Japanese artist Tanaka Tatsuya twists everyday products in these Star Wars-inspired miniature setups!

May the fourth is the official day we get to unleash our inner geek squad – be it our figurines, shirts, or any of the gazillion collectibles Star Wars has launched over the years, it’s a day to bring your geek out and be proud! Most of us will do this by bringing out our favorite character (baby Yoda ears on their dog anyone?), but we have someone here who is sure to inspire you. Meet Tanaka Tatsuya, a Japanese artist who takes the entire collectibles setup to a whole new level with his elaborate scene recreations that feature prominent scenes from the series. From simple yet humble eggshells to using a marker, Tanaka-san’s ability to see things from a different perspective makes this entire collection a delight that will leave you in awe. May the force be with you and keep your shields up as we battle this pandemic. Happy Star Wars Day from everyone at Yanko Design!

Pixar’s Toy Story is one of my favorite movies ever for the sheer idea that appealed to everyone across the ages – our toys coming to life and ruling our place! This scene by Tanaka-san brings to mind the same atmosphere, where the bag opens up at night to unveil the heroic, light-saber-filled fight. Don’t miss out on R2D2 crawling out to influence the fight! The next time you open your bag, do keep a look for spare toys that wandered in during the night!

An action-packed sequence unfolds over the closely packed keyboard keys, who watch in tense silence, as the X-wing gets a furious chase! Afterall is there even a story if there are no spectators to watch it? The retro keycaps bring to mind a concrete cityscape that rises above the planet keyboard.

X-Wing fighter gets a creative outlook with this paper binder clip! Repair this ship and get ready as the galaxy awaits for you to step up and unleash the force!

Is that a stormtrooper lost in the sea of broccoli? Will they find a way out, or will they come across a Jedi – only Tanaka-san can tell us about it!

Lightsabers are so passe, especially compared to Pocky! Japan’s iconic snack is a biscuit stick covered with a unique coating. Starting with the basic chocolate to the adventurous almond crunch, there is a pocky here for every mood!

Things are sure to get heated up when Obi-wan faces off with Luke across the scorching barbeque plains!

A humble comb gets a new life as the desert backdrop with a Luke flying Lanspeeder across the teeth dunes!

Taking Toy Story to the next level, Darth Vader and his cronies step out of your laptop to attack you!

The adorable Baby Yoda/Grogu who swept us off our feet is back, this time in an even more adorable pistachio shell asking the Mandalorian for a helping hand.

This sustainable toothbrush’s bristles change color to tell you its time to replace the head!

Switch is an award-winning toothbrush design with sustainability at its core. It allows you to replace only the brush head and keep the long-lasting metal handle. Manually replace the head by simply twisting the top of the toothbrush to remove and replace the head with a range of options. Switch is produced from recycled materials and the first of its kind available for mass production so it can make an impact quickly when distributed in the market. The design was one of the Red Dot Design Awards 2021 winners as well as a part of the iF Design Awards 2021.

The bristles change color indicating that the head needs to be changed and ensuring effective cleaning. Most of us use a brush till it is frayed but on average, you must replace it every 3 months meaning on average you will use 4 toothbrushes every year. Instead of the plastic generated by four brushes per person, Switch users have an environmentally friendly alternative while maintaining the clinical efficacy of the Signal brand. It also comes with three different head options – sensitive, complete care, and whitening – to address the different needs. Switch is also an alternative to the bamboo brushes that come with plastic bristles expanding to the range of sustainable products and encouraging an eco-conscious lifestyle.

Designer: Ben Cullis Watson and Crux Product Design

Here’s what the M1 iMac would look like if Apple ditched the white bezels and large chin for a 100% display

Needless to say, some people were quite annoyed with Apple’s latest M1 iMac design. Notably, YouTuber MKBHD found it outright ugly, mentioning that sure, it was slim… but those white bezels, that massive chin, and the lack of a black version made the iMac look too chirpy and playful. For a computer that was capable of incredible heavy-lifting, it didn’t quite look the part. Designer Virgile Arlaud decided to take that feedback and create his own iMac concept. Arlaud’s iMac Pro M1 concept addresses every single pain-point MKBHD had with Apple’s original design

Instead of opting for a radical overhaul, Arlaud’s iMac Pro M1 concept takes the classic iMac Pro design and gives it minor yet significant visual upgrades. The conceptual all-in-one computer sports the crowd-favorite wedge-shaped profile with that slightly bulbed back. However, it absolutely gets rid of the bezels and chin on the front, sporting a gloriously infinite edge-to-edge display that’s an absolute pleasure to look at. Sure, the M1 may be the highlight of this computer, but that screen is the icing on the cake. If the M1 works behind the scenes to give you a great computing experience, that 100% screen on the front amplifies it, surrounding the user in Apple’s incredible, unmatchable UX.

