This handheld composting machine works just like a coffee-grinder, turning waste into nutrient-rich pulp!

No, this doesn’t mean your coffee-bean grinder can help you make compost!

The ReGreen is a nifty little handheld device that’s designed to speed up the composting process by entire weeks. Working almost like a handheld version of your waste-disposal machine, the ReGreen lets you manually crush and pulverize your waste into smaller bits that are much easier to biodegrade.

The grinder-shaped device is made entirely out of aluminum, allowing it to easily cut through waste while resisting rot/corrosion, and being easy to clean. Waste goes into the ReGreen through the opening on the top, and a rotating arm lets you gently and effectively pulverize the waste into manageable pieces, while water drips out of the base, drying out your compost. A sachet of enzymes are then introduced into the ReGreen before shutting the lid. The enzymes accelerate the composting process by giving the microorganisms the food they need to break down the organic waste into nutrient-rich dry-compost in a matter of weeks – as opposed to the months it usually takes for waste to turn into compost. Once a composting cycle is complete, the ReGreen can easily be rinsed under running water and cleaned with soap!

The ReGreen Tiny Compost Machine is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2020.

Designer: Shihcheng Chen

By using solar energy, these smartbenches give you charging ports and public WiFi throughout the year!

How many different ways can you say, “Do you have WiFi?” It’s my most-asked question when visiting new cities. In today’s world, having access to WiFi is essential if you plan on making the most of any trip abroad. But far too often have I thrown my money down the drain for a tiny cup of espresso just to use a cafe’s WiFi and charging port. Replacing this costly exchange with their interpretation of a city hub, the makers behind Kuube designed a smartbench for city centers, equipped with all the necessities that a modern-day traveler might need to comfortably move through any city. Moreover, given the fragile nature of our climate and our energy grid, these smartbenches could prove to be a highly valuable public utility during blackouts by providing free charging and WiFi to everyone.

Kuube comes in three different sizes, each of which offers the same services to varying degrees. The Kuube Nano, their mid-sized bench, is solar-powered and accommodates up to four people, complete with a WiFi hotspot, two USB chargers, two wireless Qi chargers, and a single display screen, which provides environmental information like weather, air quality, and UV index. For the makers behind Kuube, adapting their conceptual design process to help mitigate the current global climate crisis in micro mobile ways (i.e.; city bikes, electric scooters) was their top priority. On the choice to generate each smartbench with solar power, the designers behind Kuube say, “Living in the times of climate crisis we believe it is very important to achieve sustainability in as many ways as possible…Our goal is to achieve sustainable smart cities [through] micro-mobility.”

By collecting solar energy for Kuube’s operation, each smartbench is able to provide modern necessities like WiFi and charging ports for the traveler new to the city or resident in need of a ride home. In addition to its solar-powered operation, Kuube smartbenches are entirely constructed out of ethically sourced materials, like its easy-to-clean, recyclable aluminum body, tempered safety glass, and ash wood accents. The Kuube’s larger bench, called Plus, functions even more like a city meeting place, accommodating up to eight people. While their smallest bench, the Kuube Eco accommodates three people and could operate more like a portable WiFi-ready traveling companion.

Designer: Kuube

This sustainable packaging design is made from discarded pineapple leaves that grow into a new plant!

Single-use plastic is one of the biggest contributors to ocean pollution – it makes up for more than 50% of the plastic waste problem. I am constantly looking for innovative packaging designs that can inspire the design community to continue building on sustainable solutions and I am adding Sprout to that list! It is an environmentally-friendly packaging that aims to contribute to the growth of local plants. I also love that the design is interactive – you can learn about the seeds and plant them instead of discarding the packaging!

Sprout’s plantable feature ensures that its life does not end right after consumption; its purpose continuously changes before, during, and after use – it’s where circular economy meets sustainable design. Each seed was selected after intense research to pick those that are non-invasive and would be seamlessly embedded in the Pinyapel material. Pinyapel is a specialty paper made of discarded pineapple leaves and was the result of an initiative led by the Design Center of the Philippines to give local communities and resources a boost. Mangulabnan ensures proper composting and planting is possible by using organic soy ink for the printing as well as an edible starch wrapper to further protect the food item inside the package.

