It’s been about a year and a half since MUJI first announced their MUJI Hut, a modern prefab take on the micro-home. Costing $27,000, it’s a well-priced housing option for those with land—and it’s finally hit the market. Although the price tag may still be out of reach for most New Yorkers, those blessed with a backyard and some extra cash can easily turn this hut into a stylish extra room or office. That’s right, at just 97 square feet this little guy appears to skirt the need for a building permit, keeping well below the 121 square feet that would require plans, approval, and tedious visits to the Department of Buildings.
Spring has us thinking about greenery, with roots and shoots popping everywhere we turn–but most city dwellers don’t have a garden to grow. Enter the smart planter from LeGrow. These snappy planters fit together like LEGO blocks for plants, making our design sensibilities happy by adding a cool modular element while allowing us to add living greenery to our indoor surroundings.
Thanks to Growkit, a farming kit for beginners developed by Portugal-based startup Noocity, city dwellers short on time and space can still take a stab at gardening and harvest their own organic food (h/t Gearminded). The kit includes an entire gardening system–a Growbag irrigated planter, a Growpack with seasonal plants, potting soil, fertilizer, and step-by-step audio instructions–all delivered right to your doorstep.
This fun product from the innovative design studio Nimuno takes our childhood LEGO obsession to a whole new level. Nimuno Loops are a flexible and cuttable plastic equipped with a block-friendly top surface and a reusable adhesive backing, allowing you to make any surface LEGO compatible.
As busy New Yorkers, we always welcome new products that help fill our interiors with lovely greenery while also making it easier for us to care for our leafy friends. Boskke, a design company known for their innovative planting products, recently introduced to the market Cube, a self-watering plastic planter that’s perfect for the plant-loving urbanite. Not only is this compact pot self-watering, it’s also fully transparent, integrating the look of earthy soil into your home decor.
Hopefully, you’re one of the many who plan on taking part in New York’s citywide book club. But even if you aren’t, what better way to show your love for books and this fantastic city than getting your hands on these beautifully designed bookmarks from Another Studio? Laser-cut from stainless steel, “City Clips” is a fun series that immortalizes four of the Big Apples’s most famous skyscrapers in a lilliputian scale 5,000 times smaller than the real thing.
If you don’t have your nonna cooking for you, good news is here. Slow cooking, which first appeared kitchens in the 1950s, has been redesigned for a new generation of chefs. The updated crock pot, or “Oliver” as it’s been named, uses a new setup that releases ingredients slowly and churns out better results than the brown mush we’ve all come to expect from the gadgets.
While smart home technology includes everything from turning on the heat to monitoring air quality, the simple job of a doorbell has been oddly overlooked until the arrival of Ding. A collaborative effort between the London-based startup and creative consultancy MAP (an arm of the industrial design studio Barber & Osgerby), the smart doorbell is a three-part system made up of an exterior button, indoor Wifi speaker (cleverly named Chime), and a corresponding iPhone app. When visitors come to the door, Chime functions as a normal doorbell, but the app allows residents to communicate with whomever is at the door remotely.
Spending time outdoors is a beautiful thing, however, Americans on average spend 90 percent of their time indoors. What’s more is that the air we breathe inside can be five times more polluted than what’s outside. Indeed, indoor air can harbor everything from pollen to pet dander and dust, to more harmful things like mold, bacteria and viruses. While plenty of air filters have been designed to catch these pollutants, none of them have the ability to eliminate them—until now. Molekule is being called the first “molecular” air purifier, and it uses nano-technology to completely eliminate airborne contaminants.
For many New Yorkers, the after-dinner ritual of loading up the dishwasher is pure fantasy. But while we’re stuck scrubbing away in our under-sized sinks, this fun dish rack from the Whitney museum’s gift shop is a nice reminder as to why we make the compromises we do. The flexible 3D model of Midtown Manhattan comes from Italian designer Luca Nichetto, who was inspired by the scene in the 2010 movie “Inception” where NYC folds into itself “like rubber.”