This design direction obviously has some major pros, along with a few small yet unavoidable cons. Firstly, the lack of a bezel gives the iMac Pro M1 no space for a webcam, which played a pretty important role in Apple’s own iMac. The webcam ran 1080p video and used the M1’s processing power to run ISP algorithms for an incredible video. One could argue that the presence of a webcam is a pretty trivial feature in the workhorse that is the iMac, and that an iPhone running face-time would make a pretty decent replacement. One wouldn’t be wrong.

The absence of a chin also means that the iMac Pro M1 concept would lose out on that speaker array found in the original 2021 iMac. The down-firing speakers would have to be replaced with back-firing ones, and I’m no expert, but there would definitely be a small loss in sound quality and clarity. That being said, there are quite a few innovations that allow the screen to act as a speaker… so while Arlaud’s concept doesn’t really illustrate where a speaker would sit, I’d like to believe that this concept has that feature.

What’s really nice about this iMac Pro M1 concept is that it takes an “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” approach to the computer’s overall design. There’s really no need for an all-in-one computer to be 11mm thick (we’re not carrying it around in our pockets), so that slightly bulbous back and the seamless wedge-shaped design really feels like a nice design format that doesn’t need an overhaul. It even sticks to its original inspiration – Dieter Rams’ LE1 speaker design for Braun! The M1 chip sits somewhere within the curved back of the iMac Pro, along with vents for cooling, a USB-C power input, and a whole host of ports on the back, including two USB-C and two Thunderbolt ports, a card-reader, and the old-favorite 3.5mm jack. Let’s also not forget that slick, pipe-shaped stand that’s definitely another hat-tip to the iconic Braun LE1 speaker!

Designer: Virgile Arlaud

The world’s first floating island city can help coastal communities survive climate change

Coastal communities are one of the first to be impacted by the rising sea levels due to the ongoing climate crisis. A lot of architects are coming up with innovative solutions to protect the coastal communities and we might just see the first fully floating island city in the Maldives! The government officials of the island nation officially announced plans to build this ambitious yet sustainable urban project which could be a blueprint (or an experiment!) that could be replicated on a global scale.

According to NASA, Maldives is arguable the lowest-lying country with an average elevation of just 3.3 feet above sea level which means the island republic will soon have to rely on sustainable housing alternatives. The archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean has a total of 1190 islands and 1000 would be submerged at the current rate of sea-level rise. This project is called Maldives Floating City (MFC) and will be constructed just minutes away from Male which is the capital. The team comes from a Netherlands-based studio Dutch Docklands which happens to be a world-renowned leader in floating infrastructure. MFC’s shape will be series of honeycomb-like hexagonal maze rows inspired by the Brain

The system of floating rows is anchored to a ring of islands that form the base and also the stabilizing breaker wall for all the structures—the primary reason for placing MFC in an ideally suited small lagoon. More from the press release:

While MFC floats up top, island barriers around the lagoon will serve as breakers down below. This ingenious configuration lessens the impact of lagoon waves while stabilizing the structures and complexes on the surface.
The whole city is about three-quarters of a square mile, or 200 hectares, with low-slung residential buildings and commercial amenities built on separate structures. The designers say the MFC complex hearkens back to the history of seafaring culture and local architecture in the Maldives.

Thousands of homes will float on the hexagonal coral clusters, starting at $250,000 for about 1,000 square feet, plus a roof terrace. While that price point isn’t laughably low, it’s perfectly reasonable for the context of an island vacation wonderland.

It’s easy to imagine these units filling up as people’s winter homes, but hopefully, there will be some locals in the mix as well. In the press release touting MFC, the designers say their goal is to have local traditional fishing families live in the floating city. It’s not clear if the $250,000 price point is realistic for these families, or if there will be subsidized housing.

If the idea of a modular floating city makes you think of, say, Waterworld, you’re not alone. There are also traditional floating cities scattered around the world, and the Maldiveans are careful to say theirs is the first to combine the housing and other structures in this particular way, surrounded by a barrier lagoon and with an array of amenities.

The floating city will break, uh, sea in 2022. Eventually, the complex will include those thousands of homes, plenty of commercial space for stores and necessaries, and a hospital and school for locals to use. While the complex is anchored to the barrier islands, this will likely be a modular connection that can be extended as the sea level rises—perhaps even submerging the barrier islands in the future.

