Design news from INHABITAT, Dornob, Core77, OMG Posters!, The Etsy Blog, WebUrbanist, DeMilked, Dezeen

Creamy whites and crushed gravel decorate Los Angeles' Noto Botanics store

18 Jan 2020, 3:00 pm | Dezeen

Noto Botanics Store by Venn StudioNoto Botanics Store by Venn StudioNoto Botanics Store by Venn StudioNoto Botanics Store by Venn Studio

Architects Tyler Thomas and Gabbi Sun of Venn Studio have paired "masculine-feminine, hard-soft" details inside this cosmetics store for a unisex beauty brand in Los Angeles. Read more

Blocky Minecraft-themed apartment building in Seoul clad with pixel-like tiles

18 Jan 2020, 12:00 pm | Dezeen

Cascade house by Aoa ArchitectsCascade house by Aoa ArchitectsCascade house by Aoa ArchitectsCascade house by Aoa Architects

Aoa Architects has clad the stepped gables of a playful apartment block in South Korea with glossy red and white tiles in a reference to the video game Minecraft. Read more

Eight bold bathrooms that make use of more than just white tiles

18 Jan 2020, 10:00 am | Dezeen

Bold bathrooms: The Siren Hotel by ASH NYCBold bathrooms: The Siren Hotel by ASH NYCBold bathrooms: The Siren Hotel by ASH NYCBold bathrooms: The Siren Hotel by ASH NYC

Bathrooms can easily be dismissed as the dullest room of the house, but there's plenty of opportunity to play around with material and colour. Interiors reporter Natasha Levy has selected eight striking bathing spaces to learn from. Read more

This week, the Don't Move, Improve! 2020 shortlist was announced

18 Jan 2020, 8:00 am | Dezeen

This week on Dezeen, London's best new home extensions and renovations were revealed in the shortlist for this year's Don't Move, Improve! competition. Read more

Tool manufacturer Fiskars releases debut streetwear collection

18 Jan 2020, 6:00 am | Dezeen

Tool manufacturer Fiskars releases debut streetwear collectionTool manufacturer Fiskars releases debut streetwear collectionTool manufacturer Fiskars releases debut streetwear collectionTool manufacturer Fiskars releases debut streetwear collection

Finnish heritage tool manufacturer Fiskars is making its first foray into fashion with a collection of "modern garden-wear staples". Read more

Lateral Office lights up New York City Garment District with "immersive urban instrument"

17 Jan 2020, 10:00 pm | Dezeen

Impulse by Lateral OfficeImpulse by Lateral OfficeImpulse by Lateral OfficeImpulse by Lateral Office

Canadian studio Lateral Office has installed 12 oversized seesaws that light up and make sounds on the streets of New York City's Garment District. Read more

Ramboll helps Lombok locals build earthquake-resistant bamboo housing

17 Jan 2020, 7:30 pm | INHABITAT

In 2018 when Lombok was struck by several earthquakes, some measuring up to magnitude 7, local communities around the seismic region were greatly affected. After the series of earthquakes settled, there were over 500 people dead, 445,000 people homeless and 129,000 homes damaged. [...]

Unique Home Finds for Every Astrological Sign

17 Jan 2020, 7:00 pm | Etsy Journal handmade and vintage goods

Photo by Mrs Biscuit Art

Whether it’s a vintage stoneware pot that speaks to your Southwestern style or a quirky glass knick-knack that shows off your playful side, when you find that oh-so-perfect accent piece, it can feel like the home decor stars aligned just for you. If you’ve been searching for a new special-something to brighten up your coffee table or bathroom shelf, allow us to make it easy on you: We’ve rounded up twelve personality-packed pieces handpicked to appeal to each zodiac sign. Read on to discover which of these out-of-this-world objects is fated to complete your decor scheme.

Aquarius (Jan 21–Feb 19)

An agate-slice wall hanging from Mod North and Co
SHOP: Custom agate wall hanging from Mod North and Co, $85

Taking a cue from the recent crystals craze, on-trend Aquarius will feel extra-chic displaying a vibrant agate-slice wall hanging in a custom colorway.

Pisces (Feb 20–Mar 20)

Tropical mermaid figures from Barruntando Ceramics
SHOP: Tropical mermaid figures from Barruntando Ceramics, from $52 each

A genial pair of little ceramic mer-people—festively dressed for an under-the-sea soirée—is just the type of whimsical trinket that imaginative Pisces would enjoy perching on a shelf.

Aries (Mar 21–Apr 20)

A miniature brass globe model kit from Another Studio.
SHOP: Miniature brass globe model kit from Another Studio, $14

With an inventive DIY model kit and just a pinch of their trademark creative energy, intrepid Aries can build a palm-sized reminder of their many global adventures.