This also addressed the issue of agricultural waste accumulating in the country, especially since the Philippines is one of the largest producers of pineapple fruit in the world. Sprout’s design will help eliminate unnecessary waste and encourage locals to actively contribute to the preservation of the diverse Philippine flora. Through the use of design, consumers can interact better with the product, giving them a sense of fulfillment and responsibility, as well as reinforce a positive behavioral change to further avoid littering and other harmful habits that

Designer: Pat Mangulabnan

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest plastic polluter, is testing out the viability of paper bottles

It seems like the title of the world’s largest plastic polluter (for 4 years in a row) is finally beginning to get on the nerves of the executives at Coca-Cola. After making a statement only last year that they don’t intend on breaking free from plastic, the company’s slowly begun re-evaluating its supply chain and choice of materials.

Thanks to a partnership with Danish company Paboco (Paper Bottle Company), Coca-Cola has now unveiled its first ‘paper bottle’. Available for a limited online trial in Hungary, Coca-Cola is planning a run of 2,000 bottles of the plant-based beverage AdeZ. It’s barely anything to begin with, but it is a start… and it gives Paboco, the company behind the bottle’s design, a much-needed boost.

Paboco’s paper bottle comes with an inner bio-polymer lining to provide a waterproof barrier (so that the paper doesn’t get soggy). The outer layer is made from a Nordic wood-pulp-based paper, and provides the perfect substrate for printing on, eliminating the need for a label. The bottle itself can be molded quite like plastic bottles are, paving the way for the use of forms, textures, and patterns to help the product stand-out… and the necks of the bottle can be threaded too, allowing for the use of a paper cap (with the option of the crimped metal caps too). While the bottle is biodegradable, Coca-Cola hopes to develop a design and supply chain that allows bottles to be recycled just like paper. “Our vision is to create a paper bottle that can be recycled like any other type of paper, and this prototype is the first step on the way to achieving this,” said Stijn Franssen, EMEA R&D Packaging Innovation Manager at Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola’s limited run should be met with a bit of skepticism (after all, 2000 bottles isn’t enough, is it?) but the challenges faced by the company are understandable. Bottles can easily get crushed or damaged when transported in large volumes, a complication that exponentially increases with CO2-filled pressurized beverage containers. AdeZ, however, seems to be the perfect candidate for this trial run, given that it’s a thick, dairy-free smoothie that contains seeds, fruit juices, and vitamins. If successful, Coca-Cola may look to gradually expand on this approach, helping it achieve the company’s “World Without Waste” sustainable packaging goal of substantially reducing its waste footprint and developing solutions for easily recycling its bottles and cans, and shifting to using only 100% recyclable packaging materials by the year 2030.

Designers: Paboco & Coca-Cola

Images via Coca Cola and Paboco

IKEA lengthens furniture life by providing ‘How To Disassemble’ instructions to attain their sustainability goals!

Everyone is moving these days. Some are moving abroad to live out their dreams of backpacking across Spain, chucking all of their apartment furniture out in the meantime. Or, some are holding yard sales and moving just down the street into the house they’ve had their eyes on for years. Whatever the case may be, people are moving and furniture is hitting the curb. In order to build on their commitment to sustainability, iconic furniture brand IKEA announced that by 2030, they plan to include Disassembly Instructions with each one of their products as means of encouraging buyers to repurpose their IKEA purchases instead of tossing them to the street.

As part of its latest push for sustainability, a reversed instruction manual will be included with each product purchased from IKEA. This push works to help spread the practice of “circular consumption,” which reinforces IKEA’s building practice’s value of quality over quantity, using fewer materials, components, and energy in the manufacturing of products, big or small. Right now, you can find Disassembly Instructions for some of IKEA’s more popular products: BILLY, MALM, POÄNG, BRIMNES, PAX, and LYCKSELE online in PDF format. Speaking to the imminent inclusion of Disassembly Instruction manuals for each of their products, IKEA points out,

“Extending the life of your furniture with our Disassembly Instructions is one of the ways we’re building on our commitment to sustainability. No matter whether you’re moving home, giving your furniture away, or selling it. Taking it apart correctly reduces the risk of damage, and reduces its impact on the environment. Fortune favors the frugal.”

