Category Archives: New Uses

Stylish Cables

We really are living in a world where every tiny mundane part of everyday life is being redesigned to incorporate a bit of fun! and I love it! New concepts are popping up everyday, some better than others but it is the work of iida a Japanese company that has really stood out for me lately. The company produces a great range of designs, that take a slightly different look at objects we use all the time.

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Above and below are great example of this approach. The designers at iida have produced a series of AC adapters where a feature has been made of the cable, something that would normally be considered an eyesore. Birds, army men and Alice in Wonderland are amongst the designs available to buy on the company shopping site.

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I think this is a brilliant idea. A product that I could definitely see being copied and mass produced across the world. It would be great for a teenagers bedroom or just for adults with taste on the quirky side (like me!). The bird option is certainly going on my wish list!

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Filed under Interiors, Just For Fun, New Uses

Seat and Book Storage In One. Perfect For Students!

I am loving this little stool by Nju Studios. Inspired by a bunch of students using a stack of the designers magazines to prop open a door the designer was prompted to use the proportions and weight of magazines to create a functional piece of furniture.

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When I saw it, I thought how perfect it would be in a student house. A place full of books, that often requires extra seating. It is ironic that it was students that inadvertently sparked this idea in the first place.

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Having just packed up my student room after the end of another year, I seem to have added another box of books. Not only would this seat be perfect for its primary uses but would also make the books it stores easy to transport, a feature great for students who often live a split life between home and a university house.

Now where can I get my hands on one?

Images via Core77

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Filed under Furniture, Interiors, Materials, New Uses

Urban Farm, Tokyo

This small urban farm designed by On Design Partners is in Roppongi, central Tokyo and grows vegetables that are cooked and eaten in the adjacent restaurant. The design is made up of glass box units, sat on a wooden deck and the result is a brilliant injection of greenery in an extremely urban environment

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It is not just the concept that I love but the simple visuals that the company have produced. The image may not be particularly sophisticated but gets the project ideas across simply and effectively.

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More towns and cities should definitely consider projects like this. It creates a great source of local produce as well as an unusual space to be explored. On Design Partners could even produce these modules, ready made to be dropped into any urban or rural environment.

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Filed under Cities, Landscapes, New Uses, Pop Up

Live/Work/Shop at The Fonte Da Luz

This beautiful restoration project in, Porto, Portugal was designed by Barbosa & Guimaräes Architects. When the area needed modernization due to a number of the buildings sinking, this one was saved, where others were demolished. The granite exterior was cleaned up and used as a shell for the modern fit out and extension that was installed.

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The relationship between old and new must have been difficult to get right. Similar materials have been used to link the differing elements and I think the new additions are extremely honest. The housing element of the project sits across three floors, following the staircase up through the building and separated from a commercial unit and an office space.

I particularly like the mixture of uses in this project. It looks like it would be an incredible place to shop, live and work. I particularly like the sky lights, shown in the image above (via archdaily). As frameless as possible, the finishing has clearly been done to an extremely high level and the result is spectacular.

More images and information about the project is available on the archdaily website.

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Filed under Architecture, Interiors, New Uses, Office/Work Spaces, Residential, Retail

Not So Trailer Trash

I am absolutely loving the conversion of this vintage American Airstream trailer in to a modern, living and working space. The trailer was originally built in the 1970’s and was in dire need of repair when it was bought off craigslist by architect Matthew Hofmann. The project cost less than $20k and was a very hands on, intensive process.

When the time came for Hofmann to move house he felt like all his accumulated possessions were somewhat of a ball and chain. The answer to this problem was buying the trailer, giving him freedom, mobility and a clutter free life.

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When questioned about his design approach to the trailer Hofmanns response was extremely interesting. “How much does one remove? How much does one keep? Perfection isn’t when there is nothing more to be added, perfection is when nothing left can be taken away.” (Interview with Freshome) The outcome is definitely less is more. Every space has a use, in fact if a space didn’t have a number of uses it was considered a waste! The trailer was to be used as both a living and working space. Despite the cramped conditions, Hofmann gives the comfort level of the trailer an 18/20. Not a bad score, considering its multiple functions.

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All the pictures here are direct from Hofmann’s website and more information is also available on the IAMTIBO blog.

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Filed under Interiors, New Uses, Pop Up, Residential

Worms On The Streets Of New York

IdeasForTheNewCity1The Festival of Ideas For The New City is an event due to take place in New York this May. The Festival is a collaborative initiative in the downtown area that taps the large and diverse creative pool present in the city. The project imagines how the city will be shaped in the future. The culmination of the festival is a three day ‘Slate of Symposia’. The event includes a number of guest speakers including the likes of Rem Koolhaus, 8 independent projects and a street festival.

The Streetfest design element of the festival was won by a collaboration between Family and Playlab. The design is a series of tents called “The Worm”. The tents will run along the bowery and into the New Museum during the event. The design is made up of brightly coloured, waterproof nylon elements that fit together in modules.

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The Worms have openings that direct people to specific venues and areas that hold other events. The structures created with their modular nature will be able to be reused and assembled differently to suit future events. The modules have been specifically designed with a number of different efficiencies in mind. The sections can be compacted to aid in transportation costs and simply pull out for ease of assembly.

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This image below shows a number of the possible configurations that mean the Worm will not only create a fascinating event space now but in many orientations in the future as the Worm could slot in to almost any context.IdeasForTheNewCity5

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More Information about the event is available on the festival website. (All images are courtesy of the Family and Playlab websites)

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Filed under Cities, Materials, New Uses, Pop Up, Street Furniture

The Hypothetical Loitering Centre

The Hypothetical Development Organization was set up in 2010 in New Orleans and I have been keenly following the progress of the group since I discovered them last year.

The company aims to find “hidden gems”, mostly derelict or unused buildings within their neighbourhoods and then sets about in coming up with a conceptual proposal for the space. The organization then produces renders of the proposal and pins them up on the building.

By this form of guerilla advertising of the hypothetical it highlights the potential of buildings in the hope that developers will take the hint and make the most of the space.

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This is my favourite of the recent proposals, The New Orleans Loitering Centre. It turns its back on the common ‘No Loitering’ policy in place in many urban environments. For me the idea is great, particularly in sunnier climates I can see this idea being a brilliant social, meeting space for strangers and friends.

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Now if only someone would actually build it! The centre would certainly be a vast improvement on the current building, pictured above.

More information on The Hypothetical Development Company and the individual projects is available on their website.

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Filed under Architecture, Cities, Just For Fun, New Uses, Pop Up