Taurus (April 21–May 21)

A vintage mechanical alarm clock from NarMag
SHOP: Vintage mechanical alarm clock from NarMag, $68

For traditional Taurus, a vintage mechanical clock of impeccable design (with a reliable, wind-up alarm function) makes a timeless bedside accessory.

Gemini (May 22–June 21)

A brightly patterned fabric vase from Cherry and Mint
SHOP: Brightly patterned fabric vases from Cherry and Mint, $19

Always up for a bit of fun, lively Gemini will love tossing a few sprightly blooms into a colorfully patterned fabric vase (just slip a standard 16-ounce water bottle inside to hold the stems).

Cancer (June 22–July 22)

A cloud-shaped pillow made from felted wool from Agnes Felt
SHOP: Cloud pillow from Agnes Felt, $52

What better way for Cancer to indulge their homebody tendencies than with a snuggly soft cloud pillow? This rosy-cheeked fellow’s felted wool face seems to be gently encouraging them to rest and recharge.

Leo (July 31–Aug 21)

A stained-glass crystal suncatcher from Elena Zaycman
SHOP: Stained-glass crystal suncatcher from Elena Zaycman, from $60

Liberated from its usual fixed place in a window, this unexpected take on stained-glass art—featuring a freestanding geometric gemstone—boldly holds its own as a statement-making conversation piece for ultra-stylish Leo.

Virgo (Aug 22–Sep 23)

An essential oil organizer from Urban Alloy
SHOP: Essential oil organizer from Urban Alloy, $45

With space for seven essential oils plus one plucky succulent, this handcrafted wooden storage rack helps perfectionist Virgo keep their self-care collection organized—and ensures calming vibes are easy to access at all times.

Libra (Sept 24–Oct 23)

An engraved glass jewelry box from Leosklo
SHOP: Engraved glass jewelry box from Leosklo, $55

A sucker for flowery details, ultra-romantic Libra will find great pleasure in stashing their most cherished charms in this polished glass jewelry box, which can be delicately engraved with their choice of six pretty plants.

Scorpio (Oct 24–Nov 22)

A black ceramic planter from Clay by Dannah
SHOP: Black ceramic planter from Clay by Dannah, $88

Used as a ceramic centerpiece, a dramatic, all-black planter with a rough-cut rim will instantly draw the eye of all the bewitchingly cool company that edgy Scorpio likes to keep.

Sagittarius (Nov 23–Dec 22)

Bicycle bookends from Knob Creek Metal Arts
SHOP: Bicycle bookends from Knob Creek Metal Arts, $65

Free-spirited Sagittarius prefers to get up and go, go, go, but for days when they’re happily holed up at home, these clever bicycle bookends will keep travel guides at the ready so this sporty sign can plan their next move.

Capricorn (Dec 23–Jan 20)

A set of 4 concrete toothbrush holders from Cedar and Stone Garden
SHOP: Concrete toothbrush holders from Cedar and Stone Garden, $19 for set of 4

Understated elegance is the hallmark of classic Capricorn—that and a penchant for practicality—so these sensible yet sophisticated concrete toothbrush holders are the sort of utility-minded bathroom upgrade that they’ll be proud to display sink-side.

Browse more unique ideas for the home

Jackie Buddie is a writer and wilderness explorer working full-time as a content producer at Etsy HQ in Brooklyn.

The post Unique Home Finds for Every Astrological Sign appeared first on Etsy Journal.

Stonehill Taylor designs retro Connie bar inside a plane at JFK's TWA Hotel

17 Jan 2020, 7:00 pm | Dezeen

Connie Airport Lounge and Bar by Stonehill TaylorConnie Airport Lounge and Bar by Stonehill TaylorConnie Airport Lounge and Bar by Stonehill TaylorConnie Airport Lounge and Bar by Stonehill Taylor

US firm Stonehill Taylor has turned a restored 1950s plane into a cocktail bar for the TWA Hotel at New York's JFK airport. Read more

Planet Beyond earbuds combine tech, sustainability and fashion

17 Jan 2020, 6:30 pm | INHABITAT

High-tech products don’t have to be sterile and uniform, but there haven’t been a lot of options for personalizing or styling even common gadgets, like earbuds, until now. That’s what inspired Planet Beyond, a company aimed at offering fashionable options alongside state-of-the-art technology and sustainability.[...]