NYC apartments often have irregular layouts and odd corners, and finding pre-made furniture that will fit nicely can often be a lofty task. As such, the founders of Be-elastic have designed an innovative furniture solution called SNAP to solve this problem. The SNAP assembly system is comprised of a simple snapping mechanism that allows users to design and assemble tables, stools, or shelving using whatever material they can find. The team has already experimented with a variety of items, creating tables from dart boards, vintage doors, and even bicycle wheels. But you can use your own design savvy to decide the color and number of legs your item requires.
Our ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. In anticipation of Hanukkah, we’ve rounded up ten modern menorahs for the design-minded.
For thousands of years, people all over the globe have been celebrating Hanukkah (a.k.a. Festival of Lights), and this year’s festivities are just around the corner. While the holiday invites participants to join in on a variety of joyful traditions like playing dreidel and eating potato pancakes, the eight-night event is centered around the lighting of the menorah. From emojis and dinosaurs, to elegant branches and minimal blocks, you can find a menorah in almost any style these days—so why not give the ancient nine-tiered a contemporary update? To help you find the right menorah design for your living space, we’ve rounded up ten of our favorite modern takes on the centerpiece.
Wine and condoms often go hand-in-hand, but one product has actually combined the two. Wine Condoms, available on Amazon, are so popular that they are currently sold out through the online retailer. Their description also claims that Amy Poehler, Sharon Stone, Mila Kunis, Madonna, Bethenny Frankel, Melissa McCarthy, Patricia Arquette, Rosie O’Donnell and Ruby Rose “have one.” But what really makes these unique? Unlike other stoppers that sit flush with the rib of the bottle, according to the website, these sit flush with the bottle.
It’s no secret that we’re huge fans off all things map related, and that’s especially true when it comes to wall decor and t-shirt design. Alex Szabo-Haslam, a designer from Sheffield, England, recently launched a campaign for “Citee,” an exclusive collection that includes exactly these items. In phase one of this project, Alex printed highly detailed maps of 80 cities onto t-shirts, and now he’s using Kickstarter to fund round two where he’ll expand his line to include another 150 locations.
The Avegant Glyph offers cinema screen entertainment without the distraction of people rustling popcorn. The wearable, invented by a Silicon Valley start-up, resembles a hefty pair of headphones but when you slide the band down over your eyes, micro mirror projection gives the impression that you’re watching an enormous display.
Made from wood wool, a mix of leftover wood chips, cement, water and pigments, these sound absorbing wall panels come in assorted colors and shapes that can be arranged and re-arranged, turning any cookie-cutter apartment into a unique space. Designed by Swedish studio Form Us With Love and known as BAUX Träullit, they’re a great example of how construction materials can also be functional and stunning.
If you can’t keep up with your dog’s demands for yet another game of fetch, this gizmo could save your throwing arm. The iFetch flings balls from between 10 to 39 feet (depending on the model) and it can even be operated by your pooch. All your dog has to do is drop the ball into the funnel and wait for it to shoot out the front. The device is powered by batteries or electricity and each model has three distance settings, which can be selected via the press of a button. Shira Klazmer, marketing manager of iFetch, explains why pets love iFetch.
On average we spend almost 90 percent of our time inside, so it comes as no surprise that there are several home-decor products on the market that attempt to mimic different systems in nature to help break up the monotony. The newest addition to this collection is MOON, a small model of the moon that actually uses data sourced from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to position the unit. The MOON model was created by designer Oscar Lhermitte in collaboration with London-based design studio Kudu.
If you have four-legged family members, you’ve probably wondered what they’re up to while you’re at work all day. Sure, you can get yourself a regular camera, but Petcube takes pet monitoring to another level. Not only can you talk to, play with, and watch your dog or cat, you can do the same with other people’s pets and even shelter animals via Petcube’s app. And the best part? You don’t need to own a unit to play.
For fireplace-starved apartment dwellers, here’s an alternative way to bring in some woodsy warmth as we approach the cooler months. Designer Paul Foeckler’s Split Grain lighting collection is made from firewood he forages himself in California and then slices uses a splitting technique that reveals the grain patterns of the cross sections. These intricacies are then highlighted when the light emanates from the sculptural piece.
If recent sweltering temperatures have you reconsidering your outdoor plans for Labor Day, you may want to check out this new product before resigning yourself to a holiday weekend indoors. Zero Breeze is the first portable air conditioner that will not only keep you cool indoors and out, but also includes a blue tooth speaker, night light and charging station for your devices.