While the plan to equip each piece of furniture with Disassembly Instructions has been recently announced, IKEA has been committed to sustainability for a long time. Through frugal design practices, IKEA manufactures furniture that can stand the test of time. One such practice is IKEA’s line of modular furniture that grows with its users. For example, IKEA’s line of extendable beds uses steel telescopic tubing to allow each bed frame to lengthen and adapt to a child’s growing height. IKEA also developed the fabric coverings for their collection of sofas so that they can handle over 25,000 wash cycles, and with additional coverings made available online, customers can get a new slipcover at any time for a refreshed look. In addition to modular furniture and durable fabrics, IKEA urges customers to give their furniture a second life through their buy-back and resell service. With so many options, it’s fun to be frugal.

Designer: IKEA

Now that you’ve built your desk, IKEA provides disassembly instructions in preparation for your next move or yard sale.

The disassembly instructions are as easy to follow as their assembly counterpart, offering a step-by-step approach to disassembly.

Some of IKEA’s more popular designs such as LYCKSELE already have disassembly instructions available online.

Following a numbered and visual guide, users will easily be able to deconstruct their IKEA furniture.

In order to promote sustainability through every building stage, IKEA uses minimal hardware and materials when designing their furniture, making it simple for buyers to assemble and ultimately disassemble.

In addition to deconstruction instruction manuals, IKEA leads a Buy-Back & Resell program for customers who choose to sell back their used furniture for store credit.

These solar-powered sleeping pods were designed to provide homeless people shelter in winter!

There are an estimated 860,000 homeless people in Germany and it is a well-known fact that the winter there is brutal! No one should be suffering out in the cold and to help the circumstances, a German-based team of designers and developers called Ulmer Nest have created sleeping pods that are windproof + waterproof. These pods are to be installed across the German city of Ulm to provide the homeless with emergency shelter at night. What started as a local project is now getting attention from all over the world so that it can be scaled and replicated.

The sleeping pods are called Ulmer Nest and provide a safe, warm place to sleep in winter. The interdisciplinary design team did intensive research to get accurate insight and sentiment analysis about the audience who will be using the pod. They found that many people can’t stay in dedicated homeless shelters for various reasons like them not wanting to be separated from their dog or the fear of crime and violence. Keeping this in mind they worked on the first two Ulmer Nest prototypes.

These capsules are crafted from timber and steel which are resilient and protect against harsh weather. Ulmer Nest pods are fitted with solar panels and a set of sensors that monitor temperature, humidity, smoke, and carbon dioxide levels. It also has a heat exchanger to supply fresh air and maintain circulation. Motion sensors also replace the need for cameras while protecting privacy but also making sure that social workers can be alerted in case the situation demands it because overnight stays are not allowed. Two people can sleep in the pod at a time and take cover from rain, frost, and humidity. It is also connected to a radio network so the person using the pod can get in touch with the team managing it if needed. Ulmer volunteers clean the pod each day to make sure hygiene is maintained and also why powder-coated metal was used in the design to make it easy-to-clean. These pods take safety seriously and are protected against fire, it includes an electronic verification system that enables the person to lock it from inside.

Ulm saw its very first sleeping pods in the winter of 2020. Given how that year changed things, the design has been upgraded and testing continues to make sure it is efficient and reliable. Ulmer Nest is the last resort option for those who cannot find shelter anywhere else.

Designers: Patrick Kaczmarek, Florian Geiselhart, Falko Pross, Manuel Schall, Dirk Bayer, and Kathrin Uhlig.

This indoor micro-algae farm mounts to any wall to grow the superfood right at home!

Coral and algae have a symbiotic relationship, one that biomimicry design can depend on as a model. Coral reefs provide algae with a safe environment to grow along with the compounds needed for photosynthesis, while the algae produce oxygen and supply coral reefs with the nutrients needed to keep their ecosystems colorful and healthy. The algae convert carbon dioxide into nutrient-rich biomass, allowing coral reefs to still thrive even in nutrient-poor waters. Following this cycle and applying it to human life, the health benefits of consuming algae cannot be overstated. In order to incorporate algae, a nutrient-rich superfood, into our homes and daily health rituals, Hyunseok An’s design team Ulrim designed The Coral, an indoor micro-algae farm that looks as good as it is for you.