Bjarke Ingels meets Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro to "change the face of tourism in Brazil"

17 Jan 2020, 5:53 pm | Dezeen

Bjarke Ingels meets Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro to "change the face of tourism in Brazil"Bjarke Ingels meets Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro to "change the face of tourism in Brazil"Bjarke Ingels meets Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro to "change the face of tourism in Brazil"Bjarke Ingels meets Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro to "change the face of tourism in Brazil"

Danish architect Bjarke Ingels has met Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro as part of a visit to investigate developing a tourism masterplan for the northeast region of the country. Read more

Three Things We Learned About the Future of Driving At CES 2020

17 Jan 2020, 5:34 pm | Core77

Due to the sheer scale of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (a.k.a. CES) , attempting to sniff out what the future will look like via the products on display can often be too murky to decipher. Where future trends are made most clear at this annual tech gathering are arguably in the automotive halls, particularly the cars on display.

At CES 2020, editors and companies alike tried to answer questions like: When will we actually see fully autonomous vehicles on our roads? What is the future automobile actually going to look like? Is it true that in the future, none of us will own cars? As Arup Senior Transportation Planner and expert in the future mobility space Melissa Ruhl stated in Core77's CES talk series "Moving Forward: Conversations on Transportation Futures," a question she is frequently asked is, 'when are autonomous vehicles coming?' Her response was simply, "That question is always really hard. We just don't know. Companies put out all these bullish predictions, only to walk back."

While we can't admit to knowing when that day will come ourselves, we have gathered a number of trends we noticed during the 2020 show that hint at what engineers, designers, and companies at large are working toward when it comes to future mobility. Here are a few of our insights:

"The Future of Driving" Will Come in Small Bites

With all the big names in transportation on display at CES, a pattern will typically emerge of what automakers are hoping to bring to market in the near future. And what companies are hyper-focused on right now are small design details that increase safety and energy efficiency.

Nissan Ariya

For one, concept cars such as the Nissan Ariya and the even more surprising Vision-S debuted by Sony at CES, focus not on fully autonomous driving but smart technology that keeps the driver informed and safe. The entirely electric Ariya (a prototype that is fully operational and likely similar to what Nissan hopes to release to market in the near future) was designed not only to harbor a 300-mile battery life, but also uses Level 3 autonomy to help keep the car centered in the lane, among other features.

The Sony Vision-S

Sony Vision-S interior

The Sony Vision-S, which although operational, will likely remain a concept at least for some time, introduced software made in collaboration with Bosch, Qualcomm, Nvidia and Blackberry that notifies sleepy drivers to keep their eyes on the road using a complex biometric system. Amongst this advanced technology, you'll notice, remains the familiar nodules of a typical personal vehicle—the standard car form, a round steering wheel, as well as an interior that looks more utilitarian than cozy and relaxing. In short, we're at least a few years ago from cars starting to looking less like a car and more like a living room.

Public Transportation is Where Autonomy Will Likely Be Introduced at a Large Scale

If the news around CES is any indication, the beginning of Level 4 or 5 autonomous driving on a mainstream scale will begin with ride sharing and public transportation systems. The most fleshed out autonomous driving system we have seen to date launched in Vegas last week: the Yandex Self-Driving car, which was one of the first examples of a fully autonomous rideshare vehicle driving on the road without an engineer in the driver's seat. As WIRED reported, Las Vegas law requires an engineer "seated in a position to take immediate control," so the Yandex engineer in the test car had a system in place to trigger the brakes from the passenger position if necessary. But it was an impressive early display of trust in the autonomous technology already available to us today.

In addition to rideshare, autonomous technologies are being utilized to envision self-driving public transportation systems. As mentioned by 2020 CES Speaker at our Moving Forward talk series, David Scott Neal, Director of Design Co-Creation at Launch Forth R&D, it is likely that private car ownership will drop by 80% come 2030 (according to a 2017 study by Stanford economist Tony Seba). It is projects like Local Motor's Olli, a self driving shuttle made using 3D printing, that support this theory, and several vehicles similar to this were on full display throughout the CES grounds.

The use of self-driving tech for public transportation makes a lot of sense, aside from the private money it requires to fund such an operation—citizens depend on public transportation routes to appear at stops on time and follow a prescribed path, making it a perfect preliminary challenge for the technology.

Just Like Everything Else These Days, Your Car Will Be Hyper-Personalized

Despite recent concerns regarding data privacy, the use of personalized algorithms and data proved to appear in full force at CES 2020. Largely rebranded as biometrics, a number of concept cars on the CES grounds integrated technology that tracked personal data as a way to activate and personalize a car's environment.


The VISION AVTR concept car by Mercedes Benz—an ambitious speculative design project that bakes in some early 2020 marketing buzz for the Avatar 2 film coming out later this year—took biometrics to extremes by replacing the steering wheel with a "multifunctional control element" that allows use through recognizing the driver by tracking breathing patterns (I can only imagine this feature enraged hot rod fanatics and arcade game lovers).

