The inventors of the viral Ostrich Pillow are at it again, promoting another cool new product on Kickstarter. Only this time, instead of an item that’s meant to block out light, the team at kawamura-ganjavian are making it easier to see. Dubbed the Kangaroo Light, this flexible, glowing pad is meant to be a playful and practical solution to flashlights, which all too often get lost in the deep abyss of purses, bookbags and cabinets.
After an impossibly long and cold winter, it’s fitting that one of the pieces on display at the upcoming Reclaim 3 exhibit is an ode to spring and renewal. But the Maypole created by whimsical furniture designer UM Project is no ordinary ribbon around a stick.
Inspired by the charitable spirit that drives Reclaim NYC — which started out in 2012 as a way for the design community to raise money for Hurricane Sandy victims — UM Project founder Francois Chambard teamed up with the High School of Art & Design to create an interactive installation that combines folk custom with modern-day technology.
The design of this compact solar charging lantern, called Electree Mini, was influenced by bonsai trees and fractal patterns found in nature. Created by French designer Vivien Muller, it “provides solar-derived power to environments typically void of renewable energy.”
On the movable branches are small solar panels which capture sunlight — a play on photosynthesis. The solar energy is then stored in small batteries that can directly power up your gadgets. Electree Mini has the capability to charge AA and AAA batteries and comes with a USB port that will charge smartphones. At dusk, the tree automatically lights up, and when rotated the LED light sensors change colors.