This sustainable material made from shell waste is cheaper & eco-friendly alternative to concrete!

Each year over 7 million tons of seashells are thrown away by the seafood industry into landfills. Shells are not biodegradable and have a very high disposal cost which harms the environment as well as the restaurant owners. So this innovative, women-run,  material lab called Newtab-22 created Sea Stone – a natural product made from seashell waste that was salvaged from the seafood and aquaculture industries. It is a sustainable alternative to using concrete – one of the biggest producers of carbon emissions – in the making of smaller products.

Sea Stone is made by grinding down shells that are destined for landfills before combining them with natural, non-toxic binders. This grants the material a terrazzo-like aesthetic. The aim is to make it a sustainable alternative to concrete in the design of small-scale products, as the two materials share similar properties. Seashells are rich in calcium carbonate aka limestone, which is used to make cement – a key ingredient of concrete.

The process involves grinding down the shells and mixing them with natural binders. They are then added to a mould and left to solidify into concrete-like tiles. This method is currently carried out manually to avoid the use of heat, electricity and chemical treatments and ensure the process is as sustainable and affordable as possible. It results in variations in the sizes, textures and colours of the shell fragments and means that each piece of Sea Stone is unique. You can get different textures by altering the number of shells, binders, or adding coloured dyes for aesthetics.

“Even though some of the seashells have been recycled and used as fertilisers, the majority of them are being thrown into landfills or by the seaside. The discarded seashells, which are uncleaned or rotten, have not been cleared away at all and they have been piling up near the beach for a long time, thus causing odour pollution and polluting the surrounding land in the long run. Sea Stone proposes the use of discarded seashells to create environmentally and economically sustainable material rather than contributing to the world’s rubbish problem,” explained Newtab-22.

Newtab-22 has experimented with an array of natural binders in the development of Sea Stone, including sugar and agar. It is now reliant on two undisclosed and patent-pending sources. The material is currently being developed for commercial purposes and has so far been used to make products such as decorative tiles, tabletops, plinths and vases.

While the properties of the concrete and Sea Stone are similar, to truly replicate the strength of traditional concrete required in large-scale projects like buildings, an energy-intensive heating process would be required. This would be comparable to the method used to make cement, which accounts for half of all the CO2 emissions that result from using concrete. “The power of the material is different, we do not want to harm the environment in the process or the outcome,” said Hyein Choi, co-founder of the studio.

Sea Stone is versatile, durable and a lightweight alternative to not only concrete but also plastic – it can be used to produce several objects while repurposing waste, reducing carbon emissions of the toxic counterpart materials and keeping the costs low. Time to find that girl who sells sea shells by the sea shore, eh?

Designer: Newtab-22

This Dyson Award-winning injection-accessory may look terrifying, but it helps reduce your pain response while taking a jab

Pinsoft James Dyson Award Winning Attachment for Needle Phobia

While its appearance could easily be mistaken for a fancy meat tenderizer, the James Dyson National Award-winning Pinsoft is an injection attachment that helps people deal with Trypanophobia or a fear of needles.

Its terrifying appearance aside, the Pinsoft sits ‘around’ an injection, and its multiple round-tipped prongs helps stimulate and ‘confuse’ your skin as the needle makes its way through. The gentle stimulation caused by the prongs distracts your brain, since it can’t immediately tell the difference between the prongs touching your skin and the needle piercing your skin. By the time you realize what’s happened, you’re done with your shot!

Pinsoft James Dyson Award Winning Attachment for Needle Phobia

Pinsoft stimulates the area near the puncture. A set of blunt round-tip prongs retract back into the Pinsoft as you push down on the skin to administer the injection. “As the needle is inserted, they put pressure on the proximal area and there is a feeling of relief from the prick”, say designers Sofia, Laura, and Juan, who secured the James Dyson National Award in Spain. Pinsoft now progresses to the international leg of the award program, with the results being announced on October 13th.

Designers: Sofía Aparicio Ródenas, Laura Martinavarro & Juan Carlos Espert

Pinsoft James Dyson Award Winning Attachment for Needle Phobia

Pinsoft James Dyson Award Winning Attachment for Needle Phobia

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This ergonomic washing machine design helps save our oceans by filtering out microplastics!

Martina Mancini’s Ocean washing system is as sustainable as it is ergonomic, with special filters that recycle out microplastics and hidden adaptive features for intuitive and accessible operation.