The VISION AVTR's future solution

This concept is obviously fanciful, but takes cues from technological advances taking place right now. Audi had on display a design study, the AI:ME concept car, that utilizes artificial intelligence to prompt environmental interior changes learned by the car over time. For example, one attendant in the CES booth informed me that the car monitors CO2 levels in the cabin, and due to the fact that your breath contains more CO2 during times of stress, when the level of CO2 rises, the car will trigger a pleasant fragrance to help relax the driver. For the car's infotainment system, the team developed an eye tracking software that detects an icon you're looking at on the screen, and can recognize when you want to 'click' the icon; no hands necessary. Maybe it is a blink-to-click interface?

As Digital Trends reports, the company emphasized that AI:ME is not a preview of a car to be released by Audi in the future, and that they haven't "decided whether to put it in production yet," however, the technology such as the eye-tracking entertainment will be implemented in the cars in the 2020s.

Something to consider in the midst of these new data-driven features, is whether the technology is being used in the most beneficial ways for the users, or is it all simply an example of superfluous engineering? 

In fact, many aspects of the future as demonstrated by cars at CES ought to be given a deeper second look— after all, many of them still remain a concept yet to be seen on the market, a least for the time being. A good exercise for designers would be to examine these trends highlighted at CES and think critically- is this the future I would like to see?

Next week, we'll be following this query with an article around the questions CES 2020 will leave designers asking. So stay tuned!

The Haeckels Victorian-style bathing machine has a sauna inside

17 Jan 2020, 5:30 pm | INHABITAT

Is there anything better than self-care by the sea? UK-based skincare brand Haeckels is on a mission to reintroduce the local community of Margate Beach to the healing powers of the ocean. The region has a history of ocean-based health remedies and was home to one of the UK’s first sea-bathing hospitals.[...]

An Apple Store Concept Video From the 1990s

17 Jan 2020, 5:20 pm | Core77

BoingBoing resurfaced this very colorful concept video for an Apple store designed by Marc Newson and animated by Me Company in the 1990s. It's blurry but we managed to spot a 20th Anniversary Macintosh (1997) that seems to place the video closer to the end of the decade. Though it didn't become a reality, there's some interesting modular designs and a TV Land-inspired soundtrack that (fair warning!) will definitely get stuck in your head.

Airstream unveils new 2020 camper with smart technology

17 Jan 2020, 4:30 pm | INHABITAT

Airstream is a long-standing American legend beloved by many roaming road warriors, but now the iconic campers have been given a sleek modern makeover. The new 2020 Airstream Classics feature an impressive apartment-like interior design scheme that uses a “comfort white” color scheme to create a more contemporary living space that puts the campers once again at the forefront of tiny home design.[...]

New Marine Education Center in Malm raises climate change awareness

17 Jan 2020, 3:30 pm | INHABITAT

In Malmö, Sweden, the recently completed Marine Education Center is giving visitors a closer look at the effects of climate change and sustainable technology. Copenhagen-based practice NORD Architects designed the building, which not only provides an indoor-outdoor learning landscape but also visually blurs the boundaries between the built environment and its surroundings. As a beacon of sustainability, the center is integrated with energy-efficient technologies including solar panels, geothermal heat exchangers and rainwater collection systems.[...]

Minut alarm promises all-in-one home security without cameras

17 Jan 2020, 3:03 pm | Dezeen

Minut home alarmMinut home alarmMinut home alarmMinut home alarm

Swedish company Minut has created a smart-home security device for the camera-averse — an alarm that monitors movement, noise, temperature and humidity. Read more

Liberty For Plant Life in The City

17 Jan 2020, 2:49 pm | Core77

Photo by Iris Rijskam

Among urban planners, designers, and architects, the need to revitalize ecology in urban settings has not gone totally ignored. Though hardly enough has been done to temper the ever-expanding urban sprawl or to invite biodiversity into cities, one need not look far to find a growing interest in "green" developments in cities across the world (many of which result in little more than grandiose greenwashing projects). What remains distinctly rare, are efforts to confront the ecological potential of the things we've already built. The urban landscape that has for years, decades, possibly even centuries defined the modern human habitat. Architecture is not only a reality of our future, but of our past as well.

Which makes Matteo Viviano's project, Green Democracy, a unique examination of how plant diversity can be cultivated in existing urban architecture. "I am criticizing the contemporary construction system to be extremely exclusive toward nature," says Viviano. Inspired by the reclamation of ancient ruins and abandoned buildings, by flora, Viviano sought to interpret how the architecture of our more recent past has in instances included other species, in order to propose new approaches to architecture that "aim to include and balance ecology and facilitate biodiversity."

