As society faces unforeseen struggles, and with climate-change just around the corner, these floating communities give insight into a new sort of habitat that’s up to the challenge of rising sea levels and of social distancing. Meet the Waya, a set of pyramid-shaped floating buildings that become a community on water. Designed by Lazzarini Design Studio, the Waya mimics the structures of the Mayan civilization, with a heavy reliance on pyramid-shaped forms. This shape allows structures to have a lower center of gravity and be very stable, while giving you slanted walls that are perfect for mounting solar panels to harness energy.
The Waya aren’t homes or individual yachts, they’re societies with all the elements needed for sustenance. Smaller floating structures act as personal houses, while larger ones serve the purpose of hotels and community centers. The Wayaland floating community even has entertainment and recreational zones spanning gyms, cinemas, shops, floating beach clubs, as well as greenhouses for growing produce that helps feed the people on-board. The floating architectural units are made from fiberglass, carbon fiber, and steel, and even have large underwater spaces that help extend living/storage capabilities while allowing the Wayas to easily float upright on water. Smaller Wayas come with two floors (including an underwater floor) while larger ones can go up to 10 floors in height, accommodating a host of people. Commuting between individual Waya units and to-and-from land can be done via boats, which then dock into dedicated boat-garages, while larger Waya buildings even have the capacity for a helipad or two. Deliveries between land and the Waya communities can be fulfilled using drones. The communities have the ability to slowly migrate too, allowing them to detach from a coastline whenever needed and float to an isolated location. Solar panels on each Waya building help supply the community with enough power to sustain them for long periods of time.
Shifting to a water-based society may feel like a bit of a cop-out at tackling real-world problems like climate change or pandemics, but they definitely do something interesting. By making humans migrate to water, the Waya frees up land for nature to take over, while ensuring that humans are much more mindful of their habit of pumping garbage into oceans… after all, you wouldn’t want your luxurious yacht to be trapped in sludge, garbage, and floating plastic, would you? Moreover, they even help strictly isolate communities, and more importantly take humans off the electricity grid, making them much more reliant on renewable sources of energy. The Wayaland floating community exists as a concept, but Lazzarini Design is trying to crowdfund €350,000 ($382,000) to build the smallest, basic unit to prove the entire project’s overall feasibility. In return as perks, the studio is offering backers Wayaland passports and short stays at the community’s floating hotels once the project gets successfully executed by 2022.
“If we can’t go outdoors, why can’t the outdoors come to us?” It sounds like the kind of question a five-year-old would ask, but dwell a little on that thought and you start realizing it’s quite an intriguing question. In fact, it’s the design brief for ODA’s latest tower designs. These tower designs from ODA Architecture try to blur the boundaries between the outdoors and indoors… they were originally conceived as a way to alter New York’s predominantly glass-and-metal skyline by introducing an aspect of greenery into it, but in a world dealing with COVID-19, they provide a much more important service by allowing us to experience the outdoors without needing to step out.
ODA’s explorations primarily focus on tower designs, in an attempt to bring versatility and a touch of greenery to NY’s overtly boxy and shiny cityscape. Architectural explorations look at residential units with dedicated ‘greenery zones’ that act as areas of social congregation for the building’s residents. Adorned with curvilinear, organic architecture, and interspersed with greenery, these areas give the residents a break from the concrete-jungle-aesthetic of the skyscraper-filled city. They act as areas of reflection and of allowing people to connect with nature and with one another. Designed specifically for the building’s residents, these ‘shared indoor gardens’ even serve as wellness areas, giving people spaces to exercise, meditate, do yoga, and just take a break from being stuck at home… all while being safely within the confines of your building!
Monitoring air quality is going to become crucial post this pandemic as we all try to boost our respiratory systems. It isn’t possible to carry your air purifier everywhere with you and how can you tell if the air quality in the multiple environments that surround you is safe? Well, Sprimo has a solution for you – a keychain-sized personal air monitor that keeps you informed in real-time about the air you breathe. This is extremely important for those with pre-existing respiratory conditions so they can reduce their discomfort by checking the air quality before going to a certain place.
