Boing Boing 

Watch this Trioh demo: stylish rechargeable accent or emergency light

One of my favorite crowdfunded projects is the beautiful Trioh rechargeable 3-in-1 light, which the makers claim is the "world's most beautiful flashlight."

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Katy makes couches for cats

After Xeni posted a photo of one of my cats sleeping on a doll bed, I received an email from Katy Cone, who makes couches for cats. She offered to make a cat couch for me styled on some furniture we have in our house. I sent her this photo:

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A couple of weeks later, the couch arrived. Here's Zelda, trying it out:

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We've had it for about a week, and Zelda uses it several times a day. My kids want to sit in it, too, but I won't allow it. It's probably sturdy enough to support their weight, but I'm not taking a chance.

If you are interested in getting a cat couch of your own, visit Katy's site, Meowch.

Improved Mid-Century Modern rocking chair

chair-openerMy book Maker Dad has instructions for making this Mid-Century Modern rocking chair. The design is based on a chair that was built around 1950 by Alexey Brodovitch, a designer who was the art director at Harper's Bazaar from 1934 to 1958. I built Brodovitch's chair and discovered that it was not very sturdy. I changed the design to have better support, and a few iterations later came up with a chair that felt more robust.

Last week Edward Reading sent me photos of the chair he built with his son. He improved on my design: "I counter-sunk the dowels about half the thickness of the plywood, and glued them for additional support. I also notched the sides to receive the 8" brace, and glued that in as well." Good job, Ed!

Here are photos of his chair:

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Ed's son is holding the peg trick, which you can see in the above video.

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Furniture from old Apple G5 towers

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Klaus Geiger's concept design for minimalist furniture fashioned from the chassis of old Apple PowerMac G5 tower computers

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Airplane parts recycled into furniture

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MotoArt, an outfit I've blogged before that transforms airplane parts into furniture, built this glorious conference table based on an engine scavenged from a Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet. (via Laughing Squid)

DIY pipe-and-wood shelves

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I've seen variations on pipe-and-wood bookshelves but this set (and howto) by Reddit user's bobatsfight is a terrific accomplishment!

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Jews and midcentury modern design

The Atlantic's Steven Heller's feature about the Jewish designers at the forefront of mid-century modernism, from George Nelson to Saul Bass to Alvin Lustig is pegged on a new exhibition titled Designing Home: Jews and Midcentury Modernism at San Francisco's Contemporary Jewish Museum.

CATable desk designed for humans and cats

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The CATable integrates crawl spaces to keep your kitty happy. (Laughing Squid)

Marvelous 18th century secretary cabinet

Please enjoy this video of my new writing desk with its hidden compartments, clockwork mechanisms, chimes, inkwell, and sand sifter. It was built in the workshop of Abraham and David Roentgen during the 18th century and previously owned by King Frederick William II. OK, fine, it's not mine. But it will be. Someday. SOMEDAY! (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, thanks Bob Pescovitz!)

Space age design loft bed/desk for kids (1975)

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While searching for a good loft bed/desk system for my son, I found this photo of a fantastic bed/desk/closet module designed in 1975 by Luigi Colani. The closet door is a chalkboard! I like how space age it feels. The DIY Mission Control desktop I posted about previously would be a perfect addition. (Handmade Charlotte)

Tea Cup chair

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"This Tea Cup Chair is perfect sound isolator, suitable for peaceful relaxing, reading or meditation." Or having a nice cuppa, I'd imagine. (Thanks, Michael-Anne!)

Verner Panton's incredibly psychedelic fantasy furniture (1970)

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In 1970, famed Danish designer Verner Panton transformed a Bayer-sponsored exhibition boat at the Cologne furniture fair into the "Visona 2 Fantasy Landscape." Below, a video tour of the scene. Can you dig it? I knew that you could.

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Heinlein's bed up for auction

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Want to sleep in Robert A Heinlein's bed? The Heinlein Society was unable to find a museum to take this artifact from his home so they are now selling it on eBay. Apparently designed and built by the writer himself, the bed platform has drawers underneath and two side tables, each with "a drawer, a pull out writing surface, and shelf space, as well as a compartment suitable for a box of tissues, and a trash compartment with a removable container." Robert A Heinlein's Bed (Thanks, Dave Gill!)

A proper Victorian poop table

This table is not for pooping. It's for tea. But it is made of poop — specifically fossilized hunks of fish poop, encased in a crunchy shell of clay and rock. The fossilized poops — called coprolites, which is basically just fancy Latin for "fossilized poop" — are the spiny-looking bits in the center of each circular inlay on the table top. (Technically, the name translates as "dung stone".)

The table belonged, appropriately, to the Rev. William Buckland, the man who gave coprolites their fancy name and proved that they were, in fact, fossilized poops.

The table resides at England's Lyme Regis Museum. You can read more about Buckland's work and the details of the craftsmanship and restoration behind the table at their website. Earth Magazine also has a lovely article on coprolites, including important information that will help you distinguish between fossilized poop and stuff that just looks like fossilized poop.

Via The Earth Story. Thanks to my Dad for forwarding this to me!

Canvas print of a couch doubles as a couch

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Japanese design firm YOY created this print of a sofa that can be used as a sofa. The image is printed on a very elastic fabric on a wood and aluminum frame. When it's leaned against a wall, you can sit in it. They also made a stool and armchair. CANVAS (via Laughing Squid)

Carpets now in Minecraft

You may now get carpet in Minecraft and get Minecraft carpet. Sort of.