Each time we wash a load of laundry, microfibers detach from our favorite polyester and acrylic clothes and end up in wastewater. Contributing close to 35% of the microplastics found in our oceans, washing machines are due for a sustainability cleanup. Designer Martina Mancini was recently recognized by The James Dyson Award for her work in developing an ergonomic washing machine called Ocean that filters out microplastics and recirculates the water used between cycles.

With Ocean, Mancini set out to develop a washing machine that’s friendly to the environment and ergonomic for most users. The Ocean is designed like preexisting washing machines, equipped with a basket, drum, and display control panel, to ensure familiarity during use. Once the clothes are placed inside Ocean’s drum and basket, users can start their wash cycle by selecting one on the machine’s front display panel. From there, water flows into the drum from a centrifugal pump that’s connected to a purification filter to prepare the water for recirculation once the cycle is complete.

The post-cycle water purification process first passes through a stainless steel sieve grid and then a polyester filter sponge to remove larger microplastics. Following that, the water surges into a pipe that’s connected to the machine’s centrifugal pump, which propels the water against a hollow fiber membrane through a tangential filtration process. Once the filtration process makes its rounds, the water is purified by an Ozonator before recirculating for future use. Ensuring that Ocean is as ergonomic as it is sustainable, Mancini designed the washing machine so that users can remove the machine’s filters on their own before obtaining a new one from an offsite factory. There, company workers will remove and recycle the microplastics to give them a new life.

Given that the hardware required to construct Ocean would be bulky, Mancini knew the washing machine would reach a higher height than those already on the market. Working with a bigger machine allowed Mancini to incorporate more ergonomic features, including an adjustable table located beneath the drum, where users can prepare their laundry before and following washing cycles.

Designer: Martina Mancini

This rammed earth tiny home concept reinterprets farmhouses with a pitched green roof and photovoltaic panels!

The Rammed Earth House in Slovenia merges traditional rammed earth building techniques with modern solar energy production methods to reinterpret the early 20th-century farmhouse for today.

Rammed earth is a sustainable building method that has been around for millennia. Dating back to as early as the 9th–7th millennium BC, rammed earth has been trusted as a reliable building method and material for homes and structures on every continent except Antarctica. Bringing the method to Slovenia, three architects Merve nur Başer, Aslı Erdem, and Fatma Zeyneb Önsiper conceptualized their tiny home called Rammed Earth House to reinterpret early 20th-century farmhouses, holding onto a traditional pitched roof and introducing modern solar energy production methods.

In conceptualizing the Rammed Earth House, the team of architects set out to balance contemporary energy production practices with traditional building methods. Located in Dobrava, a settlement in Slovenia’s flatland region, the Rammed Earth House is inspired by the famed floating roof designed by Slovenian architect Oton Jugovec. Since rammed earth involves compacting a mixture of subsoil into an externally supported framework, the three architects behind Rammed Earth House conceptualized a concrete foundation and timber framework. It’s generally difficult to make changes to a rammed earth structure, but the home’s overhang roof allows cement to be added in the case that extra stability is needed. Rammed Earth House is sheltered with an overhang green roof that works to protect the building material from the threat of erosion as Dobrava experiences rainy, temperate, and snowy seasons.

Rammed Earth House’s sustainable build allows for passive insulation and heating methods to cool and warm up the home. 

Specifically oriented to take in the sun rays during winter months and block them out during hotter seasons, the Rammed Earth House takes cues from its surrounding environment and climate to ensure comfortable, passive heating and insulation throughout the year. Windows are also strategically placed around the house to allow cross-ventilation throughout the home and changing seasons. The green roof also holds an array of photovoltaic panels to power the home with harnessed solar energy and a rainwater collector for water recycling and an integrated septic tank system. Inside, each living area is appropriately situated to benefit from the passive heating and insulation methods. The house’s north facade, for example, features fewer windows than the west facade to decrease potential heat loss during colder months.

Designers: Merve nur Başer, Aslı Erdem, and Fatma Zeyneb Önsiper

The Bridge desk adds a roof garden right above your workspace for a touch of greenery in the office

Merging the outdoors with the indoors, the Bridge is a work-desk accessory that adds greenery to your workplace. Quite literally a breath of fresh air when it comes to furniture design, the accessory sits on top of any open desk design, occupying the ‘no man’s land’ in between opposing workstations, and comes with a channel on top that’s designed to house an entire row of indoor plants.

