ClayClay Container’s shape is based on a stretched slinky

ClayClay Container Inspiration

We can never have enough of quirky containers from different designers. Getting a new one every time a new design is introduced may be unnecessary, but creative enthusiasts and designers know the delight such things bring. The ClayClay Container is yet another piece that can be used in different ways. It can be a mug for your coffee or a small bowl for your cereal or fruits. It can be a pot for your small plant or a small knick-knack for your desk.

Designer: Paper Play

ClayClay Container Details

ClayClay Container

This ClayClay Container comes with a soft shade and curves but is hard; of course, it is ceramic. It is made by Paper Play, a Chinese company that designs different everyday products in more innovative and creative forms. The new container’s design is based on the rainbow spring, the Slinky. The shape appears like a rainbow spring in its stretched form as one plays with it. There is a silver ball on one side as if supporting the slinky. The ball also functions as a handle for when you want to use the container as a mug.

The ClayClay Container appears to be available in purple and black. The glossy finish makes it a standout, but we can imagine it in other textures and materials too. Unlike the purple model, the black version features a matching black ball for a more neutral look.

ClayClay Container Designer

The shape of the ClayClay Container is unique but offers that modern contemporary feel. It will be an attractive addition to wherever you want to put it when not used as a mug. It may also spark creativity as its form evokes a sense of playfulness with the slinky reference.

Some kids today may not know what a slinky or rainbow spring is. Perhaps this ClayClay Container will be an excellent introduction. Drink your coffee first before showing the slinky because we’re certain your kid won’t make you stop playing with it.

ClayClay Container Design

ClayClay Container joins the roster of interesting mug designs we’ve featured here. It follows the Hug Cup and the self-filtering mug for their innovative design. It’s creative like the Creative Ceramic Tea Mug and the Earless Mug. It’s as useful as the Drop Rest Mug and is as attractive as the Slurp Mug. The slinky shape of the mug is similar to the Pet Table with its S form. But unlike the Pet Table that combines two separate parts, the ClayClay is only one unit.

Concept ClayC

ClayClay Container Concept

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Google Pixel Buds Pro with smart ANC + pressure releasing sensors are right on point

With the mild success of the 2020 Pixel Buds and the Pixel Buds A-Series on its back, Google is now looking to turn the tables in the ANC earbuds market with its latest creation. Yes, the long-rumored Pixel Buds Pro are here, and they pack features that will be hard to deny for even the grumpiest of users!

Announced at the Google I/O event, the true wireless earbuds are designed around the nifty little nuances that audio listeners face every day. They are more than just another noise isolating audio accessories, pitted directly against the Apple AirPods Pro. The Pixel Buds Pro will be an integral part of the ecosystem Google is creating with their latest launches at the even including Pixel 6A and Pixel Tablet. Something that tries to replicate the closely-knit ecosystem created by Apple. The ability to seamlessly switch between devices thanks to the multipoint Bluetooth connectivity and software integration. So, you could be listening to a podcast on your phone, and then seamlessly switch to your computer for Zoom calls.

Designer: Google

The new buds are designed keeping in mind the different ear shapes of thousands of people. Top that off with the advanced active noise canceling technology honed by the custom-built-6-core audio chip that adapts to the environment to provide the best isolation. Not only this, Google takes things a step ahead with the Silent Seal tech which is aided by sensors capable of adjusting the pressure in the ear canal for maximum comfort. This feature also adapts to the user’s ear and listening habits to provide apt noise cancellation in any environment.

These earbuds are IPX4 rated for water and sweat resistance making them ideal for an active lifestyle. The intuitive touch controls bring to the fore easy music toggling, volume control, and adjusting ANC and transparency modes. Calling on these buds is going to be bliss as they come with bone condition tech to pick up speech during calls. The beamforming microphones, wind-resistant mesh covers, and the voice accelerometer all combine to make sure you hear the person on the other end loud and clear, and vice versa – no matter how noisy the external environment is.

