Take our money now! These prototypes and ideas are crowdsourcing for backers, and we’re all in.
14 September 2017
Text Redzman Rahmat
We live in an age where almost anything is possible. Aspiring product designers can be as creative (or crazy) as they want, then turn to crowdsourcing communities to help make their dreams come true. Thanks to websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, these prototypes and fledgling ideas can be manufactured, produced and hopefully, marketed to the world.
We, as consumers, can back these crowdsourced ideas. Basically, we pledge to financially support the campaign and if it reaches its targeted goal within a set amount of time, the project creator will reward you based on the amount you pledged.
There are many successful campaigns that started out as an idea on a crowdsourcing website, and early adopters have been rewarded by becoming one of the first to own them. We browsed through the crowdsourcing websites and found a few quirky and cool products for the home that you can be among the first to own.
Who knew simple clay could look so good? A ceramics workshop in Liverpool, UK, came up with a brilliantly simple way of designing and manufacturing one-of-a-kind plates and cups. The process is random and thus, completely unpredictable. But the results are intriguingly beautiful and they really look like works of art.
It all starts with a lump of stoneware clay that’s mixed with varying amounts of ceramic pigment. The colourful clay is placed into a mould and compressed with 60 tonnes of pressure in a hydraulic press. The colours randomly merge, creating completely random patterns that are unique to each piece. We love the swirling watercolour effects and even the contemporary Pop Art colours that can be found on some pieces.
The finished product is then stamped, demoulded, dried, trimmed, glazed and fired up in a 1,250-Celsius kiln. The plates and cups in the Splatware collection are microwave-safe, durable and are a great addition to a home that wants to bring a sense of fun and quirkiness to the table setting.
Although this origami-inspired lamp features Japanese techniques and minimalist aesthetic, it’s designed and made in Italy. The beautiful angles, subtle patterning and clean design of the Shiro (which means ‘white’ in Japanese) lamp make it a must-have in our opinion.
We love how delicate the lamp looks, so it’s surprising to know that it’s made from Tyvek. This is a waterproof, fireproof and tear-resistant plastic film that’s typically used to make firemen’s uniforms and as building insulation. It’s good to know that Shiro is durable and can probably withstand Singapore’s humid climate.
The Shiro lamp will be available in three versions: a suspended lamp, table lamp and a Mega Shiro lamp that’s 80cm in height and diameter.
Another thing that makes the Shiro lamp even more intriguing is its use of patterns. There are two types of patterns (dots and shades) available in 6 colourways. We love how the patterning peeks through subtly, but becomes more obvious when you turn the lights on.
Love juicing and blended smoothies? Now you can make your own with a commercial-standard smoothie maker. The OdaKitchen Smoothie Pro isn’t like your typical home blender; this powerful machine is designed and manufactured to professional standards, and is supposed to produce creamy and smooth drinks every time.
The secret lies in its technology. The Smoothie Pro has carbon steel blades that are safe to touch yet incredibly powerful. This is paired with a motor with an unrivalled speed of 39,000 RPM (revolutions per minute). Together, the sharp blade and powerful motor can purportedly pulverise almost anything you want.
We love how this is a multipurpose appliance that can make fruit juices, smoothies, and crushed ice drinks. You have full control over the speed, meaning you can choose how smooth or chunky you want your drinks to be. Furthermore, the Smoothie Pro has one-touch programme settings that can puree fruits and vegetables, and grind nuts and spices!
The pricing may be on the higher end, especially if you factor in the international shipping costs, but for a commercial-standard smoothie maker, this might be worth a closer look.
Here’s another kitchen innovation that’s designed to make our lives at home even easier. The Oriboard is a multifunctional cutting board that helps you to save space and be more efficient in the kitchen.
The idea behind the Oriboard came with the desire to minimise clutter, cook faster and deal with minimal clean-up afterwards. Essentially, the Oriboard has an “orgiami” folding feature that transforms it from a chopping board to a colander, simply by lifting it off the table.
It’s a simple design, but will definitely be helpful when you’re busying yourself in the kitchen. When you’re done chopping up fruits, vegetables or meats, simply lift the handle to form a colander, wash it under the running tap, and go straight to the cooking pot.
Additional features are built into the BPA-free cutting board, including a steel grater for rasping a lemon or a piece of cheese, and a bottle opener.
Bring a cosmic perspective into your home with the Orrery lamp. With its three spheres, the lamp is designed to be an abstract representation of the Earth, moon and sun. We love how detailed the design is, and yet, it’s a quiet addition to the home.
The “Earth” and “moon” elements can be manually adjusted, and you’re advised to head to the companion website and calibrate their positions, based on the actual positions of their celestial counterparts. Capture a moment in time, or mark a date in the near future. It’s a simple yet romantic notion that might just put a little joy in your heart.
The Orrery lamp is available as both a table lamp and a floor lamp. It’s made with a brass body, walnut wood base and diffused, hand-blown glass diffuser that measures 4″ in diameter.
Keep in mind that these are crowdsourced products that don’t exist yet. This means that there’s a chance that they might not be able to meet their goals, and thus not be manufactured. Crowdsourcing is not an online store or marketplace, and there are more projects that don’t get fully funded, than there are success stories. There’s also the chance that there will be delays in production and delivery, meaning that you’ll only receive your rewards many months later.
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