This indoor horticulture gardening table uses aquaponics to grow plants and cutout’s to create a functional sculpture!

Horticultural therapy is practiced in a variety of healthcare, rehabilitative, and residential settings throughout the world. The benefits that come of horticultural therapy range from improved mood, stronger memory, and cognitive skills, to reduced stress and enhanced sociability. Combining hydroponics with aquaculture, Lively Greens is a horticultural therapy table, designed by Yu-Chin Gao to help the elderly population engage with the mental health hurdles that come with dementia.

Lively Greens is essentially a horticultural therapy table that uses aquaponics, a combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, to grow plant life. Lively Greens is comprised of a fish tank and a cluster of five pots for growing plants. As the fish in the tank swim and grow, the water turns rich in nutrients, which feeds the hydroponic plant system, allowing the plant life above to thrive and eventually be harvested. Those who help cultivate Lively Greens only have to do the initial planting and watch the fish take care of the rest. Once the plant life and soil have merged with the water in the fish tank, nutrients from the effluent-rich water, as a result of the presence of marine life, help nourish the plants and sustain a healthy growth cycle.

Yu-Chin Gao created Lively Greens to offer a means for horticultural therapy that took into account some problems the elderly population faces when taking care of plants, such as memory loss and limited socialization. Reaping the benefits of horticultural therapy without having to rely too heavily on a person’s cognitive skills for the system’s upkeep, Lively Greens merges aquaponics with horticulture. Without the added component of having to remember to water the plants, those with mental struggles in relation to memory loss and limited socialization can still enjoy the benefits of horticultural therapy.

Designer: Yu-Chin Gao

Lively Greens consists of five potted plants, a table, and an integrated fish tank.

The plants are positioned so that their bottoms soak in the nutrient-rich water.

Fish can enter and exit the centered negative-pressure water tank freely.

The focal point of Lively Greens is the water tank’s center bubble to keep users engaged and entertained.

Horticultural therapy improves mood, develops memory and cognitive skills, and enhances socalization.

Yu-Chin Gao noticed how cluttered horticultural therapy tables could become. Lively Greens aims to declutter horticultural therapy spaces.

Through multiple ideations, Yu-Chin Gao settled on Lively Greens’ final, card table-like form.

The table’s exposed cutout allows users to watch and understand the practice of aquaponics.

Potted plants soak in the fish tank’s water as the bacteria and fish provide nutrients for healthy growth cycles to take place.

As the fish grow and feed, and as bacteria gets introduced to the aquaculture system, the plants are fed with nutrient-rich water.

The curved structure of Lively Greens allows bulkier transportation devices like wheelchairs to fit right in.

Sony’s new PS5 VR controllers come with adaptive triggers and haptic feedback, defining the next generation of gaming!

Virtual Reality brings gamers right into the world of video games in a way no other gaming technology can. With VR headsets and controllers only rising in popularity, gaming has never been as visceral as it is today. Most major video game brands are gearing up their systems to accommodate VR playing, including Sony’s PlayStation. Today, the team at Sony revealed their new VR controllers for the PS5, their latest console, which comes equipped with VR integration, and boy, do we love how futuristic and almost conceptual these designs look – just how we always envisioned VR controllers would look like!

Building upon their previously released DualSense wireless controller, which changed the way games “feel” through immersive haptic feedback, the new VR controller for the PS5 also provides haptic feedback and takes on an orb-like shape that allows users to move their hands freely and naturally when gaming. The ergonomic design behind the new VR controller was also tested by a range of users with different hand sizes to ensure that they work for everyone. In addition to the controller’s added haptic feedback, the new VR controllers are outfitted with the same adaptive trigger technology found on the DualSense wireless controllers. The adaptive trigger buttons on Sony’s VR controllers add tension that gamers can really feel when plucking an arrow or pulling on a rope, adding to the multisensory experience of PS5.

Sony made it so the new VR controllers can detect a user’s fingers without them having to press the controller where their fingers are resting, so gamers can move through each game following their gut instinct. Each VR controller is also tracked by the new VR headset through the controller’s tracking ring, which can be found at the bottom of each controller. With more news soon to be released including the launch of the new VR headset, for now, prototypes of the new VR controllers will be tested out by Sony’s development community for further improvements and to test new ideas on the world of VR.