Using algae to convert carbon dioxide into energy, The Coral implements the use of a bioreactor to support its micro-biological farm. The bioreactor provides a controlled environment for the algae to enact photosynthesis and produce the nutrients that are then contained within the wall-mounted cell blocks for future consumption. Each cell block is like a microcosm of stagnant ponds covered with a healthy coating of algae, the only difference being that The Coral is a controlled environment. This controlled environment allows each cell block to successfully perform the symbiotic relationship that occurs in nature as we witness take place in coral reefs. Each of The Coral’s 16 cell blocks contains two-grams of algae that darken as the algae grow. Once a cell block reaches its darkest blue-green, typically over the span of two weeks, it can be consumed and taken in as a daily health supplement, as the cycle is then replenished and continued.

The Coral’s gradient look is biomimicry at its best as it’s the result of a living micro-algae farm moving through the natural process of photosynthesis. Algae is quickly gaining traction for the nutrient-packed superfood that it is and in designing The Coral, Ulrim hoped to bridge the health benefits gained from algae with our daily habits and lived-in spaces. By creating a means for harvesting algae in any home, The Coral provides a sustainable means for attaining enduring overall health.

Designer: Ulrim

This modular vertical planter comes with automatic irrigation for millennial-friendly gardening!

Many of us urban dwellers don’t have the time and space to enjoy indoor plants. CitySens is a vertical garden that is specially tailored for such a restricted space home, which helps its inhabitants enjoy greenery indoors without any hassle. The design is an easy to assemble contraption, comprising a base, pot modules, and a handful of frame pieces that can be assembled in a range of options to configure a vertical garden with shelves to any individual/family need or available space.

There is an underlining requirement of space-saving gardening equipment that people with not just space but time crunch need at home without worrying about their plants’ health. This need is met here because the planter itself can take care of the greens’ nutritional needs. Of course, there are many types of indoor growing solutions with automatic irrigation tech on the market, but since the CitySens combines vertical planters, plant shelves, and self irrigation systems in one, it is a concept worth its weight in green. Very unique in terms of versatility and performance, CitySens brings nature into our city homes (sans gardens) and adapts to the needs of everyday changing lifestyle.

CitySens comes with a range of plants designed to grow in its hydroponics system (which grows plants without soil). These plants are specifically designed to meet the individual tastes and available light conditions. The plants in the CitySens thrive on a closed, circulating irrigation system that reportedly saves up to 50-percent water and mineral salts compared to traditional irrigation systems. Interestingly, this planting system does a nifty little bit more – it can sync with a smartphone for regular updates of plant health and cares for the growing plants in your absence for over a month. Yes, that’s the level of independence the CitySens can offer. If you want a gardening system capable of maximizing the greenery and improving the air quality at home, CitySens can make for a good viable option.

Designer: Lúcid Design Agency

This prefabricated intelligent tiny home is a reinforced concrete + weatherproof design, making it nearly indestructible!

The Danish word Hygge refers to a quality of coziness and comfort that comes from embracing life’s quieter pleasures either with oneself or loved ones. Hygge, typically used to regard architecture and interior design, might be so popular because it gently pulls us away from the smartphone if only for an evening to remind us of what’s truly important. Building on their own interpretation of cozy, Grandio, an architecture firm based in Córdoba, Argentina, recently launched a prefabricated concrete home called Hüga inspired by hygge living.

Hüga was conceptualized, designed, and built over a span of 24 months, during which Grandio’s team of designers were able to produce a 45 m2 residence with space for a bedroom, living room, bathroom, kitchen, and dining area. In order to ensure that Hüga could be transported anywhere and installed on-site, the team at Grandio developed a system of lightweight polymer molds to build the home’s “structural shell” so that it can ultimately be reinforced with concrete and maintain its form. Weighing about 55-Tn, Hüga requires a team and machinery for transportation but can be placed according to the prospective resident’s preference.

Inside the house, Grandio outfitted the interiors with materials and means for energy that provides, “the greatest comfort, habitability, and the lowest energy consumption.” Residents of Hüga only have to connect electricity, water power, and sewer systems, but speaking to the means for power, the team at Grandio was certain to pre-certify the home to meet Leeds standards and promote sustainable building tools and materials, as well as energy practices and performance. Residents are free to decorate the inside of Hüga however they choose and rest assured that their new home embraces both smart performance and green energy for convenient, supportive living. The final result is a home that is both bulletproof and weatherproof, with its minimal exteriors hiding a spacious and well-lit interior space.

