English Designer Creates Furniture That Looks and Feels Like Human Skin

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Gigi Barker, a British furniture designer and owner of Studio 9191, has come up with a new range of seating that looks and feels a lot like the human body. The seats are designed to mimic bulbous, podgy human flesh. And they’re oddly comforting, as Gigi’s customers reluctantly admit.

Although the seats are made of leather – the closest material to human skin that she could find – they’re so oddly shaped that they aren’t instantly recognisable. And that’s exactly the effect that she was hoping to achieve with the project, which she calls ‘A Body of Skin’.

Through the project, Gigi wanted to explore people’s reactions to furniture that is strangely familiar to the sight, smell and touch, but not recognisable. “That made the viewers question how to interact with the shapes and to form their own conclusions,” she said.

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Israeli Designer Creates Gas Mask for the Fashion-Conscious

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Let’s face it – gas masks might be incredibly useful in case of a catastrophe, but they’re not the most fashionable accessories and often make it difficult for users to interact with other people. But Israeli industrial designer, Zlil Lazarovich, is trying to change the way people perceive gas masks. She has created the world’s first ‘Social Gas Mask’ which not only looks sleek and stylish, but also allows for seamless social interactions.

With the new Social Gas Mask, you can enjoy movie nights on your couch, go outside without having people stare at you, and pretty much do everything you normally do. “The large window allows to show a greater range of facial expressions by exposing the upper cheeks, eyebrows and full width of the eyes area,” Lazarovich says. “The wide, cheeky shape of the filters gives the impression of a wide, healthy and happy face instead of a long, skeleton-like one. As opposed to current masks that often hide the user’s face, restrict communication and facial expressions, and look like an alien, the Social Gas Mask has a number of features designed to offer an empowering image and a positive experience.”

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Belarusian Artist Specializes in Turning Mundane Appliances into Steampunk Masterpieces

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Dmitry Tihonenko, from Belarus, is a household-appliance repairman with a passion for everything steampunk. Although he primarily uses his workshop to fix broken appliances, he has this amazing hobby going on on the side – creating steampunk masterpieces out of mundane, everyday objects.

You have to to admit that even though modern appliances make our lives a lot easier, design-wise they are not always as cool-looking as we’d like . They’re most often mass-produced, plastic replicas of each other. But that’s where Dmitry comes in – he takes boring appliances and converts them into something truly wonderful, as you can see in the pictures.

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Kindhearted Artist Turns Trash into Tiny Mobile Homes for the Homeless

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Gregory Kloehn is an artist who uses his skills for a really worthy cause – building homes for the homeless. Making use of recycled and reclaimed materials found on the street, he creates small mobile homes, each about the size of a sofa. These homes come with pitched roofs to keep out the rain and wheels at the bottom, for mobility. So far, he’s built about 10 shelters through the ‘Homeless Homes Project’, and hopes to create more in the future.

Although they’re not made of much, the tiny homes are more than enough for someone with no other place to sleep. They are painted in bright colors and have a few quirky elements – like washing machine doors for windows and minivan tops for roofs. Gregory, 43, is a sculptor by profession, but he went on a construction spree after building his five-unit live-work condominium from scratch. Originally from Denver, he now lives in Oakland, California, where he carries out his philanthropic construction project.

“Before, I was all about sculpture, but I realized it just sits there,” he said. “And you’re just peddling it to rich people. I kind of think if you’re putting so much effort into something it would be nice if it did something.” So with his new-found fascination for architecture, Gregory began to study homeless shanties in his neighborhood. He wrote a book called ‘Homeless Architecture’ at the time, admiring how they were able to recycle all day and make homes out of almost nothing.

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Artist with Background in Criminology Turns Bones into High-End Jewelry

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Artist Kirstin Bunyard has managed to blend her two great passions – fashion and dissection – into a morbid yet intriguing art form. Kirstin makes high-end, elegant jewelry (rings, bracelets and necklaces) using natural bones. In 2009, she started her own label called Ossuaria Jewelry, through which she sells her handmade accessories. She personally selects the bones for each piece and fashions them by hand to create ‘bold and dramatic adornments’ that are meant for ‘people with a bit of an eccentric side’.

Kirstin has a background in criminology, but she was always interested in fashion as well. “From the time I was 10 years old, I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer,” she said. Her dream was to ‘take on the world of punk culture and high fashion’. She sketched all the time, waiting for the day when her creations would be displayed on the runway. But by the time she got to college, her life had taken a different course.

After college, Kirstin worked for a short while as an autopsy assistant and attended several autopsies and embalmings. During this time she developed a great admiration for bones – the structures that support the body. She found them so elegant and alluring that she began to believe that they deserved a more prominent place outside the body. That’s when she seriously began to consider shifting her line of work.

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Korean Photography Enthusiasts Build Awesome Camera-Shaped Cafe

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‘Dreaming Camera’ is a quaint little coffee shop located in the breathtaking countryside of Yangpyeong County of South Korea. The spectacular café was built by a photography enthusiast, which is quite obvious, seeing as how the building is shaped like a gigantic vintage camera.

