CBD products are everywhere in 2019, from local bodegas to high-end boutiques. But as more companies tout the health benefits of their cure-all oils and balms, the Food and Drug Administration continues to grapple with ways to regulate what’s in them.
Companies Are Betting on Sound for Brand Loyalty
Would you enjoy doing laundry more if your washing machine played music? Some companies are hoping the answer yes, as they strive to create user experiences that strengthen brand loyalty.
Designers Take Back Time With The Help Of Manufacturers
The advent of the Internet has done more to revolutionize the way design is realized today than any other technological advancement. Certainly, the proliferation of personal computers enhanced the way designers work, but the Internet’s immeasurable value lies in its capacity to create new marketplaces, facilitate an exchange of ideas and images at breakneck speed, and induce far-flung but fruitful collaborations. That demand for excellence makes today a very challenging time to be a designer. There is, however, a growing trend in the industry that lessens a substantial load on designers. It’s been called “the rise of dealer designers” and while these individuals are not new to the industry, their ability to drastically relieve the pressure of client demands on designers is coming to the light.
There's no doubt that online retail has changed the "how" of shopping, but this unbelievably expansive marketplace has opened up new possibilities for the "what" of shopping, as well. 2018 saw a proliferation of subscription services and new approaches to familiar markets. 2019 continues that trend, but with greater emphasis put on sustainable materials, social inclusivity, and crowd-sourced design.
Giant Corporations Take First Step Towards Real Climate Accountability With Reusable Packaging
Neoliberalism, the morally bankrupt economic ideology that pervades the majority of world governments and markets, would have you believe that by simply using LEDs, taking public transportation, or buying a Prius you can make a significant impact in the fight against climate change. This is, of course, ridiculous, argues Guardian columnist Martin Lukas, when faced with the fact that only 100 companies are responsible for 71% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these emissions come from the petrochemical industry, which produces about 300 million metric tons of cheap virgin plastic every year. Emissions from petrochemical plants are expected to rise 20% by 2030, according to New York Times. That's why a recent announcement that brands such as PepsiCo, Unilever, and Nestlé will begin testing out reusable packaging in a pilot program with recycling company TerraCycle comes as big news. Not only does it offer a glimmer of hope for a reduction in plastic production, but it shows that world-wide demand for corporate climate accountability can be effective.
France Develops App to End Cultural Snobbery
Imagine being an 18 year old with a smartphone, a lot of free time after school and on weekends, and an almost $600 stipend from the federal government. About 10,000 French teenagers found themselves in just such a situation when the French government's Culture Pass app went live in September. Designed like a "Tinder for the arts", users can swipe left or right on cultural activities happening in their immediate surroundings, which the government hopes will result in more fluid and accepting definition of culture for the French. The Culture Pass project will cost France's government approximately $490 million a year and is heavily subsidized by contributions from Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon.
For now, space artist Ron Miller is bound by gravity and expense to remain on planet Earth, but that doesn't mean he can't bring the heavens a little closer to home. Using a photo of the moon rising over Death Valley as reference, Miller inserted the other eight planets into the picture and the results are jaw dropping. "We would all feel a lot more humble with Jupiter's presence constantly looking over us," Miller explained to the Daily Mail.
The Truth Is Out There In Technosignatures
The quest to find evidence of extraterrestrial life has largely focused on the hunt for exo-planets and watery moons, but in the 20th century it was all about finding technosignatures. Largely comprised of radio signals and/or microwaves, technosignatures present not only an opportunity to find alien life, but intelligent alien life. Representatives from NASA, SETI, the Planetary Science Institute, and large research universities held a three-day conference in Houston to re-examine this avenue, astoundingly due to pressure from Congress in support of these efforts. Maybe it has something to do with Space Force.
Food Gets The Futurist Treatment
We may not have flying cars or jet packs (yet), but the future is undoubtedly here. That reality of unprecedented changed applies to what and how we eat, too. The future of food looks hopeful, with a predicted abundance of tasty faux-meat products, personalized diets tailored to your genome, and an increase in genetically engineered foods that will provide more nutrition in a smaller serving size.
Public transit: it’s ubiquitous, divisive, and apparently meme-worthy. Numtots, or members of the Facebook group “New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented Teens,” are an international group of millennials whose big ideas about improving city life all use the Internet’s favorite means of communication. Although seemingly niche, the group has over 100,000 active members.
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?
House-Flipping Has Come to the Virtual World
One of the best parts of The Sims, the wildly popular life simulation video game, is building and renovating the house the Sims inhabit. Finally, there’s a game that lets players focus exclusively on that pursuit without the mundane life stuff, like getting a job or taking a shower. House Flipper, available on Steam for under $20, allows players to flip a fixer-upper in impressively rendered virtual detail with complete creative control.
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.
Neuroscientist Creates Gilded Pieces of Brain Art
What does consciousness look like in the brain? It’s a heady question, and one that neuroscientist-turned-artist Greg Dunn, with fellow collaborator Brian Edwards, seeks to answer through a unique blend of hard scientific imaging and traditional East Asian ink wash techniques. Called Self-Reflected, the project features dazzling image of the brain, etched in gold leaf, that both illuminate and astound.
FreelandBuck Creates Visual Puzzles by Cloning Historical Ceilings
The Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery presented its first large-scale architectural commission, an immersive site-specific ceiling installation by architectural firm FreelandBuck. Parallax Gap is a visualization of American ceiling design from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, exploring the concept of parallax, or how the position of an object appears to shift from one viewpoint to the next. Utilizing Rhinoceros and Grasshopper programs, FreelandBuck recreated structures from nine buildings including Cincinnati’s Union Terminal and Philadelphia’s City Hall on stacked polypropylene panels.