#ChooseToChallenge – this is the theme for this year’s celebration of International Women’s Day and I must say this topic boldly echoes the feeling 2021 brings to us – of hope, resilience, and the spirit of challenging for all that is ours! We at Yanko Design have always fought for gender equality in the industrial design industry and to help shine a spotlight on female designers better, we have a dedicated category, titled Womxn Designer, that showcases revolutionary designs by female designers that will surely inspire you. So, the next time someone wishes you a happy women’s day, take a deep breath and let that compliment seep in as a thank you for all the obligations placed on you for being a woman as accept it as a token of the world’s appreciation, after all, it is the women who keep the world going. From all of us at Yanko Design, Happy Women’s Day!

The Elytra table by Radhika Dhumal expands in size by ‘spreading its wings’! The table comes inspired by beetles and the way their wings nest perfectly around their body. The table itself comes with perfectly natural bug-like proportions that fit in well as garden decor and uses two ‘wings’ to expand in the surface, much like the beetle. Elytra’s design is dominated by rounded forms that give it a friendly, pet-like demeanor and feature four legs that are positioned in a way that gives the Elytra its unique, animalistic stance.

DUNSTA was designed by Alexandra Fransson to bring the age-old tradition of storing fresh produce in a natural way while being aligned with your modern lifestyle. It uses evaporative cooling to create an environment similar to that of the root cellar, but for an urban living arrangement – so your fruits and vegetables will stay crispy and fresh longer without needing electricity!

Patchwork is Giulia and Ruggero’s proposed creative design solution for depersonalized home spaces such as reception centers for unhoused individuals. Patchwork is comprised of different, interchangeable panels that fold and expand like a traditional room divider. Patchwork panels provide plenty of different uses for each individual and function as a typical divider, work station, headboard, or some combination from the above. Patchwork incorporates a built-in closet space where users can hang their clothes and, thanks to a concealed padlock accessory, can also stow away personal possessions for secure storage. Patchwork also comes with supplemental shelving units, individual mirrors, and handy hooks so that the additional panels can be outfitted according to each user’s unique needs.

The Blue Box – a tiny at-home device that could detect breast cancer with 95% accuracy by just scanning a urine sample. “A household owning The Blue Box can have all its female members tested at their desired frequency and convenience. After creating a profile at The Blue App, the user just needs to collect some urine in a plastic container and subsequently place it inside The Blue Box”, says Judit Giró Benet, a biomedical engineering student who then went on to found her own company to help develop this technology. The Blue Box uses a proprietary set of cloud-based AI-based algorithms that react to specific urine metabolites, delivering results that are up to 95% accurate!

Using a non-ergonomic mouse, Somya Chowdhary mapped out all the pain points felt on the hand. The process then involved clay modeling to understand how MAUS’ shape and angle would feel with wrist movements and grip. Prototypes were then 3D printed with the final form that ensured the hand stays in a position of rest even when using the mouse. An interesting functionality to cure repetitive strain syndrome was making all controls gesture-based. MAUS also features a digital display – something we haven’t seen in any mice! The body also features Alacantara fabric for a soft touch and comfortable light grip. It has a soft felt base as well as a rubber grip for smooth motions.

Inspired by a recent viewing of a solar eclipse, Adi Goodrich designed Eclipse Booths to offer a photo-visual experience for Instagram users to immerse their grids in the cosmos. Describing the booths in her own words, Goodrich says, “Lit from behind, the round portion of the booth emits a soft, indirect light. The mirrors on the ceiling extend the graphic steps throughout the booth’s interior to allude to… steps leading into eternity.” While one of the booths embodies the night sky with a darker color palette of twilight purple and midnight blue, a cooler, icy light emanates from behind the round plate – mimicking the Moon moving into the Earth’s shadow.

Australian designer Amelia Henderson-Pitman looked within her own country and found that there are more than 1700 species of native bee in Australia, yet only 11 species living in hives and producing honey. Keeping this in mind, she designed Pollen – a modular system that provides a range of nesting materials to support the native bee populations. Pollen can be installed in any location and has also been optimized for small spaces to keep it city-friendly. The idea was to have a modular system that could be integrated anywhere from inner-city gardens to exterior building structures. Pollen is basically The Good Place neighborhood for bees. Each nest module contains a variety of materials like recycled hardwood, sustainable bamboo, or handmade mud brick. They also have a series of holes that vary in diameter to provide nesting locations for bees. The shell of the modules is an injection tube crafted from recycled HDPE and has been designed to be easily assembled as well as mounted without fixtures. I love that the internal modules (molded from recycled PET) are transparent because it offers us a closer look at how the bees are adapting. The transparency of the design shows us that seeing is bee-lieving!

Designed by Jihyun Han, Gosewalk consists of two toy pieces, a multi-surfaced mat that resembles the different terrain found outdoors, and a silicone puzzle that stows away dog treats for your pup to sniff and find. The multi-surfaced mat brings the outdoors to your dog with different fabrics resembling different terrains. Twisted and shaggy polyester mimics the look and feel of grass, while tan corduroy and water-repellant canvas brings the colors of sand and soil to your dog’s snout. Pockets and flaps line the mat’s fabrics and provide perfect hiding places for treats and mixtures of herbs and scents to entertain your pup. The silicone puzzle, which seems to be a smaller, more portable companion piece to the bulkier mat, resembles the look of grass through its tender, spring green silicone nubs that grid the toy.

Revolutionizing how Type 1 Diabetics monitor their blood glucose levels, the Sense Glucose Earring by Tyra Kozlow is an innovative non-invasive wearable that incorporates reads blood-sugar levels in the ear-lobe using safe, high-frequency radio waves. The earring requires just a single lobe piercing (as opposed to the daily pin-prick tests that diabetes patients have to take) and sits on the ear at all times. When you need to read your blood-sugar levels, the earring uses sensors and algorithms to collect data, which is then sent to your smartphone. This massively reduces medical waste, while offering a pain-free solution for checking your sugar levels. At the same time, it turns a medical apparatus into a fashion wearable.

Aditi Kedia’s Prairie Planter reinterprets these containers as landscape-elements in their own right. Designed to look almost like an abstraction of a prairie-grassland landscape, the modular planters stack over one another, resembling mounds of red soil. When paired with succulents or cacti, the Prairie Planters come to life, looking a lot like a savannah landscape! “By adjusting each unit in different orientations, one can play with the shape and placement. The design takes inspiration from how things in nature grow on uneven, unexpected surfaces”, says Aditi, who designed the planters as a part of an Instagram-based design challenge.

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