Design Innovation : Summer Fun

That’s right everyone! Finals are over, and it’s finally warm enough to go swimming in those pools and start relaxing on that beach. At least I’m excited about it! I love being outdoors so I’m all about warmer weather. And as we know, there’s plenty of that to be had in Houston. The blistering heat is definitely a source of inspiration for many innovative designs out there, which is why I thought it would be neat to round up some cool designs with summer in mind.


A little known fact about me is I am absolutely obsessed with popsicles. Bomb pops, push pops, freeze pops, random cartoon characters with gumballs for eyes, you name it. I have been known to eat several a day when they’re stocked in my freezer, so I was excited when I stumbled across this nifty product. This is called the Sip-A-Pop, which basically lets you concoct your own popsicle creations, and each one has a little reservoir and straw-like appendage to collect the juice for you to drink when your popsicle starts melting. It’s so simple! It keeps your hands from getting sticky and from having to scarf it down ridiculously fast.


It’s a sad fact that we hardly get any snow in the winter if at all. No snowmen, snow angels, or snowball fights. Also, no sledding! What does this have to do with summer you might ask? Well, it just so happens that a summertime sled, called the Slicer, was invented where no snow is necessary! It uses blocks of ice on the bottom of the sled that you freeze yourself, so it’s easy to use. You can then take it to a grassy hill, let gravity do its thing, and slide to your heart’s content. That thing’s gotta be as fun if not more fun than a slip and slide.


Another thing I love to do when it’s warm is go camping. As much as I love the city, it’s nice to get out in nature where you can actually see some stars. And what better thing to do when it’s camping than making s’mores over an open fire! What’s cool about this S’mores Maker is that even if you can’t make it out to the wilderness, you can easily put this in the microwave or on the grill at home. The fact that you can put several already-assembled sandwiches in the cage makes cooking quite efficient. Plus, the whole thing ends up warm and toasty instead of just the marshmallows. Mmm.


It just wouldn’t feel like summer to me without getting in a bathing suit and cooling off in refreshing water with friends. Sometimes it’s even nice to swim at night. I’ve always enjoyed the lights on pool walls that turn on when it gets dark. This solar floating jellyfish lamp, called the Medusa, I thought was a beautiful new spin on that idea. Without the fear of getting stung by electrical tentacles of course.


For when we want to be outside and not get blasted with direct sunlight on days over 100 degrees, it’s nice to find some shade to relax in. I love a good hammock under tree branches, but this hanging woven sanctuary called the Nestrest is a fantastic reimagination of what a hammock can be. Its cocoon-like form creates its own shade and even has pillows inside! I could spend hours in that thing.

So whether you’re kicking back or getting your toes wet this summer, maybe you will notice some interesting design innovations yourself. And no matter how you spend the next few months, hopefully design is keeping you all cool!

By Leah Macey
Published May 10, 2012
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