The Bridge builds on the increasingly popular idea of an open office and a collaborative workspace (as opposed to compartmentalized cabin spaces). It’s entirely made from plywood and can be flat-packed to a location and assembled on spot. It uses wooden joineries instead of metal/glue fixtures, and can be assembled and propped onto any open desk, uplifting your current workspace with a neat touch of greenery. The channels are big enough to hold potted plants and they give you the freedom to add plants of your own choice. Since the plants sit in their own planters (instead of directly in the wooden channel), they can easily be watered too without worrying about wood-rot or exposing the plywood to excess water/moisture. Just be slightly wary against dropping water on the expensive computers/equipment below!

Designer: Rowena Potter

The design comes from Rowena Potter, an artisanal designer and a final-year student at Central Saint Martins, London.

The entire design is made using only 1 sheet of plywood board utilizing the simple CNC machining process.

This wooden chess board inspired by ‘Queen’s Gambit’ features pieces modeled after the architecture of Bangkok!

Dubbed (Archi)TECT’S GAMBIT, the chess pieces from Carpenter boast a conceptual take on the high-rises and suspension bridges that make up the bulk of Bangkok’s cityscape.

‘Queen’s Gambit’ turned the world into chess players. Soon after bingeing the hit Netflix series, we were buying the coolest chessboard we could find and maybe a couple of guidebooks too. Whether you’re new to the original board game or you’ve been playing it as long as Beth Harmon, the game of chess has a beloved board design that’s been host to an endless array of stylistic variations throughout the game’s rich history. Carpenter Design, a carpentry company devoted to repurposing wood waste, went further than only learning how to play chess after finishing ‘Queen’s Gambit,’ designing and carving their own chess board modeled after the architecture of Bangkok, the company’s home city.

Dubbed (Archi)TECT’S GAMBIT, the chess pieces from Carpenter boast a conceptual take on the high-rises and suspension bridges that make up the bulk of Bangkok’s cityscape. Starting out as a chess player in secondary school, Carpenter designer Vrada Siripong felt inspired to take up the game once more after finishing ‘Queen’s Gambit.’ (Archi)TECT’S GAMBIT was created by Siripong and her fellow Carpenter co-designer, Sirincha Sathume who both played in the same chess club. Speaking on the board’s conception, Siripong notes, “It was fun and purely out of my personal fascination. As soon as I finished the series, my brain immediately started working on ideas for the project.”

When set against the backdrop of Bangkok’s skyline, players can recognize all of the city structures that inspired Siripong’s and Sathume chess boards and pieces. For example, the board’s King and Queen pieces resemble the form and general framework of high-rise buildings in Bangkok’s city proper, whereas the Rook mimics a simpler micro-model of both ends of a suspension bridge in Bangkok. The board’s black wood gives the game a mature, refined finish and stenciled embroidery adornments fill each square. The delicate stencil work was initially programmed using AutoCAD, a software familiar to most architects.

Designer: Carpenter

Intricate stencil work remains unpainted to give the board a natural and elegant black-and-gold feel.

Pull-out drawers fill out both ends of (Archi)TECT’S GAMBIT, where players can store their pieces after gameplay.

Brass handles offer a refined touch to the chessboard.

Each piece of (Archi)TECT’S GAMBIT was modeled after the form of significant buildings and structures through Bangkok.

The pull-out drawer dislodges from the chessboard to reveal storage space.

(Archi)TECT’S GAMBIT looks right at home in the modern living room.

With eco-insulation and solar power, this tiny home built from five shipping containers was designed for off-grid living!

Ahurewa is a 60m2 off-grid tiny home constructed from five shipping containers to provide natural eco-insulation and the potential for modular expansion. Situated in the mountains of New Zealand’s Mahakirau Forest Estate, Ahurewa is a sustainable tiny home equipped with twelve solar panels, a 4kw system inverter, two 25,000 liter water tanks, and a worm-composting septic system.

Shipping containers are steadily proving to be much more multifunctional than we’re used to giving them credit. Initially passed off as just a means for delivery, we’ve seen the shipping container become a backyard swimming pool and now, the YouTube series ‘Living Big in a Tiny House,’ documents an off-grid home in the Mahakirau Forest Estate built from five 20-foot shipping containers.

After moving in with her husband, Rosie sold her home in Auckland to buy some land in the mountains where she could begin construction on her off-grid tiny home. Of the 600 hectares that make up the Mahakirau Forest Estate, Rosie’s tiny home, dubbed Ahurewa to honor the surrounding woodlands, takes up only nine of them. Each home site is covenanted with the QEII National Trust, trusting landowners to be guardians of the surrounding environment and protect it.

