Author Archives: Daniel Ha

Bee9 Design

Students, young adults, or anyone living in a smaller space know how valuable it is if we had just a little bit more room in our studio, bedroom, or wherever. Maybe just 10 more square feet in the corner. A couple of of Unbranded members have found solutions to this problem, one being the Three in One  by designer Kai-ning Huang (read more about this design on our blog post). When dealing with a desk, it’s not difficult to figure out how to accomplish this task – restaurants do it all the time. Yet, it’s how you do it and how you present it, that makes the difference.

A UK (West Yorkshire) based design studio called ‘bee9‘ has created such a desk called Tablet Desk 2.0, which every college dormitory desperately needs. The mechanics of this product are essentially the same as any other fold-up desk you would see in restaurants. However, this one has its perks and is catered to people like us – students, professionals, workers.



In its ‘standard’ position, you wouldn’t think of it as being special or different. It may even look more like a shelf than a desk. There’s a body, and a top surface that’s cut into the blocks so you can customize it however you want. Then after playing around with it you realize that this thing is pretty awesome. The body folds up and two legs come down. The applications for this table are pretty standard but essential to daily life. No wonder this company is called bee9, its product provides a gentle and benign experience with limited space.




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One Shot

It always brings a wonderful feeling to come across a product that’s functional and still materialistically lean. It inspires something inside to heighten the push to create bolder, cleaner, and simpler design solutions.


Jasheng Wong, one of our Unbranded Designers, is the craftsman of the recently popular piece, One Shot. It’s sudden increase in likes from our community from jumping to one of the top three submissions is a testament to its wonderful design. The part that makes this piece incredible is the fact that the product is built with one piece of sheet iron. And on top of that, it only requires three simple manufacturing processes to complete it – laser cutting, metal stamping, and bending. It’s hard to get any better than that. From a manufacturing and production point of view, One Shot is golden. The design also holds a limitless number of smooth and clean lines and geometric shapes that are amplified or hidden depending on your point of view.


From reviewing the comments, however, there are some worries that Wong’s design is more unstable than it should be. Our Unbranded Designer, Seizmic Design wrote, “Materials are certainly your biggest concern. In a close second is going to be the strength of that break at the bottom trying to support all the physics going on above. One solution might be to have two or three feet instead of just one. One way this could perhaps be done is by breaking the center foot only out of the back and breaking two feet out of the front. I think you will also wind up having to go from having a perfect radius at the bottom (which looks awesome) to having at least a little bit of a flat area (which wouldn’t look as hot, but would be more stable),” which numerous people agreed with.

Tell us what you think to help One Shot become the greatest version of itself!



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Nothing but What You Need

If you were given two minutes to design a table that was functional and aesthetically pleasing, could you do it? Two friends are the owners of a small Czech design boutique called Master&Master and so far there is only one product for sale, the Stackable table trestles.


After a few seconds of just looking at the table, I realized that this piece is just extremely naked – there are two steel legs and a flat wooden surface. However, what makes this table interesting and beautiful is the way the legs are designed. If you’ve taken any physics or engineering courses then you’ll understand the mechanics of trusses (don’t worry, I won’t dive into explaining equations, forces, stress, etc.). Basically, these designers have utilized this common feature mostly found in architecture and engineering into this ‘simple’ table. As a result, they’ve optimized the table’s strength. Oh, and a perk to these tables are that they’re stackable!


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This design is also reminiscent of three of our Unbranded pieces – Akshat Ragava’s WM Coffee Table, Tracy Tyler’s Bent Plywood Table, and Alain Santos Monteiro’s Revi Table. Check them out!

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Functional Art

As an industrial designer, there’s a fine line that cannot be crossed between creating something catered for a user and something that is simply art. Amazingly, designer Axel Yberg has found a gray area, which he calls ‘functional art.’


By taking a look at Yberg’s portfolio, it’s definitely hard to stop looking at his work and to stop wondering how in the world does he think of these detailed, intricate, and ultimately beautiful pieces. The main elements he utilizes are metal and wood or ‘industrial and organic’ as he labels them. Yberg views these two juxtaposing materials representing something more harmonious and poetic. The use of metal symbolizes control and deliberation. He decides how to cut it, how to shape it, and what type of surface finish it should have. On the other hand, his use of wood represents the more spontaneous, natural, and hidden dimension of his craft. A slab of wood has already lived a lifetime – it brings its experiences to the surface and Yberg has to work with what is there.




I really encourage anyone who’s reading this to take five minutes to peruse through Yberg’s work and see its intricacy and uniqueness. Tell us what you think!

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A Lamp that Makes You Clean the Floor

It’s always a fun experience when a piece of furniture or lighting allows (or perhaps ‘forces’ is a better word) the user to perform an action for it to properly operate. Designer Arthur Xin created a clever way for users of his lean and modern lamp to clean their floors.


