This conceptual gadget works like Uber for parking spots!

How many hours of your life do you think you have spent finding parking spots? According to a study, we spend around 75 hours a year trying to find parking. The one thing I am enjoying during quarantine is not looking for an empty space for my vehicle. I am not sure how I will return to the world where there is a constant quest for parking spots but when I do, I want to enter the arena with Parkey – a conceptual shared-parking device which helps you find a spot in seconds! This Apple-esque controller can solve one of the biggest stressors of commuting.

Looking for a free spot not only wastes time but also increases gas emissions in the atmosphere. Inevitably there is a rise in traffic which raises air pollution levels given that most of our cars still run on combustion engines. Parkey uses this opportunity to design a device that can ease the stress on our lives and the environment. Many spots are not used all round the clock and by sharing these spots, the owners can make extra income while helping the community. What makes this device unique is that is doesn’t require any physical tech to be installed in the garage door, instead it uses a configurable RF controller that connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth to share the spot.

The controller was designed to be minimal and portable. It has a slim build like one of your smart home appliance remotes and also features a keyring for convenience. The keyring also fits into the USB-C charging port for charging but will also be made compatible with wall chargers and wireless chargers. If you have the controller, then just post about your spot on the Parkey app and configure the gadget by activating your current RF controller. This enables the Parkey controller to recognize the frequency and securely link it to your ad on the app. You can book parking spots just like you would schedule Uber rides. Then on the day of the reservation, you would connect your Parkey controller to your phone via Bluetooth in order to match the RF frequency to open the door – simple! I now have hope for 2020.

Designer: Nacho Castillo Moreno

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!

This kettle-inspired dehumidifier solves the tedious process of emptying water

Our home appliances are getting more efficient by the day. To stand out in the competitive market, any appliance has to be either be a multifunctional product or be a portable version of its predecessors – and if you have them both in one product, you have a winning design. That is exactly what makes the Humi Pot a product design concept set for success because it combines the best parts of a dehumidifier with an electric kettle.

An appliance is universally loved when it is easily usable which means the fewer steps or behavioral changes it takes, the faster it will become essential in our lives. That is the idealogy the Humi Pot functions on as well, it took the simple inherent gesture of tilting the kettle to pour and applied it to how we use a dehumidifier. The action and function of the two appliances were then mechanically merged to give us a dehumidifier that is inspired by the functional form of a kettle. This solves one of the most cumbersome things about using a dehumidifier – the emptying of the water which now becomes a one-step process. So to empty the water in the Humi Pot, you simply pour the collected water out by slightly tilting the appliance. Cleaning is easy too, just detach the top part and rinse the container like you would with a kettle. Unlike the traditional dehumidifiers, this does not require multiple steps to separate the product parts and put them all back. It is also is very convenient for elderly living without assistance.

Since it is portable, you can set it anywhere you like and it doesn’t have to be tied down to a plug point on the wall. The cheery ergonomic build will brighten up your space up instantly unlike the dull, bulky traditional ones. The Humi Pot serves as a modern dehumidifier while saving space and time because of its smaller, more portable form and the elimination of steps that saves time.

Designer: Seongmin Kwon

Nendo’s Tokyo house uses a giant stairway to keep the family and their 8 pets connected!

When I saw Nendo’s latest project, there is just one song that started playing in my mind – Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven because that is exactly the emotion this house radiates. The unusual-looking home was designed to be a part of one of Tokyo’s residential neighborhood where two families can live on different levels while being connected by the defining staircase that runs through the entire space. The house is called Kaidannoie which actually means house of stairs and it truly feels like it will lead up to heaven.

The stairway house has three floors in total, the ground floor was created keeping in mind that it would be used by the elderly members of the family and the remaining two floors are meant for the couple and their children. Of course, you can choose the living arrangement as per your needs but given how not-normal this house looks, it still has a very wholesome vibe which is showcased in every carefully thought out detail. What I love most about this house is that the stairway also acts as an indoor garden filled with abundant sunlight which becomes a large common area for the family to have some bonding time. Because of the staircase, there are no conventional floor boundaries which means the entire house has the luxury of a high ceiling. While most of the home is smartly concealed to keep the residents’ lives private, the south-facing side is made completely of glass allowing sunlight to fill the space and provide a zen view of the existing persimmon tree. A staircase is usually never the center of attention in any house, but Nendo’s home flips that concept on its head so fast that now you would only want a house where the staircase is the fundamental and spiritual pillar of the structure. The style in which this house is built invites a lot of warmth, light, and nature without feeling trapped like Harry Potter was in his room under the staircase.

