Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The human civilisation has progressed in many ways, from building towering skyscrapers to developing mobile screens that can be folded. Through it all, design has been a key aspect of pushing the boundaries of what we can achieve with the aid of technology, and making our creations look as good as they are functional.

Yet there are some who believe that, in our pursuit of modernity and innovation, the human race is slowly losing sight of itself, and the meaning of being alive. For that reason, English designer Charlie Cadbury launched Moment Pebble (, with the aim of “bringing short, mindful moments into the lives of busy people – away from screens and notifications, identified as one of the biggest sources of stress today”.

As its name implies, the Moment Pebble is just that - a rock-shaped device with smooth corners and a stone texture. Designed to fit in the hand, it is movement-activated and emits a pulsating glow for 30 seconds, encouraging the user to take slow, long breaths in time with the rhythmic glow.

“Being busy has become a badge of honour. This busy phenomenon is impacting society as people are sacrificing their well-being in an endless search for bigger, faster, now. At the expense of people’s health, society is absorbed in the need to always be ‘on’,” Charlie explains, presenting the wirelessly charged stone as a mindfulness tool to reduce stress and improve overall wellbeing. Available for pre-order on fund-raising site Indiegogo, it has already amassed $104,228 from over 1,000 backers. This amount is nearly twice the target set by the founder in order to put the design into production.

While some may joke about the seeming frivolity of paying over $70 for a glowing rock, it is interesting to see how much city urbanites are beginning to value their mental health and sanity.

At a time when we have the technology to send people to the Moon, humankind is realising the need to slow down its pace and reach out for a manmade pebble to help achieve a sense of balance in life. More importantly, this is a solution derived more through design than technology. There’s just something sensual and comforting about holding an organically shaped object, something hypnotic about its soft illumination, that helps to soothe the nerves and calm the soul.

At the end of the day, design comes to the rescue of us mere mortals, so let that be the reason for us to always respect and celebrate excellent design in all aspects of our lives.