At first sight, you can’t tell that there is something different about this piece. But after a couple of days (or however long the power lasts) you’ll notice that the light will begin to dim as time goes on. There is no cord or charging mechanism. So what are you supposed to do? To make the lamp brighter again the user has to actually mop his floor with the lamp. The bending motion of lamp, the handle of the mop, is a source of kinetic energy which is then stored to as power. Clever, right? To mess with your mind even more, Xin wanted to portray a larger meaning to this product – wash away the bad to create positive energy.



NOTE: There is a possibility that your lamp will smell….

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Timeless Pieces

It’s not common to stumble upon a piece of furniture that is versatile enough to fit in both a garage and a classy, sophisticated lounge or office space. To achieve such a task, the piece needs to hold a certain balance of classic, rustic, yet clean and lean characteristics. Fajno Design submitted a chair that holds true to this timeless and universal brand – the Beatle Chair. The seating material is made of leather while the metal frame is made of darkened steel.



The concept behind the design was to create something that could seamlessly blend and feel natural in any environment. The designers modeled the chair by the physical appearance of a black beetle believing that any true substance of nature can easily fit into any surrounding.



After brainstorming about 25 different places to put this chair, they all seem like a good fit. Can you think of any places where the Beetle Chair wouldn’t be appropriate?

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Great Story, Great Design

A story behind a design adds that extra layer of uniqueness making a good piece into a more special one. It connects you with the designer as well as with others who can empathize with the story – this is why great design can strive to be universal. Personally, Saana Hellsten’s Slider Stool was at first just nice, simple, and clean. I enjoyed the larger seating area, its overall shape, and the thinner back support. But, I wouldn’t have bought this design if I saw it on sale.




However, after reading the motivation and story behind the chair and understanding why the piece is called the Slider Stool, my feelings changed completely for the better. Hellsten describes the design saying the seat is representative of a slider in which you sled on during the winter snow days and the white steel legs are representative of the snow. It should bring out the fond memories of the viewer’s childhood. She also diagrams a fun collage of the ‘versatility’ of this chair.


The Slider Stool is the third most popular design at 43%. Vote for it if you would like to see it on the market!

The Cradle Chair

At first glance, this hemispherical chair (if you can even call it a chair – it’s more of a curved bed) may seem like something whimsically pulled out of a child’s imagination. However, the Cradle Chair, designed by Richard Clarkson, is much more than just a ridiculously comfortable piece of furniture.




The motivation behind the Cradle Chair is actually from individuals suffering from Autism and Rhythmic Movement Disorder (RMD). In his portfolio, Clarkson states, “It is about creating a safe, comfortable, and relaxing space in which the user can dissipate the overstimulation of their senses… We had a strong focus creating a solution for sufferers of RMD but the chair is not exclusively for them and will bring relaxation, comfort, and calmness to anyone who uses it.”


This is Industrial Design at its finest. Clarkson not only created something for the masses that looks aesthetically pleasing and feels warm and inviting. But it is also disruptive in its form, which brings even more people to stare at it and eventually want to experience and buy it. But on another level, this piece serves a very specific purpose – it satisfies the needs of the the clients, who in this case are those with Autism and RMD.

What do you think?

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Bucketfeet & Unbranded Designs found at Block37

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bucketfeet, it is a startup that has a similar mission to Unbranded Designs’ – to help artists and designers bring their work from concepts to the market. Bucketfeet, instead of working with furniture, collaborates with shoe designers. To find out more about the company’s inception and its more personal stories, check out their anecdotes here!


Fortunately for us, Bucketfeet was searching for tables to highlight their canvases and featured shoes in their pop-up store located in Chicago’s Block37. They were eventually able to check out some our designs and had a special liking for David Greene‘s FOLD designs – a series of stools, chairs, and desks that are all  pattern cut steel, hand-folded, powder coated in countless different forms, and assembled by David and his team in Chicago. They really appreciated the uniqueness, simplicity, and yet sharp features of the FOLD tables. As a result, the Chicago startup grabbed some tables and are now using them in their Block37 pop-up store!

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Coffee table (40” x 40” x 18”), Stool (12” x 12” x 30”) Console Table (46” x 12” x 36”)

If you have time this holiday season, go to Bucketfeet’s store in Block37 and check out their awesome shoes and our equally awesome furniture!

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The Single Cord Lounge

The Single Cord Lounge chair is definitely a fun piece that I would buy to place in my apartment. The piece utilizes the materialistic properties of rope, such as its tension and yield strength, to create a reliable and interactive seating arrangement. The frame is made out of a single board of ash. Interestingly, the rope is only one 100 ft. cord as stated by its designer, Josh Shiau, who is currently and Industrial Design student at RISD.



The-Single-Cord-Lounge_05_1383948033On a different note, this piece reminds me of another chair that utilizes a cord and its material properties as its seating arrangement. It is the Carnaval Chair and was designed by Guido Lanari. Both chairs are warm and welcoming but I cannot see them going into the same environments. Shiau’s chair can be placed in a home, apartment, or any sort of residential area whereas I can see Guido’s design being placed in a office and more corporate setting.



Tell us where you think these two chairs would be most ideal and if they can be placed in the same setting!

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