The staircase starts right from the roof, the upper part is a semi-outdoor greenhouse and as you go down, it diagonally connects every level (and provides ample space for the owners 8 cats!) organically and then casually extends all the way out onto the street. This house makes me feel like even if I was quarantined in it, I wouldn’t feel like I am indoors all day because of how well it is designed. You’d think the oversized staircase would be jarring on your eyes but it surprisingly has a gentle demeanor that instantly resonates with you, maybe because staircases are a symbol of connection and moving upward…and also where many of us may have nostalgic moments that are sometimes the defining steps of our lives (just like 12-year-old Mr. Potter).

Designer: Nendo

The house encourages natural ventilation and balances the urban setting with peaceful greens.

The stairway not only makes the house stand out visually but it also conceals the functional parts of the home, offset to the north side, from the street.

The stairway house is a blend of traditional and modern Japanese aesthetic – the lush greens inside and outside harmonize well with the monochrome and concrete interior design.

So the staircase is connecting each family member and each corner of the house among themselves but also with the outside world.

 

stairway house

 

This zen alarm clock aids sleep, guides meditations and monitors air quality

Not everyone is a morning person, and I admit I am so far removed from that audience that I could actually make friends with a bunch of owls instead of being included in their group. I am sure many of us here, including me, want to wake up in the morning but either we don’t hear our alarms because we choose a soft tune or we awaken with rage because we chose a super-upbeat loud song. What we need is a more natural wake up call, something aligned with the body’s circadian rhythms which the Mudita Bell calming alarm clock knows how to do.

Most of us scroll through our social media apps before bed and the blue light exposure keeps our brain alert even after we keep the phone down. This calming alarm clock wants to replace the screen-scrolling so we can get rest according to our natural sleep cycles – a key in waking up rested and relaxed. It has an E-Ink screen which means you aren’t actually looking at a screen but at the ink that is programmed to move to create visuals, thus reducing your exposure to blue light. Limiting screen time helps us fall us asleep sooner and also into a deeper slumber which is crucial if you want to stop waking up grumpy or tired. The minimalist design of the clock has a soothing effect on your eyes which is important considering it is the last thing you see before bed and the first thing you see when you wake up.

It all starts with “Let me just check the time” or “I’ll just check if my alarm is on” and we descend into the notifications rabbit hole. With this Mudita alarm clock and the E-Ink screen, you can track time and set your alarms without being lured into scrolling through your apps. The alarm wakes you up with gentle acoustic sounds that don’t make you want to smash it. It also includes a sensor to track the air quality in your room and sometimes making small changes like adding a humidifier (based on what the air quality is) can make our sleeping patterns healthier. To make it a well-rounded health and wellness product, this alarm clock also has a meditation timer that comes pre-set with different meditation lengths and simple instructions to guide you through them. Now we really have no reason to wake up groggy so let’s make 2020 the year of the morning people!

Designer: Mudita

This rickshaw packs a mobile home with a detachable shop and terrace!

Tiny houses are all the rage right now with the skyrocketing real estate prices – and honestly, I am all for it! Solo 01 is a portable tiny house which is at the peak of our millennial lifestyle with its quirky visuals inspired by the South Asian local tricycle – the rickshaw. The designer, Arun Prabhu NG, has taken a wildly popular transport icon and essentially packed up a modular house in its trunk.

The Solo 01 was inspired by Arun’s own dream to travel the world and own a house – a dilemma everyone in this generation can relate to. It is a compact 6 x 6 feet space that includes all necessities that a person needs to turn a house into a home they can comfortably live in. It is the perfect modern home on wheels for the solo adventurer, “This ingenious small space design transforms a customized 3 wheeler into a comfy mobile home/commercial space. We’ve maximized the total area to give you value that isn’t minimalist but fully utilitarian. The concept is the fruit of research into actual needs; we’ve outwitted complex challenges with simple solutions” says Arun while describing his project. From the humble look of the house, you cannot gauge the exterior’s full strength – it is built to endure most constraints such as topography, material, aesthetics and weight balance with design details that allow for plenty of natural ventilation.