I’m not sure who the owners are, but here’s what I could gather from the website: it’s a mom-and-pop type café, run by a family of three. The husband is a former air-force helicopter pilot with a huge passion for photography. He lives in a beautiful bungalow just next to the café with his wife and adorable daughter. The camera-shaped coffee shop had been his dream for many years before he finally got the chance to make it a reality.

Café Dreaming Camera is designed like a Rolleiflex camera – it is two storeys high with panoramic, round windows. The first floor is decorated with miniature and toy cameras. A few real ones are displayed as well, on a shelf beside the large window. On the website, the owner’s wife writes that all the real cameras are her husband’s area of expertise; she just knows that ‘everything is working’. The second floor has a photo exhibition on display, in which patrons are encouraged to participate.

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Got No One to Make-Out with? Give This Creepy Kissing Pillow a Try

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Whether you are perennially single or need to get some practice before that big date, this kissing pillow might be of great use to you. The ‘Make-Out Practice Pillow’ comes with a creepy built-in plastic nose and mouth, designed to give you the illusion of kissing a real person.

Florida-based designer Emily King created the pillow as a solution for inexperienced kisser. “When I was in middle school, everyone joked about making out with pillows for practice. I’m assuming that I was not the only one for whom the jokes had some truth,” she said.

26-year-old Emily said that she was inspired by CPR dummies and some removable rubber dummy mouths that she found in abandoned suitcases near her apartment. So she went and got herself a few ‘mouth pieces’. “The mouths sat in a bin in my studio for a while,” said the DIY-expert. “They whispered to me as I worked in my studio. ‘We are waiting,’ they said, ‘and we are creepy. Don’t you want to get us out of your studio?’ After many months the rubber lips exhaled the idea of make-out pillows. I’ve been avoiding the insistency of the mouths, but as we near closer to Valentine’s Day I know the time has come,” she wrote on DIY community website, Instructables.

Make-Out Practice Pillow

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English Artist Creates Expensive Broaches Inspired by Pigeon Droppings

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Pigeon droppings may be smelly and disgusting, but did you know they could also be an inspiration for jewelry? Don’t worry, no one’s actually putting droppings in jewelry. But an English artist is making broaches that resemble the shape, size and color of pigeon poo.

30-year-old Frances Wadsworth-Jones, from Ealing, West London, has created a new line of broaches called ‘Heaven Sent’. Each piece in the collection is made from crushed semi-precious and precious gems like black diamonds, sapphires and tourmaline. The gems are set together in imitation of splattered pigeon droppings.

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High-Tech Sweater Displays Wearer’s Emotions via Integrated LED Lights

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If you’ve always struggled to express your emotions, then you should seriously consider getting the Mood Sweater to do it for you. Sensoree, a San Francisco-based company, has created a new line of high-tech sweaters that display the wearer’s moods.

Along with the sweater, you need to wear a sensor on your hand. Information about your emotions are transmitted to the collar, embedded with LED lights that glow in a variety of colors. The wide turtleneck is white when unused, but glows in various colors, according to the wearer’s mood, when worn.

The emotive display is color coded: green for tranquil, Zen; blue for calm, relaxed; purple for ruffled, aroused or excited; red for nervous, in love; yellow for nirvana, ecstatic, blissful. The technology in the sweater is similar to that used in some lie detectors – it gathers information from the wearer’s sweat glands.

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The Danbocchi – A $600 Cardboard Box for People Who Value Their Privacy

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You know those moments when you’re surrounded by a sea of people and all you can think about is being alone in a tiny room? Ok, maybe that’s just me, but he point is now you can isolate yourself from the world pretty much anywhere and anytime, thanks to the Danbocchi. This ordinary-looking cardboard box is is soundproofed up to 30 decibels, so as long as you do it in a low voice, you can talk to yourself, scream, or sing without worrying about people hearing you.

The Danbocchi might seem like the perfect accessory for hikikomori, Japan’s reclusive youth, but in fact, it was designed for ordinary people who want to sing karaoke or play video games at high volume without disturbing their neighbors. If you live in an apartment with really thin walls, you probably know how annoying loud neighbors are, particularly at night, but thanks to the Danbocchi sound-dampening box, noise is no longer a problem. Just step inside, close the door, and be as loud as you can. According to the Danbocchi official site, if someone is singing karaoke at 90 decibels inside the box, it only sounds like 60 decibels to people outside of it, which is about a normal speaking volume.

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The Final Countdown – Creepy Death Watch Counts Down to Your Death

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If you’re 30 and still living with your mom, unmotivated to go out and get a job or a girlfriend, here’s a quirky but effective way to encourage you to go out and live your life while you still can – The Tikker, or “death watch” counts down how much time you have left until you kick the bucket. Remember the website that did the exact same thing? Well, this is the 2.0 portable version.

