world’s population, approximately 192 million people, without access to electricity, Kuno was designed for those in need of a cooling system requiring zero electrical power. Furthermore, Kuno was designed to help reduce our larger carbon footprint that led us to the problem of limited electricity in the first place. Designed using traditional clay-making methods and natural resources, Kuno solves modern needs through local ancient practices. Kuno’s zero-electricity cooling is achieved by utilizing double-wall potting. Sand fills the area in between the two clay pots, which is then watered in order to create a cooling effect by removing latent heat through evaporation. The sand’s cooling effect works in tandem with Kuno’s outer clay wall, which is kept porous so that it can draw additional latent heat from the inner chamber. Simply, the evaporation of water between the two pots draws heat away from the inner chamber, which stores perishable food items like fruits and vegetables. In order to keep the sand moist Kuno comes equipped with a soil planter which, when watered, distributes cool water to the sand, drawing more heat away from the inner chamber, maintaining the evaporation cycle for continued use.

The world of design draws inspiration from every corner of the globe, from science-fiction cult fantasies to fishermen’s dinghies. In a world where so many designs are possible, only a handful might feel inspired by the trouble faced by poverty-stricken communities to create better solutions. Kuan Weiking, one of the designers of Kuno, says, “As a product designer, it is important that we look to design solutions that tackle societal challenges or problems — solutions that are both practical and widely accessible.” Kuan Weiking and Theodore Garvindeo Seah began with mind-mapping to identify how they best could help improve the livelihoods of those living without electricity. Then, through temperature testing, sustainability research, and pulling building material from exclusively natural, renewable resources, this team of student designers artfully created their own proven ideation of a very possible answer for an energy-efficient cooling system.

Designers: Kuan Weiking & Theodore Garvindeo Seah