In Viviano's "dictionary for a green democracy": Fragments, we are given a breakdown of how that might happen. In the first part of the dictionary, the reader is provided an analysis of how ubiquitous architectural sections and forms might impact plant growth. This includes estimations of exposure to light, water, space, and the capacity for plants to climb and cling to various forms. The second part of Fragments features an array of European plants, that often can be found growing in urban landscapes, which includes both indigenous, as well as more recently introduced species.

Fragments reads almost as an anti-landscape architecture guide, suggesting plants of wide-variety grow uninhibited upon and within architecture. Landscaping in cities is almost exclusively an aesthetic effort and thus is often as false a representation of natural life as a landscape painting. In some cases, trees are merely planted to "offset" carbon emissions, e.g. New York City has planted 678,183 trees that have provided $109,625,536.06 annually in carbon offsets, allowing the city to buy its way out of having to limit emissions. Green Democracy is contingent upon giving plants the right to grow in a way that would likely be disruptive of the romantic expectations of Nature, while simultaneously suggesting that there is inherent beauty in the presences of plant diversity in a urban landscape.

But what does that look like? The mind is tempted to conjure the images of a dystopian sci-fi film, where nature has reclaimed abandoned cities as their own, ivy hanging off of skyscrapers and grass growing tall over former highways. Full submission of cities to plant life obviously isn't the intent, but perhaps those images shouldn't only be reserved for a dystopia that lacks society. Fragments implies coexistence, if our architecture is to remain, how can more than one species take part in it?

Such coexistence seems to be the only path forward that won't resign living generations to a volatile ecological (and climate) future. Offering other species the freedom to live and grow, upon all that we've constructed, is a small effort deter the acceleration of our global ecological crisis. Land use has been one of the primary engines of climate change and loss of biodiversity. As urban areas grow, so too grows the necessity of supporting biodiversity through architecture and planning.

This line of thinking presents the city as a space for architects and designers to be shepherds of biodiverse-ecosystems. Such design requires looking around, and seeing how a built environment that has almost exclusively been designed for humans (with varying degrees of success), can work for other species. With Green Democracy, Viviano offers a compelling ecological analysis of architecture. One that imagines the possibilities of urban spaces that largely remain sterilized, as spaces where the life rights are not only applied to people but to the multitude of other species that are most often treated as aberrations in the worlds we've built.

Works from Viviano Matteo's Green Democracy, will soon be on exhibition at Salone del Mobile in Milan and at the Atlanta Design Festival.

Reader Submitted: Keywing Key Turner

17 Jan 2020, 2:28 pm | Core77

Winner of the Design Council UK Innovation Award and a $85,000 investment from charity Versus Arthritis, new product the Keywing key turner will help millions with arthritis or reduced dexterity to open doors and regain independence.

The Keywing is an innovative and thoughtfully designed new product that clips onto household keys. Once in place, it creates a larger surface area and longer lever, making keys much easier to hold, grasp and turn, and locks much easier to open.

View the full project here

Pastel colours and polka-dots cover a fantastical miniature city for children in Shenzhen

17 Jan 2020, 12:19 pm | Dezeen

Architecture studio X+ Living has built a polka-dot slide into a ball pit and giant pastel parasols within the Shenzhen Neobio Family Park in a shopping centre in China. Read more

12 surprising things that arent vegan

16 Jan 2020, 7:30 pm | INHABITAT

It’s hard to stick to a vegan lifestyle. It can be easy to be foiled by ingredients that just slip right by you, and these aren't just in food. A surprising number of non-food items also contain animal-derived ingredients. What’s a wannabe vegan to do? Remember that drastically cutting down on animal consumption is good for the planet, even if you fall short of 100 percent. If you want to be as close to completely vegan as possible, here’s a list of some surprising foods and other items that aren’t necessarily vegan.[...]

Currently Crowdfunding: TiGr's Latest Bike Lock Innovation, a Surprisingly Beautiful Litter Box, and More

16 Jan 2020, 7:00 pm | Core77

Brought to you by MAKO Design + Invent, North America's leading design firm for taking your product idea from a sketch on a napkin to store shelves. Download Mako's Invention Guide for free here.

Navigating the world of crowdfunding can be overwhelming, to put it lightly. Which projects are worth backing? Where's the filter to weed out the hundreds of useless smart devices? To make the process less frustrating, we scour the various online crowdfunding platforms to put together a weekly roundup of our favorite campaigns for your viewing (and spending!) pleasure. Go ahead, free your disposable income:

Created by furniture designers, this is the kind of litter box that you won't want to hide out of sight. Better yet, it includes a handy compartment with a built-in scoop, dustpan, and hand brush for easy cleanup. The minimal design comes with a grippy base and is made out of recycled plastics.

