The house that wears a sweater!

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It looks like the Swahili Gem apartments in Mombasa have been crochet-bombed! The architects decided to clad the building’s outside with a ‘moucharabiah’ inspired skin (derived from the Arabic term Mashrabiya, a style of carved wooden latticework), paying homage to traditional graphic patterns. The facade forms an ornamental layer on the building, not just giving its residents privacy (you can’t really peer into the windows), while also allowing light to filter through. The architect described the design as ‘showing its attachment to Mombasa’s history by borrowing inspiration from the rich traditions of Swahili design’.

The building’s northern face is left untouched, and opens to a wonderful view of a water-creek. The project is due to be completed this year and will open its doors to people willing to live in its 14 lavish residences.

Designers: Estrella de Andrés, Marcos Velasco & Ahmed Shamuty (Urko Sanchez Architects)

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Putting the sunrise in a lamp

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Conventional diffuser knobs are so passé. Just earlier this week we saw an inventive lamp that uses marble dust to make the light dimmer or brighter.The Ra Lamp by Sergey Gotvyansky explores a new way to take the diffuser and change the way one perceives it.

Linking the diffuser knob’s turning action to the path a sun takes in our sky during sunrise or sunset, the Ra Lamp comes with a shaft that rotates on an axis from 0 to 90°. When at 0, the lamp stays off. It reaches peak brightness at 90°, just like the sun is brightest when directly overhead. Pretty clever, don’t you think??

Designer: Sergey Gotvyansky

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World’s First CCTV Wallet

UPDATE: Less than 48 hours left on their campaign and close to $1,000,000 raised!

You know what, honestly I enjoy sitting back and watching one wallet after another just trounce each other with better designs and abilities. One wallet puts RFID blocking into it, the other immediately puts a tracking feature as well. Then the third goes ahead and includes a power bank. The fourth ups the ante a little bit more with a solar panel… What more could you possibly put inside a wallet, you say? Well, let’s have a look at the Volterman to find out. (P.S. Turns out, you can put a LOT more into a wallet!)

With its mildly superhero-ish name and heavily cheesy tagline, Volterman jumps ahead of all the wallets we’ve shown you before. “I’m not Superman, I have Volterman” says the protagonist as his wallet solves pretty-much every conceivable problem a human being can face. Storing cash and cards is something most wallets do, but it isn’t what they stand for. Wallets are broadly supposed to take care of your needs by safeguarding your important valuables (currency, identity cards, etc.)

Volterman stands for being a problem-solving wallet, doing an incredible job of safeguarding your stuff, but also going the distance and achieving so much more that it’s more than just a wallet. Off the bat, it comes with RFID Protection, safeguarding your cards from data-theft. It even tackles physical theft (or plain absent-mindedness) with a Distance Alarm. Leave your wallet behind somewhere and your phone immediately buzzes to let you know. Interestingly enough, it even works the other way, so if you leave your phone somewhere and it gets a certain distance away from you, your wallet pings to let you know. It even provides you with global GPS tracking to see where your wallet is and be able to follow it around… but innovation doesn’t stop right there. The Volterman is the only wallet that comes with a stealth-camera (undetectable to the layperson) which triggers a photograph and sends it to your phone the minute it’s opened. That’s right. When the wallet is in lost-mode, it secretly documents the faces of people who open it, pretty much giving you all the evidence you need to catch the person who flicked (or reward the person who retrieved) your wallet.

Now, as we approach the 400 word mark of my article, I’m still just getting started. With the ability to send culprit-mugshots to your phone, the Volterman would have to have in-built internet connectivity, right? Well, it does, and you can even connect your phone to it, using it as a global Wi-Fi hotspot. With internet roaming rates that are comparably lower than most, the Volterman provides internet to you across the world, pretty much negating the need to carry a dongle with you, or look for cafes with free Wi-Fi. Alongside that, the Volterman also works as a power-bank (because why not) with the ability to charge two phones at once. One via cable, and the other wirelessly. Built with a 5000mAh power bank and Qi charging, the Volterman can officially be named the superhero of wallets.

