design

University students in China design two-meter-wide apartment you could almost live in

University students in China design two-meter-wide apartment you could almost live in

Living in a city is great in many respects–there is an abundance of cultural activities, great restaurants, museums, music, and unique people to meet. But all those unique people, unfortunately, need places to stay! Of course, if you have a full-time job, you can probably find somewhere to hang your hat, but for students or others living a tight budget, even a studio apartment can start to seem like a luxury. For many, that means shared housing, which is a great solution if you have a good friend to stay with–not so much if you need your privacy.

One team of Chinese students may have found a solution through the magic of ergonomic design and clever use of space. Check out their mock-up of this cozy two-meter-wide (6.5-foot-side) apartment below!

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16 fancy eggs from Japanese bento lunch boxes

16 fancy eggs from Japanese bento lunch boxes

Eggs are greatly underrated in the bento world. It’s usually rice and all the fun forms it can be molded into or seaweed and its ability to be cut into any shape that takes center stage in lunch boxes across Japan. But the humble egg can be quite fancy in the hands of a highly skilled and creative cook. Let’s take a look at 16 fancy eggs from Japanese kitchens!

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These candy-inspired chairs look good enough to eat

These candy-inspired chairs look good enough to eat

If you ever wished you could visit the infamous candy house from Hansel and Gretel, then have we got the chair for you! Looking absolutely delectable and fairytale-ready, this “Hard Candy Stool” from Taiwanese designer, Jojo Chuang is the perfect combination of function and fantasy.

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Enjoy a holiday at your desk with a hammock for your feet

Enjoy a holiday at your desk with a hammock for your feet

When crazy ideas work, they can be genius. And if that little spark of genius makes our working day just that little bit easier to get through, it’s got to be applauded and shared.

So, without further ado, we bring you the foot hammock. With benefits for your physical and emotional well-being, there’s never been an easier way to rest your body and your mind while at work.

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Wagashi chef crafts amazing edible characters with leftover scraps 【Photos】

Wagashi chef crafts amazing edible characters with leftover scraps 【Photos】

Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets usually made from mochi, bean paste, or fruit.  If you’ve been to Japan or a nice Japanese restaurant, perhaps you enjoyed one sculpted to look like a flower, crane or some other very old-fashioned Japanese image.

Like most things in Japan, no matter how venerable, give it enough time and it will be kawaii-ified. Enter sweets shop Kuramoto Hinode, where a veteran wagashi chef has begun crafting anime and pop culture based sweets with leftover bits and bobs.

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The world of the future, according to North Korean architect

The world of the future, according to North Korean architect

The interconnectedness of today’s world has been a real boon to artists, scientists, designers, futurists, and pretty much anyone who thrives on the free exchange of ideas. If you asked a kid from South Africa to draw the city of the future, it would be equally likely and unsurprising for her to design futuristic skyscrapers reminiscent of the Burj Khalifa or hobbit hole-like underground eco-houses.

But what if you were from North Korea? What if you didn’t have Internet and had never left your own country? What would the city of the future look like to you?

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Ninja restaurant designer creates tiny villages in bonsai trees

Ninja restaurant designer creates tiny villages in bonsai trees

If you’ve ever wanted to see villages and merchant markets from your favourite role-playing games come to life, then we’ve got quite the collection for you. These are the amazing three-dimensional artworks of Takanori Aiba, a Japanese artist who also designed Ninja Akasaka, the famous ninja restaurant in Tokyo and the 1958-themed Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum.

Aiba is now drawing on his experience in architecture and combining it with his origins as a maze illustrator to produce stunning worlds within the tiny branches of bonsai trees and out of the crevices of unique rocks. From Ghibli-style seaside towns to a bustling hotel built inside the body of the Michelin man, these elaborate designs will simply take your breath away.

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Turn the baggage claim carousel into a sushi train with these new sushi luggage covers!

Turn the baggage claim carousel into a sushi train with these new sushi luggage covers!

Sushi was once a strange delicacy confined to the shores of Japan. Thanks to its health benefits, the humble sushi has since travelled the world, popping up in all sorts of remote and obscure locations from Iceland to the Middle East.

Now sushi is on the move again, this time coming with you on your travels and hugging your luggage in the form of clever suitcase covers. With four designs to choose from, baggage claim carousels are set to look like giant sushi train conveyor belts this summer!

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Famous websites like you’ve never seen them before… as fashionable dresses!

Famous websites like you’ve never seen them before… as fashionable dresses!

Creators can be inspired by anything and everything around them. It could be a sight, a sound, a person, or even a website. Italy-based artist and design student Victor Faretina created a series of dresses inspired by some famous websites, titled Web in Vogue.

As people working on and for the Internet, we spend an awful lot of time surfing websites, but the idea of wearing a website certainly hasn’t crossed our minds. However, these amazing gowns designed by Victor are definitely making us look at the websites we visit daily in a different light!

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China’s mysterious “fashion fairy” is back with even more bizarre trash outfits

China’s mysterious “fashion fairy” is back with even more bizarre trash outfits

A couple of months ago, an ingenious cosplayer intrigued the internet with photos of his impressive low-cost looks created using nothing but kitchen utensils, toilet rolls and large helping of imagination, enabling him to look remarkably like Disney princesses, Harry Potter and more.

Just last month we discovered the creative genius pictured above, this time in China. Though her forte is not in replicating the looks of famous characters, this fashion designer-wannabe has shown extraordinary imagination and creativity in the items she creates out of plastic bags, cardboard, vegetables, and even seafood. Now, the fashion fairy is back, and she has even more funky photos to show off!

