You wouldn’t think that onions and cork would have much in common but Benamor Duarte Architecture has connected these unrelated elements to create a interactive installation called the Onion Pinch. This installation was conceived as a Babies and Adult Rest Station for a Lisbon subway station with the goal of getting the attention of its passengers and creating a sculptural piece that people could touch, lay on and rest.

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Because cork is so flexible they cut sturdy strip and connected the tops together to create the onion shape which creates a hammock or rocking structure that can support the weight of a person. The installation was articulated in a series of internal paths in which babies could run, walk, climb, lay and rock. The tracks were articulated by the opening or closing of the profiles. Shape and profile transformations were obtained by literally pinching the cork with a bolt. When placed on the higher positions of the profile, the onion configuration would open up. Moving the bolt toward the ground made the shape close down.

By approaching the project we immediately understood that we wanted to construct a space affecting user’s behavior, a real place that people would recognize as such. We wanted to create a space having the capacity to transform, by its physicality, the life in a subway station.

In order to achieve our goal, like surgeons we started to study and to dissect the material we were using for the installation: the cork. We wanted to identify a design concept and a very simple construction technique. We wanted to create an intimate relation between material properties and user’s physicality. Cork was reduced to a list of material properties and attributes that could interact with people: Texture, Granularity, Porosity, Acoustic insulation, Density, Thickness and finally the most important: Flexibility.

Cork is very flexible. Flexibility means elasticity and vibration. A response to touch to body pressure. Thanks to its flexibility, it was possible to shape the cork. We wanted to offer a dynamic shelter, an hammock, a space: the project was achieved by literally folding fifteen strips of cork to obtain an onion ring effect.

The onion rings were realized with different cork types and thicknesses. The installation was articulated in a series of internal paths in which babies could run, walk, climb, lay and rock. The tracks were articulated by the opening or closing of the profiles. Shape and profile transformations were obtained by literally pinching the cork with a bolt. When placed on the higher positions of the profile, the onion configuration would open up. Moving the bolt toward the ground made the shape close down.

The unique parameter, ‘position on the Z axis of the bolt’, affected another condition of the rings: the flexibility or level of vibration. Therefore with the form transformation the rigidity of the shape also changed. For the more open type of profile the flexibility was higher. A simple touch could activate the ring vibration by literally transforming the Onion in culls. For the more rigid shapes the vibration was limited.

Beside the apparent rigidity of the design approach, when installed in the subway the onion installation immediately became an urban toy. People slowed down from their everyday rhythm and looked at the installation, touched it, pushed it and tested the different reactions of the onion to body pressure. Babies immediately appropriate the space. The presence of an extremely alive object, with its texture, with the oscillation of the onion rings, transformed an unfamiliar, cold space like the subway station into a lively oasis. Children entered the space and started to inhabit it.

If your entertaining it is always nice to to have all the right accessories to serve wine so I have decided to do a round up of all the best wine gear I have come across in my internet browsing.

Check out this vintage vase that is for sale on Etsy which measures 5 – 5/8″ tall x 3 – 1/4″ in diameter at the base. The pitcher is completely covered in cork and the interior is a terracotta colored ceramic. Since there are no markings on the bottom or inside it is hard to date this item but it is extremely cool in a Silence Of The Lamp patchwork style way.

This is a sweet little lamp that combines my two fetishes, cork and Apple products. I mean, how awesome is this nicely styled lamp that has a built in USB cable so I can charge my iPhone. The lamp comes in 2 different sizes and the smaller one has a digital clock which makes it perfect for the night stand. The base of the lamp is made of cork so it doesn’t scratch the surface it sits on and also creates the interior base so my lovely phone has a soft cushion to sit on. I only wish the USB cord was longer for the night stand version so I could charge my iPhone while it is under my pillow because I like to wake up to the soothing vibrations of my phone’s alarm clock. Maybe that is to much information…..


Unveiled at Maison & Objet 2012, Hodge Podge USB Lamp creates a little dome beneath which you can keep and charge your beloved items like MP3 players and smart phones. A cork base gives the aforementioned electronic items a safe haven, so they can recharge without getting lost or damaged. Hodge Podge USB Lamp is also a great place to keep other essentials of daily life—keys, wallets, etc.

A smaller version of the table lamp exists which, aside from the USB port, comes equipped with a small alarm clock. Hodge Podge comes in three colors: grey, green, and off-white. The smaller version of Hodge Podge is available in grey and off-white only. Hodge Podge is an excellent choice for bedside tables the world over. People who lose their phones because they always charge them in a different spot will love Hodge Podge.

Via 3 Rings

Maybe I am a petty person but there are certain people in this world that really bug me. I usually just send mean brain wave mojo at them but I get very little tactile satisfaction out of it. So I have a new plan and it involves these cork voodoo dolls. So this is fair warning to all those people who have crossed me, if you feel a painful jabbing in your shoulder or your head or your belly ITS ME!!!

Via Mocoloco

OMG! Talking about my death is kind of creepy but I guess it is something that will eventually happen, so when I am cremated I want my ashes to be put in this awesome cork urn. India based industrial design student, Margaux Ruyant has created a cremation urn that has a ceramic memorial engraving on the top and a cork base. You insert a boxwood tree (with bio degradable container)  through the top opening and into your ashes, which fertilize the tree and allow it to grow. The cork base will slowly dissolve, letting the tree roots expand and continue the cycle of life. I always thought I would want my ashes to be scattered in the sea but this is definitely another great option. Still kind of creepy thinking of my death.

Via Inhabitat 

The Young House Love blog always has great realistic tips for the DIYer who is looking to add a touch of style to their home. I love the fact that instead of doing something super fancy to stick the tiles together they just used duct tape, which is my favorite choice to fix anything that is broken

Via Young House Love

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