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. Technology Editor Gregory Han kicks off the Take 5 series…
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1. Tortuga Platform Planters Set
Over the last several months I’ve found myself withdrawing to the haven of a family of plants as a de-stressing mechanism. Spending quiet time coaxing growth seems apropos during these days when we all feel a bit stuck and stifled. As an avid collector and caregiver to this small ecosystem of house plants, I’m often repotting specimens that have outgrown their planter to maintain their health. I’m also always looking for an excuse to buy new planters to complement my leafed family. These nesting natural stone concrete planters are my current favorites, appealing to my affinity for brutalist forms, but one softened by gently speckled hues.
2. andSons Chocolatiers Signature Set
“They’re almost too beautiful to eat”. Almost. As a chocoholic who has been known to scrape his teeth across hardened blocks of baking chocolate in more desperate times, these drops of artistic confections offered a much easier and drastically more satisfying experience. While everything in the set proved delicious (and beautifully designed), the Yuzu Verbena ganache is the specific bite I’ve been recommending everyone try – a sharp citrus-laden aromatic that fades into a creamy blanket of white chocolate that slowly drapes every taste bud like a sultry come-on.
3. Microsoft Surface Headphones 2
I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere down the line my relationship with headphones changed. While I still pop in earbuds while on a call or to listen to music while working out, my daily drivers in front of the computer have to be large-and-in-charge active noise canceling headphones. When my neighbors are working on their deck, the garbage truck is banging down the street, or when the cacophony of a young family of ravens proves unbearable, these are the headphones I reach for. Can I be frank? I wear these as often without music as I do while listening to my playlists, enjoying the silence they provide with a button press. Those 13 levels of active noise cancellation really do a magical job of taking the edge of all the noises listed above, but what I really like about them is even after hours on end with them on, my ears don’t exhibit the cramped soreness often felt in the past – perhaps the most comfortable over-the-ear cans I’ve tried.
4. Tetra Elbow Pipe
Until very recently this pipe – a gift – has been left unused. Not neglected. I’ve appreciated it this entire time for its totally tubular sculptural aesthetic and it kept a prominent spot on my bookshelf with promises of “one day”. That one day finally arrived, and I reached for the curved borosilicate glass pipe shaped with the pose of a resting cat, lit up, and discovered Ninon Choplin’s design takes on a mesmerizing allure with smoke traveling its length. It works as good as it looks. Tetra’s catalog is filled with other similar objects of purpose disguised as works of art, but this one wins on both counts.
5. NuType F1 Wireless Mechanical Keyboard
Keyboards can be a sort of love or hate affair. I used to be in a non-committal relationship with Apple’s wireless keyboard for years, using them because they looked great and hardly took up any space across my narrow desk. Then I discovered the wonderful world of mechanical keyboards and haven’t been the same since. The tactile pleasure of striking these low profile keys equipped with Kailh Choc low profile mechanical switches delivers heavenly, indescribable ASMR pleasure. They just make it feel like you’re typing with purpose, but without being overly distracting. I’ve since bought another one for myself and gifted one to my wife, who agrees, these keyboards look, feel, and sound great – ideal because we can both clickety-clack in rhythm together now.