Sadly the Mad Men days of sipping scotch in a bespoke suit on an art deco armchair at ten in the morning, discussing what spin to put on the ad for the season’s newest gadget are behind us. Well, maybe it’s not too sad…
Either way, the ever-improving access to design technology and the increasing affordability of 3D printers and other small-scale manufacturing processes have moved product design capability out of the hands of the few and into the open arms of the many, resulting in an explosion of innovative, exciting, though admittedly not always great design ideas.
Here are some of our top picks for the most unique product design.
Created by Swiss designer Carlo Borer, this bad boy looks has a bit of a Death Star vibe to it. Except it actually does work (and there’s no pesky exhaust port to worry about…). Additionally, the spiked top is removable and useful as a projectile if Chad from accounting wants to tell you all about his sick dirt biking trip before you’ve made it through your second cup.
As an Android user, I know there is nothing Apple-heads love more than telling you how great Apple products are. Well, now they can let their bedding do it for them! These were available through Ellos but they seem to be out of stock at the moment. I can only find images for Single beds. Coincidence?
Perfect if you are looking to add an interesting feature to a restaurant or public space or if you simply want to recreate your favorite Sonic the Hedgehog level as a lamp. Designed and created by Anthony Dickens.
Y’know what? If someone had said to me “I bet one day you’ll write an article with the words ‘3D’ and ‘Fetus’ right next to each other.” It’s a bet I would have taken and I’d have put a lot of money on it. That’s the fun part about this job though. You’re always evolving, and no longer do we have to rely on grainy 2D black and white images when visualizing our developing babies.
Although not a product design in the traditional sense, this Japanese company uses your 3D ultrasound and produces it as a tangible… well… paperweight? Do people still use paperweights?
I know, I know, another Apple accessory. This one I really like though. An iPhone case with a slide-out bottle opener to take the edge off when your operating system won’t allow you to import video in the format you used to film your son’s first steps or when you realize that the wireless headphones you need to buy because the new models don’t come with a jack are going to set you back $219. Cheers!
This one is one of those love it or hate it designs that might start to cross into uncanny valley territory for a lot of folks. I think it’s absolutely fantastic though and I’d even pay extra if “XXL cookie cubby” were an option. I also really like how the website makes sure to note that cookies are not included in the $18 cost.
Don’t like money? But you DO like dragons, well this little number is for you! Bobbasset.com has got your back. For only $1750 you can carry around a 5L leather dragon bag, ensuring that your wallet won’t weigh you down.
Little backpack humor there.
Another design that is technically not a consumer product, the Onitsuka Tiger shoe company designed and 3D printed this 1-meter long shoe sculpture as a part of an ongoing ad campaign. It was later sold to a private owner as a modern art sculpture. The video of its production is worth a watch. This project is a remarkable testament to what can be accomplished when creativity works in sync with technology.
What? No jokes? No. Look at this thing, it’s amazing.
Etienne Meneau has designed a whole stable of interesting-looking carafes and glasses that I would need a bib to operate. Seriously. Ever tried drinking beer out of the big glass boot? There’s a whole technique to not getting a litre and a half of lager shot into your sinuses.
This particular design is called the Little Heart because it features four individual tubes connecting at the mouth.
There is actually a surprising bit of lore surrounding what seems like a pretty straightforward idea; as it gets harder to reach the peanut butter, you just flip the whole thing over and open the other end. Apparently though, between 2007 and 2009, three people came up with this idea independently of each other. One of whom (and in fact, the only one of the three to obtain an official US patent) was a nine-year-old girl named Bella Prieto. Just goes to prove that creativity knows no age.
The other notable designer is Sherwood Forlee who described his idea to Newsweek and explained that he had been working on his design for eight years.
Yep. Eight years. To get to “put a lid on the bottom too.”
It really would be possible to have written an entire article just on innovative furniture design. With more and more people working from home and corporate culture trying to make the most economical use of a finite office space while providing comfortable, healthy workspaces for employees, ideas like stand-up desks and fitness ball seats have started to become commonplace. Not this though. I like the idea and it is a super creative design but I can’t honestly think of a profession where this type of mobility would be necessary. Why would this guy need to move around so much? Is it hygiene? OCD? Is he part of an out-there cult?
Still though. Points for creativity.
Being responsible for the unintentional slaughter of literally dozens of plants belonging to myself and others, I really do understand the usefulness of the Pet Plant design from Junyi Heo. The face on the front of the pot changes if you forget to water it, or if the temperature changes drastically.
And that’s about all of the wonder and weirdness I was able to wrangle together from the internet for you today. Hopefully, it helps to get your creativity flowing this week.
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