These brutalist concrete yurts were designed to adorn the future of Kyrgyzstan’s landscape

Designed as a minimalist reinterpretation of the iconic yurt found in the steppes of Central Asia, these futuristic housing solutions are a part of designer Batyrkhan Bayaliev’s Kyrgyzstan 2122 visual project.

Yurts are a common, if not signature motif of the Central Asian landscape, found in countries like Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, and eastern Kazakhstan. The primary housing for nomadic tribes, the yurt or ger is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt, relatively unchanged even today. Kyrgyzstan-based design Batyrkhan, however, feels like they need a makeover, especially for a future where the nomadic lifestyle may not be too feasible, given the issues posed by climate change.

Designer: Batyrkhan Bayaliev

A rather modern reinterpretation of the traditional yurt, Batyrkhan’s yurts are cuboidal instead of cylindrical and are permanent concrete structures instead of tents. As a hat-tip to the yurt’s iconic design, however, these modern establishments have frosted glass windows in the shape of a yurt, capturing the iconography of the traditional tent. Batyrkhan’s modern yurts are spacious and have two levels for accommodating more people. Designed to be built on much colder ground, the yurts are like modern-day igloos, with no discernible windows or ventilation on the side. This helps maintain a liveable climate inside these houses, protecting the residents from the harsh weather of the cold landscape outside.

These new yurts look as iconic as their original counterparts, and make for rather wonderful colonies when paired together. They have an aesthetic that’s both refreshing and unmistakable, and glow rather wonderfully at night thanks to the internal lighting and the frosted glass windows.

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Lil Silva feat. Skiifall: What If?

A producer, singer, songwriter and DJ, Lil Silva announced his upcoming album, Yesterday Is Heavy, with two collaborations: “What If?” with Skiifall and “Leave It” with Charlotte Day Wilson. The former—with classic UK club influences—has an electric energy, bolstered by Skiifall’s patois flow. Lil Silva says, “I really channelled inspiration from our roots on this record. You can hear the reggae, bashment and grime influence weave in and out. It’s about the course we find ourselves on without even thinking, how love and family play a huge role in our life but staying grounded and never forgetting what got us here.”

Origami lifeboat can be flat-packed while storing, and opened on command

Designed to make rescuing human lives efficient, the Fold And Rescue lifeboat flips closed while in storage, thanks to its origami-inspired form.

The inspiration for the Fold And Rescue came from the paper boat itself, showing how inspiration can travel in both directions. Unlike an inflatable lifeboat that poses the danger of deflating or not inflating correctly, the Fold And Rescue is made from a naturally buoyant material, and just needs to be opened to be used. In its folded form, it occupies a third of its original space and can be stacked together. When needed, just open the boat out and you’ve got two seats that can comfortably fit 4-6 people.

Designer: Industrial Design College of LAFA

The Fold And Rescue was designed to address the problem of insufficient number of lifeboats in the ship’s stockpile. It comes with a self-locking mechanism built into the benches, so the boat never accidentally closes shut when open. Each boat is made from a naturally buoyant material, and comes with a flat base that keeps the boat from tipping over by accident. The Fold And Rescue is also equipped with an oar on each side, making navigating to safety easier.

The Fold And Rescue is a winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2022.

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This multilevel breeding yacht is a responsible leisure vessel for fish culture

For decades now, a yacht is considered a symbol of wealth and the most lavish living on the seas. Only a few enjoy the luxury of owning such an exotic watercraft to enjoy intoxicating life on the waters. As we head into the future, these play toys of the rich and the famous will evolve into something that’ll be more of a private sanctuary for fish culture. After all, we are becoming more conscious than ever about the way we exist on the planet.

Not to forget the leisure and entertainment aspect, the swanky multifunctional breeding yacht powered by solar energy will come with its own underwater deck for exploration of the mesmerizing underwater life like never before on a yacht. The craft is specifically made for enjoying the sun and the surrounding landscape for its owners. This is possible with sweeping multilevel decks.

Designer: Yu Hancheng

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The bottom one is an expansive leisure area with open sitting spaces sheltered by the upper deck’s roof, as well, as open ones on the rear which brings one closer to nature than ever before. The deck above this one has multilevel seating like in a cathedral, and bang in the middle is a gorgeous transparent floor swimming pool which gives a clear view of the deck below. At an elevated position above this one is a small encircling deck for a bird’s eye view.

Most importantly, the section under the water level shows the other dimension of this vessel. Fish that are losing their breeding grounds and as a result declining in numbers will be cultured here to bring balance to the aquatic life. Species like Tuna, Salmon, large yellow croaker, or others will all be cultured below this yacht’s visible limits. Keeping in mind the deteriorating ocean life owing to human-induced climate change and water pollution, vessels like the multifunctional breeding yacht will be crucial in the future.

