Paper vases

Made entirely of paper, these vases, by the Tokyo-based studio Torafu Architects, resemble graphic art suspended in midair. When not on display, they fold down into flat disks. They’re available in sets of three for $28.

Ana Space Heater

Space heaters are so unsightly that the biggest design snobs might be tempted to don another cashmere sweater before trotting one out. But now you can stay warm without adding bulky layers or disrupting your minimalist interior: Matti Walker’s Anna has the polish of an Apple product, the look of an architectural model, and a price that won’t break the bank. It’s available at the MoMA Store for $99.

Square Water Bottle

At $40, the Square is “as premium as water bottles come,” Co.Design’s Mark Wilson writes. “It’s designed to the nines, with an ergonomic (square) shape to prevent rolling and top/bottom lids to make cleaning easy.” Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, the bottle will be ready to ship next month; pre-order one here.

High-Design Nails

“Valerie Gnaedig and Annie Lenon of The Winsome Brave, a Brooklyn design studio, have created a collection of nails, wall brackets, and drawer pulls that look more like something you’d find behind the display case at Barney’s than on the shelves of Home Depot,” Suzanne LaBarre reported earlier in the year. “Made of solid bronze, they have slim profiles and come in modish geometric shapes. Hammer one of those triangle-headed nails into the wall, and you won’t need the art to hang on it.” They come in a set of four for $28.

Typography Scrabble Set

We’ve followed Andrew Capener’s progress on his A-1 Scrabble set since 2011, when he fashioned his first prototype that induced drooling in typography nerds. Now, the final product is for sale and includes a solid walnut box containing six magnetized panels that snap together to form a 19-by-17-inch playing surface for pieces featuring 15 typefaces. Buy it for $199.

DIY Lamp

The New York–based designer Dino Sanchez offers a DIY lamp kit that even those without handyman skills can assemble with a screwdriver in 10 minutes. Users not only experience the thrill of putting something together oneself but end up with a light that far outshines its modest price tag. Buy it here in your choice of three colors for only $75.

Dieter Rams Digital Watch

In 1978, Dieter Rams and Dietrich Lubs designed a minimalist digital watch called the DW30. Braun produced only 3,000 of them, and for 30 years they were hard to come by--until very recently, when the German manufacturer decided to reintroduce the BN0076, a bold, sleek timepiece based on the original DW30. Buy it here for $250.

Freekey Key Ring

The lowly (and frustrating) key ring gets a long overdue update with Freekey--a press-to-open ring that opens with a pinch. It retails for 9 Euros (about $11.50).

Wantful Catalog

If you’ve got the giving spirit but not the time or energy to peruse scores of store racks and online shops, Wantful does most of the work for you, allowing you to for the recipient based on his/her taste and your price range. Go here for more information.

Replicator 2

For the rapid-prototyping fiend, Makerbot has introduced the new Replicator 2, with a resolution capability of 100 microns and a 410-cubic-inch build volume. At $2,199, according to Makerbot, it’s the “most affordable tool for making professional quality models."

Nike Flyknit

It took Nike four years of "micro-engineering" to invent a process for knitting this shoe, available as both runners and trainers for $150. The sustainable benefit: It’s 19% lighter than similar, nonknit models and uses far less material since making the uppers leaves no off-cuts.

Lytro Camera

Holding the Lytro like a spyglass, all you have to do is aim and shoot; the camera does the rest, using cutting-edge "light field" photographic research to focus the image. It’s available in a range of colors and two capacities: 8 GB ($399) and 16 GB ($499).

Our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide For Design Snobs

From a typographic Scrabble board to a high-design water bottle, a collection of products that will please the toughest aesthete.

What do you get those who revere Dieter Rams as a god, queue up early for the Vitra sample sale, and point out the design flaws in, well, just about everything? We’ve got you covered—from a reinvented key ring that won’t break nails to the prettiest nails (as in hardware) you’ve ever seen. And yes, we’ve even got a reissued digital watch for Rams fanatics.

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4 Comments

  • Fluffy

    My wife told me about your Typographic Scrabble Board, but your site is so impressed with itself it is practically impossible for normal folks to find anything, let alone purchase something.

    Would someone please contact me by e-mail with information on how I can order your Typographic Scrabble Board?

    Thank you.

  • Robertjan Kuijten

    I like the bronze nails and the key ring. Maybe i should start saving some for those... ;-)

  • Rweiner13

    I am still laughing at "Gift Guide For Design Snobs"......great title....I have had
    that opportunity to meet one of those..........sometimes you just have to
    swallow but make sure you don't cough it up.......

    Laughing
    R Weiner