This compact personal gadget monitors the air quality around you and reports the collected data on an intuitive app that you can install on your smartphone. It is compatible with iPhones as the nifty device connects to your phone via the lightning port. As soon as you insert it, the air monitor should give you the readings instantly whether you are indoors or outdoors. Along with the air quality, it also gives you additional details like temperature and humidity’s effects on the air so you cover all your bases. The accurate air quality measurements are then color-coded for easy comprehension – green means clean air and red means you could be breathing in harmful particles. This helps to figure out if the areas you spend most of your time in has clean air and how it affects your health. Like does your office or school has healthy air quality? If not, you now know that you have to take the necessary steps to change that instead of continuing to harm your respiratory system unknowingly.
It also tracks toxic paint smell and chemicals, pollution, smog, cleaners, dirty clothes, second-hand smoke, perfume for allergies, glue, pet waste or garbage, and more! Sprimo’s personal air monitor is determined to make sure you only breathe clean air so your health remains uncomplicated during these complicated times.
You know the bright future is here when we see design concepts like MÜV (pronounced “move”) – a purely electric, self-balancing, hands-free assistive mobility vehicle concept that grants you true omnidirectional maneuverability. To simplify it, think of it as a hoverboard with a seat but you don’t have to worry about balancing it! MÜV may have started as inclusive design but it quickly adapted itself to fall under the universal umbrella even though it will still benefit the disabled demographic more as was it’s original intention.
It has been designed with the latest robotics self-balancing technologies to give the rider intuitive navigational control so they can ride with ease. MÜV is fitted with a spherical drive system that gives it its distinctive omnidirectional maneuverable abilities that lets the rider lean, twist or tilt in any direction while the vehicle gently follows. It is similar to what my ski instructor taught me – just move your body in the direction you want to go and the skis will follow.
“To evolve the way people move by spreading joy and ease of movement” is what the designer set as his motto when working on the vehicle. The primary goals were improved safety, comfort, aesthetics & maneuverability. Additional details such as range, affordability, and overall user-friendliness were also important factors that had to be considered. It is charged wirelessly, unlike traditional competitor products, which makes it portable and convenient. This is what an inclusively designed mobility vehicle would look like if Tony Stark ever made one. And for you DC fans, this is the batmobile of electric mobility vehicles. Let’s take a ride down the design process for MÜV.
Designer: Neutron Her
Safety was the number one priority followed by comfort. It has footrests for when the user is cruising with adequate clearance around the user’s legs for emergency stops. It is fitted with multiple sensors and advanced control algorithms that collect the physical rotation/translatory intention data to make sure MÜV adapts to your moves for an effortless experience.
Understanding where this vehicle fits in the market, alongside the typical engineering systems inside these vehicles gives us a strong starting point to develop accurate, honest industrial design solutions; forms that can be realistically achieved while satisfying the goals.
The high-tech mobility vehicle comes with a modern chair that blends in with the rest of its body. Ergonomics were a big part of MÜV given that it is an assistive mobility vehicle. The CMF was picked to give the user a sense of its sturdy, robust, and reliable form.
It’s built using two major housing casings; both made of polyamide (nylon) reinforced with fiber-glass and each injection-molded in one single operation. The metallic painting on the convex form reflects its surroundings, adding a sense of slenderness. The parting line where black and titanium meet simply flows along the neck, making the body look slimmer.
A two-tone color scheme creates a minimalist, yet striking design. The front panel is full depth colored semi-matte obsidian black to convey a sense of utilitarian ruggedness yet remaining sporty and modern. Complemented by a sleek titanium painted finish back panel.
MÜV gives the freedom of movement to the elderly and disabled demographic who can’t drive, won’t have to depend on someone to push the wheelchair, and wouldn’t require the strain of walking using walkers/canes. This allows for more fluid and safe movement giving them a chance to live independently.
