Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

My industrial design professor actually suggested this TED Talk to me when I asked him how should I write for a design pitch that I am creating. This actually surprised me in how much it has changed how I think about communicating and I just wanted to share.



Piamo Espresso Maker – Designed For Your Microwave

The Piamo Espresso Maker, designed by Christoph and Hendrik Meyl, along with Lunar, is an elegant, microwaveable entry in the world of at-home espresso. It’s essentially a microwaveable moka pot, inverted. You pour water in a reservoir up top and fill grounds in the middle. Then you set the microwave for 30 seconds. Steam pressure builds in the reservoir, pushing water through the grounds into a cup. You’re done.

The Piamo has already been awarded a few patents based on its ingenuity, but its most brilliant move was to play off the already-iconic shape (and mouth feel) of the espresso cup.

Of course, the larger design challenges had nothing to do with the branding. The team had to figure out, how do you toss ground espresso into a microwave for 30 seconds without burning away the intoxicating aroma? The solution was to implement metal shielding around just the grounds compartment of the Piamo. But don’t metal and microwaves not mix?

“Any metal part in a microwave acts as an antenna. It needs to be designed in a way that its geometry is soft, rounded, and doesn’t have any pointy, sharp areas that create problems with the electrical fields that would result in the well-known sparks,” Gebhard explains. “Furthermore, these metal parts need to be designed in a way that they are aligned with the standardized microwave wavelength and frequency.”

Coupled with that espresso cup, which was actually built of ABS plastic to reinforce the metal’s shielding (better than ceramic would), the espresso grounds are kept safe from overheating. Ironically, moka pots are often chided for burning espresso before the water pressure mixes with the beans. Piamo’s design team may have solved this age-old problem despite the indiscriminate science of microwaves.

The Piamo is available for pre-order now. It’s $55 on the German equivalent of Kickstarter, check it out here.


Lego Key Holder

I think this is an ingenius idea. It is a key plaque out of Lego. The keys can be connected depending on use.


PUSHit Toilet Seat by Hoe Yeong Jung

Plunging toilets is about the worst of bathroom duty you could have, but it has to be done in order to unclog the toilet.  The unsanitary plunger concept of handling a clogged toilet makes a highly unpleasant aroma, visual and spatial component to your bathroom. This design allows the seat to act as the plunger by unclogging the toilet with a simple push which in return makes it a pure thought of freshness.


Twisth&Brush: Toothpaste Tube Toothbrush

We travel a lot, and with the TSA ruthlessly enforcing the 3.4-ounce-liquid, single-quart-baggie rule, we’re always on the lookout for toiletries that’ll help us breeze right through the security line.

So we were thrilled to stumble on Twist&Brush, a great concept by the Spanish designers Kawamura-ganjavian that crams a toothpaste dispenser and a toothbrush into one elegant little package.

The ingenious feature is the handle, which works like a cross between a syringe and a deodorant stick. Fill it up with toothpaste, then when you’re ready to brush, twist the bottom a few notches and toothpaste squeezes out the bristles. A bonus: The clear plastic handle indicates precisely how much toothpaste you’ve got in there, so the TSA won’t fritter away your time — and everyone else’s — investigating whether you tried to sneak in a few extra ounces.

Obviously, the design is super convenient for travelers, but it’s also something of a boon to the environment. Think how much waste people could avoid by not buying those all mini toothpaste tubes they use once or twice, then throw away.

Twist&Brush is just a concept and we have no idea whether the designers plan to put it into production, but we desperately hope they do — if for no other reason than just to give the middle finger to that racket of an industry known as travel-sized toiletries.




GiraDora – Human Powered Washer and Dryer

GiraDora is a human-powered washing/spin-dryer a user can sit on that increases the efficiency and improves the experience of hand-washing clothes. For under $40, GiraDora more than doubles productivity, increases health of women and children, and affords the opportunity to begin breaking the poverty cycle. The user sits on top of the drum-like appliance and pumps a pedal with her foot, which agitates, cleans, rinses, then spins-dries clothes. While providing a more comfortable, ergonomic, and efficient way to clean clothes, GiraDora also affords opportunities to generate income.