See-Through Home Swag


Written by Tshepo Mokoena
Photos and illustrations by People People, Menu, Jason Giddings, Magimix
05 Monday 05th December 2011

Say what you like about pattern and colour, sometimes nothing quite beats the gloss of a totally transparent home accessory. Minimalists will probably find their hearts racing at the sight of most of these designs, while for others they might just seem too clinical or cold. In any case, the invention of a see-through toaster is surely reason enough to consider kitting out your communal spaces in various transparent trinkets. Just scroll down to see what we mean.

We’re always on the hunt for weird and innovative takes on conventional style, which is probably why we’ve already pinpointed the clear fashion accessory micro-trend and show love for pixellated 8-bit furniture. So when we cast our eyes over these refreshing home speakers last week, we figured we were onto something good. What with the advent of the iPod speaker docks speakers have been getting increasingly boring to look at for a while.

It’s just as well that Swedish design company People People decided to bring out this range of glass-panelled, WiFi compatible speakers that let music lovers play tracks from mp3 players, laptops, smart phones and any old stereo equipment with a headphones jack. Yes to that.

Now back to that toaster we first mentioned. There seem to have been a few different variations on this prototype from more than one team, but the premise remains the same: make a transparent toaster so no-one ever pops out blackened rocks when they don’t want to. The gutting thing about toasters as we know them now is that they hide all the charring magic from us, then try to use an element (sorry) of surprise to keep things exciting when the bread jumps out at the end.

But with the MagiMix Vision Toaster (as creepily advertised in this unnecessarily long video), the guessing game gets chucked out in return for some seriously voyeuristic toasting. It’s one for the perfectionists amongst toast fanatics.

Sticking to the kitchen, Danish company Menu have whipped up a clear kettle teapot that makes both form and function awesome. The clean lines and simple aesthetic nail all those typical Scandinavian design features, while the kettle still comes off looking homely enough to veer more towards cosy comfort than test tube territory. No-one feels comforted drinking tea out of a test tube.

Finally, we’ve got a touchscreen keyboard prototype that a certain KickStarter project is looking to develop in the new year. Designer Jason Giddings wants to eliminate the grossness of getting crisp crumbs and coffee spills stuck between computer keys by bringing out this smooth, multi-touch keyboard and matching mouse. We’re fans because they not only look slick but are part of a wider crowd-sourcing campaign that lets pledgers feel more like shareholders and co-designers than consumers. Find out more about it here.

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