To reduce bulkiness, the interior dead space is minimized by organizing printed circuit boards, fans, filters, and motors tightly together without compromising any functionality.
It uses a wireless charging method by tilting its wireless charging pad located below the battery onto a wireless charging station. This surface also doubles as a stable resting pad during stops/short breaks. At this angle, the electronics enter a sleep mode to conserve power. When tilted back for use, the system powers up and begins automatically stabilizing at full power preparing for the rider to safely mount.
The MÜV’s battery level is indicated by 7 white LED along the front neck of the vehicle.
The lithium-ion battery pack is placed at the front for optimized cooling, proximity to the charging pad, lowered center of gravity, and convenience. It can be easily swapped for a full battery or kept attached and recharged on-board by tilting the wireless charging pad on an MÜV charging dock.
The center of gravity remains low, providing great stability while improving control. Ground clearance is sufficient for tight turns and obstacle avoidance during daily joy rides.
Feeling like hitting the waves? We don’t know when beaches will open but this controlled wave pool in Australia will be able to provide some relief to surfers while still being able to manage the crowds by keeping it to the recommended number of people as per social distancing guidelines. The interesting feature of this wave pool is that the generator creates waves in concentric circles that then radiate outwards. The idea for these concentric waves was conceived when Founder and CEO, Aaron Trevis, was tossing rocks into a lake with his children.
Surf Lakes is the world’s largest controlled wave pool famous for offering five different types of waves to their surfers! The pool generates 2000 waves per hour (so your week’s cardio is complete) thanks to the 5 Waves technology. It provides a safe space for surfers of all skill levels to practice and enjoy like they would in the ocean. It is as close to the real thing as you can get, the technology mimics the natural ocean groundswells resulting in waves that break over specially crafted reefs in sets of two or six per swell. Each pulse from the central generator can create 10 waves. To mimic the natural environment closely, each reef is distinctively shaped which allows the wave to crash and dissipate differently in terms of speeds, shapes, and sizes.
It has been the only facility to be able to generate an 8-feet tall wave artificially. The five different levels of waves all vary in difficulty, size, and length and are color-coded so beginner surfers through to moderate and advanced surfers can enjoy wave riding. Surf Lakes is working on making this technology available worldwide so that we can ride out this transition into the new normal!
The Superegg Installation is a comment on our capitalist tendencies and its effect on nature. By combining consumerism and creation into one hard-hitting sculpture, the art piece helps turn human-created ocean waste into an object that sparks conversations while saving the environment. The 6’6″ high structure comes made from 3000 Nespresso and Keurig single-use coffee pods that were pulled out of the ocean. These aluminum pods were then mounted onto aluminum sheets which were finally wrapped onto plywood rings to create the shape of an egg.
The Superegg installation looks like a Fabergé egg from afar, with the thousands of colorful pods forming patterns on it, but the magic is doubled at night, when a light within the installation illuminates the structure, causing it to create mesmeric shadows like tinted glass mosaics at churches and cathedrals. The egg acts as proof of how damaging our consumerism can be on the environment, while being a reminder that we can always turn our waste and wasteful behaviors into something more meaningful and nurturing.
The AERIAL A1 is a fusion of the best aspects of three separate products. It combines the safety and sheltering of a tent, with the comfort and carefree nature of a hammock and the tautness/springy-ness of slacklines. Designed by industrial designers with a true passion for the outdoors, the AERIAL A1 quite literally elevates the idea of camping. Rather than pitching tents in the ground, this one straps itself to trees (or even cars), taking your camping experience up a notch. Climb into the AERIAL A1 and you literally feel like you’re sleeping on clouds. The tent’s slackline structure requires you to stretch the base out so it’s virtually flat (unlike a hammock, which naturally takes a curve)… this effectively gives the AERIAL A1’s tent-bed its ‘spring’, making it feel like a cross between a hammock and a waterbed. The AERIAL A1 can easily be mounted over rocks, roots, or even a river. If the ground isn’t suited for tent-pitching, or if you just want to ‘upgrade’ your camping experience, the AERIAL A1 can quite easily be suspended above the ground. Conversely, if you’re in an open meadow with nothing to tie your shelter to, you can just pitch it onto land like any other tent.