Designer: Sony x PlayStation

“There are no constraints with how you’re moving your hands, providing developers with the ability to create unique gameplay experiences,” says Senior Vice President at PlayStation, Hideaki Nishino

With adaptive triggers, haptic feedback, and finger-touch detection, the new VR controllers from PlayStation amplify the VR experience.

“The Left controller contains one analog stick, the triangle, and square buttons, a “grip” button (L1), trigger button (L2) and Create button. The Right controller contains one analog stick, the cross and circle buttons, a “grip” button (R1), trigger button (R2) and Options button,” says Nishino

This cork planter + assistive device functions as a lantern and health tracker for the elderly!

More than a quarter of the world’s elderly population relies on assistive devices throughout the day to help with daily activities like cleaning, walking, and cooking. With contactless health services rising in popularity due to the global pandemic of 2020, that number is sure to only increase. While functionality is the most crucial aspect of assistive devices, the overall look and approachability are arguably just as important. Recognizing the importance of intuitive and simple design, designers at Iran University of Science and Technology created Fanoos, a health tracker for elderly people that doubles as a nighttime lantern.

Fanoos consists of a planter that rests at the bottom of the device’s three-legged frame and a detachable lantern that sits just above it. The three wooden legs that comprise Fanoos’s frame seem to be cut from natural pinewood, while the planter and lamplight mimic the texture of cork for a soft and lightweight feel. Included with Fanoos is an emergency button located on the top of the lamplight, which can be pressed whenever medical attention is necessary. Through integrated technology, Fanoos tracks the health status of elderly citizens, from sleeping habits to their emotional wellbeing. In fact, Fanoos adapts according to the user’s mood and emotional state.

In addition to the health-tracking sensors that fill out Fanoos, the detachable lamp’s light is adjustable so that it can be dimmed or brightened throughout the day and night according to each user’s preference or need. During the night, when a user needs to use the bathroom or grab a glass of water from the kitchen, the detachable lamp can be used like an old-school lantern and carried throughout the house. Or, if a user cannot walk and carry the lantern at the same time, the brightness can be raised to light up the room just enough to see the floor and surrounding space.

Designer: Iran University of Science and Technology

Fanoos consists of a planter and lantern equipped with integrated health-tracking technology.

Fanoos’s simple assembly further enhances its intuitive design and makes it easy to transport or switch between rooms.

An SOS button on the top of Fanoos’s lantern signal that a resident requires medical attention.

Fanoos adapts to each resident’s changing mood and preference.

Come night, Fanoos becomes a lantern for the elderly to use when moving from room to room.

This ring lets you control your personal data, to prevent tech companies from spying on you!

The digital era is probably at its peak right now. From social media to virtual reality, we all have digital identities, and ever since the pandemic we have been living in our devices. This comes with its own set of pros and cons but one of the most popular complaints people have is about their data being misused. So how do we stop or regulate data mining and make people feel safe again? Argodesign attempts to answer that question with their wearable tech concept, the Me.Ring which basically helps you be in incognito mode in real life.

Me.Ring is essentially a connected switch that you wear on your finger and flipping it controls how you want to share your data. When you are okay with your data being collected (from your face, your location, or just about anything else), you switch it on. When you want to stay private, you switch it off. This conceptual ring lets you be a digital ninja by giving you control of your data so you can opt out of your actions being recorded/analyzed forever. “The ring almost acts as the keys to engage (or not) with society, to whatever degree you’re comfortable,” says Jenny Clark, associate creative director at Argodesign, who created the hardware mockup. A design like Me.Ring will require a robust software infrastructure and buy-in from the government + private companies to be able to fulfill its purpose. There is a lot of potential for making it an inclusive design that can serve sections of our demographic that require more monitoring.

In many ways, it is similar to the personal smart devices and gadgets we own with added controls and an integrated app that will let you choose your sharing settings. Me.Ring will use Bluetooth and other low-power wireless protocols that could communicate, not just with your phone, but with beacons in your environment such as smart turnstiles, sidewalks, cameras, and digital signs. The ring will be able to send signals to these points of access and sensors in your environment. It would clarify whether your data was collectible, which parts of your data were collectible, and for what purpose. “For private-sector entities interested in using or collecting your data will be allowed to send you offers,” says Jared Ficklin, chief technologist and partner at Argodesign. For example, if you are getting coffee at Starbucks and notice a beacon, maybe a restaurant analyst company could ask to record the next 10 places you went out to eat for a small payment or coupon.

