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Belarusian Artist Specializes in Turning Mundane Appliances into Steampunk Masterpieces

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.

Dmitry-Tihorenko

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Kindhearted Artist Turns Trash into Tiny Mobile Homes for the Homeless

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.

homes-for-homeless

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

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.

Ossuaria-jewelry

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Korean Photography Enthusiasts Build Awesome Camera-Shaped Cafe

‘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.

Dreamy-Camera-cafe

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

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

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.

pigeon-droppings-jewelry2

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

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.

Sensoree-sweater

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

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.

Danbocchi-box

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

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.

Tikker-watch

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

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.

Uniface-mask

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Israeli Women Convert Old Public Transportation Bus into Beautiful Living Space

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.

Bus-Home

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Australian Design Company Creates Tent Sneakers for Campers on the Go

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.”

tent-shoes

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

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?

Do-Hit-Chair

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Meet Ai Hasegawa, the Woman Who Wants to Give Birth to a Shark

With a population nearing nine billion people and food shortages becoming increasingly problematic, the human race needs sustainable solutions if it wants to survive. Japanese designer Ai Hasegawa has come up with a very controversial approach to solving environmental and food-related issues – the possibility of women giving birth to various animal species and eventually eating them.

In one of her most intriguing projects yet, “I Wanna Deliver a Shark…”, Ai Hasegawa tackles “the problem of human reproduction in an age of over-population and environmental crisis.” She envisions the possibility of humans one day giving birth to their food and satisfying both their nutritional needs and that of giving life. The 33-year-old says having a human baby isn’t as simple as some people think, especially with our world about to face a major food crisis. She argues that bringing new humans into this world is definitely not the answer, but giving birth to endangered animal species might be just what we need to survive. “We are genetically predisposed to raise children as a way of passing on our genes to the next generation but we live in an age where the struggle to raise a child in decent conditions is becoming harder with gross over-population and difficult environmental conditions,” Hasegawa says. “We must also eat, and we are equally facing growing food shortages as a result of over-fishing, land use and a growing population. By giving birth to an edible animal it might place more value on that endangered species and help prevent it’s extinction.”

Ai-Hasegawa

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Clothing in a Can – Designer Mixes Fashion and Science to Create Spray-On Fabric

Spanish fashion designer Manel Torres is the man behind the world’s first spray-on clothing, which is applied directly on the body and can be washed and worn again just like your regular clothes.

It may sound like something out of a futuristic film, but Manel Torres actually patented his amazing spray-on clothing back in the year 2000. He came up with this original idea while studying for his MA in Fashion Women’s Wear, at the Royal College of Art, London. Torres was aware of the slow process of creating regular garments, from weaving the actual fabric to dyeing it and tailoring the clothing items, so he tried to come up with “a futuristic, seamless, quick and comfortable material.” I’m sure most of you can come up with even more outrageous concepts than a spray-on fabric, but the Spanish designer was determined to make his a reality. Since he had no real knowledge of chemistry he sought the help of scientists at the London Imperial College, and after years of research and testing, Manel invented the spray that turns into a wearable second skin in contact with the human body.

spray-clothing

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