Composed of five shipping containers, Rosie’s tiny home benefits from natural eco-insulation and an industrial build that’s long-lasting and durable. Four of the five shipping containers are dedicated to actual living space, while the fifth shipping container only keeps the home’s mudroom. The mudroom primarily functions as a transitional space between the outdoors and indoors. Inside, Rosie houses the batteries, inverter, and power board for the solar panels that line the roof, keeping the hum of the inverter an appropriate distance away from the bedroom.

Since Rosie’s tiny home is entirely off-grid, sustainable utilities and add-ons fill the exterior and interior of each shipping container. Twelve solar panels line one shipping container’s roof, which is powered by a 4-kilowatt system inverter. Outside, two 25,000 liter water tanks and a worm-composting septic system provide water and an accompanying purification system for continued use and safe drinking.

Designer: Rosie x Living Big in a Tiny House

Unfinished plywood panels line the one bedroom of the house, highlighting the panoramic view of the surrounding environment, as seen through the double-glazed, floor-to-ceiling windows. 

Ahurewa’s bathroom features concrete panels and stained wood accents to complement the home’s industrial look.

The tiny home wraps around an exterior deck to provide 360° views of the mountains and forests that surround it.

One side of the house receives sunlight during the afternoon and evenings, while the other receives morning sunlight, so both sun and shade are within walking distance.

This tiny cubic USB-C hub doubles as a laptop stand, effectively cooling and charging your MacBook Pro!

When we’re on a roll at work or on our own creative projects, we depend on our laptops to bring us to the finish line, or at least to lunch. That means the WiFi connection has to be consistent, the battery better last, and we gotta have the best seat in the coffee shop (next to the outlets). Jimlo Z Studio recently debuted their pocket-sized, eight-in-one USB-C Hub and MacBook Stand, HUB–OX, that gives us the power boost we need to meet our deadlines before lunch.

Designed to be portable and compact, HUB–OX initially comes as a lightweight, palm-sized USB-C hub, which splits into two halves, both equipped with plenty of charging slots, HDMI connections, and ethernet ports. HUB–OX is compatible with MacBook Pro models that have four USB-C ports, generally any MacBook Pro from 2016 or any of its succeeding generations. When HUB–OX is split in two, users can plug the USB-C chargers into all four of their MacBook Pro’s ports, lifting their laptops to an angle of 7.7° to keep them charged and at eye level for the rest of the day. Working at our laptops for long periods of time often makes us want to crane our necks and spines to meet our screens. The small hoist HUB–OX gives our MacBook Pros is just enough to keep our necks straight and spines against our chairs. In addition to helping our posture while working, the built-in laptop stand allows for better heat dissipation from our laptops’ heat sinks, keeping our laptops cool and their fans low.

Equipped with 100W of power and an HDMI port that can project 4K pictures at 30Hz, HUB–OX makes an ideal computer accessory for business projects and extended work periods. Then, when you feel like working at that cafe without any WiFi, HUB–OX has an RJ45 ethernet port with internet speeds ranging from 10 to 1,000Mbps. As soon as the workday is done and all that’s left to do is finish your cup of coffee, HUB–OX clicks back into its initial box form with magnetic snapping, so you can hit your lunch break.

Designer: Jimlo Z Studio

HUB—OX comes as a palm-sized laptop hub, equipped with USB-C, HDMI, and ethernet ports.

HUB—OX can also split into two halves that plug into MacBook Pro’s USB-C ports, giving your laptop a good boost.

The USB-C chargers built into HUB—OX plug into the MacBook Pro’s ports, providing a laptop stand as well as 100W worth of charge.

When used as a laptop stand, HUB—OX provides better heat dissipation for your laptop’s heat sink.

Multiple devices can be connected to HUB—OX at once.

Early sketches of HUB—OX.

Prototyping and multiple ideations led to HUB—OX’s final form.

HUB—OX was designed to fit in the palm of your hand to be as portable and compact as possible.

HUB—OX’s built-in HDMI port projects 4K pictures at 30Hz.

This backpack is designed for stylish millennials who want to add a pop of colour to office outfit!

It’s no secret that today’s younger generations look at work differently. Just because ‘adulting’ was once equated with a 9-5 office job, it doesn’t mean it still is or that we ever have to lose our own sense of style while working one. Today’s younger generations are geared towards more casual, remote working anyway, workplaces have implemented more transparent and inclusive business models, and employers are steadily recognizing the value in each of their employee’s unique personalities and perspectives. Named after the German word for “young,” the Jung Business Backpack designed by Nicole Nassif was created for the young (or old) professional who wants to show off their personal style inside and outside of the office.