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The Arch Bench demonstrates how ranged arch structures work and carry a heavy load

The Arch Bench Shinya Oguchi

Benches are common in public spaces like playgrounds, airports, and malls. They are a convenient place to sit while waiting for someone or rest after walking. Benches also serve a decorative purpose, adding a style to the surroundings or a room. They come in different types like a garden bench, indoor bench, storage bench, or planter bench. We have seen a lot of well-designed pieces and have a few favorites like those minimalist yet elegant and come with designs that will make you think. The Arch Bench here is an ideal example of that.

Designer: Shinya Oguchi

The Arch Bench Shinya Oguchi

Benches are ubiquitous like chairs, but they can be more useful as they can sit more than three people. Industrial designer Shinya Oguchi revisited “what makes a bench a bench”. He experimented on different widths of the bench, using paper mock-ups. He found a solution for a new structure for a bench that would also look beautiful like a sculpture: the arch shape. This then resulted in a new furniture concept called The Arch Bench.

The Arch Bench’s design seems impossible to ordinary eyes, but making this a sturdy item is the arch structure. Arches generally work by transferring and distributing the weight through the arch to a supporting foundation. As a result, they can support mass placed on top of them. Used in this conceptual piece, the structural strength of the arches has allowed the bench to carry a heavy load and offer more support to the seat.

From afar, The Arch Bench appears like an arcade with two arches in the middle and one half-arch on each side. The converged points below serve as the legs, giving more support to the structure. There are a total of five divided parts screwed by short bolts, firmly holding the bench together.

The Arch Bench Shinya Oguchi

So the bench can carry the load of three persons, but is it comfortable enough to use? It probably is because of the gentle curves on the seat compared to those with flat seats. According to the designer, the seats are curved in response to the arch structure, inviting people to rest and sit on the bench, even for a while.

The Arch Bench is a minimalist piece of furniture with thin lines and a lightweight appearance. It uses a very thin sheet of metal known for its lightness and durability. The metal sheet is cut and curved to produce the ranged arch structures. The bench comes with a white matte finish that looks like a sheet of paper.

The Arch Bench Shinya Oguchi

The Arch Bench is one beautiful sculpture-like piece of furniture that takes advantage of the arch shape and a super thin but strong medium. Its minimalist design shows that balance and proportion in furniture design are essential. Everyday items with a streamlined style like this bench give a sense of calm, order, and strength in this stressful world.

The Arch Bench Shinya Oguchi

The Arch Bench Shinya Oguchi

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A Chair That Converts from Dining to Easy Chair

Amsterdam-based designer Jair Straschnow designed this Flip Chair, which quickly converts from dining to easy configuration:

“The final version is milled out of a single material (european birch ply) and has a locking mechanism that makes use of the material’s inherent flexibility,” Straschnow writes. “It was developed in collaboration with Amsterdam’s fiction factory, who is also producing it.”

Straschnow, who has a very quirky sense of humor, has documented the development process of the chair in the video below. It is fascinating, and the locking mechanism proves a very clever exploitation of material properties:

Air New Zealand’s Economy Class Skynest Sleep Pods Promise Comfier Flights

Air New Zealand unveiled their plans for the future of flying which include Skynest sleep pods. These lie-flat options for travelers in economy are structured as “six single bunks split over three levels, complete with privacy curtains.” Passengers can book them to sleep mid-flight, along with a “pillow, sheets, blanket and ear plugs, as well as lighting designed to be suitable for sleeping.” They will be available for four hours at a time. There will also be snack stations, a business-class suite with a sliding door, new fabrics and color schemes drawn from the hues of the tūī—a bird native to New Zealand. The changes are mostly driven by the fact that many destinations outside the country are a good 10+ hours away. The company’s CEO Greg Foran says, “New Zealand’s location puts us in a unique position to lead on the ultra-long-haul travel experience. We have zeroed in on sleep, comfort and wellness because we know how important it is for our customers to arrive well-rested. Whether they are heading straight into a meeting, or to their first holiday hotspot—they want to hit the ground running.” Read more about the amenities, rolling out in 2024, at Stuff.

Image courtesy of Air New Zealand

Doze side table lets your dog stay beside you while you work

While most dog owners would probably love to just play with their fur babies all day, most of them have to do some work at certain times during the day. If you work at home, then most likely your dog will park itself beside you while you work. It would be nice if they had a pretty nice spot beside you that will make them feel comfortable and at the same time will be of some use to you as well. There are a lot of pet furniture out there but this one says it is a home furniture that can serve as a bed for your dog.