If MFC succeeds, the officials are likely right that it will be influential around the world. While inland territories have a lot more time to avoid the most literal effects of the rising sea level, the Maldives’ peer island nations like Nauru or Micronesia will have to act quickly to preserve their territories and cultures.

Designer: Dutch Docklands

This packaging design gives the K-beauty industry the makeover it needs to be more sustainable!

The packaging design sector is getting a big makeover as more people start paying attention to and incorporating sustainable products in their lives. A South Korean beauty and pharmaceutical company, Kolmar Korea, has designed eco-friendly packaging made from paper for cosmetic products. KbeautyThe package reinforced with a waterproof layer of coated paper withstands the weight of up to 50 kilograms (110 pounds) and can be modified to be produced in various shapes.

Currently, almost every cosmetics products use plastic or glass packaging designed to hold liquid-type or paste-type products. It is hard for makers to create eco-friendly packages using paper as they go soft when exposed to moisture. Cosmetics makers favor plastic packages because of their durability and ability to absorb shock. Also, plastic packages are lighter, making them more cost-effective in large-quantity shipping.

Kolmar Korea said in a statement on November 11 that 80 percent of the new eco-friendly package was made of paper but its cap that fits on the nozzle had to be produced in plastic. Some foreign beauty product companies have already adopted paper packages. La Roche-Posay, a French cosmetics company, released a tube-type sunscreen product using a paper tube in May.

This paper tube offers an eco-friendly advance in tube packaging. The entire body is made of paper, eliminating the use of typical tube materials such as plastics. A range of papers creates various textures. The sleeves can be personalized with the graphics and logos of a given brand. The paper tube also means that consumers can access the last remaining formula contents by simply tearing up the used paper tube along the dotted line. The paper tube, while sealed with a plastic cap, marks a major environmental improvement for the cosmetic industry, and can be used to package a whole range of personal care, health and beauty products.

Designer: Lee Je Min, Jung Jung Mo, and Kim Hee Yoon

Someone FINALLY designed a flexible spray bottle that can be used even while it’s tilted

The worst design problems are the ones we force ourselves to ignore. The to-go cup lids that almost always pop off because they’re so thin and flexible. Those tiny triangles of plastic that you have to snip off every time you open a plastic bag. Ballpoint pens that you need to always use on a horizontal surface because they stop working when you write on a tilted or vertical surface. Problems that we faced 20 years ago and still face even today because nobody bothered to solve them. Spray bottles fall into that category too. It’s nearly impossible to use one properly. Tilt them slightly and you end up spraying air instead of liquid – a problem that only gets worse as the liquid level inside the spray bottle gets lower.

The spray bottle or the atomizer has been around for ages. You use it for perfumes, all-purpose cleaners, liquid soap, disinfectants, watering plants, etc. The problem with the spray bottle’s a pretty small one, but considering how ubiquitous spray bottles are, that multiplies the problem. The bottle relies on a tube that pulls liquid from the base… the issue arises when you tilt the bottle, lifting the base up. The tube now sits above the level of liquid and you now have air entering the tube instead, which really defeats the purpose when you’re trying to spray cleaning liquid on a difficult-to-reach surface like under your sink… unless the bottle’s base always faces down no matter how you angle the bottle. Meet PIVOT, an absolutely genius spray-bottle design with a 180° pivoting hinge between the handle and the bottle. Tilt PIVOT in any direction and only the nozzle tilts, keeping the bottle vertical. This allows you to spray anywhere without worrying about the spray not working, as well as straining your wrists as you lift or tilt heavy spray bottles.

PIVOT is a great example of how a small design detail can create a massively better product experience. The 180° pivot ensures you can practically tilt the bottle any way you want and its lower container always stays vertical. As a result, not only does PIVOT’s bottle allow you to spray in any direction with no air bubbles entering the spray tube, but it also ensures your product never gets wasted. Since the bottle’s always vertical (thanks to gravity), the tube within PIVOT can pick up every single last drop, ensuring your cleaning product is used to its very last spray… a feature that isn’t just cost-efficient, it’s environmentally conscious too, because you’re using up every drop of your chemical cleaning agent instead of throwing it out because your spray bottle can’t pick it up.

