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Modular Treehouse Concept

May 16, 2006 .There’s something primal about tree houses that enthralls children and returns adults to long lost afternoons filled with secret adventures. We’ve previously covered the exquisite designs of the English Treehouse designer-builders PearTree which include everything from custom-designs through two storey adult treehouses, home offices and even 30 seater conference suites (extensive image gallery of fabulous treehouses here) , and we’ve waxed lyrical about the Free Spirit Sphere, but this latest concept tree house from UK-based Design Studio Sybarite excited us to new levels. The company is developing a modular tree house concept which we think could become very popular. The ‘belly’ of the tree house accommodates undulating kinetic baffles that utilise wind power to generate electricity. The plan form also meanders to the extent that modular sections can be prefabricated so that the overall size can vary from a single bedroom house up to a five bedroom model. The prefabricated design can be installed on site within two weeks, is extremely lightweight, uses many recycled products, is part self-sustainable and low on maintenance. Sybarite has offices in Italy and China too – ring them up and tell them you want one (because we do). and make sure you check out the image library which has just been updated  Read More

The Magic of a treehouse

UPDATED May 13, 2006 Treehouses have a magical quality that sparks the imagination of children and returns adults to long lost afternoons filled with secret adventures. However, few of the corrugated iron structures we cobbled together as kids could approach the impressive scale and fairytale qualities found in PearTree Treehouse designs. Individually tailored to each customer's requirements no matter their age, PearTree projects include two storey adult treehouses, home offices and even 30 seater conference suites. Extensive image library here.  Read More

Panasonic to sell 103-inch plasma display

April 23, 2006 Worldwide demand for plasma TV screens is expected to top 25 million units in 2010 – plasma displays are just that much bigger for the price. Accordingly, we have a market shaping up as a wonderful contest between the world’s largest plasma manufacturers. Prior to 2006, LG and Samsung had both displayed 102 inch not-for sale plasmas, but in January at CES, Panasonic unveiled a 103 inch and claimed the heavyweight championship. Now, Panasonic has decided to put the 103-inch screen into production. Yes folks, you’ll actually be able to buy one before the end of the year though no price has been mentioned just yet. We think this will signal a declaration of war in the very large display market as the highly competitive Korean companies LG and Samsung love to play “mine’s bigger than yours” and can be expected to focus attention on the area.  Read More

New clothes washer  uses steam and no detergent

April 23, 2006 The electric-powered clothes washing machine was invented less than 100 years ago. Before that time, was the washboard (now better known as a musical instrument) and before that clothes were washed by hand using a variety of instruments, most notably the worlds’ favourite all-time multipurpose tool, the rock! The science of cleaning our clothes has advanced rapidly in the last few decades, and a new washing system from LG that incorporates steam technology to clean clothes without the use of detergent is a significant breakthrough. The steam capability can be used as a stand-alone 20-minute SteamFresh Cycle, which refreshes clothing, or combined with a normal hot or warm water wash cycle for better cleaning and a reduction in wrinkles. Not quite as historically significant but worth a mention for those interested in making the most of their time, is the Remote Monitoring System. Also from LG, the system has a remote monitor that enables consumers to monitor cycle progress while they focus on other activities around the home. The remote monitor shows the progress and remaining time on the washing, refreshing and drying cycles. This system, which utilizes Power Line Communication (PLC) technology, is easy to use and works by simply plugging the monitor into any electrical outlet within the home.  Read More

Electric Cooled and Heated Seat Cushion

April 13, 2006 Recent advancements in thermo-electric technology have made possible a seat heating and cooling cushion and it’s just coming to market in the United States. Our understanding is that seat cooling cushions have been available for a short time through accessory shops, but this new cushion heats and cools. The Cool-or-Heat seat cushion easily installs on top of any seat and obviously works great on any vehicle seat on a hot day powered by the 12-volt DC vehicle lighter adaptor, but also can be used on an office chair, home lounger, and even outside on the patio – anywhere there’s an AC wall outlet.  Read More

