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.
Why exactly do we have to have all of our keys dangling together in one messy jumble anyway? Designers Jacob Flores and Steven Elliot, the founders of KeyDisk Co. in San Francisco, have taken things completely off the chain with their new key storage solution. Constructed from sandblasted and anodized aluminum, KeyDisk 2 is a lightweight, innovative flat keyholder that can hold up to nine keys. Compatible with standard key rings and car remotes, KeyDisk 2 fits into any pocket due to its slim design. The second edition has a hollowed-out design, which makes it more ergonomic and makes finding and drawing out a key easier. With two different screw shapes, the key holder is much simpler for users to assemble. This hypnotizing gif shows how it works: With over a month to go, the designers have already met their Kickstarter goal to bring the product into production. Backers of the Kickstarter can receive a gunmetal gray or onyx black KeyDisk 2 for a pledge of just $19, a $10 savings from retail. Worrying about what you will do with all …
Finnish brand Iittala has teamed up with the Paris-based designers (and this year’s London Design Medalists) Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec to design Ruutu, a collection of 10 vases available in five sizes and seven colors. Ruutu, which means diamond or square in Finnish, can be combined to make seamless installations where delicate, watercolor-like palettes and light seem to melt together like molten glass. Like Ittala’s iconic Alvar Aalto collection, Ruutu is created in Iittala’s Finnish factory where each vase takes seven craftsmen 24 hours to produce symmetrical items that still look and feel handmade. Each vase has the designers’ name engraved on the base. The vases will be available for purchase in early 2015. All images courtesy Iittala. A little video where the designers discuss their design:
Following a successful collaboration in 2012, KnollTextiles and the non-profit goods for good (GFG) have teamed up again to help set up sustainable community enterprises in Malawi. For the first project, KnollTextiles sent unemployed tailors in Malawi fabric in order to make fashionable tote bags. It was a win/win for the community — the bags raised funds while the tailors gained marketable tailoring skills. For this holiday season, KnollTextiles will be producing limited-edition bracelets using Ultrasuede fabric in five colors decorated with Swarovski crystals. All sales from the bracelets will be invested in GFG’s small businesses in Africa. The bracelets will be on sale for $29 on the KnollTextiles website at Knolltextiles.com/bracelets starting on November 1st.