There are a lot of benefits to sharing your data as well and can shape societies into smarter cities with infrastructure that has been designed to serve diverse communities. It would be a very convenient personal database and storage making it easy to share your contact details when you are networking professionally or your medical data when you sick or are traveling in a pandemic. The ring’s switch would activate a collection of those preferences and customize it to you. Me.Ring is your liaison and data broker to an invisible world of data trackers. It gives us a glimpse into what the future could look like for data management, privacy and existing between the duality of our online and offline worlds.

Design: Argodesign

Logitech G’s Adaptive Gaming Kit for XBox brings gaming to the disabled and is available for sale

One of the world’s most beloved and fun pastimes is gaming. By momentarily transporting gamers into a completely new world and playing field, the magic of video games remains unparalleled. However, a world of improvements is still needed for gamers with disabilities. While the onscreen playing field might look even to gamers, tech companies are finally stepping up to make the tools needed to enter those playing fields a little more accessible and inclusive too. Computer and technology companies Logitech G and Microsoft designed their Adaptive Gaming Kit, compatible with the XBOX Adaptive Controller, to provide one of many future solutions to come for gamers with disabilities.

The XBOX Adaptive Controller from 2019 comes equipped with dozens of open ports so users can plug in their preferred controller for gaming. Specifically designed for the XBOX Adaptive Controller, Logitech G’s Adaptive Gaming Kit features a combination of small, large, and light-touch buttons, as well as variable triggers that can be activated however the user likes. The variable triggers work just like a gas pedal works and maintain light sensitivity for accurate pressure-based feedback. The large and small buttons work like classic game buzzers, while the light-touch buttons switch on with the tap of a finger.

Senior Global Product Manager for Logitech G, Mark Starrett, says, “It’s a set of large buttons, small buttons, light-touch buttons, and even variable trigger controls that users can plugin, in the pattern they like, the way they like, and then arrange [them] on the chair, on our hook and loop boards– there [are] unlimited ways they can be used.” To accommodate each individual gamer’s preferred setup, Logitech G’s Adaptive Gaming Kit also comes with hook and loop ties and two game boards with two distinct textures and flexibilities.

Adapting their gaming kit felt like an obvious choice for Logitech G, but the road ahead is a long one. As first described by the Vice President of Gaming for Logitech G, Ujesh Desai says, “I’m super proud of what we achieved, but on the other hand, we should have been doing this already [and] we’re not just one and done here. This is the beginning of a journey and it’s just the start.”

The Logitech G’s Adaptive Gaming Kit is a winner of the ‘World Changing Ideas 2020’ award by Fast Company.

Designer: Logitech G x Microsoft

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Dyson Award-winning Blue Box helps women easily detect breast cancer at home

The Blue Box is perhaps one of the best examples of how design thinking and problem-solving can truly make a difference to the quality of life of millions of people. An estimate of 43,600 women die of breast cancer each year… that’s from the millions of women who are diagnosed with it; sometimes often too late in the cancer stages. This stems from the fact that the medical screening procedure for breast cancer can be quite literally painful. According to the CDC, more than 40% of women opt out of getting mammograms done because it’s a pain-inducing procedure that also requires exposing yourself to X-ray radiation. A student at the Universitat de Barcelona, however, is changing that by making breast-cancer screening easy, pain-free, and something you can do at home.

When Judit Giró Benet saw the CDC report that outlined how many women skipped getting mammograms done, she realized the scope of the problem and the need to have an alternate solution. Furthermore, she was frustrated by the fact that 93.55% of breast cancers diagnosed by a mammogram are “false alarms” according to the Catalan Department of Health, and that periodic exposure to X-rays can in fact be a cause for breast cancer. In response, Benet began working on her alternative… The Blue Box – a tiny at-home device that could detect breast cancer with 95% accuracy by just scanning a urine sample. “A household owning The Blue Box can have all its female members tested at their desired frequency and convenience. After creating a profile at The Blue App, the user just needs to collect some urine in a plastic container and subsequently place it inside The Blue Box”, says Benet, a biomedical engineering student who then went on to found her own company to help develop this technology. The Blue Box uses a proprietary set of cloud-based AI-based algorithms that react to specific urine metabolites, delivering results that are up to 95% accurate. The box scans the urine sample and sends the results to the cloud, where the algorithm runs its quick diagnosis, sending the results to the app. The entire process is 100% pain-free, non-irradiating, and actually encourages women to test themselves more, helping catch breast cancer in its early stages. It also brings easy testing to places with no access to medical facilities. Since all the Blue Box needs is an internet connection, breast-cancer testing can easily be brought to remote areas, helping women from all walks of life get tested.