Warhol's Brillo Boxes made out of foam and sold as furniture


At $425 each, this set of 3 will run you 3 X $425.

(I suspect Warhol wouldn't have created his boxes had he been exposed to this design travesty instead of James Harvey's masterpiece.)

Space Invaders chairs

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Design firm DoKC Lab created these excellent Space Invaders-inspired chairs. "Game Over" (via Juxtapoz)

Furniture made by pouring molten aluminum over wood

Hilla Shamia creates beautiful, weird furniture by placing logs inside molds and filling them with molten aluminum: "The negative factor of burnt wood is transformed into aesthetic and emotional value by preservation of the natural form of the tree trunk, within explicit boundaries. The general, squared form intensifies the artificial feeling, and at the same time keeps the memory of the material." [via Design Milk]

Soap Bubble chair on Kickstarter

Andrew writes, "A new designer chair from Andrew Miller at mSurfaces.com uses soap bubble physics to unlock their unique structural advantages. While architects have used the shape of a soap film to provide canopy, as in the 1972 Olympic Stadium by Frei Otto, the chair will be the first built object to support a human's weight with the form. It is the equal distribution of curvature throughout a soap film that makes it so aesthetically pleasing to the eye. However, this formal quality also redistributes the structural forces. If you could harness this property, you could use lightweight and inexpensive materials instead of steel. Imagine multi-story tents able to support the weight of electrical and plumbing lines, swiftly deployable in the aftermath of natural disaster. This chair will demonstrate the proof of concept towards such real-world load-bearing applications. 3-D printed models and renderings of the chair are now available on their Kickstarter page."

Soap Bubble Chair (Thanks, Andrew!)

Pixelated furniture


Design Milk offers a roundup of pixelated furniture and home accessories that one may buy, such as this "Do Lo Rez" Ron Arad rug depicting a serious industrial accident in Minecraft.

Folding tables, desks and carts with a tiny footprint

On Core77, Hipstomp profiles Oasis Concepts, a furniture maker that produces flat-folding compact furniture. I'm semi-obsessed with tiny-footprint furniture at the moment, having confronted the reality that we're not likely to get a bigger flat any time soon. I keep thinking that if we could just put in some ambitious convertible Murphy-style furniture in each room, we could get 1.5 rooms' worth of utility from each.

Oasis Concepts' Folding Tables

Zigzag bookcase shows Ikea a thing or two about not shipping air

"REK is a bookcase that grows with your book collection," writes Reinier De Jong Design on its official website. "The more books the bigger the bookcase gets. The zigzag shaped parts slide in and out to accomodate books in the resulting voids. REK will always be full, regardless of the quantity of books. Also the books can be arranged according to their sizes. The narrow spaces are excellent for magazines."

Price is "on request", unfortunately, which suggests I'll be sticking with my cheapo Billies for the time being.

REK bookcase [via Jessamyn West]

HOWTO make your own skateboard truck lazy-susan table

Inspired by the skateboard-truck lazy-susan table I blogged last year, Instructables user Wilgubeast has produced a HOWTO for replicating it for about $70, excluding the glass: "Think of the possibilities: Play board games where nobody has to look at the board upside-down. Bring the remote within reach without getting up from the couch. Epic tea parties."

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Geek Chic's insane and beautiful gaming tables


Seen at New York Comic-Con, which I'm presently attending, the fabulous, ultra-deluxe gaming tables of Geek Chic, which sport a series of nested, pull-out play-surfaces, drawers, a rail-system for suspending drinks/bins/additional surfaces, erasable acrylic-coated surfaces, and so forth. Shown here is the "Sultan," their top-of-the-range item, but they have a variety of options for smaller homes and budgets. I like their slogan: "Suck it, Swiss Army Knife."

One-of-a-kind desk hides a pipe organ and fluidic computer


Housefish has a writeup on Kagen Schaefer's pipe-organ desk, which hides in its drawers a pipe organ that doubles as a fluidic computer, and which has stolen my heart:
At first glance, it’s a relatively ordinary desk, albeit very finely made out of exceptional wood, and with an unusual number of small drawers. Open a drawer though, and there’s a surprise- each drawer operates a wooden pipe organ tube on the back. Opening different drawers plays different notes and lets you play songs. If I stopped right there, a wooden pipe organ desk would already rank among the most novel and impressive pieces of wooden furniture either of us has seen.

But there’s another secret. Inside the desk is a fluidic computer, operated entirely by the air pressure pulses created by opening and closing the drawers. This has been programmed so that playing a predetermined sequence of notes opens a secret compartment somewhere on the desk. It’s also reprogrammable, so you can set it to open when you play the theme to Star Wars, or whatever you want. And in case it wasn’t clear, this is made entirely of wood; there are no electronics of any kind. It is literally something that could have been built using technology available 500 years ago.

Kagen Schaefer Pipe Organ Desk | Housefish (via Crib Candy)

Transparent soft furniture


For Milan design week, furniture company Poltrona Frau exhibited some of its designs covered in transparent PVC without any fill, so that the structural elements were visible. I like the look of this, though it does remind me of the transparent toilets and TVs sold for use in prisons.

Transparent Furniture by Poltrona Frau (via Crib Candy)