Top 10 WTF Posts of 2023

Hitoshi Saruta of CUBO design architect had a client that loved their cars – so much so that the architect decided a typical, built-in garage wouldn’t do. Instead, he designed a 24-sided volume that resembles a circus tent and functions as the client’s vacation home. The first floor acts as a garage and living space while the second story houses the owner’s bedroom with a jacuzzi and waterfall shower.

2 orange phones next to spiky fruit and orange flowers

Bailey Hikawa takes a sculptural approach when it comes to designing these iPhone cases. Leaning more art than tech accessory, the cases are wild and amusing yet still functional and ergonomic. Would you go for the shrimp-encased cover or the Geta which gives you an ultra-secure grip?

pasta-shaped floaties in a pool

These deliciously cute inflatable pool floats by NYC design studio Jumbo for The Standard Hotel makes us want to float around in the water with an actual bowl of pasta. They’re inspired by everyone’s favorite pasta shapes – macaroni, shells, farfalle, rigatoni, lasagna, tortellini, and ravioli – and make you feel like you’re floating in a giant “pot” of water.

two people wearing bags made from puffer jackets

Laptops get cold too! Inspired by the iconic black puffer jacket that everyone dons as soon as the temps drop, designer Nik Bentel of his eponymous studio created a crossbody bag that can also be used as a laptop cover no matter what the weather is. A testament to his design philosophy (“How can we reimagine the use and potential of everyday, mundane objects?”), the bag is a statement piece, a conversation starter, and a tribute to the timeless winter staple.

3d printed pod in white landscape

Designed by architecture studio Hassell, in partnership with 3D-printing studio Nagami and creative collective to.org, these 3D-printed pavilions are a solution to the growing problem of global plastic waste that also helps alleviate the effects of climate change on housing. The structure is constructed with recycled plastic and engineered for inclement weather and harsh climates around the world.

people sitting in a home theater on a blue seating

Who says home theaters have to look anything like public theaters? Designed by Matter Make, the Cinema Visiona challenges the norms of scale and aesthetics, inviting you to embark on a cinematic journey like no other. The undulating seating encourages users to explore around to find their perfect spot that’s comfortable to their own preferences of sitting or lounging.

woman sitting inside a wooden ADU

This accessory dwelling unit (ADU) might be the ultimate solution for small space living. Designed by architects Juan Ruiz and Amelia Tapia, the IWI is a design project comprising two wooden modules that connect via an accordion-like folding structure. When expanded, the space acts as a small room that can function as an office, studio, yoga room, relaxation zone, workshop, guest room, etc. When not in use, it can simply be pushed back to minimize its physical footprint.

man standing next to a green compact vehicle

The Topolino by Fiat makes the goal of owning a car easier for younger generations who don’t want to be tied down with years of car payments. While the mini-EV electric quadricycle is closer to a golf cart than genuine automobile, the compact vehicle is attractive for its modest price – $10,770, a steep contrast from the price tag of $48,000, or what Kelley Blue Book estimates is the average cost of a new set of wheels.

cardboard cat bed

You never know, your car might secretly be a car aficionado. Thankfully, Tesla has just the thing for them: a pet bed made from cardboard that’s inspired by the angled Tesla Cybertruck. Cat owners know the joy that a cardboard box brings to their furry felines and this one takes it up a notch, reductive aesthetic and all.

And the most popular WTF post of 2023 is…

collage of a woman carrying an envelope with a green sofa below

Couches are often bulky pieces of furniture that take up a lot of room to store and transport. The problem then begs the question, “Can a couch be designed to go flat, be put into envelope-like packaging, and then carried around by a human?” The answer is yes. Designed by SPACE10 in collaboration with Panter&Tourron, Couch in an Envelope is a lightweight, flat-packed seating design made for contemporary living.

As the Senior Contributing Editor, Vy Yang is obsessed with discovering ways to live well + with intention through design. She’s probably sharing what she finds over on Instagram stories. You can also find her at vytranyang.com.

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