Hygge has resonated with many of us in the past few years for the reason that it encourages us to veer away from our “plugged-in” norm. Most of us are constantly interacting with so much work-related stuff we forget that there’s a world beyond the calendar. In constructing Hüga, Grandio aimed to shift the public’s gaze from grandiose and ostentatious design as a means to demonstrate wealth to a more modest lifestyle that prioritizes the naturally attainable pleasures of quiet living.

Designer: Grandio

The Top 10 product designs trending on our Instagram page that promise to inspire you!

Innovative, unique and quirky product designs make a daily appearance on the Yanko Design Instagram handle (@yankodesign)! They’re the result of our hours of research, painstaking curation, and thorough selection. Sometimes these designs are an instant hit, admired and drooled over by many, while occasionally they tank. It’s always painful when a design we love isn’t loved by the people. But when it is, it makes all our efforts completely worthwhile! So, we’ve curated the best of our IG posts for you! These top ten posts are designs that you saw, admired, and loved, and for those who missed out on them, you can have your share of them now. Enjoy!

 This 1961 Volkswagen Beetle deluxe converted into a roadster with a matte black treatment is the work of Danni Koldal, who’s virtually facelifted the vintage four-wheeler into a hotrod that’s not overdone, still maintains its masculine appeal. The front windshield has been trimmed down to the bare minimum, giving the ride a mean attitude that matches its personality. The black is contrasted by the silver-white trims on the doors, hood, and alloy wheels. Those fat wheels also go with the upper body of the Volkswagen that Danni has managed to turn into hot property – we want to own it right away. The VW beetle has been featured in many films from The Shining to James Bond’s Quantum of Solace, even having its own film series; Herbie, its a testament to the beauty of this iconic car that even today, a modification like this makes us fall in love with it all over again! Interiors carry forward the sleek appeal which shouts out loud for a midnight drive on the freeway.

The Rocco multifunctional outdoor furniture by Moróro is a barbecue, a sofa, a champagne bar, and more! 2020 has been about creating intimate moments at home, and nothing says intimate like a cozy evening in your backyard! To take things up a notch, we have Rocco which is an all-rounder piece of outdoor furniture. Its clever design transforms it from a fun barbecue into a sofa or champagne bar and even a smores pit – I think it’s safe to say Rocco is an essential this year! You can add a fire bowl to the base or choose from various other accessories like a grill, tabletop, ice bucket, and parasol base. Customize Rocco to fit what you define as a chill evening. The minimal aesthetic, elegant curves and versatility really put this piece on top of our wish lists – forget dreaming about a white Christmas, I’m dreaming about chilling by my personal barbeque/fireplace/champagne bar while playing Fleetwood Mac!

A portable smart fireplace is what we need for this unprecedented holiday season! My Warmth by Simon Pavy is a conceptual fireplace that was created to make having a fireplace accessible despite how your interior is laid out. The smart portable appliance also gives you the same cozy vibes while reducing work that comes with a traditional fireplace. My Warmth is the size of a humidifier or an air purifier so it doesn’t take a lot of space in your living room. There is a dial to control the temperature so you can pick the right degree for toasty toes or crank it up for smores! The all brushed aluminum gives it a sleek aesthetic that reminds me of glass domes that cover baked goods – as one should have by the fireplace. My Warmth lets you enjoy the quintessential holiday vibes with your own portable fireplace. I can already hear Nat King Cole start on those chestnuts!

Nike and footwear design technology go hand-in-hand, they’ve proven it in the past and now there’s yet another example of their prowess. These are the Go FlyEase hand-free shoes that bring the convenience of wearing and taking off your pair without even bending over or touching them ever. People who already do this with a pair of shoes with laces (when they are too tired or lazy) to take them off the conventional style (by untying the laces) will have their eyes set on the Nike Go FlyEase. The motion of using one foot to pull down on the heel of the other and vice versa when you have the crocs or loose sneakers is what most of us do. But doing the same to a pair of shoes can deform them over time – so Nike came up with a solution that lets you do kickstand heel motion to open them up in a jiffy without any damage to the shoe material. The invention’s core is a bi-stable hinge (the red element at the base of the shoe) and the midsole tensioner (that belt that wraps around) that gives the pair structural strength to be used as athletic footwear.

