Innovation
Culture | Architecture
WeLive Aims to Disrupt Sad, Anonymous City Living Next

WeWork, the co-working company that has almost single-handedly redefined the modern workplace, isn’t content to simply make the traditional office obsolete. It has recently turned its eye toward the residential sphere with their newest project, WeLive, an optimized and amenity-heavy half-apartment, half-college dorm setup where there’s free beer in the laundry room. So, what's it actually like to live there?

The Secret to Blow-Out Fireworks Shows

Pyro Spectaculars is a family-run business well-versed in the intricate art of expertly choreographed explosions. The company handles everything from the creation of the firecrackers to post-show cleanup. In this way, they have complete control to create a near-cinematic experience. 

Culture | Food
The Surprisingly Scientific Way Ben & Jerry’s Brings New Flavors to Your Freezer
Culture | Virtual Reality
520 Computers, 470 Projectors, 50 Installations, 1 Amazing Museum
Culture | Software
House-Flipping Has Come to the Virtual World

Carbon May Be Humanity’s Best Bet Against Climate Change

One of the most ambitious fights against global warming today is being fought on the carbon capture and sequestration front. Instead of viewing carbon as a problem, entrepreneurs across many sectors are viewing carbon as an economic and environmental opportunity.

Culture | Virtual Reality
Can VR Save the Movie Theater?
Culture | Transportation
Numtots Are Exactly the Type of Meme-Making Millennials That City Dwellers Need
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Culture | Retail
Mattress Innovator Casper to Start Selling Sleep (Yes, That’s Right)

Direct-to-consumer mattress brand Casper may be best known for igniting the “mattress-in-a-box” craze, but the company, which recently hit $600 million in revenue, has launched a branded nap destination dubbed the Dreamery right next to its NYC flagship. For a small fee, visitors receive an immersive napping experience on a Casper mattress (don’t worry, the sheets are changed every 45 minutes). It may seem indulgent to some, but Casper believes it’s tapping an unfilled niche and plans to bring Dreamery outposts to airports and office spaces.

Culture | Art

In 2022, You Can Finally Step Inside a Studio Ghibli Movie

Celebrated Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli, helmed by co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, has unveiled visualizations for a theme park slated for completion in 2022. The nearly 500-acre attraction will feature recreations of the 19th-century European brick architecture that takes pride of place in such beloved films as Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and Howl’s Moving Castle. No designers have been named yet, but Studio Ghibli asserts that the end result will respect Japan’s historical origins and natural environment.

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Culture | Science
Neuroscientist Creates Gilded Pieces of Brain Art
Culture | Food
How Architects Infuse Pastries With Precision
Culture | Science
Need Blacker Than Black Paint? You Got It
Culture | Transportation

Konnichiwa, Hello Kitty Shinkansen!

From keychains to bullet trains, Hello Kitty is one successful cartoon cat. The expressionless feline made her shinkansen debut this year on a pink-and-white train that will whisk commuters and tourists between Fukuoka and Osaka. Everything from the windows, seat covers, flooring, and even a specialized photo-op carriage are decked out with Hello Kitty decorations.

Culture | Art
FreelandBuck Creates Visual Puzzles by Cloning Historical Ceilings
Culture | Art
Designer Spends 10 Years Building Paper Model of a Boeing 777
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Culture | Art
Google Street View Helps an Agoraphobic Woman Travel the World

Jacqui Kenny, housebound due to a debilitating diagnosis of agoraphobia (a fear of crowded or remote places), is a master of the screen-grab. The former business-owner discovered the nearly limitless “travel” possibilities of Google Street View. Using the panoramic power of Google Street View, Kenny can travel to any number of countries across the globe. To date, she has taken over 27,000 screenshots, and assembled a portfolio of 200 neatly framed and edited photos of everyday life across our planet.

Culture | Fashion

The Arrivals Designs Clothes That Pay Tribute to Architecture

Formerly trained as an architect, and with a stint at Dutch firm UN Studio under his belt, creative director Jeffrey Johnson brings his architectural training and fascination to The Arrivals, creating garments named after prominent architects and engineered for city living. Johnson and his business partner Kal Vepuri have collaborated with 3M and independent Italian tanneries to create waterproof and rubberized materials, keeping in line with what Johnson calls “the requirement of function and the challenge of form.” 

Culture | Architecture
Emojis Double as Gargoyles
Culture | Art
L.A. Selfie Museum Amuses and Educates on the New Millennium’s Favorite Pastime
Culture | Transportation
Pantone My Ride
Culture | Art

L.A. Selfie Museum Amuses and Educates on the New Millennium’s Favorite Pastime

On April 1, the world’s first selfie museum opened its doors in the L.A. suburb of Glendale. Intended to be a half-way silly, half-way serious examination of the selfie, the museum traces the history of self-portraiture from the Big Bang up to 2018. Visitors are welcome to take photos with life-sized statues of food, sit on an “Iron Throne” of selfie sticks, and get duped by the museum’s bathroom mirror room – where a viewer would expect to see their reflection in the “mirror” they’re instead shocked to only see a photographic replica of the room’s interior within the mirror. These playful but meaningful exhibits seek to undermine the stigma of narcissism associated with selfie culture and instead promote a more nuanced, exploratory attitude towards humanity’s long obsession with making the ephemeral concept of “Self” tangible.