The Blue Box was awarded as the International Winner at the James Dyson Awards in 2020. The team has just started seeking funding to afford both the patent application as well as the next set of human studies to help refine the product and the app.

Designer: Judit Giró Benet (Founder of The Blue Box)

This modular furniture system was designed to provide privacy and organization for co-living spaces!

Humans are creatures of habit, so they say. We each have our own special ways of finding comfort and peace of mind. More often than not, that sense of comfort is exhibited most obviously in the spaces where we live. We know our homes better than anyone else because we design them ourselves and simply know what we like. Each of us feels the need to design and organize our spaces, and considering our differences in design preferences and modes of organization, we have that in common. Building a household room divider that lends itself to that common need, designers Giulia Pesce and Ruggero Batista created Patchwork.

Patchwork is Giulia and Ruggero’s proposed creative design solution for depersonalized home spaces such as reception centers for unhoused individuals. Their home organization project offers a wide range of functionality in regards to privacy, space demarcation, personalization, and organization of personal belongings. In collaboration with design agency Hans Thyge & Co., Giulia and Ruggero’s Patchwork is meant for use in cohabitation spaces like hostels, school dormitories, or reception centers for unhoused populations.

Patchwork is comprised of different, interchangeable panels that fold and expand like a traditional room divider. Patchwork panels provide plenty of different uses for each individual and function as a typical divider, work station, headboard, or some combination from the above. Patchwork incorporates a built-in closet space where users can hang their clothes and, thanks to a concealed padlock accessory, can also stow away personal possessions for secure storage. Patchwork also comes with supplemental shelving units, individual mirrors, and handy hooks so that the additional panels can be outfitted according to each user’s unique needs.

In order to create an effective solution that offers privacy and the chance to personalize any space one might call home, Giulia and Ruggero committed to field research that took place in a wide array of co-living spaces. Following their visits to unhoused population centers and refugee camps, the designers say, “During field studies in reception centers for homeless people and refugees in Italy, we observed as the facilities used often do not provide the possibility to organize and hang clothes in a functional way.” Upon discovering this deficiency, Giulia and Ruggero created Patchwork, their micro-solution for our shared need to find privacy and individualization no matter where we might find ourselves living.

Designers: Giulia Pesce & Ruggero Batista

Through the use of modular panels, designers Giulia and Ruggero were able to create room dividers for co-living spaces that also function as storage units for personal belongings.

The nondescript padlock offers both security and peace of mind for users who hope to stow away their more prized personal possessions.

Different forms of hooks and shelving units can be added to each Patchwork unit so that users can design their spaces according to their unique needs.

“The different panels are interchangeable and they can be accessorized so as to create different personal units in the shared cohabitation space.”

This NFC enabled sleep aid device keeps you away from late-night scrolling and improves sleep!

Sleep is personal. Each night, we curate the best conditions for optimal sleep. You might have a preferred meditation app, a favorite essential oil for your trusted aromatherapy diffuser, or the only sleep apnea breathing mask that won’t make you feel like you’re going into combat come morning. Whatever your ideal sleeping conditions call for, we all know how important it is to set the tone for a good night’s rest. Mark Stanisic recently debuted his design, Oblak in order to provide a sleeping bedside device that helps manage nightly routines and promote effective rest.

Oblak is essentially a smart speaker that walks users through their nightly sleep routines. Through the use of smart technology, Oblak introduces each individual user’s optimal bedtime environment ideal for effective rest. Many factors can contribute to sleep deprivation, but in today’s world, the overconsumption of media on our smartphones is perhaps the leading cause. In order to step away from smart technology doing the work for us, Stanisic takes a holistic approach instead, encouraging users through Oblak to make conscious decisions that benefit their sleep patterns. For instance, Oblak uses NFC technology to register when its user is ready for bed.