Created as an unofficial piece of merchandise for the breakout success online multiplayer game, Among Us, this digital clock and night-lamp may just be the cutest potential stocking-stuffer of this season! Designed by Kim Min Soo, the Among Us Lamp + Clock wonderfully transforms the adorable astronaut character from the game into a functional desktop clock, with the visor displaying the time of the day. Lift the torso of the character and it reveals a night-lamp underneath, disguised as the astronaut’s corpse with the signature bone protruding out of the waist! While the product itself is an instant favorite, its choice of functionality is pretty well-planned too! The digital clock on the visor helps you keep track of the time while you do your ‘tasks’ (office work), and the night-lamp underneath is a wonderful way to illuminate your immediate surroundings when someone sabotages your house’s electrical systems.

Designed by Nendo for Hashikura Matsukan, the Rassen (spiral) chopsticks are a pair of chopsticks that come together as a convenient single unit. They look like a solemn long wooden stick, but they can be separated, resulting in a pair of chopsticks that can be used for eating. They pack fun and functionality together, bringing them together and apart is like playing with a jigsaw puzzle! The artfully designed chopsticks are a beautiful example of quintessential Japanese design philosophy.

Burfeind designed Sneature which is a sustainable sneaker alternative for the eco-conscious sneakerheads. The shoe is crafted from many waste materials. The yarn made of dog hair (Chiengora) which is a biological waste being upcycled – this is innovation. Sneature is biodegradable as well! The design does take into account the functional requirements of a trainer and individual customization by the user. The process uses a 3D knitting technology that allows for customization and on-demand production while using the lowest possible energy consumption method. The membrane is a protein-based 3D knit made from dog hair. It transports the functional properties of flexibility, stiffness, and air circulation with a very second-skin feel, similar to the sock sneaker style we’ve been seeing. These materials have natural properties that provide water absorption and release and anti-static properties.

The design creatively transforms a mundane projector into a character loved by people of all ages from all over the world. The projector’s lens is perfect for Stuart’s monocle and the geometric cylinder combines the characteristic elements of IP with the core functions of the product. The upper and lower ends are sprayed with plastic material and metal aluminum mesh. The black silicone headwear is matched with the plastic metal paint effect of the optical machine lens. Yellow brings the bright pop needed to projects in true minion fashion complete with a yellow dust-proof that is added between the hardware aluminum net and the shell. The smart projector is a compact and cute upgrade from the otherwise dull black box! The projector’s single camera, TOF feature face recognition, and an automatic focusing motor keep the picture clear at all times. Relying on the current hardware solutions for autofocus, the smart eye protection function has been added.

Do you ever just…want to fold your furniture to make it fit in place? If you’ve ever lived in a dorm or a city apartment, you know that it is a treasure hunt to find that perfect desk that will fit in your corner and not hog space. This desk by Studio Michael Hilgers brings to life something we’ve all said too often – “I wish I could just fold it from here and here and then it would fit!” It optimizes corner space and while the desk doesn’t actually fold (it is not as flexible as it looks), the carefully crafted corner folds double up as small, elevated, built-in shelves! Love imagining how it would be if the furniture, lights, bottles, and more could be folded? Check out our stories today for the best origami-inspired product designs!

The Tesla Model B concept by Kendall Toerner brings Tesla’s advanced approach to the category of bicycles. The Model B forms a bridge between conventional bicycles and road-vehicles, with a design that, like cars, is designed to be safer, more efficient, and less energy-intensive. The Model B’s sleek frame comes with forward, side-facing, and rear proximity and LiDAR sensors that scan the surroundings to create a protective bubble around the rider, alerting them of any obstacle. Each wheel comes with its own dedicated motor, forming the Model B’s dual-drive system. Spokes on the wheels are replaced by shock-absorbers, helping keep your ride smooth. The frame of the e-bike also integrates foldout footrests and handlebars. The handlebars don’t independently rotate, but rather detect force, allowing you to turn by simply applying more force on a particular side.