‘Everything is makeable, anytime, anywhere, by anyone,’ – this is the statement Droog made while launching their downloadable design initiative during the Salone del Mobile in Milan, 2011. The project allows people to design furniture by using an online interface. After finishing your unique item – you can download your design and a digital plan to produce it. Then you can either make it yourself or employ a recommended manufacturer.
This approach will have an enormous impact on the dynamic between the design industry and the consumer. “Taking design to the digital realm opens many possibilities. Not only does it have consequence on transport and storage efficiencies, it also calls for new design approaches, innovative digital design tools and online shopping experiences, and innovative business models for all actors along the distribution chain,” says co-founder and director of Droog, Renny Ramakers. And for us, tiny apartment dwellers, it will mean the unlimited power to create and customize objects for our limited spaces.
Appliance giant Electrolux combined brainpower with the Domus Academy in Milan in the effort to rethink kitchen experiences. Master students of the Academy were commissioned to come up with innovative designs that “consider sustainability and culture based on existing technology.” The project is called ReSource and includes nine concepts. “To re-source is to re-generate, re-energize, re-mix and re-lax,” says Bruno Lizotte, Design Manager at Electrolux, “and the appropriate space for this multi-tasking is, more than ever before, the home and its vibrant centre – the kitchen.” Check the video below to see these ideas in motion!
Computer and refrigerator are the two most important enablers in our homes. But wouldn’t it be even more convenient and civilizing to combine them in one awesome item? This is the idea behind the iCool project, developed by Belarusian designer Alexey Dmitriev. He proposed to replace magnets, notes and other typical fridge clutter with the functional touchscreen display. The screen comes in different sizes (even door-length) and incorporates Apple or Android widgets. And from this point possibilities become unlimited: weather, music, news, shopping lists, photos, social media updates… anything you can think of! Another suggested cool feature is the face recognition program, that unlocks your widgets as you approach the fridge door. So, you can customize your refrigerator and make it truly personal.
Flexible Joinery is a clever creation from israeli design lab Dag. The idea is to provide a temporary and adaptable joining function, which can serve many purposes around your house. Made out of a silicone casting over an inner metal skeleton, these joining elements are flexible and strong at the same time. The technology dates back to the 1950′s, with Bruno Munari’s ‘Zizi the monkey’. According to Desingboom, the pink color of the elements is meant to give visual contrast against wooden shelves.
Acoustable is a coffee table/sound system, created by two Belgian designers Jérôme Spriet and Wolfgang Bregentzer. The table consists of a base and a top with an advanced acoustic system resting in between. Here is how the designers describe the concept: ‘The project Acoustable is born out of a reflection on music and ways of listening to it. As the digital revolution has made music more widely available, mobile and compact, so a good quality dock is essential. The idea of an object which combines good acoustics with user-friendly ergonomics arises from these considerations. The coffee table at the center of the room becomes the sound system and the power terminal. There are no visible technical elements, only the player and a remote which can both be stored in a built in pocket.’ So there you have it – the table with one more good reason to gather around.
This is the second decade of the 21st century, and even though flying cars are sill in the wish-list, some cool things are already out. This lamp for example. What can be more futuristic than drawing out light with your hands? Having been shown at Imm Cologne last week, Rima desk lamp by Dreipuls became a huge hit. Its innovative mechanism contains a series of LED lights, that are controlled by sliding rings along the metal rail. The rings are detected by the optical sensors, and the light emerges. The item had won the prestigious red dot award in 2010.
And now for something completely different. A wooden stool made out of a series of triangles, generated by a computer algorithm. This innovative piece, created by Riccardo Bovo, only exists in a form of a prototype. But with its enormous geek appeal, it will most likely go far. Each One Hundred Triangles stool is unique; it uses a random set of triangle pieces, that are laser-cut from wood and joined together with cable ties. The result provides for a lightweight, flexible and fun sitting.
Observe the following: two living room hits, fireplace and TV, come together in one clever design. Envisioned by the Dutch designer Jan Des Bouvrie and produced by Safretti, this piece brings you the best of both worlds. An eco-friendly ethanol fireplace and an LCD TV screen are incorporated into a slick, modern object. This model, logically called Double Vision, comes in two finishes – basic black and even more basic brushed stainless steel.