Like any house, this includes a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, toilet, foyer, terrace area and also additional space if you run a small on-the-road business. The lower level is where you will find the kitchen, bathtub, toilet, foyer, and living area, while the sleeping zone and workspace are 3.5 feet up on the mezzanine level. The upper level has a solar panel (600w) and a water tank (250ltrs) installed but given that Arun is a millennial like us, he has also made space for a cozy lounge with shade on the terrace. The most interesting part is that the upper deck is completely detachable, you can unscrew the 6 bolts and put the set-up aside when needed which makes it a very versatile structure that can transform based on your needs. Born into a trader’s house, Prabhu is the first graduate in his family, “Most poor families live, eat and sleep together in a cramped 50-100 sq feet tenements. This takes a heavy toll on health and hygiene,” he says speaking from personal experience that molded the Solo 01’s functionality.

The layout of the Solo 01 is open and flexible to your lifestyle which makes it a long term investment. While being cool is great, being sustainable is more important and the Solo 01 is made using scrap metal that was discarded from old buses or buildings which is the reason why the costs for this house could be kept low. The bright earthy tones bring in cultural Indian aesthetic while brightening up the small spaces. Apart from the dreamy nomad stereotype, the Solo 01 is an affordable option for artists, small scale vendors, young adults with a small reserve of savings or even those who have jobs but are homeless because they can’t afford rent on minimum wage. The concept of this house is to cater to all economic residents of the society and the community can be innovative in its use.

Designer: Arun Prabhu NG

A coffee grinder that fits your millennial interior aesthetic

My day only really starts once I have had my cup of coffee. To me, it is not a beverage but a life-juice that awakens my mind and my soul! Being a coffee enthusiast, I have a whole mini barista set up in my kitchen – the espresso machine, the steam wand, the tamper – all of it. But what most of us skip is the coffee grinder and it is truly a taste-altering step. This shaded coffee grinder by Husky Design will tempt you into making coffee the right way!

Coffee grinders add a whole new level of “fresh” to your beverage, there is a different quality that bubbles up when you grind whole beans and use it in your machine rather than pre-packaged grounds. Especially when the coffee grinder looks this sleek, how can you not want to get a machine just so that you get to use this grinder? It almost looks so smooth as if it was carved from one piece of glass. The minimal yet eye-catching bright button seamlessly fits into the lid which has a translucent top to give you a peek at your beans.

Unlike the usual black or grey coffee grinders, the gradient shades of this radiate a happy feeling and give the underrated gadget a colorful personality. For me personally, the whizzing sound of the coffee grinder also wakes me up, it is like a sound signal to my brain that we must start functioning which is then rewarded by the smell of fresh grounds. Take that extra step and grind your beans, you will love coffee even more (if that is still a possibility)!

Designer: Husky Design

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!

A zen minimalist cabin that brings nature in and takes distractions out

We all know the movie Birdbox and we associate it with a stressful situation, I mean it was definitely didn’t fit in the comedy genre, right? However, I came across a different Birdbox by Livit, a Norwegian company, to counteract those feelings and really soothe our souls. This Birdbox is actually a prefabricated shipping container-like cabin that offers one-of-a-kind escapes to lush destinations surrounded by nature.

The cabins are simple, rectangular structures with huge circular and oval windows to give you a larger than life view of nature. Just like the exterior, the interior also has minimal decor which makes for a cozy space with a queen bed and a handful of chairs. The Birdboxes come in two sizes currently – the “Mini” at 10.5’ x 7.2’ x 7.2’ “Mini” and the “Medi” at 16.7’ x 7.87’ x 7.87’.” There’s also a separate “Birdbox Bathroom” which features a black tint one-way glass floor-to-ceiling window.

These box cabins are designed to be dropped in places with a minimal footprint that bring you closer to nature while providing comfort and shelter. They can be perched on mountain tops too because Birdbox cabins are made to withstand extreme winds and arctic conditions. There is also an option of having preinstalled solar panels in the cabins. Livit is currently selling three cabins and has two of its structures available for rent in its native Norway, one of them is on Airbnb – now you know where your next vacation will be!

Designer: Livit

 

Peleg Design’s pelican is the only bird allowed in your kitchen!

I love to cook, but I hate to do the dishes after. The soaking dishes, the wet cloth, the soapy sponge – it is all so damp! Designer Gil Cohen has created Pelix for Peleg Design, a cute kitchen companion that will reduce your internal shrieks and actually lift your mood while doing dishes. This little pelican shaped cloth and sponge holder will be perched on your counter and the only thing that will fly is the time taken to do chores.

Pelix’s bright break is actually a cloth holder, so hang up that dishcloth while the body of the pelican is a cup for your sponge. Pelix makes it easy to keep dish cleaning essentials right where they are needed with its suction cup bottom, but unlike Ross Geller, it can pivot and make your life easier! Usually, we always look for a blind spot in our kitchen that guests cannot see to keep dishcloths and sponges because having them dry right there can ruin the interior aesthetics of your space, however, this handy pelican will fetch many compliments for its form while being super functional.