For audio quality fanatics, the buds produce clean sound powered by Google’s algorithms beaming sound via the custom drivers. All the software end tuning done by the in-house audio engineers is top-notch, and a good example is the Volume EQ feature which automatically adjusts the lows, mids, and highs depending on the volume level. This will please audiophiles who want a warm audio signature with a very balanced curve.

The dual-color design of the buds in four color options – Coral, Fog, Charcoal and Lemongrass – adds zing. In fact, Google senior vice president of devices and services Rick Osterloh said in a media briefing that the Pixel Buds Pro is the “best mobile audio hardware we’ve ever designed.”

Google Pixel Buds Pro claim to have 11 hours of listening with ANC turned off and around seven hours without them. With the wireless charging capable case, that number can be increased to another 13 hours in ANC mode. The buds will be available for pre-order from July 21 onwards for a price tag of $199 and shipping starts July 28.

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Big Goofy 2 Sculpture

Japanese glass artist Miwa Ito crafts bright, bulbous products that are delightfully off-kilter. Part of her MOO MOO exhibition in London, her Big Goofy 2 piece—like much of her work—is inspired by childhood memories of colorful cartoons and toys. It measures 20 by 18cm and has been entirely hand-finished and is signed by the artist. Price is in Pounds.

Bad Bunny + Bomba Estéreo: Ojitos Lindos

Simultaneously mellow and vibrant, “Ojitos Lindos” by Puerto Rican artist Bad Bunny (aka Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio) and Colombian duo Bomba Estéreo perfectly combines the styles of both. Imbued with tropical, psychedelic cumbia, reggaeton, latin and pop influences, the track (produced by Tainy) feels sun-drenched. “I’m really happy with this collaboration. It was a really fluid and natural conversation,” Bomba Estéreo’s vocalist Li Saumet says. “Benito has such a clear idea of what he wants, and he is open to explore new ideas without fears. I value that so much in an artist. I think it’s important that the alternative Latin music scene joins with the mainstream to make music and deliver our message and art together.”

Garbage Can Designs That Ditch the "Can" Part to Save Material

These objects I’m about to show you almost seem like design school exercises, but they’re all actually on the market. First, let’s back up a sec to the classic wastebasket, the key part of that word being “basket.” Prior to the invention of plastic films and garbage bags, this was where you threw waste. All that was needed was a vessel, and the basket was the most economical way to do this.

Eventually we transitioned to tin and later, pressed steel wastebaskets, as those materials were then abundant and affordable.

Then the garbage bag came around, and the vessel-like nature of the wastebasket was no longer truly necessary, as the bag is now the vessel. The basket or can is there to give the bag something to hang onto. Yet we’ve largely stuck with enclosed wastebaskets.

UK-based manufacturer AJ Products, which kits out offices, warehouses and workshops, makes wastebaskets that smack of an ID school assignment. Imagine the brief is to re-think the wastebasket or garbage can, and reduce them to only their necessary elements. That’s how you’d get AJ’s Pedal-operated refuse bag holder with lid:

“This pedal-operated, refuse bag holder can hold any size refuse bag, making it ideal for many different locations from schools and offices to train stations and warehouses. Made from sheet steel with a white, epoxy powder-coated finish, the sack holder is fitted with an elasticated bag cord around the top of the holder to keep the refuse sack securely in place. The lid improves hygiene by keeping waste covered while the pedal operation allows you to deposit rubbish without touching the bin. Use the sack holder with transparent bin bags to improve security.”

This plastic-base alternative is intended for environments where rust or damage is a concern:

This wall-mounted version uses even less material, though the lid must be manually opened, which I imagine would be unpopular these days:

This light-duty rolling version doesn’t feature a lid at all. I can see it mostly being useful in a light manufacturing environment—say, a sewing facility—where it occasionally needs to be moved a few feet to either side:

And this heavier-duty rolling version with handles and more robust casters would be useful in a shop environment or rolling clean-up situation, like going from desk-to-desk in an office. You’ve likely seen some version of this in a hotel hallway:

You can see more of AJ Products’ offerings here. (I liked looking around in their Warehouse & Workshop section the most.)