Nespresso InCar coffee machine concept

April 10, 2006 – “Design” and “innovation” were the buzz words this week as thousands converged at the Milan furniture fair Salone del Mobile. Creativity was also flowing at the Triennale, one of the primary centers for emerging trends of modern decorative and industrial arts, as the winners of the 2005 Nespresso Design Contest were announced. We love the the capsule-based single cup coffee concept which has grown remarkably over the last decade through the likes of Nespresso, Senseo, Tassimo et al. Given the compact nature of the pod-based coffee systems, Nespresso initiated a design contest encouraging European design students to explore and consider new innovations in the coffee lifestyle without boundaries—freeing themselves from traditional conceptions of coffee and coffee preparation. Students were also urged to consider how coffee rituals will evolve in the future. The results were fantastic, with the winning concept a “Nespresso Card” which holds coffee preferences for registered individuals, thus enabling them to access their favorite coffee anytime, anywhere. For our money though, the second-placed “Nespresso InCar” coffee machine aroused the most interest. Though only a concept we’ve got three people in our office alone who would buy one. The idea is that the machine fits conveniently into the centre console of a car and doubles as an armrest when travelling.  Read More

The inverted Martini glass

April 10, 2006 UK-based designers, Tomek Rygalik and Jorre van Ast have been named winners of this year's Bombay Sapphire Designer Glass Competition for their glass 'Inverted'. Chosen from 26 global finalists gathered for the final judging and celebration of martini cocktail culture at Superstudio Piu in Milan (part of the Milan Design Week), Rygalik from Poland and his Dutch design partner, Jorre van Ast, who studied together at the Royal College of Art in London, collected the US$15,000 prize. The winning glass recognises the importance of three elements to the glass design - the bowl, stem and base - and then plays with the archetypal form by placing the stem above the bowl. Holding the delicate stem creates a new, elegant, drinking experience for the martini cocktail.  Read More

Bluetooth Wireless speakers can redefine the living space

April 9, 2006 First we got wired, and now we’re getting unwired. Bluetooth took a long time to build momentum, but is now beginning to fulfil its promise with Paris-based Bluetooth specialist Parrot creating an ingenious pair of 60W stereo wireless speakers. Based on the premise people are increasingly carrying their music collection with them, and Bluetooth functionality will become ubiquitous across all handheld devices, the speakers can transform your iPod, mobile phone or handheld into a full blown 2 x 60W stereo system. There’s also a flexibility of room configuration available with the speakers that just wasn’t there before too – frequent furniture rearrangers will love the concept.  Read More

Ingenious Eubiq power supply solution

April 4, 2006 As the number of household and office appliances that use electricity has grown, the need for a serious redesign of the electrical supply for the modern office or dwelling has grown. Given all the wonders of modern technology, why is it that it’s not possible to have electrical appliances where we want them without the need for an electrician, three layers of powerboards or a tangle of cable spaghetti. The new Eubiq system looks to be the first viable answer to this problem merging all possible electrical needs into one streamlined strip. Users can tap into power anywhere along the track by connecting a Eubiq plug, adaptor or accessory. The Eubiq is aesthetic, safe, easy to install and simple to use. Developed with the patented GSS (Ground Sentry Shutter) feature, Eubiq represents a major advancement in the safe provision of power sources. A complete range of Eubiq adaptors are available for all major plug types and Eubiq is seeking distributors in all areas.  Read More

The CoolBoy - a hand-held, portable drinks cooler

March 30, 2006 Ian Thompson believes that cooling drinks and keeping them cold for hours days or weeks before they are needed is downright wasteful. So the Northumbria University MA Design student came up with‘The Coolboy’ - and says this is how we will be chilling our drinks in 2020. The ‘Coolboy’ concept is a lightweight device, about the size of a cocktail shaker that plugs into the mains and is fitted inside with cooling cells. The tepid drink is poured through the top, and passes across the cells, which then chill the liquid to a perfectly cool temperature.  Read More

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