Coffee. The third most popular beverage in the world. However it’s physically undrinkable when it’s too hot, and shamefully undrinkable when it reaches room temperature… which is what happens with every cup that you store your coffee in. It starts off scalding hot, gradually reaches the perfect drinkable temperature for precisely 4 minutes, and then descends into a terrible, tepid, insipid excuse for caffeine.
The Ember mug however allows you to maintain your drink at the perfect drinkable temperature. It’s different from a thermos because a thermos simply slows down the cooling process, while the Ember allows you to choose a temperature and have your drink constantly at that temperature. Another con for a thermos/flask is that when you pour a boiling hot beverage in, it stays boiling hot for a prolonged period of time, making it undrinkable for longer. With the Ember, no matter what temperature your coffee is, it will rapidly cool down or heat up to the temperature you decide… making it, in the words of Goldilocks, “Just Right”!
Designed by Ammunition, the same firm that designed Beats by Dre’s line of products (before Apple bought it), the Ember’s design language is subtle, functional, and looks everything like what a coffee mug should look like. Concealing every bit of state-of-the-art technology within the mug’s body (to retain its minimal visual aesthetic), Ember comes with a 360° sipping lid with an air-tight lock. It even features a hidden display at the base that lights up when you set the temperature using a dial at the base of the mug.
The mug runs on a battery and charges wirelessly via a charging coaster. With a temperature range of 120°F to 145°F, the Ember works not just with coffee but with any hot beverage, bringing it to the right drinking temperature and keeping it there for you to sip over at your own comfortable pace. I’m thinking a nice warm and spicy mulled wine!
Designer: Ammunition for Ember
Not to be confused with the Nest thermostat, that makes your house as cozy as a nest, the Nest Speakers by Donita Viktoria Salazar are named so because it revolves around the concept of one speaker nesting inside another.
Inspired by Matrioshka dolls that fit inside one another, the speaker consists of a small portable audio unit, and a larger speaker unit that stays put in a part of your house. The smaller speaker docks conveniently in the center of the larger speaker and uses this docking action for pairing as well as wireless charging.
The convenient design prevents you from misplacing your speaker, while also giving you two speakers in one. Ideal for people who love having music wherever they go, the Nest can be carried around, and can be used as a rather heavy-duty speaker at home, because home is where the music is loudest!
Designer: Donita Viktoria Salazar
After the disaster at Grenfell Tower in London, the X-Space should be developed as a mandatory addition to every home. It forms a robust and safe bubble outside the building during a fire. Occupying the space of a window when closed, the X-Space works like an ordinary window when needed, but in the case of an emergency, can be opened out like a bellow into a safe, fire-retardant personal space. The minute you open the emergency hatch, it notifies the fire-fighting department. The window is even lined with emergency lights that can alert people nearby.
The construction of the X-Space is lightweight, but can take the weight of 2 adults, or an adult and 2 kids. Houses with larger families can easily install 2 or more X-Spaces in their apartments. The space provides a smoke and fire free temporary haven for victims, while even allowing them to be evacuated easily via an escape window that firefighters can open from the outside.
The X-Space Window is a winner of the A’ Design Award in the Social Design Category.
Designers: Du Heli, Xue Wenkai, Sun Jian, Jiang Meihan & Zhou Xiaozhu.
The Home Aquaponics Fish Tank creates a wonderful self-sustaining ecosystem where an aquarium and terrarium live off each other’s waste, beautifully displaying the relationship between flora and fauna.
The system creates a closed loop where the fish waste becomes a natural fertilizer for the plants, who in turn clean the aquarium, providing the fish with pristine filtered water. While the fish tank doesn’t ever need to be cleaned (thanks to the aquaponics system), the fish needs to be fed occasionally and the tank comes with a supply of fish food.
Not just a wonderful addition to a living room or even school, the Home Aquaponics Fish Tank can serve as your own mini-kitchen garden too! Available with its own set of organic seeds, you can grow sprouts and herbs of your own to use in your meals… effectively introducing humans into this beautiful mini-ecosystem!
Designer: Back to the Roots
The designers of the Le Pli lamp call it “plain looking” but plain has never looked so pretty! Cleverly constructed almost entirely of folded paper, its angular body consists of just 3 paper layers – 2 of which are electrically conductive.
The power supply works with a simple wood stand that the paper lamp can be plugged into. This way, apart from the cord providing the stand with power, no cable is needed for Le Pli to function! Installation of the LEDs directly on the paper also keeps the design light and free of inessential components.
The dimensions of the unfolded lamp are aligned to a DIN A3 envelope, so that together with the stand, it can be easily stored and shipped, to be folded by the customer on arrival.
Designers: Sascha dos Santos & Tilmann Studinsky