This book features a collection of essays and interviews with a wide range of people—scientists, sociologists, anthropologists, bioethicists, visual artists, Buddhist monks, and more—who are questioning how biology and technology are redefining what it means to be human. "Think of it as a guide to your future self," the campaign says.

Featuring a sleeker design than its competitors and no cords to weigh you down, this LED lamp can easily be moved around wherever you need it.

The TiGr team is back with a new and improved version of their bike lock. The latest iteration is made of hardened high carbon blue steel which is very hard to cut yet very lightweight and flexible.

This vacuum lid and pump set removes spoil-inducing oxygen from your containers (they can even be used with wine bottles) to keep your food fresher, longer.

Do you need help designing, developing, patenting, manufacturing, and/or selling YOUR product idea? MAKO Design + Invent is a one-stop-shop specifically for inventors / startups / small businesses. Click HERE for a free confidential product consultation.

CES 2020: Are Smart Homes Undermining Our Sense of 'Home'?

16 Jan 2020, 6:45 pm | Core77

The steady rise of the Smart Home, a sector projected to be worth £115.6 billion by 2024, has been fueled with the same consumer promise as the internet and social media: technology will give us a better quality of life and bring us closer to friends and family. But in reality, the current approach to Smart Homes, as seen at CES 2020, only risks adding to the disconnect that existing technology can already makes us feel, rather than remedying it.

CES indicates we're still a far way off seeing technology for the home that genuinely fosters our sense of comfort, wellbeing and community. If you look beyond the eye-catching gadgets and marketing bluster at the show, the focus is still on clever gadgets that offer individual experiences instead of intelligent technology that brings people closer together. The majority of products target early-adopters rather than broader society and communities and brands are still largely turning a blind eye to the issue of data privacy – a critical issue when it comes to how comfortable we feel in our homes.

As consumer fear and anxiety about how their data is being used increases, and their patience and trust in home-tech wanes, companies entering this arena need to be facilitating the creation of Smart Homes that genuinely enrich our home and emotional lives, or they risk eradicating our sense of 'home' altogether.

Systems that go beyond the individual

Look through the Smart Home product launches at CES and you'll struggle to find anything that looks beyond the individual experience. Instead, the majority keep us even more engaged with personal devices.

Samsung's Ballie companion robot

For example, Samsung's much-hyped 'life companion' robot Ballie might seem like a clever and helpful addition to the home but it ultimately keeps us locked into closed, individual-to-device communications instead of fostering real connections with others. At a time of a global mental health crisis and rising levels of stress, depression and anxiety, the focus of the Smart Home must be on products, services and systems that actually bring us together and add to the emotional fabric and connectivity of our lives.

Companies entering this arena need to be facilitating the creation of Smart Homes that genuinely enrich our home and emotional lives, or they risk eradicating our sense of 'home' altogether.

Brands need to create shared and collaborative experiences that encourage dialogue instead of stopping at one person's selection overriding another's or isolating us in the glow of an individual screen.

A more adaptive form of Smart

The one-size-fits-all approach to people, families and home-life that many Smart Home devices currently have is at odds with the realities of home-life today. Populations are aging, there is an increase in multi-generational homes, definitions of the 'family' are changing, and more people are living with their parents for longer.

Smart homes must be able to adapt to anyone at any time, and adapt contextually to what we need at different times of the day, week and year. People need to participate in the learning process of the algorithms that run our Smart Homes to create healthy and individualized feedback loops that re-humanize how tech behaves, instead of alienating us in our own homes.

Creating new benefits, not new anxieties

Brands that are getting smart systems right are looking beyond the instant gratification that new features deliver to build deeper emotional engagement. Companies must think carefully about how they develop new platforms, artefacts and interfaces that address a deeper need in all of us for feeling secure within our home without fostering new anxieties that come from overzealous data collection or fear-based marketing.

The "Bee" autonomous security drone by Sunflower Labs

For example, there were over 8,000 smart security cameras unveiled at CES 2020, including Bee: a residential "autonomous security drone" that detects motion and then autonomously flies to the activity and report on it. While securing our homes is a natural and primal instinct, this level of invasive surveillance and the focus on threats to our homes completely undermines our ability to truly relax at home.

At the other end of the security spectrum at CES we saw surveillance cameras bundled into other products like robot vacuums, water filtration systems and in the case of Home Hawk Floor, lamps.

Panasonic Home Hawk Floor

While these may be novel in design, this level of pervasive surveillance will never allow us to feel completely at ease in our own homes. Meanwhile, incorporating surveillance into products that are unrelated to home security also seems like a lazy way of building in relevance and 'smart appeal'. Instead, we need elegantly integrated smart systems and solutions that respond to our desire to keep our homes secure by discreetly addressing what can often be irrational or disproportionately perceived threat, or providing well-judged comfort to those living on their own.

