Little did I know when I attended the MoMA Design Store press preview back in January that the face mask and emergency supply kit I spotted on display would become so relevant. The soft and stylish Urban Air Mask from Airinum uses five-layer technology to protect against microscopic airborne particles including pollution, bacteria, and allergens. It’s is available in three sizes. While it is currently not available on the MoMA Design Store site, you can sign up for a waiting list on the Airinum site. (Price: $69) While our current crisis is not a typical emergency, the Uncharted Supply Co Seventy2 Pro Readiness Kit is ideal for both wilderness adventures and up to 72-hour emergencies (the typical length of a normal emergency). This durable, waterproof backpack contains everything two people need, from a combo flashlight/radio/charger to a tent and first aid items. It measures 19”-high x 13”-long x 6”-deep. (Price: $499). Images courtesy MoMA Design Store.
The Osuza Canvas is a backpack made for folks who like to make things. The premium black canvas backpack is intended for painters, photographers, architects, designers — basically anyone who needs to safely and securely carry random tools and gear with them on a regular basis. Inside mesh pockets and multipurpose molle loops keep your things where you want them. The backpack is expandable up to 40 liters, has weatherproof closures, and can be customized with patches and pouches to express your personality or promote your brand. $349.00 (Free shipping in the U.S.) All images courtesy of OSUZA.
A competition to design a new version of the Little Free Library touches on two of my favorite things in the world — product design and books. If you aren’t familiar with Little Free Libraries, they are small containers that are installed in front yards, community centers, and public spaces all over to world to help people exchange books for free. There are nearly 40,000 of these structures worldwide, and Chronicle Books. Little Free Library, and AIA SF are inviting architects and designers to rethink the structure and solve some problems cited by users in the field. Challenges that the new design should try to overcome include keeping the doors shut, making it accessible at night, keeping it water-tight and heatproof, and perhaps my favorite, serving small children and tall adults alike. The jury includes architects, editors, and designers, and the prizes include an architecture library from Chronicle Books and other goodies. If I designed one, I’d love a little solar panel on top that lights it up at night when the door opens and …
For 30 years, Plasticase has designed, manufactured, and sold millions of plastic cases worldwide. The company currently works mainly on a B2B (business-to-business) basis, tailoring its products to the specialized needs of fields such as medical equipment, electronics, tools, military, and law enforcement. In late 2012, Plasticase hired Météore Design to create an all-new consumer-oriented outdoor line of small handheld cases called Nanuknano. The impact- and water-resistant cases protect personal belongings like smartphones, wallets, and cameras, on hikes, boat rides, and anywhere else you need extra protection. The cases, which come in eight colors and three sizes, feature shock-resistant polycarbonate resin shells, a patented PowerClaw latch, a valve for pressure control, and an elastomer over-molding that provides both internal protection and exterior shock absorption. You can carry the case using an adjustable wrist strap or by attaching it securely to a boat, belt, or knapsack. The cases are available worldwide via Plasticase.com. $19.99 U.S. (small); $24.99 U.S. (medium); $29.99 U.S. (large). ‘ Images courtesy of Plasticase Inc.
This clever “stay-brella”— created by the Japanese design firm Nendo exclusively for Seibu department stores in Japan — has a forked handle design that gives it a foot to stand on when not in use. This little feature also allows the umbrella to easily hang from tables and stay propped up on a wall when drying. The umbrella comes in eight different colors and has a strap to hang from the arm. A special surface coating reduces UV rays by 90%, a great feature in a country where folks use umbrellas for sun protection as much, if not more often, than rain protection. All photos by Akihiro Yoshida.