What Will the Jobs of the Future Be?
Culture | Fashion
MIT Creates Tiny Robot Jewelry
Culture | Music
A Water Tank Becomes an Unlikely Performance Venue
Culture | Fashion
IKEA's Beloved Tote Gets a Street Style Boost From Virgil Abloh

IKEA's beloved FRAKTA tote bag is having a fashion moment. After cheekily responding to Balenciaga’s Arena tote with a “How to identify an original IKEA Frakta bag” ad, IKEA announced a collaboration with Virgil Abloh, a designer for the popular streetwear label Off-White. Abloh’s FRAKTA retains the bag's classic shape, but is made with cardboard instead of plastic and reads “SCULPTURE” along the sides. The collaboration will include furniture and design accents, as well. 

Culture | Art

Coachella’s Virtual Reality Dome Delivered an Acid-Free Trip

Want to trip without the hallucinogens? Consider Chrysalis from last year’s Coachella, the art and music festival held in California’s Coachella Valley. Engineered by San Francisco firm Obscura Digital, the 120-foot psychedelic VR dome featured 108 speakers, 15 projectors, and 500 seats to create an immersive experience centered on the birth of a butterfly. The immersive aspects of Chrysalis required an unprecedented two teams, an entirely automated self-adjustment system, and fifteen cameras instead of the usual two. 

Culture | Art
Ever Been in a Semi-Anechoic Chamber?
Culture | Art
Atacama Desert Inspires Outdoor Performance Venue by Coz y Ortiz Arquitectos
Culture | Art
Ugo Rondinone Brightens Fundación Casa Wabi With Local Children’s Sketches of the Sun
Culture | Manufacturing

Levi’s Aims to Detoxify Jean Manufacturing

Levi’s is introducing a digitizing technique to its manufacturing process called Project FLX (Future-Led Execution) that will eliminate harmful chemicals and reduce the production time of its jeans. The first step in Project FLX is to photograph the denim. Then the data is interpreted via a computer, which will use lasers to etch a distressed pattern onto a pair of jeans. With the initiative, Levi’s aims for zero discharge of hazardous materials and to reduce the amount of chemicals by the year 2020. 

Culture | Augmented Reality
Jeff Koons and Snapchat Create First Location-Based AR Lens
Culture | Art
Murano Glass Factory (Briefly) Resurrected
Culture | Art
Kelly Harris Smith’s WantedDesign Installation Recasts Felt as Space-Maker
Culture | Art
Neon Glows Again at Trendy Restaurants

Once possessing seedy associations, neon is making appearances at Michelin-starred and fast-casual restaurants alike. While some restaurants choose to light up their name or advertise their wares, other applications include cutesy catchphrases, such as the Garret East’s “No Bad Days” sign, or iconic artworks, like those by Tracey Emin that are installed at Cut by Wolfgang Puck. The rediscovered fascination with neon also harkens a newfound trendiness for some neon landmarks like New York's Katz’s Delicatessen and Old Town Bar. 

Culture | Architecture

Architecture and Fashion Go Hand in Hand

Designers from fashion and architecture often work closely together. Miuccia Prada, for example, continues her longstanding collaborative relationship with OMA, which designs many of her stores, runway shows, and exhibition spaces. Other designers like Hussein Chalayan and Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons design clothing that veers towards the architectural. As Architectural Digest style director Jane Keltner de Valle says, “It’s all quite fluid.” 

Culture | Food
Nonprofit Transforms Abandoned Spaces Into Soup Kitchens
Culture | Art
Star-Studded Design Team Reimagines Claude Debussy’s Only Opera, Pelléas et Mélisande
Culture | Materials
Poured Concrete Flooring Eliminates Disease in Bangladeshi Homes
Culture | Art

The Museum of Ice Cream’s Latest Edition Lands in Miami Beach

It was an Instagram sensation from day one. After the Museum of Ice Cream popped up in New York two years ago, temporary outposts in Los Angeles and San Francisco quickly followed. More installation than museum, the multisensory spectacle—visitors can try melted ice-cream drinks made in-house or dip in a pool of plastic sprinkles—is the sweet, nostalgic vision of the museum's founder and creative director Maryellis Bunn, who graduated from Parsons School of Design with a degree in strategic design and management.

Culture | Manufacturing
Reality of Tech-Led Apparel Manufacturing Grows Sharper
Culture | Fashion
Rei Kawakubo's Clothes Are Not Just Clothes