In order for Oblak to operate, the user simply places their smartphone on the induction charging zone, then through connectivity pairing, an accompanying app will ask if they’re ready for bed. Once ‘Yes’ is selected, NFC technology communicates with the bedroom’s additional smart technology such as lightbulbs and thermostats to transform the bedroom into the ideal environment for good sleep. Stanisic found that optimal sleeping conditions require a room’s average temperature to be set between 18-28℃, that the lighting should emanate warm, red wavelengths, and that ambient sound should provide a low-decibel and stable range of sound to cut through distracting outside noises.

All of these conditions work to provide the ideal environment for effective sleep and once a user tells Oblak that they’re ready for bed, the sleeping bedside device maintains the conditions throughout the night so users can sleep soundly. Lights fade from cool blue to warmer red hues, the thermostat adjusts to find the most suitable temperature, and ambient soundwaves permeate the user’s room, creating a sort of sound bath to get some rest.

Designer: Mark Stanisic

Once Oblak’s user is ready for bed, smart technology adjusts the bedroom’s lighting to provide the ideal environment for a good night’s sleep.

Today’s younger generation spends a lot of time looking at their laptop’s or smartphone’s digital screen, which negatively affects our relationship with sleep.

Oblak’s simple interface and textured surface invite users to power on the sleep aid device and securely place their belongings when ready for bed.

Oblak’s friendly appearance prioritizes the user’s peace of mind by utilizing inviting fabric and layers of translucent surfaces that echo the fogginess that follows a good night’s rest.

These ergonomic glasses were designed specifically for Black People’s wider nose profiles

It’s weird to think that a design as basic and universal as spectacles or sunglasses can have a racial bias. The truth, however, is that like almost every product you see, spectacles often are designed for the default human, which is, in most cases, a caucasian male or female. Spectacle brand Reframd is correcting that racial bias by designing spectacles specifically for the facial profiles of Black people. The eyewear takes into account the placement and shape of the nose in relation to the eyes – features that distinctly set all races apart.

Most black people have much wider noses, causing spectacles to either pinch the nose-bridges or sit at a slightly higher level, resulting in distorted vision. “At some point, I realized the problem wasn’t with me or my face, but with the product itself,” says Ackeem Ngwenya, product designer and founder of Reframd. “It became clear that the product was not made for people like me, and that I could do something to change that.” The company was founded a mere 5 years ago, although Ngwenya says it’s rooted in years’ worth of “personal frustrations” and an “unwillingness to just accept the world as it is”.

Reframd’s range of spectacles feature a wider nose-bridge, and smaller lens-rings spaced further apart. Reframd works by using a parametric algorithm that runs in a 3D program. Put simply, customers use the front-facing camera on their smartphones to capture their “face landmarks”, reports DesignWeek “Essentially, it’s a pair of glasses that adapt in response to different inputs such as head width, bridge height, pantoscopic tilt, temple length, and more,” says Ngwenya. “These parameters drive frame creation for a particular person and that frame is then sent to our production partner and made for the customer.” This allows each frame to be custom-made for its wearer, ensuring a more personally-suited pair of spectacles that prioritize comfort and break the racial bias around the notion that a product can simply be made to ‘universally’ serve everyone, including people that weren’t considered during its design process.

Designer: Reframd

This earring helps diabetics read their blood sugar levels without the pin-prick

Revolutionizing how Type 1 Diabetics monitor their blood glucose levels, the Sense Glucose Earring is an innovative non-invasive wearable that incorporates reads blood-sugar levels in the ear-lobe using safe, high-frequency radio waves.

The earring requires just a single lobe piercing (as opposed to the daily pin-prick tests that diabetes patients have to take) and sits on the ear at all times. When you need to read your blood-sugar levels, the earring uses sensors and algorithms to collect data, which is then sent to your smartphone. This massively reduces medical waste, while offering a pain-free solution for checking your sugar levels. At the same time, it turns a medical apparatus into a fashion wearable, removing the social stigma of having to carry clinical-looking blood glucose meters around with them. Instead, the Sense Glucose Earring is fashionable, safe, environment-friendly, and pain-free!

Designer: Tyra Kozlow