While being more effective and comfortable to use, the pivoting system on the bottle also acts as a safety feature. It allows the nozzle to fold inwards, preventing it from accidentally being sprayed or primed. A secondary lock near the pivot provides an additional layer of protection, preventing children from being able to use the bottle and keeping them safe from the chemicals within. In fact, it occupies a smaller vertical footprint when folded too (saving roughly 30% of space), allowing you to easily stash it within cabinets and even making it more efficient during shipping. Each PIVOT bottle comes with a 34 oz capacity (1 liter) and sports a rugged HDPE bottle and an industrial-grade Polypropylene sprayer. It’s designed to work with a wide host of spraying liquids, from domestic disinfectants and soaps to even harsh cleaning chemicals, and it’s built to last longer than most spray bottles, helping curb plastic waste in the long run. Besides, it’s practically the only spray bottle that will literally ‘bend over backward’ to try and be more useful and functional!

Designers: Brad Forrest & Tom Perelli

Click Here to Buy Now: Two for $22 $30 (26% off). Hurry, only 3/130 left!

PIVOT – The Spray Bottle Reinvented

PIVOT is the first spray bottle with a pivoting trigger sprayer that allows you to spray at any angle until the last drop.

PIVOT’s patented pivoting trigger sprayer freely pivots 180º while the bottle remains in a level orientation during use, maintaining perfect flow at any angle.

A robust, reliable and reusable spray bottle that could easily be used around the house or on the job.

Spray at an Angle

Larry Kosilla, Founder of AMMO NYC and creator of Drive + Protect talk about PIVOT.

Sustainability Benefits

If every household in the US alone replaced its all-purpose cleaner with a non-disposable, homemade version, we could potentially eliminate the need for over a BILLION plastic spray bottles per year.

Features & Benefits

The compact size of PIVOT’s overall footprint can increase transportation payloads and retail shelf space by roughly 30% when compared to ordinary 32oz spray bottles.

PIVOT at Work

Click Here to Buy Now: Two for $22 $30 (26% off). Hurry, only 3/130 left!

This tiny house is actually a clean energy powered, self-sufficient, repurposed shipping container!

We are adding Gaia by Pin-Up Houses to our list of the most incredible tiny houses! Gaia is a discarded shipping container turned into a cozy, self-sufficient home fitted with the latest technology to match your modern lifestyle. It was designed to be an alternative solution to traditional housing and reduce the negative impact on the environment.

One of the main features of the experimental off-the-grid housing project is that it harvests solar and wind energy. Gaia doesn’t rely on external sources of energy or water which is vital in the current climate crisis as well as the future. It comes equipped with solar panels and a wind turbine so the batteries will be fully charged at any time of the day and during all seasons. You can monitor the battery levels through a mobile app even if you are on the go. The tine home has been designed inside a marine HC 6 m container featuring wooden studs and spruce plywood in the interiors. Another clever detail is the container’s roof which covered with a galvanized corrugated metal sheet that extends out beyond the structure. This increases the rainwater collection and is stored in a 1000-IBC tank

The rainwater is then filtered and distributed to the bathroom and kitchen through the house’s systems. Gaia comes with a refrigerator, water heater, and other 12 V and 24 V appliances based on your needs. If your appliance needs a higher voltage of 110 V to 230 V, it can be generated using an inverter. Pin-up Houses has also maximized the limited area by including compact storage, a convertible sofa-bed, space-saving stools, and tables. The outdoor terrace can also be folded to close the container using the winch, this way you can have your privacy.

All the walls inside are sprayed with thermal insulation (spray foam) making sure it is habitable all around the year and not just treated as a summer cabin. However, spray foam is also highly combustible fossil fuel. But to ensure safety, the woodstove is properly shielded with steel on the floor and behind. The team has also made sure to include a lot of exit points. Another point to note for the environmentally cautious residents is that the bathroom is a bathroom – a Porta-Potti style chemical toilet where the bottom half is a suitcase full of waste and formaldehyde chemical which has to be taken elsewhere to be safely discarded.  This could be fixed up by swapping it for a small compost-friendly toilet to further reduce the environmental impact of the house.

The container is pretty spacious despite its size and doesn’t feel cramped or claustrophobic for the residents with how well each corner has been utilized for maximum functionality. Gaia is modern, self-sustaining, and economical for those looking to lead a more sustainable lifestyle while also being homeowners with enough savings leftover after their investment. It is still a prototype so a lot of the systems can be improved to make them more sustainable. Ten extra points for the wonderful draw-bridge style deck!

Designer: Pin-Up Houses

Click Here to Buy Now!

This clay humidifier, filter, lamp and planter is inspired from sustainable Brazilian traditions!

