The pandemic gave Sergio Spinel, an interior architect and furniture designer, a very unique opportunity to relook his craft as something that’s more than what most people perceive it as. Decor serves a very fixed set of purposes, combining form and function, but with COVID-19, Spinel realized his decor could promote safety too. Meet the POD, the coat-hanger reinvented.
Calling the POD a coat-hanger seems a little reductionist, now that I think of it. The device gives you a place to hang your coats, hats, place your shoes, store/charge your phone, keep your keys, and even provide a dedicated hook for your face-mask. Designed to be the last piece of furniture you interact with on your way out, and the first when you return from the outdoors, the POD stores your belongings, while also sanitizing them with PCO and UVC technology. The vertical wood-veneer pillar comes with a sliding door that opens when you approach it (thanks to a motion sensor at its base), revealing the organizing space within. Hooks give you a place to hang your coat, hats, and even your masks, while a tray at waist-level provides the perfect place to keep your wallet/purse, keys, and even wirelessly charge your smartphone.
The POD uses a variety of technologies to upgrade the furniture experience into something that explores the word ‘functional’ more literally. The sliding door ensures you never really have to touch the POD, and a partnership with California-based IRTRONIX gives POD state-of-the-art sanitizing tech. Once the door of the POD closes, a combination of photocatalytic air filtration along with UV-C rays helps kill microorganisms that may be lingering on the surface of your clothes and EDC, while even eliminating odor-molecules too, making your coat, hat, shoes, and masks fresh again, while ensuring your wallet, keys, and purse are germ-free, and your phone is sanitized and charged. A typical POD cycle will run 2 hours unless you interrupt the cycle.
Available in 3 sizes, the POD approaches furniture with a very different design brief. Its wooden pillar-esque form feels visually commanding, while also complementing the space, and the POD even works as an ambient floor-lamp when it isn’t actively disinfecting your belongings. However, this novel approach and avant-garde tech comes at a price. The POD Mini retails for $810 a piece, while Magnus, the largest variant, can cost as much as $1595. Some may say it’s perhaps too expensive for the average home, but I can totally see the POD finding its place in hotel rooms and the like!
Designer: Sergio Spinel