Take 5: A Peculiar Blue Tray, Gardening Class, Stoneware Carafe + More

Every other week we’re inviting one of the Design Milk team to share five personal favorites – an opportunity for each of us to reveal the sort of designs we use and appreciate in our own lives from a more personal perspective. Lifestyle Editor Vy Yang returns this week for our Take 5 series.

04.05.22 | By
Take 5: A Peculiar Blue Tray, Gardening Class, Stoneware Carafe + More

create academy class

1. I was recently looking for gardening classes and came across Arthur Parksinson’s class on Create Academy. While the name of the class lured me in – “Grow A Spectacular Garden in Pots” – it was the beautifully shot videos, easy to follow lessons, and niche topics that really got me hooked. I love that the style of these educational videos feel like a BBC special; it makes me want to take all the classes, even just to have something to watch while I decompress at the end of the night. Create Academy’s A-team of industry tastemakers and inspiring creatives – Rita Konig, Annie Sloan, 2LG Studio (whom we’ve interviewed before) – have all been a delight to watch from just the trailers; I can only imagine how wonderful their actual classes are.

suna carafe

2. How much drinkware can one person own before it’s too much? The limit does not exist, in my opinion. Glassware and ceramics are two things I feel like I’m constantly buying or wanting to buy (my latest purchase were these Fferrone Deerborn glasses, which pull double duty as vases too). I currently want to add this sweet little Suna carafe by Tamiko Claire Stoneware to my collection, and the fact that I can use it in multiple ways (for sake, coffee, creamer, flowers, or pens) convinces me that it’s definitely worth adding to my collection. *adds to cart immediately*

the new happy

3. Have you added this Instagram to your follow list yet? You should. The New Happy is “a new philosophy of happiness” and it really does make me happy – at the very least, pause in my scrolling – when I see it in my feed. Founder Stephanie Harrison uses simple graphics and soothing colors to convey different ideas about finding your inner peace. I don’t always relate to every one but I will always make the time to process a post when I see it. Considering the state of the world, my current favorite one is about hope and fear:

the new happy

wary Parker lichen tray

4. The OG of DTC start ups, Warby Parker, recently launched a fun collaboration with Lichen, a furniture store / design studio in NYC. This intriguing object is Lichen’s take on an eyewear tray. Made of soft silicone in Warby Parker’s signature cobalt blue, the tray can hold up to three pairs of glasses, as well as everyday accessories like watches, wallets, and rings. The choice material is a genius move because most trays are hard surfaces; this ensures your glasses don’t get scratched or damaged. I was curious what the initial conversation was like in regards to this peculiar design and had to find out more from Lichen co-founders, Jared Blake and Ed Be, who shared:

“The initial design concept came from the design of egg crates. The silicone rubber material presented itself as the perfect medium to protect not just your eyewear, but all of the small items you love, wear, and use day-to-day. Empathy is rooted in what makes good design and I think we all pulled that off with this release.”

I definitely agree! To accompany the tray, Warby Parker also re-launched their Nesso collection after its successful debut two years ago. My current go-to is that beautiful Morley in Brioche Tortoise.

wary Parker nesso collection

Laura Blake installation

5. Laura Blake is my current favorite artist. I love that her work stems from nature, from the materials to the colors to the final product or installation. I also particularly love that her work is based on co-design research for disabled and neurodiverse audiences, making art truly inclusive to be experienced. This specific art installation was made for Dalheimers Hus, a center in Gothenburg, Sweden for people with different needs and disabilities. The piece is invitingly interactive and allows the user to explore tactility, movement, and sound.

Laura Blake installation

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As the Senior Contributing Editor, Vy Yang is obsessed with discovering ways to live well + with intention through design. She's probably sharing what she finds over on Instagram stories. You can also find her at