Clay filters are common in Brazilian homes and designer Lucas Couto brings the best of them to more household appliances. Clay is an organic and natural material used by many developing nations because it is cost-effective, versatile, and easily available. Terracotta earthenware in the kitchen is an ingenious practice that is finding its way back into our modern lives and Couto extends the benefits of this material to lamps, filters, and humidifiers.

“I intended to respect the heritage, avoiding an approach to simply “modernize” the filter. I wanted to create a unique form factor that takes advantage of the materials and manufacturing process while introducing new functional features, such as a handle to assist in lifting the upper reservoir and a base to support a drinking glass,” he adds, “The cooling property of the ceramic inspired me to design a humidifier. This is a much-needed item in my hometown of Belo Horizonte, where the air can get very dry throughout the year.” Clay filters are actually proven to eliminate toxins from water through its existing properties while also keeping it cool according to research published in the book The Drinking Water Book: How to Eliminate Harmful Toxins from Your Water. The efficient filtration is a result of the gravity process, where water passes through the candles and drips slowly into the lower reservoir.

Couto wanted to create a multi-sensorial experience fostered by the terracotta. He retained the color, the textures, and the gradient caused by water absorption for visuals and touch. The water drops inside the filter and the vitrified sound of the material produce a soothing sound. Terracotta naturally smells like earth after rain and it also adds a unique flavor to water. The cooling property of the ceramic is why Couto made the humidifier too. All components are placed in the lid, which also contains a level indicator to assist the user with keeping the humidifier filled. The lamp and the planter were additions to the series to showcase the material in various forms outside the kitchen use. The planter has a two-compartment design to take advantage of capillarity for petrichor! The inner part of the pendant lamp is covered with a white glaze to increase light reflection while the terracotta prevents it from overheating. The clay range is organic, warm, functional, and aesthetic!

Designer: Lucas Couto



These indoor gardens made from natural lichen are customizable, maintenance-free, dust & insect proof!

We have all spent more time indoors this past year and have found different ways to bring nature into our space. One hot trend is indoor gardens, especially like these ones by Benetti Homes that require no maintenance at all for people like me who don’t have a green thumb! The company also elevates your garden game as these walls are fully customizable and created for your needs. The Italian studio uses 100% natural and stabilized lichen moss which doesn’t attract dust or insects so no more excuses about not creating your own indoor oasis.

The lichen used is called Cladonia Stellaris and it hails from Northern European forests. The moss is naturally cream in color and therefore can be customized to 12 different colors for the green walls which is also why it can be used to create art. You can choose from a variety of sizes, shades, and shapes for your home or office and the moss can easily grow on walls or ceilings. These vertical gardens have also been upgraded with engineering technology through sound panels to provide a sound-absorbing effect and create a zen atmosphere. “It consists of an aluminum panel like that one supporting the moss and capable of producing sound as the result of a research to optimize sound and its diffusion, which benefits from high-level electronic and sound technology. The panels connect to an external amplifier, which allows users to control the output sound from a phone app,” explains Stivens Benetti, owner of Benetti Home.

Designer: Benetti Home

This packaging design’s innovative and simple form lets you eat snacks fuss-free!

Who avoids eating pistachios because of the mess the shells create? Well, we might just be in luck because ÖLOBOX was designed with a pocket for shells inside the packaging itself which allows you to eat snacks like pistachios anywhere! The origami-inspired packaging design is meant for snacks that need shelling before eating. The husks section is inside and opens after the pack is opened. When you finish eating, simply close the pack with shells and discard it responsibly.

ÖLOBOX aims to encourage a new culture of healthy snacking and an attentive attitude that takes into account how we interact with the packaging, if it makes snacking easier, what happens to the packaging after the snack is done, and more. When we choose our snack it is also important to start taking note of the waste it generates. “First of all, it’s very important to tell the customer how to use the new package. We have found inspiration in the symbol of recycling. The main idea of the design of ÖLOBOX’s pack is based on the instruction there with the arrows being the key elements. They show the sequence of actions for the consumer: 1-2-3,” says Olkas Voron as her packaging design focuses on making the experience easy.

At Yanko Design, we are obsessed with innovative packaging so we put this one on our Instagram to let our audience react and discuss. There were a lot of insightful comments pointing out things that could actually make ÖLOBOX a whole lot better, for example, many readers recommended a shape that could also stand on its own because snacks like pistachios require you to use both hands and the cone form makes that hard to do. Environmentally conscious readers would love to see the plastic element being replaced or even taken out completely to reduce waste and make the entire packaging recyclable. However, ÖLOBOX is a step in the right direction and all we can say is SHELL YEAH!

Designer: Olkas Voron, Nikita Bulgakov and Aleksey Koler