Composting in New York City can be challenging to say the least. Not only are you dealing with the constant changing of the seasons, but space in this densely packed town is also sparse. However, with every challenge is also an opportunity, and much like many of the other problems associated with these limitations we look to design to keep us moving in the right direction. On the composting front Polish designer Ala Sieradzka‘s as made for us Bono, a compact countertop composter spun from powder-coated aluminum that comes with an equally stylish cork lid and base.
While the majority of the NYC’s five boroughs are a rough and tumble concrete jungle, just beyond the bridges, highways and waterways, city slickers can find solace in the tranquil forests of the northeast. However, there are some city conveniences, if given the option, we’d never want leave behind, and good pizza is definitely one of them. To add to their already cool roster of camping gadgetry, BioLight bring us “PizzaDome,” the very first portable wood-fired pizza oven designed specifically for the campground.
Toast can be a bit boring, especially in the days of rainbow bagels and Eggs Benedict, but this app-controlled toaster offers quite a few ways to jazz up your standard morning bread. By working with bluetooth, not only can Toasteroid control the brownness of your toast from your smartphone, but its searing technology can print everything from weather forecasts, reminders, doodles, and emojis on your breakfast.
Tired of sleeping through the snooze every morning, hitting the button over and over again to only wake up sleepier? Then you might want to consider Ruggie, an efficient alarm clock-rug by Winson Tam that will only stop buzzing if you actually get out of bed and step firmly on it. And to help ease the pain of leaving the warmth of the covers, it will then play daily motivational quotes, setting a positive mood for the day.
If you’re not into wearing a Fitbit, there’s now another way to track your sleep, and it comes with some added bedtime perks that activity trackers don’t offer. First introduced by Mashable, Zeeq is a smart pillow that tracks and optimizes sleep patterns, monitors snoring, wakes you up via alarm at the appropriate point in your REM cycle, and, perhaps most interestingly, streams music and sleep sounds from inside that are low enough for only you to hear.
The modern world never tires of discussing the best ways to brew coffee–and coming up with cute coffeemakers to do it with. Designers Adrián Pérez and Mauricio Carvajal have made the process much more efficient by putting the grounds to good use, too (h/t Inhabitat). The duo’s HIFA coffee system repurposes coffee grounds to grow oyster mushrooms.
6sqft’s ongoing series Apartment Living 101 is aimed at helping New Yorkers navigate the challenges of creating a happy home in the big city. This week, we provide a comprehensive guide to indoor and outdoor grilling in NYC.
Nothing says summer like a perfectly charred burger or buttery ear of corn, but for many New Yorkers these warm-weather goodies are reserved for weekend jaunts to the suburbs or sub-par restaurant versions. If you want to get in on the grilling action without leaving the boroughs, there are plenty of options to barbecue both outside and in. It’ll just require a little insider knowledge of the city’s rules and regulations, so to help in the process, 6sqft has done the research, as well as put together handy tips and some of the best products.
On days like today, a cold shower is often the only way to cool down, but this overindulgence can get quite wasteful, especially if you’re guilty of letting the shower run before hopping in. In fact, designboom tells us that those moments of adjusting the temperature can add up to 12 liters of lost water per minute. That’s where Aguawell comes in. The simple, practical unit catches clean water before it hits the drain, so you can then use it for everything from watering plants to keeping pets hydrated.
Easily put a name to New York’s discarded paraphernalia and putrid odors with the help of the Periodic Table of NYC Trash. This nifty design, created by writer Molly Young and graphic designer Teddy Blanks, places 118 recurring New York City elements into a handy tabular array that, like the real periodic table that inspired it, provides a useful framework for analyzing behavior (in this case, that of New Yorkers).
All of the trash depicted in the poster was pulled straight off our city’s filthy streets and photographed by Young and Blanks. What’s featured includes everything from an innocuous Metro Card and stray baby sock to gag-inducing finds like a dead rat and a bottle of pee. Everything has also been handily divvied up into nine different categories that include apparel, beverage, food, hygiene, household, lifestyle, municipal, packing, and vices.