TOM DIXON ECOWARE – ?14.95 ? ?69.99
Everyone needs dishes, and while the floral frippery of classic china may not appeal to the most masculine types, dishware can’t be written off as girly. Maverick design star Tom Dixon, has been experimenting with biodegradable plastics made from compressed natural materials such as byproducts of coconut, rice and bamboo processing. He has created a line of biodegradable plates, bowls and cups dubbed Eco Ware. This line of sustainable tableware is 85% bamboo bound with a water-soluble polymer. The best part is that after a long functional life (5 years give or take), the Eco Ware objects can be recycled into plant pots or simply composted back to the earth.
?14.95 ? ?69.99 from Nigel’s Ecostore
The name “MUJI” is derived from the Japanese phrase “Mujirushi Ryohin,” meaning “No Brand Goods.” Over the last 20 years, Muji has developed a worldwide following with a guiding philosophy that emphasizes innovative and simple materials, processes, and packaging. The resulting products are streamlined, environmentally friendly, and beautiful. These simple, elegant speakers are made of cardboard and electronic components.
As you know, Inhabitat loves fold-out, multipurpose devices, and Victorinox’s Swiss Army Knife is the granddaddy of them all. Long before Murphy beds and nesting chairs, the Swiss Army Knife showed the world the beauty of efficient DIY multitasking.
While nothing says guy gift like a Swiss Army Knife, we thought we’d try to keep it interesting and dig up a few new iterations on the old classic. The SwissCard is a flat container, the size and shape of a credit card, that includes a pen, scissors, mini-lite, tweezers and screwdrivers. It fits perfectly in a wallet or pocket without the bulk of the traditional knife. The SwissMemory is the wired version of the traditional knife, with a built-in USB flash drive, LED light, ballpoint pen, and a knife. As the site says, “No geek should be without it.”
SCRAPILE LAMP – $100
If you’ve been reading Inhabitat for a while, you are well aware of our infatuation with Scrapile, the Brooklyn-based design studio whose striated wood pieces have become synonymous with modern eco-friendly furniture. Carlos Salgado and Bart Bettencourt collect wood scraps (which would otherwise be headed for landfill) from various lumber mills and recycle them into stunning minimalist pieces. The Scrapile line includes tables, benches, stool, shelving, crates and lamps. No doubt this gift would make anyone happy, but we thought it’d make a good guy gift with its stylish simplicity.
$200 – $300
This is the perfect gift for the techy-yet-outdoorsy guy in your life. Unlike the Voltaic backpack we mentioned earlier (which only charges PDAs and phones), this laptop carrier uses solar power to actually charge your laptop. Conveniently, cell phones and other devices with DC chargers can be plugged into the Notepower solar charger and recharged as well.
STEREOLUZ – $200+
Most guys have at least one high-tech gadget on their holiday wishlist, and while we wouldn’t want to dash anyone’s hopes for getting the newest iPod or handheld – techie goods have become sleek and small for good reason, after all – this is a great opportunity to dig up a little nostalgia about the old clunky wooden boxes that started most gadget addictions in the first place.
Lighting designer Trey Gerfers turns boxy old hi-fi speakers into beautiful, customized ambient lights with his collection, Stereoluz. In some of his designs Gerfer uses old maps ? in others he uses wood paneling or LEDs. Although these may sound like an incongruous bunch of materials, once you see the lamps, you realize how well they work together. His motto is “old and new, modern and rustic, familiar but altogether something else.” Sums it up about right.
This ergonomic cork stool is an ideal gift for that programmer (or blogger) in your life who spends every waking minute in front of the computer. The central column of the stool, located directly under the spine of the user, is flexible, solid cork while the rest is perforated. The result is a seat that flexes and pivots under the weight of the user, responding to the slightest body movement. The user’s muscles remain slightly engaged to maintain balance, improving posture and circulation.
However, in addition to being flexible, ergonomic and super cute, Daniel Michalik’s cork furniture is also very environmentally friendly, as cork is completely sustainable, recyclable, and plentiful.
CERAMIC ANTLER CHANDELIER
As it gets chilly during these cold winter months, the rustic cabin aesthetic grows increasingly appealing (at least to me!). Jason Miller’s collection of ceramic Antler Lamps will keep you warm and cozy with their contemporary twist on the hunting lodge classic. The bulbs are customizable, and the designer casts the antlers by hand, so every piece is unique. Running from $270 (for the table lamp) up to $2300 (for the largest chandelier), there is an Antler Lamp for (almost) every budget.