Nassif set out to build a backpack that’s conventional in function, yet unconventional in appearance. The Jung Business Backpack takes care of all the practical needs as your standard business bag. Inside, a padded laptop sleeve protects your personal computer from any potential damage following a fall or drop. Then, an outer sleeve wraps over the backpack’s main zipper, offering an extra buffer against any potential damage and a place to tie any items or carabiners to the outside of your backpack. Nassif stitched accessory pockets to the exterior of the Jung Business Backpack, providing spaces for you to keep your smartphone, stationery, and car keys. Each leather pocket is also given a primary color, answering Nassif’s whimsical blueprint. Plastic bubbles were also sewn into Jung’s outer sleeve to provide an added layer of protection against the elements and theft, keeping your accessories safe inside their bubbles.

Maintaining the backpack’s traditional silhouette, Nassif gave the Jung Business Backpack a rectangular shape, rounding its corners to give it a less rigid form and echo its young personality. Combining playful colors with heavy-duty materials and an overall minimalist personality, Nassif built the Jung Business Backpack to remind us all that work doesn’t have to be so serious all the time.

Designer: Nicole Nassif

Nicole Nassif set out to design a backpack that’s conventional in function and unconventional in appearance.

Nassif’s final prototype envisions plastic bubbles to cover leather accessory pockets.

Named after the German word for “young,” Jung Backpack is whimsical in appearance but gets the job done in the office.

Accessory pockets line the outside of Jung, while a padded laptop pocket fills up a quarter of its interior space. The backpack’s outer sleeve wraps around Jung’s exterior with plastic buckles that leave room to tie any items or carabiners.

Nassif aimed to create a minimalist backpack, adding whimsical accents like primary color pockets.

This electric coffee pot comes with a removable inside to resolve your kettle deep-cleaning struggles

Unfortunately, bacteria love coffee too. The high temperatures that fill up coffee pots and the acidity of caffeine are grounds for bacteria to thrive. These invisible microorganisms are already swimming in the remnants of yesterday’s pot before we have our first cup in the morning. While we can’t see them, the thought of them is enough for our acid reflux to start up again. Developed by Juyeon Kim for Designer dot, Florecer is a coffee pot created for a line of hotel appliances that were designed to stay clean and bacteria-free.

Cleaning out the hard-to-reach chambers of traditional coffee pots is a losing game. Translated from Spanish, Florecer means ‘to bloom,’ which underlines the coffee pot’s two-part and easy-to-clean build. Striking a balance between a minimal and modular design, Florecer is a coffee pot separated into two parts, resembling the bloom of a flower at its lid. The larger canister contains Florecer’s interior water chamber, which can be extracted and washed out before and after coffee brews. Dividing the canisters into removable parts gives each of them a fuller body, streamlining the cleaning process and avoiding the prospect of bacterial accumulation. Similar to electric tea kettles, Florecer features an embedded heating coil beneath its outermost canister that heats the interior water chamber. Equipped with a stable grip and LED power status button, Florecer is easy to hold and intuitive by design. Topping the appliance off, a rubber lid keeps the heat transfer contained inside the coffee pot.

With more and more research coming out to prove the likelihood of bacterial growth inside coffee pots, coffee and cleanliness go hand in hand. While we’re on vacation, the thought of bacteria growing in coffee couldn’t feel further from our days spent sunbathing and swimming in the ocean. Juyeon Kim, in collaboration with the design studio Designer dot, created Florecer to maintain the hygienic standards we’ve come to expect from hotels and to keep our eyes on the beach.

Designer: Juyeon Kim x Designer dot

With an extractable interior chamber, Florecer can be cleaned from the inside out.

Possibly part of a larger collection of home products, Florecer takes on a modular and minimal design that could be applied to future hotel appliances.

Meaning ‘to bloom,’ in Spanish, Florecer’s two canisters appear as a single flower blooming from its top.

The rubber lid and interior chamber can both be removed for deep cleaning.

Inspired by the build of water filters and electric tea kettles, Florecer has familiar shape and clean design.

An LED power button indicates when a brew is complete.

An embedded heating coil is stationed beneath Florecer’s outermost chamber to transfer heat to the coffee canister.

When plugged in and turned on, heat fills Florecer up to finish the brew.

A rubber lid tops it all off to keep the heat contained inside the chambers.

Florecer breaks down into three parts: the coffee chamber, exterior canister, and a rubber lid.