Calling it “The Happiness Watch”, its inventor Fredrik Colting explains that he wanted to find a way to determine people “to cherish the time and the life that we have been given, to honor it, suck the marrow from it, seize the day and follow our hearts. And the best way to do this is to realize that seconds, days and years are passing never to come again.” Here’s how the watch works. To set up the Tikker, you first need to fill out a questionnaire with information about your medical history, weight, lifestyle details such as if you drink or smoke and how often you exercise. You are also asked to give information about any diseases that may run in your family. All these are factored in and you are given a score representing your entire lifespan including the years you have already lived. After your current age is deducted from this score, the countdown begins.

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The Uniface Mask – A Simple Alternative to Makeup and Plastic Surgery

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What if you never had to waste precious time every day covering your face with layer upon layer of makeup, or even consider plastic surgery enhancements in a never-ending quest to adhere to society-set beauty standards? These are some of the ideas Chinese designer Zhuoying Li is tackling in her new project – the Uniface Mask.

Giant anime eyes, long eyelashes, a high nose bridge, narrow chin and cheeks, these are coveted facial features and they are all available in one simple package, the Uniface mask. The science team behind this unique beauty product has developed “bionic-skin” technology to produce a human-skin-like mask, which is extremely thin and breathable through its pores. With the included “Cell-Blending” glue, which seamlessly binds the mask to human skin, users can put on Uniface and not even feel they’re using it. And if you’re worried about its expressionless doll-like look, don’t be. Made only with FDA G.R.A.S.(generally recognized as safe) materials, Uniface provides the highest level of comfort, allowing you to talk, make facial expressions and even sleep with it on without feeling any difference in your life. If anything, you will have attained ideal beauty without losing countless hours in front of the mirror and wasting hard-earned money on makeup or plastic surgery.

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Israeli Women Convert Old Public Transportation Bus into Beautiful Living Space

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Two women from Even Yehuda, Israel, seem to have found a practical solution to the country’s growing housing problem. They have taken a beat-down public transportation bus and turned it into a luxury home anyone would be lucky to live in.

Tali Shaul, a psychotherapist, and Hagit Morevski, an ecological pond water treatment specialist, became friends after their two sons started playing together. Sharing similar views, the two looked for a creative project and joint business idea for a long time, before finding their inspiration in the pages of a women’s style magazine. “I read an article about alternative housing solutions, such as containers and tents,” Shaul told Xnet, “and suggested Hagit and I turn an old bus into a living space.” That same week, they went to a scrapyard and bought an old public transportation bus. After stripping away all the seats and clearing up the space for the big transformation, Tali and Hagit found themselves wondering whether to keep the original outlay of the bus or turn it into a container-like space. Unable to make a decision on heir own, they reached out to their designer friend, Vered Sofer Drori, who ultimately found a way to keep the bus’ general layout and design the living space around it.

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Australian Design Company Creates Tent Sneakers for Campers on the Go

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Recently unveiled by Australian design firm Sibling, the Walking Shelter is a one-person tent stored within a pair of sneakers. The human shelter is neatly packed in a netted compartment covering the footwear and can be used pretty much anywhere.

They may not be the most fashionable sneakers out there, but you have to admit these tent shoes are pretty ingenious. Designed as a concept for shoe company Gorman, they are meant to provide instant shelter wherever and whenever it’s needed. “The Walking-Shelter is a human shelter stored within a pair of sneakers. Stored compactly in integrated net pockets within the shoe, the shelter expands out and around the body to form an enclosure that relies on the human frame as a supporting structure,” the shoes’ designers say. “The shelter accommodates for the body in a variety of ways and can be customized by the user to adapt to a variety of contexts and environments. This project was developed as a one-off prototype and auctioned off, with all proceeds going towards Little Seeds Big Trees.”

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The Do Hit Chair – A Smashable Piece of Furniture Worth $8,500

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Furniture doesn’t come much more customizable than the Do Hit Chair from Droog Design. For the modest price of €6,553 ($8,500) you get a stainless steel cube and a sledgehammer to shape it into the chair of your dreams.

Created by Dutch designer Marijn van der Poll caused quite a lot of controversy when it was first revealed back in 2000. You’d expect a designer chair priced at several thousand dollars to be really special, and this one is, just not in the way that you would expect. Instead of shaping his masterpiece into something unique, van der Poll simply welded a stainless steel cube and left the design part to the buyer by throwing in a sledgehammer. So you basically pay €6,500 (€7,930 if you’re in the EU) for a steel cube and get to smash it for minutes or hours until you get the desired shape. If this sounds interesting, the Do Hit Chair is still available on the Droog website, but you could just run down to your local hardware store, get some steel sheets and a sledgehammer and just build your own for much less. And if you’re feeling uninspired, there’s even a YouTube video of Marijn van der Poll himself smashing away at a steel cube trying to make a chair. Or, if you’re too lazy to pound it with the sledgehammer yourself, you can have the designer pre-smash it for you, but the price for the chair goes up to $12,738. The default version sounds cheap now, doesn’t it?

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