Technology that nurtures existing rituals and creates new ones

The emotional and cultural fabric of our home-lives is rich in ritual, whether it's the new bonds created between students living together for the first time or old traditions passed down through generations of a family. To date, Smart Home products haven't done enough to support the enduring value of home rituals, overlooking a fundamental part of our definition of 'home'.

Kitchen Hub by GE

For example, smart ovens that beam new recipes to our kitchens via screens, such as the Kitchen Hub that GE launched at CES, might seem convenient but they completely eradicate the ritual of returning to unique collections of family recipes or recipes gathered from friends over time. Devices such as these bring an unnecessary level of tech into the kitchen, a place which is for many the heart of home life.

Technology should slow life down, not speed it up

Part of the added stress that seems inseparably connected with new technology is the idea that it should always enable to us to move and act faster; to be quicker to respond and be more time efficient. But this is our home we're talking about, not the office. It's where we unwind, relax and connect with loved ones. If anything, Smart Home technology needs to be encouraging us to slow down, not speed up, and to facilitate experiences and environments that allow us to connect to an emotionally rich and meaningful connection to our homes and loved ones, rather than be permanently plugged in to a 24/7 on-demand culture. Smart technology needs to account for both intense periods of task-based focus and urgency as well as slower-paced periods of the day when we're relaxing at home. Unfortunately, I don't think the answer lies in the Ten Second toothbrush, another headline-grabber of CES.

The Ten Second Toothbrush

These approaches represent a shift in meaning and values within smart home technology. As a result, tech companies need to start making more ethics-focused choices going forward and understand the variations of consumers who are opting in or out, rather than simply cutting off access to features and functionality. After all, it can't be right that one of the more impressive launches at CES in terms of value-based innovation was that of Impossible Pork. After all, home is a place where we switch off and where we want to be less conscious of what we are doing and why we're doing it. The challenge for brands is permeating these moments intelligently and meaningfully without downgrading what matters most to us in our homes while promising to do the very opposite. Let's hope we start to see this much-needed shift at CES 2021.

Stunning, sustainable lodge blends into beautiful landscape

16 Jan 2020, 6:30 pm | INHABITAT

Romanian architecture firm BLIPSZ has created a near-autonomous holiday home that combines the charms of rural Transylvanian architecture with a sustainable and contemporary design aesthetic. Surrounded by gently rolling hills and valley views, the Lodge in a Glade comprises two barn-inspired structures with green-roofed surfaces that appear to emerge from the earth. South-facing solar panels generate about 90% of the building’s energy needs, which are kept to a minimum thanks to its passive solar design and underfloor heating powered by a geothermal heat pump.[...]

Children hurt after Delta jet dumps fuel on schools

16 Jan 2020, 5:30 pm | INHABITAT

On January 14, a Delta jet malfunctioned and dumped jet fuel over Los Angeles-area schools. The incident injured more than 50 people, including students from Park Avenue Elementary, San Gabriel Elementary, Graham Elementary, Tweedy Elementary, 93rd Street Elementary and Jordan High School.[...]

Immersive, dystopian exhibit shows what life could be like post-climate change

16 Jan 2020, 4:30 pm | INHABITAT

As a wake up call to the possible effects of global warming, London-based multidisciplinary design studio Superflux has created “Mitigation of Shock, Singapore,” an immersive exhibition that explores the possible consequences of sea level rise for city dwellers in coastal areas. Created as part of 2219: Futures Imagined — a new exhibition at Singapore’s ArtScience Museum to commemorate the city’s bicentennial — the installation takes the shape of a dystopian Singaporean apartment.[...]

Transparent, prefab tiny cabin offers the best views of the Italian Alps

16 Jan 2020, 3:30 pm | INHABITAT

If you need a little getaway, there is a beautiful, tiny cabin retreat in the Italian Alps calling your name. The Immerso cabin, which is available to rent on Airbnb, is a prefabricated timber cabin with transparent roofs and walls that allow guests to completely "immerse" themselves in nature while trying to find serenity in an increasingly stressful world.[...]

Watch All of the Presentations from "Moving Forward: Conversations on Transportation Futures" at CES 2020

16 Jan 2020, 3:15 pm | Core77

Each year at CES dozens of automotive OEMs put their bold visions of the future on display and allow you to touch and feel what always seems to be just about to be released. Electric vehicles, autonomous driving, smart cars, minimal and soothing interiors with entertainment and information systems that ignite the imagination. And while these dazzling displays of technology and style make you forget about your daily commute, evolving our current transportation ecosystem into a more harmonious future is a much more complex challenge than any one vehicle or advanced feature can solve.