Designer: Ashleigh Davies

Doze is a side table where you can put some of your stuff while working, like a notebook or the cup of coffee or glass of wine to energize you or just some pieces of decoration. The space for your stuff is actually a removable tray that you can attach or remove. It’s also not a full tray and more like a piece of wood so it would be hard to put a lot of things on top of it. The entire side table is mostly made from plywood so there is a sustainable aspect to it.

The important part of this furniture though is the semi-enclosed space that is made for your pet dog. Whether they just want to rest in it or play on their own while keeping a close eye on you while you work, the dog bed seems to be pretty comfortable. It has a customizable bed cover that is made from hypoallergenic memory foam so it is both comfy and also good for their joints and bones. Memory foam is known to distribute the user’s weight and remember their shape.

The side table that is also a dog bed benefits both the pet and the owner. For those times when you can’t hold them or let them stay beside you physically, this is the next best thing. Hopefully it will also help you in your productivity and not make you want to doze off yourself when you see your dog comfortably napping in their bed.

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Four Money Tips for Freelancers

The world of freelancing full-time offers many perks to those who want to work for themselves: it’s flexible, fulfilling, and sometimes more profitable than if one had a traditional salary. For those dodging a traditional 9-to-5 job, it may seem like an ideal option. However, it also comes with the great responsibility of being fully in charge of one’s money. It includes keeping track of invoices, finding new clients, and making sure deadlines are hit. Most importantly, a full-time freelancer must be cognizant of their money flow and getting paid what they deserve.  

Here are four money tips for freelancers to keep in mind.

1. Don’t accept low-paying (or no paying) work

Seasoned freelancers who have a strong portfolio may not encounter this as much as those who are just getting started freelancing. Either way, it’s crucial to remember your worth—and even if you’re just getting your feet wet in the freelancing world, it doesn’t mean you have to accept low-paying (or no paying) work. Always accept jobs at your rate.

There are countless tools online to help freelancers see what rate is appropriate to set. Apps like Wave can help one price their work and make the money they deserve.

2. Look at competition

Which freelancers do you follow? More importantly, whom would you consider your competition in your freelancing field?

Take a closer look at your competitors and the rates they charge to gain a better sense of what you should (or could) be charging. Looking at your competition is also a great way to gain inspiration and stay on top of current trends in your field and will help you earn more money as a freelancer.

3. Negotiate your rate

Rates aren’t always set in stone. Once your editor tells you how much they offer for a piece, always try to negotiate for more. Remember: negotiating is part of freelancing. Here are some further tips for negotiating.

4. Stay organized

Organization is key for freelancers. Not only do you have to organize pitches and stay on top of deadlines, but you also need to make sure you’re submitting invoices and getting paid on time. A way to ensure this happens is by being as organized as you can—and thinking one step ahead when it comes to all of these moving components.

What Should a One-Person Car Designed for Tradespeople Look Like?

I’m in the American South, where contractors drive around in enormous, gas-guzzling pickup trucks. However, the mobility solution that Citroën designed for tradespeople in European cities is opposite to that, in every possible way.

Citroën’s My Ami Cargo is an adorable (I’m sure tradespeople love that word), tiny EV designed for one person to transport a small amount of tools and/or packages, and no passengers. Aimed at plumbers, electricians, locksmiths, deliverypersons etc., the space where a passenger seat would normally go is instead occupied by a sort of modular polypropylene box/shelf.

This box’s “design was inspired by function,” the company writes. “A hollowed out shape in the separating partition gives the driver sufficient space to be able to operate the hand brake without obstruction. Its height has been calibrated to remain below the body line and thus preserve 360° visibility to ensure safety.”

“The modular shelf – serving as a cover and able to hold 40 kg in weight – is adapted on the upper side to form a real mobile desk. An A4-format cut-out has been created for placing documents such as delivery forms, an order book or a digital tablet. And a notch has been created at the rear to help hold items placed on this shelf.”

“It is adjustable, and can be raised either towards the driver for better access to the storage area from the outside, or towards the passenger door in order to easily reach the contents of the box directly from the driver’s seat. The shelf is also removable, allowing you to store items that are higher than the height of the zone, and can then be placed easily behind the seat.”

“The flat floor can be adjusted to 2 levels. It can either be raised and locked vertically without obstructing the cargo zone, or can be lowered to a horizontal position flush with the rear floor of the vehicle. This latter position allows the user to carry longer objects with a useful length of 1.20 m. Pins are provided to hold tensioners or straps to secure more fragile items.”

The My Ami Cargo is an adaptation of Citroën’s My Ami (photo below), a two-person EV people mover that can be leased for an absurdly low €19.99 (USD $21) a month, with a €3,700 (USD $3,895) down payment. The Cargo is even cheaper; €24.18 (USD $25) a month, but with just a €2,508 (USD $2,641) down payment.

Both vehicles have a range of 75 km (47 miles) and a top speed of 45 km/h (28 mph).