The 14 Most Intriguing Objects at MoMA’s Design Store Preview

Alyssa Bereznak
National Correspondent, Technology

New York’s Museum of Modern Art has always been a skillful arbiter when it comes to design — working with and featuring many young artists before they’ve caught the national eye, as well as honoring the industry’s greats.

The museum’s affiliated store aims to do the same for the designers of consumer-based products. To have a product featured in the MoMA Store is to be honored for distinctive form, creative thinking, and clear function. 

For the average shopper, it’s a welcome change. We collect so many mundane objects in our lives that it’s rare that we get excited over something as utilitarian as, say, plastic food storage containers. But MoMA Store’s carefully curated and staff-tested products delight the eye while also making life more efficient.

Yes, the extra oomph that transforms a wooden cutting board into a decorative wall piece usually comes with a higher price tag. The MoMA Store is not necessarily known for its affordability. But it does guarantee that whether you’re in search of a gift, a statement piece, or an update to your kitchen, you’ll find something cleverly crafted and useful to have around.

Yahoo Tech previewed the store’s latest picks this week. Below, some of the most interesting items from MoMA’s summer haul, available to purchase online and in person this August.

Giant Anglepoise Lamp

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(Darren Weaver/Yahoo Tech)

You might be familiar with the classic Anglepoise adjustable desk lamp, created in 1932 by British designer George Carwardine. It’s a classic model with joints that allow you to angle, dim, and adjust your light exactly as you want it. As an art exhibit, The Roald Dahl Museum recreated a giant version the famous children’s author’s desk. One of the components to the project was a humongous Anglepoise desk-lamp-turned-floor lamp. People liked it so much that MoMA decided to make it commercially available through its design store. It has all the functionality of the original design: wheels to roll around on, the ability to flex the stem of the lamp, and a dimmer. It’s just a little heavy. $3,750.

3D Shapes Cutting Boards

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Handmade by Bower studios in Brooklyn, these cutting board are both decorative and functional. They’ve got a groove in the back so you can hang them on your wall and a plain backside where you can do your chopping. Small: $100, large: $175.

Cascara Nut Bowl

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Lots of yummy snacks come with less appealing baggage, whether it’s in the form of a slimy pit or a broken shell. This circular, two-piece bowl features a surface tray to display your treats, which lifts to reveal a hidden refuge for discarded items. An elegant solution to a common problem. $110.

Rainbow Nesting Container Set

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Made by Joseph Joseph, a vendor that’s sold to the MoMA Store for 13 years, this storage set is an organizational freak’s dream. At its basic level, it allows you to stack five different-sized rectangle containers in your cupboard. It goes one step further by interlocking all the lids, so you never have to loose track of a container top again. There are even IDs that match the lids to colored dots on the bottom of their corresponding containers, so you don’t have to guess which top fits which. $35.

Lemon Spritzer

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This clever little spike is made to twist into citrus fruits like limes, lemons, or oranges. Once it’s in, you can spritz your food with the juices you’re tapping from within. It’s a great way to keep a piece of garnishing fruit fresh. If only you could do this for Twinkies. Comes with a set of two (one small, one large). $10 to $12.

Pantone Coasters

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Pretty much everything in this world has been touched by Pantone, the self-described authority on shades of hue. It may well be easier to list the things in this world that haven’t been stamped with the company’s signature color samples. Still, these coasters are a classic nod to the pillars of design and would liven up any coffee table. $25 for a set of six.

Bulbing Lamp

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Recently, the MoMA Store began featuring products born via the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, as a way to support original invention. One of the lucky few included in this year’s design store was the Bulbing Lamp, an LED light that attaches with a delicately etched piece of glass to create a gorgeous three-dimensional art piece. Originally funded in June 2013, the project saw so much success that Israeli designer Nir Chehanowski has spun off the project to create his own workspace, Studio Cheha. $120

The Present Clock

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Yet another darling of the MoMA Kickstarter club, this conceptual wall clock keeps track of an entire year, rather than 12 hours. Designer and filmmaker Scott Thrift created the piece to make a statement about time, how quickly it passes, and how people’s lives are owned by clocks. In order to play with that concept, he created a sensor that moves you through seasons. When you look at it, you’re meant to feel grounded, rather than rushed. It also calibrates, so as soon as you turn it on, a sensor activates and aligns it to the right season. Get it exclusively on MoMA’s website. $200.

Moon Explorer Bag

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This futuristic bike bag is designed to fit the shape of your body, so you can strap it to your back while biking. Even better, its silvery reflective material doubles as an evening safety vest. $195.

Qlocktwo Watch

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Made in Germany, this square-faced digital timepiece tells time by highlighting words on its screen. Click the button on its side, and it’ll reveal the day of the month. One more time, and you’ll get a countdown of the seconds of that minute. It’s a different take on your typical wrist wear, and pretty sleek lookin’, too. $890, MoMA Store online exclusive.

OD-11 Cloud Speaker

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This standalone speaker by Teenage Engineering is based on a 1974 design by Swedish designer Stig Carlsson. It initially became popular for its upward-facing design, which spread sound to the middle of the room much better than other products available at the time. This version is much more 21st century, with a computer, a 100-watt amp, and a reengineered bass tube to avoid muddy sound. You can connect it directly to WiFi and stream from the cloud with a custom-made app. If you have more than one, you can switch between speakers in different rooms with two taps using AirPlay. $899.

Animal iPhone Cases

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These playful rubber-and-plastic cases act as adorable protection if you drop your phone. As a bonus, if you pull down the animal’s nose, a flexible tongue will uncurl and act as a stand. $40.

Power Cube

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Any serious electronics collector usually finds herself one plug short when it comes to power outlets. These handy power cubes allow you to build a customizable amount of plugs for yourself. One surface features two USB plugs, and three others are dedicated to traditional outlets. You can also connect them to an extension cord. $20 for the cube, $25 with an extension cord.

WE Speaker

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Perhaps you bought a nice, high-quality speaker long before the Bluetooth craze kicked in, but now you can’t hook it up to your iPhone. This tiny, 48 mm-tall speaker acts as both a player and a dongle. It connects to your phone via Bluetooth, plays a song, and then plugs into any other large speaker. Pretty nifty. $40

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