Luciana Toscano Single Slice Toaster
Sleek Italian design meets today’s high tech. Place a slice of bread into the cylindrical mini-conveyor, hit “power,” and Magnetic Resonance Imaging does the rest, measuring height, width, depth, weight, and molecular structure. Select one of eighty-six color settings from light beige to Vantablack, a black so black it absorbs 99.965% of visible light, and voila! Perfect toast every time.
Pavel Shpet Bipolar Salt & Pepper Shakers
Contemporary realist Pavel Shpet’s “manic” salt and “depressive” pepper make an odd couple that will liven up any dining table. (Well, one of them will liven it up.) Shpet’s work can be seen at Tate Modern, MASS MoCA, and the waiting room of Tarzana urologist Dr. Ira Goldblatt. Known for his avant-garde approach to psychological themes, Shpet achieved early fame with his iconic Freud and Jung salt & pepper shakers.
$85/Members $78 (Salt and pepper not included.)
The Stahl House Birdhouse & Feeder
This birdhouse is a reduced-scale reproduction of a modernist glass and steel gem: Pierre Koenig’s 1960 Case Study House #22, The Stahl House. We’ve addressed a design glitch that initially caused hungry songbirds to slam into its plate glass windows. A green tint did the trick and reduced mortality by 80%.
This digital toothpick updates a classic design of “form follows function.” The rechargeable Bluetooth™ Toothpik™ looks like real birch but is in fact a silica ceramic used by NASA to withstand temperatures of 2,300 °F. Toothpik™ connects, via Bluetooth™, to CybrPlaq™ a smartphone app that monitors plaque level, enamel depth, gumline and rates gingivitis from “moderate” to “get help!” Comes with leather carrying case and shoulder strap.
Helmut Krüger Stepless Stepladder
Krüger’s minimalist reimagining of the commonplace stepladder startled the design world in 1947. In 1910, young Helmut vowed to work his way through his local Salzburg hardware store and pare each item to its essential elements. He was up to garden hoses at his death in 1961. The Stepless Stepladder looks like an upside-down double V (it was nicknamed “the upside-down double V”) and has only one flat surface at its apex. Persons of smaller stature might need to reach it by standing on a chair.
Helmut Krüger “Fingerless” Oven Mitt
While whipping up a batch of kaiserschmarren in an iron skillet in 1912, Krüger noted that his right hand, the one in an oven mitt, began to schwitzen. He pulled off the mitt, placed it on a carving board and cleaved off its upper third. When he slipped it back on and resumed baking, his hand could now “breathe,” and he knew he had a winner. Krüger started thinking fabrics, color options, cost-per-item, production capacity, annual sales and an initial public offering when he realized that an acrid burning smell was his fingers melting. The mitt took a few tweaks to perfect, but the rest is history.
One-size-fits-all, sold as a pair. $125/ Members $150
The Vector Chair
Called “the quintessence of midcentury modern design” by Khloé Kardashian, the Vector Chair has been in the Smithsonian collection since 1990ish. Architect Burke Grinnell longed to design a luxurious club chair that was mass-produced and affordable, and with The Vector Chair he failed on both counts. Each chair takes more than 5,000 man-hours to build. The process begins with a seamless sheet of titanium that is hand rolled and hammered, then thrown out. That’s just to warm everyone up. The actual manufacturing details are secret. The Vector’s distinctive sensual form, which Grinnell calls an “infinite curve,” has been likened to the shape of God’s universe. Others say it looks like a bleacher seat in old Comiskey Park. We think you’ll agree: sitting is believing.
$138,500/ Members: Don’t even think of asking for a discount.
Jang-mi Sun Shot Glasses
A bright star in the burgeoning South Korean glass scene is blown glass artist Jang-mi Sun. “My work lies in the balance of yin and yang and at the intersection of interior and exterior.” Her work also lies at the intersection of pricey and ridiculous. So, when she offered to create an economical, limited edition set of six shot glasses, we jumped. Each glass is a one-of-a kind, cut and polished vessel that, according to Ms. Sun “lies at the middle ground between translucent and opaque, between light and shadow, between science and superstition, between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge…” Whatever.
Set of six glasses: $1,900/ Members not eligible.