The tent comes with enough space for one person to fit in comfortably. Its taut design allows it to have a long base, so you can stretch out without worrying about feeling cramped for space. The tent comes with a simple design that’s incredibly easy to set up, thanks to a single pole that helps define its shape, and a secondary smaller pole that gives it its width. Suspending the tent between trees is arguably as easy as mounting it on dry land, thanks to the suspension system that uses climbing-grade components and webbing straps that can easily be set up by a single person, can take as much as 440lbs of weight once suspended, and uses a 2-point connection on either side, keeping your tent from ever rotating or flipping over. The tent comes with two access points on opposite sides, that can be unzipped completely to give you an exhilarating view and complete ventilation. If the weather gets undesirable, the tent comes with a weatherproof fly-sheet that covers it completely, giving you and your belongings enhanced protection from wind and water. The AERIAL A1 comes with pockets on the inside to store your stash, and a gear hammock that hangs beneath the tent, acting as a shelf of sorts you can store your bags, bottles, and bulk in.
All these details culminate to make what designers Andrew Gardner and Jacob Campbell believe is the most versatile outdoor tent ever made. When packed up, the tent fits into a cylindrical casing that’s no larger than a tripod bag, and when opened, it provides you with just the right experiences, from its ease-of-assembly to its comfortable design and ability to store all your belongings, all while braving any sort of weather you may experience. The tent’s hammock-inspired format is a refreshing take on camping, giving you the benefit of a comfortable base/bed to sleep on, along with a view that’s most certainly going to ruin floor-camping for you!
The AERIAL captures all the features you find in a traditional tent along with the off ground benefits you get from a hammock. It is a lightweight portable shelter with a stable, horizontal sleeping surface that can be suspended between two trees.
Exceptional Comfort & Stability
The main feature that allows the AERIAL to achieve its exceptional comfort and stability is their unique, slackline inspired, suspension system. By wrapping high tensile webbing straps around the tree and pulling them back from both sides of the trunk the AERIAL is able to achieve a four point connection system.
Using this four point system, along with tension and two spreader bars they were able to create a sturdy, flat platform that feels most similar to a high quality cot. The webbing also provides spring like a mattress that helps absorb movement without being tippy. This flat sleeping surface allows you the ability to sleep in any position, back, side or even on your front.
The sensation you get sleeping in an AERIAL is like nothing else, the fresh air paired with its comfort is a new experience that you are going to want to repeat at every opportunity.
Comfort is More Than Just Sleeping
With AERIAL, no need for a chair, the stable platform works like a floating bench. The doors open wide, giving more than enough room for two people to chill out together.
Everything becomes more comfortable with the AERIAL. Even simple tasks like making your bed or packing your gear can now all be done at a pleasant working height. No more crawling around and backing out of a low cramped tent. The convenience of everything being up and off the ground is an underrated convenience that will save your back and knees and provide you a simple satisfaction you wouldn’t expect.
Most Versatile Shelter Ever
The AERIAL A1 is capable of adapting to any environment and can be used over any terrain. No level ground no worries, pitch your tent between the trees and sleep. You can now camp over rocks, roots and even rivers. The benefits of being off the ground are endless.
When trees aren’t available, the AERIAL can also be set up on the ground like a traditional tent. When on the ground this free standing tent features a 5” high tub floor design that is fully seam sealed along with two 17” vestibules that can be accessed from either side.
How Stable Is It Really?
Stable enough that a little kid can easily climb in! Why is it so stable? Basically this setup is like a suspension bridge between two trees. The AERIAL’s stability is gained by connecting to either side of the trees as opposed to a single point like you would find in a standard hammock.