Mediabistro Jobs Roundup – May 13th

New month, new Mediabistro roles.

Mediabistro is the #1 job board, community, and career destination for media and content professionals. Once a week, we’ll be updating this list with different types of creative jobs featured. Take a look below:

Social Media Manager

@ LiveScience & Space.com (Future)

(New York, NY)

Executive Producer News Podcasts

@ Cox Enterprises

(Atlanta, GA)

Deputy Managing Editor, Homepage & Social Media

@ Fox Corporation

(New York, NY)

Sales Manager, Brand Partnership/Digital Advertising

@ Hodinkee

(Hodinkee, NY)

None of these feel like a match? Check out more Mediabistro roles here.

Krado Plant Sensor will help you get information about your plant babies

Over the past couple of years, my social media feed has been filled with friends becoming plant mommies and daddies during the pandemic. Of course, I tried to do a bit of greening my apartment but very minimally since I knew my capability or, rather, lack of capability of taking care of plants. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later, both plants died. Now, if I had some physical and digital tools to help me out, I probably may have done better.

Designer: Hatch Duo

If something like the Krado Plant Sensor actually exists, then maybe my poor two plants had a better chance of survival. It’s the hardware component of the Leaflet Plant Care System, whose main purpose is to help people grow healthy plants. The sensor is something you put in the soil with your plants, and it will be able to transmit information to the mobile app so you will be able to adjust how you’re taking care of them.

The plant sensor is able to monitor things like soil moisture, ambient temperature, humidity, and light. These are critical factors that will affect the health of your plants, and if you’re like me, that’s pretty clueless about these things, then it might give me helpful information. The app connected to it will also give you actionable guidance based on these factors like buying and shipping fertilizer, potting soil, pesticides, etc.

The sensor itself looks like a thermometer but with a leaf at the top. There are different colored lights that may indicate specific conditions that will alert you (well if you’ve memorized what the colors stand for). In terms of sustainability, it is 100% 3D printed and it also uses the latest additive manufacturing practices. Another added bonus to this is that all the information collected through the sensor will contribute to botanical research. The research will tell us what’s the best environment for specific plans to grow.

I don’t know if having this sensor will definitely improve my still non-existent plant growing skills. But it might actually let them live beyond the average of two weeks life cycle that they get with me.

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Student Concept for Transforming Storage Shelves That Fit Under a Bed or Sofa

Remember that table that folds into a wall cabinet, built by Izzy Swan?

Sweden-based industrial designer Oskar Lillo had a similar-but-different idea back in 2013, when he was a student at Chalmers University. Lillo, who today holds degrees in both Mechanical Engineering and ID, was studying ME when he conceived of this object:

“The brief was to maximize storage space in smaller homes with minimal possibilities for storage. The result was a three-level shelf system connected in a calculated way to keep the shelves in a horizontal position through the whole movement. In the lowered position the wheels hit the ground, and it can easily be pushed under a bed or sofa.”

Sadly, the assignment didn’t call for more than a proof-of-concept model, so what you see above is as far as the project ever got.

Today, Lillo works as a product developer for Hay, and I assume he’s too busy making hay to return to this. So I’d love to see this concept realized by one of those YouTube makers who’s always looking for a new build. If that’s you, please be sure to hit us up if you tackle it!

Design Differentiators Among Analog Slant Levels

Digital levels were once exotic and out-of-reach for your average contractor, but these days the prices have come down and even big box stores sell them. Still, they require batteries and some babying, so there’s still market demand for analog slant levels, also called inclinometers. These are usually made out of ABS for durability, and most have the same rough form factor and size; below we’ll go over some of the design differentiators.

The category is dominated by Japanese manufacturers. This Shinwa Blue Slant model has good legibility on the dial and a flat bottom, limiting it to flat surfaces. The faces are symmetrical, offering the same functionality to right- and left-handed users.

