Leatherman Creates a Wearable Multi-Tool Bracelet You Can Take on an Airplane

You don’t know how useful a tool is until you start carrying it everywhere. Like grandpas who never left their pocket knife at home, or women who have a multi-tool in their purse, it’s amazing what a few simple tools can do to save the day. That’s why the design for Leatherman’s new Tread is so very cool. They’ve managed to pack 25 very useful tools into the form factor of a watch band, making a tool that is almost impossible to forget. With an optional watch face, it’s surprisingly stylish too (then again, I almost always think smart utility is stylish).

Is This the Perfect Alarm Clock? Wake Up to Joshua Renouf’s Barisieur

Joshua Renouf Barisieur 2

Joshua Renouf’s new alarm clock might be the most sublime way to greet the day: his Barisieur alarm clock is also a coffee-maker. In an intriguing mix of high and low tech, the charming design combines classic wood detailing and glass brewing apparatus, with induction heated ball bearings that clink together to gently bring you to consciousness. Combine that with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and this is one perfect way to awaken.

A Smart & Beautiful Chess Set That Packs Flat

Whether you’re winding down the day with a bottle of wine and a friend, or taking a long journey across India by train, there are few better mind-stimulating ways to pass the time than a game of chess. For those moments when a full-sized chess set just isn’t practical, the options have mostly been limited to magnetic travel sets that lack in a certain level of stylish class. That’s part of the reason Peter Baeten’s Got Chess is so very nice.

Car Camping Revolutionized: This Bed Folds Into a Suitcase

If you’ve ever tried camping in your car, you probably found yourself getting less than perfect sleep. Between curling up into the majorly lumpy back seat, or reclining the front seats for an equally lumpy/bumpy experience (one that makes side/stomach sleeping impossible), the options aren’t that inviting. Enter the SwissRoomBox – an ingenious invention that will convert even tiny hatchbacks into a flat sleeping area. And yes, like the Swiss Army knife it claims as a namesake, this smart system folds up into a small package – a rolling suitcase.

Napkin Table: For Your Most Awkward Date, EVER

If your first dates aren’t ending up awkward enough, I think we’ve found your solution. The “Napkin Table” is the creation of industrial design students at Tunghai University of Taiwan – a device which loops around you and your partner’s neck, creating a table like eating surface in between. Yes, now any sudden neck/torso motions you were hoping to make are transferred to the tabletop of both you and your date. If romance is on the menu, you might give this invention a miss – unless the apple of your eye has an appetite for humor.

A Look at Apple Prototypes from the 1980s

With Apple, it’s always been about the inspired and iconic design – and that was certainly true even in the early days. Keep It Simple: The Early Design Years of Apple is an insider’s look at those formative years as told through the eyes of designer Hartmut Esslinger. Working side-by-side with Steve Jobs in developing Apple into a global brand, their minds created the look and feel of the Apple IIc and Macintosh. These are the thoughtful concepts that surrounded those world changing products.

CATable. A Table for Us, a Paradise for Cats

Of all the things to come out of Milan Design Week, this is by far my favorite, and I’m pretty sure it’s a table made for the internet. Welcome to the CATable, a bizarre yet beautiful combination of cat furniture and human furniture designed by Ruan Hao for architectural firm LYCS. It’s all fun and games unless your cat is a stealth attack fanatic.

Faceless “Watch” Vibrates Every 5 Minutes… All Day Long

Have you ever noticed that when you’re bored time seems to move more slowly and when you’re having fun it flies by? Durr is a new ‘watch’ device created to give you an enhanced perception of the rate at which time passes. This wristwatch-looking accessory gently vibrates every 5 minutes causing a perpetual hyperawareness of the speed of time.

Real-Life Objects Get Digitized, Remixed, and Beautifully 3D Printed Back into Reality

M Plummer-Fernandez is taking everyday objects, 3D scanning them with a digital camera, digitally distorting them and bringing them back into reality with a 3D printer. The result are objects that look like they popped off the screen – strangely bridging the gap between the distant past and the near future.

How Creatives Work: The Visual Playground of Charles and Ray Eames

Charles and Ray Eames were more than just designers. One of the visual arts most famous and influential married couples, they redefined much of the world that now surrounds us. They also touched multiple disciplines, leaving their mark on architecture, furniture design, interior design, exhibition design, toy design, fine art, photography, and film. They saw themselves as educators and they were definitely innovators.