The AERIAL’s connection makes two trees into a four-point connection setup, once one applies tension the AERIAL becomes steady and unflippable even while using trees as small as 5” in diameter. The AERIAL has no set rotation points like you would see in a standard hammock and this creates a stable platform.
Traditional/Standard hammock tents elevated the game by getting campers off the ground but hammocks are not always great for a proper night’s sleep. They provide a cramped interior space that puts pressure onto your shoulders and elbows. Even the flattest laying hammocks force you to sleep on your back and then often curve your spine in unnatural ways. Spreader bar hammocks can help open things up, but become increasingly less stable and prone to tipping. The AERIAL A1 has been designed to tackle these issues while keeping the main benefit of the hammock: being off the ground.
AERIAL Features and Accessories
3x Internal Pockets – Inside the tent there are three well placed pockets to hold all your essentials. Two medium size pockets on either end and one “SKY” pocket that is the perfect place for putting your head lamp to light up your tent at night.
Removable Fly – This premium 40 denier nylon fly is lightweight, durable and has a 1500mm hydrostatic head waterproof rating. It is completely separated from the internal mesh body which allows for great airflow and prevents condensation build up.
Single pole setup – The AERIAL tent uses a single aluminum pole to support the canopy. This main pole, paired with a small ridge pole creates vertical walls that maximize internal space.
AustriAlpine® – These Austrian made buckles have a minimum break strength of 15kn / 3370lbs and are made from ultra lightweight alloy.
Rollercam® – This is not your standard cam buckle. Using a brass roller this cam eliminates friction allowing for much higher force to be applied.
Gear hammock – Keep your gear out of the elements, off the ground and easily accessible from inside or outside. It can be adjusted to fit small or large packs. The Gear Hammock also doubles as a groundsheet for ground setup, adding a waterproof footprint to the vestibule.
Underquilt – This underquilt provides significant warmth and wind protection from below. Having a cool breeze beneath you is a nice sensation in hot weather but not ideal when it cools down.
Compatible with Sleeping Pad – It is not by coincidence that a large Therm-a-Rest® fits perfectly into the bottom of the AERIAL A1. Though the elevated sleeping surface is very comfortable on its own, a sleeping pad will improve warmth from below.
What’s in the Bag
– Tent body – Fly Sheet – Main Pole and Ridge Pole – Webbing Straps – 8m and 6m – 2x Rollercams and 2x Slot Buckles – 2x Guylines – 2x Y-Stakes (for vestibule) – 4x Shepherd Hook Stakes (used for on ground setup) – Gear hammock
Simple Tree Setup
This shelter is easy to set up and takes about 6 minutes.
There are a lot of innovative masks that we’re constantly seeing on the internet and it’s ironic because there is a global shortage of PPE for healthcare workers. So why are designers still creating masks? Because the lockdown may end in 8 weeks but the vaccine won’t be ready and therefore we need creative ways for the mass adoption of wearing masks as a part of everyday fashion. This way we stay safe as we enter a ‘new normal’ and leave the surgical masks for the health workers. Now you may ask how is this mask any different from the other cool masks we’ve seen?
Well, this one doubles up as a face shield so that no bacteria enters your eye and comes with an accessory-like sanitizer so you won’t have to search your bags or have an oddly-shaped pocket. Designer Fulden Dehneli calls the mask Gādo (ガード) and the sanitizer Ken (剣) because she views these as complementary products that will become necessities in a post-pandemic world. Gādo means ‘guard’ and Ken means ‘sword’ in Japanese which is such a poetic way to describe tools – they guard us and kill the germs!
Gādo and Ken were specifically designed for seamless integration into our lives. Gādo combines the benefits of a mask and a face shield with a simple sliding mechanism- a folded textile structure hidden under the shield which enlarges when the shield is slid up. This way you don’t have to constantly wear the traditionally obtrusive face shield but can ‘guard up’ if you’re among people and can’t maintain distance. Along with head straps that ensure comfort and fit, it also keeps the mouth visible to keep the window of human expression open, something we crave so deeply and will not take for granted when this ends. Ken is a sanitizer spray bottle that is ergonomically designed to be more portable and accessible than its predecessors.