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Japanese fashion comes home: Interior design ideas for Lolita-style living

Japanese fashion comes home: Interior design ideas for Lolita-style living

Japan’s distinctive Lolita fashion is a subculture that is known worldwide. While some wearers of the lace petticoats, bonnets and parasols may treat it as a hobby, dressing more conventionally in their day-to-day life but wearing Lolita outfits at the weekend, for others, Lolita fashion is a full-on lifestyle with principles that they adhere to day in, day out.

So if you want to make your life as Lolita as possible, or just feel that your home needs more cutesy ruffles and buttons, check out these pictures of the new Lolita furniture and homeware range from Japanese online store Romantic Princess. Warning: things are about to get frilly.

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Create your dream share house and win a chance to live there rent-free for two years

Create your dream share house and win a chance to live there rent-free for two years

In these cash-strapped times, wouldn’t it be great to move into a brand-new house and not have to pay security fees or rent for two years? Wouldn’t be even better if it were a house built entirely to your specification and tastes?

Home building agency SuMiKa and employment website Wantedly are working to make that a reality for three lucky people with a unique promotional event. Anyone who enters could win a chance to design a house and live in it rent-free for two years.

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CATable promises to get the cat off your laptop and into the desk

CATable promises to get the cat off your laptop and into the desk

Hong Kong-based designer, Ruan Hao, of architecture firm, LYCS, has created the CATable, a desk filled with tunnels and passageways for your cat to explore while you type away on the table top. It combines modern design with feline functionality, giving rise to the ultimate work/play…with your cat, desk. However, like with any expensive toy, your cat may just land up playing with the box it came in instead.

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Enjoy a view of Mt Fuji from anywhere in the world with these new ice souvenirs

Enjoy a view of Mt Fuji from anywhere in the world with these new ice souvenirs

Ever since Mt Fuji earned World Heritage status in 2013, designers and artists have been marking the occasion with a flurry of creative merchandise featuring the famous landmark. The latest product to hit shelves shows the celebrations are continuing well into 2014, this time with moulded ice mountains that sit perfectly in your favourite drink! The attention to detail is particularly impressive, with the concentrated tip of ice perfectly resembling the famous snow-covered peak of Mt Fuji.

We take a look at the unique mould that makes them and see why this is one of Japan’s latest must-have souvenirs.

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Screw it with a smile thanks to this unusual screwdriver set from Tokyo artist Yuma Kano

Screw it with a smile thanks to this unusual screwdriver set from Tokyo artist Yuma Kano

When it comes to screwing, most people would choose a Phillips head or a flat-head to get the job done. Or if you’re in Japan, where they use different terms, you’d ask for a plus (+) or a minus (-) screwdriver to get things going. Now though, it seems the humble screw has just received a facelift, thanks to a clever design collaboration between a Tokyo artist and a manufacturer from Osaka. The only thing cuter than a tiny smiley screw is the adorable driver that screws them in!

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Hey, I know that brand! Designers reinvent six world-famous logos in Chinese

Hey, I know that brand! Designers reinvent six world-famous logos in Chinese

Whether you speak the language or not, thanks to their logos and packaging, when you see a familiar product like Mars or Coca Cola in a foreign country, you recognise it immediately. Multinational companies pay vast sums of money to reinvent their logos for use abroad, taking great pains to ensure that while the characters may change, the brand, style and message remain the same.

Along with fellow creative Stephen Wright, Shanghai-based freelance designer and illustrator Niek van Wingerden is currently making waves over on creative portfolio site Behance where he is displaying a collection of six world-famous logos, re-imagined in Chinese.

Even if you don’t speak the lingo, we know you’ll recognise these logos!

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Let’s toast to our feline friends — Five cute and tasty cat-themed alcoholic drinks

Let’s toast to our feline friends — Five cute and tasty cat-themed alcoholic drinks

Annual Cat Day may be over, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop celebrating all things feline, does it? That’s right, as fond as we are of cats, we don’t really need a reason to express our affection for our feline friends, and in that spirit, some of the lovely reporters at our sister site Pouch decided to get together and come up with a list of the best cat-themed alcoholic drinks around. Cats and alcohol, now that sounds like a dangerously attractive combination!

To get their hands on some of the fun and tasty cat-themed drinks out there, our reporters used the services of major Japanese online liquor distributor Kakuyasu. Let’s see what their top five pics were.

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Japanese commenters react to British designer’s “Rekindle” candle

Japanese commenters react to British designer’s “Rekindle” candle

As you have no doubt realised, It’s the 21 century now (at least according the Gregorian calendar!) so most of us don’t really need to use candles. If you happen to light up a stick or two at night, it’s probably for the mood lighting more than anything. But even if you use them only sparingly, they don’t really last that long, do they? After only a few short hours, your candles will be gone, and you’ll have to buy more.

If only there were a way to easily and quickly reuse all the leftover wax! After all, it’s not like the wax is unusable–it’s just all in the wrong shape. But what a mess it would be, trying to remake a candle! Unless there were a way to drain all that gooey wax into a mold

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Breakfast art: Instagramer photographs beautiful morning meals

Breakfast art: Instagramer photographs beautiful morning meals

Kei Yamazaki is a graphic designer in Japan who is a self-proclaimed breakfast lover. Her Instagram account is positively bursting with gorgeous images of her homemade morning meals that will make any challenged cook or hungry late-riser jealous. And we hear you, “Yeah yeah, it’s just breakfast, so what!” But 232,238 followers can’t be wrong; these are breakfast plates you’re going to want to see (and eat)!

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Samurai Vodka’s bottle design is a cut above the rest

Samurai Vodka’s bottle design is a cut above the rest

Back in 2009 an interesting design for a bottle of Samurai Vodka was posted on Behance, a website where graphic artists and designers can showcase their works. More recently, it was picked up by a Reddit user, thus sending the clever design by Arthur Schreiber viral around the world. And quite frankly it deserves to be seen in all four corners.

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