This Ebisu Diamond model trades off some legibility for comprehensiveness (it can do 360 degrees), and features a V-groove in the bottom, allowing one to use it on pipes and handrails. The dial allows you to adjust the angle of the bubble vial. It’s not symmetrical, and the rear side features conversion tables rather than the scale, so the left-handed may not find this one as easy to use. However, it has a useful feature the Shinwa lacks: A vertical edge, allowing it to be used along the short side as well.

This bare-bones, lower-cost version of the Ebisu model has symmetrical faces but is limited to 90 degrees. It also swaps out the needle with a bubble in a curved vial, sacrificing precision.

Shinwa also offers a lower-cost version of their Blue Slant, sacrificing the vial, but still offering a respectable 200 degrees’ worth of measurements. It is symmetrical.

The Tajima Slant 100 is the one I’d prefer. It’s got all of the features of the Ebisu Diamond, but the scale looks more legible to my eye—and while this shouldn’t matter in a tool, I do find it more aesthetically pleasing. It’s also got a magnet in the bottom, if you’re measuring metal surfaces. As far as I can tell, Tajima doesn’t offer a lower-cost version like the other two manufacturers.

Prices seem to be all over the place depending on the seller, but I’m seeing the lower-cost models going in the $20 range, the better Shinwa and Tajima models in the $40-$50 range, and the better Ebisu in the $60-$70 range.

Pixel 6a and Pixel 7 cement Google’s design language

The smartphone market is often characterized as fast-paced, frantic, and whimsical, with features and designs getting changed almost every year. While that helps keep products look fresh and allows companies to experiment with new ideas faster, it also makes it difficult for people to form familiarity and confidence in these products. Apple is the lone exception, as always, and sticks to its designs longer to build brand loyalty. Other manufacturers have started to realize the wisdom of staying put, even just for two generations or three, especially when they come across a design style that uniquely works for them. That seems to be the case with Google’s latest generation of Pixel devices, establishing what will hopefully be Google’s signature look until 2024 at least.

Designer: Google

Even before Google launched the Pixel 6 last year, the designs that were leaked already sparked interest and praise across the Interwebs. The form was unique, non-conformist, and quirky, traits that could be used to describe Google or at least Google in its youth. Just like the first Google Pixel phone, the new Pixel 6 design exuded a more humane and approachable appearance that belied that hard power that is crammed inside the phone.

The Pixel 6 continues this aesthetic with almost no modification. It has the exact same visor-like camera bump and dual-tone color split. The only difference, which most people might not know, is that the camera bump is always black, no matter the colorway you pick. More importantly, however, the Pixel 6a also partakes in most of the same hardware, particularly the Tensor processor, that the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro use at a more approachable $449 price tag.

Perhaps trying to beach leaks to the punch, Google uncharacteristically also revealed the design of the Pixel 7, which looks a lot like the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, too. There are more visible differences now, with the camera lenses visibly separate from the rest of the camera bump and a more uniform color scheme. Despite those modifications, it’s not hard to pick out the Pixel 7 from a lineup, at least if it’s face down and showing its unique back.

The Pixel Buds Pro does deviate a bit from Google’s earbuds design for the past year or so. Whereas the Pixel Buds 2 and Pixel Buds A both sport “wings” to aid in fitting the buds into ears, the Pixel Buds Pro’s shell is more streamlined and more refined. Just like their predecessors, the buds come with a vertically oriented charging case, and just like their predecessors, it carries a dual-tone color scheme. All color options have a black body and differ only in the outer touch surface.

Google is clearly aiming for a more consistent and more identifiable branding with its latest products, and hopefully, that will continue to be the case even after the Pixel 7 launches later this year. The one outlier, however, seems to be the still-unnamed Pixel tablet that will launch in 2023, though there’s hope that Google will change directions before then. A bit more interesting will be the Pixel Watch, Google’s first-ever first-party smartwatch, with a design that some have already mocked as a “round Apple Watch.” It does fit in with Google’s use of smooth, curved surfaces and the duality of colors and materials, but we’ll have to wait until Fall to see who it plays in practice.

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