That is why it is called a pelican, not a pelicant – get it!?

Designer: Gil Cohen for Peleg Design.

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Phillipe Starck’s Broom – A sustainable chair that swept away industrial waste like magic

Here is some food for thought – what if our leftovers could be turned to functional furniture that looked food? I mean good, that looked good! Phillipe Starck is a French designer which means he eats really good food and has managed to turn the leftovers into some really good chairs called the Broom for Emeco. Global food waste (aka leftovers) is twice as high as predicted reports CNN but leftovers don’t necessarily mean just food – it is any waste that ends up in the trash and the solution to waste management lies in creative, sustainable design. The Broom is a fine example of just that! Recycled, recyclable and designed to last – this is where rubbish becomes responsible.

The relationship between Phillipe Starck and Emeco is what turned the company from just a US Navy supplier to a coveted furniture design brand. “Working with Emeco has allowed me to use recycled material and transform it into something that never needs to be discarded – a tireless and unbreakable chair to use and enjoy for a lifetime,” says Starck who believes every creator has a duty to the society. Emeco uses recycled aluminum, recycled PET, reclaimed wood polypropylene, eco-concrete, and cork. In fact, the Broom chair is made of 90% reclaimed waste polypropylene and wood fiber that would normally be swept into the trash – hence the name!

Broom is the ingenious result of a design collaboration that both avoids and eliminates waste. It is made from a compound of industrial waste from lumber factories and industrial plastic plants – 75% waste polypropylene and 15% reclaimed wood that usually ends up in the trash. It checks all the boxes for sustainable furniture with its three-fold environmental impact – less energy, less waste, and less carbon. “With the Broom chair, it is about less and more. We chose less – less “style”, less “design”, less material, less waste, less energy. And so, the Broom chair became so much more” says Starck when talking about the design process to make a chair that does more than being a surface to sit on.

The Broom comes in 6 colors, can be stacked easily, perfect for outdoor use and very low maintenance (honestly, just clean with soapy water and wipe with a soft cloth).  The wood particles create a speckled texture that gives the surface a warmer, more natural touch, each chair will have its own unique textured pattern. Wood is good, polypropylene is not so good, but the combination made from the two gives us a material that lasts like synthetic but has the spirit of nature. This is sourced from woodshops and plastic producing worksites, it is then cleaned, compressed and transformed into a wood composite that works for the environment instead of harming it.

“Imagine”, says Philippe Starck, “a guy who takes a humble broom and starts to clean the workshop and with this dust he makes new magic” and we bet JK Rowling will agree that brooms are truly magic.

Designer: Philippe Starck for Emeco.

A Japanese charm redesigned to keep you healthy by syncing with the earth!

Omamori (お守り) are traditional good luck charms in Japanese culture that protect the wearer of the charm. The Japanese word “mamori” (守り) means protection, while prefix “o” gives the word an external movent connotation, transforming it to “your protection” and there are Omamoris for every area of life: love, health, luck, trips, success, protection. The concept of Kenkō is a futuristic take on the traditional Omamori, it does not cure illnesses or ward off evil spirits but it helps you stay healthy by being in sync with the earth’s electromagnetic frequencies. It is ergonomic, travel-friendly and minimal while still being a powerful force.

The earth is constantly emitting 7,83 Hz (also known as the earth’s breath, who knew that?!) along its surface which is believed to allow living beings to regulate their physiological functions. Scientific studies show that the earth’s natural magnetic fields have a positive influence on our brains. With the rapid development of electronic communication technologies, our bodies are getting confused between the natural and artificial frequencies which are dwindling our inherent ability to be in sync with nature. This concept device is aimed at increasing focus, coordinated neural activities, improve sleep and circadian rhythms, stabilize blood pressure and stimulate osteoblasts. Kenkō will be created to produce a 7,83Hz signal, reproducing the natural frequency using technology which will help human bodies re-establish their intrinsic relationship with being healthy naturally. It will have an LED light strip that glows when you switch on the device. Electrosmog caused by Wi-Fi and smartphone frequencies can no longer disturb the sync between the natural rhythm and your brain with Kenkō’s 1.5m protection radius around you. It is also designed to be pocket-sized so you can carry it everywhere like the traditional Omamori is meant to be but with a sleek touch of tech!

Designer: Daniele Peruzzo