Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and chipboard may soon find themselves replaced by a new, biodegradable product—and good riddance, too! These commonly used materials are not recyclable and are full of toxic chemicals like formaldehyde. Instead, London-based designer team Chip[s] Board proposes using waste potato peelings combined with fibers from bamboo, hops, wood or more potatoes for furniture construction. Not only will this remove MDF and chipboard from landfills, but it could also reduce food waste, another major environmental and social problem.
Students Tackle Urban Loneliness Through Architecture
Architecture and urban planning have been proven to be incredibly useful tools in combatting the negative effects of climate change on the city level. Could design thinking be the answer to mitigating the epidemic of loneliness in our urban centers, as well? PhD researcher Tanzil Shafique set out to discover if it was possible with his M.Arch students at the Melbourne School of Design and the answer is a resounding yes (view student work here).
Bad Acoustics Are A Killer. Here's What Designers Can Do About It.
Noise is all around us, whether we like it or not. We're only now beginning to understand the detrimental effects loud sounds can have on our health. Luckily, we can mitigate those effects with design thinking.
The holidays are almost upon us, so it's time to start thinking of passive-aggressive gag gifts for your favorite studio frenemy. Type designers Hoefler & Co. have the perfect present to gift pedantic colleagues and design snobs: the Typographic Ticket Book. Modeled after the much-maligned traffic cops' ticket book, everything from improper font choice, to egregious colors, to unironic use of novelty typeface is included on the surprisingly authentic-looking ticket.
You Can Feel A Little Less Guilty About Eating French Fries Now
Tomorrow's french fries may be just as fattening and delicious as they are today, but their packaging may feel very different. A trio of Italian designers devised a form of packaging, called Peel Saver, made from recycled potato skins. Aimed at reducing waste from food truck and other cheap eats places, Peel Saver is cheap to produce and fully biodegradable.
Rolling Joints Is a Pain, So Let a Machine Do It For You
The legalization of marijuana is taking North America by storm. What started in Colorado has expanded to nine U.S. states and the entirety of Canada, meaning that a whole host of new means and methods for enjoying a legal high will start to hit the mainstream market. The Otto by banana bros., a minimalist-looking machine that literally rolls joints for the user, is one such option. What a time to be alive!
In John Carpenter's iconic film They Live, protagonist John Nada dons a pair of innocuous sunglasses and discovers a horrifying reality: the world has been taken over by aliens who keep their identities and intentions secret by subliminally controlling the human population through mass media. Now, that same idea has been taken to its opposite extreme by engineer Scott Blew and artist Ivan Cash in the form of IRL Glasses. These seemingly ordinary sunglasses use Steelcase's Casper screen-blocking film to completely black out all screens. If the glasses from They Live revealed a nightmare to the wearer, IRL Glasses may deliver a dream.
Decapitated Humanoid Pillow Aims to Comfort Sad Urban Millennials
You've heard of professional cuddlers, you've heard of waifu pillows, now get ready for the Mannequin! This stunted (or is it dismembered?) humanoid cushion features extra-long arms, a plush torso, and what looks like a cauterized neck that somehow combine into a comforting presence for millennials caught in the spiral of urban loneliness. Designed by Aseptic Studios, the Mannequin's neck can be used to correct posture and its arms can guard against heat expelled by laptops. With those perks, why even bother going on Tinder?
Aston Martin Goes Electric With New Rapide E Sports Car
Electric, not gas. James Bond's preferred automotive brand moves into the future with the release of the Rapide E all-electric luxury sports car in 2019. The car will be powered by 5,600 lithium-ion 18650 format cylindrical cells and can go from 0-60 mph in under four seconds.
A new material has emerged to tackle the problem of non-recyclable disposable coffee cups: coffee grounds. A Berlin-based backyard startup called Kaffeeform has found a way to combine used coffee grounds and natural adhesives to make sustainable cups, saucers, and to-go mugs. The products lightly smell of coffee and come in a deep brown color, in addition to being dishwasher-safe and biodegradable.
From Fringe Idea to Mainstream Imperative: The Future of Design Depends on Biomimicry
Over the Earth's 3.8 billion-year history, plants and animals have come up with ingenious design solutions to keep them alive and thriving. Today, the idea of looking to nature to improve the functionality and sustainability of humanity’s creations is gaining steam in the architecture, design, and engineering industries. It's called biomimicry and it's here to stay.
Here's Our First Look at Martian Architecture
While the timing of Mars colonization remains a mystery, we now have a better idea of where the first homo sapiens on the red planet will live. Swamp Works, a small team at the Kennedy Space Center, have their sites set on regolith, plastic polymers, and 3-D printing as the key to future martian dwellings. Robots and a beefed-up version of Autodesk will ensure that the structures can withstand solar radiation, extreme weather, and micro-meteorites.
High heels are both beautiful and colossally painful to wear, but not for much longer! Podiatrist Marion Parke has invented a new kind of heel that promises both luxury and comfort. Her eponymous startup's designs have made it past the drawing board and into production, thanks in part to funding by the owners of Minnetonka Moccasin shoe company and several high-end Italian leather manufacturers, who were eager to inject some innovation into a product that hasn't seen much change in centuries.
The Latest Unlikely Sustainable Building Material? Carrots!
Researchers in England have discovered that carrots may soon emerge as a sustainable—and affordable—way to strengthen concrete. When combined with ordinary cement, nano platelets extracted from root vegetable fibers can greatly reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with manufacturing. This discovery could have a huge impact, especially considering how cement production accounts for around 8% of the world's total carbon dioxide emissions.
Soap Brand Borrows From Brutalism
Finally, a bar of soap for the truly zealous lovers of the Brutalist style. Called Tetra Soap, the three-sided, graphite-gray bar draws inspiration from concrete Tetrapods that line coasts the world over. The design, besides being aesthetically adventurous, also provides a better grip than a traditional bar soap.