Features aside (and there are so many), the Volterman is still a slim and very capable bi-fold wallet. Replace your old wallet with the Volterman, and you could literally go on about your day as usual without the slightest of a hassle. Made from quality Nappa leather (there’s a faux leather variant too), the Volterman fits 10 cards with cash, stands at a dazzling 11mm thin, and is completely waterproof. Designed to be the second most powerful thing in your pocket after your smartphone, the Volterman does a marvelous job of teaming up with your smartphone to provide an experience unmatched by any wallet. In fact, it doesn’t make sense to even compare the Volterman with regular wallets. Yes, so when your current wallet can wirelessly charge your phone, act as a wi-fi hotspot, and take mugshots of thieves, come to me. Then we’ll talk…

Designer: Backbone Branding

BUY NOW: $145.00 $238.00

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BUY NOW: $145.00 $238.00

Security Capsules for Kiddos

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Ever get the giggles from seeing a kid on a leash?! As funny as it might look, that leash protects little ones from getting lost or, even worse, kidnapped. Perhaps this wearable solution is precisely what we need to prevent these worst case scenarios. It’s called Ora and the designers describe it as a “smart urban safety device”.

Unlike other bulky GPS tracking devices, this discrete pendant is comfortably worn around the neck and hardly noticeable to others. It uses state-of-the-art technology that allows it to piggy-back off nearby smartphones, utilising their components and signals to relay information about its location. During an emergency or kidnapping, it can be triggered with an intentional twist to alert authorities. Paired with proper training, it’s a surefire way to keep track of tots and get them the fastest help in unpredictable situations.

Designer: Crux

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Watch Made from Society’s Building Blocks!

As most watches strive to innovate and position themselves as new and unique, they all usually follow the same template. Stainless Steel body, curved Sapphire glass, and a few rare elements/jewels. Aggregate Watches stepped in to break the mold by creating a watch that looks like no other. With a bezel and dial made from actual concrete, the Masonic watch is probably the most beautiful and unforgettable watch I’ve seen in a while, as it pays tribute to the Freemasons, one of early society’s first architects.

Concrete is extremely challenging to work with. It isn’t recommended in cases where you would require intricate detailing and low tolerances, making it extremely challenging to incorporate into watches, given how everything is based on machined components and intricate assemblies. Concrete has a tendency to chip, form bubbles, and have an inconsistent surface finish. However Aggregate used these very properties to their advantage, developing new technologies to make precise concrete components, and showcase their imperfections as design details. In fact, their proprietary blend of concrete is said to be more durable than most.

Featuring a concrete dial and bezel (a first of its kind), the Masonic watches come in four styles with two concrete finishes. The Gravel, Navy, and Oat Brown feature a classic concrete finish, with air bubbles and an inconsistent greying that give the watches a certain maturity, while also ensuring no two watches are identical. A Charcoal variant features a blackened concrete dial and bezel, blending in beautifully with the black casing and strap, creating something seamless yet unique.

All watches come with a machined stainless steel casing on which rests a ring-shaped concrete bezel. Inside this ring lies the protective Sapphire crystal glass, which gives a grand display of the concrete dial underneath. The watches pair themselves with straps made from top grain leather, with gray, brown, navy blue, and black tans that complement the concrete wonderfully. The stainless steel is given a brushed finish too, so that more emphasis falls on the concrete rather than on a polished steel surface. All watches come with a Japanese Miyota 203A Quartz movement, and even with their concrete construction, weigh just 0.2 pounds (90.72 grams).

A beautiful marriage between rough and elegant, state-of-the-art and unconventional, and being both resilient and gorgeous, the Masonic watches will easily be one of the most alluring and unique timepieces you’ll ever wear!

Designers: Jonathan Thai & Mike Yim of Aggregate Watches

BUY NOW: $99.00 $249.00

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BUY NOW: $99.00 $249.00