Dehneli aims to answer the questions that have crossed our minds through her work – What if we have to wear a mask every day from now on? How do we stay protected as we resume our daily routines outside quarantine? Will masks make us feel less friendly when we interact socially? Can I find a sanitizer that doesn’t look like its sitting in the center console of my car for years? Gādo and Ken is your S.H.I.E.L.D (see what I did there?) team when you step back out into the world.
I, just like all of you, am waiting for the pandemic to end so I can go on a vacation. I am not even talking about a walk-all-over-a-new-city kind of trip, I just want a change of scenery and a couple of days in the middle of nature which makes the fascinating Folly Cabin in Joshua Tree, California the perfect choice. What makes Folly Cabin different from the other desert Airbnbs? Well, for starters the Folly Cabin is a restored metal structure that was designed to give you an immersive experience in nature that was compatible with the modern lifestyle.
Malek Alqadi’s Cohesion Studio refurbished an existing metal structure and expanded the property by adding a second one. The main cabin’s interior decor is straight out of Pinterest featuring details that blend concrete, natural stone, dark furniture, weathered metal, and warm wooden accents. It is compact but comfortably hosts 6 people, the structure has been optimized to be spacious and airy complete with a dining area, kitchen, and lounge. The second adjacent cabin has resources that will make it possible for you to be off-grid with water collection systems and solar panels. I think my favorite part of the house is the Portal’s queen bed upstairs where I picture myself stargazing through the skylight, and I tell you this through personal experience that Joshua Tree has some of the best night skies I’ve seen! Folly Cabin team also has an innovative suggestion to transform the room into a sunbathing suite during the day.
The outdoor space has a wooden deck, a soaking tub, and a BBQ for the perfect relaxing evening. While it may look rustic, the cabin is equipped with all modern technology like fast WiFi, keyless access, and interactive touch control panels. “The cabin explores moments of disconnect, that provide guests a sense of self and solitude. The luxury to unplug, while reconnecting with your surroundings. An experience that will preserve and pay respects to its unique environment and history,” says the team about Folly Collection’s philosophy.
Here’s a thought I had recently regarding the way this virus is reshaping our behavior. The way we interact with people and objects will probably change, long after there’s a vaccine. People won’t want to shake your hand if you so much as clear your throat. There’s going to be a pretty visible effort to not hold onto handles on buses and subways unless you’re wearing gloves. This may probably extend to cutlery too, where people may eventually just choose to carry their own cutlery around with them, rather than opting for disposable cutlery, or for cutlery that’s been used by other people.
It looks like that thought didn’t cross just my mind, because the guys at Cold4ged Creations are actually looking to enter the production cycle for their compact cutlery – Forkanife. The Forkanife is a card-sized cutlery set that fits right into your wallet. The set comes with a recycled-plastic case that holds the two foldable instruments inside. Once you’re ready to eat, just pop the instruments out of their case and fold them outwards and you have yourself a rigid fork that’s good for everything from stiff steaks to mushy potatoes, and a serrated knife that can cut through veggies and meats with relative ease.
The Forkanife was created initially as a response to the fact that 6 million tonnes of plastic cutlery get dumped in the oceans each year. The foldable, portable kit was created to support the growing Bring Your Own Cutlery movement, but the virus and its ability to linger on objects may just end up pushing people to adopt practices that aren’t just safer for the oceans, but are safer for themselves too. At just 3.3mm thin, the Forkanife doesn’t just fit into wallets, it fits right into card-holders too, occupying the space of no more than two credit cards. The stainless-steel construction of the fork and knife make it exceptionally easy to clean, and the fact that the entire unit weighs just 53 grams makes carrying the Forkanife around with you beyond convenient… especially given that the Forkanife even comes with an optional RFID-blocking metal-case to carry it around with your cards!