In the not-too-distant future the mix of vehicle types, transit modes, subscription services, urban infrastructure and energy sources will become increasingly complex. Driving it forward will be a combination of technology, policy, architecture, human behavior and business decisions that are rapidly and independently evolving, without a coherent roadmap to guide us.

The latest models of cars that you see on the road now have been in development for over five years. The means that the transportation technology evolution is already well under way, and each year over the coming five years will move us closer toward an electric, autonomous, shared future that you've been hearing about. How we transform the rest of the mix that makes up the entire transportation system is a true systems design problem, and one that we all will be working on, and living in, for years to come.

This mix of design, technology, consumer preference and urban planning is what interested us, and why we chose to produce a program at CES 2020 on this subject. We hosted four speakers, with four different perspectives, and a panel discussion at the end. Expect to see and hear a lot more on this topic going forward, as the transformation of a huge part of our economic system and physical landscape is just beginning.

How Consumer Preferences Will Shape Future Mobility

The McKinsey ACES survey has explored Future Mobility global customer preferences since 2014, focusing on Autonomous Driving, Connectivity, Electrification, and Smart Mobility. In this presentation, Kersten Heineke, a Partner at McKinsey & Company, shares their latest findings from surveying more than 7,000 respondents on micro-mobility, autonomous driving, and more.

The Future of the Built Environment

In this talk, Melissa Ruhl, Senior Transportation Planner at Arup talks about design possibilities arising from the integration of autonomous vehicles in the built environment. New passenger interaction models combined with evolving trends in public transit and active mobility will reshape the urban environment in the near future.

The Substitution of Ownership

When you no longer own the vehicle you use for your daily commute, how do you replace the satisfaction of ownership? In this talk, David Scott Neal (a.k.a. Nemo), Director of Design Co-Creation at Launch Forth R&D, discusses revolutionary changes in the way cars will be designed and built in the near future. These changes will allow consumers to participate in the process of vehicle creation and customization in ways never before possible.

What Drives the Future of Transportation Design?

Future mobility must be considered from a systems level all the way down to the details. In this talk, Shady Shahid, Principal at MAST, a design consultancy in San Francisco, discusses the challenges and opportunities facing emerging transportation OEMs based on his years of experience working with some of the biggest auto brands around the world. His suggestions touch on personal digital integration to micro-mobility unit economics, even motion sickness once vehicles become mobile offices.

Moving Forward: A Conversation on Transportation Futures

What does the future of everyday transportation look like, and how do we get there? At CES 2020, Core77 invited four transportation and urban planning experts to gain insights on future automotive design trends, consumer preferences, and urban infrastructure. This panel discussion is a conversation on how designers can help shape more seamless transportation experiences in the future.

Participants:Moderated by Allison Fonder, Senior Producer, Core77David Scott Neal (a.k.a. Nemo), Director of Design Co-Creation at Launch Forth R&DMelissa Ruhl, Senior Transportation Planner at ArupKersten Heineke, Partner, McKinsey & CompanyShady Shahid, Principal at MAST, a design consultancy in San Francisco

Lisbon-Based Design Studio MOR Debuts New Store and Lighting Collection 

15 Jan 2020, 6:10 pm | Core77

Last month, new design studio MOR opened its first storefront in Lisbon's LX Factory, a former industrial site in the Alcântara district that has become a creative hub in recent years. The studio is celebrating the new store with the launch of its first lighting collection, called BULB. Lisbon-based designer Pedro Sottomayor designed four lamps (available in two sizes) representing simple geometric shapes: a cylinder, a cone, a sphere, and a hemisphere.

"Each lamp is hand blown in Portugal in a region called Marinha Grande," the designers told us in a recent email. "Our intention with the lamps was to create the illusion of solid bodies sustained by a single cable. They are made in opal white glass and their inner light derives from a LED lamp that one can easily place inside the glass bulb. The rest of the components are hidden inside the lamp. These subtle details make the lamps look like they are floating almost effortlessly in the air and allows the light to spread a very gentle glow with a warm character."

As with their previous work, the focus is on subtle details that "achieve the most complex result: simplicity." We especially like the timeless CAST chair, whose structure neatly hugs the seat.

Design Job: Chart a New Direction as a Senior Industrial Designer at Garmin!

15 Jan 2020, 5:54 pm | Core77

The Core77 editors hand-pick jobs from Coroflot for our audience - today we suggest you make your way to this great creative opportunity... Garmin’s Consumer Industrial Design team continues to grow in Kansas City. We are looking for talented Senior Industrial Designers to create amazing designs for cycling computers ...

View the full design job here