There is something inherently ugly about multiple socket extension cords. Add to it clutter they create and the fact that there is never one to be found when needed… Not my favorite household item. But someone has been doing more than complaining. Netherlands-based designer Dave Hakkens has developed this brilliant item, called PlugBook. Made in the shape of a book which hides itself between your other books, the item is minimal and simple. PlugBook features 10 feet/3 meter cable, two standard sockets and two USB ports for charging iPhones, iPads, cameras and what have you. The cord automatically rewinds at the push of a button. Neat. Make a pledge on Dave’s Kickstarter page if you want to get yours.
I truly think that every shoebox dweller should know about this incredible project (and those who do might enjoy a revisit). Closet House by Marta Costa and Henrique Pinto, principal architects of Consexto, took blogosphere by storm two years ago after winning the prestigious ArchDaily “Building of the Year” award. This 44 square meter (~475 sqft) home was made not only livable, but luxuriously comfortable thanks to many technological advancements. Truly a home of the future, Closet House is marked by minimalist design, integrated features and sophisticated automation.
Here is how Marta Costa describes the role of the project in today’s changing housing market: “The Closet House mirrors the concept of the company in that this experimental project is intended to make people questions the models of standard housing. With the evolution of science, at various levels, and consequent social and technological changes occurring in the 1990s such as mobile phones and the internet, housing had to necessarily follow such growth and adapt to new demands of the everyday world.”
Enjoy the video tour of the Closet House above and check out the rest of the interview with Marta here.
When it comes to organizing your workspace, the smallest things can make you either happy or miserable. And we all know which emotion cables and USBs can be ascribed to. Luckily there are companies like Bluelounge, who turn dealing with cordage clutter into a mission. Their latest invention, called Sumo, is a little tool designed to be placed on a desk, tabletop or workstation to prevent cables from dropping off the edge. Not a very commonly addressed issue! Sumo acts like a paperweight for your cables and features high-tech Japanese micro-suction pads underneath for even further grip. There are two grooves for cables to be placed underneath Sumo. Run the cables along the grooves, place Sumo on the desktop surface, and voila. One less annoyance that can temper with your temper.
The war between our love for techno-toys and debilitating clutter is not going to end soon. But this clever power strip by Herald J. Ureña – Umaña might win you a few battles. The piece fits snugly into corners, freeing the remaining space for things more exciting than cordage. The beauty of the design is that the power cord can be maneuvered to face the direction of the outlet, no matter how you place the strip. I want 4 for every room.
Stoov is a cool futuristic concept for Electrolux designed by Methieu Baele. It is a cooking unit, which you can stick on to your cooking pots. Thanks to the electromagnet, it can be attached to any side of the dish. The cooking method Stoov provides is very simple – set the temperature on to the touch screen and the piece does the rest. The heating elements inside allow for an even heat distribution. The internal battery and small size make it possible to take your Stoov anywhere you want. The adapter is used to power up six of these devices at the same time. Brilliant! Watch the video below to see how it all works.
Modular kitchens comprised of interchangeable components are perfect for small spaces. They can be tailored to any room, moved around to accommodate different cooking needs… The Cun kitchen from Joko Domus does all of these things, while being an aesthetically pleasing object as well. All pieces are highly customizable. You can add storage options, accessories, choose between casters and fixed legs. Pieces can be hooked together or function as free-standing components. Side panels are available in a variety of woods, Corian or stainless steel.
This cool invention from Russian door manufacturer Mauer Buro allows you to change glass from opaque to translucent with the flick of a switch. The technology behind it consists of a liquid crystal polymer membrane (activated by remote control) and two outer layers of conventional glazing. As the result we get a surface that can be used as a window, partition or room divider. It lets in light when you need it and becomes an opaque shield when you want some privacy. Clever stuff!
San-Francisco based industrial designer Matt Day has made this quiet contribution to the war on cables – Stone hard drive. The piece features an external rubber molding, where the cord is stored when not in use. No more hustle with trying to locate the right cable, no more annoying knots of cordage under the desk, – just one streamlined and easy on the eye gadget. I really want to see this HDD produced.
We, urban dwellers, are jaded for a reason. Population density, compact living arrangement, steady 24/7 activity on the streets, – all these things create noise. Constant, unavoidable, ubiquitous noise, day in and day out. Wouldn’t it be nice to simply eliminate the unwanted sounds around you (especially that loathsome leafblower-loving neighbor on a Saturday morning)? This concept by Emil Blanco is an attempt to do so. Called Hush, the device cancels out sounds, creating a quiet and serene bubble around you. The product mainly lives on the nightstand or bedside table but can be located in any area of the apartment were silence is desired.
It is also envisioned as a charger for your phone, media player, and alarm. Perfect item for an urban home. Can’t wait to see it produced.
Remember Ahhaproject I featured some time ago? Guess what, they have been busy with creating more space-saving designs. And their latest concept for Elecrolux is truly ingenious – a rotating sink/washer combo. ‘The idea came about when we realized the potential of space conservation when our sink was full of dirty dishes! The system works in a way that the dishes are cleaned within the sink, using the mechanics of a dishwasher,’ – designers explain. The sink is divided in two parts – one acts as a sink and another acts as a dishwasher when it rotates under the counter. Perfect for a small apartment!